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Govt silent on ETS coal compo speculation

Govt silent on ETS coal compo speculation

Sabra Lane reported this story on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:10:00

PETER CAVE: The Prime Minister and his senior ministers are heading for South Australia this
afternoon for a Cabinet meeting and a community Cabinet forum in Adelaide tonight.

The Federal Government is staying silent on reports it's considering doubling the amount of
compensation available to the coal industry under its proposed carbon pollution reduction scheme to
$1.5 billion.

The coal industry has ramped up its campaign for more compensation, placing full-page ads in
newspapers around the country, saying that it wants fair treatment.

From Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: In two and a half weeks the Senate will vote on the carbon pollution reduction scheme
and still the Government's sorting out the fine print; specifically, compensation for the coal
industry. Other trade exposed industries like cement, aluminium and liquid natural gas will get
free permits - between 60 to 90 per cent under the scheme.

The coal industry, though, isn't getting the same deal. It will get $750 million during the first
five years of the scheme to help the industry adjust.

But the Coal Association's executive director Ralph Hillman says it's not enough.

RALPH HILLMAN: The Government has chosen not to apply its own criteria objectively to the coal
industry. We qualified to receive the assistance that those other industries are receiving but
instead of giving us 60 per cent permit allocation they're giving us a sum of money that amounts to
4.5 per cent of our emissions bill over 10 years. So it's really unfair and discriminatory
treatment.

SABRA LANE: Nearly two months ago the ABC reported the Government was preparing to dramatically
increase its offer. It was denied at the time but the speculation's resurfaced today that it will
double its offer to $1.5 billion.

For months, the Coal Association's pressured the Government for more and today it started a
national advertising campaign to prosecute its case that it's a large employer, that too many jobs
will be lost under the scheme and that it's already committed $1 billion to cut greenhouse gas
emissions.

Greg Combet, the minister charged with negotiating with the coal industry, has remained silent on
that this morning. His office insists he won't talk about speculation.

Again, Ralph Hillman.

RALPH HILLMAN: No figure has been mentioned in talks. We've been talking about principles and
industry issues and the structure of the CPRS policy and legislation. I know of no such figure. Of
course if you look at a figure like doubling, that takes our assistance package from 4.5 per cent
to 9 per cent while LNG, aluminium and others as I've mentioned are getting between 60 to 90 per
cent. So it still looks unfair.

SABRA LANE: And the Opposition spokesman on emissions trading Andrew Robb says if the figure's
true, it's well short of what's required.

ANDREW ROBB: It falls well, well short of the penalty that's going to be imposed on the coal
industry relative to our major competitors. I mean, the United States bill and Europe for that
matter, the European scheme, both exclude fugitive emissions, methane emissions, from coal mines
and the Australian scheme will put a $5 billion tax on the industry in the first five years.

So there is no comparison and it underscores again the importance of Australia waiting until we see
what the United States in particular will finalise in terms of emission trading scheme, otherwise
we'll put ourselves from day one at a huge competitive disadvantage.

SABRA LANE: Where does the Coalition stand on this now? I thought last week the Shadow Cabinet had
said it was prepared to negotiate with the Government ahead of Copenhagen. Are you now saying that
that's now not the case?

ANDREW ROBB: Well again, last week Malcolm Turnbull stated very clearly that it is still our view
that the common sense approach to all of this is to wait and see what comes out of Copenhagen and
see what the Unites States does. And that is still our very strong position. What we did lay down
was those areas that we would discuss if the Government's going to force a vote. We laid down very
clear principles and propositions that we would discuss with the Government.

SABRA LANE: The latest Newspoll shows most people now want to delay a vote on the emissions trading
scheme until after the Copenhagen talks in December, mirroring the Coalition's long-term stance.

Yet it seems voters don't like hearing the man delivering the message. Support for Malcolm Turnbull
as the preferred prime minister has slumped to 16 per cent, a clear 50 points behind Kevin Rudd.

He's now in a worse position than when Dr Brendan Nelson lost the Liberal leadership last year.

Again, Andrew Robb.

ANDREW ROBB: Look I've got no doubt, as we prosecute the case against the Government over the next
12 months, that Malcolm Turnbull will become highly competitive, as will the Coalition itself.

SABRA LANE: But Andrew Robb surely the public - what it saw last week with open dissent, public
bickering - that can't be doing the Coalition any favours.

ANDREW ROBB: Look, we've had our issues, I don't deny that. It's really one of the reasons why, you
know, we are not in as strong a position as we would like to be. But all I'm saying is I've got
total confidence in our ability to work as a solid team but more importantly our ability to expose
what I think is the enormous inadequacies of the Rudd Government. They are all talk and no action.
And I think as we prosecute that case over the next 12 months we will be in a very strong
competitive position come the next election.

PETER CAVE: The Opposition's spokesman on the emissions trading scheme Andrew Robb, speaking there
to Sabra Lane.

RBA says deposit guarantee protected financial system

RBA says deposit guarantee protected financial system

Sue Lannin reported this story on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:14:00

PETER CAVE: An Assistant Governor of the Reserve Bank says the Federal Government's guarantee of
deposits and bank borrowing was necessary to keep the financial system functioning.

