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Govt calls for patience on hospital takeover pledge

Govt calls for patience on hospital takeover pledge

Sabra Lane reported this story on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:10:00

PETER CAVE: The Federal Opposition has called on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to spell out in detail
how he will fulfil an election promise he made two years ago on taking over the nation's hospital
system.

Mr Rudd promised in the lead-up to the last election that if the states hadn't agreed on fixing the
health system by mid-2009, the Federal Government would propose a takeover and put that proposition
to voters.

The Opposition's health spokesman Peter Dutton says the deadline is now here and the pledge given
by Mr Rudd now stands as another broken promise.

From Canberra Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: This is the promise Kevin Rudd made on August the 23rd, 2007 when he was the Federal
Opposition leader.

KEVIN RUDD: It's time for someone to put their hand up and take responsibility and if elected as
prime minister in two months time, that's exactly what I intend to do, so that when it comes to
health and hospitals the buck would stop with me if elected as the next prime minister of
Australia.

SABRE LANE: He also nominated a date. Mr Rudd said if the health system hadn't improved by
mid-2009, he'd ask the population if the Federal Government should take over the running of the
country's 750 public hospitals.

KEVIN RUDD: A Rudd Labor government will seek to take financial control of Australia's 750 public
hospitals, if state and territory Governments have failed to agree to a national health and
hospital reform plan by mid-2009, to eliminate the duplication and overlap which currently plagues
the system.

PETER DUTTON: Today is fundamental injustice day for the Prime Minister of course. This was the day
that Kevin Rudd promised to fix public hospitals.

SABRE LANE: The shadow health spokesman Peter Dutton.

PETER DUTTON: We' calling on The Government to fulfil their promise and that's what Mr Rudd needs
to answer today. Is he going take public hospitals over as he promised at the last election? Is he
even going to give you a criteria or benchmark by which you can make a decision whether or not he's
fixed public hospitals or even the Government can make their own analysis as to whether or not
they've fixed public hospitals? They're the questions that need to be answered.

SABRE LANE: Mr Dutton called a media conference this morning to challenge Mr Rudd. He says the
hospital pledge now stands as yet another broken promise.

PETER DUTTON: His election promise was to fix public hospitals by today. If he didn't do that he
was going to seek a mandate. Now we're calling on The Rudd Government to seek that mandate, to put
in to place their promise. We'll see the details that they provide because as I say there's no
detail in what the Prime Minister has proposed.

Let him put forward what it is he was talking about. Wdon't have any form of words beyond that, so
we need to see exactly what it is Mr Rudd is providing, how it is he thinks he will operate
hospitals, what form the mandate will take, what form of words the questions will form if he's
going to put are referendum to the people.

SABRE LANE: The Opposition's health spokesman says the hospital promise was ill-considered, just
like FuelWatch and GroceryChoice.

PETER DUTTON: A promise that he would fix the cost of living pressures as well, that he would fix
the price of petrol and that he would fix the price of groceries. Now he obviously never had any
intention of fulfilling those promises. I suspect that Hospital Watch was something the Prime
Minister never intended doing anything about.

SABRE LANE: But Mr Dutton dodged questions about the Opposition's alternative health policies.

PETER DUTTON: We've got views about the future direction of the health system in this country.

REPORTER: What are they?

SABRE LANE: And he was pressed several times about whether the Opposition supported a federal
takeover or thought it was good public policy.

PETER DUTTON: Our position is not one of Government from exile. We're not proposing to run a
parallel system; we will make our commitments at the time of the next election

SABRE LANE: But Peter Dutton you are the alternative Government.

PETER DUTTON: We are and we are formulating policies, we will release those policies and Mr Rudd
released his at the time of the last election, now the problem Mr Rudd has is that he was elected.
And he was elected which now means that he has the onus to deliver on those promises.

SABRE LANE: The Australian Medical Association's president Dr Andrew Pesce told ABC2 Breakfast the
current system can't continue.

Dr ANDREW PESCE: We need beds, we don't need desks, and we need a single funder to make sure that
there's no cost or blame shifting which continues to impede our ability to fix the problems that
we've got.

SABRE LANE: Kevin Rudd was very clear in his 2007 declaration - he said a decision would be made by
mid-2009. At the time, critics said it was an overly ambitious deadline that he'd find very hard to
meet. And certainly the language on the promise has changed. The Federal Health Minister Nicola
Roxon.

NICOLA ROXON: Well the deadline is, as it has always been, that we would consider this issue in the
middle of the year. We are in the middle of the year, we are considering the issue and we certainly
will make our views known in due course.

SABRE LANE: When Labor won office, it commissioned two major reports on health - one on the
nation's health and hospital system, the other on preventative health policies. Both reports will
be handed to the Government today and Nicola Roxon says a decision won't be immediate as the
Government needs time to properly consider the reports and recommendations before deciding what it
will do.

NICOLA ROXON: We're only receiving the report from the Health and Hospital Reform Commission today
and we would like to consider it, as I think the public would expect us to, carefully and closely.

PETER CAVE: The Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon ending that report from Sabre Lane.

Homebirths illegal under maternity services reform

Homebirths illegal under maternity services reform

Emily Bourke reported this story on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:14:00

PETER CAVE: The Federal Government says it won't be changing its policy of not providing insurance
for midwives supervising home births, despite warnings that home births will be driven underground
and that newborns will die.

