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Nelson compliments leadership rival

ELEANOR HALL: But we go first to national politics and as speculation intensifies about the
intentions of the former treasurer Peter Costello, Brendan Nelson has this morning placed his
leadership of the Federal Coalition on even shakier ground.

Far from defending his position, Dr Nelson gave a glowing assessment of his potential leadership
rival. He said he would not be joining other Coalition MP's in demanding that Peter Costello state
his intentions before his memoirs are released next month.

And in a move many see as dangerous for his future, Doctor Nelson will head overseas tomorrow for a
ten-day tour of the United States and Britain; meaning he won't be around to defend his position as
leader.

In Canberra, Samantha Hawley reports.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: In November last year after a convincing election loss it looked almost certain
that the former treasurer would be leaving the political scene.

PETER COSTELLO: The time has come for me to open a new chapter in my life. I will be looking to
build a career, post-politics in the commercial world. As a consequence of that I will not seek nor
will I accept the leadership or deputy leadership of the Liberal Party.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Eight months on, Peter Costello's future isn't so clear, at least according to
some of his colleagues. There's now a growing number of disgruntled Liberal Party members intensify
pressure on Mr Costello to not only stay in politics but to take over the leadership.

These weekend comments from the Coalition frontbencher and former minister Tony Abbott did little
to quell the leadership talks.

TONY ABBOTT: I suppose we are all, we are all publicly saying what a terrific bloke he is, what a
fantastic political talent he is, how much we miss him, we love him, we want him.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Brendan Nelson admits he has one of the nation's toughest jobs and successive
opinion polls have shown he hasn't got what it takes to win an election.

On Sydney commercial radio this morning, Doctor Nelson showed little leadership strength. Speaking
to Steve Price on Fairfax Radio he gave a glowing endorsement of the man who could derail his
chances of leading the Liberal Party to the next election.

BRENDAN NELSON: I'm not worried about myself, I'm worried about Australia and I just say to you
Steve that as a result of what Peter Costello did as treasurer after almost 12 years, taking this
country from close to $100-billion in Labor Commonwealth debt, where do you think we'd be in the
middle of a liquidity crisis if we were still carrying that?

Getting interest rates, getting all of those things that was necessary to get Australia in a strong
position, he did all that John Howard as far as I'm concerned.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: And Brendan Nelson says he's happy to wait the long six weeks until Peter Costello
releases his memoirs to find out exactly what his intentions are.

BRENDAN NELSON: You might well say that it's in my interests, if you like, to put demands of Peter
Costello or the otherwise. I say to you Steve as a person apart from anything else who has a
family, I have a mortgage, I've got the many challenges everyday Australians have got.

Peter Costello in my view has earned the right to make a decision in his interests and that of his
family and the electors of Higgins in due course and announce it when he's ready to do so.

STEVE PRICE: Yeah but that almost sounds like you're endorsing him for the job. You're almost
saying he's so good that he can do what he wants.

BRENDAN NELSON: Well Steve you can read into whatever you like, as far as I'm concerned, from the
day I became the leader of the Opposition and the alternative government, Peter Costello has been
very supportive of me, he's given me very good advice, we've had quite a number of discussions
about the economy.

STEVE PRICE: When did you last talk to him?

BRENDAN NELSON: I had a chat to Peter about two weeks ago and we spent quite a bit of time talking
about a range of issues, particularly the economy and the lack of confidence that Australians have
got; not only in the economy but particularly Mr Swan as the Treasurer.

And as I say from my point of view, if anyone's earned the right to make a decision when he thinks
it's appropriate to do and announce it, it's Peter Costello.

It's no about me, it's about our country and the best interests of it.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: It took until the very end of a half an hour interview, for Dr Nelson to defend
his position and call for Coalition unity.

BRENDAN NELSON: This is a very tough job but it requires absolute discipline from every person in
the Liberal and National Party ranks, I am very determined and I am very tough and I will lead us
to the next election.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Doctor Nelson says he's told Peter Costello he'd be very happy if he decides to
return to the frontbench. If that happens, supporters of the former treasurer say it would only be
a matter of time before he was leading the party.

ELEANOR HALL: Samantha Hawley reporting.

Indigenous jobs program criticised

ELEANOR HALL: The plan by Australia's richest man, Andrew Forrest, to create 50,000 jobs for
Indigenous people in the private sector has not been warmly received by some Indigenous leaders.

Under the Australian Employment Covenant which Mr Forrest announced along with the Prime Minister
and the Cape York Institute's Noel Pearson, participating employers will employ a certain number of
trained Indigenous people each year.

The Federal Government's obligation under the deal is to provide the training. And while the idea
has received widespread support, some Indigenous leaders already involved in training and
employment say the scheme is far-fetched, unrealistic and too ambitious.

Donna Field spoke to one of those leaders, the chairman for the Foundation for Aboriginal and
Islander Research Action, Les Malezer:

LES MALEZER: It's good to see that there is an initiative to create jobs in the private sector. I
think that that's brilliant and I think that Andrew Forest from the Fortescue Metals Group should
be congratulated on that.