Malcolm Edey has told a Senate committee that the move restored confidence and allowed financial
institutions to fund themselves.

So far $780 billion worth of deposits and wholesale borrowing by the banks have been underwritten
by the Government.

Sue Lannin was at the hearing; she joins me now. Sue, what did My Edey have to say?

SUE LANNIN: Well Mr Edey said the guarantee was put in place late last year in exceptional
circumstances; that it protected the core of the system as the world's financial system was going
belly up.

Now there's been a lot of criticism because of the way the guarantee was imposed. There's a lack of
competition in the mortgage lending market according to the smaller lenders and that's squeezing
them out in favour of the big banks. But Mr Edey said all the banks benefitted from the guarantee
and that the guarantee was designed to unblock parts of the financial system that were seizing up.

He also said it had to be comprehensive. Of course it's guaranteeing up to $1 million in retail
deposits. He said it had to be comprehensive because, compared to the situation in the UK where
there was a run on the Northern Rock Bank because of uncertainty over how far the Government would
go to back it up.

Now so far to date, the Government has raised $480 million - that's from the interest rates; it
charges financial institutions to borrow using the guarantee. And in fact in a submission to the
inquiry, the RBA said that the big four banks were getting off lightly, in that it was cheaper for
them to borrow using the Australian guarantee compared to their overseas counterparts.

He wasn't asked about that today but he did say that the guarantee would not be permanent.

MALCOLM EDEY: As far as exit arrangements go and whether they need to be coordinated I think it's
important to have some degree of coordination. I wouldn't say that everybody has to do everything
all at once or that you need to have some sort of formal agreement because I think countries do
have scope to go their separate ways.

But what we do will partly depend both on market conditions and what happens in other countries.

PETER CAVE: Sue, Mr Edey was repeatedly asked by Senator Barnaby Joyce whether he could put a
figure on how much of that $780 billion worth of funds guarantee so far that the Government could
honour.

SUE LANNIN: Yes Mr Edey said that the RBA had done no calculation and he also said that the need to
guarantee that amount was so remote as to be completely unrealistic.

He was also pressed on what percentage of GDP the Government could borrow to. He said it was not
responsible to put a number on that.

MALCOLM EDEY: I've made the general point that our Government has a very large capacity to borrow
and we think the circumstances in which significant amounts of the guarantee would be called on are
very remote.

PETER CAVE: On another matter, has there has been any sign of figures on business confidence today?

SUE LANNIN: Yes there's been the latest business confidence survey out from the National Australia
Bank. They say business confidence jumped sharply in the second quarter. It's actually back to
levels last seen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the US investment bank in late 2008. But
it's still in negative territory and the NAB's chief economist says the forecast remains for three
quarters of economic contraction.

PETER CAVE: Better than nothing, I suppose. Sue Lannin.

Prime Minister begins hospital tour

Prime Minister begins hospital tour

Bronwyn Herbert reported this story on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:18:00

PETER CAVE: The Prime Minister says he has begun his national conversation on health reform,
visiting a Sydney teaching hospital this morning - before flying off to Adelaide - to hear from
those in the front-line on what needs to be improved.

Yesterday the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission gave its recommendations for a
massive overhaul of the hospital system.

It's estimated these reforms would push costs up another $5.7 billion a year and billions more in
capital investment.

The Prime Minister concedes it all costs money but he won't reveal how the Government can afford
such change until the Henry Tax Review is completed later this year.

Bronwyn Herbert reports.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital was first stop for the Prime Minster on his
tour of 25 teaching hospitals around the country.

After what Kevin Rudd dubbed his "front-line tour", the PM, alongside the Health Minister Nicola
Roxon, fielded questions from doctors, nurses and allied health professionals on the overhaul
flagged to Australia's health system.

Nicola Roxon says yesterday's Health Commission Report shows business as usual isn't a sustainable
option.

NICOLA ROXON: The report, we believe, is a very comprehensive blueprint and an opportunity for us
to undertake some of the most fundamental reforms, certainly since the introduction of Medicare, if
we were to adopt the recommendations of the report.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The health review calls for the Federal Government to lift recurrent funding of
public health by close to $6 billion a year. The recommendations include a federal takeover of
public hospitals if state governments failed to take up reforms and a free Denticare program for
all Australians.

Many of the questions posed directly to the Prime Minister today centred on how funding would and
should be distributed.

An intensive-care surgeon though the proposed new funding for hospitals, based on how work they
get, could actually lead to a drain out of general hospital funding.

The Prime Minister was quick to quell concerns.

KEVIN RUDD: From our perspective you will see no dis-invesmtemnt as far as hospitals are concerned
and they should be very plain about this.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Nicola Roxon says it's already obvious that there's much more work to be done on
understanding funding of outpatient services.

