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NSW court rules against former Hardie execs

NSW court rules against former Hardie execs

The World Today - Thursday, 23 April , 2009 12:10:00

Reporter: Sue Lannin

PETER CAVE: In a landmark ruling a court has found that former James Hardie executives broke the
Corporations Act when they claimed that a trust set up to compensate victims of asbestos-related
diseases had adequate funding. The New South Wales Supreme Court has ruled that 10 company
officials including the former chief executive engaged in both misleading and deceptive conduct.

But not all of the civil charges brought by the corporate regulator, the Australian Securities and
Investments Commission, were proven.

And in a separate twist the company says it faces a shortfall in its compensation because of the
global financial crisis.

Finance reporter Sue Lannin was in the court. She joins me now. Sue exactly what did the judge

SUE LANNIN: Well Peter the judge found that former executives and directors of James Hardie did
breach sections of the company law basically by making false and misleading statements. Now that's
in relation to the setting up of a fund in 2001 to compensate victims of asbestos-related diseases.
In statements to the stock market and in press releases, the judge, in a press release, the judge
said that the claim that that fund had adequate funding was false and misleading.

Now some of those defendants include the former chief executive Peter Macdonald, former company
secretary Peter Shafron and former chairwoman Meredith Hellicar. The main issue is that they've
made false statements to the market or they did not disclose information to the market that there
wasn't enough money in the trust fund. And also the judge found that Peter Macdonald the former
chief executive made false statements to investors as part of a roadshow in Europe in 2002.

As some background, James Hardie moved its corporate headquarters to the Netherlands in 2001. It
set up a compensation fund. Another compensation fund had to be set up in a landmark agreement in

Now some of those charges were proven, as we said, but some haven't. In relation to the roadshow,
the judge found that Macdonald did make some false statements but some of the statements were not
found to be false, or ASIC failed to prove its case.

PETER CAVE: Was there any reaction when the various parties emerged from the court?

SUE LANNIN: Well this has been a partial win for ASIC. I mean it's failed in previous prosecutions
of high-profile cases. But even though it was a mixed victory the parties for asbestos victims who
were there say it is a win. Karen Banton, the widow of asbestos campaigner Bernie Banton, said she
felt vindicated. And Tanya Segelov, a lawyer for asbestos victims said it was a victory.

TANYA SEGELOV: I think it is significant. This is the first time any person connected with James
Hardie has been held to have engaged in unlawful conduct. And while ASIC didn't succeed on all its
claims, we have a finding that former directors, former executives, the former company and the
current company were engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and were in breach of the
Corporations Act.

PETER CAVE: Tanya Segelov there. When will the penalties be handed down?

SUE LANNIN: Well that's still a date to be set by the judge but it will be later this year and
certainly lawyers for the defendants will be arguing their case.

Now there's also a, the judge said that, made a judgement that the board in 2001 did approve a
press release that contained false and misleading statements in regards to the adequacy of the
compensation fund so the judge is still to rule on that.

He also, as I said, has to rule on what the penalties will be. Now the former company officials and
directors face fines of up to $200,000 and they could also be disqualified from running a company.
But several of those former directors are still running companies, including Meredith Hellicar, the
former chairwoman. She's currently a director of AMP.

PETER CAVE: Thank you Sue Lannin, just back from the court.

Asbestos Diseases Foundation welcomes Hardie finding

Asbestos Diseases Foundation welcomes Hardie finding

The World Today - Thursday, 23 April , 2009 12:14:00

Reporter: Alison Caldwell

PETER CAVE: The Asbestos Diseases Foundation has welcomed the court's decision.

Alison Caldwell spoke to the group's Barry Robson.

BARRY ROBSON: Justice at last! The court system has finally caught up with the company and the
directors and the management team, the whole lot. They've all been found guilty of a charge.

And isn't it amazing? On the day this judgement was going to be handed down they announced that
there was not enough money in the fund to fund future compensation victims. Am I being cynical by
saying that they did it on purpose? Yes they did. And all they've done is scare the victims and
future claimants that there's not going to be enough money. Typical Hardies.

But please, finally there's been a bit of justice in this long, sorry saga.

ALISON CALDWELL: The Supreme Court ruled that 10 company officials including the former chief
executive engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct when it set up the trust to compensate
victims of asbestos-related diseases. You always knew that I guess.

BARRY ROBSON: We always knew it but now, now that it's been found by the court, something that we
all knew but couldn't prove. But now it's been done and if this company had not tried to evade or
dodge $150-million in back taxes that they've had to pay, then there would be plenty of money in
that fund.

ALISON CALDWELL: It was a bit of a mixed ruling in that not all of the charges brought by ASIC were
proven. Are you concerned about that?

BARRY ROBSON: Not really. Not really. That happens in a lot of cases. At least the court, you know,
it has found them guilty of something rather than letting them just walk away, you know, scott free
as in the past. And it's right across all of their companies. It's not just one person or one of
the companies but all of it, the whole sorry saga of Hardie.

This saga has contributed to the loss of profits of Hardie. This is a great Australian company, it
was very profitable until they got the corporate mindset to do what they did and that was a
slippery slide.

