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Chinese grant consular access to detained Australian Rio executive

Chinese grant consular access to detained Australian Rio executive

Stephen McDonnell reported this story on Friday, July 10, 2009 12:10:30

PETER CAVE: Chinese authorities have given consular access to the Australian mining executive Stern
Hu. He's been detained by the Chinese authorities accused of spying and stealing state secrets.

Stern Hu is believed to be one of the highest ranking Western executives ever accused of spying on
China. He's head of Rio Tinto's Chinese iron ore business.

The case has sent shock waves through the global mining industry with some analysts suggesting the
detentions may well be payback.

Last month Rio Tinto scrapped plans to accept an investment plan from Chinalco, a Chinese
state-owned company.

Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith who's been in constant communication with consular
officials in China has been releasing details of that consular visit and we'll go to that shortly.

But first we have our Beijing correspondent Stephen McDonell on the line. Stephen, how much
attention is this getting in the Chinese media?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well quite a bit of attention. You'd have to say virtually all of the serious
newspapers here are carrying articles on it and also in you know the local electronic media.

But the latest thing which is quite interesting to come out of the Beijing News- or Xin Jing Bao -
they're quoting the Shanghai Municipal State Security Bureau and this is the anti-espionage mob who
arrested Stern Hu and the others last Sunday.

Now they're quoting sources at this bureau and they're saying that the reason for the detention of
Stern Hu and the others is that, and I'll read it out: "In 2009 during the iron ore negotiations on
import and export between China and the other countries, these four people have adopted illegal
measures by roping in and buying off the domestic staff of Chinese iron and steel manufacturing
enterprises, that they spied and stole China's state secrets, and that this has greatly damaged
China's economic security and interests."

So it sounds like they're going to be accusing them of industrial espionage.

PETER CAVE: When are we likely to hear official accusations against Mr Hu?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well you know they don't have to actually grant anybody access to the court
system here, especially when it comes to matters of state security so when the hearing is on the
Australian consular officials they'll be given the date, but they'll have to apply to even attend
the hearing.

So it can be conducted very much behind closed doors. I'm assuming though that in the interests of
transparency or at least appearing to be transparent that they're going to have to pass on some of
that information.

But it's kind of a European system here in that a mob called the Supreme People's, and it's a bit
hard to pronounce but Procuratorate, they sort of prosecute the case and then I guess that the
municipal, the Shanghai Municipal State Security Bureau they'll put forward their evidence. And
they're like a sort of beefed up version of ASIO here. And they'll argue why Stern Hu and the
others should go to jail.

PETER CAVE: How much credence would you put on these accusations that what's happened is payback
for the failed Chinalco deal?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Well it's hard to tell if that could have any or all of a part in determining
this course of action because it is a rather serious thing for China to do and also risks so much
blow back for them that you wonder if they wanted to get back on Rio Tinto that they wouldn't find
another way of doing it.

Because this could really hurt China's interests in terms of trying to get the state-owned
enterprises to invest overseas. So there's so many downsides for them in terms of taking this
course of action.

There is some speculation that maybe one of the reasons they've gone in so hard on Stern Hu and the
others is that well three of them are Chinese passport holders and Stern Hu in certain Chinese eyes
would be considered something of a traitor to China really.

And you know just because he's got a passport from another country that doesn't mean he should be
behaving like this to the motherland and especially when it comes to, you know selling out the
nation's natural resources to a rival country. And maybe that's just playing a part as well.

PETER CAVE: I guess there's also been the suggestion that this has been a very useful diversion for
the Chinese to take attention away from what's going on in Xinjiang?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Yes I've seen some reports of that, of people suggesting that that could be the
case.

But I reckon there's probably nothing in that and the reason is that they arrested Stern Hu on
Sunday which is before most of this riot had even taken place in Xinjiang. So you know unless they
could look in their crystal ball and see that this is all going to blow up in Xinjiang I doubt that
that's very much the case.

PETER CAVE: Stephen McDonell on the line from Beijing.

Brown critical of Rudd's cautious approach on Stern Hu's detention

Brown critical of Rudd's cautious approach on Stern Hu's detention

Alexandra Kirk reported this story on Friday, July 10, 2009 12:15:27

PETER CAVE: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has left the door open to intervening personally and calling
President Hu about the plight of the Rio executive.

But for now though he's urging a cautious approach, saying it's being handled at consular level.

Today Greens leader Bob Brown added his voice to Malcolm Turnbull's call for Mr Rudd to intervene.
Senator Brown says the Prime Minister is being too cautious with the Chinese.

From Canberra, Alexandra Kirk reports.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Prime Minister says Australia's relationship with China over the past three
decades has had its ebbs and flows and he's confident the two nations can get through this latest
problem, though the path is by no means clear.

He's indicated all efforts are being deployed to safeguard Stern Hu's rights.

For now Mr Rudd's sticking to the time honoured methodical approach of a steady escalation of
diplomatic action.

But there's room for other representations, in other words political ones, when the Federal
Government judges that's what's warranted.

