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ANZ sacks staff over Opes Prime collapse

ELEANOR HALL: The ANZ Bank has sacked eight of its employees including two top executives in
response to a review of its involvement in the billion dollar collapse of boutique stockbroker,
Opes Prime.

The ANZ's internal review of the Melbourne firm, for which ANZ was the chief secured creditor,
recommended that in addition to the sackings, some employees take pay cuts and be disciplined for
breaching the bank's code of conduct.

The chief executive Mike Smith said the bank should never have been involved in Opes Prime at all.

Its collapse saw 1,200 of the stockbroker's clients lose their money when the ANZ called in
$650-million in loans at the height of the credit crisis.

This report from our business editor, Peter Ryan.

PETER RYAN: Four months ago, the ANZ's chief executive Mike Smith promised a warts and all review
of the bank's involvement in the securities lending business, after the collapse of one of its key
client Opes Prime.

Today in releasing the findings, Mr Smith underscored the depth of the damage to the ANZ's

MIKE SMITH: No chief executive likes to be in the position that I find myself today. It is not
ANZ's finest hour.

PETER RYAN: The review found a range of control and management issues, in particular the risks
arising from the stock lending in a falling market. Mr Smith pointed to some key failings that defy
the fundamentals banks are supposed to manage for their clients and shareholders.

MIKE SMITH: The bottom line is we were in a business that we should never have entered into in the
first place and it was in a business environment where the risks weren't properly understood and
weren't properly managed.

At the most basic level, staff in the business didn't understand the reputational risks and the
differences between managing a securities lending business and an equity finance business.

We then compounded the problems by not having the usual risk controls and governance procedures in

PETER RYAN: Mike Smith says when the stock lending risks were uncovered, senior managers were too
slow to act. Put simply, he says some very senior bankers failed to join the dots.

MIKE SMITH: The review committee found that because of these failings, these issues were never
given the proper attention and oversight and in particular were not escalated to the CEO, to the
board committees or to the board in the way that they should have been. So this is what we found
and it's clearly unacceptable.

PETER RYAN: Mike Smith says while the Opes Prime collapse was not of it's doing, it exposed serious
cultural and ethical problems within the bank.

As a result, the axe has fallen on some big names, including the ANZ's institutional chief, Peter

MIKE SMITH: A number of employees have had formal notes placed on employment records and cuts to
their remuneration. Eight managers and executives will leave ANZ. This includes two members of the
management board - Peter Hodgson and David Stephen. More would have been affected if they still had
been at ANZ.

PETER RYAN: Mike Smith has been in the ANZ top job for less than a year, having unknowingly
inherited the Opes Prime debacle from his predecessor John McFarlane, who was interviewed as part
of the review.

But Mr Smith cleared Mr McFarlane of any blame for the current crisis.

MIKE SMITH: The issues that should have been escalated to the CEO and to the board committees were
not done so and that was clearly a breakdown in the process.

PETER RYAN: So that clears John McFarlane of any knowledge about what was going on, even in the

MIKE SMITH: Yeah, in so far as the specifics of this report, yes.

PETER RYAN: I would imagine you would have preferred to have known about this when you were
considering taking the top job at the ANZ?

MIKE SMITH: Right, you know, I made my bed and I have to lie in it. I can't say that I am enjoying
myself every day but you know, I still think we have got huge potential with this business.

PETER RYAN: The ANZ review has been provided to the banking regulator APRA (Australian Prudential
Regulation Authority) and the corporate watchdog ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments

While it's being absorbed, the ANZ will continue to defend itself of a range of investor legal
battles in relation to the Opes Prime collapse.

ELEANOR HALL: Business editor Peter Ryan.

Cost blowout from obesity epidemic

ELEANOR HALL: The health problems associated with obesity are well known. Now there are some
alarming revelations about the economic cost of carrying too much weight.

Access Economics says the cost of dealing with obese Australians has blown out to $58-billion a
year. That's nearly three times the cost just three years ago.

And it's also billions of dollars more than the estimated cost of drug and alcohol abuse to
Australia's health system.

Diabetes Australia says the report should be a wakeup call to all Australians.

Simon Lauder has our story.

SIMON LAUDER: As waistlines expand, so does the bill. In 2005, Access Economics estimated the total
financial cost of obesity-related problems in Australia was $21-billion.

In just three years that's blown out to $58-billion. The Access report says there are 3.71-million
obese people in Australia, which is up from 3.24-million in 2005.

Lynne Pezzullo from Access Economics says most of the cost is measured by estimating the value of
life which is lost to disability and premature death.

LYNNE PEZZULLO: That $49.9-billion is the value of the healthy life that's lost because of the
diseases that are caused by obesity.

SIMON LAUDER: What do you mean by that?

LYNNE PEZZULLO: Well there are four particular types of diseases that obesity contributes to. In
particularly Type-2 diabetes; cardiovascular disease, cancers - in particular breast and bowel
cancer - and also osteoarthritis.

