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Sombre mood at World Economic Forum

Sombre mood at World Economic Forum

The World Today - Friday, 30 January , 2009 12:10:00

Reporter: Emma Alberici

ELIZABETH JACKSON: The annual World Economic Forum in the opulent Swiss resort of Davos is usually
a cheery gathering of the rich and most powerful: political leaders, bankers, and sometimes

This year though, the tone is substantially more sombre and so is the title of the conference:
"Shaping the Post-Crisis World."

Some leaders have cancelled, including Kevin Rudd, and only two international banks are
represented, Barclays and HSBC.

US President Barack Obama has stayed away along with a number of leaders from Wall Street.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin dominated the media coverage
of the opening day, blaming the US for the world economic meltdown.

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Trade Minister Simon Crean hosted a reception
for the Australian delegation and took the opportunity to trumpet the country's resilience during
the financial crisis.

I spoke to our Europe correspondent Emma Alberici a short time ago and asked her what the
Australian ministers had to say.

EMMA ALBERICI: They were incredibly upbeat. Julia Gillard made a little speech in which she went to
great lengths to talk about Australia's achievements during this economic crisis - the fact that it
had shown our regulators and the central bank to be so much more resilient than the counterparts

She particularly pointed out Australia's banks saying that among the world's 11 most sturdy banks
during this crisis, those that are rated AA or higher by the ratings agencies Moody's and Standard
and Poor's, of those 11, four are Australian banks and she was quite proud of that fact and made
quite a deal of it.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Now we hear Emma that there aren't many bankers in Davos this year.

EMMA ALBERICI: No, that's right. In fact previous years have been notable for the lavish,
extravagant parties that bankers put on in Davos. This is quite an exclusive alpine resort town and
the annual economic forum that's held here is known to be quite a shindig for those who attend.

This year of course, the mood is completely different given we are in the worst economic crisis
since World War Two. It's really palpable the mood change.

As far as those who have registered to attend, among the 2500 delegates there are two names that
stand out - the executives from HSBC and Barclays. Other than that, as far as big name bankers from
America or the UK, there are none we can see.

Although for the first time two of Australia's banks are represented here. Gail Kelly from Westpac
and Ralph Norris from the Commonwealth Bank.

And he was at the reception that was held by Julia Gillard and Simon Crean. And when I spoke to him
during the night he said yes, Australian banks had held up remarkably well and was boasting about
how well the Australian banking system was doing. And I said well, I put it to him that if the
Commonwealth Bank was so strong, why did it need the Government to guarantee its deposits?

RALPH NORRIS: I think where the government guarantee has come into play is in wholesale banking.
Obviously Australia needs to borrow a significant amount of money because of its current account
deficit on an annual basis and that's done by the four major banks. And with the economic crisis,
there has been a lack of trust and transparency amongst a lot of banks internationally, which has
meant that countries generally have moved to guarantee the borrowings of their banks offshore.

EMMA ALBERICI: What of the argument that it distorts the market because those in the financial
sector in Australia that aren't banks don't compete on a level playing field as far as attracting

RALPH NORRIS: You know from my perspective, the sooner we can wind down the government guarantee
scheme, the sooner you get back to a better functioning market.

EMMA ALBERICI: So you are looking forward to the guarantees gone?

RALPH NORRIS: I'm a great believer that you have to work out a way of transitioning away from this
over time and certainly in order to get the market functioning appropriately, because you are
right, the government guarantee does cause distortions in the market.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: That is Ralph Norris, the chief executive of the Commonwealth Bank speaking a
short time ago in Davos in Switzerland.

Emma, Bill Clinton also spoke at the conference on the opening day. What did he have to say?

EMMA ALBERICI: With the new Barack Obama's administration team in Washington choosing to stay at
home this year and tackle the financial crisis head on, Bill Clinton was sent to represent the US.

He actually said at the beginning of his session that he agreed with the Russian and Chinese
premiers who yesterday came out quite strongly, you might recall, saying, blaming America for the
economic crisis in no uncertain terms.

Well Bill Clinton came out on stage today and said yes, America accepts responsibility for the
crisis. And he said that he had every confidence in the new administration getting America out of
its rut within the next 15 to 18 months he was saying he thought that they would see the back of
the worst of it at least.

He also came out and talked about world trade which was, his words were in direct conflict with
Australia's Simon Crean, our Trade Minister, because Bill Clinton said this was no time to be
striking new trade agreements but rather you know, concentrating on issues at home.

On the other hand Simon Crean is here in Davos for that very reason. Tomorrow he's meeting with a
team of foreign trade ministers including South Korea's Kim Jong-Hoon to talk about a free trade
agreement with South Korea.

On the other hand Bill Clinton says this is no time for that during this economic climate so that
was quite a curious contradiction and one that Simon Crean actually noted this evening and laughed

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Emma Alberici, thank you very much. That's our Europe correspondent Emma
Alberici speaking from Davos earlier today.

World economic woes dominate Davos meeting

World economic woes dominate Davos meeting

The World Today - Friday, 30 January , 2009 12:17:00

Reporter: Brendan Trembath

ELIZABETH JACKSON: The main message from the World Economic Forum is to get out of the economic
crisis as quickly as possible.

