Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts.These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
RN World Today -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

Rann defends water challenge

Reporter: Nance Haxton

TANYA NOLAN: The South Australian Premier Mike Rann is defending his plan to consider legal action
against upstream States to get more water into the River Murray.

The Premier is threatening to mount a constitutional challenge in the High Court to compel
Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland to lift trading restrictions to release permanent water
flows into the system.

Mr Rann says it's the only recourse left to South Australia given the urgent need to get water into
the Lower Lakes and the Murray mouth.

The move could unravel years of painstaking negotiations done to reach the $13-billion Murray
Darling River rescue deal.

But the Premier has found an unexpected ally. South Australian independent Nick Xenophon says a
legal challenge is the only option available to the State to get the water it needs.

Nance Haxton reports from Adelaide.

NANCE HAXTON: The South Australian Premier Mike Rann is unapologetic about his latest legal moves.

MIKE RANN: There's still this silly restraint on trade and so it's a four per cent cap, it rises to
six per cent. But it takes until 2014 to basically be eliminated.

Our view on that is that we don't have that kind of time when it comes to the Lower Lakes and the
environment of the River Murray. We're talking about Ramsar sites, you know, sites that have
international importance.

So whilst we didn't really want to do this we believe that there's one final impediment to
progress. So much has been achieved, certainly a lot more has been achieved under Kevin Rudd's
leadership in a year than what was achieved for, you know, decades.

But this restraint on trade is something that we're very concerned about, we'd like to buy water,
and we hope that it can be resolved.

NANCE HAXTON: So it's the restraint on trade that is the basis for it?

MIKE RANN: There's some other issues as well. Basically what we've done is set up a team of top
level lawyers to, and other scientific experts to explore a challenge.

NANCE HAXTON: He wants Victoria's four per cent cap on trading water licences abolished before 2014
and he says the time for negotiation has passed.

The four per cent cap limits how much water can be bought from willing sellers in Victoria.

Mr Rann denies that the possible High Court challenge shows that the much vaunted Murray Darling
agreement has failed.

He's confident of success, especially given South Australia's victory in the High Court over the
Federal Government's nuclear waste dump plan.

MIKE RANN: And I'm waiting for the first goose to come out and say, oh look, this is just some
political stunt so that's going to be costly, because those were the words that were used when I
mounted a court challenge to stop a nuclear waste dump being established in South Australia by the
Howard government against our wishes. And first of all, we won, we won three-nil in the courts and
it cost us nothing.

NANCE HAXTON: So it's only been a year though since the great Murray Darling agreement...

MIKE RANN: And, you know, I read The Australian today -

NANCE HAXTON: Does that show it's a failure?

MIKE RANN: No, absolutely the reverse. Nearly all of it is fantastic. The one bit that isn't
fantastic is the restraint on trade.

NANCE HAXTON: South Australian independent Senator Nick Xenophon, who is not often aligned with the
South Australian Government, says taking the issue to court is a great move.

NICK XENOPHON: The legal advice I've got is that there are strong grounds for a constitutional
challenge; that what Victoria has been doing is not the right thing to do under the Constitution
and South Australia is bearing the brunt of that.

Look, this is good news. I mean the fact is that the Government has listened to communities and
groups along the Murray, so this is good news. But I also think that we need to be honest and work
out that the water agreement that was signed on the 3rd of July last year hasn't worked and we need
to go back to the drawing board.

NANCE HAXTON: The legal stoush will be a test on freedom of interstate trade. If the challenge is
successful, the South Australian Government will seek compensation from the States.

Adelaide University constitutional lawyer professor John Williams says South Australia can't lose,
whatever the outcome of the legal process.

JOHN WILLIAMS: We either win this and then the fact is that the Commonwealth will have to, I think,
step in and make this a market that is an orderly market.

If South Australia loses this case, it shows that there is, the whole process just has to be
revisited because you cannot have a situation when one State can put a cap in on a national river.

NANCE HAXTON: What do you think the South Australian Government's chances are of taking the states
to the High Court in this legal fight?

JOHN WILLIAMS: Well, basically I hope that we don't get to the High Court because that would mean
that sense has broken out and the States have negotiated what should be a national approach to this
national river.

But if it does go to the High Court I think South Australia has some very good arguments and that
they would get a very good hearing in the High Court.

NANCE HAXTON: So really just even starting the legal action you think may actually progress
negotiations further?

JOHN WILLIAMS: Well I hope so because the one thing that all the States do know is that if they go
to the High Court their future is not in their own hands; it's in somebody else's, in the seven
judges of the High Court. This is a chance for them to negotiate something that they have a say in.
Otherwise they run the risk of losing it all.

TANYA NOLAN: That's constitutional lawyer professor John Williams.

Vic dismisses SA's move

Reporter: Tanya Nolan

TANYA NOLAN: The Victorian Premier John Brumby argues farming in his State would be destroyed if
the cap on permanent water trading was unilaterally abolished.

Victoria's Water Minister Tim Holding told ABC Local Radio in Melbourne South Australia's move is
nothing more than a 'political stunt'.

TIM HOLDING: Well we'll see the strength of their case. If we base it on what Mike Rann said in the
South Australian Parliament yesterday, it would seem that they have almost no case at all. They
provided almost no details about what the basis of their legal challenge would be.