And the trouble is we need to keep Hardie going as a profitable company to pay for victims'
compensation into the future.

ALISON CALDWELL: Just on James Hardie Industries saying it can't contribute any more to that
asbestos diseases fund, wasn't this sort of flagged during the negotiations? What happens in a
downturn? Wasn't this flagged all those years ago?

BARRY ROBSON: It was and the mechanism that's in the agreement is that they can apply to the courts
here in New South Wales and have the agreement modified so that they can pay not lump sums any more
but pay out in instalments so that, you know, the money is spread further.

So we're not really worried about it at this stage, you know. Let's hope that the US economy picks
up, especially in the housing market, and that will put Hardie back on top.

ALISON CALDWELL: Why is it so important that the housing market in the US recovers?

BARRY ROBSON: Because 80 per cent of the profits of James Hardie now come out of the US, out of the
building industry in the United States and that's part of the problem.

PETER CAVE: The president of the Asbestos Diseases Foundation Barry Robson speaking to Alison

Govt not ruling out further cash payments, borrowings

Govt not ruling out further cash payments, borrowings

The World Today - Thursday, 23 April , 2009 12:18:00

Reporter: Sabra Lane

PETER CAVE: The Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner says it remains to be seen if the Government needs
to increase its debt borrowings beyond its $200-billion limit to help Australia recover from the
recession. And he says he can't rule in or out the need for further cash handouts as a means of
continuing to stimulate the economy.

His comments come on top of revised IMF forecasts which show that Australia's economy will contract
by 1.4 per cent this year.

From Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: Critics say the IMF has never got its sums right but the Government believes the
forecasts, describing them as bleak. The Treasurer Wayne Swan.

WAYNE SWAN: These are certainly very pessimistic forecasts.

SABRA LANE: The forecasts show Australia's economy will shrink by 1.4 per cent this year, that
unemployment will rise to 6.8 per cent this year and reach 7.8 per cent by the end of 2010.

WAYNE SWAN: The deepening global recession is why it is so important that the Budget continues to
support jobs and to invest in the building blocks of recovery.

SABRA LANE: Mr Swan was asked if Australia would experience double-digit unemployment, like it did
during the '91 recession.

WAYNE SWAN: There's no guarantees when you are in the middle of the most savage global recession
since the Great Depression.

SABRA LANE: The Federal Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull says the figures illustrate the
Government's cash handouts have failed. He says the Government must explain how it's going to
abolish debt and get out of the recession.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: What is the plan for recovery? My criticism of the Government is that they have
had a range of big spending, big borrowing programs which have been ineffective, which have not
created any jobs.

SABRA LANE: Mr Swan flies to Washington today for an IMF meeting this weekend, leaving Finance
Minister Lindsay Tanner as the Acting Treasurer. He says the IMF figures point to an even bigger
collapse in government revenues, greater than the $115-billion downturn forecast in February.

LINDSAY TANNER: It's pretty clear from these figures that we'll see even bigger deficits as a
result of that change.

SABRA LANE: Well, how big a deficit should Australia be prepared for?

LINDSAY TANNER: I can't speculate on the actual figures and of course we do calculations right up
to the last possible time to get them as accurate as we possibly can.

SABRA LANE: The IMF is predicting a weak recovery for Australia next year. How long do you think
the recession will last?

LINDSAY TANNER: It's impossible to predict how quickly we'll be able to move into recovery but we
do have an extraordinary degree of economic stimulus now flowing through the system - both very
substantial cuts in interest rates and of the course the Government's two stimulus packages that
are really gathering momentum now. There's a lot of money still to flow into the system from the
package announced in February.

But the forces that they are pushing back against are just overwhelming. That has a big negative
influence on Australia. The Government is committed to doing whatever it takes to push back against
these things and to sustain jobs and economic activity.

SABRA LANE: Can you rule out further cash handouts as part of a stimulus package in the Budget?

LINDSAY TANNER: One thing we've learned over the past year is not to rule in or rule things out or
guarantee things because we are in extraordinary circumstances. There are a number of things that
the Government has done in the last six months because of these completely unprecedented
circumstances and in normal times it wouldn't consider doing.

SABRA LANE: Well the Federal Opposition leader says that you've borrowed $23-billion over recent
months to fund what he calls the cash splash and he says clearly these policies haven't worked.

LINDSAY TANNER: Well Malcolm Turnbull is on his own in making these claims. In fact the OECD very
recently emphatically stated that stimulus spending is much more advantageous for the economy than
tax cuts which is what the Liberal Party is proposing.

The Government's spending is designed to keep money moving, to keep activity moving, to keep people
employed. Mr Turnbull's approach would simply mean more job losses, more business failures and more

SABRA LANE: You head the Expenditure Review Committee. Are you preparing to wield the axe next
month and perhaps means test middle-class welfare like the Medicare safety net, childcare rebates,
and maybe even further tighten the eligibility criteria for the baby bonus?

LINDSAY TANNER: I can't comment on specific budget initiatives but there's no question that we have
to make some tough choices in this Budget because we have to do a couple of things. We have to
stimulate economic activity in the short term but in the medium term we have to lay the foundations
for getting the Budget back into surplus.