But patience is running out in countries like France. Unions there have led huge protests against
the Government's handling of the crisis.

Brendan Trembath prepared this report.

(Sound of protest)

BRENDAN TREMBATH: Mass anger over the French Government's handling of the global financial crisis.
Police estimate about a million workers took part in protests around France but unions put the
total at more than two-million.

It didn't matter either way to this commuter who questioned the timing of the protest.

FRENCH COMMUTER (translated): I am not against the fact that people demonstrate to defend their
interests and their benefits as they say, but is this really the best time to do it considering
what is going on right now with the economic crisis and everything else that risks happening on the
international level? So I really don't think it's the best time to have done this. But well, this
is typically French.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: The streets were blocked by workers angry about the fallout from France's
worsening economy. Jobs and wages are under threat.

The head of the Socialist Party Martine Aubry says France's President should reorder his

MARTINE AUBRY (translated): I am waiting for Nicolas Sarkozy to realise that in all the
neighbouring countries, Great Britain, Germany, Spain and tomorrow Obama, everybody is
re-energising the economy so he should stop lowering taxes of the richest people and giving
billions to the banks that are not redistributing that money to small and mid-sized businesses or
to individuals.

He should help re-energise the purchasing power for retirees and workers so that people start
buying again.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: The global financial crisis has been dominating talks across the border in
Switzerland. Heads of state, finance ministers and central bank governors are taking part in an
annual talkfest known as the World Economic Forum.

So far China's Premier Wen Jiabao has told delegates that China is helping fight the financial
crisis by taking steps to boost its own economy but he's tried to be realistic about what can be

WEN JAIBAO (translated): To be honest, it will be a tall order to achieve a growth rate of eight
per cent of the Chinese economy in 2009 but I still hold the conviction that with hard work, we
will be able to obtain this goal.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: China has announced a stimulus package and pushed state-owned banks to increase

The United States argues China could do more on the economy front, like allow its currency to trade
more freely. China has limited gains in the Yuan. The move makes China's exports more attractive
but it doesn't help the ballooning US trade deficit.

The former US President Bill Clinton is in Davos too and says countries have to work together to
revive the world economy.

BILL CLINTON: I believe that we will get through this. People always ask, you know, when will it be
over? And I want to say 3.15 November the 7th, 2009 (laughter). Nobody knows.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: The World Economic Forum talks extend to national security and it's been a hot
topic too.

A discussion on the conflict in Gaza became heated when Israel's President Shimon Peres clashed
with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN (translated): President Peres, President Peres you are older than I am and you
have a very strong voice. I feel that you perhaps feel a bit guilty and that's why, perhaps, you
have been so strong in your voice, so loud.

Well, you kill people. I remember the children who died on beaches.

BRENDAN TREMBATH: The World Economic Forum meeting wraps up tomorrow.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Brendan Trembath reporting.

Barack Obama shames banks on bonus splurge

Barack Obama shames banks on bonus splurge

The World Today - Friday, 30 January , 2009 12:21:00

Reporter: Peter Ryan

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Far away from Davos and back at the epicentre of the global financial meltdown,
US President Barack Obama has described bonuses paid to Wall Street bankers as "shameful" and the
"height of irresponsibility".

Mr Obama's attack came after confirmation that Wall Street firms paid more than $20-billion in
bonuses last year as the US economy sank into recession.

The perceived excess comes as the new administration lobbies to push a revamped economic rescue
plan through Congress.

Here's our business editor Peter Ryan.

PETER RYAN: Barack Obama was clearly seething when he spoke to reporters at the White House. Now
acutely aware that rescuing the sinking US economy is ultimately a matter of changing a culture of
greed on Wall Street.

BARACK OBAMA: When I saw an article today indicating that Wall Street bankers had given themselves
$20-billion worth of bonuses, the same amount of bonuses as they gave themselves in 2004, at a time
when most of these institutions were teetering on collapse and they are asking for taxpayers to
help sustain them and when taxpayers find themselves in the difficult position that if they don't
provide help that the entire system could come down on top of our heads, that is the height of
irresponsibility. It is shameful.

PETER RYAN: The bonuses of a combined $US18.4-billion, while 44 per cent down on the previous year
come as Barack Obama and his Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner are shoring up Senate support for
their economic stabilisation plan.

But both are finding that despite tens of billions of dollars of bailouts, it's still business as
usual for many banks.

BARACK OBAMA: The Secretary Geithner already had to pull back one institution that had gone forward
with a multi-million dollar jet plane purchase at the same time as they were receiving TARP money.
We shouldn't have to do that because they should know better.

PETER RYAN: President Obama had already flagged tighter regulation on Wall Street and today's
revelations of real or perceived excess will accelerate his blueprint for tougher action on Wall
Street's ways.

BARACK OBAMA: Part of what we are going to need is for the folks on Wall Street who are asking for
help to show some restraint and show some discipline and show some sense of responsibility.