A Byron Bay coroner has written to the federal and state governments warning of disastrous
consequences if midwives working outside the hospitals are not covered by indemnity insurance.

His warning follows the coronial inquest into the death of a baby born at home, a case that has put
the practice of home-births in Australia under intense scrutiny.

Emily Bourke reports.

EMILY BOURKE: Byron Bay coroner Thomas Reimer found the death of baby Jasper Kosch-Coyne was
probably caused by the umbilical cord being wrapped tightly around his neck and by his inhaling of
meconium during the difficult homebirth.

The midwife in attendance was not held responsible but instead a series of "shortcomings" in the
lead-up to the newborn's death.

But in handing down his findings, coroner Reimer has warned federal and state governments about
legal changes made under the maternity reform package.

THOMAS REIMER (voiceover): It seems that it is intended to legislate to make it unlawful for
homebirths to take place attended by midwives, unless they are fully covered for professional
negligence.

It has been forecast that no insurers would be prepared to issue such policies. It seems to follow
that the practice itself, by this back door method, could in itself become unlawful. Obviously this
could have disastrous ramifications. It might have the affect of driving the practise of home
birthing underground, which would be a dangerous outcome.

EMILY BOURKE: Under legislation introduced last week, midwives will be able to access the Medicare
Benefits Schedule and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for the first time.

They'll also be able to access a new government-supported professional indemnity scheme but
midwives working outside a clinical setting will not be eligible.

Justine Caines from Homebirth Australia says homebirth will effectively be illegal.

JUSTINE CAINES: Come July 1 next year homebirth midwives without insurance will be unable to
register. If they practise without registering they face a $30,000 fine and therefore the only
choice women have is to go it alone or to engage an unskilled birth attendant. Both of those
options to us are absolutely not acceptable.

Certainly there are moves afoot and I applaud Nicola Roxon for maternity service reform for
beginning to start that process but this is simply not acceptable for her to make homebirths
unlawful. It is to me, it's not a sustainable option. She will be responsible for an increase in
preventable harm.

EMILY BOURKE: Hannah Dahlen is from the Australian College of Midwives. She says it's too proved
too difficult and too expensive for midwives to get their own insurance.

HANNAH DAHLEN: We've been trying now for the last eight years to do that and you see midwives don't
earn anywhere near the amount of money that obstetricians earn, so the purchasing of that insurance
is way outside of the ability of a midwife to pay but we're still willing to negotiate. And we're
also really saying to the Government, look why don't you actually ensure what the evidence says is
safe?

And we know from good international trials now that when women are low risk attended by competent
networked midwives who are linked into a system that there is no difference in outcomes for babies
as far as babies dying between home and hospital but vastly lower intervention. So we're saying,
look don't ensure everything but ensure low risk women but to date they're ignoring all of those
pleas.

EMILY BOURKE: And she fears the changes will make for a more opaque and dangerous system.

HANNAH DAHLEN: There are very few rogue operators. The majority of midwives are very sensible
balanced, evidence based and warm and centred practitioners but our concern is that these rogue
operators will become more apparent if we don't have a system that properly supports midwives and
properly supports women that's safe and accountable and also transparent.

We don't want to see everything going underground, we're getting emails all the time now from women
who say, "Well that's it; come July 2010 I'm freebirthing," and midwives who say, "Well I'm going
underground and you're never going to know what I'm doing" .

EMILY BOURKE: The Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon has issued a statement saying the recent
Maternity Services Review recommended professional indemnity insurance be made available for
appropriately qualified and skilled midwives. The Review did not support Commonwealth funding for
home births at this time. The report also notes that a number of state and territory governments
have developed programs and policies to allow for publicly funded homebirths under specific
conditions.

PETER CAVE: Emily Bourke reporting.

Chinese set to pay market prices for iron ore

Chinese set to pay market prices for iron ore

Sue Lannin reported this story on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:18:00

PETER CAVE: The world's biggest miners are going into the new financial year without a benchmark
agreement with China on iron ore prices for the first time in more than 40 years.

Japanese and South Korean steel mills have already agreed to a 33 per cent cut in prices.

Chinese producers are holding out for at least a 40 per cent.

But now it's looking like the price could be set by the market.

Finance reporter Sue Lannin reports

SUE LANNIN: It's the annual game of bluff between Chinese steel mills and iron ore producers.

For the first time no annual benchmark price has been agreed, although negotiations have run up to
the wire in the past.

Last year BHP Billiton didn't sign its iron ore contracts until early July. But key contracts
expire today and then the price will be set by the market.

Jonathan Barrett is the managing director of Commodity Broking Services, he says it could be a ploy
by Beijing to boost its new iron ore index.

JONATHAN BARRETT: There's an interesting play here with respect to moving the iron ore market away
from benchmarking and into more of the spot market and I think this is actually been a play that
the Chinese regulators are actually putting in pace.

SUE LANNIN: How significant is that? I mean we've seen these annual contract negotiations in place
for many years.

JONATHAN BARRETT: I think it's very significant because all the markets, when you look at the
primary import markets such as the base metals, the market always goes through these price
discovery processes and they're actually all done on exchanges and that allows the market for that
commodity to freely fluctuate.

