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Changes to immigration detention policy

Changes to immigration detention policy

The World Today - Tuesday, 29 July , 2008 12:10:00

Reporter: Alexandra Kirk

ELEANOR HALL: To the Federal Government's changes to Australia's immigration detention policy.

The government had already jettisoned the Howard government's Pacific Solution and granted
permanent status to thousands of asylum seekers on temporary protection visas.

But today Immigration Minister Chris Evans declared that mandatory detention will only be used for
unauthorised boat arrivals, repeat visa over-stayers or those deemed to be a risk to the community.

Officials are now reviewing the cases of all immigration detainees.

The Government's also promising extra assistance to asylum seekers in the form of publicly funded
legal advice, access to independent review of adverse decisions and external scrutiny by the
Ombudsman.

The Minster has been telling Alexandra Kirk that the Government will treat asylum seekers with
compassion while retaining strong border security.

CHRIS EVANS: Well people will be mandatorally detained on arrival and once we've completed health,
security and identity checks, if they're no threat to the community, then they will be able to be
moved into the community.

But apart from the arrivals, what we'll be looking at is whether the people pose a risk, it's a
risk management strategy and if they don't pose a risk to the community, there's no need for them
to be in detention. We want to resolve their status but that takes a couple of years. There's no
reason for them to be in detention while that occurs.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: So of the 357 people in immigration detention right now, how many do you think
could be freed under you new policy?

CHRIS EVANS: Look it's impossible to calculate, what we're saying is the new policy will apply to
people who will be considered for detention in the future. In addition to that I've committed a
review in the current detention population to look at their individual cases and make decisions on
them.

The previous long-term review I did a couple of months ago saw 31 of the 72 given visas and are in
the process of being released. So I think that says to you that there are a large number of people
in detention who ought not be there, but it'll be done on an individual case basis so I can't
estimate numbers.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Not at all?

CHRIS EVANS: Well I'd be guessing, the point is, it's an individual case decision and until...

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The question is, will this policy make any difference then?

CHRIS EVANS: Well 31 of the 72 were given visas or put on visa pathways so I think to those 31
people it made a huge difference. It'll certainly make a huge difference to the regime in the
future, in terms of the decisions made as to who and when to detain. I think we'll see less people
in detention and we'll see them in detention for shorter periods of time.

But in terms of the current case load, they'll be considered on an individual case basis and I want
to make the point that there are numbers of people in detention who will stay in detention who are
a risk to the Australia community and there will be no sort of mass release to under this
announcement.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Presumably this will require changes to the migration laws, what happens in the
meantime?

CHRIS EVANS: Well most of this can be applied by administrative decision making, or by some
regulation changes. What we're going to do is develop new policies and procedures that allow the
department to make decisions where the onus of proof is reversed. They have to justify detaining a
person not presume detention and I think that'll make a huge difference to the detention population
over time.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Will this require a big change in the mindset of immigration officials do you
think?

CHRIS EVANS: I think immigration officials will welcome these changes, they didn't join the
immigration department to become jailors, they believe in the integrity of the system, they know
that we've got to have a system which removes people who are not lawfully here and who have no
right to stay but they're not interested in punishing people and I think they'll welcome the change
in policy.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The fate of the detention centre on Christmas Island, the big new expensive one
that was commissioned by the Howard government; you've decided that you don't want to use it except
for if there's a big influx of asylum seekers.

If there's no suggestion of a big cohort of asylum seekers, why not put that building to some good
use, in other words some other use?

CHRIS EVANS: Well first of all there remains a risk that we'll have more people seeking to come to
this country as unauthorised boat arrivals, there's huge displacement in Asia and the Middle East
and there is the possibility of more boat arrivals.

The fact is that Christmas Island, provides us with huge capacity, that's where the Howard
government invested in the capacity. We don't have much else, so we do have to have it available to
us. My preference is that people are housed in the older facilities because they're a lower
security environment and particularly I want to make provision for children and families. But if we
need it, we'll use it and I think the final point is who wants a 400 bed, relatively high security
facility on Christmas Island?

ELEANOR HALL: That's the Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans speaking to Alexandra Kirk in
Canberra.

Support for detention policy changes

Support for detention policy changes

The World Today - Tuesday, 29 July , 2008 12:14:00

Reporter: Eleanor Hall

ELEANOR HALL: Joining us now with his response is David Manne the co-ordinator of the Refugee and
Immigration Legal Centre in Melbourne.

David Manne thanks for being there.

As we've been hearing, the Government is making some changes that will mean that a majority of
asylum seekers will no longer be detained, how much of a difference will these changes make for the
sort of people that you act for?

DAVID MANNE: Oh it will make a profound difference. This really represents fundamental change in
detention policy in this country for such people, people fleeing from brutal tyranny often. The
change is really a fundamental one from mandatory indefinite detention of people without a valid
visa as the first option as if you like the presumption to really the very opposite and that is the
presumption being that as long as they don't pose any you know real risk to the community that
detention will be a last resort.

ELEANOR HALL: Mandatory detention will remain though for several categories, do you agree with
that?

DAVID MANNE: Look any form of mandatory detention is potentially problematic, but certainly this is
a significant step forward in essentially identifying that there will need to be serious and
concrete limits to that detention and this is a very substantial step forward. Those limitations
based primarily on good reasons such as if someone poses a serious risk, are a major step forward
from the previous position.