The overall picture in the Budget will be to sustain jobs, both in the short term and in the medium
term but one of the key things about the medium term is to make sure that we get the Budget back
into surplus and that we don't get into a position where debt keeps mounting to a point where it
becomes unsustainable. We are very committed to making sure that the Budget gets back into surplus
as quickly as possible.

SABRA LANE: Just on the question of debt, will the Government have to increase its borrowings
beyond the $200-billion debt limit it has?

LINDSAY TANNER: That's yet to be seen because we have yet to finalise our projections of the loss
of revenue that this further deterioration of the global economy will be imposing on the Australian
economy and the Australian budget but we stand ready to do whatever is required to ensure that we
sustain jobs and economic growth.

We're not considering this particular point at this stage but clearly that's one of the issues that
is in part of the broader mix, and that is just how bad are the reductions in revenue going to be
and what impact they will have on the overall position in the budget.

It's clear from the IMF data that the projections for loss of revenue that were published in
February are now out of date and we'll see more serious loss of revenue than was expected. How much
more is yet to be seen.

PETER CAVE: The Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner speaking there to Sabra Lane.

US describes situation in Pakistan as 'mortal threat' to world

US describes situation in Pakistan as 'mortal threat' to world

The World Today - Thursday, 23 April , 2009 12:22:00

Reporter: Kim Landers

PETER CAVE: The United States is directing some harsh criticism at Pakistan, accusing the
Government there of abdicating to the Taliban and other extremists. The US Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton has delivered the reproach after militants took control of territory less than 100
kilometres from the Pakistani capital.

America's top diplomat says that having militants creeping closer to the capital of a nuclear-armed
country is what she calls a 'mortal threat' to the world.

Washington correspondent Kim Landers reports.

KIM LANDERS: The Taliban already controls parts of Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan and
Pakistan's picturesque Swat Valley where the Pakistani Government has allowed the imposition of
Islamic law. Now Taliban-aligned groups have advanced into the neighbouring district of Buner,
almost 100 kilometres from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the situation in Pakistan, quote, 'poses a mortal
threat to the security of the United States and the world'.

HILLARY CLINTON: I think that we cannot underscore the seriousness of the existential threat posed
to the state of Pakistan by the continuing advances now within hours of Islamabad that are being
made by a loosely confederated group of terrorists and others who are seeking the overthrow of the
Pakistani state which is, as we all know, a nuclear-armed state.

KIM LANDERS: Husain Haqqani is Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States.

HUSAIN HAQQANI: What she's saying is essentially that the threat of terrorism is an existential
threat to Pakistan and that is something that the Government of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan
generally agree with. The only question is: is just the recent development in Swat an existential
threat to the Government of Pakistan? And my answer to that is that is not.

KIM LANDERS: But Hillary Clinton has told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that she wants more
Pakistani citizens and Pakistani-Americans to speak out against ceding any territory to the Taliban
or Al Qaeda-affiliated groups.

HILLARY CLINTON: I want to take this occasion in this public forum to state unequivocally that not
only do the Pakistani Government officials but the Pakistani people and the Pakistani diaspora,
many of whom are extremely successful Americans here in academia, business, the professions and so
much else, need to speak out forcefully against a policy that is ceding more and more territory to
the insurgents - to the Taliban, to Al Qaeda, to the allies that are in this terrorist syndicate.

KIM LANDERS: Pakistan's ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani insists his Government is not giving up
the fight.

HUSAIN HAQQANI: Pakistan will fight terrorism. We intend to fight terrorism. We will fight Al Qaeda
and the Taliban.

KIM LANDERS: Meanwhile America's top military commander has arrived in Pakistan, his second visit
in just two weeks to the country.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, has just been to Afghanistan. While
there he was asked by an American television reporter whether the US would be threatened if
Pakistan descends into chaos.

MIKE MULLEN: In Pakistan it's a country that has nuclear weapons. My long-term worry is that
descent, you know if it, should it continue, gives us the worst possible outcome there.

REPORTER: Does the US have a plan to safeguard Pakistan's nuclear weapons?

MIKE MULLEN: I wouldn't go into any kind of detailed planning. I'm comfortable right now that the
measures that the Pakistanis have taken in recent years provide adequate security.

KIM LANDERS: Asked how much longer the war in Afghanistan is going to take, Admiral Mullen warns
that Americans can't expect a swift victory, despite President Barack Obama's decision to send an
extra 21,000 troops there.

MIKE MULLEN: These next two years I think will tell that tale. There will be a significant
engagement for a period of time. We're not going to turn it around and succeed in the next 24

KIM LANDERS: Meanwhile President Obama will meet in Washington with Pakistan and Afghanistan's
leaders early next month.

This is Kim Landers in Washington for The World Today.

UK authorities red faced over release of former terror suspects

UK authorities red faced over release of former terror suspects

The World Today - Thursday, 23 April , 2009 12:26:00

Reporter: Stephanie Kennedy

PETER CAVE: When British police swooped two weeks ago and arrested 12 people the Prime Minister
said that authorities had thwarted a major terrorist plot on British soil. But now the Government
and the police have been left red-faced. All of those arrested have been released after police
admitted there was not enough evidence to charge them.