However it's an overly ambitious program, it's based upon falsehood. So it's like the Prime
Minister and Noel Pearson want to push a restart button and pretend that the Government has not
since 1967; so for 41 years now worked on policies and programs to implement job opportunities for
Aboriginal-Torres Strait Islander people around Australia.

There's been probably a billion or more dollars spent over those 40 years in training programs and
job outcomes. So it's very ambitious and I think it's irresponsible of the Prime Minister to
announce a scheme like this without presenting much more specifics.

For example the Government still refuses to give statistics on what the current levels of
employment for Aboriginal communities are. And behind that the reasons for the failures of the
programs in the past, and this program I would forecast will fail dramatically simply because the
Government just wants to make the same mistakes all over again.

DONNA FIELD: How ambitious is a figure of 50,000? Put that in perspective in terms of how many
people are employed in the CDEP program currently?

LES MALEZER: Well as I understand it, at its highest point, the CDEP employed about 35,000 people
around Australia. And I think at the same time there was less than 30,000 people employed in the
public service and I think less that 20,000 people employed in the private sector.

So to talk about creating all of a sudden 50,000 additional jobs for Aboriginal people is far
beyond the figures that are available. Now I'm not sure of the accuracy of the figures that are
around at the moment but that's simply because the Government over a decade ago discontinued to
provide any information about the levels of Aboriginal employment and training.

DONNA FIELD: So is there a way that a program like this can work?

LES MALEZER: There's two things involved; one is that the jobs have to be available in the private
sector and what we found is that the jobs are still not there and they never have been there and
they've never been made available through training programs that the government's offered.

The private sector employment of Aboriginal people has actually shrunk rather than increased over
the last 20 years.

Secondly it's got to be also a positive initiative taken on by the Aboriginal community, that if it
does involve people having to make adjustments to their lives, to their communities and their
families in order to take up jobs then the communities have to be willing to do it.

We saw 30 years ago, NSW trying to move people from western areas of the state into Newcastle to
get jobs in the mining industries there. That failed dramatically, we've seen Queensland also
trying to move people around to get jobs; that failed dramatically also.

So it has to be a co-operative approach between Aboriginal people and government to get an outcome
and the private sector has to commit itself, in fact I think that it will never succeed in
Australia unless there is affirmative action, legislation put in place.

DONNA FIELD: You talk about affirmative action, you want legislation do you in just the public
sector? Or the private sector as well?

LES MALEZER: I think it's the private sector, the public sector has shown that it can actually
employ Aboriginal-Torres Strait Islander people, there's been a recent decline but up until the
Howard administration, the levels of Aboriginal people employed in the public sector were greater
than the percentages in the community.

So with more than I think it was more than 1.5 per cent, two per cent of people were employed in
the public sector and the targets had been met. The problem in the public sector was that
Aboriginal people were still only employed very much in the junior levels and were not employed in
senior management and higher levels in the government.

But in the private sector in fact the figures went backwards not forward on the whole thing. And of
course there was also many jobs in the community sector when community controlled organisations
where delivering services; those jobs have disappeared as well.

So the Government has created a real disaster out there and these sort of sensational headlines in
one day are not going to help the situation. As I said I've been involved personally, I mean
there's 20 years worth of studies done into employment in 1988 the government launched the
Aboriginal primate development policy.

I was a part of that and that had been after many years of policy and research to get those things
in place and then they were all abandoned in 1996. And now we're trying to go straight from CDEP to
50,000 jobs, it's just unrealistic.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Les Malezer from the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action
speaking to Donna Field in Brisbane.

Lend Lease shares slump after profit downgrade

ELEANOR HALL: The global property giant Lend Lease has become the latest company to shock investors
with a profit downgrade linked to the credit crisis.

The Australian based developer is blaming the worsening housing slump in the United Kingdom for its
projected 47 per cent fall in earnings.

Investors have punished Lend Lease for the surprise downgrade, pushing the company's share price
down.

Joining us now with the details is business editor Peter Ryan.

So Peter what did Lend Lease say had driven it to issue this surprise profit warning today?

PETER RYAN: Well Eleanor Lend Lease is heavily exposed to developments in Britain and also around
the world; for example it's building the Olympic Village for London's games in 2012.

And two years ago it paid $600-million for the British home builder, the Crosby Group, but like the
United States, Britain is going through a very heavy property slump and Lend Lease is right in the
middle of it.

As a result the Lend Lease profit has tumbled by almost 50 per cent to $265-million in the year to
the end of June, that's down from $497-million a year earlier.

Property analysts had been expecting a much better result and were caught by surprise by this
morning's announcement.

And Lend Lease is blaming a very hostile commercial environment, not much liquidity on financial
markets because of the credit crisis. In short it's a bad time to have high levels of debt.

Chief executive Greg Clarke saw his first property downturn in 1979, this is his fourth. But he's
got his fingers crossed, predicting a recovery in the shattered British property market by 2012, if
history is any judge.

GREG CLARKE: The UK housing market fell off a cliff in 2007 and has continued to plummet during
2008. Never ever has a market failed to recover over a four to five year period. So if the market
hasn't recovered by 2012, it will be the first time ever in the history of the UK housing market
that per square foot evaluations haven't recovered to that level.

