Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts.These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
RN World Today -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

Four charged over alleged terror plot

ELEANOR HALL: First to the Melbourne Magistrates Court, where four men have now been charged over
what police allege was a conspiracy to launch a terrorist attack on Sydney's Holsworthy army base.

Yesterday only one of the four men arrested was charged, he was 25-year-old Nayef El Sayed and he
was charged and appeared in court accused of conspiring to plan an attack on the Holsworthy

This morning police revealed a 26-year-old Carlton man, a 25-year-old Preston man and a 22-year-old
Meadow Heights man were also charged.

Our reporter Sam Donovan joins us now at the court. So Sam run us through what happened in court
this morning.

SAM DONOVAN: Yes Eleanor, so far three of the men have appeared in court, and court has just been
stood down while some preliminary matters are sorted out.

But the first man to appear was Mr Ahmed and he is charged with that offence that you mentioned,
conspiring to prepare for an act of terrorism, namely that alleged planned attack on the Holsworthy
army base.

The second man to appear today was, I won't mention his name actually because there was application
made in terms of perhaps suppressing his identity, so that's just being sorted out at the moment,
and that matter has also been stood down.

I should mention the first man has also been charged with aiding and abetting to engage in
hostilities in Somalia, and that carries a 20-year penalty, that is a Commonwealth offence.

And the third man has just appeared in court, Mr Fattal, he appears to be one of the men of
Lebanese appearance that we've heard reported on in the last couple of days; we know some of the
men are Somali-Australians and some of the men allegedly involved Lebanese-Australians.

Now he was in court just a quarter of an hour or so ago, he, there was a bit of a delay while his
legal representation was sorted out, it at first appeared that he was unrepresented. He didn't
stand for the Magistrate, and he was taken down to the cells at the end of his very short hearing
this morning.

But he again refused to stand and it appears that this is going to become a bit of an issue for the
Magistrate Peter Reardon.

Mr Fattal's lawyer explained that he would only stand for God, that he didn't stand for any man,
and as he was being lead down to the cells he asked the court if he could say something and Mr
Fattal then engaged in a speech attacking Australia's involvement in Afghanistan and saying things
like - Israel takes land by force, and also accusing the Australian army of killing innocent

ELEANOR HALL: Now Sam, the allegations here are of course very serious, tell us what security is
like there at the court.

SAM DONOVAN: Well it was very tight today Eleanor, not only did everyone coming into the court
today have to pass through metal detectors and have their bags checked on entering through the
ground floor.

But on getting up to the Melbourne Magistrates Court 11, which is on the fourth floor, people
wanting to go into court had to queue up, had to hand over photo ID, have their bags checked and go
through metal detectors as well, once again.

ELEANOR HALL: And did the men have any supporters there in the court?

SAM DONOVAN: Yes, they certainly did Eleanor, there was a very big group waiting to go into the
court. The hearing was to get underway at about 11 this morning, but it was delayed for quite a
while as just who was going to go into court was sorted out.

There was a group of about 30 family members and friends of the men lining up outside to go into
the court, mainly men, there were about four women among the group as well.

Now lawyers and journalists were allowed into the court first, but then the supporters were told
that only 12 of them would be allowed into the court, and they were told to work out who was to
make up that group of 12 amongst themselves.

But things got rather chaotic as people tried to be among the 12 to go in, I was standing next to
one man who said he was the brother of one of the accused and he was showing his driver's license;
he was eventually among the 12 let in.

But extra protective service officers were called in to help sort things out. I should point out
there was no real pushing or shoving or raised voices, but it was quite an unruly scene there for a

ELEANOR HALL: Sam Donovan at the Melbourne Magistrates Court, thank you.

Inquiry into source of alleged terror plot leak

ELEANOR HALL: As police continue with their investigation, more questions are being asked today
about just who was responsible for leaking the details of the operation to a newspaper.

An assistant New South Wales police commissioner says the raids were brought forward because of the

And there is now concern about a rift between the AFP and the Victorian police.

In Melbourne, Lexi Metherell reports.