ELEANOR HALL: The Government also says that children will no longer be detained and that there will
be a three monthly review of anyone who is in detention. Is that adequate?

DAVID MANNE: Certainly again, a very substantial step forward because the system previously was
represented a fundamental lack of transparency, fundamental lack of scrutiny and very little proper
review.

This is again a major step forward in ensuring that people as a matter of course are not detained
indefinitely and languish there to be subject to certain harm.

ELEANOR HALL: When the Government says that it's now asking the immigration department to justify
why a person should be detained, how significant a shift is that?

DAVID MANNE: This is a very major shift because in the past really what we were looking at was a
system where as a matter of course, purely by reason of not having a valid visa, people were
essentially subject to mandatory and indeterminate detention. So to shift to a position where there
needs to be a concrete justification based on for example that the key issue about whether there's
a real risk in the community is a quantum leap from the past.

ELEANOR HALL: And of the 357 people now in detention, how many do you estimate will be allowed into
the community under these new rules.

DAVID MANNE: Look without knowing all of the cases of course, what stands to reason is that most
people in the past who have been detained including innocent asylum seekers don't pose any
discernible risk to the community and in fact very few people who have been detained in the past
could be said to pose any real risk to the community so on that basis, it's quite possible that
what we'll see is a release of a significant amount of people. But just as importantly those
arriving in the future who may be fleeing from tyranny will not be subject to ongoing mandatory and
indefinite detention where they languish in limbo.

ELEANOR HALL: And David Manne, is there enough support in the community to look after these people
if they are released?

DAVID MANNE: Oh absolutely, for some time structures have been, well developed structures have been
put in place for release into the community of people and in fact another very important thing to
note and that is detention centres have cost, have been exorbitant in terms of cost, so it's not
only the human cost which is again of course central, but the financial cost of immigration
detention centre. It'll be far cheaper and far more humane and just make basic commonsense to have
people in the community and there are well established structures in place for care of such people.

ELEANOR HALL: David Manne thanks very much for joining us.

DAVID MANNE: Thankyou.

ELEANOR HALL: That's David Manne, the co-ordinator if the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre in
Melbourne.

Investigation into nursing homes

Investigation into nursing homes

The World Today - Tuesday, 29 July , 2008 12:18:00

Reporter: Simon Lauder

ELEANOR HALL: The Federal Government will investigate more than 30 nursing homes in Victoria,
Tasmania, New South Wales and South Australia.

They're all operated by the company which runs the Kirralee nursing home in Ballarat, where
residents were allegedly not being properly fed.

The Department of Health and Ageing has referred its complaints about that nursing home to
Victorian police.

But a woman who made a complaint against the nursing home several years ago has told The World
Today that she's surprised that serious action is only being taken now, and she wants a mandatory
reporting system for complaints in the aged care sector.

In Melbourne, Simon Lauder reports.

SIMON LAUDER: After a random inspection of the Kirralee aged care facility, the Department of
Health and Ageing has appointed an administrator and told the home to appoint a nursing adviser and
provide more staff training. It's also revoking bed licenses and won't give anymore subsidies to
the facility for six months.

Lindy McGarry says she's somewhat surprised and disappointed it's taken so long for serious action
to be taken. Her complaint about the treatment her mother received at Kirralee was upheld by the
Aged Care Complaints Resolution committee in 2006.

LINDY MCGARRY: The food was cold, I noticed that she was served party pies one day for lunch and
that the food was cold and yes I do think that there was probably not enough fluids going on,
because there's not enough staff. If there's not enough staff you can't possibly adequately feed
and and fix... the other thing was toilets, toileting.

I was there on two occasions and we called, rang the bell from her room for toileting and nobody
came and I timed 50 minutes and I actually had to go get someone myself.

SIMON LAUDER: The Department of Health and Ageing says the home's management of nutrition,
hydration, clinical care, nursing needs, pain management and skin care was putting residents at
risk.

The federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Justine Elliot, says the home's operator, the Aged Care
Services Australia Group, will now be investigated more widely.

JUSTINE ELLIOT: There is more than 30 other nursing homes that are owned by the company that own
Kirralee, so they are also going to be investigated as well because my main concern is for the
safety, health and well-being of our older Australians that are in our nursing homes.

SIMON LAUDER: As far as the Government's concerned, is this company coming very close to loosing
its licence?

JUSTINE ELLIOT: Well some of those measures that I outlined before, if Kirralee aged care doesn't
implement those particular actions the department will move to revoke their approved provider
status. It's as straightforward as that. We have these tough regulations in place for a reason,
it's to protect our older Australians, and because of what's arisen at Kirralee, that's why there
will be an investigation of their 30 other nursing homes.

SIMON LAUDER: Why is the company being given a chance to make amends when it's done something as
serious as underfeeding it's residents?

JUSTINE ELLIOT: Well we look at the situation it currently is, I understand there's over 90 high
care residents currently at Kirralee. There are commonwealth nursing officers there on sight and
also members from the Aged Care Standards accreditation agency. They're investigating and
monitoring, making sure that the people that are there are well looked after and they are safe.