SIMON LAUDER: So that's what you mean lost well-being?

LYNNE PEZZULLO: That's right. There are about 200,000 years of lost healthy life every year in
Australia because of obesity, because of obesity contributing to those core conditions.

SIMON LAUDER: And what are the $8-billiion of financial costs you refer to?

LYNNE PEZZULLO: The financial costs compromise the productivity losses primarily that are due to
the fact that when people are sick because of being obese, they can't work, they can't participate
in the workforce or when they are in the workforce, they are absent more often.

There's also health system expenditures. We also look at other different types of costs so the
carer costs for people who have those conditions when they're being cared for by loved ones who
then also have to take time off work in order to look after people with obesity-related conditions.

SIMON LAUDER: How can this figure have increased from just $21-billion in 2005?

LYNNE PEZZULLO: The increase is actually a re-estimation of the costs and the reason that it was
timely to re-estimate them was that between 2005 and 2008 there have actually been some key new
sources of data that has become available. In particular there has been new estimates of prevalence
that have been released by the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare.

SIMON LAUDER: The new estimate of the prevalence of one weight related disease is perhaps the most
alarming figure in the report. 240,000 Australians now have Type-2 diabetes as a direct result of
obesity. That's an increase of 137 per cent on the 2005 estimate.

Dr Gary Deed is the president of Diabetes Australia, which commissioned the analysis.

GARY DEED: These figures in this report are alarming and let's look even at the economic cost of
$58-billion for the Australian economy per year in 2008. It is unsustainable in a economy of the
Australian size.

17.5 per cent of Australians are currently obese. One in four of those people will develop Type-2
diabetes. I mean these figures are a wake up call to all of us that we need to do something.

Obesity is now affecting our younger children and adolescents and they grow up into being obese
adults so these figures are just showing that the wave of the epidemic, the tsunami of effect is
just building now.

SIMON LAUDER: The Access Economics report only includes figures for people who are classified as
obese, not the millions of overweight Australians who are well on their way to joining the

Dr Deed says previous estimates of the size of the problem have been understated.

GARY DEED: What we have been doing isn't working. Let's go and look at what other things we can do.
Don't try to do piecemeal affects against the obesity epidemic.

SIMON LAUDER: He says the report highlights problems for all Australians.

GARY DEED: That level of quality of healthcare is unsustainable so by ... looking at a future in
Australia where Australians may not receive or be able to receive the quality of healthcare they
get in 2008.

SIMON LAUDER: A comparison with another problem Australians have when it comes to excess puts the
obesity problem in perspective.

Earlier this year a government report estimated the total cost of Australia's use of tobacco,
alcohol and illicit drugs at $56-billion a year.

The president of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Rosanna Capolingua.

ROSANNA CAPOLINGUA: There's a very big message in both those numbers. $56-billion drugs and
alcohol, $58-billion in obesity. All of these things are preventable.

SIMON LAUDER: Access Economics says that with no change to the obesity rate, 4.6-million
Australians will be obese by the year 2025.

ELEANOR HALL: Simon Lauder reporting.

Coalition troops set for long stay in Iraq: Analyst

ELEANOR HALL: US and Iraqi officials say they are close to a deal on a timetable for the draw down
of Coalition forces from Iraq that could see foreign troops leaving the country within a year.

The US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, made a surprise visit to Baghdad overnight to meet
representatives of the Iraqi Government and she said the goal was to have Iraqi forces responsible
for Iraqi security. Almost 150,000 foreign troops, mainly US, are deployed in Iraq.

But while tens of thousands of them may be on their way home by the middle of next year, a US
analyst says a complete withdrawal is not on the cards and that the US will have at least 50,000
troops in Iraq for years to come.

Dr Steven Cook is a specialist on the Middle East with the US Council on Foreign Relations. He
spoke to me from Washington. Dr Cook, what do you make of this surprise visit to Iraq by the US
Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice?

STEVEN COOK: Well, I certainly think it is an indication that negotiations have moved forward on
the question of the status of US forces in Iraq in this on-going negotiation between the two
countries about a status of forces agreement.

Yet President Bush has not signed off on the details that have been worked out between American and
Iraqi negotiators and he clearly sent the Secretary of State out to Baghdad to find out what was
going on and to try to get everybody on the same page.

Iraqi officials are talking about firm hard dates. Americans are still talking about time horizons
and aspirations so clearly the two governments are; there are some differences although there seems
to be broad agreement that US forces are going to be withdrawing from Iraq sooner rather than

ELEANOR HALL: And Dr Rice says that it is the success of the US surge that makes a deal on earlier
withdrawal possible. What is your view on that?