I think that China because China has initiated the first iron ore exchange in the world I think
that they actually want see a lot of their smaller producers and users actually use that market as
a means for price discovery, rather than having the concerns over having to find out the price for
the entire year because if you do fix the price for the entire year then you really haven't got
much room to negotiate in terms of the pricing.

SUE LANNIN: And the Chinese steel makers have demanded a 40 per cent, at least a 40 per cent cut in
iron ore prices; do you think that they will get that?

JONATHAN BARRETT: At the end of the day, because of what's happened you know, with the Chinalco, I
feel that they're certainly hanging out for it. I think that it's warranted; whether or not they
get it is another thing.

SUE LANNIN: Senior resources analyst at Morningstar, Mark Taylor, says if prices are set by the
market that could benefit Australian producers.

MARK TAYLOR: I don't think they'll get a 40 per cent cut. Anything's possible but I just think it
would be very difficult for the iron ore mine to agree one price with Japanese and Korean mills and
then another price with Chinese customers, I just think that it'd be unpalatable.

To some extent the Chinese themselves undermined the value of the benchmark system by reneging on
the last contract period.

SUE LANNIN: So it might not be that significant then if no deal is signed and market reverts to the
spot prices?

MARK TAYLOR: It's significant in that it is a sea change in the way business is going to be done.
Probably be to the benefit of Australian producers in the longer term.

SUE LANNIN: Sean Fenton manages Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton Holdings at Tribeca Investment
management. He agrees that Chinese producers could get a bigger price cut.

SEAN FENTON: The contracts tend to very long-term in nature and generally set around volume with
annual prices being renegotiated, and it's true that, you know, in some years where there's
tension, pricing negotiations can drag out for some time but this is the first time in over 40
years that price negotiations have dragged out passed June 30 and some of those contracts are
automatically lapsing, so there' a lot of tension in the market at the moment.

PETER CAVE: Sean Fenton from Tribeca Investment management ending that report by Sue Lennon.

Rio Tinto says that its Chinese customers to decide what pricing arrangements will apply.

Premier gives evidence in corruption case

Premier gives evidence in corruption case

Charlotte Glennie reported this story on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:22:00

PETER CAVE: The Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has been in unfamiliar territory this morning, called
to give evidence in the Brisbane District Court against her former Cabinet colleague, Gordon
Nuttall.

Mr Nuttall has been accused of receiving 36 corrupt payments from two prominent Queensland
businessmen, during his time as a minister in the government of the former premier Peter Beattie.

The two-week trial is expected to be a who's who of Queensland politicians and business leaders.

Our reporter Charlotte Glennie has been in the court; she joins us now. So why was the Premier
called to give evidence?

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: Well Peter, the Premier was a Cabinet colleague of Gordan Nuttall as you said,
but a lot of her evidence actually focussed on when she was acting premier in 2005, during which
time Gordon Nuttall was minister of health and the later the minister for primary industries and
fisheries.

Now Premier Bligh was quizzed on her recollection from that time regarding Mr Nuttall and what he
might have declared or not declared on the relevant parliamentary registers or to Cabinet. She was
also asked in relation to her position now on the proper processes for declarations of financial
interest on the relevant registers, asked in general too about whether she is if the opinion that
the type of payments we're talking about here - $360,000 - ought to be declared on parliamentary
registers, and she was asked too about how much influence ministers actually have as decision
makers when they're sitting around the Cabinet table.

PETER CAVE: And what did she have to say about all that?

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: Well she told the court that she doesn't at any time recollect Gordon Nuttall
declaring any payment, either the $60,000 which he allegedly received from Harold Shand who was a
former director of Work Cover, or $300,000 allegedly payed over three years by Ken Talbot, who was
the former boss of Macarthur Coal.

Now Gordon Nuttall has pleaded not guilty to two charges of receiving these so-called secret
commissions. The Premier told the court today that not only does she not recall any declarations
being made but they ought to be recorded in parliamentary records.

She also said that there's no room in her opinion for any grey as far as this is concerned; that
any such payments if they were made ought to be declared, even loans ought to be declared, that
parliamentary rules are very clear about this.

She was asked too if she has any recollection of Mr Nuttall declaring any relationships between
himself and with either Harold Shand or Ken Talbot and she said no, no recollection of that either.

PETER CAVE: Charlotte, was the Premier asked about her own declarations on the parliamentary
registers?

CHARLOTTE GLENNIE: The Premier yes, under cross-examination, was quizzed about a holiday she had in
the home of former federal minster Ros Kelly, who's also a director of the construction company
Thiess.

Now this hit the headlines last year. The Premier at the time got in some trouble for not declaring
this on the parliamentary registry and today she was asked about the thought process in not
declaring that at the time. She told the court that she was very clear in her mind that this was
not a gift, that it was family holiday, that Ros Kelly had been a friend of hers for some years,
that the family were having a holiday in her house, watering the plants, looking after the dogs,
but she had subsequently declared this.

But she was quite categorical too about the fact that there was never any business relationship
between herself and Ms Kelly. She did accept that it may be some people might have differing
opinions as to what constitutes a gift but she said in this case it was very clear that when she
had that holiday it wasn't a secret, many people knew about it, which she suggested was obviously
no wrong doing in her situation.

PETER CAVE: Charlotte Glennie on a fairly dodgy mobile phone at the court there.