KEVIN RUDD: This matter's being handled by the Foreign Minister in Australia Stephen Smith. And
with all complex consular cases we have to proceed cautiously on the basis of the advice as it
unfolds.

What we've already done in Beijing and Shanghai and Canberra is make strong representations for
access to this Australian citizen.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Malcolm Turnbull has demanded Mr Rudd, "get on the phone immediately to the Chinese
president" and demand that Stern Hu, an Australian resident, be released and given access to
Australian consular officials.

KEVIN RUDD: If I have seen a spectacular lack of judgement on a range of questions recently, it
would be Mr Turnbull's judgement. I think that applies in this case as well.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Prime Minister has left open the option of making that phone call but not right
now.

KEVIN RUDD: We'll make representations as appropriate to whom it is appropriate and at whatever
level based on the expert advice.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Greens leader Bob Brown, a long time critic of China's human rights record, wants
Kevin Rudd to pick up the phone and dial Beijing. He says the Government should have been objecting
to China's approach from the outset.

BOB BROWN: We must not be quiet in accepting a system in which Government and courts are mixed up,
there's no dividing line between the two and where the Government has pronounced an Australian
guilty before there's even been a hearing or charges laid for that matter.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: So what should in your view the Government have done that it hasn't done already?

BOB BROWN: It should have insisted Stern Hu have his legal advisors with him from the outset, that
his whereabouts be known, that he have access to if not relatives and legal attorneys, certainly to
the Australian Government so that it could advise him.

We don't know what's happened to this man in the last five days. Let me say from the outset I've
got no brief for him. I've got a total brief for his rights and his rights are non-existent when
you compare them with the, what's required under Australian law.

And we should be standing up for Australian norms to be applied to this Australian citizen who's
under arrest and at great threat for his future wellbeing under the Chinese communist system.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Kevin Rudd has said that currently the case is being dealt with at a consular level
and that it's best to take a cautious approach. Is he right?

BOB BROWN: Why is it best to take a cautious approach? And what does that mean? Where is the
difference between caution and obsequiousness; tugging the forelock to the heavies in Beijing?

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Malcolm Turnbull has said the Prime Minister should pick up the phone and intervene
personally. What's your view?

BOB BROWN: Look you might say well normally politicians or Prime Ministers don't get involved in
legal cases; you let the course of justice take its own trajectory. But there isn't a course of
justice in China.

I think the Prime Minister should have got on the phone and had a word to Hu Jintao who's back in
China because of the massive death toll in Urumqi in Xinjiang province, and should have been making
sure that this Australian citizen's plight was taken note of at that highest level.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But the Prime Minister has cleared up one problem that's arisen while overseas -
this mysterious utterance in Berlin, which evidently had the translators baffled along with
everyone else.

KEVIN RUDD: As the chancellor has just indicated it's highly unlikely that you'll have anything
emerge from the MEF (Major Economies Forum) by way of detailed programmatic specificity. That is
what Copenhagen is about.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Speaking on Fairfax radio this morning Kevin Rudd put it more simply.

KEVIN RUDD: It means specific programs.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Before reverting to a longer explanation.

KEVIN RUDD: I think it was in relation to the sorts of outcomes we could expect at this G8 summit
on climate change, or it may have been a reference to other elements of the global charter on, as
proposed by the Germans on the economy. I can't recall the specific reference but it would have
been about specific programs.

PETER CAVE: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd there, Alexandra Kirk our reporter.

Foreign Minister briefed by Chinese officials on Stern Hu

Foreign Minister briefed by Chinese officials on Stern Hu

David Weber reported this story on Friday, July 10, 2009 12:20:27

PETER CAVE: Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith has been briefed by consular officials.

He's been speaking to reporters in Perth. Among them was our reporter David Weber.

David what's he been saying?

DAVID WEBER: Well Peter, Mr Smith said that later today consular officials are expected to visit
Stern Hu to satisfy themselves as to his wellbeing and then they'll tell his family and his
employer as to what's going on regarding his health and how he's going.

Mr Smith said he may not be able to say much about that when it happens, or after it happens, until
later today or maybe tomorrow. He said the Chinese officials in Canberra have told Australian
officials that he's being treated well and in accordance with Chinese law.

Now Australian officials have been trying to get more information about the claims against Stern
Hu. Mr Smith quoted from Chinese media saying that, quote, "He stole state secrets, damaging
China's economic interests."

And Mr Smith went on to say it's obvious that the Chinese authorities take a broader view of what
state secrets might be and it was difficult in Australia to see a relationship between espionage or
state security with this economic interest that's being referred to.

Now Mr Smith also took a swipe at the Opposition for suggesting that nothing had been done for
several days in relation to Stern Hu and that first time efforts were made on a consular level were
only recently.

Mr Smith said that that's not true and the Opposition knows that; and he said this is not an
occasion for domestic political points to be made.

Now here's some of what Mr Smith had to say.

STEPHEN SMITH: Chinese officials in Canberra yesterday assured Australian officials that Mr Hu had
been treated well and in accordance with appropriate procedures and in accordance with Chinese law.