LEXI METHERELL: Briefing the media after yesterday's counter terrorism raids and after the details
of Operation Neath were splashed across the front page of the Australian newspaper, Victoria's
chief police commissioner, Simon Overland, was fuming.

SIMON OVERLAND: I am extremely disappointed that the details of this operation have leaked in the
way that they have and we'll be vigorously pursuing the leak from my end, and I expect that the
federal authorities will be doing the same thing.

LEXI METHERELL: At his side, was the acting commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Tony
Negus, but he didn't appear quite as worked up.

TONY NEGUS: As Simon said, it's unfortunate that that was published before the execution of the
warrants; we expected that would be later in the morning.

LEXI METHERELL: Peter Dean is an assistant commissioner of the New South Wales Police and is
responsible for counter terrorism operations. He's told Radio National Breakfast the leak forced
the police to bring forward the raids.

PETER DEAN: You saw how one of the national newspapers had written it up on the front page
yesterday, that can't be denied that there was an influence in the timing of the raids yesterday
for sure.

LEXI METHERELL: Simon Overland's fury has not gone unnoticed. Greg Barton is a politics professor
at Monash University.

GREG BARTON: He was not a happy camper clearly, he clearly didn't have his way with that
arrangement and didn't think it was appropriate from everything he said.

LEXI METHERELL: The journalist who broke the story, Cameron Stewart, says he'd been sitting on it
since last Thursday at the AFP's request. On Monday night he says he got the okay from the AFP to
publish the next day.

CAMERON STEWART: The AFP is fine with this, they don't have the same level of gripes that Simon
Overland has.

LEXI METHERELL: Greg Barton says Simon Overland's concern for his officers and for the operation is
justified. He says vital evidence could have been destroyed because of the leak.

GREG BARTON: The Australians' defence that they were going with a late edition, they didn't
(inaudible) the early edition doesn't explain the fact that they would have been type-setting and
printing and dispatching those late edition papers well before the raids had begun.

LEXI METHERELL: He says there appears to be potentially worrying tensions between Victoria Police
and the AFP.

GREG BARTON: One of the lessons of 9-11 is that lack of good inter-agency cooperation really costs
us on the counter-terrorism front. We might think it's a small thing, but the failure to share
information in a timely fashion or share it fully can lead to Australian (inaudible) to put
together the pieces and get the full story before something happens.

Now, nothing had happened here, but any sign of inter-agency tension is a bad thing.

LEXI METHERELL: Victoria's Office of Police Integrity is investigating whether the leak came from
Victoria Police but it can't investigate the federal police. The AFP's oversight body is the
Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity but it won't confirm or deny whether an
investigation is taking place.

ASIO was one of the agencies involved in the operation but nor will it confirm whether an
investigation will be held. Greg Barton doubts the spy agency is responsible for the leak.

GREG BARTON: That would be extremely surprising; ASIO is in the business of intelligence and
security, that's all they do. The police do many things, ASIO just does one thing.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Lexi Metherell reporting. Greg Barton, political professor at Monash
University there, and the AFP has this morning confirmed that the leak was referred to its
oversight body and professional standards department last Friday after the AFP first became aware
of the leak.

PM announces defence base security review

ELEANOR HALL: The Federal Opposition is calling on the Government to immediately ensure that armed
guards replace the unarmed private security contractors at the gates of the Holsworthy Barracks in

Police say the barracks was the target of the alleged suicide plot.

And while the Prime Minister says he's satisfied the arrangements at the Barracks were adequate, he
has announced a review into security at military bases across the country.

Barbara Miller has our report.

BARBARA MILLER: Had the alleged terrorist plot ever come to fruition at Holsworthy Barracks, the
attackers would have first faced a couple of unarmed security contractors at the gate. As at most
defence bases around the country these days, frontline security at Holsworthy is carried out by
private unarmed guards.

That fact has alarmed Bob Baldwin the Coalition's spokesman for defence personnel.

BOB BALDWIN: Had there not been the pickup of the initial phone call, had this whole threat
scenario not been picked up, how adequate would it have been with unarmed security guards facing
those with automatic machine guns going on a massacre spree?

