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Landmark case grants traditional owners tidal rights

Landmark case grants traditional owners tidal rights

The World Today - Wednesday, 30 July , 2008 12:10:00

Reporter: Sarah Hawke

ELEANOR HALL: The High Court this morning handed down one of its most significant judgements on
Indigenous land rights in the Northern Territory. It has dismissed the Northern Territory
Government's objections and confirmed that traditional owners do have exclusive rights over tidal
waters along about 80 per cent of the Northern Territory's coastline as well as in tidal rivers.

The decision is likely to lead to the introduction of a permit system for fisherman and for
Indigenous people it ends a 30-year court battle. Sarah Hawke has been following the case and joins
us in Darwin.

So Sarah what does this decision mean non-Indigenous people wanting to use these tidal waters?

SARAH HAWKE: Well basically in the past we've seen that fishing rights have overridden the rights
of traditional owners who own these waters anyhow. Basically that reverses that process in now that
traditional owners will have a say and decisions, or I guess, hold the decisions over who has
access to these waters. Now these are tidal waters which as you mentioned along 80 per cent of the
coastline as well - as some of the tidal rivers as well.

ELEANOR HALL: Are Indigenous people giving any indication that they will be objecting to any
activities that are now carried on in these tidal areas?

SARAH HAWKE: Well certainly the indications from today's press conference is that they really do
want to work with both commercial and recreational fishing operators to give them access. We are
likely to see the introduction of a permit system. Now how much that will be worth we're not too
sure.

Part of this process we will see a 12-month amnesty as well, so therefore the access will continue
as is at present as they figure out the final details of this.

ELEANOR HALL: Now this decision gives Indigenous people exclusive rights, this is different to what
we see under native title. Why are these rights more extensive?

SARAH HAWKE: Well basically, as traditional owners they will have a say on who can come and go
within these waters. Now when we say that I think the Northern Land Council is trying to ensure
that people shouldn't be frightened by this, that they will be excluded from these waters.

They are working on a process to try and ensure that there will be continuing access, however, they
will have a stronger say on that actual process.

ELEANOR HALL: Is this case likely to set any precedents for other land claims across Australia?

SARAH HAWKE: It won't for the rest of Australia simply because it falls under the Northern
Territory Land Rights Act which was introduced in 1976. So that's separate again; and of course
that particular act covers about half of the Northern Territory anyhow. So, no, won't have any
impacts there for the wider scheme.

ELEANOR HALL: Now this is a very long running case. Why did the traditional owners originally bring
it?

SARAH HAWKE: Well look the actually process to try and gain exclusive rights over waters, has been
going on for about 30 years. We've seen several cases over that time. One that comes to mind is
Croker Island trying to allow exclusive rights there. That was rejected.

This particular one in regards to Blue Mud Bay just around Arnhem Land, it was introduced in 2002
and has actually been quite a full on case over that time. The Federal Court last year ruled that
in fact those exclusive rights should be recognised, and of course that was upheld in the High
Court today; which was welcomed by traditional owners including Jambalwa Morawille.

JAMBALWA MORAWILLE: We had rights since 2000 years ago. Today it's been, it's been given to us in
the eyes of most Australian people, ..(inaudible). The country, it's almost for everybody. The sea
and the land. We can take care, we can look after the land and we can look after the sea. So we're
not letting white people down; but we are almost be one to look after the land and the sea.

JOURNALIST I: Do commercial fisherman have anything to fear by this decision?

JAMBALWA MORAWILLE: Fisherman, they are allowed to come to fish around in our country, but through
the permit and through the right communication.

JOURNALIST II: So a similar permit system to what we see on the land?

JAMBALWA MORAWILLE: Yes similar, similar system.

JOURNALIST III: Is this an economic opportunity for your people?

JAMBALWA MORAWILLE: It is and economic opportunity for our communities right across the country.

JOURNALIST IV: Did you expect to win today?

JAMBALWA MORAWILLE: Well, I was expecting to win this case. It was almost for 20 years now. Thirty
or 40 years now.

JOURNALSIT V: How will this affect people on the ground? What does this mean for people on the
ground?

JAMBALWA MORAWILLE: The ground, it's really important to us. The country and the sea it's like a
human being. Those people who hate(phonetic) it and been living in that country.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Jambalwa Morawille, a elder from Blue Mud Bay speaking after that decision.

Now, Sarah, the Northern Territory Government opposed this case. This decision against the
Government comes at a tricky time for them, right in the middle of an election campaign; how have
they reacted?

SARAH HAWKE: Well look we're still to hear from them as yet, while they consider the decision. I
mean they probably already have their own thoughts given that they have fought the case for so
long. The problem with them is they do need to speak with the Opposition leader about this, given
that they are in caretaker government mode.

The interesting point with all this too is that the fishing, particularly the recreational fishing
group up here is a very strong lobbying group and quite influential when it come to issues such as
elections. So that will be interesting just to see how that comes out today.

Certainly the Opposition leader will have something to say when they launch the Country Liberals
election campaign in about half an hour's time. With the Chief Minister Paul Henderson expected to
respond a little bit later on.

ELEANOR HALL: So what's been the reaction from commercial fishermen?

SARAH HAWKE: Well commercial fisherman at this stage, likewise still assessing how that will fit in
and where, what it actually means as far as their access and whether or not they're working with
Indigenous groups when it comes to commercial operations.