STEVEN COOK: Well, I think that is certainly the case which made the administration's earlier
argument that because the surge was successful, that US troops needed to stay longer seems quite
absurd and illogical but I think the success of the new security plan in Iraq as well as suddenly
an Iraqi Government that has found its legs and is able to extend its will beyond the green zone,
makes this discussion of a withdrawal possible and that we'll likely see some significant amount of
forces coming out of Iraq by 2010.

ELEANOR HALL: So how strong is the negotiating position of the Iraqi Prime Minister and what would
be his bottom line?

STEVEN COOK: Well certainly the Iraqi Prime Minister is in a very strong position especially since
he draws a significant amount of domestic political benefit by asking the United States to leave.

Iraqi bottom line is that sometime within the next 16 to 24 months, Iraqi units are patrolling
Iraq. American troops are confined to their bases and American forces are not able to conduct
operations without the approval of the Iraqis.

ELEANOR HALL: That doesn't sound like a full withdrawal though. That sounds like a sort of a way of
making the US troops less conspicuous but pulling them back to bases that aren't in the cities.

STEVEN COOK: Well, I think it is not realistic to believe that there is going to be a full troop
withdrawal from Iraq. I think that when people are talking about a draw down of forces, we are
talking about a residual force at first of about half of what we have right now and then ultimately
drawing down to somewhere in the neighbourhood of 50,000, 40,000 troops and then for years on
after, having that level and then drawing down slowly, slowly, slowly.

Sort of along the lines of what we have done in Bosnia.

ELEANOR HALL: So you mention 2010 as the start date for this draw down. When do you think US troops
might finally be out of Iraq, if at all?

STEVEN COOK: I don't believe that US forces are going to be completely out of Iraq in the
foreseeable future but I do think that if this negotiation continues to go the way that the Iraqis
would like it to go, you would certainly see significant numbers of US forces that are home from
Iraq by 2010.

ELEANOR HALL: And are there dangers for the Iraqi politicians of having the US troops withdraw too

STEVEN COOK: Well, that certainly a position that John McCain has taken which is that you have to
consolidate the security gains in Iraq. If you leave too early the country can slide back into
instability and general insurrection and that is certainly a risk that Iraqi politicians are
willing to take given the benefits of taking a strong stand about long-term presence of US forces.

ELEANOR HALL: And what is your sense? How great is the danger that Iraq will be destabilised by a
relatively early US draw down?

STEVEN COOK: We have been fooled so often by the situation in Iraq that I'm not confident that the
surge has worked to the extent that people believe it has. It is very difficult to assess what the
security situation might be after large numbers of US forces are drawn down. It could be that the
insurgency is lying in wait. It could be some breakdown amongst shia factions. Moqtada al-Sadr may
call his people back out onto the streets again despite the fact that a week or two ago he called
on his people to join a political organisation.

So there is too many unknowns in the Iraqi situation for us to confidently say that the country is
now on a trajectory of stable government and genuine security.

ELEANOR HALL: So do you think that Condoleezza Rice then shouldn't be there negotiating a
withdrawal possibly as early as next year?

STEVEN COOK: Well, I actually do think that it is in the geo-strategic interests of the United
States actually to begin that withdrawal because as long as we are tied down in Iraq, we are, don't
have the resources to confront some of the other major strategic issues in the region - primarily
that of the Iranian threat.

It is not so much the Iranian development of nuclear technology as it is Iranian drive to extend
its influence throughout the region and that is a, that is a significant geo-strategic threat to
the United States and as long as we are pinned down in Iraq, it makes it difficult to marshal the
kind of resources that we need in order to confront the Iranis.

ELEANOR HALL: Dr Cook, thanks very much for talking to us.

STEVEN COOK: My pleasure.

ELEANOR HALL: Steven Cook is a specialist on the Middle East with the US Council on Foreign
Relations. He was joining us from Washington.

Let the mind games begin

ELEANOR HALL: Let's go now to Beijing where, as the Olympic Games draw to a close, assessments are
being made about just how successful they've been for athletes and for the Chinese.

China may've won the gold medal race but it's been dogged throughout the Games by concerns about
censorship and human rights abuses.

And the Dalai Lama has again stirred controversy over China's handling of Tibet, telling the French
newspaper Le Monde, that Chinese troops shot and killed more than 100 Tibetans just four days ago.

Our China Correspondent Stephen McDonell joins us now in Beijing. Stephen first to this shocking
accusation by the Dalai Lama, has there been any official word on unrest in Tibet from Chinese

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well, no. We've actually rang Chinese authorities to try and verify what, if any,
of this claim could be true and we haven't heard anything from them apart from, we rang a couple of
sort of the police stations in this.

It was supposed to have taken place in the Kham region which is an ethnic Tibetan area in Sichuan
Province and the police there have denied that anything has taken place so from the Chinese,
official Chinese side, nothing yet.