NICOLA ROXON: I think this is going to be one of the areas we do need to exactly road-test. Even
our visit to the burns unit where, of course, the relationship between the in-hospital care and the
ongoing out-patient services can last for many, many years, let alone many, many months, means that
this proposal will need to be worked through very carefully if it was to be adopted.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Dr Chris Arthur is a haematologist and has recently retired after working for
decades at the Royal North Shore Hospital. He told the Prime Minister infrastructure costs need to
be supported by the Federal Government to meet future health needs. And that the new development at
Royal North Shore will only have an extra 26 beds, which means it will be full from the day it
opens

CHRIS ARTHUR: The clinicians at Royal North Shore Hospital are very concerned that we will start
off with close to 100 per cent occupancy unless we get the bed numbers right. We're concerned that
the numbers aren't right. It's like building a Ferrari and saying, you're going to get a fantastic
car, it looks great, it's looks as though it should go well, but you actually skimp on a extra
couple of cylinders to save some money.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The New South Wales Health Minister John Della Bsoca was also in the audience.

He says he won't support a federal takeover and is predicting a fight ahead.

JOHN DELLA BOSCA: A first small step but it's a big step in terms of the journey we have to walk.
It's going to be a hard one. I think Nicola and I are going to have a few arguments but we're going
to get there and it is a great opportunity and you have the privilege I think of being the first in
the community to participate in it.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The Prime Minister says he can't reveal the costs of Government changes to the
health system until the Treasury examines a new proposal he will put to the states.

KEVIN RUDD: All these things cost money and this is simply a statement of the obvious in terms of
the fiscal constraints that Government faces.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Kevin Rudd says it's the building block of long-term health reform.

KEVIN RUDD: This affects so many Australians. They therefore expect us to get it right. It's
important therefore that there is an informed national debate now that there are concrete proposals
out from the commission. That's what we're here to do today.

PETER CAVE: The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ending that report from Bronwyn Herbert.

Tasmania warns against federal takeover

Tasmania warns against federal takeover

Felicity Ogilvie reported this story on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:22:00

PETER CAVE: One Australian hospital that's already been taken over by the Federal Government is the
Mersey in Northern Tasmania.

Shortly before the 2007 Federal election, the then prime minister John Howard announced the
Commonwealth was taking over the funding of the hospital and that the community would run the
Mersey.

When Labor won the election it provided the funding but it handed the running of the hospital back
to the State Government.

The Tasmanian Health Minister says the Mersey takeover shows that if the Federal Government is
going to fund a hospital it should also run it.

Felicity Ogilvie reports from Hobart.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission report has suggested radical
changes in relation to hospitals. The Prime Minister has to decide whether to take over hospitals
now, later or not at all. Kevin Rudd will take his plan to state and territory leaders early next
year and if they don't like it he'll ask Australians directly what they think via a plebiscite or
referendum.

A northern Tasmanian man, Steve Martin, has already experienced a federal takeover of his local
hospital - the Mersey.

STEVE MARTIN: The Federal Government's takeover of the Mersey Hospital has been a dog's breakfast.
We've had a tender process which we don't believe was a fair process and inevitably it ended up in
the State Government's hands. We believe that a community board was the best way of moving forward
with the Mersey.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Mr Martin runs the Mersey Community Support Group and says he's spent years
fighting for better services at the hospital.

STEVE MARTIN: We've got no real new services in what the community fought for but what we have got
reintroduced is a chemotherapy service, so that helps people not having to travel to Launceston
regularly.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The federal takeover of the Mersey is a three-year deal. There's a yearly budget
of $60-million from Canberra and the State Government runs the hospital.

But the Tasmanian Health Minister Lara Giddings says the federal takeover at the Mersey is not
running as well as it could. And she's worried about the recommendations made in the National
Health Report.

LARA GIDDINGS: The report is silent on who should be managing the hospitals. But it's not silent in
terms of saying that the Commonwealth should increase its funding and potentially even fully fund
our hospitals but also set the policy in that framework as well. So what that means for state
governments is that they are effectively just managers of the system. They have no rights in terms
of setting any policy around how the hospitals actually operate.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Ms Giddings says the Federal Government may be paying for the running of the
Mersey Hospital but it hasn't stopped the federal-state blame game.

LARA GIDDINGS: When things go wrong at the Mersey Hospital it's not the Australian Government who
are asked the questions or put, the responsibility goes back on their shoulders. The responsibility
is firmly on the shoulders of the State Government. So if they're going to 100 per cent fund the
system, they need to 100 per cent run it.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Now Ms Giddings, you've seen the Mersey, a small example of how the Federal
Government can take over the funding of a public hospital; do you think that this could happen
around the whole nation? Is it a viable plan for the Federal Government to fund all hospitals
across Australia?

LARA GIDDINGS: The prime thing that I think we all need to keep in mind here is what is in the best
interests of the patient? And what I'm concerned about with the models put forward, the
recommendations put forward, is that in fact they're going to break down our system again into a
primary health system and an acute hospital system. This potentially could create gaps for patients
where they could fall through the system.

PETER CAVE: The Tasmanian Health Minister Lara Giddings ending that report from Felicity Ogilvie.

Pregnant teachers voice concerns about swine flu

Pregnant teachers voice concerns about swine flu

Di Bain reported this story on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:26:00

PETER CAVE: Health authorities are bracing for a surge in the number of swine flu victims as tens
of thousands of children in New South Wales go back to school today.

The school term has already started in most other states but infectious diseases experts say the
number of people who might have the virus is no longer being counting and the figures available is
just the tip of the iceberg.

It's a scenario that has pregnant teachers in Sydney worried; they want the education department to
assess just how dangerous the school yard really is to ensure their unborn child isn't exposed to
danger.

