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

Opposition claims to have more dirt on Fitzgibbon

Opposition claims to have more dirt on Fitzgibbon

The World Today - Friday, 5 June , 2009 12:10:00

Reporter: Sabra Lane

PETER CAVE: The Prime Minister is contemplating who he'll anoint as the nation's new defence
minister but the Opposition is hinting it's not done yet with Joel Fitzgibbon.

Mr Fitzgibbon resigned as defence minister yesterday after revelations his brother had business
meetings with defence officials in Mr Fitzgibbon's office, breaching the Government's ministerial
code of conduct.

The Opposition is suggesting it might have more dirt on the scandal plagued MP and it's also saying
it won't give up pursuing the Prime Minister and his links to a Brisbane car dealership.

The Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull says the Government needs to come clean on dealings between
ministers, officials and the Treasury Department over the government established OzCar finance

From Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: Joel Fitzgibbon didn't go quietly - he lobbed a grenade on his way out.

JOEL FITZGIBBON: It is obvious, and it has been obvious over the course of the last few months at
least, that I have at least two or three Judases in my midst.

And they had the drip on me. They had nothing on me, because there was no evidence, because I
hadn't done anything wrong.

SABRA LANE: Mr Fitzgibbon tendered his resignation as defence minister yesterday after revelations
on Wednesday night that his brother who runs a private health insurance company, met an American
health company boss in Mr Fitzgibbon's ministerial office.

The minister's staff were present at the meeting. That breached the ministerial code of conduct.

Some believe Joel Fitzgibbon was lucky he wasn't asked to quit earlier over belated disclosures to
Parliament about free trips to China and accommodation.

After blaming "Judases" for his demise, Mr Fitzgibbon was asked to name them.

JOEL FITZGIBBON: I think if I knew who they were, I wouldn't be resigning.

SABRA LANE: But the Opposition says Mr Fitzgibbon is still shirking his responsibility.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Mr Fitzgibbon has been sacked because he did the wrong thing. And he should have
been sacked a long time ago.

SABRA LANE: The Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: It says a lot about the culture of the Labor Party that the finger of blame is
being pointed not at the minister that did the wrong thing, but at people who the minister says
exposed him. He's blaming the whistleblower.

SABRA LANE: And the man who led the charge against the former defence minister, Senator David
Johnston, has told News Radio his source was not in the minister's office.

DAVID JOHNSTON: I have not been relying on anyone within his office talking to me directly. I have
been relying on the assistance of a number of people though that are not within the minister's

SABRA LANE: And the Senator has hinted he's not done yet with Mr Fitzgibbon.

DAVID JOHNSTON: Well there are a few more shots and you'll just have to wait and see what comes

SABRA LANE: The Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy believes the Fitzgibbon scandal will
be short-lived.

STEPHEN CONROY: It's a one day embarrassment. Joel did the right thing; he came to the conclusion
that he needed to resign for the good of the Government and he deserves a lot of credit for that.

SABRA LANE: It's expected the Prime Minister will quickly name a successor to limit the damage from
the Government's first ministerial casualty.

Candidates include the Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen, the former parliamentary secretary for
defence Greg Combet and the Special Minister of State John Faulkner.

Defence analysts say Senator Faulkner, a no-nonsense stickler for the rules, would be their top

Hugh White is the head of the ANU's Strategic and Defence Studies Centre and a former senior
Defence Department official.

HUGH WHITE: John Faulkner I think would be an outstanding defence minister. He's served in the
portfolio before under the Keating government. He is very well remembered, very well respected by a
lot of people in the defence portfolio.

And I'm sure he'd be a terrific person for the job, and his manner and style, if I can put it that
way, would certainly suit him very well. He has a certain gravity, which I think is very important
in the job.

SABRA LANE: Alan Behm, an independent adviser on security and risk who's also worked in defence,
told Radio National about his first-hand experience with Senator Faulkner.

ALAN BEHM: Well, I think that there is one outstanding candidate. I mean Senator Faulkner has
dissected me any number of times at Senate Estimates and there's nobody I think who knows the
internal workings of defence better. But the question is whether he's silly enough to take the job.

SABRA LANE: And apparently Senator Faulkner's not too keen to take the job.

As the Prime Minister nuts out his solution to that, he'll also be working on a strategy to counter
Opposition claims that he's pulled strings to help a Brisbane car dealer gain access to a
government trust fund set up to help car dealerships access credit.

Brisbane car dealer John Grant, who's a friend of Mr Rudd's, has donated a ute to the Prime
Minister which is used in his electorate as a "mobile office".

Mr Rudd has denied making representations to the trust fund OzCar and has previously disclosed the
donation to Parliament.

Yet Treasury officials say the fund has received representations from both Mr Rudd and Mr Swan's
offices on behalf of a car dealership.

Malcolm Turnbull says all ministers must now disclose all their dealings with the OzCar trust fund.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: If the Government has got to come clean, it's got to reveal all of the dealings
and communications between ministers and their offices and the Treasury about this OzCar finance

Because if ministers have been using their influence to encourage the Treasury to provide finance
to car dealers, we need to know - the public needs to know - what is the relationship between those
car dealers and those ministers.

PETER CAVE: The Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull ending that report from Sabra Lane.