ELEANOR HALL: And have you got any other contacts in the local Tibetan community that could give
you any other information?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well, the interesting thing with this is that when it was first reported that the
Dalai Lama said to Le Monde newspaper that this week on Monday that Chinese troops opened fire and
killed dozens of people, he said maybe he heard 140 deaths during the Olympic Games we thought this
is obviously quite remarkable especially because he doesn't normally speak in such specifics about
human rights abuses. So we rang his office of the Tibetan Government in exile which is in
Dharamsala in India.

Now their response has been, well we don't know anything about this. There must have been some
confusion and now they are sort of trying to spin this line that he wasn't so specific in what he
said. But well according to the report in Le Monde, there are quite clear quotes where he is
referring to an incident on Monday when dozens of people were killed.

In the same article he also said that since March, 400 people have been killed in Lhasa alone and
that 10,000 Tibetans had been arrested. So, look, it is hard to tell what the truth is of this
allegation but certainly no-one from either side is confirming what he said to have been true.

ELEANOR HALL: What do you then make of the Dalai Lama's accusations?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well, what can often happen in these things is there is a bit of truth and
somehow or other in the miscommunication of the moment, that, you know, I don't know if he has
embellished it because if he has the Chinese Government are going to say, you know, you have done
this to try and sabotage the Olympics.

They have been looking for this sort of thing, I would say, to make that allegation. Now another
possibility is that it is in fact true and that maybe he has just said what he has heard but they
haven't got the confirmation you would need to make a much more sort of grand public statement
about it.

You know, these are difficult and isolated areas to get to so there may have been some form of
clashes between Tibetans and police this week in the area of Kham but maybe not as many people were
killed as he said. I am not quite sure.

ELEANOR HALL: Stephen, when China won these Games, international Olympic officials justified their
decision by saying that it would lead to an improvement in human rights in the country. What are
IOC officials and locals saying about that prediction now?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well, in some ways you have got to feel a little bit sorry for the IOC because
they have these press conferences regularly during the Games and every time something has happened
like we reported on this week about these two grandmothers who wanted to go and protest and in fact
weren't allowed to protest but were instead given this one year's labour sentence where they can't
leave their suburb.

Now every time there is one of these sort of human rights abuses, I guess you could call it, the
reporters go to the IOC and say what is going on here. Now the IOC has been trying to say, look we
never said that the Games were going to make everything fantastic here in terms of human rights.
Our approach was, well, you know, that, the opening up of China would make things improve in this

Of course, the flip side of that has been the argument is put to them is well, no you made much
greater promises about press freedom and that for example in the case of this protest, these
protest parks are supposed to have been Olympic protest parks where not one protester has been
sanctioned to take place despite dozens of applications.

So I think people will sort of debate whether or not the Olympics has directly brought any sort of
improvement on human rights especially when through all these other allegations that sort of high
profile critics of the regime have been locked up or placed under house arrest because of the
Olympics. But I think it couldn't doubt though that in terms of opening up China and exposing it to
the world and exposing the world to China, there has been a strengthening of those ties and a
better understanding all around because of the Olympic Games.

ELEANOR HALL: And Stephen, looking at it from the athlete's perspective, how do you think they have
viewed the Games? There have been several amazing feats of athleticism but there has also been
concerns about the pollution for example.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well I think for the athletes, the pollution has been one thing especially if you
are in some sort of an endurance event you know like the marathon or something like that or the
cycling road race. It has been something they've had to tackle.

But in terms of the facilities, I think they have found them to be fantastic. You know, these great
new stadiums and in that sense I think that they have found it to be, by and large, a great Games
you know and we have seen these records tumbling in the pool and also inside the birds nest. So I
think in terms of the sport, when you talk to the athletes, they will say that it has been a
fantastic event.

Of course, some of them are sort of complained that their relative national Olympic committees have
leaned on them to be a bit quiet about things like human rights including you know the Australian
officials but you know it is in the end all about the sport as they say and in terms of sporting
achievements and in terms of the remarkable result, especially for the Chinese, you would have to
say that it has been quite some Olympic Games.

ELEANOR HALL: Stephen McDonell, our correspondent in Beijing, thank you.

Trauma continues for South Ossetians

ELEANOR HALL: The fighting may have ended in South Ossetia, but the trauma is continuing for many
people from the Georgian breakaway province. An estimated 30 thousand South Ossetians escaped to
Russia when fighting broke out two weeks ago, and tens of thousands more went in the other
direction into Georgia.

Now many are returning to find their homes and communities deeply scarred by the conflict and by
ethnic divisions. From South Ossetia Moscow correspondent Scott Bevan reports.

SCOTT BEVAN: In a dormitory she's been sharing with her parents, sister and eight-year-old
daughter, Anna Kabulova is nervous as she packs for home. The family has been staying in an old
people's home in the southern Russian city of Vladikavkaz, since fleeing from their house - and the
fighting - in the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali five days earlier.