The American people understand that we have got a big hole that we have got to dig ourselves out of
but they don't like the idea that people are digging a bigger hole even as they are being asked to
fill it up.

PETER RYAN: Despite the presidential and public outrage that taxpayers' money could be used to
reward failure, the bankers themselves have rejected calls by congressional Democrats that the
bonuses be paid back.

JOHN GUTFREUND: I think it's political posturing. They are not going to repay all their bonuses.
Some of them who work in major institutions will have to take less. Is that such a big story?

PETER RYAN: The former chairman of Salomon Brothers John Gutfreund remained cautiously defensive in
this grilling aired on Bloomberg Television.

REPORTER: This is like the sixth highest year of bonuses but look at the lousy results for a lot of
these firms. Why do they pay themselves these bonuses when their performances stink or stunk?

JOHN GUTFRUEND: Stank (laughs). Stink, Stank Stunk.

Well, when you have publicly owned companies, the last thing they seem to worry about is the
shareholders. They worry about keeping the employees happy. I think I have said enough on this

PETER RYAN: But John Gutfreund won't be having the last word as the US Senate scrutinises every
line of the Obama stimulus plan and how the second half of the $US700-billion rescue package will
be spent.

MITCH MCCONNELL: We look forward to offering amendments to improve this critical legislation and
move it back to the package President Obama originally proposed - 40 per cent tax relief, no
wasteful spending and a bipartisan approach.

PETER RYAN: The powerful Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is already finding holes in the

MITCH MCCONNELL: Everything from buying cars for federal employees to beautifying ATV trails to
spiffing up the headquarters building at the Department of Commerce; in a time of trillion dollar
deficits, we cannot afford Washington business as usual.

PETER RYAN: But in the real America, business as usual is grinding to a halt in many sectors as
more companies post disappointing earnings, home values continue to sink and a spike in jobless
claims confirms the recession is biting deeper by the day.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: That's our business editor Peter Ryan.

Peter Garrett asks if Gunns has misled ASX

Peter Garrett asks if Gunns has misled ASX

The World Today - Friday, 30 January , 2009 12:26:00

Reporter: Felicity Ogilvie

ELIZABETH JACKSON: The Federal Environment Minister says the Tasmanian timber company Gunns appears
to have misled the stock exchange about the approval of its pulp mill.

Peter Garrett says Gunns' statement to the market suggests environmental approval has been given to
Gunns to run the mill.

But the Minister says he is yet to give the go-ahead.

Gunns says its statement hasn't misled anyone.

Felicity Ogilvie reports from Hobart.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Before Gunns can run Australia's biggest pulp mill the company needs three
environmental modules to be approved by the Federal Environment Minister.

The unapproved modules L, M and N set down the guidelines for the effluent that will be pumped from
the mill into Bass Strait.

Yesterday Gunns issued a statement to the stock exchange that reads: "The Board believes the mill
will operate within the effluent trigger levels approved by the Federal Environment Minister in
Module L."

But the Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett has told Hobart ABC local radio he hasn't
approved Module L.

PETER GARRETT: My concern about the statement that Gunns put out went to the fact that it is
potentially misleading and it seems to suggest that in fact I have given an approval under Module L
when in fact I haven't.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Gunns' sustainability manager Calton Frame says the company hasn't misled the

CALTON FRAME: I'll be quite clear about the fact that the Minister hasn't approved Module L and we
are not looking to mislead anyone in the manner of saying that he has.

What we have said is that the trigger levels have been approved and the Minister has certainly
indicated to us that he is satisfied with the trigger levels which are a component of Module L. And
his letter to us from the 5th January did make that clear and we simply reiterated that yesterday.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Has the press release to the stock exchange been written in a way that will make
investors read it and think that the Federal Minister has approved Module L?

CALTON FRAME: No, we don't believe so. What we are simply saying is that we are very comfortable
that the technology of the mill is going to ensure that we satisfy all requirements and approval
requirements of the State and Federal Government into the future.

FELICITY OGILVIE: But is Gunns misleading its potential financiers by giving the impression that
Module L has been approved?

CALTON FRAME: Certainly not. We are not stating that Module L has been approved. We are simply
stating that the information contained within Module L which the Minister has indicated he is
satisfied with leads to us being very confident that the technology employed in the mill is going
to meet all of the necessary requirements in the future approval of that module.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Janet Austin from the Australian School of Business says there are serious legal
consequences for any company that misleads the market.

JANET AUSTIN: Companies are required under both the listing rules and corporate legislation to
advise the market of any information that may materially affect their share price. If they fail, if
the information they provide is misleading in any way, they risk being either ASIC taking action
against them, they can take infringement notice action against them or more serious action against

They also risk the possibility that if shareholders lose money as a result of not being informed of
the right information, that the shareholders may also take action against them.

FELICITY OGILVIE: A spokesman from the Australian Stock Exchange says Gunns' statement to the
market will be scrutinised.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Felicity Ogilvie with that report.

Heatwave brings power problems

Heatwave brings power problems

The World Today - Friday, 30 January , 2009 12:29:00

Reporter: Simon Santow

ELIZABETH JACKSON: After a week of above 40-degree temperatures many residents in Victoria and
South Australia are now experiencing power stoppages.