But John, I mean the key things are these: Firstly, Victoria has returned more water to the Murray
River for environmental purposes than any other State. We've returned under the Living Murray
Initiative 141 gigalitres, 141- billion litres of water. South Australia have returned 13-billion
litres.

So Victoria is more than pulling its weight in finding urgently needed water to support this
stressed river system. South Australia is more interested in political stunts.

TANYA NOLAN: That's Victoria's Water Minister Tim Holding. The Federal Minister for Water Penny
Wong was unavailable for comment.

Queensland election race narrows

Reporter: Annie Guest

TANYA NOLAN: The race for power in Queensland is narrowing with the latest poll showing the
election is on a knife edge.

The merged Liberals and Nationals have a small lead on a two party preferred basis, but it wouldn't
be enough for them to govern in their own right.

With rising unemployment one of the biggest issues facing the incumbent Government, the election is
being read by some as a possible litmus test for the Federal Labor Party.

Annie Guest reports from Brisbane.

ANNIE GUEST: It's half way into the four-week Queensland election campaign and there haven't been
too many diversions from the script.

Although there's this from the Premier Anna Bligh on commercial radio:

(Anna Bligh and radio presenters singing in unison):

ANNA BLIGH: Can she fix it? Bligh the Builder, yes I can!

RADIO PRESENTERS: Can she fix it? Bligh the Builder, yes she can!

(End of singing)

ANNIE GUEST: But the Premier and the Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg are sticking to their
scripts on the latest poll.

The survey by Galaxy Research shows the merged Liberals and Nationals leading Labor 51-49 on a two
party preferred basis.

ANNA BLIGH: Clearly this will be a very close election and it's an election that puts a clear
choice to Queenslanders; a choice between my plan to protect jobs and services and Mr Springborg's
plan to cut jobs and cut services.

LAWRENCE SPRINGBORG: Well certainly this is very encouraging and it proves that people haven't
bought the excuse as to why Labor have run to the polls six months early after 11 years of
continuous office in Queensland. But we know full well that we have to be going further ahead in
order to be able to change the 22 seats in Queensland.

ANNIE GUEST: It's the most support shown for Queensland's conservatives since a poll taken before
the last State election. That election turned out to be another big win for Labor in 2006.

This week's poll showed voters are very concerned about jobs. It's their second biggest worry after
health.

Today there's more bad jobs news. The home grown success Bank of Queensland is slashing 150
employees. That's 10 per cent of the workforce.

Thousands of Queensland miners are already out of work and another big employer, tourism, is
struggling badly.

Galaxy Research's principal is David Briggs.

DAVID BRIGGS: The ALP Government has got two issues really surrounding it. The one is that being in
government for 11 years, it's built up a bit of baggage. And there's always the sense of it's time.

The other thing is that the poll clearly showed that health and public hospitals is a significant
issue in this election. And our poll in the Courier Mail last week emphasised that in fact the Lib
Nats were perceived as being better managers in that area, and that's a little surprising because
normally that's the domain of Labor administrations to be ahead in social and welfare issues.

ANNIE GUEST: And jobs was the second major issue of concern for voters in this poll.

DAVID BRIGGS: That's right. Now protecting jobs is typically one of those areas in which Labor area
very strong, so the two key issues heading into this election is one favouring the Lib Nats and the
other favouring the ALP. So that's probably why we're seeing it so closely in the balance.

ANNIE GUEST: What will it take in these next two weeks for one of the parties to gain a definitive
result on election day? For instance, how significant will announcements like today's be, that Bank
of Queensland is slashing 10 per cent of its jobs?

DAVID BRIGGS: This is going to be a fascinating way that this plays out because traditionally Labor
is seen as being the best at protecting jobs. However following this announcement some people might
think, well hang on, these guys can't do it better than anyone else and therefore it's worth taking
a risk and giving the Springborg team an opportunity.

So although the news is bad, this you know 10 per cent reduction in the workforce, there's no
guarantee that it will favour either the ALP or the Lib Nats. It depends on the spin that's put on
it and the way that the political parties respond to it.

ANNIE GUEST: The Greens Party could be very influential in this election. The poll shows it has
eight per cent support but there is talk of the party not allocating preferences.

Voters don't have to number every box in Queensland so if Greens voters didn't allocate preferences
it would be harder for Labor to gain power in its own right, based on the results in this survey.

But even if the Greens Party advised its voters not to allocate preferences, it's uncertain whether
it would be followed by voters who traditionally preference Labor.

TANYA NOLAN: Annie Guest reporting.

Council recommends not-so-happy hours

Reporter: Rachael Brown

TANYA NOLAN: As the working week draws to a close you may be thinking about that after work drink.

But keep this in mind: two drinks should be your limit.

That's the very latest advice from the National Health and Medical Research Council which this
morning released its safe drinking guidelines.

And it's halved the recommended number of drinks to two to help Australians lower their risk of
dying from alcohol related injuries.

And our reporter Rachael Brown was at today's briefing.

Rachael, what exactly is the council recommending?

RACHAEL BROWN: Good afternoon. Well the council is recommending people have no more than two
standard drinks per day. If you want to be a bit naughty on special occasions for picnics or
parties they say you can have up to four.

Children, those aged between 15 and 17, should delay their initiation to drinking and abstain, as
should pregnant women and those planning pregnancies and those breastfeeding.

Now this might also sadden some who'd rationalised their red wine drinking - the Council has also
found the health benefits have been overestimated and that you'd get the same health benefits
drinking say half a glass as a whole glass.