Now home, and the desire to see her husband who stayed behind, are drawing Anna Kabulova back
across the border - yet she doesn't know what she'll find. "On the one hand, I feel joyful" she
says "on the other hand I don't know what shape our house will be in".

The family pushes into a mini-bus packed with other refugees taking the five-hour ride over the
mountains to their battle-torn homeland. The city they're returning to is, in parts, a shell of its
former self.

The fighting between Russian and Georgian forces has left areas of Tskhinvali pummelled and
pock-marked by conflict. What's more, much of the city has been stripped of basic facilities. Ala
Kachmasova is carrying the burden of war.

She hauls a bucket of water up five storeys to her Tskhinvali flat - or what's left of it, after it
was hit, she says, by a Georgian rocket. She shows me around a room where the sky bleeds through
the blown out windows, and the floor is carpeted with smashed crockery.

Ala Kachmasova tells me this was a three-room apartment but now everything's gone. Then pointing to
the bucket, she says, "we have no water, no electricity, no gas. What are we to do? I don't know".
There may be a ceasefire in place, but the conflict continues in communities just north of

A string of villages have been all but obliterated and stripped of signs of life. As we race past
on a government-led tour of the region - pretty much the only way to get into South Ossetia at the
moment - we notice that virtually every building has been burnt or looted.

The Russian minder on our latest tour says he didn't know who torched the houses or why. These were
mixed communities, with a high proportion of ethnic Georgians.

Reports say it's their homes that have been set on fire, as South Ossetians react to Georgia
sending in its forces to regain control of a region determined to win independence. But some in
Tskhinvali deny the South Ossetians are to blame for the destruction.

The Georgians themselves burnt the houses, this woman tells me. And the Ossetian houses were burnt
by the Georgians. All the Ossetians' houses were set on fire. Anna Kabulova and her family have
returned to find that their property has escaped damage, but they've suffered a far more profound
loss - three relatives have been killed during the fighting.

When I visit the family unit, Anna Kabulova is not there, but her mother, Namuly Maldzigova is, and
she's mourning the deaths of her two brothers and a nephew. She clutches the photo of one brother
to her cheek.

Namuly Maldzigova is grateful to be back in Tskhinvali, but she wonders about her future - and that
of South Ossetia. "The wounded heart will not heal", she says. "We are sick, we are nervous and we
don't believe that one day peace will come to this land".

This is Scott Bevan in Vladikavkaz, southern Russia, for The World Today.

Taliban claims Pakistan attack

ELEANOR HALL: Taliban forces in Pakistan have claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide bomb
attack on a munitions factory near Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, which has killed at least 63

The Taliban spokesman in Pakistan said the attacks were in retaliation for an army crackdown on
Islamic militants in the country's tribal areas near the border with Afghanistan and he threatened
to launch more attacks unless the Pakistani army withdrew completely from those regions.

The Pakistani Prime Minister has promised to punish those responsible for the attack but the
threats come at a time of political vulnerability for Pakistan with the resignation of President
Musharraf and today new threats to the unity of the Coalition Government.

Joining us now in Delhi is the Australia Network's Michael Coggan. Michael, tell us, this munitions
site near the Pakistani capital, how sensitive is it? And how worried would the army be that it has
come under such severe and deadly attack?

MICHAEL COGGAN: Well it is sensitive in the form that this is the most deadly attack in Pakistan's
history on a military installation. As you say, more than 60 people were killed in this attack
showing that the Taliban can get very close to Pakistani establishments.

Two suicide bombers went in there and detonated their bombs during a shift change and striking fear
into the hearts of Pakistani's and fear among the Government and the Government is very much holed
at the moment because it is dealing with this possible, possibility of a collapse because the
Coalition co-partner Nawaz Sharif is threatening to quit the Coalition unless the other partner
Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto's widower agrees to the reinstatement of the Chief Justice
Iftikhar Chaudhry.

Now a meeting is going to be held today to try and resolve that issue and the other key issue of
who will replace Perez Musharraf as President and the background of these military attacks, these
militant attacks I should say is destabilising everything.

ELEANOR HALL: So how likely is it that the Taliban is capitalising on this political instability?

MICHAEL COGGAN: Well, the attack came off the back of threats by the Taliban to strike in response
to Pakistani army actions against militants in the Afghan border area and as you mentioned, they
have also threatened to invoke further attacks in Bahawl (phenetic), Islamabad and Rawalpindi so
the army is going what it can but the army is also calling for a clear political line on how to
deal with this growing threat. A

nd of course, the West is very concerned that stability returns Pakistan and that as much as
possible be done to deal with this militancy which is, as we know, is drifting over and going
through the poorest border with Afghanistan and we've seen just in recent days the larger numbers
of international NATO troops coming under attack from these Taliban forces - some of which may be
coming from Pakistan just in the last 24 hours, we've seen another eight NATO soldiers killed off
the back of the ten French soldiers who were killed earlier this week in an ambush with the

ELEANOR HALL: The West has previously criticised the Pakistani Government for not doing enough in
those regions. What is it likely to mean for Pakistan's attempt to control militants in that border
area with Afghanistan if the Taliban is issuing these continuing threats.