So we're basing our future projections on projects and businesses based upon a rigorous statistical
analysis of history. Now history isn't necessarily a good predictor of the future, but it's the
only guide we have and what it tells us is, if the market hasn't recovered by 2012, it would be the
first time ever in the history of the UK that it's taken that long to recover.

ELEANOR HALL: That's the chief executive of Lend Lease, Greg Clarke speaking in a teleconference
this morning.

Peter Should Lend Lease have seen this property slump coming?

PETER RYAN: Well like many others in the sector Lend Lease has been blindsided by the shocks and
surprises that have been buffeting markets since the subprime crisis began unfolding more than a
year ago.

Now Lend Lease argues they did see the slump coming in some format, and sat on the sidelines over
the last year or so, given what they saw as inflated prices especially in London. Greg Clarke says
valuations have been at the top end of the marketplace, but has decided to sit on the sidelines on
cash 18 months ago.

He says they're now well positioned with $800-million in the kitty and well positioned to exploit
the downturn in the market place. And he says anyone not preparing for a downturn doesn't deserve
to be in the business for the long-term.

ELEANOR HALL: Well he may say they're well positioned and yet Lend Lease has had to announce this
significant profit downgrade. How much of shock was that to investors?

PETER RYAN: Well investors didn't like it, as usual they hate surprises and Lend Lease shares fell
10 per cent when that news hit the markets and it's shaping up as being a very bad day for Lend
Lease.

ELEANOR HALL: Did the CEO Greg Clarke point to any risks in the Australian property sector?

PETER RYAN: Well Lend Lease has a big presence in the Australian residential space or as they call
it, its communities business. Greg Clarke says that business is performing quote 'OK', but
Queensland down slightly and New South Wales is having its worst period in four or five years.

He's not assuming any early recovery out of NSW, but at the same time not expecting to see the 20
to 30 per cent downturns that we've been seeing in the United States and Britain.

ELEANOR HALL: And is there more evidence of decline in the Australian real estate market? Any
figures out today?

PETER RYAN: Well we've just seen this morning that Australian house prices fell in the second
quarter for the first time in almost three years and this is a result of the highest borrowing
costs; 12 interest rate rises on the trot since 1996 and that's deterring home buyers.

The index which measures the average of prices for established houses in Australia's eight capital
cities fell 0.3 of one per cent from the March quarter. It seems a big factor of this is that first
home buyers are not buying at the moment, scared off by higher interest rates.

And in some ways it adds to the case that the succession of rate rises has cooled the economy to
such an extent that the Reserve Bank might start considering cutting rates when they meet tomorrow.

ELEANOR HALL: As early as tomorrow, our economist are now predicting that's likely?

PETER RYAN: Well they'll start considering cutting rates perhaps later in the year. Some pundits
have predicted as early as September, but the view is that September is too early. The Reserve Bank
will want to see more evidence that inflation is on its way down perhaps October or November, but
you never know. No economist really know what the Reserve Bank will do when they meet tomorrow.

ELEANOR HALL: Business editor Peter Ryan, thank you.

Grave fears for mountaineers in K2 disaster

ELEANOR HALL: To the ice fall on the world's second highest peak that may have killed as many as a
dozen climbers.

Everest might get all the headlines, but to experienced mountain climbers K2, in the Himalayas, is
the most brutal peak on earth.

More than a quarter of the people who try to scale it die in the attempt.

In the latest disaster, an ice ledge gave way near the summit of the mountain, causing an avalanche
just as the climbers were about to begin their descent.

Simon Santow has our report.

SIMON SANTOW: The world's best mountaineers know just how deadly K2 can be.

Shaped like a pyramid it's often compared to a death trap and known by locals as Chogori or King of
Mountains.

Volatile weather patterns make it a peak for the patient and for the highly skilled.

CHRIS BONINGTON: K2 it's a completely different ball game from Everest. It is a very serious
mountain from beginning to end.

SIMON SANTOW: Briton Sir Chris Bonington is familiar with K2's pitfalls.

CHRIS BONINGTON: Even when you get to the top camp from which you make the bed for the summit, the
actual descent from the top camp also is dangerous and avalanche prone. So if the weather changes
and there's heavy snowfall then there can be a lot of avalanches coming down, maybe it was ice,
maybe it was a serac that collapsed.

SIMON SANTOW: Most reports say the 25 strong party hit trouble when as many as a dozen of them were
caught out in a collapse of an ice ledge just beneath the summit at a place known as the
Bottleneck.

3 South Koreans, 2 Nepali's, a Dutch national, a Serb, a Norwegian and a Pakistani are reported
dead and another Pakistani, a French national and an Austrian are missing.

Reinhold Messner is also a veteran of K2; he holds fears for others in the expedition.

REINHOLD MESSNER: If they now to reach the other side of the mountain, the Chinese side where there
is another expedition and if this expedition could have bared the way up to the summit, there is a
chance for them to survive, otherwise I don't see they will be saved.

SIMON SANTOW: Andrew Lock is one of only 3 Australians to have conquered the mountain; and a
climber who has knocked off 13 of the 14 peaks which soar over 8,000 metres. He's not so
pessimistic.