Afghan activist calls for Australian 'occupation' troops to go

Afghan activist calls for Australian 'occupation' troops to go

Peter Cave reported this story on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:26:00

PETER CAVE: Malalai Joya is often described as "the bravest woman in Afghanistan".

An activist for women's rights, she was elected as the youngest member of the Afghanistan
Parliament in 2003, and suspended four years later for her stinging attacks on the country's
warlords, who she's described as "snakes in the sleeves of government who must be brought to book
for war crimes and crimes against humanity".

There have been at least four attempts on her life and she lives by constantly switching houses and
travelling everywhere with heavily armed bodyguards.

Malalai Joya, now 30, is in Australia to promote her book, called Raising My Voice. She's a fierce
critic of the Government of Hamid Karzai and of the occupation of her country by foreign forces.

When she came to The World Today studio early today she told me that foreign forces, including
those from Australia, were doing more harm than good and that they should leave because they were
collaborating with the war criminals.

MALALAI JOYA: One day these criminals, these warlords, these bunch of killers to face to the
national and international criminal courts - they must be brought. But unfortunately, day by day
they're getting powerful, as this is the policy of US government, and even now negotiating with
Taliban. They want to bring in power Mullah Omar as well - many times they invited - and also
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar; these fascist men.

If these criminals also came in power with another bunch of killers who are in power, the circle of
warlords and drug lords and terrorism will be complete. And again, the innocent people of my
country - especially women, who were the first and most victims during the war, and are still many
violences - they will be the main victims.

PETER CAVE: When you went into Parliament and said exactly those sort of things, did you expect the
reaction you got? Did you expect to be kicked out of Parliament?

MALALAI JOYA: When I had a speech first time in 2003, that my life has been changed. Even I was not
sure that I, that they would let me to be alive or not. I was ready for sacrifice - as now as well
I am ready for every kind of sacrifices for my people, for causes like violence, like democracy,
woman's rights - as I believe that no nation can donate liberation to another nation. This is our
responsibility to bring these values and accept risks and tell the truth.

But in Parliament, when I found the second time as an elected member, but the election was not
democratic election, and Parliament, majority seats of Parliament belongs to warlords, drug lords
and criminals. Every time when I want to talk, they turn off microphone, threaten me to death, and
even they beated me inside of Parliament, even they threatened me to rape inside of Parliament. But
because I didn't compromise with them, and exposed their mask in their own house, in our national
house, and they made it dirty. That's why I called it that, because of their crimes. It's worse
than animal stable - it's like zoo. It's not national house.

PETER CAVE: You are a campaigner for women's rights in Afghanistan. Are women's rights getting
better or worse?

MALALAI JOYA: Unfortunately, situation for women in most of provinces is like hell. I cannot find
any words other than hell to explain the bitter, the worse...

PETER CAVE: Worse than it was under the Taliban?

MALALAI JOYA: Right now, situation of woman is as catastrophic as it was under the domination of
Taliban. Rape cases and violence is historical in Afghanistan. Alone in the Northern Provinces of
Afghanistan 12 rape cases get reported by the media, while it's more than that. Lots of women, tens
of women, every month they commit suicide, as there is no justice in Afghanistan.

For example, when the girls are going to schools, as they have eager to education, which as
education is a main key to emancipation of a country. And many examples like this that the
situation of woman is getting worse. For example 14-year-old Pashida was a young girl, and when
she's going to school, kidnapped by these warlords and has been raped, gang-raped; one of them, a
son of the member of the Parliament. How we should be hopeful that woman's rights will come in
Afghanistan?

PETER CAVE: Do you think that Hamid Karzai and his administration are doing any good things?

MALALAI JOYA: You know Hamid Karzai himself is a puppet man, who compromise with the enemies of our
people. And now again this shameless man is running for presidential election. And his government
today is very weak, and is have to know about his role as how much he was not honest for Afghan
people.

And he is - as US government wish - he is doing and do not take care to the wishes of our people.
And now, while he's running for presidential election, two candidates who is vice-president for him
is two famous killers. International advice has been raised against these candidates, but he do not
listen and don't care to that.

And now Karzai, I think he is like a rotten, dead body which should be buried.

PETER CAVE: You have also spoken about the presence of foreign troops in your country. How do you
feel about the presence of those troops, including Australian troops?

MALALAI JOYA: First of all, let me tell that these troops, they are the victim of the wrong policy
of their governments, including Australian troops. On behalf of my people, first of all I pay
condolences to those families who lost their sons in Afghanistan. Australian Government, as a part
of NATO, unfortunately they followed the wrong policy of US government in this seven years, which
the US policy is a war crime - it's a mockery of democracy, and a mockery of the war on terror. If
Obama continued this policy it would be even worse than Bush administration.

PETER CAVE: What would happen if the foreign troops left? Is that what you want?

MALALAI JOYA: Yeah, US government, US government policy is that supporting the enemies of our
people, and instead support the Democrats, as they are the only alternative for the future of
Afghanistan. Today they are very weak, and this puppet government of Hamid Karzai do not support
them. There is no (inaudible) for them and many risks for them, as (inaudible) not only Taliban
become powerless, but Afghanistan has been changed to the centre of track, as today 93 per cent of
opium produced from Afghanistan, even found its way on the streets of Europe and US...

PETER CAVE: But do you want them to leave, or just change the way they behave?