Di Bain reports.

DI BAIN: Over the past two weeks in New South Wales the number of teenagers presenting with swine
flu has dropped. Health authorities aren't sure why. Dr Paul Armstrong from New South Wales Health
says it could be because students have been on holidays and with the new term starting the
situation could change.

PAUL ARMSTRONG: This may mean that the swine flu epidemic has peaked and it's one the way down or
more likely it's because kids are away from school and away from those mixing patterns that we know
that occur at school and hence numbers are going down. So there's an expectation that those numbers
will increase once they go back to school.

DI BAIN: How prepared is the education system for this?

PAUL ARMSTRONG: Since the beginning of the human swine flu epidemic there's been a lot of
information that's been sent home to parents. We've worked very closely with the Department of
Education and the Independent Schools Association and the Catholic Schools Commission to make sure
that there's appropriate information going home to parents about their children.

DI BAIN: Students have already gone back to school in most other states. In Victoria, health
authorities say there's been no unusual spike in the numbers of swine flu cases from school
children.

However Raina MacIntyre, an infectious diseases specialist with the University of New South Wales,
says authorities are no longer keeping accurate figures on the number of swine flu cases.

RAINA MACINTYRE: As cases increase, and it's been the case already, the amount of testing has
dropped off. The figures are only a reflection of how hard we look for flu and how much we test.
So, you know, it's just a matter of interpreting the data correctly.

DI BAIN: She says the epidemic hasn't peaked yet and the new school term is likely to see a surge
in the number of cases in the coming weeks.

RAINA MACINTYRE: I don't think the epidemic has peaked yet. It will probably peak in, possibly
early or mid-August. So I think there will be more pressure to come and the opening of schools
won't help.

DI BAIN: This has teachers worried. The New South Wales Teachers Federation's Bob Lipscombe says
pregnant teachers aren't sure if it's safe to go to work.

BOB LIPSCOMBE: Well we've advise our members to speak to their doctors as a matter of urgency and
then the department is required, under occupational health and safety legislation, to carry out an
appropriate risk assessment and take the measures necessary to protect their health and safety in
the workplace. We would expect the Department of Education to honour its obligations to do that.

DI BAIN: Will the department conduct that risk assessment before they go back to school?

BOB LIPSCOMBE: It should be done as a matter of urgency, prior, hopefully prior to any exposure to
any risks from children who may be infected. But we'll be monitoring that closely over the next few
days to make sure that does happen.

DI BAIN: The Australian Medical Association says hospitals are gearing up for more work.

Dr Brian Morton says parents need to be vigilant and keep their children home if they're not
feeling well.

BRIAN MORTON: Once children are back at school it's very important that they use good cough
etiquette, use a tissue which they then discard or cough into their elbow.

DI BAIN: New South Wales is now leading the country with the number of swine flu deaths reaching
17.

PETER CAVE: Di Bain reporting.

Mulesing decision means more pain for wool industry

Mulesing decision means more pain for wool industry

Simon Lauder reported this story on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:30:00

PETER CAVE: Animal welfare groups and rural lobby groups have attacked the decision by the
Australian wool industry to abandon plans to phase out the controversial practice of mulesing.

Mulesing involves cutting skin from the rear end of a sheep to prevent fly strike.

Farmers say there's still no cost effective alternative. But anti-mulesing campaigners say the
industry isn't trying hard enough and abandoning plans to phase out mulesing will do the industry
more harm.

Simon Lauder reports.

SIMON LAUDER: The animal rights group PETA has run a global campaign, which successfully pressured
the Australian wool industry to act against the bloody practice of mulesing. Under threat of
international fashion industry boycotts, the industry agreed in 2004 that mulesing would be phased
out by the end of 2010.

Hugh Miller has 8,000 sheep on his farm in south-west Queensland. After mulesing sheep for more
than 40 years, he reduced the amount of mulesing in response to the campaign against it. But he
says it hasn't paid off.

HUGH MILLER: Well we used to mules all sheep but just the last couple of years I have only mulesed
my female sheep, which are obviously more susceptible to reach strike, so that I have some wool
from unmulesed sheep to sell.

SIMON LAUDER: And has that benefitted you, being able to label that unmulesed?

HUGH MILLER: No, not at all.

SIMON LAUDER: Why not?

HUGH MILLER: There's no premium at this stage for unmulesed sheep. The commercial signals are not
coming through to promote unmulesed sheep.

SIMON LAUDER: Now the industry has given up on plans to phase out mulesing by the end of next year.
The industry's research and development leader, Australian Wool Innovation, says the mulesing
deadline is unlikely to be reached for welfare reasons, based on scientific grounds.

In a statement AWI says pursuing a deadline before an effective alternative is found risks the
welfare of sheep and also risks the productivity of wool producers.

Chris Nixon is the president of the Livestock Group with the Victorian Farmers Federation.

CHRIS NIXON: You know, we support AWI to continue work on finding alternatives to mulesing. There
are things in the pipeline but they're probably still a couple of years off from full commercial
release.

SIMON LAUDER: Is it the case that there are alternatives, they're just more costly?

CHRIS NIXON: They are, yes, they are more costly.