Rio walks away from deal with Chinalco

Rio walks away from deal with Chinalco

The World Today - Friday, 5 June , 2009 12:16:00

Reporter: Peter Ryan

PETER CAVE: It was going to be China's biggest ever foreign investment and a lifeline for the
mining giant Rio Tinto but today the deal is dead after Rio confirmed it was walking away.

China's government owned miner Chinalco had wanted to invest more than $19-billion in its rival
Rio, which is overloaded with debt.

The collapse of the deal has been welcomed by the National's Senate leader Barnaby Joyce who has
says Australia's "wealth in the ground" will now be protected from China.

But in a sudden twist Rio today announced it had formed a joint venture with its former suitor BHP
Billiton to combine their Australian iron ore operations.

Here's our business editor Peter Ryan.

PETER RYAN: This time last year, Rio Tinto shares were trading at around $142 each.

By December they'd plunged to just under $30 and Rio's board was facing a $40-billion debt bill
from its ill-considered acquisition of the Canadian aluminium producer Alcan.

Then BHP Billiton scrapped its takeover bid for Rio and the miner was suddenly without a suitor in
a sea of debt.

DAVID QUO: Initially, Rio Tinto needed Chinalco. They needed Chinalco's money.

PETER RYAN: David Kuo is a London commodities analyst who's been tracking the deal. He says
Chinalco's bid for an 18 per cent stake in Rio had been aggressively pursued and until recently
both companies had been lobbying Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board for approval.

But Rio's share price has more than doubled this year and commodity prices are starting to show
signs of life; good reasons for the Rio Tinto board to have second thoughts.

DAVID KUO: It's almost turning around and saying, well, you wanted an 18 per cent stake in our
business - you were willing to give us $19.5-billion for it, but because our share price is now
much higher, you are going to get a much smaller stake.

And I think that Chinalco is saying, no, we still want this 18 per cent stake for the same price.
And of course Rio Tinto is probably going to walk away.

PETER RYAN: Rio shares were placed in a trading halt this morning, after earlier noting market
speculation that the deal was dead.

The National's Senate leader Barnaby Joyce, who opposed the deal on the grounds of national
interest, says it's the right result.

BARNABY JOYCE: It is great for the Australian people that this deal falls over and we do not have
the complications of the Communist People's Republic of China's Government owning the wealth of
Australia, in the ground in Australia.

PETER RYAN: But Senator Joyce says Treasurer Wayne Swan should have vetoed the proposal from the

BARNABY JOYCE: It is great that the deal's fallen over. What I do feel very annoyed about is we
really had to rely on a stuff-up in the management expertise of Rio for the deal to fall over,
rather than the decision of the Australian Parliament.

There was gyrations and manipulations, and he was trying to duck and weave to avoid having to say
the word no, which he knew was the right thing to say.

PETER RYAN: The market is split on the merits of the now deceased Rio Chinalco deal.

But market watcher Tom Murphy told Bloomberg he's relieved.

TOM MURPHY: You can only imagine Australia's terms of trade if the end user of iron ore were the
owner of the iron ore mines. That is a very serious thing.

This is not a yellow peril issue. This is not an issue to do with China taking our resources. It's
China as the end user taking our resources, and it's a very, very serious national interest issue.

PETER RYAN: Late this morning after hours of speculation, Rio Tinto's chief executive Tom Albanese
used an investor webcast to confirm the deal with Chinalco was off.

TOM ALBANESE: Our transaction with Chinalco was the right decision in February. Financial markets
have since improved, significantly creating more options.

Changing circumstances, feedback from shareholders and regulators resulted in the need to revise
the Chinalco agreement and this was recognised by both sides.

PETER RYAN: It's a costly decision with a break fee of $US195-million to be paid to Chinalco.

But in an unexpected twist, Rio and its former suitor BHP Billiton have announced a non-binding
deal that in many ways overshadows the Chinalco collapse.

BHP will pay Rio nearly $6-billion as part of a 50-50 joint venture covering all of the two
companies' West Australian iron ore ventures.

Tom Albanese told analysts it's a win-win.

TOM ALBANESE: We believe the net present value of these unique production and development synergies
will be in excess of $US10-billion.

PETER RYAN: As with the Chinalco deal, there's a break fee of $US275-million if either side pulls

The joint venture will be subject to ACCC scrutiny but it puts BHP Billiton back in the game to
acquire more Rio Tinto assets in a recovering market.

The announcements also put a rocket under BHP and Rio shares, up 8 and 9 per cent respectively in
morning trade.

PETER CAVE: Our business editor Peter Ryan.

Obama's Cairo speech hailed as repairing relations with the Muslim World

Obama's Cairo speech hailed as repairing relations with the Muslim World

The World Today - Friday, 5 June , 2009 12:21:00

Reporter: Kim Landers

PETER CAVE: International leaders have hailed President Barack Obama's speech to the Muslim world
delivered in Cairo as one that opens a new page in relations with the West.

But reaction to the much anticipated speech has been mixed.

Washington correspondent Kim Landers reports.

BARACK OBAMA: As-salaam alaikum. (Applause and cheering)

KIM LANDERS: From the start of this carefully balanced speech, it was clear President Barack Obama
was trying to set a new tone and deliver a new message.

His audience stretched from the thousands of people at the university in Cairo, to nations around
the world and to Muslim Americans like Amina Sharif and Ahmed Rehab.

AMINA SHARIF: He has said that he's going to establish mutual respect between the Muslim and Arab
majority countries and America, and I think he really took a huge leap, a huge step in that
direction today.