So that will also still to play out and we're also, but certainly the recreational fisherman who've
been lobbying and certainly didn't want this case to succeed, they were actually not surprised by
this morning's decision as explain by Chris Makepeace.

CHRIS MAKEPEACE: Recreational fishing in the Territory is very important lifestyle activity.
Recreational fishing is really considered to be one of those sort of, almost, you know, rights that
we have and I think one of the things that is disappointing about the decision of the High Court is
it's effectively said that the public right to fish and navigate has been abrogated by both the
Aboriginal Land Rights Act and almost ironically by the Northern Territory Fisheries Act which is
you know a real problem.

These rights have existed for Anglo Saxon-based government systems since prior to Magna Carta and
so we suddenly find ourselves in the Northern Territory in a situation where that doesn't apply.

SARAH HAWKE: What about, what the way forward for access? What is going to happen from here on in,
from the amateur fisherman's point of view?

CHRIS MAKEPEACE: I mean, basically, now what this faces us with is a situation where we're going to
have to try and arrange some sort of a settlement with Indigenous interests as to how we may go
about doing that. Whether it's a continuation of the current temporary permit scheme or whether
there's some other system that's put into place that allows us to continue the sort of access that
we've got.

I'm heartened by the media release by the Northern Land Council today which indicates they too
realise that we have to find some sort of a way forward with this.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Chris Makepeace from the Northern Territory Amateur Fisherman's Association
speaking to Sarah Hawke about that High Court decision.

Tidal rights decision, 'extraordinarily significant': academic

Tidal rights decision, 'extraordinarily significant': academic

The World Today - Wednesday, 30 July , 2008 12:15:00

Reporter: Alexandra Kirk

ELEANOR HALL: Professor Jon Altman, from the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the
Australian National University, says the Blue Mud Bay case is extraordinarily significant.

Professor Altman told Alexandra Kirk that it's a massive expanse of coastal water that includes
valuable resources.

JON ALTMAN: Look I think this decision is extraordinarily important. Yolngu people in north-east
Arnhem Land have wanted to have their rights to what they call sea country recognised since the
passage of the Land Rights Act and have been unsuccessful.

But what this High Court decision does is support a Federal Court appeal decision that allowed
Aboriginal land to extend to the low water mark; and this has got enormous significance in the
context of the Northern Territory coastal zone.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Do you see the potential for a commercial or cultural clash then over fishing or
other resources as a result of this High Court decision?

JON ALTMAN: What this decision does is give Yolngu people in north-east Arnhem Land, but by
extension all Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory the right to exclude commercial
exploitation of fisheries in that inter-tidal zone. So what people have to understand is that this
gives a right of exclusion over a column of water between the low and high water mark.

In that sense it's an extraordinarily significant outcome for Indigenous people because it gives
them, effectively a commercially valuable property right which is really unprecedented in the
Australian context.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: So how does it affect then the right of public to fish in public waters which is
recognised in common law and the Northern Territory Government's right to issue fishing licenses?

JON ALTMAN: This would all have to be now negotiated with traditional owners who will be
represented by the Northern Land Council. Since the appeal decision 12 months ago, and there has
been an interim regime in place and I think the Northern Land Council has indicated that they will
be looking to negotiate an outcome that will be workable for Aboriginal people, for recreational
fishers and for commercial fishing interests.

But the reality is that they if you like, Indigenous people, hold all the power and the levers in
these negotiations and that's what's fundamentally different; and that's the significance of this
case.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: And do you think that will then be seen by other Aboriginal traditional owners as
a, perhaps, giving impetus to asserting their rights?

JON ALTMAN: I think there's no doubt we will see particularly Native Title claims, which have been
recognised to offshore areas, gain impetus in terms of looking for a commercially valuable property
right because under the Native Title Act, when you've had determinations to the inter-tidal zone or
areas offshore the right has only been to customary use of resources.

And this will certainly give some impetus for people to say that there is now a precedent in the
Northern Territory where Aboriginal interests again have got effective control over commercially
valuable resources, because they've got the right to exclude all others from access to those
resources.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: You say that this is tied to the specifics of the Northern Territory Land Rights
Act but do you think it has a potential to spread to other areas of Australia where land rights
extend to the coast; and then there's an inter-tidal area?

JON ALTMAN: Look again I think that's something that would need to be legally tested. I don't think
that there isa straightforward relationship between you know, the particularities of the Northern
Territory Land Rights Act and what's happened elsewhere in Australia.

But I think morally other Aboriginal people would now be able to argue that if these sorts of
rights are being provided to Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, they should be extended
elsewhere.

And given that the overarching aim of government policy is to close the gap between Indigenous and
other Australians, a number of commentators including myself have said that this can only happen if
you also provide Indigenous people with the commercially valuable property rights that they have
historically missed out on in Australia.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Professor Jon Altman from the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research
at the Australian National University.

Australian farmers upset over Doha collapse

Australian farmers upset over Doha collapse

The World Today - Wednesday, 30 July , 2008 12:20:00

Reporter: Jennifer Macey

ELEANOR HALL: Farmers in developing countries and in Australia have reacted with disappointment to
the break down of global trade talks in Geneva. Nine days of tense negotiations by trade
representatives from more than 150 countries failed to reach a deal on the Doha Development Round
which was supposed to cut trade tariffs and farming subsidies.