These tough measures that are in place are to make sure that those people can be properly looked
after and as I say pending the outcome of that, then the determination can be made in terms of the
nursing home's approved provider status.

But the most important thing is to make sure that those older Australians at Kirralee are getting
good care.

SIMON LAUDER: The Health Services Union says several complaints were made about the Kirralee
nursing home before the Federal Government went in.

Justine Elliot rejects any suggestion her department was too slow to act.

JUSTINE ELLIOT: No well as I say this is the result of an unannounced check just recently but
certainly in terms of investigating this matter, we'll be looking at all incidents in relation to
this home.

SIMON LAUDER: And what's going to happen in those other 30-odd homes owned by this company?

JUSTINE ELLIOT: Obviously they will be fully investigated in terms of compliance with a whole set
of standards.

SIMON LAUDER: Lindy McGarry, whose mother was in the care of the Kirralee nursing home in 2005 says
it should be illegal for staff to ignore problems.

LINDY MCGARRY: I even had a staff member say that there were things going on but she couldn't do
anything because she'd loose her job which I was disgusted about. And this is where the culture is
also is we need mandatory reporting, we've got mandatory child abuse reporting and we desperately
need mandatory reporting from professionals, doctors and nurses in nursing homes because elderly
are just as dependent, maybe even more so than children and obviously we don't have mandatory
reporting because we desperately need mandatory reporting.

SIMON LAUDER: The Victorian Police say they are examining the complaints and the Aged Care Services
Australia Group has not returned calls from The World Today.

ELEANOR HALL: Simon Lauder reporting.

Child deaths falling

Child deaths falling

The World Today - Tuesday, 29 July , 2008 12:22:00

Reporter: David Mark

ELEANOR HALL: A decade long investigation has found that the number of children dying in New South
Wales has fallen by more than a third.

The New South Wales Commissioner for Children and Young People, Gillian Calvert, says the report is
good news, but that she still has concerns.

The report found that while the numbers had dropped, Aboriginal children and children from poorer
backgrounds were more likely to die than other groups.

And the Commissioner says she's worried that children are still drowning in backyard swimming pools
because of poor supervision and broken fences.

Gillian Calvert spoke to David Mark.

GILLIAN CALVERT: Yes I think we should feel very pleased about the progress that has been made and
I think that progress has been made through the efforts of parents, professionals and the community
working really to reduce child deaths. So I think it is a good news story.

DAVID MARK: And yet there are still around 600 children dying in NSW every year. If this was the
road toll, there would be a public outcry, why isn't there?

GILLIAN CALVERT: Well I think partly because a lot those deaths are in fact deaths that are from
natural causes if you like so it's about prematurity or it's about congenital malformation, so
these deaths really require advances in medical technology if we're to reduce them.

I think where we should have an outcry is in those deaths that are preventable that we're not and
here I'm thinking about the deaths from swimming pool drownings. What we found was that there was
no change over the 10 year period from deaths in swimming pool drownings. And when we looked at
those deaths, what we found was it was a combination of poor supervision by the adults around that
child and also because there were problems with the fencing or the gate latch where the barrier was
poorly maintained.

Now these deaths are preventable if we maintain the gates and I think we can probably get them
right down, so we are recommending that the government strengthen the legislation so that it
becomes a requirement to inspect pool fencing and also to regularly monitor that pool fencing.

DAVID MARK: You also found that the chances of dying are far greater for children from poorer
economic backgrounds and Aboriginal children. Can you quantify that ?

GILLIAN CALVERT: It varies according to the because of death that we're talking about, but overall
when you look at deaths across the 10 year period, as the socio-economic status of the family
worsened then the death rate increased.

Now that's in fact been known for some time and this study reinforces that finding. We also found
that Aboriginal people had higher death rates as well and one particularly concerning statistic for
us was that those deaths are by sudden unexpected deaths of infants was six times higher for
Aboriginal infants than for non-Aboriginal infants.

Now we do know that smoking levels are much higher amongst Aboriginal people than non-Aboriginal
people and we also know there are some economic and educational differences as well between those
two groups of people.

So that may have something to do with it, but I do think it is worthwhile perhaps focusing our
prevention efforts or our research efforts on trying to understand these sorts of things more.

DAVID MARK: Now you've also found that Aboriginal people and people from a poorer economic
background are more likely to die from meningococcal and pneumonia. Now these would both appear to
be preventable diseases, why are these deaths so disproportionate in those groups.

GILLIAN CALVERT: Well they're not entirely preventable, we don't for example have a... immunisation
for infants which is where a lot of the meningococcal deaths occurred. So that's something that I
know the scientific community is working very hard to develop. But what we found was that even when
you looked at infants, there were differences between those who were in the poorer areas and those
who were in the more well-off areas.

Now that needs some exploration and understanding. Why is it that children in poor areas are dying
at greater rates for meningococcal and phenomena compared to children in better-off areas?

And so what we're saying is the health department really needs to try and understand that and to
focus its prevention efforts towards reducing that inequity between the well off areas and the
poorer areas.

ELEANOR HALL: Gillian Calvert is the New South Wales Commissioner for Children and Young People,
she was speaking to David Mark.