As you know Australia has a consular agreement with China and the consular visit today is taking
place in accordance with that consular agreement which was entered into with China in September
2000.

Last night on an official Chinese Government website a statement was posted, and I read in part
from that statement.

"As understood from the Shanghai State Security Bureau, during China's iron ore negotiation with
foreign miners in 2009 Stern Hu gathered and stole state secrets from China via illegal means,
including bribing internal staff of Chinese steel companies. This has caused huge loss to China's
national economic security and interests."

The National Security Authority is conducting a criminal investigation on Stern Hu and the other
three staff.

China has its own laws about state secrets. They are clearly broader than the view that Australia
might take. Frankly it's difficult for a nation like Australia to see a relationship between
espionage or national security and what appear to be suggestions about commercial or economic
negotiations.

Having said that Mr Hu of course now, as I say, runs the risk of being subject to Chinese criminal,
legal and judicial processes.

PETER CAVE: The Foreign Minister Stephen Smith speaking to reporters in Perth. Amongst them our
reporter David Weber.

Mounting pressure over West Bank barrier

Mounting pressure over West Bank barrier

Anne Barker reported this story on Friday, July 10, 2009 15:24:30

PETER CAVE: In Israel humanitarian groups are demanding that Israel obey international law which
has outlawed the security barrier that isolates the West Bank.

It's five years this week since the International Court of Justice ruled that the barrier's
construction is illegal because it cuts into areas which were Palestinian land under the 1967
borders.

Israel's Supreme Court holds that the wall is legal but in several cases it's ordered that the
route be changed.

Oxfam says that at least 13 Palestinian communities are still denied access to land, water or crops
that were once theirs.

Middle East correspondent Anne Barker reports.

ANNE BARKER: This is a rural area on the western edge of the West Bank, right near the security
fence that separates Palestinian land from Israel. Just up the road is the community of Jayyous, a
small farming village of about 3,500 people.

But for seven years the residents here have been cut off from about 75 per cent of their original
land, which now lies on the other side of the fence. And gone with it are the six wells the
community once relied on for water.

MAYYADA QUTAB: Imagine that there is no land and there is no water in Jayyous.

ANNE BARKER: Mayyada Qutab works for Lifesource, a community organisation trying to find solutions
to the loss of local water at Jayyous. For now she says residents have to rely on water from
another community from a well that's barely 200 metres from an industrial dump.

MAYYADA QUTAB: This well is really 200 metre far from a dump, industrial (inaudible), so this will,
if it is not now polluted water, in the future it will be polluted.

ANNE BARKER: Residents at Jayyous can apply for permits to farm the land outside the fence but
humanitarian workers like Michael Bailey at Oxfam say increasingly the permits are valid for only a
few months and farmers can spend longer waiting for the permit than they do farming.

MICHAEL BAILEY: What I've got in my hand here is an agricultural permit. It will expire in December
and the farmer will have to go through the procedure of applying for the permit again. Without it
he can't live his life, he can't farm his land, he can't earn his income, he can't feed his family.

ANNE BARKER: Oxfam has now released a report supporting the International Court of Justice ruling
that the security barrier is illegal and should be dismantled where it encroaches on Palestinian
land inside the 1967 borders.

Michael Bailey says it's time that international law prevailed.

MICHAEL BAILEY: The wall where it's built on Palestinian land, inside the 1967 borders, inside the
green line, then it's illegal. It should be dismantled where it's illegal.

It's up to the state of Israel to take whatever measures they feel necessary to ensure the security
of their people. They have responsibility to do that.

What they can't do is do that by stealing Palestinian land, by placing the wall on Palestinian
land.

ANNE BARKER: Israeli law is at odds with international legal opinion and holds that the barrier is
a lawful and necessary defence against the constant terror attacks that rocked Israel during the
second intifada.

Israel says the resulting constraints on the daily lives of Palestinians are only a small price
against the hundreds of Israeli lives lost in bombings and suicide attacks.

The Israeli Government says every effort is made to give Palestinians access to land that falls
outside the fence and the number of permits to do so has double in recent times.

Those who've lost their traditional land can seek reparations through the courts. And it says for
all the cost and years of construction, the barrier is only temporary and will be dismantled once
there's lasting peace in the Middle East.

This is Anne Barker in Jerusalem for The World Today.

John Key kicks up his heels in the Pacific

John Key kicks up his heels in the Pacific

Kerri Ritchie reported this story on Friday, July 10, 2009 15:28:27

PETER CAVE: The New Zealand Prime Minister is on the last day of a whistle-stop tour of the
Pacific.

John Key has only been to the Pacific once before which is highly unusual for a New Zealand Prime
Minister.

He's dipped into his country's Treasury to provide more aid for three nations but he's been making
more headlines at home for making a goose of himself while dancing and doing the wrong moves with
Miss Niue.

Our New Zealand correspondent Kerri Ritchie has been travelling with him.

Well Kerri Ritchie, as we've said, Mr Key is a bit of a stranger in the Pacific. How's he been
received?