ANDREW LOCK: As far as I understand it some of these climbers have managed to climb down over the
technical difficulties back to their high camp at Camp 4. It's just a matter of focusing and
climbing very carefully and very steadily.

The problem will be for them if this particular year there's less snow on the face and more exposed
hard ice, and it's very difficult to penetrate the ice with your ice axes and the points on your
boots and so it makes it a very tenuous grip on the mountain.

SIMON SANTOW: How difficult is it for these climbers given that they have reached the peak? They've
got to the top; they know they've got a job ahead of them to get down, but they must feel
presumably very exhausted at this point.

ANDREW LOCK: Oh look it's exceptionally difficult, I couldn't describe for you the physical
exhaustion that they'd be going through at the moment. They would have put all their focus into
getting to the top with the confidence of having the ropes below them to help them get down
quickly.

Now they have no tents, no sleeping bags, no food no stoves, they would have carried just a litre
of water and a Mars Bar or two and that would have been it. So to be caught out at that altitude
and having to climb down in that exhausted state is extremely difficult.

Their fingers would be freezing they'd be dehydrated, it would be very hard to focus because their
cognitive function would be really stretched out for not using axillary oxygen and for having been
trapped up around 8,300 metres for at least a night longer than they had planned.

SIMON SANTOW: Would you say that they have been unlucky? Or the victims of a very, very brutal
mountain?

ANDREW LOCK: Oh both I suppose, they've been unlucky to have this serac sweep down and take away
their ropes because it's a relatively stable serac and avalanches very rarely, it is a very brutal
mountain.

But I can assure you that the climbers on this particular peak are not inexperienced climbers in
the way that you might find guided non-climbers on Mount Everest. These are highly experienced
climbers who just had an unlucky experience on what is the hardest mountain on earth.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Australian mountaineer and K2 veteran, Andrew Lock speaking to Simon Santow.

Olympic tickets scam robs thousands worldwide

ELEANOR HALL: There's another glitch for the organisers of the Beijing Olympics today.

An online ticketing scam has left thousands of people from Australia, Europe and the United States
out of pocket and without the tickets to events they thought they'd booked.

And while authorities are moving to shut the site down, as we go to air it is still offering
tickets for sale, including to the opening ceremony.

The Australian Olympic Committee says there's nothing it can do to help but a hotline has been set
up for Australians caught up in the online racket.

Emily Bourke has our report.

EMILY BOURKE: According to its website beijingticketing.com is an international sporting events
company with more than 25 years experience in getting the best seating at popular and sold out
events.

The US-based company, with a London customer hotline and a purported office in Sydney says it
provides tickets and services around the clock in a secure, safe and user friendly way.

The online service not only guarantees the tickets but guarantees customer satisfaction. Those
guarantees have fallen well short of expectations.

KERRY CHIKAROVSKI: It's even more than the site is flash; it's incredibly professional. I'm not
surprised that you know people like me believed that it was real.

EMILY BOURKE: Former Liberal leader in New South Wales Kerry Chikarovski is among those duped after
ordering tickets which never arrived.

KERRY CHIKAROVSKI: Because I only ordered mine a few weeks ago and when I went in to check it again
I got a little suspicious because I thought well hold on they've still got tickets for sale. You
know everyone was telling me that everything was sold out.

So that's when I actually emailed them and said confirming when they'd be arriving and they sent me
back an email and said yes, yes, no they'll be coming on that date so it was all good. But I think
that then I started to get, my antenna started to go a little haywire saying this is obviously not
right.

EMILY BOURKE: Ms Chikarovski told ABC Radio this morning, she lost $300 while her friend lost
$24,000.

KERRY CHIKAROVSKI: That sight has been operating for a considerable period of time; my friend
bought his in October last year. My beliefs that would have said that given then IOC's incredible
paranoia about protecting their brand in every other respect.

I mean you remember in Sydney if anybody dare produce anything which had an Olympic ring or
anything that looked like an Olympic product which wasn't endorsed by the IOC or the AOC, they were
jumped on like a tonne of bricks.

EMILY BOURKE: John Coates from the Australian Olympic Committee says officials are trying to
organise tickets for Olympic team members' relatives who have been duped by the fake ticket
website. But he says not much else can be done.

JOHN COATES: The US Olympic Committee is taking action to close down some of these sights that
emanate from that territory, I think similarly Great Britain. But we don't have other tickets to
replace them with sadly and it's a very great pity and we feel for those people, some of whom I
know.

EMILY BOURKE: A hotline has been set up for Australians caught up in the scam.

And all complaints will be passed on to the Competition and Consumer Commission and international
law enforcement agencies.

Richard Billington is a computer security analyst from Australia's National Computer Emergency
Response Team.

RICHARD BILLINGTON: From what I've seen it's quite wide reaching. The first steps that I think
should be taken or have been taken are to try and get the website shut down as quickly as possible
and to get law enforcement involved so that they are able to try and prosecute people and bring
people to justice.

And of course then try and get money back for the victims of this fraud.