The World Trade Organisation chief, Pascal Lamy, says he hopes to revive the trade talks in a few
years' time. But others say the failure to reach agreement is a massive blow to the farmers of
poorer nations who will have to wait years to gain access to western markets.

Jennifer Macey compiled this report.

JENNIFER MACEY: The head of the WTO, Pascal Lamy, was disillusioned at the outcome of the Geneva
meeting of world trade talks.

PASCAL LAMY: I think it's no use beating around the bush. This meeting has collapsed. Members have
simply not been able to bridge their differences.

JENNIFER MACEY: The Doha Development Round was designed to boost trade opportunities for farmers in
developing countries by cutting trade tariffs and farming subsidies in the United States and
Europe. But Mr Lamy told reporters there's still hope of reviving the failed talks.

PASCAL LAMY: We will need to let the dust settle a bit. It's probably difficult to look too far
into the future at this point. WTO members will need to have a sober look at, if and how they bring
the pieces back together.

JENNIFER MACEY: Australia's Foreign Minister, Steven Smith signed a bi-lateral free trade agreement
with his Chilean counterpart Alejandro Foxley this morning. He says they're both deeply
disappointed at the collapse of the talks.

STEVEN SMITH: And it's indeed very, very unfortunate. Unfortunate for Australia, unfortunate for
Chile, unfortunate for the world and for the world economy that we haven't been able to reach a
consensus.

We got very, very close and that is part of the deep disappointment. A lot of ground was made, but
in the end there wasn't enough political will to ensure all of the parties were prepared to sign
up.

JENNIFER MACEY: The WTO chief Pascal Lamy hoped this Doha round would have set up global trade
rules worth about $52-billion a year. Poor developing countries stood to gain the most; their
farmers would have found it easier to export their goods to the world.

But with no change high tariffs remain on their exports; while a surplus of cheap, heavily
subsidised agricultural products from the west, push down prices on global markets. Oxfam
International's trade spokeswoman, Amy Barry, says it's a missed opportunity for developing
countries.

AMY BARRY: Developing countries have suffered for too long from the affects of unfair trade rules.
These negotiations began with the ambition, the laudable ambition to really reform some of the
distortions in world trade in order to give developing countries, and particularly their farmers, a
fairer chance at benefiting at trade.

So the fact that we haven't got a deal again this time, it really means that they're going to have
wait even longer for those reforms to come through.

JENNIFER MACEY: Tim Costello is the chief executive of World Vision Australia.

TIM COSTELLO: More than 100 million people who had food security are now at risk because of rising
rice price. When our grocery prices go up we don't eat out as much here in Australia. When they go
up in the developing world people starve; that's the difference. And with this trade reforms
millions of people already as risk will be even more at risk. That is what is so disappointing
about this outcome.

JENNIFER MACEY: But it's not just farmers in the developing world who are affected, Australian
farmers are also upset about their lost opportunities. Denita Wawn is the acting CEO of the
National Farmers' Federation.

DENITA WAWN: We believed that there were significant gains to be made particularly for sheep meat,
for beef, for horticulture and for dairy. But unfortunately negotiations have collapsed and we have
to restart the negotiations which may or may not occur.

JENNIFER MACEY: But some analysts say the biggest winners from free trade liberalisation over the
past few decades have been in the developing world. Economist Richard Martin from the Market
Analyst Firm IMA Asia says Asian nations' share of global exports has grown significantly.

RICHARD MARTIN: If you look at what has enabled china to power ahead in the last 15 years; is its
ability to exploit everything that WTO delivered to it; and that's in pushing its exports out of
the country. Much the same is true for Taiwan and Korea and also the ASEAN countries to the south.

So they have in the past been very big winners from their ability to work with everything that WTO
gave them, they need to be careful now in objecting to conclusion of the current round.

JENNIFER MACEY: It's unclear whether talks will pick up again in a few years after the US
presidential elections or if the WTO will start again from scratch. In the mean time trade
ministers will have to settle with free trade agreements on a bi-lateral or regional level.

ELEANOR HALL: Jennifer Macey reporting.

Govt under pressure over Haneef inquiry

Govt under pressure over Haneef inquiry

The World Today - Wednesday, 30 July , 2008 12:25:00

Reporter: Tanya Nolan

ELEANOR HALL: Two of Australia's top federal agencies are under pressure to publicly release
information about their involvement in the arrest and detention of Dr Mohammed Haneef.

The push comes as one of the nation's most secretive agencies, ASIO, made public much of its
submission to the judicial inquiry investigating the handling of the case of the former terrorism
suspect.

But the Australian Federal Police and the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions are
withholding the publication of their submissions to the Clarke Inquiry. Tanya Nolan has our report.

TANYA NOLAN: A visit to the Haneef inquiry website quickly reveals what all the fuss is about. Of
the seven submissions provided so far, two state "submission provided - publication withheld." They
belong to the Australian Federal Police and the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions, two
of the federal agencies with key roles in the arrest, charging and detention of Dr Mohammed Haneef
in July last year.

And their self-censoring has been made more stark by the revelations made by Australia's top spy
agency, ASIO. Lawyer and commentator on the Haneef case Greg Barnes.