SIMON LAUDER: Anti-mulesing campaigners say the Australian wool industry's commitment to phase out
mulesing saved it from more heavy boycotts from retailers.

Glenys Oogjes from Animals Australia says now the deadline has been abandoned, mulesing will be a
hot topic again.

GLENYS OOGJES: Those buyers, the retailers, will be totally confused by being told some years ago
that mulesing was on its way out and now to be told that that's not possible. They, of course -
those retailers and others have of course told their buyers, the consumers, that they're moving
away from this cruelty and now I really don't believe they'll want to purchase products that their
consumers believe to be from cruel practices and indeed they will be from cruel practices whilst
ever mulesing is allowed to continue in this country.

SIMON LAUDER: Ms Oogjes says she doesn't accept the explanation for abandoning the deadline. She
puts the decision down to pressure from farmers who aren't ready to change their practices.

GLENYS OOGJES: I do believe that Australian Wool Innovation is being quite disingenuous to suggest
that they are basing their decision on science and animal welfare. I think that is so far from the
truth. I think they are simply doing it because there are some elements in the wool industry, those
that haven't yet got their act together to move away from mulesing, that are putting pressure on
them. I think this is entirely a political decision.

SIMON LAUDER: It's not only animal activists who are disappointed with the decision not to phase
out mulesing by the end of next year.

Brent Finlay from the rural lobby group AgForce say Australian wool will be more difficult to sell
in global markets. He says abandoning the deadline will only drag out the controversy.

BRENT FINLAY: I think it's a difficult decision and it draws a lot of media to it and also sends
very much mixed messages to the wool growers of Australia. We had an end date and now we've moved
away from that and that's really disappointing. This industry is going to have to deal with this
for years to come.

PETER CAVE: Brent Finlay from AgForce ending Simon Lauder's report.

UK wants change in Afghanistan after deadly month

UK wants change in Afghanistan after deadly month

Stephanie Kennedy reported this story on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:34:00

PETER CAVE: July has turned out to be the deadliest month for British forces in Afghanistan since
the conflict began.

So it's comes as no surprise that the Government in London is now calling for a change of strategy.

The UK is urging the Afghan Government to try and make peace with some moderate Taliban fighters.

Stephanie Kennedy reports from London.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: Operation Panther's Claw - the push to clear the Taliban out of Helmand province
ahead of next month's election - began a month ago and involved 3,000 soldiers.

Now British and American military chiefs have claimed victory in pushing back the insurgents; phase
one is over, stage two is to hold the ground.

The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says the allies have broken up a reign of terror.

GORDON BROWN: What we have actually done is make the land secure for about 100,000 people. What
we've done push back the Taliban. And what we've done also is start to break that chain of terror
that links the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the streets of Britain.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: But while this battle is won, the war is far from over. So the UK wants to
exploit the military success, urging political engagement with some elements of the Taliban.

The Foreign Secretary David Miliband insists it's the only way to build a secure future for
Afghanistan.

DAVID MILIBAND: The Afghan Government needs effective grassroots initiatives to offer an
alternative to fight or flight for the foot-soldiers of the insurgency. Essentially this means a
clear route for former insurgents to return to their villages and go back to farming the land or a
role for some of them within the legitimate Afghan security forces.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: But Malalai Joya, an Afghan MP, is not impressed with the British rhetoric.

MALALAI JOYA: Now they want negotiate with Taliban, so it means that they waste their time, money
and lives. It proves that they lose so-called War on Terror in Afghanistan and you have no moderate
Taliban. They are terrorist Taliban and they want power.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: Douglas Alexander is Britain's Minister for International Aid and he points out
that negotiating with terrorists has worked before.

DOUGLAS ALEXANDER: I think people recognise from the experience of places like Northern Ireland
that it is necessary to put military pressure on the Taliban while at the same time holding out the
prospect that there can be a political process that can follow, whereby those who are willing to
renunciate violence can find a different path.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: Paul Cornish, Professor of International Security at Chatham House, is adamant
that some hardline elements of the Taliban will have to be included.

PAUL CORNISH: If however the hardline Jihadist Taliban aren't interested in this, aren't going to
play with it at all and cut themselves off from those of their former colleagues who are willing to
negotiate, then you haven't got anywhere. You've got to get the hardliners in and you've got to
have a sense that they too understand armed conflict will not solve the problem of Afghanistan.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: The change of strategy came on a day the conflict claimed the lives of another
two British soldiers. Twenty-two have died in the deadliest month for British forces since the
campaign began in Afghanistan.

In London, this is Stephanie Kennedy reporting for the World Today.

China fears spread of clashes

China fears spread of clashes

Stephen McDonell reported this story on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:38:00

PETER CAVE: Three weeks ago a mass protest by ethnic Uighurs in China's far west turned into a
bloody conflict, with crowds of people attacking Han Chinese and the Han Chinese then seeking
retribution in kind. Nearly 200 people were killed and 1,600 injured.

Those events took place in Xinjiang's regional capital Urumqi. Now there are fears that violent
clashes could spread to Kashgar where Uighur people make up the majority.

China correspondent Stephen McDonell reports.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: Kashgar's Sunday market has been going on for centuries. Farmers pour into this
crumbling historic city to trade sheep, goats, horses and camels. The local mercantile spirit is
here in abundance - the same way it has been for generations.