EMILY BOURKE: But prosecuting those responsible for the website could prove most difficult. Dr
Roger Clarke is an e-business consultant for Xamax IT consultancy.

ROGER CLARKE: Well when it's a significant organisation and there's real value involved people
should be doing some basic checking out. Now I'm not sure whether everybody's going to do that but
enough consumers, small numbers of consumers is enough because the word will get around very
quickly if a; consumers do these kinds of checks and b; there are regulators who've got open
websites 'report a scam now' kinds of websites, the sorts of things that the ACCC, ASIC and their
ilk, should be running fair trading offices around the states.

If those sorts of things are in place and if these reports start tumbling in, they've got to take
action. I'm not talking about December here, I'm not talking about August. So it seems to me that
we've got a double gap here; insufficient scepticism by consumers and insufficient channels through
to regulators.

EMILY BOURKE: The chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is Graeme Samuel.

GRAEME SAMUEL: It's an international, looks like it's an internationally organised scam, probably
criminally driven. It looks like that the website is based in the United States, and we understand
that the international Olympic Committee is taking steps to close the site down.

But it's one of these problems that we have with the internet where you've got an international
scam and the most we can do is to warn consumers about its existence; as I understand has also
occurred at the NSW government at Office of Fair Trading level then advise customers particularly
if they've used credit cards to purchase tickets through this scam to advise their bank or their
credit card provider immediately.

And it's possible that the charge back scheme that they have, that the banks operate may be able to
assist them.

EMILY BOURKE: But is there anything else that the ACCC can do to go after those responsible for the
website?

GRAEME SAMUEL: Yes we work with our international agencies; that is those in the United States and
elsewhere throughout the world. But ultimately if this website has been established in the US, and
it's possible that the proprietors of the website, those that are perpetrating the scam are not
themselves even based in the US, we understand that there's a London phone number that's being used
as well, then we have to rely on those that have got the jurisdiction to be able attack the website
and seek out the perpetrators.

We'll be working with our international agency contacts throughout the world, providing them with
whatever information that we can. But I'm afraid to say that Australians are just amongst a large
number of those internationally who have been caught by the scam.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Graeme Samuel the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission ending Emily Bourke's report.

Olympic officials can't help scam victims

ELEANOR HALL: As we heard, the president of the Australian Olympic Committee, John Coates, says
there are no tickets left in the Australian Olympic ticket allocation, even for those parents of
Olympians who were duped by the online ticketing scam.

Mr Coates says he has great sympathy for anyone caught up in the scam, but that Australians were
warned there was only one official Olympic ticket seller.

The AOC chief held a press conference a short time ago in Beijing, Olympics reporter Karen Barlow
was there and joins us now.

Karen what did John Coates say about this scam ticketing site, which as we've just been hearing is
still operating?

KAREN BARLOW: Well as for the Australians who have been duped he says that he has as you say great
sympathy, he says it's a great pity, but the Australians, the member sports, the members of the
public were warned months and months ago, in fact February 2007.

The word got out that there was only one official ticket seller, that's CoSport and that anyone
seeking tickets elsewhere should know the risks. So Australians were warned as he said and this is
what he had to say a short time ago.

JOHN COATES: So far as I am concerned we said this was our authorised, our official, all of those
words, we've made it quite clear. We can't be expected I'm afraid to go over the net and find the
sites that might be misleading I'm afraid. We just don't have that ability.

ELEANOR HALL: That's the president of the Australian Olympic Committee John Coates. So it sounds as
though he's not even trying to find tickets for the parents of Olympians?

KAREN BARLOW: Well in short Eleanor the AOC can't do much, they say they can't step in, they can't
compensate and they can't find substitute tickets. The AOC chief is in charge of the Australian
team only, all he can do is encourage CoSport to do something for the parents of the softballers
and this is what he indicated he can do for them a short time ago.

JOHN COATES: Well the only thing is we have said to CoSport through you know, is there anyway you
can see if you can find some tickets for other countries for which you act? Whether the demand say
for softball hasn't been taken up, if that was the case we would direct those, seek to make those
tickets available for those parents.

Well there's nothing at the moment, we've put in the request. CoSport had no tickets left so they
have to go and scrounge; no tickets from our allocation, they have to go and scrounge and see what
they can do elsewhere.

ELEANOR HALL: A fairly discouraged sounding John Coates. Now Karen there were blues skies over
Beijing on the weekend, but I understand that's not the case today?

KAREN BARLOW: Yeah there were lovely blue skies over the weekend surprising and pleasing all, you
can even see the mountains which surround Beijing. But a day is a long time with the opening
ceremony five days away, it's a long time away.

So basically we have smog city again. Visibility is back to one kilometre and I suspect the Chinese
organisers are looking again at what further pollution control measures they can bring in so close
to the opening ceremony; perhaps more cars off the road, more factories closed.

You know we'd heard that possibly it was up to 90 per cent of the cars off the road if it got
really bad. It doesn't look very good outside today.

ELEANOR HALL: And on another touchy issue the president of the European Parliament has apparently
encouraged Olympic athletes to demonstrate against China's human rights abuses. Did John Coates
have anything to say about that this morning?