Coalition expected to change policy on carbon trading

Coalition expected to change policy on carbon trading

The World Today - Tuesday, 29 July , 2008 12:26:00

Reporter: Lyndal Curtis

ELEANOR HALL: As the Government makes changes to Australia's immigration policy, the Coalition is
looking at changing the policy on climate change that it took to the last election.

The Shadow Cabinet is expected to reverse its support for an emissions trading scheme starting in
2012 in favour of a scheme that will be dependent on other major emitters like China and India
taking action.

And while the Government is trying to keep up the pressure on the Opposition over this it has
acknowledged that the start-up date for its proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme may be
changed during Senate negotiations.

Chief Political Correspondent, Lyndal Curtis reports.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Irresponsible is the cry of the Government as it tries to force the Opposition to
come to a position closer to it's own wish for an emissions trading scheme to start in 2010.

Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong.

PENNY WONG: And they can decide whether they're going to play the petty politics of their internal
leadership battles or whether they're going to step up to the plate and respond on what is an issue
economic responsibility.

LYNDAL CURTIS: But the Opposition is returning the compliment, with frontbenchers Christopher Pyne
and Ian Macfarlane, applying the accusation to the Government's plans.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Labor has a plan which has been introduced or put forward without full recourse
to the consultation with industry without releasing the Treasury modelling, without waiting for the
meeting in Copenhagen to determine what the big emitters will do.

The Opposition is simply saying that we need to move responsibly and not recklessly with the
Australian economy.

IAN MACFARLANE: We had a plan to work up an effective economic model that would allow us to trade
carbon without sending our jobs and our industries overseas. The Labor party has thrown that plan
to one side. It has embarked on an irresponsible, irrational move to see Australian jobs and
industries move overseas.

LYNDAL CURTIS: With a Newspoll out today showing 60 per cent of people in favour of an emission
trading scheme being introduced before major emitters such as China and India take action,
Christopher Pyne, speaking on Sky, has stressed the Coalition isn't becoming a climate change
sceptic.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: We support an emissions trading scheme and that we fully recognise and
acknowledge that climate change is an issue that the country has to face and the rest of the world
has to face. But we shouldn't make our decision on the basis of polls. We should make our decision
on the basis of what's good for the country.

LYNDAL CURTIS: But the question for the Shadow Cabinet ministers today is whether they supports a
scheme that starts in 2012 regardless of what China and India do or wait and how they think any
promise or lack of it from those countries should change the shape of a scheme.

Ian Macfarlane has indicated an Australian scheme is worthless without other action.

IAN MACFARLANE: What we need is a plan for Australia that actually lowers admissions. A carbon
trading scheme by itself will not do that, you need the technology, you need the other countries of
the world to collaborate.

LYNDAL CURTIS: As is his style, Liberal backbencher Wilson Tuckey put it a little more starkly

WILSON TUCKEY: You can evacuate Australia, we can pack you all off and send you to Europe or
somewhere so that you can enjoy the existing ETS there. And it will make no change whatsoever to
the climate here on this continent unless those big hitters round the world reduce the winds that
blow across, the Co2 and the winds that blow across Australia.

LYNDAL CURTIS: The two men acknowledge there are different views within the Opposition.

IAN MACFARLANE: I would be disappointed if there wasn't a diversity of views in Shadow Cabinet.

WILSON TUCKEY: 'Cause there's always division in coalitions, there's always division in the
government, do you think every minister who's salivating in the Rudd Government over having to tell
the people how much this is going to cost them?

LYNDAL CURTIS: Mr Pyne has indicated that the policy the Coalition took to the election will be
changed today in some form to take into account the actions of the major emitters

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Commonsense tells us that Australia cannot just act alone, we need to work in
consent with the rest of the world, we wouldn't not proceed if China, India and the United States
don't proceed, it would certainly determine the price of carbon that we attach to carbon and also
the trajectory in which we introduce the scheme

LYNDAL CURTIS: The Climate Change Minister Penny Wong maintains it's important to start ahead of
other countries, but she has also hinted that the start up date of 2010 the Government has proposed
could be changed during negotiations to get the Bill passed by the Senate.

(To Penny Wong) You've said you plan to start the carbon pollution reduction scheme in 2010, but
you can't guarantee that start up date can you?

PENNY WONG: Well obviously these are matters that have to go through the parliament but this is an
election commitment, we are putting a position of 2010, that is our intention and that is what we
put to the Australian people at the last election.

LYNDAL CURTIS: But it's possible that might change as the negotiations go through the Senate.

PENNY WONG: Well look as you know we do have to get our legislation through the Parliament and what
we would do is call on the Oposition to put aside the petty politicking on this issue and to take a
responsible economic approach to the issue of tackling climate change.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong ending that report from Lyndal Curtis.

Qantas says passengers weren't at risk

Qantas says passengers weren't at risk

The World Today - Tuesday, 29 July , 2008 12:30:00

Reporter: Alison Caldwell

ELEANOR HALL: Qantas' new CEO designate Alan Joyce has hardly had an easy introduction to his job.

He was announced as the new head of Qantas just as the airline was dealing with the worst safety
problem in its history. Now, the day after that announcement, he's having to deal with another
incident.

Last night a Qantas plane scheduled to fly from Adelaide to Melbourne was forced to land soon after
taking off because of possible problems with its landing gear.