MICHAEL COGGAN: Well, as I say, I think today is crunch time for the Pakistani Government. I mean
if Sharif decides to pull out again the Coalition leadership here will be hobbled by focusing on
the political machinations and the army will be struggling to find some form of political
leadership on how to deal with this.

In the wake of the attack the Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani said that they will track down the
people responsible for this but it is very difficult for him to take a hard political line without
a clear line, a clear political line coming from the Coalition leaders.

George W. Bush has called Gilani saying that he has assured him that US support will continue for
Pakistan and its government and the democratic force there. Though that is of little use unless
Pakistan can sort out the significant problems it has to deal with immediately and get on top of
the militant threat.

ELEANOR HALL: A very difficult situation. Michael Coggan in Delhi, thank you.

Teachers can be outstanding

ELEANOR HALL: The Teachers Union says a program identifying 'outstanding' teachers won't work
unless it's linked to better pay. New South Wales teachers can now be classified as 'outstanding'
if they meet the requirements of a new set, new assessment system designed to identify high level

The state government says the system is aimed at attracting and retaining talented teachers but it
hasn't indicated how much more money they could receive. The Teacher's Union says the system won't
work unless 'outstanding' teachers are rewarded with outstanding pay checks.

Michael Edwards has our report.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: Up until today, quality teachers in New South Wales mostly had to settle for the
admiration of their peers and students. Now, they can officially seek the label 'outstanding'.

The acting New South Wales Education Minister is John Hatzistergos says that means they will be
recognised as having superior teaching and communication skills.

JOHN HATZISTERGOS: We certainly want to encourage exceptional teachers to get involved and to have
their talents and abilities rewarded and recognised by their profession and by their community.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: In an Australian first, applications are now open for teachers to be assessed
against a set of criteria judging the quality of their work. Teachers who apply will have a range
of attributes tested including their classroom skills, report writing and their ability to mentor
other teachers.

John Hatzistergos says the assessment will be rigorous.

JOHN HATZISTERGOS: The applicants will be assessed using a combination of external assessors who
will review the teacher in action in the classroom and examine documentary evidence of the
teachers' effectiveness.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: The state government says it's part of a plan to attract and retain more quality
teachers. But will it work? The Teachers Union isn't yet convinced.

The New South Wales Teachers Federation says firstly it is insulting that individual teachers will
have to fork out between $550 to $650 to be assessed meaning less may apply and secondly Federation
President Maree O'Halloran is concerned New South Wales standards could conflict with future
national guidelines.

MAREE O'HALLORAN: In the first instance the Federal Government is developing their own set of
standards so there will be two sets of standards out there for the profession.

Secondly, the State Government is saying to teachers, well look, if you are a great teacher, if you
are providing excellence in the classroom, you have to pay for the privilege of having yourself
assessed against these standards.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: The Australian Education Union wants those teachers judged as 'outstanding' to be
paid more than $100,000 a year. But the New South Wales Government isn't saying how much more those
assessed as 'outstanding' could be paid.

Maree O'Halloran says the program won't work unless it coincides with better pay for both
outstanding and regular teachers.

MAREE O'HALLORAN: In order to attract and retain teachers in the public education system, that
won't occur because there is a set of standards, accomplished teacher standards that people can pay
to show they match.

It will occur by making sure that you increase the salary level of the whole profession so that
there is guaranteed pay increases for everyone.

MICHAEL EDWARDS: But the program does have its supporters. Jim McAlpine from the New South Wales
Secondary Principals Council says the program will work.

JIM MCALPINE: I think it is a process that will not only attract and retain really good teachers
for our systems, but it is a way of recognising people who are already outstanding and who don't
get that professional recognition. So I think it is going to be very valuable for that as well.

ELEANOR HALL: Jim McAlpine is the President of the New South Wales Principals' Council. He was
speaking to Michael Edwards.

QLD Government to launch Hendra Inquiry

ELEANOR HALL: The Queensland Government has announced an independent review of the Department of
Primary Industry's handling of the latest outbreak of Hendra Virus. The disease claimed the life of
33 year-old Brisbane vet, Ben Cunneen on Wednesday night.

But the Veterinary industry in Queensland is not optimistic that much will be achieved from the
inquiry. As Nicole Butler reports from Brisbane.

NICOLE BUTLER: Hendra Virus has now killed three of the six people infected since it was first
identified in 1994. 33-year-old vet Ben Cunneen died on Wednesday night - around five weeks after
coming into contact with sick horses at a clinic on Brisbane's Bayside.

The State Government has offered its condolences to Mr Cunneen's family. And in a written statement
Primary Industries Minister Tim Mulherin has called for an independent review of the DPI's handling
of the outbreak.