Kashgar is the cultural capital of the Uighurs, Muslims who are officially Chinese but look and
sound much more like Turks.

The location of this 2,000-year-old city has been the reason for the market's existence. On the
eastern side is the Taklimakan Desert and on the other the mountains which make up China's border.

In the days of the Silk Road this was an oasis for traders. Today it's the last city inside China
for the trucks which are heading west on the new Silk Road.

But it's people coming back across the border in the other direction who worry local Government
authorities.

Xu Jianrong is Kashgar's Deputy Mayor.

XU JIANRONG (translated): If a handful of separatists or religious extremists or international
terrorists appear, we will crack down on them immediately based on international law.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: To see what he's worried about we head out into the mountains to the west of
Kashgar. Across the dramatic snow-capped peaks in one direction is Pakistan, where the army is
fighting a war with the Taliban.

Across the mountains in a slightly different direction in Afghanistan, same story.

The Chinese Government worries that if trained-up insurgents were able to come across this vast,
isolated border region then it too could have an armed conflict on its hands.

Here we see the People's Liberation Army engaged in full-scale counter-insurgency training. From a
distance we watch the chemical warfare, bomb disposal and standard combat drills.

Back in Kashgar this concern is being blamed by some for the Government's decision to demolish
large sections of the old city.

The bulldozers and demolition teams are destroying neighbourhoods which have stood for centuries.
This is causing a good deal of distress amongst Uighurs.

Fifty-thousand people are being moved out of the old town and into high-rise flats.

One woman we meet is trying to be philosophical.

UIGHUR WOMAN (translated): There's no use getting angry now. We'll just make ourselves sick if we
worry too much. Of course, if we were allowed to move back to our old houses it would be good. But
this is not going to happen. We're living here now. Maybe it will get better.

STEPHEN MCDONELL: The Government says this has nothing to do with control and that the old mud,
grass and brick buildings are simply unsafe, especially if an earthquake were to hit.

The Mayor says that tourists may think it's quaint here but that they don't have to live in the old
city.

XU JIANRONG (translated): If you live in a so-called historical but dangerous house and you have a
lack of decent facilities to live properly, tourists couldn't even stay there for one day. Am I
right? So why should our people live in houses like this just for the sake of tourists?

STEPHEN MCDONELL: But many locals don't trust the Government's motives and tensions are definitely
on the rise here.

This is Stephen McDonell in Kashgar for the World Today.

PETER CAVE: And you can see more of that story on Foreign Correspondent tonight on ABC TV.

US sets new nuclear deadline for Iran

US sets new nuclear deadline for Iran

Anne Barker reported this story on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:42:00

PETER CAVE: The United States is increasing the pressure on Iran, warning of tough new sanctions if
it fails to address concerns about its nuclear ambitions.

The nuclear threat has dominated security talks in Jerusalem where the US and Israel are meeting.

Middle East correspondent Anne Barker reports.

ANNE BARKER: Only two months ago Iran test-fired a missile that experts say is powerful enough to
hit Israel, its arch-enemy. But it's Iran's nuclear ambitions that raise the biggest fears. Some in
the intelligence world believe Iran will have mastered the technology to produce a nuclear bomb
within as little as a year or two.

It's a possibility Israel and the US are desperate to avoid.

ROBERT GATES: A nuclear-armed Iran would be profoundly destabilising to the entire region.
Certainly to Israel and a threat to the United States and other states as well.

ANNE BARKER: The US Defence Secretary Robert Gates is in the Middle East for regional security
talks, particularly with Israel. He's given September as the rough deadline for Iran to respond to
questions about its nuclear ambitions.

ROBERT GATES: This is not an open-ended offer to engage. We're very mindful of the possibility that
the Iranians would simply try to run out the clock. I think the President is certainly anticipating
or hoping for some kind of a response this fall, perhaps by the time of the UN General Assembly.

ANNE BARKER: Otherwise the Defence Secretary warned of tough new sanctions against Iran.

ROBERT GATES: It is important to take every opportunity to try and persuade the Iranians to
reconsider what is actually in their own security interest, both in terms of the President's offer
to engage with the Iranians but also through sanctions to impose costs on them for pursuing that
course.

ANNE BARKER: Israel regards the possibility of a nuclear strike by Iran as its number one threat
and it insists it will do whatever it must to stop Iran from getting the nuclear bomb.

Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak, after talks with Robert Gates, refused to rule out a military
strike in return.

EHUD BARAK: No option should be removed from the table. This is our policy. We mean it, we
recommend to others to take the same position but we cannot dictate it to anyone.

ANNE BARKER: The US has put some of the onus on Israel to help restart peace talks with the
Palestinians as part of a broader quest for Middle East peace. But the US Defence Secretary gave
assurances to the Jewish state that US military and financial assistance to Israel will remain
unchanged.

ROBERT GATES: We are contributing both financial and technical assistance to strengthen Israel's
defence against the growing threat posed by rockets and missiles and we will continue to ensure
that Israel has the most advanced weapons for its national defence.

PETER CAVE: Robert Gates, our reporter there Anne Barker.