AHMED REHAB: I thought President Obama hit all the right points. It was a comprehensive speech. It
was very emphatic yet humble.

KIM LANDERS: Barack Obama's address was designed to change perceptions of the United States in the
Middle East and beyond.

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed hope it'll help reignite the Middle
East peace process.

The European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana has hailed it as a "remarkable speech" that
quote, "without a doubt is going to open a new page in relations with the Arab-Muslim world."

Israel says it hopes the speech will spark quote "a new kind of reconciliation" with the Arab

The Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers have called for the President's words to be followed by action.

A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calls the speech quote "a good start
and an important step towards a new American policy."

But a Hezbollah official says it signals no real shift in US policy, despite the conciliatory tone.

Michael O'Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He says the speech delivered a
bit of what he calls "tough love for everyone".

MICHAEL O'HANLON: And I thought he was emphatic in insisting that the Holocaust never be denied;
that all peoples in the Middle East have a right to freedom and also to a decent life.

And so I really thought it was fine. If anything, to me it was a little bit predictable, given what
we knew that the President would want to say, and what he's been representing by his sheer
candidacy and then presidency so far, as a black American with certain kinds of Muslim-related ties
in his background.

So I think that's about the biggest criticism I could have - it was sort of a workman-like speech.
But I didn't hear any tones that were objectionable myself.

KIM LANDERS: Rami Khouri is the editor of the "Daily Star" newspaper in Lebanon.

RAMI KHOURI: I think putting the Israelis and the Palestinians squarely on the same level was a
significant step for American policy. It's a symbolic step, but I think the fact that he's doing it
is important, and he's reiterating that he's going to be personally committed to pushing this
peacemaking process forward. I think that's interesting.

The other thing I found interesting was he more or less was starting a piece of dialogue if not a
negotiation with Hamas, by addressing Hamas and talking about what they need to do. I think that
was pretty significant. All the other stuff was repeating known positions.

KIM LANDERS: So will President Barack Obama's speech help to establish a new relationship between
the United States and the Muslim world?

Shibley Telhami is the Anwar Sadat professor for peace and development at the University of

SHIBLEY TELHAMI: He I think changed the discourse a lot on a number of issues, including militant
extremism. We didn't hear the term "terrorism". We heard him reiterate the intent to pull out of
Iraq. It's a very popular issue in the Arab world.

He talked about Iraq for the Iraqis - we want Iraqis as partners, not as patron. Very important
language, I think, and you get a lot of applause for that.

He addressed the Israeli-Palestinian issue. It's a central issue; a lot of people focused on it,
particularly in Cairo. He was tough on both sides. He put some new language particularly on the
settlements. I'm not sure how this will be received in the Arab world. I think in general, the
perception will be that I think he said many positive things.

But expectations were so high - maybe too high. I think that was part of the problem for this
speech, is that the raised expectations maybe were too high and I fear an outcome where people will
say, I've heard this before, even though he said a lot of different things.

KIM LANDERS: Barack Obama may have stretched out a hand to the Muslim world, but in the end his
speech is only words and it needs to be followed up by policy.

This is Kim Landers in Washington for "The World Today".

Another British minister resigns, PM's future in doubt

Another British minister resigns, PM's future in doubt

The World Today - Friday, 5 June , 2009 12:25:00

Reporter: Emma Alberici

PETER CAVE: The leadership of the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown it teetering on the edge
today after the resignation of the fifth minister in recent days; the third at Cabinet level.

Work and Pensions Minister James Purnell quit spectacularly in an open letter to several newspapers
in which he described Mr Brown's prime ministership as disastrous for Britain.

Unlike the other ministers who have been forced to quit over the continuing row over outrageous
expense claims, Mr Purnell was untainted by that scandal.

I asked the ABC's Europe correspondent Emma Alberici how damaging his resignation is likely to be.

EMMA ALBERICI: It's an extraordinary circumstance. This is the third Cabinet minister in as many
days. It really weakens his authority over the leadership; indeed the prime ministership.

PETER CAVE: It was quite a personal attack, wasn't it?

EMMA ALBERICI: It certainly was, and this is what differentiates his resignation from the others
that have come before it. It's on the front page of "The Times" newspaper, the entire text of his
letter to the Prime Minister.

He quite clearly spells out what he believes is the best tack for the Prime Minister to take. He
does say that he's acting alone and not in concert with any other parts of the party, but of course
we already knew that there was a plot to unseat Gordon Brown; that some rebel MPs had been
circulating an email looking for signatories to call for Gordon Brown's resignation. They now say
they have the numbers - they needed 70, they say they have around 75.

So this latest blow to Gordon Brown, with James Purnell coming out so publicly, can't bode well for
his prospects over the next day or so.

PETER CAVE: Have any of his colleagues been lining up to support him?

EMMA ALBERICI: There have been, actually. Jack Straw has - you know, a Labour Party stalwart - he's
come out and pledged his loyalty; the Culture Secretary as well.

Some of the older guard have. Notably Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, who is generally
considered the most likely contender for the leadership should Gordon Brown stand aside, Alan
Johnson's been very quiet indeed.

PETER CAVE: How important will the results of the local and the European elections be to his

EMMA ALBERICI: Well it's curious the timing of James Purnell's resignation; coming at 10 o'clock at
night English time which is the exact time that polling stations closed. They all closed around the
country at 10pm for both the European and local elections. He obviously timed it that way.