Stephanie Kennedy reports from London.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: It was dubbed the 'Easter bomb plot'. Twelve men were arrested at gunpoint in a
dramatic series of events. Police swooped at a university and took two men into custody in full
view of many students. Others were arrested at their workplaces and homes. Eleven are Pakistani
nationals, 10 are in the UK on student visas.

For two weeks they've been held and police have questioned them, searched their homes and examined
their computer and phone records. The public was left to believe the police had thwarted a major Al
Qaeda plot to target Easter shoppers or nightclubs in the north of England. The Prime Minister
himself at the time described the enormity of the plan.

GORDON BROWN: Let's remember the context of this. We're dealing with a very big terrorist plot.
We've been following it for some time. We've a number of people who are suspected of it who have
been arrested. That police operation was successful. We know that there are links between
terrorists in Britain and terrorists in Pakistan and that is an important issue for us to follow

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: Now all 12 men have been released without charge. The chief constable of Greater
Manchester Police where the raids took place is Peter Fahy and he insists no mistakes were made.

PETER FAHY: We have got to look at did we act on the basis of the intelligence and the information
that we had. I have to balance the civil rights of those individuals with the concerns of the wider
community but I have to put at the forefront the protection of people and the real complexities of
these sorts of cases is the fact that the risks are so high. We have to act on the basis of

We were unable to get a standard of evidence to translate really the point from intelligence to
evidence to satisfy the court in terms of the warrant to further detention and therefore these
people were released and they are innocent in the eyes of the law. But we will still be continuing
investigations into the circumstances which caused us to take the action in the first place.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: Eleven of the men have been handed over to immigration officials and face
possible deportation on grounds of national security. The British Government has not yet explained
what threat they pose. But Mohammed Ayub, a lawyer for three of the men says they are innocent.

MOHAMMED AYUB: I can say that the police failed to disclose any significant evidence of any
criminality or wrongdoing by our clients. They've been served with deportation orders by the UK
Border Agency and we intend to appeal that.

Our clients are law abiding. They've done nothing wrong. They have legitimate student visas.
Therefore there's no basis for asking them to be deported.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: British Muslims are furious, accusing the Government of acting dishonourably
over the way it's dealt with the men.

There's also the prospect of a diplomatic fallout between Pakistan and the UK. The High Commission
in London argues since no charges were brought the students should be allowed to stay and finish
their studies.

In London this is Stephanie Kennedy reporting for The World Today.

South Africans await election results after polls close

South Africans await election results after polls close

The World Today - Thursday, 23 April , 2009 12:30:00

Reporter: Simon Santow

PETER CAVE: By this time tomorrow the results of South Africa's election will be known. It's
inconceivable that the Government won't be again dominated by the African National Congress. The
ANC stands to win its fourth term with leader Jacob Zuma becoming president for the first time.

But Mr Zuma and the ANC may not gain all the spoils with many people tipping the party won't gain
the two-thirds majority it needs to carry out its stated intention of amending the Constitution.

Simon Santow reports.

SIMON SANTOW: South Africa stands apart from many nations on the African continent. Elections are
considered free and fair and its democracy is said to be largely healthy, if not entirely free of

DESMOND TUTU: I have confidence in our people. We have a fantastic bunch of people. We faced up to
one of the most awful scourges, apartheid, and we overcame that and we surprised the world by how
we made the transition reasonably peacefully, no revenge, no retribution.

SIMON SANTOW: Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu cast his vote earlier today alongside millions of his

REPORTER: You've decided to vote?

DESMOND TUTU: Yes. Don't get too upset. They're just letting me jump the queue (laughter) because
I'm decrepit.

SIMON SANTOW: Despite the jocularity, Desmond Tutu sees this election differently from the three
the ANC have won since all South Africans received the vote in 1994. This time around the African
National Congress faces competition from the Democratic Alliance party and for the first time a
breakaway ANC party called Congress of the People.

DESMOND TUTU: Well it isn't like the previous elections and I think that is true of so very many
people who are having to ask questions. But that is healthy for the democracy meaning, I mean that
people are not just voting cattle. People are having to make decisions and some of the decisions go
against your inclinations, the way you used to feel.

SIMON SANTOW: Long lines of voters queued to have their say, even causing authorities to extend
polling beyond the normal finishing time.

VOX POP 1: I'm happy today because it's my first time to vote.

VOX POP 2: (Inaudible) I just want to vote. That's it.

V OX POP 3: I'm concerned about corruption in the country but I'm hopeful for democracy and that's
why I'm voting.

VOX POP 3: I think leadership to be quite honest. I don't think, I mean it's the most sort of
exciting elections I've ever experienced, you know since '94.

SIMON SANTOW: Salim Ahmed Salim is head of the African Union observer mission.

SALIM AHMED SALIM: The process has been very good. We are impressed by first the organisation of
the election, the effective role of the election commission, its independence.

SIMON SANTOW: David Dorward is the now retired former director of the African Research Institute at
La Trobe University in Melbourne.

DAVID DORWARD: It's a very sort of important election in that it's something of a turning point in
South African post-apartheid history.

SIMON SANTOW: Why do you say it's a turning point? Because of the departure of Thabo Mbeki and the
circumstances in which he had to quit politics?