TANYA NOLAN: Well in 2001 the council was recommending four drinks a day as the safe limit. It's
halved that now. Why?

RACHAEL BROWN: Well since then the council has had the benefit of further research and modelling.
Now it says if people have less than two drinks a day, two standard drinks, it will substantially
reduce risk. It will reduce the risk of alcohol related diseases in women and alcohol related
injuries in men.

I spoke to professor Jon Currie who is the director of addictive medicine at St Vincent's Hospital
in Melbourne and I asked him how he arrived at this recommendation.

JON CURRIE: And when you put all of this together, what you find is that if you keep your drinking
to two drinks or less on a day, you have under one in 100 chance of dying. As soon as you start to
go above two drinks a day for either men or women, your risk of dying starts to increase quite
dramatically. And we thought that this is a level which is acceptable to the Australian public.

We're not saying they have to drink at this level, we're saying they need to be aware of what their
risks are if they go above that.

RACHAEL BROWN: And I understand that less than one in 100 is less than the chances of dying in say
a car accident.

JON CURRIE: Exactly, yes. And the risk that everyone takes every day is with car accidents, the
risks for instance of dying from, if you like, looking at issues like cancer or dying from heart
disease are much less, they're one in four, one in seven, one in 10.

But one in 100 added to that just from drinking is a level we thought well people can work with
that.

RACHAEL BROWN: And I understand you can't stockpile.

JON CURRIE: No, you're not allowed to say well, I'm going to save up my two and then have all of my
drinks on a Saturday.

TANYA NOLAN: Bad news. Professor Jon Currie from Melbourne's St Vincent's Hospital.

Rachael, you mentioned pregnant women and young, the young. What's the argument for both groups
abstaining completely from alcohol?

RACHAEL BROWN: Well for children there were some pretty shocking statistics. Professor Elizabeth
Elliott from Sydney's Westmead Hospital, Children's Hospital, said that Australian children, one
dies every week and 60 are admitted to hospital because of alcohol related injuries.

And with regards to pregnant women, professor Elliott said that while there's a lot of literature
about standard drinks and what level you're allowed to have, because of the different standards in
different countries in regards to dosage and pattern and frequency, their standard has averaged, so
we can't really get specific results.

And professor Elizabeth Elliott went further to say why, or to ask why it's even necessary to set
safer lower limits.

ELIZABETH ELLIOTT: We know that if you don't drink alcohol you will not harm your unborn child.
It's for a short period of time. The emphasis is clearly on the early part of pregnancy for the
severe birth defects but throughout the pregnancy for developmental and learning problems.

And when we interview women, we've recently conducted a survey of women and found that they want to
be given advice by health professionals. They want to be told not to drink during pregnancy.

TANYA NOLAN: And that was professor Elizabeth Elliott, a paediatrician from Sydney's Children's
Hospital at Westmead. Rachael Brown was our reporter.

PM wants answers on terror attack in Pakistan

Reporter: Sabra Lane

TANYA NOLAN: Pakistan's former president General Pervez Musharraf has criticised the Pakistani
police force over its response to this week's deadly attack on Sri Lanka's cricket team in Lahore.
The general says the country's elite police should have reacted within three seconds of the attack
starting.

Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has joined the chorus. He says he wants answers to why
Australian umpires were left stranded during the assault.

From Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: Eight people were killed in the ambush; six were policemen.

On Tuesday a team of gunmen sprayed a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team while it was heading
to a test match venue in Lahore.

After the deadly assault security cameras captured images of the gunmen casually making their
getaway. They appeared to be in no hurry or pressure to make a quick escape.

Survivors have already voiced their utter dismay that none of the gunmen was caught and that
Pakistani forces appeared to abandon Sir Lankan players and match staff.

English referee Chris Broad's hinted he thinks there might be a conspiracy at play involving
Pakistani security forces.

CHRIS BROAD: After the incident, and we were able to see television pictures, you can quite clearly
see the white van that we were in next to the ambulance, the white ambulance, in the middle of this
roundabout with terrorists shooting past our van, sometimes into our van, and not a sign of a
policeman anywhere. They had clearly gone, left the scene and left us to be sitting ducks.

SABRA LANE: Australian umpire Simon Taufel was travelling in the same minibus as Chris Broad when
the commando-style assault happened. They were powerless as their driver was shot dead during the
attack. Mr Taufel's also accused Pakistani police of abandoning the players and referees.

SIMON TAUFEL: You tell me why no one was caught. You tell me why 20, supposedly 25 armed commandoes
were in our convoy and when the team bus got going again we were left on our own.

Obviously they'll investigate those issues. What I can tell you this morning is that we were
isolated, we were left alone, we were unaccounted for, we were not given the same security and the
same attention as the playing staff were.

SABRA LANE: Pakistan had promised VIP security for the team.

Former president General Pervez Musharraf has weighed into the debate, saying he would have
expected that Pakistan's elite forces would have responded to the terrorist attack almost
instantaneously.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: If this was the elite force I would expect them to have shot down those people
who attacked them. The reaction, their training should be of a level that if anybody shoots towards
that something that they are guarding, in less than three seconds they should shoot the man down.

Now that should be the level of training that I expect from an elite force and therefore since they
have not been able to shoot anyone or kill anyone, I think we need to improve that.