KAREN BARLOW: He certainly did, he repeated what he's been saying for a while. He says he respects
the athletes right to protest, but athletes can say what they like on blogs and in press
conferences such as what we were just in, but he says that the athletes should support the IOC
rules that say no protest, no banners and no flags at the village or in the venue.

So no, John Coates does not support the president of the European Parliament and this is what he
had to say on that matter.

JOHN COATES: The Games is meant to be a friendly atmosphere, we're to create a friendly atmosphere
between the athletes of 205 countries, particularly in the Olympic village and there could be many
causes that would anger many countries if everyone was allowed to wear t-shirts and wave "get out
of Iraq" signs and direct them at Australia or the USA.

We are as nationalist as anyone, and I think some of our athletes might react to that just as the
Chinese might be entitled to react. So I think that what we've allowed is a sensible opportunity
for athletes to express their personal views on these matters.

ELEANOR HALL: The president of the Australian Olympic Committee John Coates at a press conference
in Beijing a short time ago, our Olympics report Karen Barlow there.

Cricket hero becomes official Olympic mentor

ELEANOR HALL: With just five days to go until the start of the Olympics, most members of
Australia's team are now settling into the Olympic city.

Last night the 43 members of the swimming team arrived at Beijing airport, where they were greeted
by a veteran of high pressure sporting events, the former Australian cricket captain, Steve Waugh.

Waugh, along with former Wallabies Captain John Eales and gold medal winning rower Kate Allen is an
official team mentor.

And he spoke to our Olympics reporter Karen Barlow at Beijing airport.

STEVE WAUGH: Oh look yeah I've enjoyed the experience so far in the village, I've been here about
36 hours and I've probably met about 300 people since I've been here and yeah look it's been really
good. I'm having a great time.

KAREN BARLOW: The Olympics is a whole new world for a cricketer.

STEVE WAUGH: It is, I feel very fortunate that I'm here, I never thought I'd have the chance to be
involved at the Olympic level and to be in the Olympic village; so it's really special and I feel
very honoured to be here.

KAREN BARLOW: Have you been called on yet to do any mentoring?

STEVE WAUGH: Yeah look, mentoring is part of it I guess, just observing and seeing what's going on,
there's been you know a couple of little things where I've sort of, I think I can add a bit of
experience and I've been in a similar situation; a couple of things that have happened already. So
it's more keeping my eyes and ears out and just seeing what's going on.

KAREN BARLOW: Can you tell us about it? I know it's about personal experiences for Olympians; are
they overwhelmed by the experience?

STEVE WAUGH: I don't think so, I think most of them are pretty season campaigners you know, they've
been on a bit of light preparation, a lot of effort.

I guess the one thing at the Olympic level is the amount of pressure that is on at this event; I
mean it's once every four years and a lot rides on your performance here. So the key is to do the
same things you've always done and try and block out the fact that it is the Olympics.

KAREN BARLOW: So what have they asked you to help them out with?

STEVE WAUGH: Oh look I've been in this role for about six to nine months now and it's really
talking about pressure situations, how to handle the media like yourselves. I think that the big
moment how to handle pressure situations, just little things that crop up and things that I've seen
in my 20 years playing professional sport. It's all the same issues across the whole variety of
sports; it's not just unique to cricket.

KAREN BARLOW: How have you found Beijing so far?

STEVE WAUGH: Well I've really been just confined to the village and a few areas around it but first
impressions are it's very nice, the sky's been clear, everything's clean, people are very friendly
and the village everyone says is the best ever. So I think it's been great so far.

KAREN BARLOW: I hear the food hall is quite good.

STEVE WAUGH: Yeah it's very tempting, there's a McDonalds down there and I've banned myself from
going there at this stage. But yeah the food is excellent, there's absolutely no problems there and
in fact it's probably too good.

KAREN BARLOW: With the arrival of the swimmers more than half the team has arrived now, so I
suppose there must be a big buzz with the Australians.

STEVE WAUGH: It is and the village, you can tell where the Australians are in the village now we've
got things set up there. We've got the flags flying and we've got chairs out on the grassed areas,
we've got a TV set up, we watched the Bledisloe Cup yesterday with the New Zealanders.

And yeah I think there is a really good atmosphere where the Australian section of the compound is
and people know that, that's Australia.

ELEANOR HALL: And that's the former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh, he's now a mentor for
the Olympic team, he was speaking to Karen Barlow at Beijing airport.

Nuclear dump uncertainty

ELEANOR HALL: A Northern Territory pastoralist is calling on the Federal Government to declare that
his property is not a potential site for a national nuclear waste facility.

Australia will be in breach of its international obligations if it can't find a site within four
years, to store low to medium level radioactive waste, rather than shipping it overseas.

But the Commonwealth has been searching for a site for nearly 20 years and has been unable to
convince any state to accept it.

When the South Australian government successfully took the Howard Government to court over the
issue, the Commonwealth began assessing four sites in the Northern Territory.

And despite an election promise to repeal the legislation forcing the facility on the Northern
Territory, Kevin Rudd's Government is continuing that assessment.