Electricity providers say they're doing all they can to keep the power on continuously, but they
warn conditions are very challenging.

Simon Santow reports.

SIMON SANTOW: For millions of South Australians and Victorians, it's been a week of record-breaking

The thermometer has been up and over 40 degrees during the day and at night there's been precious
little relief from the heatwave.

For some Adelaide residents it's been a case of sun down, and lights and appliances out as the
mercury stays stubbornly in the 30s.

ADELAIDE RESIDENT: Well our power went off about 5.30 on Wednesday evening and it's just come back
on again at 5am this morning so I'm now sitting in a nice comfortable air-conditioned lounge on the
same chair I have been sitting on for the last two days with my feet up.

SIMON SANTOW: The national energy grid is under strain as it struggles to cope under the load of
air-conditioners and increased power demand.

Sue Filby is the General Manager of Services with ETSA Utilities.

SUE FILBY: I'm certain that with the prolonged heat we will still have some outages and indeed
after yesterday there's the possibility we could have some load shedding today.

SIMON SANTOW: Tens of thousands of Victorians and South Australians suffered yesterday when the
interconnecting pipe bringing extra power from Tasmania was itself affected by the heat.

Paul Bird is with the National Energy Market Management Company, or NEMMCO.

PAUL BIRD: There is certainly a situation in place which far exceeds anything we have seen at any
time in the past.

SIMON SANTOW: The national system has been built to withstand the strain of two states in heatwave
conditions at the one time.

Thankfully for authorities this time, the large population centres of New South Wales are only
enduring hot conditions with maximums well short of 40 degrees.

Do you anticipate that every available bit of power will be used in the east coast of Australia?

PAUL BIRD: Well we're certainly monitoring and keeping a close eye on the network today in Victoria
and South Australia.

We are drawing large amounts of power both from New South Wales and from other states into Victoria
and South Australia and we're doing our utmost to maintain the network and to keep power supplies
right across Victoria and South Australia and into other states over the coming days.

SIMON SANTOW: Jackie Garrard is the Director of Nursing at two aged care homes in the Adelaide

JACKIE GARRARD: We are just keeping our places darkened and keeping the residents in, you know,
cool clothing, making sure that they are getting extra fluids.

SIMON SANTOW: She says the power seems to be reliable in her area at the moment.

JACKIE GARRARD: There seems to be certain little pockets that are going out but this morning coming
to work I heard one area was out but it was back on within about half an hour. That was nowhere
near us though. Our area hasn't been affected.

SIMON SANTOW: Greg Handlin is the manager at Lockleys pub in Adelaide. He says he's prepared for
the blackouts, should they come.

GREG HANDLIN: It's not a pretty thought but unfortunately there is not a lot you can do about it.
You go to a manual system. The only thing is food. Obviously you can't get deep fryers and other
appliances in the kitchen going so that creates a drama for us. But front bar, generally the lights
go on, torches and things like that and we continue serving bottled beer from ice chests and that
sort of thing. So you've just to make the best of it.

But most of the power outages that we have aren't for long durations. When I say that it might be
if you are out for three or four hours you've been unlucky. So at this stage I'm just touching a
timber panel next to me.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: And that's hotel manager in Adelaide, Greg Handlin, ending that report from
Simon Santow.

Blagojevitch ousted as Illinois Governor

Blagojevitch ousted as Illinois Governor

The World Today - Friday, 30 January , 2009 12:34:00

Reporter: Kim Landers

ELIZABETH JACKSON: In the United States, the corruption tainted Governor accused of trying to sell
Barack Obama's Senate seat has been kicked out of office.

Rod Blagojevich is the first Illinois Governor to be removed and the first US Governor in more than
20 years to be removed by impeachment.

He's still waiting to face trial on criminal charges for bribery but it's the Illinois State Senate
which has convicted him at his impeachment trial - an action that has immediately stripped the
flamboyant Democratic Governor of his job.

Our Washington correspondent Kim Landers reports.

KIM LANDERS: Arrested by the FBI, accused of putting a "for sale" sign on Barack Obama's Senate
seat, Rod Blagojevich was described as going on a political corruption crime spree.

And while he hasn't yet had his day in court, he has been removed as the Governor of Illinois.
That's because at his impeachment trial in the Illinois Senate, politicians have voted 59-to-nil to
convict the Democrat for abusing his power - a vote which removes him from office.

ILLINOIS SENATE SPEAKER: In the matter of the impeachment of Governor Rod R Blagojevich, the Senate
of the 96th General Assembly of the State of Illinois sitting as an impeachment tribunal has
sustained the article of impeachment. Therefore Rod R Blagojevich is removed from the office of
Governor of the State of Illinois effective immediately and further he is disqualified from holding
any future public office of this state.

KIM LANDERS: Rod Blagojevich made his last stand in the Illinois Senate today, denying he'd done
anything wrong.