And Hazel Blears the Communities Secretary who resigned the day before, obviously timed her
resignation just as polling booths were about to open.

In the next four days, as the results start to come in, there will be some indication of just how
poorly the Labour Party is being viewed out in the electorate.

And I suspect that we'll see, you know, a lot of other MPs show their hands as the results start to
come in. If Labour does as badly as most commentators expect it to - and it's extraordinary to
think that there are so many analysts out there, political analysts who are saying that Labour is
quite likely to come third in the European elections, behind the Conservatives and the Liberal

So if they do as badly as is expected, I imagine we'll see increasing calls for him to step aside.

PETER CAVE: Our Europe correspondent Emma Alberici.

Sri Lankan doctors facing trial over civilian shelling reports

Sri Lankan doctors facing trial over civilian shelling reports

The World Today - Friday, 5 June , 2009 12:30:00

Reporter: Sally Sara

PETER CAVE: The fighting might be over in Sri Lanka but the Government there is still feeling the
heat over its treatment of the displaced Tamil minority, as well as allegations that the military
violated human riots during the bloody civil conflict.

The United Nations has repeated its call for greater access to the refugee camps as well as for an
inquiry into alleged war crimes on both sides.

The Sri Lankan Government is also fending off criticism it's persecuting a group of doctors who
spoke out about civilian casualties during the war.

Three doctors are facing trial after giving detailed reports on shelling in civilian areas during
the last days of the conflict between government forces and the Tamil Tigers.

South Asia correspondent Sally Sara reports.

SALLY SARA: They were among the few voices from the frontline during the last days of the war in
northern Sri Lanka.

The three doctors were treating patients inside the no-fire zone and gave graphic accounts of
shelling. No journalists were allowed in the area so the doctor's accounts provided much needed
information about civilian casualties.

The three men were detained by security forces on May the 16th and are now being held in the
capital Colombo.

Sri Lanka's Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says the medicos were making false
accusations about government forces shelling civilians.

MAHINDA SAMARASINGHE: We know that there was no shelling on the part of the government forces,
because we had gone on record at the highest level in saying that we will not resort to shelling.

SALLY SARA: Mr Samarasinghe has accused the doctors of colluding with the Tamil Tigers.

MAHINDA SAMARASINGHE: These doctors were inside the no-fire zone, which was totally under the
control of the LTTE, and we believe that the doctors were used or maybe they were even part of that
whole conspiracy.

SALLY SARA: The doctors could be held in detention for up to a year. Under Sri Lanka's emergency
laws, they must be produced in court once a month.

The situation has drawn an angry response from human rights groups.

Deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights, Susannah Sirkin says the Government must release
the men.

SUSANNAH SIRKIN: This is really an appalling effort to suppress information in a conflict, and also
to basically deny medical doctors the ethical duty that they have as professionals to prevent and
limit the suffering of patients in their care.

SALLY SARA: Physicians for Human Rights has praised the courage of the three Sri Lankans and says
they were only doing their jobs.

SUSANNAH SIRKIN: It is a doctor's duty to speak out to protect their patients. These physicians
were doing nothing more than following the Hippocratic Oath and adhering to the Geneva conventions
which require health professionals to treat the sick and the wounded and to do everything they can
to protect them.

SALLY SARA: The former conflict zone in the north of the country is still tightly controlled.
Journalists are only able to visit the displacement camps with the approval and supervision of the
Sri Lankan military, and the civilians in the camps are unable to leave.

The true death toll from the final battles of the war remains unknown.

PETER CAVE: South Asia correspondent Sally Sara.

Firefighters hoping national study will prove cancer link

Firefighters hoping national study will prove cancer link

The World Today - Friday, 5 June , 2009 12:33:00

Reporter: David Mark

PETER CAVE: Firefighters are hoping that a national study will prove that there is a correlation
between their profession and higher than average rates of cancer.

A cluster of cancers at a fire station in Far North Queensland prompted a state-wide study that was
tabled in the Queensland Parliament yesterday.

That study found no evidence of higher cancer rates for firefighters but the state secretary of
their union believes a national study will confirm overseas evidence that firefighters are much
more prone to cancer.

David Mark reports.

DAVID MARK: It was a cluster of cancers at the Atherton fire station in Queensland that raised
concerns among firefighters around that State.

Mark Walker, the state secretary of the United Firefighters' Union in Queensland explains.

MARK WALKER: Three firefighters were diagnosed with brain cancers, or brain tumours. One of those
was unfortunately fatal.

DAVID MARK: An investigation couldn't find any definitive causes for the cancers.

A subsequent study by Monash University researchers into all Queensland firefighters was tabled in
the State Parliament yesterday.

While the study showed that there was no significant increase in the rates of cancers among
firefighters compared to the general population, Mark Walker believes the correlation does exist.

MARK WALKER: What we do say is it was a relatively small sample size of Queensland firefighters
over a relatively short period of time. Now the data from overseas shows that firefighters do face
a significantly increased risk of various types of cancers. So we treat this finding somewhat with
a bit of caution.

DAVID MARK: Dr Deborah Glass, a senior research fellow at Monash University was the lead author of
the Queensland study. She acknowledges the sample was limited.