SABRA LANE: The General was also surprised that no one attempted to stop the gunmen.

PERVEZ MUSHARRAF: I would like to tell the public of Pakistan, there should have been a brave man
who should have taken his car and charged those people who were running around.

SABRA LANE: On Fairfax Radio this morning the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he wants answers too.
He wants to know why the Australian umpires caught up in the terror attacks were left stranded by
security.

KEVIN RUDD: We will get to the bottom of what actually happened from go to whoa with the provision
of security in this particular motorcade. I read those reports and I'm sufficiently concerned about
what's been said by the Australians that we need an explanation and we intend to get one.

TANYA NOLAN: The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. That report by Sabra Lane.

Obama maintains sanctions against Zimbabwe

Reporter: Sara Everingham

TANYA NOLAN: Zimbabwe might have a new unity Government but the US President says he hasn't seen
enough change to warrant the lifting of sanctions against the country. Barack Obama has announced
economic sanctions against Zimbabwe will continue for another year.

The European Union says it will also maintain its sanctions until the power sharing deal between
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is fully implemented.

Sara Everingham prepared this report.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: I, Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true
allegiance to Zimbabwe and observe the laws of Zimbabwe, so help me God.

SARA EVERINGHAM: Morgan Tsvangirai is no longer known as the leader of Zimbabwe's Opposition. This
week he became the country's Prime Minister as part of a power sharing deal with President Robert
Mugabe.

The unity Government itself is less than one month old, but the United States has decided not
enough has changed in that time and its sanctions against Zimbabwe will continue for another year.

DONALD PAYNE: We have not seen a significant change on the part of President Mugabe.

SARA EVERINGHAM: The Democratic Congressman Donald Payne explained the US position to the BBC.

DONALD PAYNE: We have not seen - for example, Roy Bennett the Minister of Agriculture in this,
actually a part of the new power sharing Government, was arrested and charged with trying to leave
the country illegally. And we think he may have put up bail yesterday, we're not sure whether he's
been out or not. But how do you say that this is a new Government when the same things are
happening?

SARA EVERINGHAM: In his maiden speech to Parliament this week Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the
Movement for Democratic Change, said it was time for the international community to rethink its
policies on Zimbabwe.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: I therefore want to urge the international community to recognise our efforts
and to note the progress that we made in this regard and to match our progress by moving towards
the removal of any restrictive measures.

SARA EVERINGHAM: But Congressman Payne argues the US will keep sanctions against Robert Mugabe and
other members of his Government in place until they show they're willing to change and until
President Mugabe fulfils the promise of his power sharing deal with Morgan Tsvangirai.

DONALD PAYNE: If Mugabe would change, then we would say fine. However, unless he changes, no we
won't be satisfied until he leaves.

SARA EVERINGHAM: There are still numerous crises in Zimbabwe. The latest figures from the World
Health Organization show the cholera outbreak has killed 4,000 people.

The American actor Matt Damon has been shining a spotlight on the plight of refugees who continue
to flee the country. As a representative of the group Not On Our Watch formed by Hollywood
celebrities he visited asylum seekers in a refugee camp in the South African border town of Musina.

MATT DAMON: I guess it was a testament to the situation in Zimbabwe that these people were, a good
amount of them actually have to swim the Limpopo River to get to South Africa, which is a harrowing
journey in and of itself because there are crocodile and hippos. And I talked to one woman who swam
with a baby on her back in a group of 13 people and only five made it across the river. In terms of
the women, I didn't meet a woman who was not raped on the journey.

Obviously there's this new Government, call it a unity Government or an inclusive Government in
Zimbabwe, and everybody in the world community is hoping beyond hope that things work out, because
incidentally every single refugee I talked to said, you know, if things improved in Zim that they'd
go back.

SARA EVERINGHAM: Many of the refugees in the camp hope to seek political asylum in South Africa.
But the South African authorities have decided to close the Musina refugee camp, a move that puts
even more pressure on Zimbabwe's new unity Government.

TANYA NOLAN: Sara Everingham reporting.

East Timor backs its justice system in case against alleged assassins

Reporter: Margie Smithurst

TANYA NOLAN: The case against those charged over the assassination attempts on East Timor's two top
leaders a year ago will test the country's young justice system.

One expert on the region says the President Jose Ramos Horta has contaminated the case with his
comments about one of the accused, Timorese-Australian citizen Angelita Pires, and his suggestion
he may pardon the attackers once the trials are over.

But the East Timorese Government says it has confidence in its justice system.

In Darwin Margie Smithurst reports.

MARGIE SMITHURST: President Jose Ramos Horta spent more than a month in a Darwin hospital last
year, seriously wounded after members of Alfredo Reinado's rebel band allegedly shot him outside
his house in Dili in February.

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao narrowly escaped a similar fate.

Twenty-eight people have now been charged in connection with the attempted murders, all ex-soldiers
except Timorese-Australian citizen Angelita Pires, the lover of Reinado who died in the gunfight
that day in Dili.

International relations policy expert Dr Clinton Fernandes says their trials will be closely
watched as a test of transparency for the fledgling East Timorese justice system

CLINTON FERNANDES: It remains to be seen what the defendants lawyers plead at trial. But to my
knowledge there have been some contamination of the forensic evidence at the crime scene. But all
the forensic evidence, including ballistics evidence, needs to be before courts, and the courts
need to allow the media in so that the people of East Timor get to see exactly what the case is.