ROD BLAGOJEVICH: You haven't proved a crime and you can't because it hasn't happened. You haven't
given me a chance to disprove a crime but so far a crime has not been proven here in this
impeachment proceeding. How can you throw a governor out of office with insufficient and incomplete

KIM LANDERS: But dozens of secret telephone taps seem to suggest otherwise. In a series of
expletive laden phone calls, Rod Blagojevich compared himself to a sports agent, auctioning Barack
Obama's former Senate seat to the highest bidder. He was heard describing it as a bleeping
"valuable thing, a thing you just don't give away for nothing".

Not all of those phone calls were played at his impeachment trial and Rod Blagojevich was
disappointed by that.

ROD BLAGOJEVICH: This is not Richard Nixon and Watergate trying to keep the tapes from being heard.
I want all the evidence heard and I want it sooner rather than later so I can clear my name and we
can get on doing the things that matter the most.

KIM LANDERS: That became his last public appearance as Governor, as one by one Illinois Senators
lined up to condemn him.

ILLINOIS SENATOR: Rod Blagojevich needs to be removed from office. He is inept. He is corrupt.

ILLINOIS SENATOR 2: Devious, cynical, crass and corrupt politician.

ILLINOIS SENATOR 3: In the land of Lincoln and in the land of Obama, it is a shameful day. This day
truly will go down as a day of infamy.

KIM LANDERS: Mocked by comedians, Rod Blagojevich had created a media spectacle likening himself to
Nelson Mandela, the hero of a Frank Capra movie and to a cowboy in the hands of a wild west lynch

But this guilty verdict now brings to an end what one politician had branded "the freak show".

Rod Blagojevich, the now ex-governor of Illinois, just has the criminal courts of his home state to
face next.

This is Kim Landers in Washington for The World Today.

Salvage company claims to have found a record treasure haul

Salvage company claims to have found a record treasure haul

The World Today - Friday, 30 January , 2009 12:38:00

Reporter: Timothy McDonald

ELIZABETH JACKSON: There's no Spanish doubloons or pirates, and X doesn't mark the spot but
treasure hunting is a thriving business and an American salvage company is now claiming a record

The company says it's found a shipwreck from World War Two that's carrying billions of dollars
worth of treasure. They say it's a matter of finders keepers but legal experts say it's unlikely to
be that simple.

Timothy McDonald reports.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Deep beneath the waves lies a secret stash that would make any treasure hunter
drool with anticipation. If Sub Sea Research is correct, there are 70 tonnes of platinum, 10 tonnes
of gold and about one-and-a-half tonnes of industrial diamonds and gemstones all stuffed into a
single shipwreck.

At today's market prices the ship could contain between six and $11-billion dollars worth of

The company's founder Greg Brooks explains how it got there.

GREG BROOKS: It was basically a payment being sent for the Lend-Lease program that the United
States had developed to help their allies in Europe so it was a large payment. It was just left
there and we happened to take the initiative and take the expense upon ourself to go out and look
for it.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Sub Sea Researchers dub the wreck the Blue Baron but of course, that is not its
real name. Various reports have appeared in the media about where the ship came to grief.

Britain's Sunday Telegraph claims it was sunk off the coast of Guyana while the BBC says it sank
near New England off the north-east coast of the US. Either way, with so much at stake the salvage
company has no intention of giving away its exact coordinates.

Forrest Booth is a lawyer at Severson and Werson in San Francisco and an expert in salvage law. He
says salvage is a risky and expensive business because it depends on the latest technology.

FORREST BOOTH: The first development was basically magnatometers that were able to detect metal
objects and they very crude and then there was a scanning sideband sonar came along and that was
much better. And now there is some technology which is a spinoff of some efforts the US Navy has
made to determine the location of mines and torpedos and things like that on the sea bed and that's
extremely sophisticated and that can pick out individual coins buried in the mud and stuff like
that. So it's really a technology driven business - hugely expensive technology I might add.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: And once you've found the treasure, then you have to figure out how to keep it.
Sub Sea Research says it's doing everything by the book and it hopes to keep up to 90 per cent of
the treasure for itself.

But Forrest Booth says the original owners may have a claim on the ship.

FORREST BOOTH: If the location of the wreck is unknown or the depths of the water is so deep such
that recovery was not possible until the newest technology came along, the courts have been
receptive to the idea that there was not an abandonment.

Now the salvor will still get a reward for his efforts of bringing the cargo up but he doesn't get
100 per cent usually. Now if he can prove that it's been abandoned and that is a whole other story
and then he may get 100 per cent.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: If the ship was insured, that could add another layer of complexity because the
original title then passes onto the insurer and in this particular case, governments are also

It's claimed the treasure was en route from Europe to the US as payment for war materials. As
Forrest Booth explains, it's extremely unlikely that a government would relinquish the treasure.

FORREST BOOTH: Well that adds another wrinkle because governments basically never lose title to
their own property. There's been a lot of litigation about fighter planes from World War Two that
have been discovered, I think one frozen in the ice in Greenland and various other, one was fished
out of a lake near Seattle Washington.