DAVID DORWARD: Yes and also the fact that the ANC is going on to a slight electoral decline. I mean
it's not the only party now. It doesn't have quite the hegemony it's had, it'll have in the past.
It'll probably lose its two-thirds majority in parliament which would have allowed it to change the

SIMON SANTOW: And that is significant isn't it? Because the ANC has had this grip on power up until

DAVID DORWARD: Yes. The breakaway ANC hasn't done nearly as well as they had hoped and it's the
sort of official opposition, the Democrats who, admittedly they've only taken about 26, 28 per cent
of the vote but still it does mean that the ANC doesn't have total hegemony any longer.

SIMON SANTOW: And do you think that is as a consequence of the fact that the ANC has been in power
for as long as it has been now?

DAVID DORWARD: A lot of people are very disaffected with the ANC. They see it as not living up to
the, what were probably unrealistic expectations of a post-apartheid regime. And the other things
is that the black middle class is moving away from the ANC. It's seeing the ANC as party that
doesn't necessarily represent its interests any longer.

PETER CAVE: The former head of the African Research Institute at La Trobe University in Melbourne,
David Dorward, ending Simon Santow's report.

Fromelles fallen to find final resting place

Fromelles fallen to find final resting place

The World Today - Thursday, 23 April , 2009 12:34:00

Reporter: Philip Williams

PETER CAVE: It's taken more than nine decades but finally some of the diggers killed in the
disastrous Fromelles campaign on the Western Front in July of 1916 will get a proper burial.

After confirmation last year of the existence of a mass grave containing the remains of 400
Australian and British soldiers it was decided that an attempt to match DNA with surviving
relatives would allow a chance at least of a name on a headstone in a new cemetery.

Correspondent Philip Williams reports from Fromelles.

(Sound of church bells)

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Across the road from the village church the outline of a new war cemetery is
marked with tape and spray paint. A cross will dominate. The graves will fan out around it; 400 or
so Australian and British soldiers until recently lost to the soil. Veterans Affairs Minister Alan
Griffin says the whole recovery, identification and reburial process will take months.

ALAN GRIFFIN: It's quite a massive logistical exercise we're talking about. Although a lot of good
work has been done to narrow down the likely family identities if you like of many of the
Australians, it will take quite some time to work that process through and to ensure that we have
an element of accuracy.

The process that's been worked out is designed to maintain dignity and give an opportunity also for
families at the appropriate time to commemorate a relative that they've lost so long ago in a
manner where I think also many of these will be done together. And I have to say I suspect that the
circumstances are that that's what the soldiers would probably have wanted I suspect.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Not everyone is happy about plans to rebury the remains next February whether
identification is complete or not. Some relatives want to be here for a burial but only after a
positive identification has been made.

That process may depend on DNA samples. It's uncertain if enough material will have survived. But
even without it, Fromelles project manager David Richardson says there are other means of naming
the dead.

DAVID RICHARDSON: Well we're looking at you know artefacts, so it could be badges, it could be
personal items that people are carrying on themselves. Often there are things in terms of dentition
so if people have particular teeth, you know that's often very significant. Often they compare the
data that the archaeologists use with photographs which existed at the time of individuals, and in
terms of stature, age. There's a lot of things that you can find out before you actually do DNA

PHILIP WILLIAMS: A few hundred metres from the new cemetery lies Pheasant Wood where the soldiers'
remains now lie and next to it, a mini-city of prefab buildings that's under construction that will
house the 27 scientists and technicians who will spend the next few months trying to answer
94-year-old questions.

Facilities manager Paul Backhouse.

PAUL BACKHOUSE: We'll be laying out each of the bodies, cleaning them up, photographing them,
recording them. And then they'll go through to a photographic lab where we'll be taking photographs
of the finds through to x-ray and to, there's a DNA laboratory on site as well. And then at a later
date next year we'll start moving the bodies into proper coffins and then they'll be transported
across to the new cemetery which you've seen this morning.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Back at the new gravesite there is a pile of twisted metal and shell casings,
relics of a terrible conflict found in just one small part of the new cemetery - Allan Griffin.

ALAN GRIFFIN: That's a shell. You can see a shell casing, you can see that there. Yeah, see. You
can see the markings there, it's ah, obviously they're worse for wear.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: The horrific secrets of a shocking war have not all been given up but over the
next few months hopefully a few will have been prised from these sodden soils and may just yield a
little peace and resolution, at least for some.

This is Philip Williams in Fromelles, France, reporting for The World Today.

IMF predicts more tough times for UK economy

IMF predicts more tough times for UK economy

The World Today - Thursday, 23 April , 2009 12:38:00

Reporter: Emma Alberici

PETER CAVE: On the International Monetary Fund statistics Australia is in much better shape than
Britain. The IMF says the British economy is set to shrink by 4 per cent this year and that it
won't emerge from recession until at least 2011.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has delivered the worst set of budget figures in the UK's post-war
history and has tried to talk up the prospects for the economy even as it goes further into debt.

Emma Alberici reports from London.