KERRI RITCHIE: Very well I'd have to say Peter. There have been no gaffs. About the worst of it for
him is a headline in the New Zealand papers today which says "John Key has gone troppo".

That's regarding his dancing with Miss Niue. He tried to copy her moves and everyone expected he'd
turn and look at what all the male leaders were up to but he looked at Miss Niue and tried to copy
what she was doing and it got a good laugh.

Then he went to Samoa where he was taking part in a Kava ceremony and he was asked if he was going
to drink it and he answered, "hell yes". So that got a bit of a laugh. He actually doesn't mind
making a bit of a goose of himself and I think that has endeared him to a lot of people here in the
Pacific Islands who don't take themselves too seriously.

PETER CAVE: When he wasn't making a goose of himself what were the serious issues?

KERRI RITCHIE: Well there have been quite a few. Three of the islands he's visited he's offered aid
to - Tonga, Samoa, and the Cook Islands.

But there was a bit of a dispute raging with Niue and the Premier there has asked for more money
like everyone else, but New Zealand's actually frozen about $3-million of aid.

Niue wants to spend it on tourism but John Key has said look, you might have been handed this money
in the past and not had to show where it's actually going but I want some concrete proof that this
money is going to help all Niueans and not just some of those who work in the tourism industry.

So Toke Talagi the Premier there wasn't very happy. You had the two leaders standing side by side
and it was quite tense. The Premier actually got up in a speech and said: I've got an election in a
few years and looked at Mr Key in the audience and said, and if I don't win I'll be able to blame
you.

PETER CAVE: The Pacific Island Forum is scheduled for Cairns next month and Fiji will be at the top
of the agenda. Was there any lobbying on that issue done during this trip?

KERRI RITCHIE: Absolutely. That same Premier, the leader of Niue, he came out strongly and said: I
don't believe anything that Frank Bainimarama has said. He says there will be elections in 2014.
He's lied before and he'll lie again, so we can't believe him at all.

But most of the leaders have been really keen to stress that Fiji, they've done a lot to try and
resolve the stand-off there with Frank Bainimarama. But they have to move on now because the
economic downturn and climate change are two big issues that they fear have sort of been sidelined
because of all the trouble with Fiji.

The locals tell you that the whole having to find somewhere new to live in years to come is hanging
over them and they want some sort of solution or some sort of outcome from these forums, not just
talk.

PETER CAVE: And they expect that solution to come in Cairns do they?

KERRI RITCHIE: I spoke to the Cook Islands Prime Minister this morning. He says yes this is the
thing that Cook Islanders are most worried about, is climate change.

Tourism he said that's okay, we're okay about the economy, but we are looking at having to move
somewhere else in years to come because they're seeing the effects of it on these islands.

He'll be heading to the forum in Cairns and wanting something to come out of it.

PETER CAVE: Kerri Ritchie, talking to me from the Cook Islands.

Honey Bacon stepping up for Parliament

Honey Bacon stepping up for Parliament

Felicity Ogilvie reported this story on Friday, July 10, 2009 15:32:12

PETER CAVE: The widow of one of Tasmania's most popular premiers Jim Bacon is carving out a
political career of her own. Honey Bacon is going to stand for the state's Upper House as an
independent.

The move comes just weeks after her stepson Scott announced he's going to follow in his father's
steps and stand for Labor in the state election.

Felicity Ogilvie reports from Hobart.

FELICITY OGILVIE: It's been five years since Jim Bacon died from lung cancer. The charismatic
former premier of Tasmania was 54.

This morning his widow Honey Bacon has announced she's going to stand for a seat in Tasmania's
Upper House.

HONEY BACON: Since the untimely death of my husband Jim Bacon many, many, many people whether I
walk down the street or wether I go into various places or indeed the media ask me constantly if I
would stand.

This time the opportunity arose very suddenly. I didn't have much time to think about it but it
just seems now the right opportunity to do it. And I know that Jim would support me in my
endeavours.

FELICITY OGILVIE: A seat in the Upper House is vacant because the Labor member who held it resigned
after it was revealed she'd employed her mother and two sisters.

Labor isn't contesting the by-election in Pembroke and the Liberals looked set to win the seat with
a star candidate.

But that was before Honey Bacon announced she's going to stand. She may be the widow of the former
Labor premier but Honey Bacon is running as an independent.

HONEY BACON: I feel that it's a fantastic electorate. It's an incredibly interesting time in
politics at the moment. And I would really like to represent our state once again in doing the best
that I possibly can.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Why stand as an independent? Why not stand as a member of the Labor Party that
your husband once led?

HONEY BACON: Because I'm not a member of the Labor Party and haven't been a member of the Labor
Party for a number of years. And times move on, you know. Jim and I both supported independent
people as well as the Labor Party.

FELICITY OGILVIE: She has the support of one of her late husband's closest friends - the former
premier Paul Lennon.

PAUL LENNON: In her own right Honey has made already a significant contribution to Tasmania and I'm
certain that she will be a valued member of the Tasmanian Parliament if she's successful in this
election.