GREG BARNES: It's really quite extraordinary that one of the most secretive, understandably
secretive organisations in Australia is able to release much of its submission to the public and
the Australian Federal Police which ought to be transparent and accountable to the Australian
public. It is withholding so much of its evidence.

TANYA NOLAN: More surprising is how candid the secretive spy agency is prepared to be. ASIO chief
Paul O'Sullivan says early in the case the agency did recommend further investigation of Dr Haneef,
but goes on to say that in whole-of-government meetings, "ASIO's consistent advice, based on
available information, ASIO did not assess Dr Haneef as a threat to security and did not have
grounds to issue an adverse security assessment."

He goes on to say that in written advice to the government and various agencies on July 11th, 2007,
nine days after Dr Haneef's arrest at Brisbane airport, ASIO reported that while it continued to
progress its inquiries, it did not have information to indicate that Dr Haneef had any involvement
in or foreknowledge of, the UK terror acts.

One of Dr Haneef's lawyers, Rod Hodgson, a partner with Maurice Blackburn, says the revelations beg
the question of the AFP, why was Dr Haneef ever charged?

ROD HODGSON: It gets worse than that, by the 11th of July which was before Dr Haneef was in fact
charged and before his visa was cancelled, ASIO has repeated in writing that Dr Haneef was in no
way a threat or legitimately a suspect.

We now know that not only were ASIO telling the AFP and government ministers that at the time, the
Queensland Police Service was telling the AFP that there was no basis to charge Dr Haneef at that
time. There are serious questions as to why the AFP acted against both Queensland Police Service
and ASIO advice.

TANYA NOLAN: The AFP wasn't giving anything away this morning, and a spokesman told The World
Today, the agency won't be engaging in a simultaneous media inquiry while cooperating with Justice
John Clarke. The Commonwealth DPP was not returning phone calls.

So why is it imperative for those agencies to make public what they know of the handling of the
Haneef case? Lawyer and commentator Greg Barnes offers this explanation.

GREG BARNES: Because they are publicly accountable agencies; this case was a debacle. This case
demonstrated that there was a either a high degree of mis-communication or incompetence or
political interference, we don't know what. And it is fundamentally important in a democracy that
people understand what went wrong and why.

TANYA NOLAN: Earlier this week the former NSW Supreme Court judge charged with getting to the
bottom of the Haneef affair declared he would not be seeking the powers of a royal commission; and
said much of the information he's received must remain secret because of its security
classification. Greg Barnes says the inquiry has been undermined.

GREG BARNES: If this inquiry has effectively got a veil of secrecy over it because of the way
agencies are dealing with it, then one has to question whether or not it's worth going ahead with
this inquiry at all.

TANYA NOLAN: Dr Haneef's lawyer Rod Hodgson says the Federal Government must arm Justice Clarke
with greater powers.

ROD HODGSON: If you read carefully the statement which was released by Mr Clarke it's very clear
that there's a strong sense of frustration in that the material he has been asking for has not been
provided to him and that he feels constrained by his lack of powers.

The horse flu inquiry was given Royal Commission powers, the human rights and national security
issues involved in this case are so important, they must at least as important as the health of our
horse industry.

TANYA NOLAN: A spokesman for Attorney-General Robert McLelland says it would be inappropriate to
comment on matters before the inquiry, but reaffirmed the Government's full confidence in Mr Clarke
to conduct a thorough inquiry that will get to the facts of the case and make appropriate
recommendations so the public can have confidence in Australia's counter-terrorism measures.

Now all eyes are on the former immigration minister Kevin Andrews who is likely to have been privy
to ASIO's advice at the time. He is on record as saying he will be happy to cooperate with the
Haneef inquiry but was not contactable today.

ELEANOR HALL: Tanya Nolan reporting.

Coalition MPs deny Nelson under pressure

Coalition MPs deny Nelson under pressure

The World Today - Wednesday, 30 July , 2008 12:30:00

Reporter: Lyndal Curtis

ELEANOR HALL: Liberal MPs have been furiously denying that Brendan Nelson's leadership is under
threat. That's despite the shadow Cabinet deciding not to back Dr Nelson's proposal to change the
Coalition policy on an emissions trading scheme.

Dr Nelson proposed that the Coalition wait for international action on climate change before
proceeding with a scheme. But the policy adopted yesterday is fundamentally unchanged from the one
taken to the last election.

Coalition politicians though are blaming an overheated media for seeing this as Dr Nelson being
rolled by his frontbench. Chief political correspondent, Lyndal Curtis reports from Canberra.

LYNDAL CURTIS: No damage, no leadership implications and good for everyone, argue some Coalition
MPs such as senator Simon Birmingham after yesterday's decision by shadow Cabinet not to change the
emissions trading policy.

SIMON BIRMINGHAM: We have good policy that puts the pressure on the Government. Good policy putting
pressure on the Government is good for Brendan, good for Julie, good for Malcolm, good for Greg,
good for all of us.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Even if some such as Liberal Rowan Ramsey don't know quite what the shadow Cabinet
agreed to.

REPORTER: What is the policy?

ROWAN RAMSEY: Well I'm not too sure at this stage Louise, I mean, we'll be fully briefed today and
I would hope that as backbench we'll be given a chance to have some input into that as well.

LYNDAL CURTIS: And the headlines claimed Dr Nelson was rolled according to frontbenchers Eric Abetz
and George Brandis are all the media's fault.