BARBARA MILLER: But the Prime Minister says he's satisfied there wasn't a problem.

KEVIN RUDD: The advice I received was that, from the Chief of Defence Force, was that based on our
current knowledge, that the security arrangements are adequate.

BARBARA MILLER: Speaking on AM, Kevin Rudd said however that security would be looked into.

KEVIN RUDD: I have requested that the CDF and the Defence Department undertake an immediate and
comprehensive review of adequacy, given these new developments.

BARBARA MILLER: Mr Rudd says the review will look into the issue of private security guards. The
Coalition defence personnel spokesman Bob Baldwin says that's not enough.

BOB BALDWIN: What is needed is to immediately put into place armed security guards, defence
security guards, then do the downstream investigation, you can always wind back the level of
protection, but it's pretty hard to put it in after the fact.

What we need to do is make sure that we protect the men and women in Australia who protect our

BARBARA MILLER: Wouldn't that however be a knee-jerk reaction?

BOB BALDWIN: No I see that as a proactive and preventative measure that in the face of any further
investigation enquiry, that if it's deemed that it is no longer required because the threat
assessment has reduced then it can be wound back.

I would rather be erring on the side of preventative, rather than reactionary after the event.

BARBARA MILLER: Where do you draw the line though when you start erring on the side of caution? I
mean there are many other facilities around the country that one could technically place under
armed guard.

BOB BALDWIN: Well I'm saying that all of our defence bases after the report that came out, that it
wasn't only Holsworthy that was under consideration from these terrorists, that all bases should
return to having defence personnel, armed defence personnel, manning the security bases. Now is the
time for decisive action.

BARBARA MILLER: But Neil James the executive director of the Australia Defence Association is
angered by the focus on security at the Barracks' front gate. He says it's important to consider
the system as a whole.

NEIL JAMES: You know, just worrying excessively about the guard at the front gate doesn't
adequately address the total system of security involved. I mean there are layers of security that
people don't see, and what happened with the plot detected in Melbourne, is the outer layer of that

And that's the work of the intelligence agencies and the police work in thwarting the plot at an
early stage. You just can't look at the front gate in isolation of the system it's in.

BARBARA MILLER: But can't we assume that at some point that first layer may be broken?

NEIL JAMES: Well that's the whole idea of having a layered system, you work on the assumption that
if any one layer is broken, another layer will pick it up. You know, even if you arm the contract
security guards on the front gate, you can't guarantee of course that they'd be armed well enough
or there'd be enough of them to defeat, you know, a determined armed intrusion for example.

BARBARA MILLER: Do you welcome a review though, as announced by the Prime Minister?

NEIL JAMES: Look we welcome the review, but the Defence Association knows that the security
measures and defence bases are audited regularly, and they change according to the threat. So we've
got full confidence that the Department of Defence knows how to secure its own installations.

BARBARA MILLER: You don't think that today people will be talking about this and wondering if
they're adequately secure?

NEIL JAMES: Well people are talking about this, but I've got to tell you, we've yet to receive
anyone, communication from anyone who's really deeply concerned about this, and the reaction at
Holsworthy by most diggers was - well bring it on.

BARBARA MILLER: Arrangements for carrying out the review announced by the Prime Minister are
already underway. A report by the Defence Department is expected back later this month.

ELEANOR HALL: Barbara Miller.

PM calls on Turnbull to resign over OzCar

ELEANOR HALL: The Prime Minister today launched an attack on the Opposition Leader over the OzCar
affair saying that it shows that Malcolm Turnbull doesn't have the judgment, the integrity or the
character to remain as leader.

The other key Opposition figure caught in the controversy, Liberal Senator Eric Abetz, apologised
for his role in the affair today.

But while Mr Turnbull gave a lengthy explanation yesterday of how he came to be misled by the
senior Treasury official, he didn't apologise. And the Government says that shows a fundamental
weakness in his character.

In Canberra, Naomi Woodley reports.