Pacific leaders urge action on climate change

Pacific leaders urge action on climate change

Kerri Ritchie reported this story on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:46:00

PETER CAVE: The aid agency Oxfam says Australia and New Zealand need to stop being part of the
problem and start being part of the solution.

It estimates that climate change could result in 75 million refugees in the Asia-Pacific region
over the next 40 years.

People living in the islands, like the leader of the tiny territory of Tokelau, say they're
watching helplessly as climate change ravages their countries.

New Zealand correspondent Kerri Ritchie reports.

KERRI RITCHIE: When the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key visited Samoa this month, the leader of
the tiny pacific nation of Tokelau boarded a run-down old boat and travelled for 24 hours so he
could speak to him.

Foua Toloa wants New Zealand and Australia to know that his people are in very real danger.

He says climate change is already leaving its ugly mark on his country.

FOUA TOLOA: The forces and the devastation and even the inundation of the land is even worse. You
recall, 1914 you have a cyclone, there was a huge cyclone, 1966 and then it lapsed. But the current
years it's been "bang" - every year you expect a cyclone

KERRI RITCHIE: Foua Toloa says the rising sea waters are stealing their food.

FOUA TOLOA: Back home it's an atoll, very low. When salt water comes in, you know, it solidifies to
the stage that you need so much rain, you know, to dissolve that salt. And it's killing a lot of
vegetation, even the town, the swampy town (inaudible), it's effecting. So it takes a lot of time
to break before the next cyclone.

KERRI RITCHIE: Further north from Tokelau are more coral atolls which make up the nation of
Kiribas.

Forty-eight-year-old Palaneesi Alofa Pidatatee (phonetic) lives in a rented house in the capital.
She told Radio New Zealand all her coconut trees are dead and every day she fears for her country's
future.

PALANEESI ALOFA PIDATATEE: I notice that the high tide, it's like a waterfall. Water is just
flowing though my front yard and I chased the water and I found it was sea water.

KERRI RITCHIE: Barry Coates is the executive director of Oxfam New Zealand.

BARRY COATES: It's a community of 3,000 people offshore of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea who
are having to move their people and 3,000 people is not an insignificant move and that's been an
example of the kind of forced migration that's going to have to take place on a far larger scale.

KERRI RITCHIE: Barry Coates says if Australia and New Zealand don't press for a decent deal in
climate change negotiations they're dooming these small Pacific Islands out of existence.

BARRY COATES: You know, if you can imagine for these atoll countries with a few metres above sea
level as the highest point, they've got nowhere to go. We actually expect that Australia and New
Zealand will be better neighbours and will do more themselves to put forward positive proposals
into the negotiations.

KERRI RITCHIE: Recently the President of Kiribas pleaded with Australia and New Zealand to open
their doors to any Kiribas citizens who become climate change refugees.

Barry Coates from Oxfam believes that people who are displaced should first be moved to higher
ground in their own country. If that's not possible, he thinks they should go to a nearby nation.

Kiribas resident Palaneesi Alofa Pidatatee (phonetic) doesn't want to go anywhere.

PALANEESI ALOFA PIDATATEE: We never thought that we have to move. No, that is not an option to us.
We do not want to move. Because if we move away from our islands, we have lost everything. We will
lose our identity. You cannot create Kiribas or Tuvalu or Fiji in someone else's country.

KERRI RITCHIE: Tokelau's Premier Foua Toloa says it is very worrying times for Pacific Islanders.

FOUA TOLOA: We are in the dilemma that the effect of whatever is done outside the control of
Tokelau is impacting us. So when you say afraid, I'm very much. Maybe hopefully one day we don't
wake up underneath the water.

KERRI RITCHIE: Climate change is expected to be a hot topic at next week's Pacific Islands Forum in
Cairns.

This is Kerri Ritchie in Auckland reporting for The World Today.

Philippines President accused of power grab

Philippines President accused of power grab

Karen Percy reported this story on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:50:00

PETER CAVE: The President of the Philippines is keeping her cards close to her chest when it comes
to her future.

Gloria Arroyo is due to step down in the middle of next year but her opponents believe she's trying
to find a way to stay in power as Prime Minister.

South East Asia correspondent Karen Percy is in Manila.

(Sound of rally)

KAREN PERCY: Gloria Arroyo spent most of her state of the nation address highlighting her
achievements.

(Sound of rally)

But her words meant nothing to the thousands of protesters just a kilometre or so away from where
she was delivering what should have been her final such address to congress.

(Sound of chanting "Gloria Arroyo")

They called her a liar. They called her corrupt. They accused her of hanging onto power. And try as
she might she did little to quell the talk.

GLORIA ARROYO (addressing rally): There is much to do as head of state til my very last days.

KAREN PERCY: As they tuned into TV sets and radios across the country, it's what they didn't hear
that upsets her opponents.

She acknowledged the end of her term would be in June of next year but didn't spell out when she
would be stepping down.

And she didn't name a successor.

And she didn't do anything to criticise the constitutional changes that are being brought on by her
allies that could see her head a transitional government as the nation becomes a parliamentary
system and the rise of a prime minister, prime minister Arroyo.

GLORIA ARROYO (addressing rally): I have never expressed desire to extend myself beyond my term.