ERIC ABETZ: I think some journalists are a bit too anxious to put everything into a leadership
spectrum and put a spin on certain events. The reality is that the Opposition, the shadow Cabinet
worked hard and developed a policy which I think is acceptable to every clear-thinking Australian.

GEORGE BRANDIS: I challenge the intro piece that's in some of the reportage in this morning's press
that Dr Nelson was rolled by the shadow Cabinet. I sat through that...

JOURNALIST: Some of the reportage? I don't know any reportage that didn't say that sentence.

GEORGE BRANDIS: Well can I tell you Madonna, none of those journalists who wrote those reports were
in the room. I was. I was in the room for the entire debate that went for about three and a half
hours. It was an extremely good, constructive discussion.

JOURNALIST: But he lost.

GEORGE BRANDIS: And no, that's not right. That is not the case.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Despite Dr Nelson saying on the 7th of July that an emissions trading scheme should
not be started until the rest of the world has a start date for dealing with climate change,
another frontbencher Christopher Pyne told Radio National he never heard Dr Nelson publicly calling
for a tougher Coalition position.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: The leader Brendan Nelson has at no point said anything in public that would
suggest that we were changing our position on emissions trading scheme. Some of the media has
breathlessly reported that he was changing. But I never saw any evidence of it at all.

LYNDAL CURTIS: MPs and frontbenchers now say the new, old policy makes sense.

ERIC ABETZ: The position that's be annunciated is a position that makes a lot of sense to those
that are genuine about the issue.

SIMON BIRMINGHAM: What's important is the policy that's come out and it's a good policy. It's a
policy that puts us on the front foot in terms of addressing climate change and in terms of holding
the Government to account.

LYNDAL CURTIS: There is some disappointment in the ranks at the process, that three weeks were
spent openly, publicly debating the policy, taking the focus off the Government. It's also kept the
focus on the Liberal Party leadership. An issue unlikely to arise if Dr Nelson's hold on his job
was completely secure.

Publicly there is furious agreement this morning that Dr Nelson's leadership hasn't been damaged by
the episode and is not under threat.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: My view is that Brendan Nelson will lead us to the next election.

ERIC ABETZ: Brendan continues to enjoy the support of the party room.

SIMON BIRMINGHAM: I think this is a positive step forward for the Liberal Party and if it's a
positive step forward for the Liberal Party then it's a positive step forward for Dr Nelson.

GEORGE BRANDIS: I don't see anyone shaping up against Brendan Nelson.

JOURNALIST: It's not the position he staked his leadership on so therefore his leadership now is in
question?

TONY ABBOTT: Ah, no it's not.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Some Coalition MPs such as frontbencher Steven Ciobo are trying to get the message
back on track.

STEVEN CIOBO: The Coalition's policy is clear, it's been consistent now for some time in terms of
the position we took to the last election and the position the shadow Cabinet has adopted and I
look forward to making our position clear. But more importantly to make sure that the Rudd
Government is held accountable for their position; a position that quite frankly puts at risk
plenty of jobs.

LYNDAL CURTIS: The shadow Cabinet decision, if endorsed by today's party meeting, does ease
business concerns there wouldn't be certainty about an emissions trading scheme. It also keeps the
Coalition in the game when it comes to the Government looking to who it can negotiate with to get
its legislation through the Senate.

But there are some questioning why the last few weeks of open public debate was necessary. The
position outlined by Dr Nelson on the 7th and again in last Saturday's Australian is not what the
shadow Cabinet signed up to yesterday. And while the Coalition has put the emissions trading scheme
back in the box it came in, questions remain about Dr Nelson's judgement, and ultimately his
leadership.

ELEANOR HALL: Chief political correspondent, Lyndal Curtis there.

Karadzic travelling to The Hague

Karadzic travelling to The Hague

The World Today - Wednesday, 30 July , 2008 12:35:00

Reporter: Simon Santow

ELEANOR HALL: He was on the run for 11 years and he's been in custody for more than a week. But
this lunchtime, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is finally on his way to The Hague.
There, Karadzic will face the UN War Crimes Court, charged with genocide.

Overnight though thousands of his supporters took to the streets in Belgrade in a sometimes violent
demonstration of Serb nationalism and brought a heavy police response. Simon Santow reports.

SIMON SANTOW: Dubbed "Freedom for Serbia" the march brought ultra-nationalists in large numbers
onto Belgrade's streets. It wasn't long before a small section of the 15,000 strong crowd turned
ugly.

(sounds of violent demonstrators)

They hurled flares and stones at the waiting riot police. In return protesters copped rubber
bullets and tear gas. Many had come from other parts of Serbia and Bosnia and a lot of their anger
was directed at the man they consider a traitor for helping capture Radovan Karadzic: pro-western
Serbian President, Boris Tadic. The protest appalled some onlookers.

ONLOOKER I (translated): The stupidity cannot be explained. What just happened was stupid. It can't
be explained. Look at the damage.

SIMON SANTOW: While this man saw no harm in the passion.

ONLOOKER II (translated): I saw a confrontation between the protesters and police, but it wasn't a
big deal. There were some broken things and people running away from the march, a bit of blood but
the police reacted quickly.