DEBORAH GLASS: It is a very small study and it hasn't been followed for a very long time. I mean,
we were looking at firefighters employed between 95 and 2006, which were the records that were

And of course, though the average age at the end of that follow-up for men was sort of 43, 44, and
you wouldn't expect men in their 30s to have a very high cancer rate - that tends to be something
that happens in older people.

DAVID MARK: Mark Walker says studies in the United States show firefighters are three times more
likely to get cancer than other men.

MARK WALKER: Just the general risk of firefighting; the daily exposure of firefighters to
carcinogens at incidents. They've demonstrated a higher risk or a higher level of incidence of
cancers overseas. That's come about because of a large statistical investigation group. There's
290,000 career firefighters in the United States so it's actually a valid figure to be able to draw
an investigation from, rather than a relatively small sample group in Queensland.

DAVID MARK: Dr Deborah Glass:

DEBORAH GLASS: There's pretty good evidence that testicular cancer, prostate cancer and
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are associated with working as a firefighter, and there have been several
studies which have shown that which is why the evidence is sort of regarded as good.

DAVID MARK: Now Dr Glass is looking into whether a national study of firefighters is feasible.

The Firefighters' Union's Mark Walker believes a national study will show Australian firefighters
are more susceptible to cancers.

MARK WALKER: What we're seeking ultimately is a change in legislation so that when a firefighter is
diagnosed with a cancer, it is automatically recognised as being work related.

DAVID MARK: That means firefighters won't have to fight protracted legal battles at the same time
as they're fighting their illnesses.

Dr Deborah Glass will produce a feasibility report into a possible national study at the end of
this month.

PETER CAVE: David Mark reporting.

Deputy PM cleared of contempt of court

Deputy PM cleared of contempt of court

The World Today - Friday, 5 June , 2009 12:36:00

Reporter: Rachael Brown

PETER CAVE: The Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been cleared of contempt of court
allegations for comments she made about a union turf war in Melbourne.

In a speech to a union conference this week Ms Gillard justified her stance on the Australian
Building and Construction Commission, commenting on carloads of balaclava-clad men involved in a

Lawyers representing men charged over the West Gate Bridge Industrial dispute say that it
prejudices their clients' case, and that Ms Gillard abused her position.

Rachael Brown reports.

RACHAEL BROWN: The Deputy PM has been accused of gratuitous embellishment of charges facing
construction workers to help vindicate her Government's promise to abolish the Australian Building
and Construction Commission.

Twelve men have been charged with reckless conduct and traffic offences, arising out of a pay and
conditions dispute on the West Gate Bridge upgrade project.

Julia Gillard's alleged contemptuous comments were made to the ACTU's congress on Wednesday and
refer to balaclava-clad men during the West Gate industrial dispute.

JULIA GILLARD: Like me, I'm sure you were appalled to read of dangerous car chases across Melbourne
city involving carloads of balaclava wearing people, criminal damage to vehicles resulting in
arrests, threats of physical violence and intimidation of individuals - including damage to a
private residence.

The last time I read of balaclavas in an industrial dispute they were being worn by security thugs
at the Melbourne waterfront when the MUA fought its history-making battle against Patrick's and the
Liberal Party.

RACHAEL BROWN: The defence counsel representing the men charged has described the comments as
inflammatory and a calculated attempt to further Ms Gillard's political agenda.

Defence lawyer Rob Stary says the men aren't even charged with wearing a disguise, mass threats of
violence, nor damaging private property.

He says the comments from the second highest office holder in Australia were reported widely in the
press and prejudiced the men's right to a fair trial.

ROB STARY (excerpt from court transcript): It cannot be the case that simply because a person holds
high office in this country, that they have carte blanche to make such comments that affect the
administration of justice in this State.

RACHAEL BROWN: Mr Stary asked the magistrate to suppress further comments by Ms Gillard, demand an
apology or a fine, or refer the matter to the OPP.

But the prosecution said Ms Gillard didn't name anyone, has not prejudiced the men's case, and that
people can't be prohibited from commenting on what they see and hear in the public arena.

The magistrate agreed, saying he's not confident Ms Gillard's comments amount to contempt, nor
should they be referred to the OPP.

PETER CAVE: That report from Rachael Brown in Melbourne.

States' water stoush continues

States' water stoush continues

The World Today - Friday, 5 June , 2009 12:39:00

Reporter: Gos Goswell

PETER CAVE: The South Australian Government is standing by its threat to take Victoria to the High
Court over water trading policies.

Victoria has reached an agreement with the Commonwealth which will allow the Federal Government to
buy 300-billion litres of water over the next five years.

That agreement follows Victoria's decision to agree to lift one of two water trading barriers, a
cap on the amount of water that can be bought by non-landowners.

But another barrier, a 4 per cent cap on the amount of water that can be traded outside Victoria,
remains in place for now.

South Australia says that's unacceptable, but Victoria has accused South Australia of impeding
water reform.

Farmers say time is running out resolve the stalemate.

Gus Goswell reports.

GUS GOSWELL: There's never a shortage of passion when it comes to the politics of the Murray
Darling Basin.

Victoria has agreed to give the Commonwealth greater access to water, a deal it says will mean more
water for the Murray and greater protection of the environment, while still supporting the
irrigation sector.

South Australia's Minister for Water Security and the River Murray, Karlene Maywald says that
despite its latest concessions Victoria must go further. Ms Maywald wants a river without borders.