MARGIE SMITHURST: Dr Fernandes says their trials will be closely watched as a test of transparency
for the fledgling East Timorese justice system.

CLINTON FERNANDES: It remains to be seen what the defendants' lawyers plead at trial. But to my
knowledge there has been some contamination of the forensic evidence at the crime scenes. But all
the forensic evidence, including ballistic evidence needs to be put before the courts and the
courts need to allow the media in so that the people of East Timor get to see exactly what the case
is.

MARGIE SMITHURST: Dr Fernandes says the Australian Government will also be taking a close interest
in the proceedings.

CLINTON FERNANDES: Angelita Pires is a Timorese national as well as an Australian national and
clearly the law should be able to apply. But there is, there are going to be many more Australians
who travelled to Timor and some of them may also at a later stage be subject to the Timorese
judicial process.

The consular obligations definitely need to be met. But remember, Australia is also funding parts
of the Timorese justice system and they need to make sure when they fund that that the prosecutor
doesn't simply pick cases that suit the Government.

MARGIE SMITHURST: Dr Fernandes says the East Timorese Government has a history of not accepting
court rulings it finds unfavourable. He says the Government prejudiced the case from the start.

CLINTON FERNANDES: When the attacks against the Prime Minister and the President occurred the
President of the Republic, Jose Ramos Horta, made a number of highly prejudicial statements to the
media about Angelita Pires.

In a sense what he has done is contaminated the atmosphere within which the trials will occur.
There's been a lot of prejudging of her guilt. And these statements were highly inappropriate from
the Head of State.

MARGIE SMITHURST: President Jose Ramos Horta's recent suggestion he may pardon his attackers after
the trial is also prejudicial, says Dr Fernandes.

CLINTON FERNANDES: Think of it this way. If Quentin Bryce, our Governor General, were to make
statements in advance of a criminal trial saying that she may pardon people who go through the
courts, this would be seen as entirely inappropriate and this is precisely what Horta has done.

MARGIE SMITHURST: But the East Timorese Foreign Minister Zacarias da Costa says the Government will
leave the case in the hands of the courts.

ZACARIAS DA COSTA: Our justice system is still incipient but we have to respect that. Knowing the
fragility of the system, knowing that it's still incipient, we don't want to add more pressure to
our justice system. Let our justice system deal with the case and of course there are so many ways
to look at this case. But first let's give the courts an opportunity to deal with the case.

TANYA NOLAN: That's East Timor's Foreign Minister Zacarias da Costa with Margie Smithurst.

Local producers urge quick agreement to beat US beef

Reporter: Linda Mottram

TANYA NOLAN: With Australia and South Korea announcing the start of free trade talks in May,
Australian red meat producers are urging a quick deal to beat a likely US re-entry into the South
Korean market.

The US has been the largest exporter of beef to South Korea, until four years ago. Then mad cow
disease was found in the American herd and South Korea banned its beef.

America's return now depends on ratification of a completed US-South Korea free trade agreement,
giving the US much better tariff terms.

Radio Australia's Canberra correspondent Linda Mottram reports it's now urgent to secure
Australia's $750-million export market.

LINDA MOTTRAM: For Australian beef producers the announcement this week that Canberra and Seoul
will in May start negotiations on a free trade agreement means the race is on to cement their
strong foothold in the lucrative South Korean beef market.

DAVID INALL: The South Korean market is critically important for the Australian beef industry. It's
our third largest market. It has recorded significant growth over the past four to five years.

LINDA MOTTRAM: David Inall is executive director of the Cattle Council of Australia, representing
the country's cattle producers, and he's clear on the impact if US beef gets back into South Korea
on preferential terms.

DAVID INALL: The implications for Australia would be quite disastrous in that if we were unable to
secure parity of access, similar or exactly the same should I say to the United States, we would
still be sweltering under a 40 per cent tariff or maybe something near that while the tariff for US
beef heads towards zero.

LINDA MOTTRAM: The urgency the Australian industry now speaks of in the Australia-South Korea free
trade negotiations is because although the US has finalised its FTA with Seoul, giving it beef
tariff reductions, the two sides have not yet ratified the deal so it's not in operation.

The Australian meat and livestock industry welcomes the news that the Australia-South Korea
negotiations are now starting in earnest and they want a deal on beef done as fast as possible.

Australia's Trade Minister Simon Crean is very sympathetic to preserve Australia's strong beef
exports to South Korea.

SIMON CREAN: We did that because we had clean product when obviously the BSE scare happened in the
US. The US free trade agreement that now gives, opens up access again to US beef into the Korean
market is another reason why we have to get this FTA up. We can't be put at a competitive
disadvantage now that we've established such a strong toehold. So yes, beef's one of those key
areas of interest.

LINDA MOTTRAM: There's a lot more than just beef at stake for Australia in a free trade agreement
with South Korea. Two way trade overall is already worth $AU23-billion, $18-billion to Australia's
exports.

So the FTA is aimed at lowering a range of tariffs to grow the value of that trade. In bad economic
times that's especially good says Simon Crean.

SIMON CREAN: I think that we need to understand that the relationship between our two countries is
not only big in economic terms; it's diverse. Our challenge is to make it bigger and more diverse.

LINDA MOTTRAM: And Mr Crean says that while South Korea's focus on the free trade deal with the US
has meant it hasn't been open to starting talks with Australia earlier, now after this week's visit
to Australia of South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak, the political will has moved matters along.