FELICITY OGILVIE: How important or how valuable do you think the Bacon name is in Tasmanian
politics?

PAUL LENNON: Well obviously that won't hurt Honey's chances during the election campaign, but nor
will it hide I believe the valued contribution she has made to the quality of life in Tasmania.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Back in 1998 a low profile candidate with the name Ken Bacon was elected to State
Parliament. He's no relation to Jim Bacon.

But Honey Bacon expects her husband's legacy will help her win.

HONEY BACON: I hope that people vote and support me based on my merits, not just on name
recognition.

FELICITY OGILVIE: She's not the only Bacon standing for the Tasmanian Parliament. Jim Bacon's son,
Scott Bacon, will be standing in next year's state election.

Political professor Richard Herr says the Bacons will be testing Jim Bacon's legacy.

RICHARD HERR: Well certainly it will test whether or not it has electoral appeal still today. That
will be a very interesting test of how well the legacy has worn politically.

It of course won't test his achievements in terms of reconciliation of things that are well
established.

FELICITY OGILVIE: What is Jim Bacon's political legacy?

RICHARD HERR: Well as Jim Bacon himself said during his lifetime that his principle legacy as he
saw it, or his principle achievement as he saw it was bringing hope and focus in terms of a vision
for the state's future.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Honey Bacon says she's only interested in standing for the Upper House and is
ruling out another attempt at politics if she doesn't win next month's by-election.

PETER CAVE: Felicity Ogilvie reporting there.

Renewed call for bans on financial adviser commissions

Renewed call for bans on financial adviser commissions

Peter Ryan reported this story on Friday, July 10, 2009 15:36:23

PETER CAVE: There's been a significant development in the campaign to outlaw the controversial fees
and commissions paid to financial advisers. Financial regulators in the United States and Britain
have announced plans to outlaw them as part of reforms driven by the causes of the global financial
crises.

The initiative for tighter regulation places renewed pressure on the Australian Government to do
the same or be left behind. But retail funds in the firing line say want to keep it all in the
house.

Here's our business editor Peter Ryan.

PETER RYAN: The fallout from the global financial crisis is only just beginning but already
regulators in the United States and Britain have targeted fees and commissions paid to financial
advisers.

The decision to outlaw potential conflicts of interest that in some cases short change customers
should be followed here, according to David Whiteley, executive director of the Industry Super
Network.

DAVID WHITELEY: I think what we see is a global trend. We see the US jurisdiction, the British
jurisdiction making very strong moves and the regulators making very strong moves towards a ban on
commissions and other conflicted forms of remuneration and I think this is inevitably where the
Australian regulatory system will go to.

PETER RYAN: David Whiteley has been leading the industry superannuation campaign to abolish
commissions and questionable fees.

He says the US and British moves are a prelude to a restructuring of the global financial system.

DAVID WHITELEY: With the United States the changes are part of a much broader package which the
Obama Administration is introducing to address incredible conflicts of interest that has led in
part to the global financial crisis.

In the UK what you're seeing is a two or three year process which is now culminating in some very
strong but appropriate regulatory reform.

PETER RYAN: Given that those proposals are now well and truly on the agenda in the US and Britain,
does this really put the pressure on Australian regulators to get in line with what's happening
elsewhere?

DAVID WHITELEY: I think that's a very, very clear message to the Australian regulatory system and
we have confidence that the Cooper Review which is about to commence will be looking very seriously
at what is occurring internationally. And in fact that's part of their remit.

PETER RYAN: Industry super funds have been running a very fierce campaign to ban commissions and
that's forced retail funds to put up their own voluntary code, but do you believe their argument
for self regulation stands up now?

DAVID WHITELEY: The suggestion that self regulation will work is I would suggest a sort of tactical
play to attempt to avoid proper regulation.

PETER RYAN: The battle over commissions forced the body representing retail funds to announce its
own ban last month.

The move is voluntary but it does send a message that the industry is prepared to deal with its
image problems, according to Richard Gilbert, chief executive of the Investment and Financial
Services Association.

RICHARD GILBERT: You can have all the changes of the law in the world but ultimately it's up to the
individual integrity of financial advisers and how they deal with their customers. I'd say to you
that overwhelmingly financial planners are doing a good job in this country. There are some
problems on the fringe. Let's clamp down on them.

PETER RYAN: Richard Gilbert is betting on the Federal Government's view that the industry needs to
self regulate away from commission based payments.

RICHARD GILBERT: The Government has said that in relation to commission payments, that our
proposition is a good one. They're prepared to give it a go and I say that's a good approach
because at the end of the day it can take months if not years for a Government to make a decision
and implement it.

PETER RYAN: But financial advisers could face fresh challenges with speculation that industry super
funds will soon be allowed to provide financial advice for members on how and where to direct their
superannuation - a practice that's not allowed under current regulations.

PETER CAVE: Our business editor Peter Ryan there.