KARLENE MAYWALD: We think that it's unreasonable that one state should be able to set rules that
are different to the rest of the nation and we will continue to pursue it through the High Court.

We welcome this step forward however because it means that immediately, the Federal Government can
get in there and start purchasing water, which is a good thing. Whilst we welcome that step
forward, it's not far enough.

GUS GOSWELL: Victoria's Water Minister Tim Holding says the deal with the Commonwealth wasn't
intended to placate South Australia and New South Wales, and he's attacked the South Australian
Government's position.

TIM HOLDING: There are still barriers to trade in South Australia and New South Wales at the moment
- termination fees, cancellation fees. In the Renmark irrigation district in South Australia
there's a total ban on water being traded out.

If South Australia was serious about dealing with these sorts of issues they'd be addressing some
of the anomalies that exist in their own State.

GUS GOSWELL: For many of those looking on, the stoush is unacceptable.

Mike Young is professor of Water Economics and Management at the University of Adelaide.

MIKE YOUNG: For farmers even in Victoria it means tremendous uncertainty. A lot of people were
planning to sell, planning to restructure, wanting to get on with irrigation, and they can't work
out what's happening. And there's immense frustration right across the industry as people can't
plan with confidence and certainty.

GUS GOSWELL: Neither the National Farmers' Federation nor the Victorian Farmers Federation was
available for comment this morning.

The president of the South Australian Farmers' Federation, Peter White, says the farmers he
represents are frustrated by the stalemate.

PETER WHITE: If you're an irrigator it means that Victoria are getting a greater share and are
reluctant to give that up in comparison with the rest of the states. So I mean the river belongs to
Australia, not just Victoria or any other state.

GUS GOSWELL: Peter White says the Federal Government holds the key to unlocking the impasse.

PETER WHITE: The sooner that the Commonwealth Government take it over completely and the states
back off the better really because I don't see any other resolution to it than a single federal
organisation to manage the entire basin, not each state having their two bob's worth.

PETER CAVE: The president of the South Australian Farmers' Federation, Peter White ending Gus
Goswell's report.

Great Barrier Reef pesticide controls anger farmers

Great Barrier Reef pesticide controls anger farmers

The World Today - Friday, 5 June , 2009 12:42:00

Reporter: Annie Guest

PETER CAVE: Conservationists are anticipating a victory in their long running battle with farmers
over the effects of runoffs from pesticides and fertilisers on the Great Barrier Reef.

Legislation has been introduced into the Queensland Parliament that would restrict farmers' use of
the chemicals. Failure to comply could trigger a $30,000 fine.

But farmers say there's no proven links to coral bleaching and infestations of the crown of thorns
starfish, and it's just part of Green preference deals.

Annie Guest reports from Brisbane.

ANNIE GUEST: Thirty-two-thousand tonnes - that's how much fertiliser the Queensland Government says
flows onto the Great Barrier Reef every year.

Add concerns about climate change and you have a lot of people worrying about the reef's survival.

The Government says it's found a way to help the multi-million dollar tourist attraction and
conservationists like Nick Heath from the WWF are celebrating.

NICK HEATH: Queenslanders, Australians, people all over the world, they want the reef to survive
and they want the reef to thrive. We don't want the reef to become, you know, a rubble that we
can't, you know, show our grandchildren.

ALF CRISTAUDO: Well I and growers up and down the coast are absolutely angry that the Government
has continued to ostracise growers and brand them as environmental vandals.

ANNIE GUEST: Alf Cristaudo grows cane north of Townsville near the Herbert River, a waterway
flowing into the Great Barrier Reef.

Under the legislation introduced yesterday he and thousands of other north Queensland farmers would
be forced to do soil tests, keep records, and restrict pesticide and fertiliser use to levels
deemed appropriate by authorities. Graziers would be required to submit stock numbers.

The move follows last year's Scientific Consensus Statement on Water Quality in the Reef that
concluded sediment, pesticides and fertilisers are at dangerously high levels.

The damage caused to the reef by coral bleaching and the crown of thorns starfish is irrefutable
but farmers like Alf Cristaudo say there's no proven link to agriculture, and the runoff estimates
are overblown anyway.

ALF CRISTAUDO: It's an extra added burden, another level of bureaucracy - more documentation, more
reporting - that really is not going to help in any direct way.

ANNIE GUEST: Do you believe in the notion of rogue farmers that are out there not complying and not
taking up advice to change their practices?

ALF CRISTAUDO: I don't agree with the notion of rogue farmers at all.

ANNIE GUEST: But Queensland's Premier Anna Bligh says there is a minority of farmers who haven't
improved practices, despite a $200-million federal assistance package to help them do so.

Recently she's been criticised over wild rivers laws and proposed World Heritage listing on Cape
York Peninsula, with allegations it's all part of a political ploy.

And the Queensland Farmers' Federation's Dan Galligan mounts the same argument about the reef

DAN GALLIGAN: This is really about delivering an election commitment that the Premier made in the
last state election, and it was really about delivering a message to the Greens in terms of

ANNIE GUEST: But that's disputed by the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Kate Jones.

ANNIE GUEST: Is there any relationship between this legislation and Green preferences?

KATE JONES: As you well know that I am the new Minister. I'm absolutely not aware of that in any

ANNIE GUEST: And the minister says the laws would help reverse damage to the Great Barrier Reef and
the aim is a 50 per cent reduction in runoff in four years.

The Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators called for the laws five years ago. Its spokesman
is Col McKenzie.

COL MCKENZIE: Everything is coming together. It needed to be both Federal and State Government
response and now we need to make sure we encourage the farmers to invest in the right practices.

And failing that if we can't get them to pick up and do the right thing and be compensated for it
then certainly we need the big stick to follow up.

ANNIE GUEST: The laws are certain to pass Queensland's Labor dominated unicameral Parliament.

PETER CAVE: Annie Guest reporting from Brisbane.

Sydney last city to switch on digital radio

Sydney last city to switch on digital radio

The World Today - Friday, 5 June , 2009 12:47:00

Reporter: Simon Palan

PETER CAVE: Well, we've had digital TV for a while - now it's time to get ready for digital radio.

Sydney is set to become the last major metropolitan centre to switch on.

Like digital television, the new technology means better sound and more stations but with that
comes the threat of further audience fragmentation.

Simon Palan reports.

(Sound of radio station Nova 96.9)

SIMON PALAN: It's been a long time coming, but the radio industry is assuring us it's finally here.

Digital radio is now broadcasting in Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and the CEO of
Commercial Radio Australia Joan Warner says Sydney will be online soon, weather permitting.

JOAN WARNER: We've had a terrible time with weather in Sydney, I have to tell you Simon and every
bad weather day puts us back another day. But yes, we're looking at later this week or early next
week to finally switch on all our services.

SIMON PALAN: She says digital radio offers more stations, more features and better sound.

JOAN WARNER: We've got the benefit of better reception; a good, more reliable, more robust signal;
we have digital quality sound.

SIMON PALAN: But if you want to listen to it, you will need to buy a new digital radio for around

They offer extra information such as scrolling text with song titles and news headlines. Soon
they'll come with memory so users can rewind the radio and colour screens to show pictures of
artists and advertising.

The response to digital radio from overseas listeners has been lukewarm. It now accounts for around
20 per cent of all radio listening in the UK.

(Sound of FM radio station)

SIMON PALAN: The big FM players here have already launched new digital stations.

The director of radio at ABC, Kate Dundas, says the public broadcaster will go digital next month,
starting with eight stations, including the five existing networks in each capital.

KATE DUNDAS: Plus three new services: Dig Music, and that's a music, contemporary music station,
ABC Jazz, and ABC Country.

SIMON PALAN: Media analyst Mark McDonnell says if digital radio succeeds, it won't happen

MARK MCDONNELL: Oh, there's no question it represents some improvements, but whether there's a huge
appetite for those initially is yet to be seen. And of course we do know that people's listening
habits in radio tend to follow fairly habitual patterns so that shifting into new media can take
time when the benefits are quite incremental.

SIMON PALAN: And with more stations comes also the very real risk of further fragmenting in the

MARK MCDONNELL: I don't think this is a problem that is unique to radio or even TV. I mean, if you
look at the magazine market you could make the same general observation.

SIMON PALAN: Joan Warner again:

JOAN WARNER: The radio industry is going to make this work. We will make sure we don't fragment our
market to a point where we don't have a market. We're all in business and we all know how to run a

SIMON PALAN: The other potential concern to digital radio operators are the niche, independent
stations operating on the internet. Many of them are offering individual listeners the ability to
select exactly what they want to hear.

But Mark McDonnell says they're not too much of a threat - at the moment at least.

MARK MCDONNELL: The new web offerings to date aren't having a seriously corrosive effect on the
mainstream audiences. There's plenty of evidence to show that people are dabbling with these sorts
of innovations, but there still remains a significant opportunity for mainstream broadcasters who
really understand their audiences well to continue to aggregate content in a way that provides an
attractive audience solution.

PETER CAVE: Media analyst Mark McDonnell ending that report by Simon Palan.

Gas guzzling cars become luxury item

Gas guzzling cars become luxury item

The World Today - Friday, 5 June , 2009 12:50:00

Reporter: Di Bain

PETER CAVE: The sad state of the US motoring giant General Motors and its push to produce smaller,
leaner and greener cars has had an odd effect on the classic car market.

Because of all the talk about the demise of big gas guzzlers, their value has actually increased.

Di Bain reports.

(Sound of engine starting)

DI BAIN: It goes from zero to a hundred in six seconds.

(Sound of car driving away)

Not a selling point in today's market, but in its heyday the 1976 Pontiac Firebird was an American

MICK DONOHER: Yeah, it's a big heavy car, and it's got all the mod cons.

DI BAIN: Australian collector Mick Donoher is the proud owner of about a dozen classic American
muscle cars. The cars are the brainchild of the now bankrupt General Motors. Mick Donoher does them
up and sells them for a profit.

(Sound of car stereo playing)

DI BAIN: Pretty good sound.

MICK DONOHER: Yeah, it's alright. It's not bad, yeah.

DI BAIN: The oil shock of the 1970s spelled the demise of the classic American dream machines. They
became too expensive to drive. The market shrunk and so did the engine.

Mick Donoher says a similar story is playing out now.

MICK DONOHER: Market forces decided that insurance costs were going to go through the roof in the
70s; the crisis of fuel prices in the 70s - all those things conspired to kill off those muscle
cars of the 60s and 70s, and I think the same thing's sort of happening now.

It really doesn't matter what people want - it's just the way of the world. You know with fuel
crisis and greener cars and you know, that whole movement, it's just conspiring to bring about the
end of essentially big, gas guzzling cars once more.