So the Cattle Council's David Inall says a deal, where beef is concerned, must be done fast.

DAVID INALL: The minimum we'll be seeking will be as per the US negotiations and we would like to
see our 40 per cent tariff also reduced to zero over a period of time.

LINDA MOTTRAM: It won't necessarily be easy though, given that trade talks are notoriously
labyrinthine and trade-offs are common.

TANYA NOLAN: That's Radio Australia's Linda Mottram reporting from Canberra.

UN split over arrest warrant for Sudanese President

Reporter: Alison Caldwell

TANYA NOLAN: The International Criminal Court's first arrest warrant for a sitting President may
have hit a stumbling block with objections being raised within the United Nations.

The President of the UN General Assembly has denounced the charges laid by the court against
Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann described the move as 'absurd' and instigated by 'a few people with a
dubious past' and 'very little credibility'.

Several UN member countries have objected to the issuing of the warrant, hinting they may not be
willing to help the International Court arrest the Sudanese President.

Alison Caldwell reports.

(Sound of crowd cheering at rally in Khartoum)

ALISON CALDWELL: Appearing in front of thousands of cheering supporters in Khartoum, Sudan's
President lashed out at the West over his arrest warrant which has split the rest of the world.

President Omar al-Bashir said the warrant was a colonialist ploy by nations targeting Sudan for its
oil and natural gas.

OMAR HASSAN AL-BASHIR (translated): We refuse to submit to colonialism and rejected all kinds of
economic, political and diplomatic pressures. For 20 years we were in a constant battle against
neo-colonialism, and all the tools, starting from the Security Council, the IMF the Criminal Court
and all the institutions that they try to use to recolonise peoples and loot their resources and
capabilities.

ALISON CALDWELL: Some in the crowd carried banners branding the ICC's prosecutor a criminal, while
Bashir waved his cane and danced along to nationalist songs.

Across the Atlantic, the ICC's arrest warrant appears to be mired in the politics of the United
Nations. The UN's General Assembly President said he regrets the arrest warrant, describing it as
absurd and politically motivated.

The former Nicaraguan foreign minister Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann said the prosecution should have
been delayed to give more time for peace talks to progress.

At the same time, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon urged Sudan to reconsider its decision to expel
foreign aid agencies. He said it would cause irrevocable damage to humanitarian operations in
Sudan.

His statement is read by his spokeswoman Michele Montas.

MICHELE MONTAS: The decision by the Government of Sudan to expel 13 non-governmental organisations
involved in aid operations in Darfur will, if implemented, cause irrevocable damage to humanitarian
operations there. The operations of these agencies are key to maintaining a lifeline to 4.7-million
Sudanese people who receive aid in Darfur.

ALISON CALDWELL: A key problem is the ICC has no powers of arrest and relies on national police
forces to hand suspects over.

The African Union is opposed to the warrant. It says it will send a delegation to the UN to try to
stop it. The Union's foreign ministers argue the indictment risks jeopardising the peace process in
Darfur.

Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula explains.

MOSES WETANGULA: We are not saying that President Bashir is innocent. No. we're saying that the
process been taken is ignoring our views and our feelings. And I do not believe that there's an
African country that will acquiesce to the execution of this warrant.

ALISON CALDWELL: For now at least Western countries with permanent Security Council seats have said
they'll veto any postponement.

European foreign ministers attending a NATO summit in Brussels backed the ICC's decision.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband:

DAVID MILIBAND: We respect very strongly the independence of the court and I think we'd urge all
leaders, whether they're signatories to the ICC statute or not, to engage with the court.

ALISON CALDWELL: China is a major investor in Sudan's oil and sits on the UN's Security Council.
It's urged the council to heed calls from African and Arab countries and suspend the case against
Bashir.

Dr Ben Saul is the director of the Sydney Centre for International and Global Law at Sydney
University.

BEN SAUL: The question now is whether the Security Council will intervene to, as it has a right to
do, to block the arrest warrant going ahead. That of course would require cooperation of all of the
permanent members of the Security Council. And so if China wanted to block that arrest warrant from
proceeding it would need to gain the support of others on the Security Council and in my view that
would be quite unlikely.

TANYA NOLAN: Dr Ben Saul is director of the Sydney Centre for International and Global Law at
Sydney University.

Golden opportunities amid global gloom

Reporter: Sue Lannin

TANYA NOLAN: The gold rush is on. Uncertainty over the global economic situation has driven
investors back to the traditional safe haven.

Last month the precious metal once again reached more than $US1,000 an ounce and analysts say it
could climb to even greater heights.

And now Marc Faber, one of the world's most closely watched investors, says gold will be one of the
commodities to rise when the eventual economic recovery begins.

Finance reporter Sue Lannin has more.

MARC FABER: For the overall economy it will take a very long time to get back to the peak period,
2004, 2007.

SUE LANNIN: Marc Faber, the man who predicted the Asian financial crisis speaking to Bloomberg last
week.

The investor known as Dr Doom says he's bought shares in small gold miners because explorers will
increase the most as gold rallies.

He says commodities will be the first to gain ground when the global economy recovers.

Fat Prophets mining analyst Gavin Wendt says he believes bigger gold companies will do better.