Mr Joyce says it was a routine incident which was handled well by Qantas staff.

And he stated that safety will always be the number one priority for the national carrier.

Unions representing pilots and engineers are not making things any easier though. They're
expressing concerns about the new CEO's track record with budget carrier, Jetstar.

In Melbourne, Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: Qantas is downplaying what happened on board QF692 out of Adelaide early yesterday
evening, describing it as a "routine air turn-back" shortly after take-off.

Coming just three days after the emergency landing in the Philippines, some passengers were rattled
by the experience.

PASSENGER: It was a little more worrying I think than it would have been and I think it was very
noticeable the plane was dead quiet once the first PA announcement was made.

PASSENGER 2: Yeah, I had vibration and they couldn't fix the problem, the door of the
under-carriage and said we had to go back to Adelaide.

PASSENGER 3: I was very frightened and what made it worse is that I'm not well. It was this
vibrating that was worrying me and when they said that they weren't sure whether the door was
closed properly or what was wrong with the door. That was when I got a bit worried.

ALISON CALDWELL: A Qantas spokeswoman said there was an indication one of the landing gear doors
failed to retract. She said the 737, 800 landed safely and all passengers were accommodated on
other flights.

Qantas' new CEO Alan Joyce says it was a routine incident.

ALAN JOYCE: You know what, I think there's come to be you know the aviation industry and all
airlines are faced with items that do occur, it's part of the business that we're in and I think at
the moment you know there's a bit more focus on Qantas because of the incident last Friday and
that's to be expected, but I think some of these incidents that are now just now a course of
business and our people are well trained to handle them.

ALISON CALDWELL: He says he remains committed to the two airline strategy, maintaining both Qantas
and the budget carrier Jetstar.

Cutting jobs and budgets and guaranteeing profits in the face of rising fuel costs, he says fears
Qantas and Jetstar are sacrificing safety are misplaced.

ALAN JOYCE: Safety is never going to be compromised in this organisation, it's the same for all
Qantas group airlines, Jetstar included, it is a top priority. And that doesn't mean that we can't
do things smarter and more efficient and that's been part of what the management in Qantas have
done for some time.

ALISON CALDWELL: He says that means investments in new technologies and aircraft including the
carbon-fibre composite Boeing 787 and A380's.

ALAN JOYCE: You know the 787 is made of composite material, it's structure is a lot different from
aircraft in existence today and that does save in the long run on maintenance and maintenance
costs, it doesn't mean that the aircraft is in anyway less reliable than anything else, it's in
fact more reliable but it is a big save in terms of doing things differently.

ALISON CALDWELL: While welcoming the guarantees to maintain safety, the union representing flight
engineers is concerned about pay and conditions under the new CEO.

Paul Cousins is with the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association.

PAUL COUSINS: We would be concerned in regards to the opportunities that were taken previously at
Jetstar in regards to individual contracts and commonwealth contracts instead of negotiated
agreements between the parties, but at this present time since Alan's only been in a short period,
we'll wait and see how it pans out.

ALISON CALDWELL: The union representing pilots shares those concerns.

Peter Somerville is with the Australian and International Pilots Association.

PETER SOMERVILLE: We look at the immediate incident, the QF30 incident that happened and the great
teamwork that was shown by the crew on that aircraft and think going forward now there's an
opportunity and the challenge for Alan Joyce is to bring the employees and in particular the pilots
together and to go ahead as a team. That's one of Alan Joyce's key challenges, he's got to reach
out to the employees.

ELEANOR HALL: Peter Somerville ending Alison Caldwell's report.

Iraq hit by a spate of suicide bomb attacks

Iraq hit by a spate of suicide bomb attacks

The World Today - Tuesday, 29 July , 2008 12:34:00

Reporter: Jennifer Macey

ELEANOR HALL: In Iraq a series of bomb attacks in Baghdad and in the northern city of Kirkuk have
killed more than 50 people and wounded at least two hundred more.

Iraqi police say they suspect that female suicide bombers were behind the blasts in Baghdad which
were directed at Shia pilgrims.

In Kirkuk the suicide bomber targeted a crowd of Kurdish protesters.

Jennifer Macey has our report.

(Sound of traffic)

JENNIFER MACEY: The trek to the Kadhimiya shrine in northern Baghdad to honour the death of an
eighth-century Imam marks one of the most important events on the Shia calendar.

But as pilgrims headed towards the shrine on Monday, three women blew themselves up in quick
succession, one near a tent serving food and drink for pilgrims.

At least 32 people died and a hundred were wounded leaving hospital emergency rooms overwhelmed.

(Sound of people arguing)

Police and health officials say the majority of dead are women and children.

Doctor Faris is at the Ibn al-Nafis Teaching Hospital in Baghdad.

DOCTOR FARIS (translated): We've received about 50 injured people. We transferred some of them to
various hospitals. Now we have seven injured people being treated here. Regrettably, we received 25
dead bodies. All of them were pilgrims.

JENNIFER MACEY: Shia pilgrimages routinely attract sectarian violence.

The worst deaths occurred in 2005. A thousand pilgrims died when rumours of a suicide bomber led to
a stampede on a bridge in Baghdad.

This year, many pilgrims say they will continue undeterred.