At one of the sites south of Katherine, the uncertainty is taking its toll as Sarah Hawke reports
from Yeltu Park.

(Sound of motorbike and people talking)

SARAH HAWKE: It's a busy time in the Top End as pastoralists work cattle ahead of the wet season.

Seventy-two year old Barry Utley runs about 1400 cattle on the 22,000 hectare property. The days
are long and there's an added stress.

Yeltu Park surrounds a six square kilometre block of defence land that's been earmarked as a
potential nuclear waste facility.

BARRY UTLEY: It's right in the middle of the property and only four or five kilometres away, you
don't want that at your bloody back door.

SARAH HAWKE: The proposal's been a constant worry, made more difficult by the death last November
of Mr Utley's wife Valerie. He's now he's running the property by himself.

BARRY UTLEY: It's very difficult, yes you can't get away very much, it's just about a 24 hour job.

SARAH HAWKE: Mr Utley's trying to decide wether to downsize or sell and retire and he's has been
pressing the Federal Government to clarify if the Katherine site will be used.

Labor promised before the last election to repeal legislation forcing the dump on the Northern
Territory and search again for the best site in Australia. But Mr Utley says he's written to
numerous politicians and there's no sign of that happening.

BARRY UTLEY: Politicians seem to make promises and break them all the time, so it leaves you bloody
annoyed.

SARAH HAWKE: So what happens if a decision isn't made soon about what site it will be?

BARRY UTLEY: I think I'd just sell the whole property and I'm getting past arguing and trying to
battle all the time.

SARAH HAWKE: Could you sell the property though?

BARRY UTLEY: Well I think what the property is worth, would be reduced a bit but, I'd like to stay
here because... (begins to get upset).

SARAH HAWKE: Although Mr Utley faces a difficult time Labor's Northern Territory senator Trish
Crossin says the government can't make moves until a scientific assessment of the four Territory
sites is finished.

TRISH CROSSIN: My understanding is that Minister Ferguson is still waiting for the final report to
come in from Parsons Brinckerhoff; the company that was actually contracted to examine the sites
for their suitability.

SARAH HAWKE: Do we have any idea on what that, or have you been told what sort of timeline we might
be looking at?

TRISH CROSSIN: I think we were anticipating a report by the middle of this year so, one would hope
it's not too far away.

SARAH HAWKE: Mr Utley indicated that the sight that has been nominated south of Katherine does have
a lot of water that goes across it in the wet season and is not accessible. Is there any reason
perhaps why it can't be ruled out?

TRISH CROSSIN: Well I personally never though there was a reason to not be able to rule it out, in
fact I've been puzzled from day one as to why it was even put on the list.

But again I think that once you start ruling one or one out, it's a dangerous precedent, it's just
a matter of actually waiting 'til we get the report on each of the four sites.

SARAH HAWKE: For another cattle producer from around Katherine who's been helping Barry Utley, that
report can't come soon enough.

CATTLE PRODUCER: It would be very nice if Barry could get an answer and if in fact we could all get
an answer and move on because it's just dragging it out and it's dragging everybody down.

ELEANOR HALL: Sarah Hawke with that report.

Veterans plan legal action over radiation exposure

ELEANOR HALL: After years of denials, British defence chiefs have reportedly admitted that some
servicemen were exposed to deadly radiation during nuclear tests in Australia and the South Pacific
in the 1950s.

The Sunday Mirror newspaper says the admission is in papers filed with the High Court in London by
lawyers for the Defence Department.

A class action by hundreds of British veterans is due to start next year. And Australian veterans
of the nuclear tests are planning to begin their own lawsuit, if they don't get better treatment
from the Australian Government.

But Ric Johnstone, the national president of the Australian Nuclear Veterans' Association told
Brendan Trembath that veterans are still hopeful that they won't have to go to court.

RIC JOHNSTONE: We have our own class action going now, well it's being set up, it's not in court
yet; but we do hope that this current government now will give full recognition to our service and
give us full access to the Veterans Entitlement Act.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: When you say full recognition, what do you want?

RIC JOHNSTONE: Full recognition of servicemen who have had hazardous service; equal to that of
serving in Vietnam or Iraq or anywhere else. And full entitlement to access to pensions and the
gold card and we want a health study on our widows and our children, our offspring. They will need
ongoing and continuing support.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Mr Johnstone how optimistic are you that you'll actually get some sort of
compensation. This is a long-running issue, these tests were in the 1950s and the veterans involved
are not getting any younger.

RIC JOHNSTONE: Well this is right, absolutely correct and the government has planned it this way.
And by government I don't necessarily mean just the Labor government. When you change a government,
you change the politicians, but you don't change the bureaucracy. And the same bureaucracy and it
defendants exist now, that existed in the 1950s when the tests were on in top secret.

And there's lots of aspects to those tests that have not yet been revealed because of the secrecy
that is still maintained by the bureaucracy and whichever government happens to be in whether it's
the Coalition or the Labor government, they are in fact only given information from the
bureaucracy.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Has the Labor Government given you any indication how it regards your claim?

RIC JOHNSTONE: Oh yes, Alan Griffin, the Minister for the Department for Veterans' Affairs told us
before his government was elected that he would definitely look into the Clarke Review of Veterans'
Entitlements.