And the Government always wins those cases, the US Government. And I believe the British Government
as well has won some cases like that where they say that once it's their property, it's always
their property.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Then again the wreck could be in international waters and if it's a payment from
one government to another then there may be questions about when the title actually transfers.
Either way there will almost certainly be a legal battle over the treasure.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Timothy McDonald with that report.

Catholic Archbishop endorses Pope's annulment concerns

Catholic Archbishop endorses Pope's annulment concerns

The World Today - Friday, 30 January , 2009 12:42:00

Reporter: Nick Luchhinelli

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Pope Benedict XVI has expressed strong disapproval of Catholics citing
psychological immaturity to annul marriages.

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell has endorsed the Pope's comments.

Catholics who want to remarry must have their first marriage annulled if they're to receive
Communion and Cardinal Pell is concerned that it happens too often.

Cardinal Pell is speaking here with Nick Lucchinelli.

GEORGE PELL: We are caught between a rock and a hard place. The Lord himself, we have got to follow
his teaching, his strict teachings against divorce and remarriage and also of course, we don't want
to be imposing unnecessary burdens on Catholics. So it's a hard call and the Pope is reminding us
that people like myself and the Canon law officers, we've got to do, try to work out exactly what
the Lord would want in particular situations.

NICK LUCCHINELLI: In some circumstances obviously psychology is a legitimate excuse for
psychological immaturity. I'm thinking of perhaps returned war veterans for example, they would
have a reasonable case for an annulment, wouldn't they?

GEORGE PELL: Very possibly. I am not, I mean if a person is genuinely and radically immature, that
is the grounds for an annulment. But because a person is a typical 20 or 21-year-old it's difficult
to see how that would be ground for a declaration that there wasn't a genuine marriage.

NICK LUCCHINELLI: And how common is it for these spurious annulments to be requested by Australian

GEORGE PELL: Well, I don't think the word, we don't, no-one and the Pope also, he wouldn't claim
that we have given spurious annulments. He might say that he thinks the criterion has been
established or has been used too widely but all our Canon lawyers work very conscientiously to try
to diminish human suffering.

He is saying that in some case he thinks, and he is head of the church, they have, they have got it
wrong. It is a difficult business but we are bound to do what we can to help in the sad situations
of frequent marriage breakup.

Now a couple of years ago the Pope asked the Church annulment courts, the Canon law section to
decide more quickly and I am totally in support of that. And also it must be available cheaply and
it certainly is here in Australia.

NICK LUCCHINELLI: Cardinal Pell, more than half of all marriages in Australia now fail. Is the
Church condemning itself to irrelevance if it takes a hard line stance on annulment?

GEORGE PELL: Well, I don't think we are irrelevant in any sense at all when we are trying to do
what the Lord wants. And the big challenge in Australia is not to make divorce easier and easier
and so there is a bigger percentage of marriages breaking up, but trying to do, find a way to have
more and more people enter into lifelong marriages that will last.

Not that is a big call because the currents in society are running in a different direction but
that is what we are called to do.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: That's the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell, speaking with The
World Today's Nick Lucchinelli.

Media criticised over bridge death coverage

Media criticised over bridge death coverage

The World Today - Friday, 30 January , 2009 12:45:00

Reporter: Simon Lauder

ELIZABETH JACKSON: The allegation that a Melbourne man murdered his four-year-old daughter by
throwing her off a bridge has shocked Australians.

Detectives told the Melbourne Magistrate's Court the father was suffering acute psychiatric
distress and was in no state to be interviewed yesterday.

This morning questions are being asked about the media's decision to identify the man and his
children who have recently been through the Family Law Courts.

The former chief justice of the Family Court Alastair Nicholson says the media has gone too far and
more needs to be done to enforce contempt laws.

Simon Lauder reports.

SIMON LAUDER: The little girl survived the 60 metre fall into the Yarra River but died in hospital
nearly five hours later. This morning on Southern Cross Radio callers vented their shock.

TALKBACK CALLER 1: We travel over the bridge quite a bit. My daughter was crying yesterday. At
bedtime I had to go and sit with her and try to explain to her.

TALKBACK CALLER 2: Teenagers are having one minute silence. They are sending messages.

SIMON LAUDER: The 35-year-old Hawthorn man charged with throwing his four-year-old daughter off the
West Gate Bridge has been remanded in custody to reappear in court in May. Detectives told the
Melbourne Magistrates' Court yesterday the man was suicidal.

Victoria's Premier John Brumby has joined the chorus of dismay as details of the case are revealed.

JOHN BRUMBY: You know all Victorians' hearts go out to the families and the surviving children.

SIMON LAUDER: This morning newspaper coverage of the story has been extensive. The Herald Sun
dedicates five pages to the story, including photos of the accused father and his family home and
the names of family members.

The accused man was involved in a Family Law hearing earlier this week.

This morning ABC local radio's Jon Faine used his show to raise a point of order with his
colleagues in the media. The former lawyer asked the Premier John Brumby if he thought the media
coverage was acceptable.

JON FAINE: Why won't you criticise the media? Are you so afraid of them that you won't say they are

JOHN BRUMBY: No, because we are talking about the issue now.