SIMON SANTOW: Some analysts believe the expression of anger on the streets is unlikely to spread
further. Alexsander Pavkovic is an associate professor at the Department of Politics and
International Studies at Sydney's Macquarie University.

ALEXSANDER PAVKOVIC: The radical parties trying to use the arrest of Radovan Karadzic to overthrow
in fact the current government because they, they have a lot of voters and they are quite popular
and they would like to form a coalition on their own.

So this is really a political, primarily a political rally to gather the forces for a possible
change of government.

SIMON SANTOW: But do they feel passionately about Radovan Karadzic or are they using the issue, as
you say?

ALEXSANDER PAVKOVIC: Some of them certainly do. They, usually in Serbia itself, the recent polls
suggest that Radovan Karadzic is not very popular, 42 per cent polled thought that he's neither he
is a hero nor a murderer. So they have a rather neutral stance on him. I don't think that the
question of his popularity would really be the measured one. It's really the dissatisfaction with
the current government.

SIMON SANTOW: And what are they dissatisfied about? Are they dissatisfied with their
marginalisation in the political world there? Or are they dissatisfied with bread and butter issues
like employment and standard of living?

ALEXSANDER PAVKOVIC: Both in fact. The dissatisfaction this government is a pro-western government,
not only in its foreign policy orientation but also in terms of its economic policies. This is a
government which would support a variety of free market measures and a lot of people who haven't
got the skills and haven't got the position to participate in this free market are definitely
losers from these economic policies.

And I think the current government is fully aware that this is an issue on which the radical party
and similar parties can rally some support.

SIMON SANTOW: And Boris Tadic, do you think, is your analysis that he is safe and that this sign of
protest against him is containable?

ALEXSANDER PAVKOVIC: Yes I think politically he's quite safe. I wouldn't make any prediction about
his personal safety.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Associate Professor Alexsander Pavkovic from Macquarie University ending that
report from Simon Santow.

Zimbabwe crisis talks break down

Zimbabwe crisis talks break down

The World Today - Wednesday, 30 July , 2008 12:40:00

Reporter: Eleanor Hall

ELEANOR HALL: In South Africa the crisis talks between Zimbabwean leaders stalled overnight. South
Africa's President, Thabo Mbeki, who brokered the deal for the meeting, said while the negotiators
have now returned home, the talks have gone well. Zimbabwean Opposition Senator, David Colthart,
said there was no trust between Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change and the ageing
dictator, Robert Mugabe.

But he said he was optimistic that Mr Mugabe would sign a deal out of fear that otherwise his own
military may remove him from power. Senator Colthart is the MDC's Secretary for Legal Affairs and
is in Australia this week as a guest of the Centre for Independent Studies. He spoke to me earlier
today.

Senator Colthart, thanks for speaking to us. The news this morning is that the unity talks between
Zimbabwean leaders have been adjourned and the leaders have returned to Zimbabwe. What can you tell
us about what has caused the talks to stall?

DAVID COLTHART: The talks have adjourned. There are some reports that, that is because they have
reached an impasse. But my understanding is that that is not the case that they've reached
agreements on certain issues which issues now have to be discussed with the principles. Zanu-PF in
particular has to go back to speak to Robert Mugabe.

ELEANOR HALL: And are you able to tell us anything about those decisions that they might be going
back to the leaders about?

DAVID COLTHART: Unfortunately, you know, there is this blanket of secrecy around the talks. All the
parties have agreed that they will discuss the detail and so I would be in breach of that.

ELEANOR HALL: One thing that we're hearing is that the talks have in fact broken down because
Morgan Tsvangirai was offered third vice president and the MDC saw this as insulting.

DAVID COLTHART: I think it's unlikely. The general consensus that I've gleaned is that he will be
offered a substantive post. A third vice president wouldn't provide him with any power and simply
is a non-starter.

ELEANOR HALL: So you don't think that would be the case, that offer would be on the table?

DAVID COLTHART: They may have put that offer even before the talks started. But I think that
Zanu-PF itself would know that that is simply a non-starter.

ELEANOR HALL: How much of a problem is it that that the memorandum on these talks did not make any
mention of the key issue which is whether Robert Mugabe should remain as president?

DAVID COLTHART: I suppose the reason why they haven't put it as part of the agenda is because they
realise that for both sides it will be a deal breaker. I see the resolution to this in Mugabe as
unpalatable as it may be, remaining with the name of president, but with greatly reduced powers.

ELEANOR HALL: Would Mugabe accept that, do you think?

DAVID COLTHART: I think that Mugabe's going to have no choice. The economy is spinning out of
control and to that extent he comes to the negotiations with a very weakened hand. And I think that
the negotiations will focus on trying to save face for him as some form of compromise so that he
would remain as president but in pretty much a non-executive role.

ELEANOR HALL: You've said that the 1987 Unity Accord that Mr Mugabe negotiated with Joshua Nkomo
serves as a warning to the MDC. What lessons should your party take from that?

DAVID COLTHART: Well the 1987 agreement resulted in Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU party being swallowed up by
Zanu-PF. So if we want to remain relevant as a political party it's important that we address these
fundamental issues such as the constitution, human rights abuses and that in turn will guarantee
that we have a voice, an effective voice in future.

ELEANOR HALL: Given the history of that 1987 Unity Accord though, is it really possible to trust
Robert Mugabe on something like this?