TIM MULHERIN: Queenslanders have expressed their concern about this virus and that's why I've asked
the DPI to undertake an independent review of their emergency response in this case as part of
Biosecurity Queensland's normal best practice.

NICOLE BUTLER: President of the Australian Veterinary Association Mark Lawrie says he doubts a
government inquiry will achieve much. He says so many stakeholders have already launched their own

MARK LAWRIE: The health bodies, the veterinary bodies, public health, AQUIS, Animal Health
Australia. There are so many groups that look and analyse when these sorts of things happen that we
believe that what will come out of those things will be good direction for us.

NICOLE BUTLER: It's known that Hendra Virus is spread by fruit bats. But what's not known is
whether the potentially deadly disease has mutated.

In this latest case it has been revealed that vets are struggling to detect Hendra, because the
early signs of the disease have changed. And delayed diagnoses are putting people at greater risk.
Mr Lawrie says more research into the rare virus is urgently needed.

MARK LAWRIE: I think undoubtedly and that doesn't mean that this is the last we are going to see of
Hendra and in fact the future would seem to indicate worldwide that there is going to be more
diseases like Hendra that come from wild animals into domestic animals and then spread to humans
and we are seeing lots of some planning for that with Avian Influenza, Ebola Virus, HIV itself was
such a type of condition.

NICOLE BUTLER: As well as research and analysis the AVA president says a national approach is
needed to combat Hendra Virus.

MARK LAWRIE: We're seeing really good work happening there with health and biosecurity there in
Queensland. But we probably need to look at that more across the whole national framework, and get
that co-ordination happening at a national level and not just for things that are current but into
the future.

NICOLE BUTLER: The Queensland Government says it has written to the Federal Primary Industries
Minister Tony Burke about accelerating research into Hendra Virus.

It says it's called on Mr Burke to establish a high level working group to look at ways of reducing
the risk of transmission to humans.

ELEANOR HALL: And that report by Nicole Butler.

Riverland rises to greet hometown heroes

ELEANOR HALL: As Australians prepare to welcome home their Olympians, those in South Australia's
Riverland are particularly excited.

The region has had its biggest contingent of locals in any Olympic Games and that contingent
included Hayden Stoeckel who won a bronze medal in the 100-metres backstroke, and silver in the
men's four by 100-metre medley relay.

From the Riverland Alexandra Parry reports.

ALEXANDRA PARRY: For a region devastated by drought and financial strain, sport is a big source of
joy for the locals. Residents of Berri have been watching Hayden Stoeckel's every move. There are
several budding swimmers in the town, but they can only practice in summer when the outdoor pool is

Now, the local council is thinking about naming a new pool after the town's Olympic hero, Hayden
Stoeckel. Berri Mayor Peter Hunt says Stoeckel's achievements won't go unrecognised.

PETER HUNT: Anyone who can make an Olympics alone and also win two medals, it really is fantastic
and I'm sure he's going to be a role model for a lot of the kids around our area.

ALEXANDRA PARRY: When Hayden does eventually come back, how will he be welcomed?

PETER HUNT: We'll be looking at some type of reception, and what we'll do in the meantime though is
actually contact Hayden's mum and dad, Carol and Chris and just find out when he'll be back in
town. And then we'll go from there and try and organise a bit of a reception and whatever and work
out what else we can do for him.

ALEXANDRA PARRY: Now Hayden's known on the swimming team for having a relaxed attitude. He's
probably the least stressed out of all of them, listening to music before he races and things like
that. Do you think that sort of attitude is the common attitude of the Riverland?

PETER HUNT: I think so. But he's a nice lad, he comes from a lovely family so he's a bit like some
of them athletes, you hear them once they've won their medals, they're just so casual and it's just
fantastic to see, it really is.

(Sound of school yard)

ALEXANDRA PARRY: Down at Berri Primary School, the kids have been cheering on their favourite
swimming star during the past two weeks. Teacher Lynn Smith remembers Stoeckel as a tall blond boy
with far too much energy. But she's pleased to hear he's focused that energy into one thing, to
achieve his Olympic dream.

LYNN SMITH: He loved to be in the action and he was a nice kid. He loved his swimming and you know
he was encouraged by his mum and dad. You never know where they're going to go but it's been great
for our children to see that a local boy has done so well and that he's only got two arms and legs
like everyone else and has had to put in the work to get there.

ALEXANDRA PARRY: Stoeckel's little cousins Bowde and Renee Bayliss are beaming.

BOWDE BAYLISS: Excited, happy (laughs) yeah.

ALEXANDRA PARRY: You proud of him?


ALEXANDRA PARRY: What about mum and your auntie, what do they say?

BOWDE BAYLISS: Ah lots (laughs), mum's real loud when she watches him race but yeah.

ALEXANDRA PARRY: What do you want to say to him when he comes back to Berri?