NAOMI WOODLEY: The Liberal Senator Eric Abetz was intimately involved in the Opposition's
prosecution of the OzCar case. He led the now infamous questioning of the Treasury official Godwin
Grech at a Senate hearing in June, but he now admits, he was conned.

ERIC ABETZ: I'm not only sorry to Malcolm Turnbull, but to the Australian people, and any anguish
that may have been occasioned to Kevin Rudd and other people. This is a circumstance that I think
most people would accept would have been better not to have occurred.

NAOMI WOODLEY: Senator Abetz has given very few interviews since it emerged that the email upon
which much of the Opposition's case was based was in fact a forgery. But this morning, on ABC Local
Radio in Hobart, he spent nearly half an hour defending his actions, and explaining how a promising
opportunity for the Opposition, turned into such a disaster.

ERIC ABETZ: The Opposition does have to go in hard, does have to keep a government accountable and
from time to time, given that we're playing the Ashes at the moment, when the Opposition runs in,
every now and then they do bowl a no ball and that is unfortunate.

NAOMI WOODLEY: He was at the meeting where Godwin Grech showed Malcolm Turnbull the email, which
purportedly came from the Prime Minister's office, asking for the car financing fund to help the
Queensland car dealer and donor to the Prime Minister, John Grant.

Senator Abetz told the ABC's Tim Cox, there was no reason to doubt the veracity of the email.

ERIC ABETZ: It looked genuine.

TIM COX: It looked genuine?

ERIC ABETZ: Yep, it had the sent bit on it, and for an email it does need the sent bit on it, the
date and the time that it was sent.

NAOMI WOODLEY: The Tasmanian Senator's apology is a contrast to the regrets expressed by Malcolm
Turnbull yesterday.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: With the benefit of hindsight of course, you know, you ah, one regrets ever
having met Mr Grech.

NAOMI WOODLEY: The Federal Government has set its sights firmly on Malcolm Turnbull. After
declining to comment yesterday the Prime Minister this morning re-entered the fray with his
strongest language yet.

KEVIN RUDD: This goes back to a fundamental question of character, and of judgment and integrity
and in Mr Turnbull's case they have been found to be sorely lacking.

NAOMI WOODLEY: Kevin Rudd says Mr Turnbull has failed a test of character, and the Treasurer Wayne
Swan, agrees.

KEVIN RUDD: A better man yesterday would have stood up and said they'd made a mistake.

NAOMI WOODLEY: Mr Rudd says the Government has no choice but to pursue the matter by referring it
to a privileges inquiry in the Senate when Parliament resumes next week.

KEVIN RUDD: I believe that what the Australian people would like through this sorry sordid affair,
is for all facts finally to be put on the table, not in bits, not in pieces.

NAOMI WOODLEY: Last time the Government tried to refer the OzCar matter to the Privileges Committee
the Family First Senator Steve Fielding sided with the Opposition to block the move. A spokesman
for the Senator says he hasn't yet decided how he'll vote next week.

Eric Abetz says the Opposition too hasn't decided how it will vote.

ERIC ABETZ: On the face of it, it appears as though some evidence may have been given to a Senate
committee that was false, and that is a very, very serious matter, and that clearly I think, falls
within the purview of a Privileges Committee inquiry.

NAOMI WOODLEY: But regardless of that outcome the Prime Minister has shown the Government won't let
up in its pursuit of Malcolm Turnbull.

KEVIN RUDD: I believe what's on display here is characteristics of impulsiveness, of rashness, and
for someone who has trained as a lawyer why no due diligence was applied to this matter at all,
none whatsoever.

NAOMI WOODLEY: While he has apologised, Eric Abetz says the Opposition did do its due diligence,
and he's challenged anyone to say what they would have done differently.

ERIC ABETZ: It was only after the sworn testimony was given that Malcolm Turnbull then asked the
Prime Minister to explain. And can I say that I think that is the sort of due diligence that one
should undertake in these things; but of course, we were conned.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Liberal Senator Eric Abetz, ending that report by Naomi Woodley.