GAVIN WENDT: If you have a look at the gold sector, the stronger companies have been rallying for a
number of months now. So I guess there's a potential for some of that money that's been made at the
big end of the market to start to trickle down to the midsized companies and indeed the junior
companies that he's referring to.

One of the disclaimers that he does make is that the smaller companies have to have strong cash
backing. They have to have a strong shareholder base because typically for probably 95 per cent of
small companies out there at the moment in the current market conditions, it's very, very difficult
to raise money so you need to have to have cash, and you need to have that cash to go out there and
explore and develop mines.

SUE LANNIN: Gold is the safe haven asset that investors turn to in times of trouble. But the
problem is there's not enough of it and that can make it uneconomic for small explorers to mine.

GAVIN WENDT: Supply continues to drop even though, you know, gold prices are pretty close to record
levels. And certainly as far as Australia's concerned I think we've seen gold supply drop now for
pretty much six years in a row.

SUE LANNIN: As the global economy worsens people have been selling their gold jewellery.

Erin Stevenson runs gold parties in the United States.

ERIN STEVENSON: It's a good time to sell gold. Gold is high, it's the highest it's been. And so why
not?

(Sound of gold coins clinking)

SUE LANNIN: Sammy Saffo, the manager of the Sydney Gold Bullion Exchange which buys gold jewellery,
says business is booming.

SAMMY SAFFO: Yes, yes, yes, lots more demand for people, for bullion, talking about bullion and
selling, buying scrap gold back, you know, the busiest I've had in my business years.

SUE LANNIN: The price of gold reached more than $US1000 an ounce last month after first topping
that benchmark a year ago. It's now at around $US932 an ounce. Mining analyst Gavin Wendt says it
will climb even higher.

GAVIN WENDT: I would think over the next 12 months we could be looking at a gold price of around
about $1300-$1400 per ounce. And there's all sorts of extraordinary claims being made about where
the gold price could go.

SUE LANNIN: And that will make gold parties like this even more attractive.

ERIN STEVENSON: It was 50.7 grams, that's worth $416.24.

JEWELLERY SELLER: Get out! So I am happy, happy, happy, happy, happy.

TANYA NOLAN: A very happy jewellery seller at a gold party in America, ending that report by Sue
Lannin.

The law online

Reporter: Michael Turtle

TANYA NOLAN: A new online legal service is being unveiled today aimed at young people in rural
areas. The service allows people to meet with lawyers online using video streaming technology.

Community workers say young people are often discriminated against and victimised because they
don't know their rights and can't get access to good legal representation.

Youth affairs reporter Michael Turtle reports.

MICHAEL TURTLE: In her role as a youth worker, Angela O'Connor is constantly confronted with young
people who need help with legal issues. But in her area, in northern regional Victoria, there are
obstacles like access and affordability.

ANGELA O'CONNOR: It's sort of almost a bit too scary to start thinking about going in to see
someone into an office. What often happens in that sense, Michael, is that young people just don't
follow things through because it is too difficult, you know, to get appointments and then to follow
those appointments up and then, you know, to get to the appointment.

MICHAEL TURTLE: For one 25-year-old woman, who can't be named for legal reasons, it would have been
almost impossible for her to get help quickly in her town of Seymour for an AVO she wanted.

WOMAN: You make appointments and you could have one, you know, next month or something sort of
thing. So it's all banked up, all the services are banked up. There's a waiting line for
everything.

MICHAEL TURTLE: But she's the first user of a new service called Youthlaw Online and it's let her
use video streaming to talk face-to-face for free with a lawyer based in Melbourne.

WOMAN: Because they're in the city they see a lot of different stuff all the time, so you know, it
was good to get information from someone that would know, you know, about certain things.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The online program will initially be limited to computers at youth centres in three
regional Victorian towns and be limited to just three hours a day.

But Youthlaw's director Ariel Couchman expects it to be popular. She says young people need good
legal advice because they can often be taken advantage of.

ARIEL COUCHMAN: Can be in negotiations around mobile phones and other sort of consumer items. It
could be in a workplace where they don't receive proper wages or they're treated poorly. Or it can
be in relation to police.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland says that is a concern for some
people.

ROBERT MCLELLAND: Clearly there will be instances where reports of inappropriate conduct do occur
and again in those circumstances it's appropriate that everyone has access to legal advice as to
what their rights are in those circumstances.

MICHAEL TURTLE: The Government has committed $150,000 to roll out the service in regional Victoria.

There are now calls from youth workers to expand the program nationally.

TANYA NOLAN: And that's Michael Turtle reporting.

Archibald winner announced

Reporter: Oscar McLaren

TANYA NOLAN: Well Sydney's art establishment has gathered at the Art Gallery of New South Wales for
the announcement of Australia's premier portraiture prize, the Archibald.

The prize for the best portrait of a man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or
politics has been held since 1921, and this year's winner has just been announced.

Our reporter Oscar McLaren is at the gallery. Oscar, who's the lucky artist?

OSCAR MCLAREN: Well Tanya, they certainly kept us in suspense about who it was going to be. They
narrowed the 39 finalists down to five and then they ran through those names. Then they narrowed it
down to another two, which was Ben Quilty's painting of Jimmy Barnes and Guy Maestri's painting of
the Indigenous singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.

And in the end the winner of the prize was Guy Maestri for his painting of Geoffrey Gurrumul
Yunupingu.

Now, Gurrumul as I mentioned is an Indigenous singer who has been developing quite a rapidly
growing public profile. He won two ARIA Awards at the latest ARIAs and he's also, he's also blind.