MALALAI JOYA: So, ah yeah. So they are not honest for Afghan people, and they support enemies of
our country. It is better as soon as possible leave Afghanistan. Now we are between two enemies -
one side this Taliban and Northern Alliance on the ground killing our people and doing violence
against women of my country - half of population of a country; and another side, these occupation
forces from the sky, they are bombing and killing our people.

So, I want one enemy, external enemy, these occupation forces, leave Afghanistan. Then it's easier
for us to fight with one enemy instead of two enemies.

PETER CAVE: Afghan women's rights advocate and author Malalai Joya, speaking to me earlier.

Protesters clash with troops after Honduras coup

Protesters clash with troops after Honduras coup

Meredith Griffiths reported this story on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:30:00

PETER CAVE: There have been angry scenes on the streets of the Central American country of
Honduras, after the President was ousted by the military and deported.

The Honduran authorities insist that President Manuel Zelaya was legally removed for violating the
constitution but his ouster has been widely condemned across the Americas.

The United States says it's a coup which will set a terrible precedent in the region, which has
been trying to overcome a legacy of military dictatorships.

Meredith Griffiths reports.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Crowds have taken to the streets of the capital of Honduras throwing rocks,
building barricades and lighting fires.

Several hundred demonstrators gathered outside the Presidential Palace in Tegucigalpa.

There are reports that security forces used tear gas and rubber bullets on the protestors, who are
angry that the military has ousted the President Manuel Zelaya.

VOX POP (translated): We demand that the entire community force this de facto Government out and
return Manuel Zelaya as our president.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Manuel Zelaya was deposed early on Sunday morning, when soldiers stormed his
residence, arrested the pyjama clad President and flew him to Costa Rica.

It was just hours before Hondurans were due to vote in a referendum to change the constitution,
allowing him to run for a second term.

However, the Honduran courts ruled that the referendum was unconstitutional.

Congress quickly appointed a new President, Roberto Micheletti, who insists that Manuel Zelaya was
legally removed.

But people on the streets of the capital Tegucigalpa seem to disagree.

VOX POP 2: We don't want this man who usurped power. We want our President.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: The US is listening.

President Barack Obama is supporting the calls for Manuel Zelaya to be re-instated.

BARACK OBAMA: We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the
President of Honduras, the democratically elected president there.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: It's the first coup in Latin America in 16 years and it's brought up memories
of previous military dictatorships in the region.

At a special meeting of the UN, the president of the General-Assembly, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann,
urged the world body to denounce the perpetrators

MIGUEL D'ESCOTO BROCKMANN: This is a throwback to another era that we had hoped was now a distant
nightmare.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Human Rights Watch says the Organisation of American States must show it will
now tolerate the abuse of democracy.

Spokesman Jose Miguel Vivanco says the organisation must quickly push the new Honduran authorities
to abandon power as soon as possible

JOSE MIGUEL VIVANCO: What I think the illegitimate government of Honduras needs to hear from
Washington as well as from the Organization of American States, is that the region is prepared to
apply not only diplomatic pressure, not only the suspension from participation in the Organization
of American States but also political and economic sanctions. The Obama administration should
freeze Honduran assets in the US, cancel visas to Government officials.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: The ousted President Manuel Zelaya will go to Washington on Wednesday to
discuss the crisis, and says after that he intends to return to Honduras accompanied by the head of
the Organization of American States.

PETER CAVE: That report from Meredith Griffiths.

Retailers say spending is back in fashion

Retailers say spending is back in fashion

Di Bain reported this story on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:34:00

PETER CAVE: The upmarket retailer David Jones has dramatically revised its profit forecasts,
upwards. It says shoppers have regained their confidence and are starting to spend again.

It's not the only one witnessing an upswing - Harvey Norman says its June clearance sales have been
very strong.

Both companies say the Government's stimulus measures are driving the spending spree.

But a key forum for the world's central banks, the Bank for International Settlements, warns that
such stimulus packages are likely to cause big economic headaches further down the track.

Di Bain reports.

DI BAIN: As a diversified retailer, David Jones believes it's the first in and the first out of a
downturn.

CEO Mark McInnes says a dramatic improvement in sales will see profits rise by up to 30 per cent
for the second half of the year.

That's well up on the company's previous estimate; at the start of the year it thought profits
would only be up 5 per cent.

MARK MCINNES: We still have plenty of trading to go but in our view the current results demonstrate
the resilience of our customer and brand strategy, our leverage to sales from good cost and gross
margin control. And as we've said for some time, department stores are first in and first out of
all downturns.

DI BAIN: Mr McInnes says the Government's stimulus packages have been important.

MARK MCINNES: The confidence that's come from the stimulus package and the stock market
stabilisation is good for all retailers. I think a 20 to 30 per cent profit growth off the back of
that comes from our ability to have good cost and growth margin control in this environment.

DI BAIN: Furniture and electrical goods retailer Harvey Norman has been feeling a surge in spending
too. Jerry Harvey says the company's profits have been savaged because of strong discounting, but
he's surprised at how much confidence there is to spend.

JERRY HARVEY: Yes, we've got some amazing figures out in June. We've got LCD and plasma TVs are up
20 per cent on last year. Now maybe that's because of the stimulus package, maybe it's pent up
demand. And we've got coffee machines are up 60 per cent on last year.

DI BAIN: Are people spending money or are they getting interest free financing?