But of course once he got into the job, he then said well he'll look at it some time in the next
two years, so that's giving us a few more Veterans will drop of the perch during that two years. So
he's saving money for the Government.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: How were you involved in these tests?

RIC JOHNSTONE: I was in Operation Buffalo in 1956. I was there for close on 12 months as a
mechanic; my job was salvage and decontamination of target response vehicles and vehicles used by
others who went into the hot areas.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: How was your health affected?

RIC JOHNSTONE: Well I've had numerous skin cancers removed, I've had two heart attacks, I've had
quadruple bypass surgery, I've got rheumatics in every joint and I suffer from post traumatic
stress disorder, which is what I was discharged from the Air Force with.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Those earlier conditions some could argue are experienced by other Australians
who weren't involved in the test; it must be very difficult to prove a direct correlation.

RIC JOHNSTONE: It is, it's almost impossible to prove; but certain parts of the conditions are
attached to your service record.

ELEANOR HALL: And that's Ric Johnstone, who's the national president of the Australian Nuclear
Veterans' Association, he was speaking to Brendan Trembath.

Film industry wants piracy crackdown

ELEANOR HALL: The film industry is facing an uphill battle to convince internet service providers
to crack down on customers who illegally copy movies and TV shows. Broadband internet has made it
much easier to download movies without paying for them.

And the film industry's anti-piracy group says internet service providers have a legal obligation
to stop their customers abusing copyright.

But as Simon Lauder reports, the internet industry says its customers have a right to the
presumption of innocence.

SIMON LAUDER: Ripping movies from the internet has never been easier. If you don't know how, it
doesn't take long to find instructions.

ONLINE INSTRUCTONS: Hello everyone, in this video I'm going to show you the best way to find free
movies on the internet to watch them and how to download them.

SIMON LAUDER: Three years ago a study by The Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft found
movie piracy cost the Australian film industry $230-million. Since then broadband internet access
has made it even easier to avoid the local cinema or video shop.

The federation's executive director, Adrianne Pecotic, says many internet pirates are oblivious to
the digital trail they leave behind.

ADRIANNE PECOTIC: There's a whole lot of clicking without a whole of thinking going on. Illegal
file sharing is not anonymous, you know if you go looking for a pirate film or television program
it's like going out on the public street and calling up and down the road, has anyone got a copy?

That enables the film industry to monitor that activity without crossing any privacy issues or
anything else, it's quite a public activity on the internet and most people are not aware of that.

SIMON LAUDER: But all the film industry can do is watch as films go from one anonymous user to
another. That's where the industry wants the internet service providers, or ISPs, to step in,
because they can identify what individual customers are doing.

Adrianne Pecotic wants the ISPs to send illegal downloaders a warning, and then take more serious
action if the warning is ignored.

ADRIANNE PECOTIC: You know for those customers who don't respond to notifications, they could have
their internet browsers suspended, that would allow their email and voice service to continue for
example but now allow them to go out on the internet and illegally file share copyright content.

They could have their bandwidth limited, a peer to peer protocol could be blocked for that
individual customer. There's several different possibilities, the ultimate final sanction could be
disconnection.

SIMON LAUDER: But the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft is having a hard time getting
internet service providers to agree to the plan. ISPs make money regardless of who owns the rights
to what people are downloading.

Peter Coroneos from the Internet Industry Association says ISPs have a number of concerns.

PETER CORONEOS: The precedent that this creates for ISPs in other areas and the fact that
disconnecting people from the internet is not in our view a proportionate response to copyright
infringement.

SIMON LAUDER: One of Australia's biggest internet providers, Bigpond, is also against the plan,
saying it should be up to police to target piracy.

But Adrianne Pecotic says providers still have a strong legal incentive to crackdown on pirates.

ADRIANNE PECOTIC: We're inviting all ISPs to partner with us in this process, we have some ISPs who
are willing and some ISPs who are still asking for more information.

SIMON LAUDER: Why should an internet service provider go to such lengths though if it's going to
annoy their customers? They're making money from their customers whether or not what they're doing
is copyright approved.

ADRIANNE PECOTIC: Well I think the law is clear, and that ISPs' terms and conditions are clear,
their customers can't use the internet for illegal purposes and customers that are using the ISP
services for illegal purposes; like illegal file sharing need to stop and the ISPs are responsible
for working out how to do that.

SIMON LAUDER: What's the incentive though for the ISP's to put resources and energy into tackling
that?

ADRIANNE PECOTIC: It's the law.

SIMON LAUDER: Peter Coroneos from the Internet Industry Association has a different view of the
industry's legal obligations. He says internet service providers are not there to judge their
customers.

PETER CORONEOS: And ISPs we think quite legitimately argue that it's only when a court pronounces
that an infringement has occurred that regard should be had for the complaint. But for someone to
simply compile lists of IP addresses, fire them off to ISPs on a weekly basis and expect action to
be taken on that basis is really going beyond what even the copyright law in Australia would
require.

ELEANOR HALL: The Internet Industry's Peter Coroneos ending Simon Lauder's report.