And Guy Maestri saw him at a New Year's Eve concert and said that he was sitting in the audience
and people were literally moved to tears when they were watching him. So at that point he decided
that he wanted to paint Gurrumul Yunupingu as his subject and then he eventually arranged to have
just a 40-minute sitting with Gurrumul.

And so, but in that time he managed to get a really very striking, very beautiful painting in black
and white, just of Gurrumul's face.

And he's described it as being a very, of presenting an image of Gurrumul as being very quiet and
strong and I think that for everyone here was agreeing that that is the case.

So in accepting the award, Guy Maestri the painter said that he'd been really overwhelmed by the
entire experience.

GUY MAESTRI: Hi, hey!

(Sound of crowd cheering)

GUY MAESTRI: Phew, I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack.

(Sound of crowd laughing)

GUY MAESTRI: Thank you everybody. This is very, very surreal. Firstly I've got a statement.
Unfortunately Gurrumul couldn't be here today so he has written a short statement for me to read
out, which I'll do now:

'I would like to congratulate Guy for his painting and for the recognition he deserves in winning
the Archibald. I'm very proud that he asked me to paint my portrait, and I'm very pleased for his
success. I'm sorry I could not be there with him.

'I would also like to tell everyone that I didn't win this money so please don't call me asking for
some of it.'

(Sound of crowd laughing)

TANYA NOLAN: That was the Archibald winner, Guy Maestri reading a statement from his subject,
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.

Well Oscar, some other prizes have also been announced. Can you run through them with us briefly?

OSCAR MCLAREN: That's right. Well we had the Sulman Prize which was also announced today. It's for
the best subject for a genre painting or mural. That went to the artist Ivan Durrant for his
painting 'Anzac Match MCG.'

And there's also the Wynne Prize that was announced today for the best landscape painting or mural.
It actually had more entries than the Archibald Prize this year by a small number. There were in
excess of 700 for it. It went to Lionel Bawden for his painting 'The amorphous ones (the vast
colony of our being).'

So quite a few winners here today.

TANYA NOLAN: Our reporter Oscar McLaren at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, thank you.

Jacko's tour set for success, says Australian promoter

Reporter: Emily Bourke

TANYA NOLAN: The prince of pop is back. After years of bizarre behaviour, Michael Jackson has
announced his return to the stage with a series of concerts in London in July.

He says his comeback will be his final curtain call, but can he pull it off?

Emily Bourke reports.

(Excerpt from 'Black or White')

EMILY BOURKE: The celebrity and artistic juggernaut that is Michael Jackson is back.

MICHAEL JACKSON: I'll be performing the songs my fans want to hear.

(Sound of crowd cheering)

EMILY BOURKE: In his typically eccentric style, complete with sunglasses, sequins and salutes,
Jackson announced his 10 performances in London, his first in more than a decade, will be his last.

MICHAEL JACKSON: This is the final curtain call. You have to know that I love you so much.
Really. From the bottom of my heart.

(Sound of crowd cheering)

(Excerpt from 'Rock with You')

EMILY BOURKE: Plagued by financial, legal, and medical woes, previous attempts to relaunch his
career have faltered.

Explosive child sex abuse allegations emerged in the 1990s, claims he denied, and charges were
never laid.

But in a separate case a decade later Jackson was accused and stood trial on charges of molesting a
13-year-old boy.

In 2005 he was acquitted on all charges.

(Excerpt from 'Remember the Time')

Out of court, he's undergone dramatic physical transformations through plastic surgery and illness
and he's been ridiculed in the tabloids for his approach to fatherhood, most notably after dangling
his new born third son from a balcony.

SIMONE ANGEL: A morbid fascination, I kind of think that some people are going to go for that
reason. There's a lot of people who want to go to see if that's going to be the night when Michael
cracks up.

EMILY BOURKE: Simone Angel, former host of MTV Europe, questions whether the promise of a flashy
big budget show will be enough.

SIMONE ANGEL: Maybe he can pull it off. I mean, if he can I think he's a magician because the guy,
I mean, the last time he was on tour was like 12 years ago and ever since then, like I said, every
time when he was meant to perform somewhere something happened.

(Excerpt from 'Beat it')

He was meant to be at the American Idols Final, he was meant to be, well, he was at the World Music
Awards and sung like two lines or something because he had stage fright. He was meant to be at the
Grammies and he wasn't there. So I just can't see how you can go from that to suddenly go into so
many big dates. I just don't see how that can work.

KEVIN JACOBSEN: I brought him out twice. Doing 10 concerts in a row, I think he could do it of
course, and he's always, I mean, he's a phenomenon isn't he?

EMILY BOURKE: Australia's Kevin Jacobsen has no doubts about the appeal of Michael Jackson or the
success of his London shows.

KEVIN JACOBSEN: Memories fade and Michael Jackson fans are very difficult to dissuade. And I mean,
they're fans and that's it. And they take no notice of whatever's whatever, you know what I mean?

EMILY BOURKE: You don't think it would be a hard sell?

KEVIN JACOBSEN: No, I don't think so personally. I wouldn't mind going over for it actually
(laughs).

(Excerpt from 'Billy Jean')

TANYA NOLAN: One of his more popular songs, and Australian promoter Kevin Jacobsen ending that
report on Michael Jackson by Emily Bourke.