JERRY HARVEY: Well they're doing both, I mean lounge sales - furniture and bedding's supposed to be
slow - but our lounge sales are up 13 per cent in June. Our bedding sales are up 18 per cent.

DI BAIN: He too says the Government's stimulus packages are generating confidence but the
international organisation of central banks says that might not be a good thing. It's warning the
financial stimulus measures implemented by governments, including Australia, will restrict future
growth. In its annual report the Bank for International Settlements says there's significant risk
that Government cash handouts will only offer a temporary fix. It's urging Government's to reduce
spending and raise taxes as soon as stable growth returns. Jerry Harvey says there's strong signs
that time has arrived.

JERRY HARVEY: Yes, because you know, those sort of sales are quite unusual even in really good
times. If you've got people that are regaining some confidence and they've been putting things off,
that also plays a big part. So you know, we were talking six or nine months ago about Armageddon,
the world's coming to an end, and now we're starting to say, "Oh, we're on the way back".

So if I was putting off buying a TV, a fridge or a lounge or something like that I might think I've
put this off now for six months or a year I'll go out and buy it now and that may have nothing to
do with the stimulus package it's purely confidence.

PETER CAVE: Retailer Jerry Harvey ending that report from Di Bain.

WA Corrective Services considers airlifting prisoners

WA Corrective Services considers airlifting prisoners

David Weber reported this story on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:38:00

PETER CAVE: Western Australia's Department of Corrective Services is considering flying prisoners
within the state because transport vans are below standard.

The move follows the coronial inquest into the death of an Aboriginal elder, who died of heatstroke
while being driven hundreds of kilometres in blistering temperatures.

The coroner recommended that all Corrective Services vehicles be upgraded.

The Police Commissioner says that recommendation should also apply to police vans, which are often
used to take prisoners across the state.

But the Prison Officers Union has renewed its call for the Government to end privatisation and take
back responsibility for the transport of all of those in custody.

David Weber reports.

DAVID WEBER: The Corrective Services Department is looking at using air charter services and hiring
vehicles to overcome transportation issues.

The Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan says police vehicles also need to be improved.

KARL O'CALLAGHAN: The coroner in the Ward case recommended the upgrading of prisoner transport
vehicles. That must also apply to police because police do a lot of long range prisoner transports.
They shouldn't, it's not police business, but at the moment there's no alternative and we have to
find an alternative.

DAVID WEBER: Commissioner O'Callaghan wants magistrates to work longer hours so bail applications
can be handled over the phone, and he says people will spend less time in police lock-ups.

The Commissioner believes it's impractical to upgrade all police vans to the standards recommended
by the coroner.

KARL O'CALLAGHAN: Prisoners transported in police vans over long distances are being transported in
sub-standard conditions; they do not meet the standards that have just been laid down by the
coroner in the Ward case. If police are to do this in the future then someone will have to upgrade
police vans. My view is that police shouldn't be doing this sort of transport at all. It should be
done by another government agency or it should be outsourced.

DAVID WEBER: But some believe that outsourcing has caused the types of problems that led to the
death of Mr Ward.

At Labor's state conference on the weekend, the former treasurer Eric Ripper made an apology to Mr
Ward's family.

He also said this.

ERIC RIPPER: No-one reflecting on these events could fail to be gravely concerned about the way in
which privatised prisoner transport has been managed in this state.

DAVID WEBER: It was a statement that was welcomed by the Prison Officers Union.

The union's secretary John Welch.

JOHN WELCH: Certainly we were very happy that Mr Ripper had recognized the feelings in the
privatisation of that service. Sure, it's disappointing for us that those comments weren't made
when the Opposition were previously in government, but clearly we're pleased that there's a
recognition now on behalf of the Opposition that there is this significant problem that needs to be
resolved and we hope that the Government will see the same problem.

DAVID WEBER: The current government has given no indication that it wants to dump the contract with
the company G4S.

John Welch.

JOHN WELCH: We do have concerns about the expansion of this private company in the custodial system
in WA because of the criticisms the coroner has made but also the experience we've had about the
quality of the services being provided throughout the prison system. We've been raising concerns
with the Government and since 2001 too about the quality of the service when it was previously run
by AIMS and now by the current company. And it concerns us greatly that we might have for example a
private prison in Eastern Goldfields which could potentially be run by this company which has come
in for so much criticism.

DAVID WEBER: The Premier has said the Government believes there's no reason why a private company
shouldn't be able to transport prisoners safely.

PETER CAVE: David Weber reporting.

Court calls for rule change after army sued over teen death

Court calls for rule change after army sued over teen death

Lexi Metherell reported this story on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:42:00

PETER CAVE: Nathan Francis was 13 when he died from anaphylactic shock after eating one mouthful of
food containing peanuts at an army cadet camp.

He had been given beef satay, despite his mother's telling the camp's organisers he was allergic .

Now a court has ordered the Australian Defence Force to pay the Commonwealth $210,000 for failing
to protect Nathan Francis under the Occupation Health and Safety Act.

But the judge has questioned the deterrent value of a Commonwealth agency paying a fine to the
Commonwealth and has called for laws to be changed.

Lexi Metherell reports.

LEXI METHERELL: Brian and Jessica Francis are haunted by their son's death every day.