Territorians may go to early poll

ELEANOR HALL: Now to the Northern Territory which is teetering on the brink of an election. It's
not even 12 months since Territorians last went to the polls but yesterday's defection from the
Labor Party by the Minister for Indigenous Policy has thrown the Government into crisis.

Alison Anderson now holds the balance of power with an Independent Gerry Wood and they're yet ready
to declare their intentions.

In Darwin Sara Everingham reports.

SARA EVERINGHAM: The drama in Northern Territory politics continues to unfold. Yesterday the
Indigenous Policy Minister Alison Anderson quit the Labor Party leaving it struggling to hold on to
power. She's staying on in her seat but isn't saying where her allegiances now lie.

ALISON ANDERSON: I want to leave that as a major surprise for Tuesday. What we need to do is we
need to understand that I don't want to really paint the picture or make, give anybody any
impressions of my move. My move will come on Tuesday, and like I said, it's a huge surprise.

SARA EVERINGHAM: The future of the Northern Territory Government is now at the mercy of Alison
Anderson and the Independent Gerry Wood. It's likely the Territory's Opposition will put forward a
motion of no confidence in the Parliament early next week.

If the motion's passed it could trigger an early election. Gerry Wood says that could be a good

GERRY WOOD: Going to an election is an option, it's an expensive option, it can be nuisance, but
really it's also the foundation of our democracy, and if there are times when a Government is
struggling to continue, then it's certainly an option I've got to look at.

SARA EVERINGHAM: Alison Anderson says she wants to hear what Territorians want. The idea of an
early election is one that received some support from callers to ABC Local Radio this morning.

MALE RADIO CALLER: Well I really believe you have to leave the decision up to the people, I think
you can't, they've already tried to make a decision and they haven't really got anywhere, we really
have a hung Parliament at the moment, a hung situation where there's no decision making,
government's failing to operate.

We really need the decision to be made by the people again and I think you'll find you'll have a
clear outcome after another election. Even though it costs money, you have to go back to the

MALE RADIO CALLER 2: Mate, go to the polls, I was in the military and that's what we fought for.
Freedom of rights, freedom of speech, freedom of democracy.

SARA EVERINGHAM: Alison Anderson says one reason she's left the Party is because the Government has
failed Indigenous Territorians. Marion Scrymgour another member left the Labor Party just two
months ago for similar reasons but she returned to the Labor fold yesterday.

In Labor circles there are suggestions another member could be about to quit the party. Karl
Hampton the Minister for Central Australia recently joined Alison Anderson in her criticism of the
Territory Government's efforts on Indigenous housing.

He's due to make a statement later today. Alison Anderson told ABC Local Radio this morning she
doesn't know what he's planning.

ALISON ANDERSON: Oh look absolutely, he feels the hopelessness as well because he travels his
electorate and other people's electorate as well with the regional development portfolio, and he
sees the hopelessness there as well, and Karl is a very committed Indigenous man in the Northern

LEON COMPTON: Could there be another member of ALP caucus about to leave the ALP today?

ALISON ANDERSON: Oh look I don't want to pre-empt anything Leon, I mean Karl's his own man and he
will decide for himself.

ELEANOR HALL: That's the Northern Territory's former Indigenous Minister, Alison Anderson ending
that report by Sara Everingham.

Bill Clinton returns to world stage

ELEANOR HALL: Former US president Bill Clinton has re-emerged onto the international stage with a
successful mission to North Korea to free two jailed American journalists.

Bill Clinton met North Korea's reclusive leader Kim Jong Il and the women were released just hours

The White House insists his trip wasn't an "official" visit, but questions are now being raised
about whether Bill Clinton's diplomatic foray will affect US-North Korea relations.

Washington Correspondent Kim Landers reports.

KIM LANDERS: It was a secret mission by a high level envoy.

(Sound of North Korean television)

Bill Clinton's surprise trip to Pyongyang has won the release of two American journalists held
captive since March. Euna Lee and Laura Ling had been sentenced to 12 years in a hard labour camp
after reportedly illegally crossing into North Korea from China.

But today North Korean television says leader Kim Jong Il has issued a pardon and ordered their
release. State media says former president Clinton apologised on behalf of the women and also
relayed President Barack Obama's gratitude.