VERGEL SANTOS: She's the most distrusted President ever in this country.

KAREN PERCY: Vergel Santos is editor of BusinessWorld. He's a harsh critic of Mrs Arroyo.

VERGEL SANTOS: That should be an answer, should be the answer to her question about whether she
should be believed at all or not.

KAREN PERCY: She said though, "I've only got a year to go. I'm not the one pushing these
changes"...

VERGEL SANTOS: She said that she had, she had yet until next year to finish her term. This term,
fine, as President, but that doesn't mean they could not be extended, it could not be prolonged,
especially when finally the constitution change process goes through.

KAREN PERCY: Gloria Arroyo is already the second longest serving president behind "Ferdinand
Marcos, with 8 years under her belt so far.

Because she replaced Mr Estrada midway through the term, she was able to contest another election.

But her remaining time in office, however long that might be, won't be easy.

(Sound of rally)

Mass rallies like that seen yesterday are expected to continue as those involved, like Antonio
Tinio from the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, spell out the injustices of her administration.

ANTONIO TINIO: We are here to protest nine years of Arroyo's stay in power; nine years in which the
people have become poo; nine years of widespread corruption, of gross human rights violations,
including the extrajudicial killings of our own members. And we're here also to protest her latest
attempt to perpetuate herself in power through changing the constitution.

KAREN PERCY: But the organisers need to be careful.

If the protests were to turn violent, it might give Mrs Arroyo just the excuse she needs to declare
a state of emergency and stay on indefinitely, just like the dictator Marcos, who ruled the
Philippines with an iron fist for more than two decades.

This is Karen Percy in Manila reporting The World Today.

Parking officers not fine with abusive motorists

Parking officers not fine with abusive motorists

Simon Santow reported this story on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 12:54:00

PETER CAVE: A new survey shows that motorists are increasingly taking out their frustration on
parking officers.

While the officers have never been overly popular, their union says there's no excuse for the
physical abuse being meted out to them by angry drivers.

The union says they want increased protection and issuing them with batons and capsicum spray is
only one of a range of strategies being considered.

Simon Santow reports.

SIMON SANTOW: It seems that when the United Services Union asked, parking officers were only too
happy to respond.

A union survey in New South Wales found that 250, or a quarter of all officers were being subjected
to some form of physical abuse as they went about their job.

BEN KRUSE: About half of the people surveyed had experienced some form of physical assault and 50
per cent of them had experienced the assault within the last three months. And a majority of the
respondents felt that the incidents were increasing and becoming more violent.

SIMON SANTOW: Ben Kruse is the union's secretary and he says the public ought to be shocked at a
sometimes savage response to getting a ticket.

BEN KRUSE: Some of the examples include a stab to the eye, a massive headache after a hit to the
back of the head, a damaged nerve to the neck, torn ligaments and tendons in the neck and
shoulders, psychological injuries - really quite a litany of quite serious injuries in many cases.

And of course, regular and constant verbal assaults as well.

SIMON SANTOW: The union wants a public education campaign to teach motorists to show greater
respect.

BEN KRUSE: I think anyone would be alarmed to hear the actual extent of physical assaults.This
survey wasn't just focused on parking officers, it was also focused on rangers and part of our
message is that these people have a valid and essential role in making our community a better place
to live and that needs to be recognised as well.

(Sound of coins in parking machine)

SIMON SANTOW: On Sydney's streets this morning, motorists still find it tough to express any more
than grudging respect for the parking cop.

(Sounds of street)

PAUL: Man they're doing their job; it's a job.

SIMON SANTOW: Parking officers have become something of a growth industry in metropolitan areas
across Australia, and Ben Kruse from the United Services Union worries that years of abuse is
convincing officers that violence goes with the territory.

BEN KRUSE: I think that it's fair to say that people have felt more comfortable about reporting
these incidents that have occurred in our survey. We've certainly been encouraging members to
report incidents directly to their employers but one of the troubles is that this sort of violence
in the industry is becoming regarded by members as part of the job which just isn't accesptable.

SIMON SANTOW: The union is calling for officers to work in pairs and to be equipped with batons as
well as back to base radio.

Even the thorny subject of capsicum spray is being discussed so that the public gets the message
that abuse will no longer be tolerated.

GARRY HARDING: That's not something that the City supports and it's not something that the rangers
support. In fact at a meeting with the rangers this morning they were quite surprised by the push
for other equipment. On the whole the rangers don't want things like batons and capsicum spray.
They're quite happy with the procedures.

SIMON SANTOW: Garry Harding is the director of city services for the City of Sydney.

He has more than 150 parking officers working for him.

GARRY HARDING: Our policy is to walk away; not to engage in a conversation. If they do become
aggressive they should walk away. There will be occasions when the motorist will actually follow
the ranger; again they need to get out of there as quickly as they can and to make contact over
their two way radio with other rangers and we normally have other rangers in fairly close proximity
and they will be there very quickly and we also contact the police.

SIMON SANTOW: The union says there'll be more questions asked of local government if a trend
continues to transfer traditional policing responsibilities to council officers working with very
basic equipment levels.

PETER CAVE: Brown bombers, grey ghosts, what next? Perhaps capsicum cowboys.