DI BAIN: He says the V8s and super cars of today will suffer a similar demise to the classic
American muscle car.

MICK DONOHER: The new Mustang, the new Dodge Challenger; there's a whole retro movement out there,
but I can't help but thinking that's going to be short lived too because I mean, if you look at the
US now, they've just introduced a new bill which is going to, by 2012, bring into play a rule where
cars have to do at least 45 miles per gallon. No 500 horse power muscle car is going to be able to
produce those kinds of figures.

DI BAIN: The big Australian cars are also becoming a hard sell. Holden's latest offering, the W427,
isn't exactly running out the door. It was going to make 427 of them, but it's now only producing

Classic car auctioneers like Chris Borobin are watching the market closely.

CHRIS BOROBIN: It's an interesting market. It's very unknown ahead of us.

DI BAIN: Do you think those kinds of cars will be built in 20 years' time?

CHRIS BOROBIN: Oh, that is a very tough question to ask, that one. Are we going to follow the
electric route that we're on at the moment? Are we only going to be driving electric cars in 20
years' time? Is the Government going to phase out petrol-powered cars, due to the environment?

I mean, these are all factors that we don't know.

DI BAIN: Can you see yourself in say 20 years' time auctioning off a Holden Special Vehicle?

CHRIS BOROBIN: Look I think you could. I think the next generation would probably, will relate to
that. I mean that's probably the cars that they watched race in the 90s and 2000s and that's what
they're going to be relating to.

DI BAIN: Only time will tell if the high performance cars of today have a strong future. What's
certain is the price tag of the classic muscle car. It's withstanding the test of time. Some have
been sold at auction this year for six figures - more than a brand new Holden Special Vehicle.

PETER CAVE: Di Bain with that report.

Opal industry complains about fakes

Opal industry complains about fakes

The World Today - Friday, 5 June , 2009 12:54:00

Reporter: Nance Haxton

PETER CAVE: The opal industry is one of the mainstays of South Australia's outback economy, but a
rise in the sale of synthetic opals is driving down the price of the real thing and making the
industry unviable.

Boro Rapaic from the Opal Industry Alliance says the huge demand for opals in the United States and
China is causing an influx of laboratory-made opals into the market.

There are no laws against the sale of synthetic opals in Australia as long as they're clearly
labelled but Mr Rapaic told Nance Haxton in Adelaide this is not always happening.

BORO RAPAIC: We have this synthetic opal being sold all round the world, everywhere, in really
large quantities. But it's not a problem of selling opal as long as it gets labelled as such, as a
fake opal.

And this has been a problem with our industry that whenever they sell one of those stones, we sell
less of one of our genuine stones.

The problem is it doesn't get identified as such - it's just hard to police. People simply can't
tell what is synthetic and which is not, and some people do label it as synthetic, which is okay.
In that case you've got no argument whatsoever.

But people that don't label it, that's where the problem arises. And most of them are not doing

I believe that synthetic opals shouldn't even be imported in the country. If it was up to me, I
wouldn't import them because we produce genuine stuff.

NANCE HAXTON: So all the fake opals are imported from overseas?

BORO RAPAIC: Yes they are - they don't make them here. They import the whole lot.

NANCE HAXTON: Is it mainly from any particular country?

BORO RAPAIC: Well, they make them in Japan, China, America - Japan mostly now, they call it
"man-made opal", which actually is just another synthetic.

NANCE HAXTON: And do they look like the real thing?

BORO RAPAIC: They look excellent, actually. They've made them really good. They do look good, but
they are plastic; mostly they're made out of plastic and silica mixed together.

NANCE HAXTON: So people are getting caught out by these fake opals?

BORO RAPAIC: Oh yeah, just imagine some tourist come from overseas and somewhere and then buy
Australian gemstone, piece of opal, and they go back there with a piece of plastic. So that is a

If it's labelled as such, nobody would argue, nobody would say nothing about it. But it's pretty
hard for us to enforce, to police that law. It's just impossible. In most cases the opal is not
labelled. Not in China, not in America.

People do get in trouble if they get caught in America especially. But in China they're pretty
loose with it.

NANCE HAXTON: Fake opals, I imagine, would also be essentially worthless.

BORO RAPAIC: They are. You can buy probably one kilo of synthetic opals for $1500 where genuine
stuff, you'd be paying $50,000 for it.

NANCE HAXTON: Does the colour fade eventually with the fake opals?

BORO RAPAIC: Yes, we believe the colour fades too. Yes, especially around the edges.

Look, a lot of miners here (inaudible) they can tell synthetics straight away.

NANCE HAXTON: What would you like to see done to stop this problem?

BORO RAPAIC: Well, I don't know what can we do. I have no idea. I've been talking to politicians a
little bit, we're trying to work out ourselves here first with Miners' Association, business
association in Coober Pedy, to see if we can do anything about it.

I don't think we can make a big change, but if we could do something, it would be really good for
genuine miners.

NANCE HAXTON: Because opals are really one of the main parts of the economy up at Coober Pedy,
aren't they?

BORO RAPAIC: That's right, that's the only economy we have here. And if it goes down the drain
because of synthetic opals, well, that's what might happen.

PETER CAVE: Coober Pedy miner Boro Rapaic speaking by phone to Nance Haxton in Adelaide.