EMMA ALBERICI: The Chancellor admitted that he'll need to borrow 175-billion pounds this year -
$AU355-billion - to steer Britain out of the deepest recession since 1945. Put into some context,
Australia's debt, as a percentage of national income, is 13 per cent. In Britain it's now 59 per
cent. By 2013 it will reach 80 per cent.

All the more stunning when you consider that the Prime Minster Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor
set a rule that the figure should only ever be allowed to get to half of that.

The UK's Finance Minister is now Alistair Darling.

ALISTAIR DARLING: I expect the economy to start growing again towards the end of this year.

EMMA ALBERICI: Exactly an hour after the Chancellor uttered those words, the International Monetary
Fund put its two pence worth into the mix. Contradicting the Government's assessment of the British
economy, the IMF said it would shrink by 4.1 per cent this year and that it wouldn't grow again
until at least 2011.

This Budget could be Labour's last with a general election looming. According to the polls, the
next prime minister will be David Cameron. He told the House of Commons that Britain could no
longer afford the black hole that the Brown Government had plunged the UK into.

DAVID CAMERON: This Chancellor, this Chancellor has just told us he is planning to borrow
348-billion pounds over the next two years. That is more, over just two years, than every previous
government put together. Every government since the Bank of England was first founded more than 300
years ago.

EMMA ALBERICI: Alistair Darling called it the world's first ever carbon budget with a legally
binding commitment, the highest so far, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 34 per cent
compared to 1990 levels by 2020. That's more than twice as much as Australia is aiming for.

Doug Parr is policy director of Greenpeace.

DOUG PARR: The Climate Change Act says that we have budgets that we have to meet. These are revised
as we go along every few years to keep us on track to an 80 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide
emissions by 2050.

EMMA ALBERICI: What happens if the target isn't met, given this is an act of legislation?

DOUG PARR: Well it means in effect the Government has to take itself to court (laughs).

EMMA ALBERICI: And what is the likelihood of that?

DOUG PARR: It's very unlikely that that's actually going to happen.

EMMA ALBERICI: The Budget allocated one-billion pounds, $AU2-billion, to offshore wind farms, a
rebate scheme for people wanting to buy energy-efficient cars and a feasibility study for up to
four large scale carbon capture and storage facilities.

This is Emma Alberici in London for The World Today.

Japanese housewife stays on death row

Japanese housewife stays on death row

The World Today - Thursday, 23 April , 2009 12:42:00

Reporter: Mark Willacy

PETER CAVE: A 47-year-old Japanese housewife has been sentenced to be hanged for murdering four
people, including two children, by lacing a pot of curry with arsenic at a village fete. But
lawyers for Masumi Hayashi said the case against her relied entirely on circumstantial evidence.

North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy reports from Tokyo.

(Sound of siren)

MARK WILLACY: It was supposed to be a festive meal at a village fete in western Japan but moments
after eating the curry people fell violently ill. Then the village head, his deputy, a 16-year-old
girl and a 10-year-old boy, died.

(Megumi Kagawa speaking)

'While I was eating the curry I began to feel sick,' says Megumi Kagawa. 'Then during the night I
became very sick and started to have trouble breathing.'

Megumi Kagawa survived and soon the spotlight of suspicion soon fell on Masumi Hayashi, a housewife
from the village who was helping with the fete. A decade on Hayashi has lost her final appeal
against a death sentence for lacing the curry with powdered arsenic.

(Megumi Kagawa speaking)

'Even though she's been sentence to death my life will not get better,' says Megumi Kagawa. 'I can
never forget it,' she says.

While Masumi Hayashi now sits on death row, grave doubts have been raised about her conviction.
There was no hard evidence presented to the court linking the 47-year-old with the crime. Her
defence lawyers say all the evidence was circumstantial and that there was no motive.

But prosecutors argue Hayashi was enraged over being shunned by her neighbours and that the arsenic
powder matches that kept at her home by her husband who worked as a termite exterminator.

Ryuzo Saki is a Japanese crime writer who has covered the case.

(Ryuzo Saki speaking)

'Because Hayashi kept silent during the early trials, the judges convicted her on the only evidence
available,' says Mr Saki. 'They very carefully examined her case,' he says.

Masumi Hayashi now joins dozens on death row in Japan. Here executions are carried out by hanging
and are done secretly. The condemned prisoner is only told a few hours before their sentence is
carried out. Masumi Hayashi will now wake every day with the prospect of it being her last.

PETER CAVE: Mark Willacy reporting from Tokyo.

Kleenmaid creditors in face off with administrators

Kleenmaid creditors in face off with administrators

The World Today - Thursday, 23 April , 2009 12:46:00

Reporter: Annie Guest

PETER CAVE: Creditors from the Kleenmaid appliance business are squaring off with the company's
administrators today. The Sunshine Coas- based company collapsed earlier this month owing
$76-million to employees, customers, banks and others. One woman says she had to cut short her
maternity leave after paying $5,000 for goods that never arrived.

The media was shut out of today's meeting but our reporter Annie Guest spoke outside to some of
those affected. Annie, what have they been saying?

ANNIE GUEST: Yes Peter, the meeting is still ongoing but some people are coming out who are leaving
early and they say that they're angry and disappointed and that the meeting has been quite fiery.