JASSIM JIHAD (translated): Today we are going to visit the holy shrine of Imam Kadhim. We pay no
heed to bombings and death. We are believing in God.

THAER ABID NOUR (translated): The blasts that happened today in Karrada and al-Sadoun will not
defeat us. It will strengthen our insistence on performing this visit and defeat terrorism. With
God willing, we will complete this visit.

JENNIFER MACEY: Due to a recent drop in violence and improved security, Iraqi officials had hoped
numbers for the annual Shia celebrations would reach one million.

Dr Matthew Gray is a senior lecturer at the ANU's Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies in Canberra.

He says while the peace is fragile he doesn't see these latest attacks as a return to full-blown
sectarian violence.

MATTHEW GRAY: It's most likely to be a Sunni group trying to disrupt the Shia group trying to
increase the sectarian divisions in Iraq. Probably and al-Qaeda type of group or something with a
similar mentality.

JENNIFER MACEY: But Dr Gray says this attack shows an increasing trend by Iraqi insurgents to use
women as suicide bombers.

MATTHEW GRAY: They are less likely to be suspected as attackers or suicide bombers, they're less
likely to be frisked or physically searched by security people. They can often get quite close to a
target and things like that so it's an unfortunate sign that even if the level of violence is
coming down, the degree of I don't know what you call it cunning or sophistication that extremists
are using has certainly increased.

JENNIFER MACEY: It was one of the worst days of violence in Iraq in recent months.

A separate suicide bomb attack in the northern city of Kirkuk targeted a crowd of Kurdish
protesters killing 25 people and injuring 185.

(Sound of gunfire)

After the blast gunmen began firing into the crowd from different directions.

Dr Matthew Gray says the attack reflects current tensions in the northern City of Kirkuk which is
home to Kurds, Turkmen, Arabs and other smaller ethnic groups.

MATTHEW GRAY: There's a power sharing arrangement that's been proposed for the local provincial
council up in Kirkuk and that's been very hotly contested and what this could be a sign of is an
attempt by a particular group, most likely the Arabs but you don't know.

To actually attack the Kurds and to try and use violence or terrorism to defy the different groups
in Kirkuk or to try and pressure different groups into making concessions on Kirkuk.

ELEANOR HALL: Dr Matthew Gray from the Australian National University ending that report by
Jennifer Macey.

Turkish court deciding on headscarves

Turkish court deciding on headscarves

The World Today - Tuesday, 29 July , 2008 12:38:00

Reporter: Ben Knight

ELEANOR HALL: Turkey's democratically elected government is awaiting on the outcome of a court case
that could see it removed from office over its decision to allow women to wear Islamic headscarves
to university.

The Constitutional Court is deliberating over whether the ruling Islamic-based AKP was trying to
establish Sharia law by stealth.

The AKP won the election last year, but its critics say it was not given a mandate to bypass the
country's strictly secular constitution.

Middle East correspondent Ben Knight reports.

BEN KNIGHT: When modern Turkey was born in the aftermath of World War I, it was in the image of its
creator, Kemal Ataturk who set the country facing firmly to the West dressing it in European
clothes, and enshrining secularism in its constitution.

And since then, any hint of bringing religion into Turkey's Government has been snuffed out usually
by the army, with support from nationalist lawyers, academics and others.

And now, it may be about to happen again. Despite having won two democratic elections, Turkey's AK
Party has been brought before the country's Constitutional Court, accused of being the focal point
for anti-secular activities.

One of the arguments against it is its failed attempt to lift the ban on the hijab - the Islamic
headscarf in the county's state universities.

The AKP acknowledges its Islamic roots, but one of its deputies, Cuneyt Yuksel, strongly denies
it's anything but a defender of secular, democratic values.

CUNEYT YUKSEL: The only thing we did was to allow women to wear headscarves at the universities and
we don't regret any of the acts that we should democratise or give freedom to our people.

BEN KNIGHT: Professor Ali Carkoglu from Istanbul's Sabanci University says the headscarf issue is
the fault line for deep divisions in Turkey over the country's identity.

ALI CARKOGLU: For someone looking at this from outside, it may sound like a joke because we have in
effect, only a couple of thousand of students who are currently covered but the issue is sole
ordered that those who are covered feel that this is one of their (inaudible) rights.

BEN KNIGHT: It wouldn't be the first time that a religious party has been removed from office in
Turkey, what's different about this case?

ALI CARKOGLU: If they get called down then we'll have for the first time a majority party thrown
out of the parliament basically.

BEN KNIGHT: And if that happens, if the AK party is removed from power, what is that going to mean
for Turkey?

ALI CARKOGLU: No matter how legally this decision might be justified, the real decision will have
to be the conviction on the part of the largest population. And they have to be convinced that the
decision is justified.

BEN KNIGHT: And if they're not?

ALI CARKOGLU: They're alienation from the system could get deeper and that has to be dealt with
eventually in the system.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Professor Ali Carkoglu from Istanbul's Sabanci University ending that report
from our Middle East correspondent Ben Knight.

Bank stocks take more battering

Bank stocks take more battering

The World Today - Tuesday, 29 July , 2008 12:42:00

Reporter: Brendan Trembath

ELEANOR HALL: There are more worries for investors today as bank stocks take another hit on the
share market and the IMF warns there's no end in sight to the global credit crisis.