Witness details phone call in Theophanous rape case

Witness details phone call in Theophanous rape case

Rachael Brown reported this story on Friday, July 10, 2009 15:40:22

PETER CAVE: The key prosecution witness in the rape case against Victoria's former industry
minister Theo Theophanous is giving evidence of her friend's distressed phone call on the night of
the alleged attack.

Theophanous is facing a committal hearing, charged with raping a female friend in his parliamentary
chambers in September 1998.

Today's witness is the only confidante of the alleged victim who does remember being told of the
rape, but the defence counsel says her evidence just doesn't stack up.

Rachael Brown is in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, she's joined us now.

Rachael can you tell us about that phone call?

RACHAEL BROWN: The woman who has given evidence via a video link from London is one of the three
women alleged to have been called on the night of the attack.

Now this witness says her friend called her very distressed. She says that the woman says she'd
been attacked, raped or hurt. She didn't remember the exact wording. All that she knew was that her
friend, something bad had happened to her friend and that this was a cry for help.

She assumed her friend was referring to Theo Theophanous because she knew the two were meeting for
a drink that night.

The witness says she told the woman to go to the police now and the woman allegedly replied, "I
can't, I can't," in a horrific state. And then the phone cut out because the witness says she was
calling from a phone box and she had no more money, no more coins.

PETER CAVE: What's been the defence counsel's argument today in relation to that phone call?

RACHAEL BROWN: It's been submitted the phone box line was a complete fabrication made up by the
witness because there were no phone records to suggest that she was called on that night.

Today was the first time apparently that this phone box has ever been mentioned and as an aside the
alleged victim's witness statement says she called this witness from home.

So the defence lawyer Robert Richter QC said the alleged the victim wouldn't have run out of coins
because it was a local call, so it wouldn't need topping up. Phones just don't work like that.

He also made a big point of saying if this witness was such a good friend, someone the alleged
victim would call before her father or say her brother, why didn't she call police for her?

The witness said, "Well we weren't that close, it wasn't my place to take the liberty to call for
her".

Excuse me.

Robert Richter then pointed out that after this news she didn't call the alleged victim or check on
how she was for the next couple of days and didn't do anything to help.

PETER CAVE: How did the witness appear in court?

RACHAEL BROWN: Very frustrated on many occasions. She was rolling her eyes at the defence council
Robert Richter. The Theophanous family on the other hand seemed very relaxed and at times sniggered
at some of the witness' responses.

But the witness seemed insulted at the suggestion she fabricated the evidence.

Fabrication forms a big part of the defence case. Of the other two women the alleged victim
allegedly confided in, they've both testified they knew nothing of the incident and these women say
that their friend created correspondence after the fact to support their story.

So today's witness was asked if she knew she was the victim's last hope and the defence council put
to her that her statutory declaration had actually been dictated to her by the alleged victim
because of the language that she used and the fact that she changed her date, the date she said the
attack happened after the victim changed hers from 2000 to 1998.

So she's continuing to give evidence. She's back in the stand on Tuesday.

PETER CAVE: Rachael Brown reporting to us from the Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Indigenous children 28 times more likely to be in jail

Indigenous children 28 times more likely to be in jail

Meredith Griffiths reported this story on Friday, July 10, 2009 15:43:55

PETER CAVE: Much attention has been focused recently on the gap between Indigenous and
non-Indigenous people when it comes to life expectancy and education. But there's another divide
that shows no sign of closing as well.

Indigenous children are 28 times more likely to be in jail than other young people. The latest
statistics show that while the rates of Indigenous juvenile detention fell in the late 1990s,
they're now on the rise again.

Meredith Griffiths reports.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Indigenous children comprise about 5 per cent of young people in Australia, but
they account for 58 per cent of all people in juvenile detention centres.

Dr Judy Putt is the head of research at the Australian Institute of Criminology.

JUDY PUTT: Research shows that Indigenous young people are more likely to offend at a younger age
and get caught up in the criminal justice system at a younger age. The accumulative affects of that
is they're more likely to end up in a detention centre where they have a significant prior criminal
history.

We also know that Indigenous young people are more likely to have backgrounds, socio-economic
disadvantage being a key factor, that lends itself to getting into trouble and to misuse alcohol
and other substances at an earlier age - all of which mean there are greater risk factors in their
life that would increase the likelihood of them being involved in serious or repeat offending.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: The institute has released a new report saying that between 1994 and 2002 the
rates of detention of Indigenous young people decreased by 32 per cent. It then stabilised, but in
2007 rose again.

James McDougall from the National Children's and Youth Law Centre says the changes between 1994 and
2007 show that Indigenous youth justice fell off the agenda.

JAMES MCDOUGALL: In that first period, that was the period following the Royal Commission into
Aboriginal deaths in custody so there was generally an awareness of the problem and that it needed
to be addressed, and there were measures that were put in place.

Then we pretty much forgot about that sort of stuff, and in terms of youth justice policy, whilst
there were some good things happening there were also some bad things happening. Mandatory
sentencing was starting to kick in, some of the bail amendments were tightening up, and broadly
speaking the question of disadvantage in Indigenous communities was starting to have a real ongoing
generational impact.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Indigenous young people are most likely to be detained for breaking into
properties, theft, stealing vehicles or vandalism. But James McDougall says often people are
detained while their case moves through the courts and then ultimately they don't receive a
custodial sentence.