BRIAN FRANCIS: We're going to become parents again shortly and our family will be all the poorer
for not having Nathan with us.

LEXI METHERELL: Nathan Francis was a Year 9 student at Melbourne's prestigious Scotch College when
he went on his first Australian Army Cadet camp in March 2007, in the Wombat State Forest in
Central Victoria.

The camp's organisers asked parents to inform them of any allergies, and Jessica Francis replied
that her son suffered from a severe peanut allergy.

But at the camp Nathan Francis was given an army ration pack containing a beef satay meal which
contained peanuts.

He was unconscious within half an hour of having one mouthful and died later that afternoon.

The federal health and safety body Comcare brought the proceedings against the Defence Force
through the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth conceded that through the Chief of Army it had breached the Occupational Health
and Safety Act.

The Federal Court's Justice Tony North has fined the Australian Defence Force $210,000 -
essentially, this means the Commonwealth will be paying a fine to the Commonwealth.

Justice North wants the law changed.

He's worried such a sentence won't deter against future breaches.

And Nathan Francis' parents say they get no satisfaction from one arm of the Government being fined
by another.

Their solicitor Barrie Woollacott.

BARRIE WOOLLACOTT: During the conduct of this prosecution, Justice North sort of referred to that
process as rather Monty Pythonesque; that one arm of the Government should pay another arm of the
Government, it seemed to be rather futile but what we understand is that the Government's looking
to review the legislation with a view to perhaps improving that penalty sort of provisions.

LEXI METHERELL: At the same camp two other boys with peanut allergies were also given meals
containing peanuts, and in a separate incident six boys were lost in the bush for 18 hours.

The Defence Department says it's conducted an investigation into the provision of rations to cadets
and has made a number of improvements

While it was an Australian Army Cadet camp, it was run by the teachers and staff from Scotch
College, but the school's avoided responsibility so far because it's not covered by the
Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Justice North wants the Victorian Coroner to investigate so the school's role can be examined, as
do Brian and Jessica Francis.

BRIAN FRANCIS: Clearly Nathan's death was avoidable and any parent obviously feels devastated by
that and betrayed by those who were given the duty to look after a 13-year-old boy.

PETER CAVE: Brian Francis ending that report from Lexi Metherell.

Leaders look to God for political inspiration

Leaders look to God for political inspiration

Simon Santow reported this story on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:46:00

PETER CAVE: They say that religion and politics don't mix but it seems that Australia's politicians
are increasingly ignoring the old adage.

A new study highlights the growing use of both God and Christianity in the language used by our
political leaders.

The researcher has found that politicians believe they can tap into the "religious vote", even if
it proves more illusory than real.

Simon Santow reports.

SIMON SANTOW: Political researcher Anna Crabb looked at more than 2,000 speeches given by political
leaders and prominent frontbenchers over a six-year period from 2000.

And she found some big names were lacing their political discourse with references to religion.

ANNA CRABB: Kevin Rudd and Peter Costello and John Howard, they all referred to Australia's
Judeo-Christian heritage in speeches about Australia and Australia's way of life.

SIMON SANTOW: So if you go back to the politicians of yesteryear - the Bob Hawkes, the Paul
Keatings, and even before that to Menzies and Whitlam and Fraser - were there those sort of
references?

ANNA CRABB: There were sprinklings of those references but in my research I did try and get a grasp
of how often these terms were used by those sorts of politicians and really they didn't come up
very frequently at all.

SIMON SANTOW: Anna Crabb says terrorism has inspired politicians to talk about God but so too has
their own religious belief and sense of faith.

Then there's the votes in Parliament on matters of conscience, such as stem cells and abortion.

But above all, she believes politicians think there are votes in it.

ANNA CRABB: The growth of the mega-churches and politicians going along to those events, it really
amplified this idea that there is a Christian vote out there and that Christian vote is associated
with those sort of progressive mega-churches.

The Liberals started off talking a lot more about religion, and then Labor sort of felt they had to
respond to what the Liberals were talking about, and they didn't want the Liberals to only identify
with this Christian vote, as they call it.

SIMON SANTOW: Nick Economou lectures in Politics at Melbourne's Monash University.

He thinks the notion of a "religious vote" in Australia is over-stated.

NICK ECONOMOU: I rather suspect that this is one of those areas where members of Parliament can be
a bit out of step general community perceptions. My view is that religion actually doesn't play
such a large role in Australian politics; that Australia is a fairly secular state.

SIMON SANTOW: Dr Economou says there's always been a scramble among politicians to appeal to the
mainstream.

But he warns it would be a mistake to imagine what works overseas necessarily works in Australia.

NICK ECONOMOU: In America, people are up front and try to use religion for political purposes. In
Australia, we see religious beliefs as one of those things that should remain in the realm of the
private.

In those big issues that the Church would like to win, whenever it's gone to the Parliament, they
have lost.

SIMON SANTOW: Retired Liberal politician Bruce Baird chaired a cross-parliamentary Christian
fellowship group.

BRUCE BAIRD: There are a lot of Christians across Australia that are influenced by the degree of
Christian commitment of their local member and of the leader of the Party.

SIMON SANTOW: He says he's noticed pre-selection candidates speaking openly of their religion when
vying to get into Parliament.

Then there's the example set by their leaders.