Yesterday the ANZ chief executive Mike Smith said his bank would set aside more than two billion
dollars to cover possible losses from credit markets.

And Australia's biggest banks are now taking more knocks on a shaky sharemarket, as Brendan
Trembath reports.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Australia's top four banks were among the biggest movers on the Australian stock
market this morning.

After the first hour the Commonwealth Bank was down more than four per cent while National
Australia Bank and Westpac shed about three per cent.

Only ANZ had gained ground, but it was savaged yesterday.

Banks are widely held stocks in Australia, by investors large and small. There are fears bank
earnings and the broader economy will be battered as borrowing costs rise.

Hans Kunnen is the head of investment markets research at Colonial First State.

HANS KUNNEN: Has the worst been priced in? Many of them long-term investors and they're
superannuation-type folk and they are prepared to hang in there but a lot of the smaller investors
I think fear has overcome them and if you look at the market these days it seems to be pricing in
recession.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Is it possible to say how severe or how long this might be?

HANS KUNNEN: Well people are asking the question is it likely to be like the early mid 70's and
that was quite protracted or shorter and sharper like the 1990's and a lot of things have changed
since the 70's in terms of interest rates and the currencies and the structure of the economy.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Reinforcing fears is a business confidence report released by National Australia
Bank this morning.

The bank's closely watched measure of business confidence has fallen to its lowest level since
Australia was pulling out of the 1990 recession.

Hans Kunnen says in these uncertain times investment strategies are shifting.

HANS KUNNEN: Clearly with cash at eight per cent that's attracted a lot of attention, you have to
ask yourself, well in the next month, the next 12 months can I do better than eight per cent which
is where people can get in cash.

But that doesn't give you any capital growth, and whilst it's difficult to talk about capital
growth in the current days for longer-term investors that's what they're after and that's what cash
doesn't give but a lot of people have sought the safety of cash. It will have to work out in a few
years time whether that was the right decision or not.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: What do you mean by no capital growth?

HANS KUNNEN: Well if you put a $100,000 in the Bank, in five years time you'll a $100,000 plus your
eight per cent interest, whereas with the safe, dare I say shares, you get rising share prices over
time or that's what people have seen before for many years, plus the dividends.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Hans Kunnen says while Australia's biggest banks have slumped on the stock
market, other stocks offer more hope.

HANS KUNNEN: The share market is quite a wide beast and there are sections of it that have done
better than others. The resources sector has done very well over the last 12 months, energy has
done well because of oil you know with coal and iron ore prices going up, oil prices going up
companies in those sectors have done well and you have to ask yourself well can that last?

The last few days have seen oil prices fall so there's sceptics there, but there's huge demand
still out of the emerging markets and that does suggest that the resources boom wont disappear in a
hurry, so there's a place people looking at.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Hans Kunnen from Colonial First State ending that report from Brendan
Trembath.

Court hears of possible motives for murder

Court hears of possible motives for murder

The World Today - Tuesday, 29 July , 2008 12:46:00

Reporter: Liv Casben

ELEANOR HALL: A Sydney court has heard today that Gordon Wood the man accused of murdering his
girlfriend, Caroline Byrne, 13 years ago had two possible motives to kill her.

The former chauffeur for the late businessman, Rene Rivkin, is accused of throwing his girlfriend
from the Gap in Sydney's Eastern suburbs in June 1995.

Liv Casben has been following the case at the Supreme Court in Sydney and joins us now.

So Liv what did the prosecutor say about Gordon Wood's possible motives for murder?

LIV CASBEN: Well the Jury's heard Eleanor that Gordon Wood and Caroline Byrne's relationship had
become strained in the weeks and months before her death and that Wood was not only worried on a
personal level that his beloved Caroline would break up with him, but also on a professional level.

The Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC continued to outline his case today and said that Wood feared
that she may expose him and his knowledge of the Offset Alpine Printing fire. The court has already
heard that Gordon Wood believed the fire was a set-up and it was a set-up for those with shares in
the company could reap the benefits of an insurance windfall.

Today Tedeschi said that the accused Gordon Wood feared that the 24-year-old model, his then
girlfriend if she was no longer bound to him that, that by loyalty could do untold harm to him and
his relationship with Rene Rivkin.

And jurors were told that the accused saw Rivkin as this source of future wealth prospects and fame
and the crown did point out I should say that there's not a skerrick of evidence to implicate the
late Rene Rivkin in the murder of Caroline Byrne but said it was Gordon Wood's fear that the break
up and disclosure of information would have then affected his relationship with Rene Rivkin and
that it was abundantly clear to both Rivkin and Wood that any knowledge that she may have of the
fire or any dealings in shares could lead to both Rivkin and Wood being prosecuted for corporate
offences and Caroline's possession of that information was potentially damaging.

ELEANOR HALL: And there are also allegations that Caroline Byrne expressed fears for her safety in
the period before her death. What can you tell us about that?

LIV CASBEN: Well in an alleged conversation with a friend who was the owner of a gym that they both
attended, that's Wood and Byrne; Caroline Byrne allegedly said things weren't going well with
Gordon Wood, that she didn't like the people he was associating with and that he was possessive and
snapped quickly.