JON FAINE: Yet but you're not, I mean if these newspapers, all of these newspapers, the websites
and even some of the television news have gone and done something that I just think is appalling.
And I don't think there is anything wrong, I'm saying I think my colleagues' judgement I think here
has been completely wrong.

Yes, there is a community appetite for this sort of thing but if you went and beheaded someone in
Federation Square there would be a community appetite for that too. It doesn't mean you do it.

JOHN BRUMBY: Oh, no, I'm not sure about that. I'm not sure about that.

SIMON LAUDER: The former chief justice of the Family Court Alastair Nicholson says the media has
gone too far.

ALASTAIR NICHOLSON: It has been reported in a sensational manner, probably in breach of the law of
contempt, in relation to showing photographs of the accused man and recounting what the evidence is
supposed to be other than the evidence that was given before the court.

SIMON LAUDER: Justice Nicholson says in general he'd like to see more prosecutions for contempt of

ALASTAIR NICHOLSON: The law relating to disclosure of Family Court proceedings and identification
of parties is breached quite often and I know that myself and my colleagues in the Family Court
actually got sick of referring matters for breaches of that sort to the Attorney-General, the DPP
and other authorities because nothing ever happened and I think that has really invited the media
to behave in this way.

SIMON LAUDER: Adding to the case against the media and its decision to identify the accused man and
his family is the Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court John Faulks who rang the ABC to join the

JOHN FAULKS: The effect it must be having on the other members of the family and on the brothers,
the siblings, even the little siblings of the poor little mite that went off the bridge is just
terrible and I can't understand why people would want to do, to put the surviving family through
this trauma.

The act prohibits so far as Family Court and Federal Magistrate Court proceedings are concerned,
the publication of anything that would enable the identification of people who are involved in
family law proceedings.

In some cases this is regarded by some elements of the press as being restrictive and secretive.

I believe it has a place to protect the privacy and the common decencies of people who are involved
in these matters, particularly children.

SIMON LAUDER: Justice Faulks says it's up to the Commonwealth Attorney-General to prosecute any
breach of contempt laws.

To get the case in favour of publishing personal details, The World Today contacted the Herald Sun
newspaper and requested an interview with the editor Simon Pristel but has not heard back.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Simon Lauder with that report.

Opposition says super changes will lead to job losses

Opposition says super changes will lead to job losses

The World Today - Friday, 30 January , 2009 12:50:00

Reporter: Lyndal Curtis

ELIZABETH JACKSON: The Federal Opposition is demanding the Government overturn a draft ruling from
the Australian Taxation Office that would see employers having to pay superannuation on overtime
and parental leave.

They warn it could increase the minimum contribution employers have to make to their employees'

The Opposition's small business spokesman Steven Ciobo has told our chief political correspondent
Lyndal Curtis the change will cause a massive increase in labour costs for small business.

STEVEN CIOBO: It could not come at a worse time and it's very clear that the most logical
consequence of this will be that there will be an increase in unemployment as business looks to
offset costs.

LYNDAL CURTIS: This ruling doesn't apply to all overtime. It applies to overtime which an employee
does on a regular basis. So would that lessen the burden on business, particularly small business?

STEVEN CIOBO: There certainly can be no doubt that had it been on every single minute of overtime
that the cost would have been greater, but it doesn't escape the principle that although it may
apply to regular overtime, it is still a substantial shift in position; a shift in position that is
now forcing business and particularly small businesses to pay more for labour, increased
superannuation changes, increased superannuation charges with respect to maternity and paternity

That is something that comes straight off the bottom line of Australia's small business sector and
the impact of that will be reduced demand for employment and in fact businesses actively working to
lower their costs by reducing their staffing numbers and that is the worst thing that could happen
in this current climate.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Should the Government act on this or should it wait until people test the ruling in
courts if that is what they choose to do?

STEVEN CIOBO: The problem with the Rudd Government is that it is very big on rhetoric. We hear lots
of discussion day in, day out about the Rudd Government acting swiftly and decisively. Now this is
an issue that has been around for a little while yet there has not really been a peep out of the

What is clear is the Government needs to make a very clear and distinct statement right now and
that is to demonstrate to the small business sector across Australia that it will not stand by this
draft ruling, that it will not be policy that this extra cost on business be imposed, the
consequence of which will be to drive up unemployment.

LYNDAL CURTIS: What is the problem though with employees who are working regular overtime having
all those hours that they do as part of their regular work being counted for superannuation

STEVEN CIOBO: The problem with this draft ruling is that it shifts the goal posts. You've got a
number of employers, you've got approximately 2.2-million small businesses in Australia that employ
roughly four-million Australians. We are now having a shift of the goal posts by the Tax Office.

The consequence of that is that it will force up labour costs for small business and the simple
reality is that if you force up labour costs for small business, especially at a time when they are
doing it tough, the logical consequence of that is that there will be a increase in unemployment as
small businesses look at offsetting those costs.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: That's the Opposition small business spokesman Steven Ciobo speaking to Lyndal

Tiny bat headed for extinction

Tiny bat headed for extinction

The World Today - Friday, 30 January , 2009 12:53:00

Reporter: Michael Vincent

ELIZABETH JACKSON: How well do you know your Australian mammals? Ever heard of a Pipistrelle?