Jack Pritchard is a former special envoy to North Korea. He believes North Korea has agreed to
release the journalists in a bid to try to reset its relationship with the Obama administration.

JACK PRITCHARD: For the first time we've seen that UN Security Council resolution, the sanctions
were looking as though they might actually have an effect on the regime. We saw an incident in
which the North Korean ship, the Kang Nam, was set sail ostensibly to Burma, turned around midway,
came back, the Burmese Government said if you'd shown up we were going to search you.

So these things were accumulative in effect, what the North Koreans really saw no good future down
the path that they were on.

KIM LANDERS: So how should the Obama administration take advantage of Pyongyang's gesture?

JACK PRITCHARD: Well what I hope comes out of this is a message from Kim Jong Il through president
Clinton to the Obama administration that says - give us a chance to talk with you first, and then
we're on our way back to multilateral talks.

And what the Obama administration needs to do now is take them up on that, rather than say no we're
not going to talk to them bilaterally; engage them, see where it leads. But with the intent of
getting them back to the multilateral track just as soon as possible.

KIM LANDERS: Bill Clinton's mercy mission is the highest profile visit by an American to Pyongyang
for nearly a decade. The reporters' families say they're overjoyed by the news of their pardon and
they've thanked Bill Clinton for taking on such an arduous mission.

William Cohen was defence secretary in the Clinton administration.

WILLIAM COHEN: And I'm sure that president Clinton made an assessment of the health and well being
of Kim Jong Il, to say whether or not he is in full control of his faculties and that perhaps
rumours about his health have been exaggerated, so that would be one thing.

Secondly, he may have been able to probe to see whether or not there is some flexibility on the
part, or willingness on the part of Kim Jong Il to in fact return to the six party talks. So body
language has a lot to do with it, some signals, some nuanced conversations, something offline
perhaps John Podesta had a conversation with several people, and they can bring that back to the
administration and say - here's a way of moving forward without compromising our principles on this
one, saying we're not going to reward them for bad behaviour.

KIM LANDERS: President Barack Obama has previously declared that North Korea posed a "grave threat
to the peace and security of Asia and the world", but he hasn't ruled out eventual dialogue.

So does Bill Clinton's successful mission signal a turn in US-North Korea relations.

Walter Lohman is the director of the Asian Studies Center at the Heritage Foundation.

WALTER LOHMAN: The real danger though is that this will be a repeat of history along the lines of
Jimmy Carters visit in 1994, that's that Clinton will come out with some sort of promise or
interest from the North Korean side on addressing their nuclear issue, and then that will
immediately take the pressure off that's been building on them to abandon their program.

I think that we have to be very careful that the North Koreans don't leverage us into something
else, I think they have much broader aims than just talking to Bill Clinton.

This is Kim Landers in Washington for The World Today.

Destruction of Amazon rainforest increasing

ELEANOR HALL: The Amazon rainforest is often referred to as the world's lungs, converting millions
of tonnes of carbon dioxide into oxygen.

In doing so, it helps to reduce the global warming caused by carbon emissions. But the latest
Brazilian satellite data reveals that the rate of deforestation in the Amazon has quadrupled in the
last month.

Bronwyn Herbert has our report.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Data from Brazil's National Institute for Space Research reveals 578 square
kilometres of Amazonian woodland was burned or cut down during June. That's the equivalent of
destroying a quarter of the Blue Mountains national park in a month.

BRENDAN MACKEY: Increased clearing for pasture and cattle, and intensive agriculture such as soya,
and ongoing slash and burn farming from the rural poor, the combination of them is what is driving
these increased rates of deforestation that the latest research has been showing.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Brendan Mackey is a professor of environmental science at the Australian National

BRENDAN MACKEY: Working out how we can avoid further emissions from this area is critical to
solving the climate change problem.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Doesn't Brazil have the right to do what it wants with its own sovereign
resources, including its forests?