JAMES MCDOUGALL: A lot of the young people who are offending are effectively homeless. We will
grant them bail but say they have to reside in a particular place. If they don't have a place to
stay then they end up staying in detention.

Now that's obviously something that impacts on Indigenous young people who are going through that
kind of a phase where they don't have secure roots, but that actually happens in the mainstream
community as well.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: James McDougall says politicians aren't interested in solutions that work but
are looking for political quick fixes.

Neil Gillespie from the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement in South Australia agrees.

NEIL GILLESPIE: Even the United Nations is expressing concern about the over-representation of
Aboriginal people within the justice system including our youth. It's got to do with the attitudes,
not so much the National Government but the State Governments and the State police forces around
the nation in that they've got this law and order attitude that seems to win votes.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: He says the large number of young Indigenous prisoners is due to over-policing
and the gross under funding of Aboriginal legal services, but he stresses that incarceration rates
cannot be uncoupled from social disadvantage.

NEIL GILLESPIE: The cancer that's causing throughout Aboriginal communities, it's fundamental if
the Prime Minister is right, and which I agree, if we can have a look at those causes such as the
entrenched racism that's in Australia, the poor health, the poor education, and homelessness, if
those things are addressed and then there will be less participation of Aboriginal people within
the justice system.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Neil Gillespie says it's essential that the Federal Government seeks the input
of Indigenous people if it really wants to solve the entrenched problems in their communities.

PETER CAVE: Meredith Griffiths reporting.

Phone users can prevent hacking

Phone users can prevent hacking

Simon Santow reported this story on Friday, July 10, 2009 15:48:33

PETER CAVE: In Britain a scandal is raging over revelations that reporters at one of Rupert
Murdoch's seedier rags hacked into the voicemail messages of politicians and celebrities in an
attempt to uncover salacious stories.

While that's causing a stink in Britain it's also prompted questions over just how vulnerable are
the modern phone systems used across the world.

Simon Santow has been speaking to some experts in Australia.

SIMON SANTOW: At the elite level of law enforcement, there isn't a phone - digital or analog,
mobile or fixed - that can't be tapped.

Text messages, voicemail and live chat can easily be recorded, often with the help of the carrier
and their network technology.

But is it a different story for an ordinary person who wants to tap into conversations or messages
for their own purposes?

IAN VICKERS: With the advances of technology it can be very hard to monitor, obviously there's new
stuff coming in all the time, you've got to keep on top of it. So if in fact there is anything out
there new on the market that hasn't been intercepted yet, you could be at threat until something
was done about it.

SIMON SANTOW: Ian Vickers is a technical specialist in communications. These days he works in
electronic counter surveillance and his clients vary from individuals in their homes to business,
both big and small.

When it comes to bugging or hacking, he says ironically modern mobile phones and their networks are
relatively secure.

IAN VICKERS: I would suggest generally from my point of view that the system, the mobile system is
reasonably safe to use and well protected - well encrypted.

SIMON SANTOW: Landlines on the other hand tend to be analogue and easily accessed in a covert and
illegal way.

IAN VICKERS: The old analogue phone lines, analogue phone systems are totally open to modification.
They can be modified to a point where you can target a particular phone and you could record, you
could transmit information, so you can basically attack them in both fashions.

If you've got access to a site you could put a recording device with an isolation unit on an
analogue service and get a very good return on your time and your efforts. Same with transmitting,
you can transmit the old analogue signals without sort of in depth technology, it's fairly readily
buyable.

These days it's supposed to have warning tones to let you know if you've connected, there's
supposed to be tones that make the person aware, the target aware they're under attack, but in fact
those tones can be removed without too much effort.

SIMON SANTOW: Chris Althaus represents the phone carriers as the chief executive of the Australian
Mobile Telecommunications Association.

CHRIS ALTHAUS: Look there's no evidence that this is a runaway problem in Australia but it is
absolutely possible to do so because of course people have their own personal access arrangements
to their voicemail. This is again why we encourage the use of passwords and pin numbers to restrict
access and give the individual back some security.

SIMON SANTOW: Do you see it as a shared responsibility then?

CHRIS ALTHAUS: It is most definitely a shared responsibility. These days a lot of information is on
the web, on people's personal devices. Security is the critical element here, use of pin numbers
and passwords is very, very important.

SIMON SANTOW: Do you know what the level of the use of pins and passwords are at the moment amongst
most of the users?

CHRIS ALTHAUS: Well regrettably a lot of people are choosing to not take the security path. We
certainly put a lot of effort into encouraging them to do so, particularly when it comes to
voicemail. People need to remember voicemail can be accessed from landlines and you really need to
have a pin or a password on your voicemail account.

SIMON SANTOW: Ian Vickers says he can easily sum up the motivation for would-be hackers.

IAN VICKERS: It's money, power, sex. I mean they're the three main things that drive people to
monitor other people for gain, or to gain the advantage.