Soon this microbat could be consigned to the history books as a yet another extinct species but a
senior wildlife researcher is calling for this tiny creature to be saved.

Michael Vincent reports.

MICHAEL VINCENT: The Pipistrelle is furry.

LINDY LUMSDEN: Over their body they are all completely furred. Their fur is softer than a cat's

MICHAEL VINCENT: It's apparently cute.

LINDY LUMSDEN: Absolutely, but that's my bias.

MICHAEL VINCENT: And Dr Lindy Lumsden says this is the sound it makes.

(Sound of Pipistrelle bat)

LINDY LUMSDEN: They're not blind as people often think. They have got good eyesight. But in
addition to that they have a high frequency echo location call which is like a sonar or radar
system where they put out high frequency calls, then from the echoes from their surroundings,
either trees they want to avoid or insects they want to catch, they get a really clear picture of
what's happening around them.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Dr Lumsden is from the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment. She
went to visit a friend on Christmas Island 15 years ago and fell in love with the tiny animal.

LINDY LUMSDEN: They are actually the smallest, one of the smallest bats in Australia so these are
less than the weight of a ten cent piece. They're just small and furry and fly around at night
catching insects.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Once common and widespread, it's now unclear what's killing the bats. Seventy-five
per cent of Christmas Island is a national park so its natural habitat is not under threat.

Dr Lumsden says it may have fallen prey to introduced species such as black rats or it could've
been struck down by disease.

She says to bring it back to more sustainable numbers will take ten years.

LINDY LUMSDEN: I am really concerned that there is only as few as maybe 20 individuals left.

MICHAEL VINCENT: What does that mean for the species?

LINDY LUMSDEN: It means that if we don't intervene very, very quickly, the species will go extinct.
If we can't take these remaining animals into captivity to protect them from whatever it is that is
causing the decline and start a captive breeding program to increase the numbers then this species
will go extinct. And it only occurs on Christmas Island so when we lose these last 20 animals, we
will have lost that species.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Research scientist Dr Lindy Lumsden from the Victorian Department of
Sustainability and Environment.

Solomon Islands police crack down on illegal homebrew

Solomon Islands police crack down on illegal homebrew

The World Today - Friday, 30 January , 2009 12:55:00

Reporter: Kerri Ritchie

ELIZABETH JACKSON: To the Solomon Islands now where authorities are cracking down on kwaso - a very
strong illegal homebrew.

Police say the drink can be deadly.

Our New Zealand correspondent Kerri Ritchie reports.

KERRI RITCHIE: In markets across the Solomon Islands, organised gangs are doing a roaring trade
selling kwaso. In the capital Honiara, locals hand over $10 for a bottle of the homemade alcohol.
They say it's a much cheaper option than beer.

SOLOMON ISLAND LOCAL: You're talking hundreds of them in there actually doing the selling right now
as we speak.

KERRI RITCHIE: One gang member is happy to talk but for obvious reasons he doesn't want to be
identified. He sells up to 70 bottles of kwaso a day.

GANG MEMBER: Sixty, 70, $10 per head of one. If 70, $700 plus.

REPORTER: Per day, that is per day?


KERRI RITCHIE: New Zealander Pete Marshall is the Acting Police Commissioner in the Solomon

PETE MARSHALL: We have a lot of youth around Honiara, they come in from the provinces, a lot of
unemployment. And of course, money is very hard to come by and the making of kwaso is in fact quite
an easy way for them to make money.

And in the weekends we have a lot of issues involving fights, involving disturbances and so forth,
a lot of bravado, and we can actually sheet it home to a mixture of alcohol and the kwaso.

KERRI RITCHIE: Pete Marshall is in charge of 1000 police. He says Kwaso is causing serious problems
and the potent drink was the reason seven of his officers were recently injured.

PETE MARSHALL: There was quite a nasty incident up at a place called Kowahill (phonetic) about
December of last year where participating police force officers and members from the Royal Solomon
Islands police came under attacks with stones and what-not. Quite a nasty incident going over about
20 minutes and we had to call for reinforcements.

And what we really found was that we were dealing with a community who were afflicted by kwaso. We
ended up going back and making their life a little miserable should we say some days later and
seized 1500 litres of Kwaso.

KERRI RITCHIE: He says the community has to cooperate with police.

PETE MARSHALL: We have a very active licensing team. They do great work. They seize hundreds of
litres every week or thereabouts and of course it's comparatively easy to make so they tell me, a
bit of yeast and a few other ingredients.

So we are trying to work a little bit smarter to see whether we can actually intercept the
production line of the yeast when it is imported into the Solomon Islands to see if we can tackle
it from that end.

The police can only do so much. We have a licensing squad of about 12 members. The community, the
chiefs, the religious people, they have to get stuck in too and help us out and indeed we are
getting a lot of information about it.

KERRI RITCHIE: But putting a lid on the illegal trade of kwaso won't be easy. Those selling it say
it's the only way their families can survive.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Kerri Ritchie with that report.