DAVID COLTHART: We can't trust Robert Mugabe at all. He has always had a belief in a de facto one
party state. He is at his core a Marxist Leninist. And so he does not come to these negotiations
with clean hands; and he does not come in good faith.

But let me stress this: that the fundamental differences between now and 1987; in 1987 Robert
Mugabe was in charge of a country that had a reasonably strong economy, he had the backing of
pretty much the entire world and so he was in a much stronger negotiating position. Now it's
completely different. Robert Mugabe is alienated, is isolated, even in the region, inflation is out
of control, there's a lot of disaffection within the military and the police and the civil service.

And to that extent he is the weaker party and he we will have to reach an agreement soon because if
he doesn't there's the real danger that events will spin totally out of control and that he may
even lose power through the military taking things over themselves.

ELEANOR HALL: Are there any signs of that at all?

DAVID COLTHART: Well there are no signs at present because the generals have backed Robert Mugabe.
But there's growing disaffection in the rank and file of the military; and he can no longer afford
to pay viable wages. And that must remain a huge worry for him.

ELEANOR HALL: Given what you're saying though, about a complete lack of trust between the MDC and
Robert Mugabe; how is it possible to reach a compromise on something so utterly critical to Robert
Mugabe's future?

DAVID COLTHART: Robert Mugabe is an incredibly proud individual. But we think that if there can be
some face-saving mechanism for him, I stress, as unpalatable as that may be to me and others, we
may be able yet to negotiate a way out of this whereby Mugabe saves face by retaining the
presidency, hopefully for as short a period as possible, but meaningful power in transferred to the
person who really enjoys the majority support in the country now, namely Morgan Tsvangirai.

ELEANOR HALL: What do you see as the consequences if these talks don't resume and resolve the
situation for Zimbabwe?

DAVID COLTHART: Well the immediate consequence is that the economic crisis will not be dealt with.
Tied into that is of course the humanitarian crisis which arguably is the worst in the world.
Inflation is running at well over two million per cent; this past week the Zimbabwe Government
issued a $100-billion note which doesn't even buy a coke.

Out shops are empty. There is no food in the country. There are no medical supplies. People are
pouring out of the country. Over 3,500 people are dying a week in Zimbabwe and that situation is
spinning out of control.

That is why both Zanu-PF and the SADC (Southern African Development Community) mediators under
President Mbeki have insisted that these negotiations last no more than two weeks, because they
understand the gravity of the crisis. And that really we're talking about the end game now.

ELEANOR HALL: And that Zimbabwe Opposition Senator David Colthart.

Vic police commissioner responds to vendetta allegations

Vic police commissioner responds to vendetta allegations

The World Today - Wednesday, 30 July , 2008 12:45:00

Reporter: Alison Caldwell

ELEANOR HALL: Victoria's chief commissioner of police, Christine Nixon, has denied accusations that
the decision to charge three former senior police figures was made as part of a vendetta.

Commissioner Nixon says she wasn't party to the decision to charge the men. Victoria's Premier,
John Brumby, is refusing to comment on claims the charges were politically motivated. In Melbourne,
Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: Former assistant commissioner Noel Ashby doesn't sound like a man who could be
facing up to 15 years in jail.

NOEL ASHBY: It was also interesting that the charges were laid on a day of acute embarrassment for
Victoria Police with leaked crime statistics that perhaps show, you know, some categories of
violent crimes are rising and Victorians perhaps aren't as safe as they've have been led to believe
by others.

ALISON CALDWELL: Never the shy and retiring type, Noel Ashby has decided to fight the charges first
and foremost in the court of public opinion.

NOEL ASHBY: Should it transpire that other people had knowledge outside the OPI of this enquiry
before the 30th May 2007, then you may be forgiven for questioning the true motive and of course it
would be interesting where those people work or come from.

ALISON CALDWELL: Speaking for the first time since the charges were laid, chief commissioner
Christine Nixon says she isn't worried about anything Noel Ashby might have to say.

CHRISTINE NIXON: I don't have any ideas what people might raise or what might be aired in court.
But if people have concerns otherwise they're rarely required to report those to us in Victoria
Police

ALISON CALDWELL: And she denies claims the charges are part of a vendetta.

CHRISTINE NIXON: The charges that have been laid are the results of investigations conducted by the
Office of Police Integrity and those matters were then assessed by lawyers and the Director of
Public Prosecution. Material came to our deputy commissioner and he formed the view that there was
sufficient evidence to be able to put these matters before the court.

ALISON CALDWELL: The Premier, John Brumby won't comment on claims the charges were politically
motivated.

JOHN BRUMBY: I'm sure over coming weeks and over the court case itself, there will be many claims
and counter claims that are made; and they'll be properly tested in the courts. But it's no
different to any other court case.

ALISON CALDWELL: Noel Ashby's co-accused, the former secretary of the powerful Police Association
Paul Mullett and the former police media director Stephen Linnell are nowhere to be seen or heard.

Together they face 53 serious criminal charges, including perjury, misleading the director of the
Office of Police Integrity, attempting to pervert the course of justice and disclosing police
information.

The charges arise out of last year's controversial Office of Police Integrity hearings in which
it's alleged they gave false evidence under oath. During the hearings the OPI aired secret phone
taps of conversations involving Ashby, Linnell and Mullett. It was a signal to all police that any
phone could be tapped. Christine Nixon says for all she knows, her calls are also being monitored.