And they're particularly concerned to learn that the hole left behind is much bigger than they'd
anticipated. They're learning that the company collapsed owing $76-million when it went into
administration a fortnight ago.

Among those unsecured creditors are 4,000 customers, many of whom either paid deposits or some who
paid in full for appliances like ovens and fridges that never arrived. I spoke to one of those and
she's Brisbane resident Vanessa McPhee.

VANESSA MCPHEE: I'd paid for the item six months in advance which they hounded me for the money.
And we've just built a new home so I've got holes where a fridge should be and no range hood.

ANNIE GUEST: I can see you've got a small baby here. What sort of affect has it had on your family
to lose $5,000?

VANESSA MCPHEE: It's had a big impact. It's meant that I have to go back to work earlier than
anticipated. I'm currently on maternity leave. So obviously $5,000 out of a family income is quite

PETER CAVE: That was Kleenmaid customer Vanessa McPhee outside the meeting. Has any sense emerged
of how Kleenmaid managed to dig itself into this hole?

ANNIE GUEST: Well it's not yet clear Peter but some people are blaming the flow-on effects from the
global financial crisis for the woes that hit the Sunshine Coast-based company that had grown to
have up to 30 outlets around the country.

Some creditors are questioning whether Kleenmaid had been trading while insolvent. One of the 15 or
so owners of a franchise that actually traded in Kleenmaid's name told me outside the meeting that
he'd had trouble getting stock for a couple of months.

PETER CAVE: What's expected to be the final outcome? What's the best creditors can hope for?

ANNIE GUEST: Well today's meeting is the first of the creditors' meetings and it's actually to
elect a committee of creditors. They'll be representatives from the banks, customers, employees,
etc. But it's not looking good. The secured creditors are the banks, owed $28-million; customers
$27-million. And all up it's $63-million.

Those employees, 150 employees have lost their jobs. They're not looking likely to be paid their

The company has about $2.9-million worth of stock left and there's a claim over that for
$2.1-million so it's not a lot of money to cover those $76-million in debt.

PETER CAVE: Annie Guest live on the phone there from outside that creditors' meeting.

Equipment arrives for Gunns pulp mill

Equipment arrives for Gunns pulp mill

The World Today - Thursday, 23 April , 2009 12:50:00

Reporter: Felicity Ogilvie

PETER CAVE: The Tasmanian Timber company Gunns still doesn't have the money it needs to build its
pulp mill but it's already buying equipment. A cargo ship carrying some of that equipment arrived
at the mill site in Northern Tasmania today. Supporters say it's a sign the mill will soon be

But Gunns still need final Federal approval and a financial analyst says that Gunns will struggle
to get the $2.2-billion it needs to get started.

Felicity Ogilvie reports from Hobart.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The cargo ship is sailing from Taiwan and will arrive at the Bell Bay port this
afternoon. The port is where Gunns has a woodchip pile and is also the site where the company wants
to build Australia's largest pulp mill.

Gunns isn't commenting on today's shipment but the company has already spent $126-million dollars
on the pulp mill project. The arrival of equipment to build the mill has excited Barry Chipman from
Timber Communities Australia.

BARRY CHIPMAN: It's a great boost to timber-dependent families and their communities right
throughout Tassie that the company has confidence that it can, you know, start to receive
equipment. It is absolutely great news that perhaps, you know, the first step to realising this

FELICITY OGILVIE: Anti-mill campaigners are preparing to meet the ship. But the Port Authourity has
set up a buffer zone around the ship and anyone who crosses the line will be fined a thousand
dollars. The fine isn't deterring The Wilderness Society's anti-pulp mill campaigner Paul Oosting.

PAUL OOSTING: The Wilderness Society is preparing to respond to the imminent arrival of a cargo
ship which we understand is carrying out a bio-energy facility which would be part of Gunns'
proposed pulp mill. That bio-energy facility is designed to burn Tasmania's native forests, locking
in the destruction of some of the richest sources of carbon on the face of the planet.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Gunns may have bought equipment but it still doesn't have the Federal approval it
needs to run the mill. The Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett wants Gunns to prove the
effluent it'll pump into Bass Strait won't be harmful.

Gunns is also short on money. It's been almost a year since the ANZ bank refused to fund the
$2.2-billion pulp mill. Gunns is still searching for finance and a joint venture partner.

Financial analyst Tom Ellison is surprised that Gunns has already started buying equipment.

TOM ELLISON: I'd be very concerned if I was a shareholder that there was machinery arriving before
the company had the money to pay for it, before they had approvals, and even before they've
finalised little aspects like a water pipeline that they actually need to operate the mill. It
certainly seems to me to be putting the cart before the horse.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The Forest Industries Association of Tasmania supports the mill but can't say if
it'll ever be built. Julian Amos is the chief executive.

JULIAN AMOS: I can only say that we are hopeful that the pulp mill gets up, that the company is
able to get all its ducks in a row and that their mill can proceed as quickly as possible. It would
be an enormous boon for the industry overall and for the economy of Tasmania so we're very
supportive of the project.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Gunns made a statement to the stock exchange earlier this week saying it's
getting close to finding a joint venture partner. Sydney businessman and anti-mill campaigner
Geoffrey Cousins says he'll be doing everything in his power to stop Gunns getting that partner.