SIMON SANTOW: Typically are people being paranoid or do they have reason to be concerned?

IAN VICKERS: Bit of both. There is a certain degree of paranoia out there about this sort of thing,
but on the other hand there are real instances where people's security and privacy are infringed by
people who get involved with surveillance whether it be physical or electronic, so it's certainly
out there.

As I said I've been doing it for 20 years and there's no let up, it's not getting easier, it's
getting more difficult with the invent of new technology and so forth, you've got to keep one step
ahead of it all. There's certainly a lot of it out there.

PETER CAVE: Electronic counter surveillance expert Ian Vickers ending that report from Simon
Santow.

New measures to help cancer patients recover their sexuality

New measures to help cancer patients recover their sexuality

Nance Haxton reported this story on Friday, July 10, 2009 15:52:57

PETER CAVE: A warning that our last story today contains some sexual language and themes.

The Cancer Council of Western Australia has produced a series of CDs to help people deal with the
changes in their sex lives during and after cancer treatment.

They feature frank interviews with cancer patients and their partners, about the most intimate
details of their lives.

The series will be released nationally and available on podcast, as a resource for cancer patients
trying to come to terms with this often unspoken aspect of their illness.

Nance Haxton reports.

GEOFF: When the doctor told me it was terminal, it was like he opened up his drawer, took out a
hand grenade, pulled the safety pin out of the hand grenade and passed it to me, and my sexuality
just got blown away with everything else.

NANCE HAXTON: The impact of cancer on a patient's sexuality and body image is often seen as so
problematic, that it's not addressed at all.

The Cancer Council of Western Australia was so concerned that it decided to produce a series of
interviews on CD, discussing issues such as psychological and emotional changes, common sexual
problems, and the impact of surgery and chemotherapy.

ROBYN: It's the body image and that you're not the same, you're never the same again

NANCE HAXTON: Fleur Bainger interviewed the participants for the project, and says she was amazed
at their candour.

FLEUR BAINGER: I think it will bridge the gap and fill a rather large and significant hole in an
issue that affects everyone, let's face it, whether you're in your late teens all the way up to
being a 90-year-old, sexuality and having sex is something that is vital to everyone's quality of
life and existence.

And so there's a huge need for this sort of information and I think it will go some way to showing
our health professionals that it's something they need to provide and that for patients it's
something they're allowed to ask and know about.

NANCE HAXTON: In the interviews Kath talls frankly about how she felt she was a non-person after
her treatment for vulval cancer.

KATH: I had to have my clitoris, vulva and lymph glands removed due to cancer. Psychologically it
was devastating, I couldn't wait to find out whether I was still actually able to perform sex.

But I'm please to say that I am actually able to orgasm, after all that I've been through and even
though I knew I was going to be in pain, you know I had to prove to myself that I was still able to
do that.

NANCE HAXTON: While Roz explains how she overcame the changes to her sex life, when her husband was
diagnosed with prostate cancer.

ROZ: Instead of veering away from it, which is one, I think most people tend to not want to discuss
it because it is quite an intimate thing and it is quite scary; we did the opposite, and we
discussed it in great detail.

NANCE HAXTON: Sandy McKiernan is the director of cancer services with the Cancer Council of Western
Australia.

She says it's incredibly difficult for cancer patients to get reliable information about how their
illness will affect their sex lives, as they're either too shy to discuss it, or doctors and nurses
don't want to confront the issue.

SANDY MCKIERNAN: Basically we have had a lot of contact from health professionals and patients
alike, telling us that there's not a lot of information for patients around sexuality and body
image and it's often overlooked by the medical fraternity as a little bit too difficult to tackle.

NANCE HAXTON: Why do you think that is? Are we still a bit shy to talk about this because it would
be something I imagine that would be of concern to most cancer patients.

SANDY MCKIERNAN: I think it is a lot to do with how comfortable you feel yourself in talking about
sex and sexuality and the other part of what we're doing when releasing this CD set is actually
increasing the availability of education for health professionals around sexuality and cancer.

NANCE HAXTON: On the CDs, Tony talks about how he's overcome any sexual limitations, after having
his cancerous prostate removed.

TONY: The major implication of course was that I was going to become impotent unless there was some
miracle. It doesn't preclude you from having sex though, to me a sex shop is just like a toy shop -
I mean it's amazing, you know, those people in there are trained to help people with sexual
problems.

And so we've established a toy cupboard I think for want of a better word. Although I can't have an
erection I still get an enjoyment out of it I can still have an orgasm it's not a problem.

NANCE HAXTON: The overwhelming message from the series of interviews, that will be available from
Cancer Councils nationally, is that cancer does not have to rob you of a meaningful sex life, as
breast cancer survivor Pat explains.

PAT: I felt so ugly and horrible and my sexuality was definitely gone. Our sex life is wonderful
again, and it's very nice to be, to have matured and understand that sex is perhaps in your mind
anyway.

PETER CAVE: A breast cancer survivor named Pat ending Nance Haxton's report.