CHRISTINE NIXON: Look it could have been the people that work for me and I'm sure there are many,
many other people. I know, I had conversations with some of the people on police media who were
very concerned in a sense to say well, you know, maybe I've said something terrible about someone.

ALISON CALDWELL: Paul Mullett has stepped down as secretary of the Police Association. He's charged
with attempting to pervert the course of justice over allegedly telling a detective who was under
investigation that his phones were being bugged. At the time the detective Peter Lalor was being
secretly investigated for allegedly providing the address of a murder victim Shane Chartres-Abbott
to an underworld hit man.

Mullett maintains he never leaked any information about the murder task force codenamed Briars.
Abbott was shot and killed. A former police union delegate, Peter Lalor has been suspended. It's
alleged Stephen Linnell was a party to confidential information about Briars, which he leaked to
his close friend Noel Ashby who passed it on to Paul Mullett.

It was also alleged that Ashby and Mullett had leaked information in order to undermine senior
police as part of a campaign to install Ashby as commissioner of police. Noel Ashby points out that
he hasn't been charged with leaking information about taskforce Briars.

NOEL ASHBY: The counts of disclosure relate to the allegations of disclosing the existence of an
inquiry or a summons involved with the OPI. It's not confidential information from the Victoria
Police.

ALISON CALDWELL: Noel Ashby and Stephen Linnell resigned from the police during the sensational
hearings, while Paul Mullett was suspended.

ELEANOR HALL: Alison Caldwell reporting.

Women's basketball team battles for its name

Women's basketball team battles for its name

The World Today - Wednesday, 30 July , 2008 12:53:00

Reporter: Kirsten Veness

ELEANOR HALL: In regional Victoria, a women's basketball team is battling to keep its identity. The
Women's National League team, the Bendigo Spirit, is fighting off a bid by the Sydney men's NBL
team to use its name. The West Sydney Razorbacks recently decided to rename their club, the Sydney
Spirit.

But the Bendigo team says the name, the Spirit, not only represents their club, but their city too,
a place with a proud sporting tradition. Kirsten Veness has this report.

KIRSTEN VENESS: Inside this gym in the central Victorian city of Bendigo, basketball players are
training for the premier women's basketball league. It's the home court of the Bendigo Spirit,
which since entering the Women's National Basketball League last season has developed a passionate
following.

Spirit player Deanne Butler says the team's name was very deliberately selected.

DEANNE BUTLER: It was chosen because it does represent Bendigo and it does represent country
Victoria so well and the type of support and work ethic and everything that we've got.

KIRSTEN VENESS: The season hasn't started but the Bendigo Spirit is already battling to keep its
exclusive name. In the wake of the collapse of the Sydney Kings, Mens National Basketball League
team, the West Sydney Razorbacks, has taken the opportunity adopt a new name and gone for the
Sydney Spirit.

The Bendigo Spirit's coach, Bernie Harrower says the name belongs to them and the Sydneysiders need
to look for another one.

BERNIE HARROWER: Certainly from the fact that we had our name first really gives us every right to
have it and Sydney probably should have really done more in their research to find out whether
there were other teams involved at this level that carried the same name.

KIRSTEN VENESS: Women's sport is often on the back foot in comparison to men's sport. Do you think
this is a case of the men's sport just over-stepping the women's?

BERNIE HARROWER: I certainly do, I think it probably shows a touch of arrogance. They just see that
it's a women's national league and it just doesn't carry the importance that the Men's National
League does.

KIRSTEN VENESS: And to coach Harrower it's not just a case of men's versus women's sport.

BERNIE HARROWER: You know we talk about the differences between men and women but we also know that
there's a difference between capital cities and county teams as well.

KIRSTEN VENESS: So is this a David and Goliath battle?

BERNIE HARROWER: Yeah it probably is; an NBL organisation is certainly going to have more money
than what we do as in all women's sport in this country.

KIRSTEN VENESS: The two sides have tried to sort it out. They met to discuss the issue two weeks
ago with Basketball Australia, but couldn't come to a resolution. The Bendigo Spirit says the
Sydney team didn't know the Bendigo Spirit existed.

The Bendigo Spirit's general manager, Wendy James, says the dispute might not mean much to people
in Sydney, but in Bendigo, a city now with 100,000 people, it's a big deal.

WENDY JAMES: The outcry and the support has been quite remarkable and it's an ownership of the team
and the name as their own and I honestly just cannot walk down the street at the moment, if I'm
wearing my spirit shirt, everybody wants to know, it's you know, they can't have our name.

KIRSTEN VENESS: And the Victorian Government has also fired a warning shot up north. Jacinta Allan
is the local member and also a Minister in the Victorian Government.

JACINTA ALLAN: Like many people in the local community I'm concerned about the impact that this
will have on the Bendigo Spirit and I've written to the CEO of Basketball Australia to raise these
concerns directly with him and I understand the decision is under review of the naming of the
Sydney Spirit men's team.

But it is important that this decision is reversed because Bendigo Spirit has performed very well
in their first season.

KIRSTEN VENESS: Basketball officials are expected to make a decision on Thursday. The Sydney Spirit
and Basketball Australia declined to comment, saying they will wait until the ruling has been made.

ELEANOR HALL: Kirsten Veness in Bendigo with that report.