RENEE BAYLISS: Congratulations.

ALEXANDRA PARRY: Stoeckel himself never dreamed he'd make it this far. The unlikely hero can't even
remember his first swimming teacher in Berri.

HAYDEN STOECKEL: I don't think I had swimming lessons. I just got in there and started paddling -
dog paddle or whatever I could to stay afloat. Yeah, I grew up around water all the time, always in
the river swimming or something.

ALEXANDRA PARRY: Stoeckel almost gave his swimming career away. While boarding at St Peters School
in Adelaide, his talent in the pool was unmistakable. However, the lure of nights out with the boys
was too strong in his teenage years and he decided to say goodbye to his sport.

HAYDEN STOECKEL: Being a teenager, you want to go out, have a good time and not worry about all the
training and everything. And I was down in school in Adelaide and just hanging out with the
boarders all the time and it was kind of hard to do swimming and board and go to school as well. So
I decided to give the swimming away and just become a regular school boy.

ALEXANDRA PARRY: You had a break and you had a good time - then what made you decide to take it up

HAYDEN STOECKEL: From the training, what I'd done and everything, just sort of thought I've got a
bit of a talent here and see if I can really put it to use and that. Also my parents sort of got
behind me and sort of said come on, maybe you can do something.

ALEXANDRA PARRY: Which he did and locals want to make sure his hard work, and that of his fellow
Olympians, is properly celebrated.

BERRI MAN: We'd have to give them a tickertape parade I reckon when they come home (laughs).

BERRI GIRL: Oh my god, that would be insane. I think it would give the Riverland a really good rap!

ELEANOR HALL: Some Berri locals there with Alexandra Parry in the Riverland.

Lennon assassin kept behind bars

ELEANOR HALL: It was an assassination that shocked the music world. In December 1980 former Beatle
John Lennon was shot dead outside his New York apartment in front of his wife, Yoko Ono.

This week the man who killed him - Mark David Chapman - was denied parole for a fifth time. But in
the process he revealed some new details about what he remembers of that night and they challenge
accepted wisdom about the shooting.

As Paula Kruger reports.

PAULA KRUGER: The death of John Lennon was one of those days in history where people are able to
remember where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news.

NEWS REPORTER: If you have been anywhere near a television set or a radio these past few hours, you
already know that John Lennon of the Beatles is dead. The man who shot John Lennon walked up to the
musician as he was leaving his limousine. According to eye-witnesses he said "Mr Lennon" and then
fired at him point blank at least five times.

NEWS REPORTER 2: The doctor said there were seven wounds but he could not tell exactly how many
bullet shots that meant nor could he say how close the shots had been fired, nor whether they were
from the front or from the rear.

PAULA KRUGER: Earlier this week Mark David Chapman had a parole hearing and recently released
transcripts of that hearing reportedly showed that he talked about details of the shooting.

Despite reports at the time that stated he called out to John Lennon and then shot him in the
chest, Chapman now says the musician didn't turn and that he shot him in the back.

But it could be that the man who committed the calculated and unprovoked murder to gain
international fame may be trying to manipulate the family, friends and fans of John Lennon yet

(Extract from Mind Games)

JOHN LENNON (SINGS): Playing those mind games together. Pushing the barrier.

(End of extract)

PAULA KRUGER: Professor Paul Wilson Forensic Psychologist and criminologist at Bond University.

PAUL WILSON: At the time there was no doubt that he was mentally disturbed. Very mentally disturbed
and at the time he said that he was seeking notoriety. His motivation for speaking out now is
unclear but one can speculate about what it might be.

PAULA KRUGER: So what could those reasons be? Is he still seeking notoriety?

PAUL WILSON: Well, I think somebody who commits an act of this sort and says that he has shot
somebody in the back is obviously somebody who could either be very mentally disturbed or he
believes that his notoriety which was one of the original reasons why he committed the crime will
live on.

It is very hard to see how by saying you've shot somebody in the back, you are going to be seen as
some sort of superhero but at least it does ensure that your notoriety does stay with you, at least
in the public's mind.

PAULA KRUGER: And there is no way of really verifying whether or not he is saying is true, I guess?

PAUL WILSON: He is not the sort of person given his own reasons for committing the crime to want to
necessarily provide accuracy for history.

He is somebody who wants to paint a picture of himself to the public and a picture of himself to

(Extract from John Lennon song)

PAULA KRUGER: But Professor Paul Wilson says despite the disturbing nature of assassinations, the
case still intrigues many.

PAUL WILSON: Well, it is a fascinating case in many ways. It is very rare, thank goodness, that we
get people who go about shooting heroes like John Lennon and you want to speculate or you want to
know what some of the motivations are and what the sort of profiles are of people like this. So
yeah, it is an interesting case.

(Extract from John Lennon song)

ELEANOR HALL: Professor Paul Wilson from Bond University ending Paula Kruger's report.