GEOFFREY COUSINS: My message would be to anyone who is thinking of joint venturing with Gunns is
that they would be subjected to the most vociferous opposition. This would go back to the days of
the Franklin Dam or something beyond it because there are so many people around Australia opposed
to this mill being built in this place.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Paul Oosting from The Wilderness Society says that even if the mill isn't built
the equipment that's being delivered today could still be used.

PAUL OOSTING: The equipment that's arriving today is what they call a bio-energy facility. To put
that in simple terms, it's a large power generator which is fed on native forest wood. So we're
concerned that Gunns is trying to hedge their bets with the pulp mill project. If that doesn't go
ahead they'll proceed with a bio-energy facility to burn Tasmania's irreplaceable native forests.

FELICITY OGILVIE: A spokesman for Gunns says the company is looking to build the wood-fired power
station as part of its pulp mill - not as a standalone project. And Gunns says it's confident of
getting the finance it needs to build the mill.

PETER CAVE: Felicity Ogilvie reporting there.

The art of fashion hacktivism

The art of fashion hacktivism

The World Today - Thursday, 23 April , 2009 12:54:00

Reporter: Barbara Miller

PETER CAVE: A Swedish fashionista now in Australia says that consumers need to learn from the world
of computers and start hacking their clothes. Otto von Busch says they need to snap out of their
passivity and to start updating and modifying what they wear.

The man who describes himself as an 'haute couture heretic' uses the internet to try and teach
people the basics of fashion hacktivism.

He spoke to our reporter Barbara Miller about his theories.

OTTO VON BUSCH: I recycle a lot of clothes and I think that's really interesting to do, to try to
save the garments that are dying in the back of your wardrobe. And every time I do this I
photograph step by step and I create a small kind of cookbook or an assembly instruction.

If someone else would like to do the same, because sometimes you get some comments. Oh, oh, how did
you do that? And then of course I explain but now I also have downloadable, open-source manuals or
small cookbooks on my website.

BARBARA MILLER: But what if you want to keep up with current trends? You're not going to do that by
putting a few rips in an old pair of jeans are you?

OTTO VON BUSCH: Well it's a little bit, it's a little more than rips. So it's a little bit more
than a kind of punkish, anti-fashion statement or something. So it is more trying to make
something, update them somehow.

If it means slim jeans, now it's the slim fit trousers that are lately, it's about somehow how can
I make these pants slimmer but perhaps without too complicated moves? So just an easy thing is to
put a long zipper on the side, but not cutting in the fabric but you sew the zipper directly onto
the fabric on the outside and as you zip up, or actually you zip down of course, it fold itself in,
the fabric.

So it's a very simple trick because it's really, as soon as you engage with your clothes and don't
feel passive in front of them, it's really a new world opens and a new attention. You see things

BARBARA MILLER: So where's the hacktivism or the activism in this? I mean forgive me for saying I
might read such tips in maybe a women's magazine. What's new about this?

OTTO VON BUSCH: It's not necessarily new but I think usually when we think about design, design and
being the active part is kept to the designers, it's kept preserved within the walls of the fashion
industry. They are the ones making the decisions. They are the ones producing for us. And as
consumers we are left with only choosing.

So how can designers think more about creating something that is more open source, more kind if
Wikipedia, more open for engagement by consumers? And let's say if we talk about sustainability and
so on I mean do we need to have new pret-a-porter, I mean ready-to-wear, fashion that people buy
constantly, constantly and then throw out, or can you as a designer send out updates or kind of new
patches or something like that for people to update their clothes? Or would there be other ways for

BARBARA MILLER: But what if I'm just not that creative? What if I don't mind being a consumer?

OTTO VON BUSCH: Oh! Well please (laughs). I don't mind. I mean please do. And of course I'm also a
consumer. I'm not doing this with everything. The beauty of it is that it somehow opens a little
part for engagement.

And I think, I mean most people were not writers before there were blogs, for example, but then
suddenly people started to make blogs and most people never published a photo in their life but
Flickr offered them some form of chance to upload some images and suddenly they got some comments
from someone from the other side of the planet saying oh great photo, or something like that.

So I think I mean we see more and more of this kind of encouragement where we feel that, well I can
somehow also contribute. I am not only someone that is passive in front of different systems.

BARBARA MILLER: Do you think fashion is alone in being an industry that we somehow have to become
more engaged with or do you think this is a whole new trend, engaging many aspects of your life?

OTTO VON BUSCH: I think we see it a lot all over and perhaps fashion is just very slow because I
think fashion has this image of being constantly innovative and constantly at the front of things.
But perhaps there is nothing more conservative than fashion in the sense that it's, every second
season, every season there is a new collection. It's presented on the catwalk and then it comes to
the shops.

It's very, the format of fashion is extremely conservative. That's why interesting to think about
how can fashion think outside of the box. I mean now if it's happened to computers and all kind of
other fields, we see it more and more, but not so much yet in fashion and that's what I try to push
a little for.

PETER CAVE: And I thought they were moths coming out of my clothes. They were little hacktivistas.
Otto von Busch speaking to Barbara Miller.