She allegedly told this friend that in the months before her death, sometimes he gets so angry it's
like he wants to kill me.

And that things weren't getting any better, that she feared for her life and that she wanted to
leave him but that she'd find it hard to break it off cleanly because of his jealous fits and she
said she got so scared not just because of the relationship but also because of his business
dealings.

And of course we also heard just a moment ago that when Caroline Byrne disappeared, she'd been seen
with Gordon Wood and another man around the Gap in the afternoon where her body was later found and
that a witness or three witnesses later heard a terrified scream at around 11.30 from the Gap where
her body was found.

ELEANOR HALL: Liv Casben at the Supreme court in Sydney thankyou, that's Liv Casben covering the
Gordon Wood trial.

Sonny boy case could change salary cap rules

Sonny boy case could change salary cap rules

The World Today - Tuesday, 29 July , 2008 12:50:00

Reporter: Simon Santow

ELEANOR HALL: He's been portrayed as a selfish, greedy footballer.

But could Sonny Bill Williams be a trailblazer for radical change across Australia's four football
codes?

The Fairfax newspapers are reporting that the star who walked out on the Bulldogs is planning to go
to the courts to tackle Rugby League's salary cap system.

If he's successful, that could end the salary cap systems that keep a cap on pay in Australian
Rules, Soccer as well as Union and League.

And that could send poorer clubs to the wall.

Simon Santow has our report.

SIMON SANTOW: After all the drama off the field, it should have been a relief for the Bulldogs last
night to get back to playing rugby league.

COMMENTATOR: Here they come led by Andrew Ryan, what a 48 hours it has been, what a test of
character this is.

SIMON SANTOW: But without their star Sonny Bill Williams, Canterbury was never competitive with
rivals St George.

COMMENTATOR 2: Looses the ball and reaching out Josh Morris might have got it down for a Dragon's
try.

SIMON SANTOW: Williams' next move is sorting out some unrelated visa problems so he can make the
dash from London to the South of France and begin his new life as an even higher paid Rugby Union
player with Toulon.

The NRL and the Bulldogs have already begun legal action to try and prevent him from playing in
France.

And Fairfax newspapers are reporting that Sonny Bill Williams is planning his own action in the
courts back here.

This one is designed to challenge the whole salary cap system.

A system in operation in Rugby League and in all the major football codes in Australia but absent
from the rich club rugby competition in Europe.

Matthew Rodwell is the Chief Executive of the Rugby League Players Association.

MATTHEW RODWELL: There's always room for improvement within the salary cap and this may well be the
catalyst for change, I think it's a watermark period for the game, I think it's a fascinating
period where the future direction of Rugby League in Australia will be tested and there needs to be
some serious thought given about the strategy in future direction of the game.

SIMON SANTOW: Brendan Schwab is his soccer counterpart.

The Chief Executive of the Australian Professional Footballers Association says not all salary caps
operate in the same way.

BRENDAN SCHWAB: We think the salary caps played an important role in providing a competitive
competition so that each team has a chance to succeed and in growing the interest in the sport and
over the medium-term, that certainly promotes player payments.

The levels of the salary cap are set out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that we have with
Football Federation Australia, in addition to prescribing a maximum amount, there's also a number
of very important exclusions including a marque player and a youth marque player which enable clubs
to spend substantial amounts outside the salary cap to retain outstanding players.

SIMON SANTOW: So it's not really a case of one salary cap size fits all, there are different
versions of it operating in the different sports in Australia.

BRENDAN SCHWAB: Absolutely and I think that it's important that in each case that the salary cap
rules are negotiated with the players association to take into account the particular requirements
of each sport.

I think if Sonny Bill Williams legal team was to launch an action on the salary cap, that would not
necessarily follow that salary caps themselves would automatically be deemed unlawful by the court.
That would be a ruling that would apply to the National Rugby League and of course in Rugby League
in the early 90's there was a case which brought down aspects of the player draft rules in Rugby
League but since then, the AFL have successfully implemented it's own version a player draft for 15
years.

SIMON SANTOW: But Rugby League players say the cap is far from perfect, it survives because there's
no credible alternative and they'd like to see better pay on offer.

Matthew Rodwell;

MATTHEW RODWELL: At 16 teams, about 400 or so players are employed, if the salary cap was to be
scrapped and teams are left to fend to their own devices and their own funding, the number of teams
could drop, the number of players actually playing the game at the elite level could drop, so there
has to be some caution and some wariness about the ramifications involved with challenging the
salary cap and receiving a judgement that indeed it's a restrain of trade and unlawful.

SIMON SANTOW: So indeed the richest players would just get richer?

MATTHEW RODWELL: Quite possibly, certainly there would be a smaller number of teams because as
we're well aware, a large proportion of the 16 clubs are doing it tough financially at the moment,
now if the salary cap was scrapped and other clubs can pay more to their players, the more
financial clubs, obviously they're going to attract the better players in the competition, reward
them more financially to the detriment of the other clubs.

And the other clubs with no players, no success on the field, no financial or corporate backing you
know will dwindle and you're quite right, the elite players will be paid more to the detriment of,
from other players.

ELEANOR HALL: Matthew Rodwell from the Rugby League Players Association ending that report from
Simon Santow.