BRUCE BAIRD: We've had a whole number of leaders of political parties - John Howard, John

Anderson, Kevin Rudd - who've made no excuse in terms of their own political commitment. And each
of them spoke at the big parliamentary Christian fellowship annual prayer breakfast that was held
in the Great Hall in Canberra. And even Peter Garrett shared in terms of his Christian faith.

SIMON SANTOW: Is there any evidence to suggest that it puts anyone off?

BRUCE BAIRD: Well, I have certainly not expressed - I've been 20 years in politics - had anyone say
to me, "Oh, the problem is with you is that you can't make a balanced judgement because you're a
Christian".

SIMON SANTOW: Have you noticed any pattern emerging with where Kevin Rudd tends to make himself
available to the media on a Sunday?

Oh well, certainly he does it outside the church. But from somebody who, you know, from the other
side of politics who knows him well, and Kevin was the most regular attender from the Labour Party
of the parliamentary Christian fellowship breakfasts. He was always there and he made no excuse of
it. And as you know, he brought people together after the 2004 election, encouraging people to make
contact with the churches and not give up the vote to the Coalition parties. So he did broaden the
appeal and it is a deep down, solid faith that he has. Not a political excise but one which is
genuinely felt.

PETER CAVE: Former chairman of the parliamentary prayer group, Bruce Baird, ending that report from
Simon Santow.

Record lottery jackpot draws massive interest

Record lottery jackpot draws massive interest

Ashley Hall reported this story on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:50:00

PETER CAVE: By the time that the numbers are revealed in tonight's Oz Lotto draw, it is estimated
that about 10-million Australians will have bought a ticket.

Many of them are already planning how they're going to spend their share of the record $90-million
jackpot.

But the chances of winning are infinitesimal and psychologists say that money really doesn't buy
happiness.

Ashley Hall reports.

ASHLEY HALL: The spectacle at this newsagency, just outside Sydney's Central train station, is
being repeated right across the country.

Queues of people line up, hand over money and walk away with a ticket for tonight's Oz Lotto draw.

VOX POP: You've got to be in it to win it, as the saying goes. So that's why I'm in it.

VOX POP 2: The way the world is going today we need it.

ASHLEY HALL: Are you suffering in the current economic climate?

VOX POP 2: Not really suffering but it's nice to be comfortable though. Don't have to worry about
getting up and going to work and coming home and doing the same thing every day.

ASHLEY HALL: So it sounds like you've already mentally spent the winnings.

VOX POP 2: Oh yeah I have (laughs).

ASHLEY HALL: The newsagent Mark Lowrey says he's never seen anything quite this big.

MARK LOWREY: It's been pphenomenal, absolutely phenomenal. People that have never gambled before
are buying tickets; whether they be small or big.

ASHLEY HALL: What's the biggest bet you've seen placed on Lotto this period?

MARK LOWREY: Yeah we've had one from a workplace for $2,500.

ASHLEY HALL: They're hoping to share in the $90-million jackpot.

But not everyone can win.

JOHN CROUCHER: The chances of winning are extremely small, about one in 45-million for each entry
you put in. Only slightly better than if you didn't buy a ticket at all, which would be zero of
course.

ASHLEY HALL: John Croucher is a Professor of Statistics at Macquarie University's Graduate School
of Management.

JOHN CROUCHER: In the last 10 weeks there are seven numbers that stand out as being drawn the most
often but they don't resemble the sort of numbers that are being drawn the most often in the last
say 200 draws.

ASHLEY HALL: He says the only way to improve the odds is to buy more tickets.

But the clinical psychologist Dr David List told ABC local radio in Melbourne that playing a
lottery is not just about winning.

DAVID LIST: There's all kinds of funny, superstitious thinking that goes with lotteries. There's
the idea of, you know, the perception of near misses, there's the susceptibility to the size of the
prize, there's you know, that some numbers are lucky, that it's, you have an unrealistic optimism
that despite the odds it's you turn.

So there's a whole psychology of actually buying a lottery ticket, which is a particular kind of
gambling I think and the particular fantasy that everything will come good.

ASHLEY HALL: Just as long as you're not expecting a Lotto win to bring you long-lasting happiness.

The internet is littered with tales of lottery winners who lose their winnings within a few years.

Dr Matthew Rockloff is a senior lecturer in psychology from Central Queensland University.

MATTHEW ROCKLOFF: It's sort of not surprising in a sense that getting a lot of money makes you
happy but it actually only makes you happy for a relatively short period of time, and then after
that period of time, maybe one or two years, we find that people actually return to a sort of base
line level of happiness.

ASHLEY HALL: What's driving the extreme interest in Oz Lotto over the last couple of weeks? Is it
the big jackpots or is it more about the economic climate that we're in at the moment?

MATTHEW ROCKLOFF: Well it's probably a little bit of both. I mean big jackpots we know draw people
in to participate in lotto. It makes people who are regular participants perhaps buy more tickets
but it also makes people who normally don't participate or don't participate regularly participate
as well.

But also gambling, along with alcohol and food stuffs, are one of the three most recession
resistant products that there are and one of the reasons is gambling provides people with an
entertainment that is an escape from the problems that they have and the problems that they have
maybe related to the economic circumstances that we're under.

PETER CAVE: And 9,999,999 people are going to be unhappy. Dr Matthew Rockloff, a senior lecturer in
psychology from Central Queensland University, ending Ashley Hall's report.