BRENDAN MACKEY: Yes, this is a very important issue that the world community has to confront. So if
the world community now wants developing countries like Brazil to halt and indeed reverse rates of
deforestation, degradation, they're going to have to help them and provide investment and funding
to help compensate for that protection.

BRONWYN HERBERT: That investment and funding is being negotiated in international climate
agreements. One of those is the REDD mechanism which translates to Reducing Emissions from
Deforestation and Degradation.

BRENDAN MACKEY: So the international community is already working with the Brazilian Government in
trying to develop policies and measures as they're called, mechanisms for helping to resource
Brazil, finance Brazil, so that it can take the necessary measures.

But you know, as you can imagine it's not an easy or straight forward problem.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Last December Brazil promised to slow its rate of deforestation in the Amazon by
70 per cent over the next decade. Pep Canadell is the executive director of the CSIRO's global
carbon project. He puts the rise in deforestation down to both government policies and weather

PEP CANADELL: Mostly how dry the weather is, is a top factor in basically allowing for
deforestation to happen. For instance we had two relatively wet years, 2007 and 2008, and those
people who wanted to actually deforest, they had some difficulties worldwide because the weather

So what we are expecting this year, both in Brazil but also in South East Asia is that there's
going to be more deforestation because we're entering to an El Nino year and entering you know, dry

BRONWYN HERBERT: Dr Pep Canadell says maintaining forests is an important way to stabilise carbon

PEP CANADELL: Deforestation globally is contributing about 15 per cent of all carbon dioxide
emissions from human activities. Brazil is the single biggest region in the world contributing to
that 15 per cent.

So we are actually watching very careful the kind of policies that the Government is trying to put
in place to actually reduce this amount of emissions.

BRONWYN HERBERT: But Brendan Mackey says despite the negative data, there are some positive signs

BRENDAN MACKAY: It's a good sign, it's a healthy sign that the Brazilian Government takes this
seriously, they're not trying to cover up the seriousness of the situation, and you know, the fact
that their governmental space agency has revealed these numbers is very useful.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Carbon trading of rainforests will be a major item for discussion at the
Copenhagen climate conference in December.

ELEANOR HALL: Bronwyn Herbert reporting.

Nasser nails another big job

Nasser nails another big job

Sue Lannin reported this story on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 12:42:00

ELEANOR HALL: He used to run the world's biggest car company, now he's about to take over the
world's biggest miner.

Former Melbourne local, Jacques Nasser, is about to become the chairman of BHP, taking over when
Don Argus, retires early next year.

Finance reporter, Sue Lannin.

SUE LANNIN: Sixty-one-year-old Jacques Nasser worked his way up the ranks of the Ford Motor Company
after starting at the firm's plant in Broadmeadows in Melbourne's west. In 1998 he became the
company's president and chief executive based in Michigan.

While at Ford he was nicknamed Jack the Knife, for cutting jobs to turn around the company. David
Blackhall is the managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Australia - he worked with Jacques Nasser.

DAVID BLACKHALL: Jack is a totally accomplished outstanding business leader, somebody who's
demonstrated in a myriad of assignments across many different geographies, his capabilities and his
business acumen. Aside from that he's just a great guy to know, and to work with.

SUE LANNIN: Do you think he'll be able to run one of the world's biggest mining companies?

DAVID BLACKHALL: There's no doubt in my mind, and aside from that, clearly Don Argus and the board
at BHP think so too; so their opinion's more important than mine but I agree with it 100 per cent.

He's fluent in four or five languages, and he's from a diverse cultural background himself, I
couldn't imagine anyone better positioned or better placed to handle the diplomatic kind of tasks
that a leader of a company of that size and complexity needs to take on.

SUE LANNIN: Although he was known as Jack the Knife while he was at the Ford Motor Company, is that
the sort of practices you think he will put in place at BHP Billiton?

DAVID BLACKHALL: I think Jack the Knife's a real bad rap, I don't think it's something that is
fair. As I said, he takes on and deals with important business issues in a very pragmatic proactive
way; that tag that the press handed to him is a very unfair one.

SUE LANNIN: Mr Nasser is currently on the BHP Billiton board, his appointment ends an 18 month
search by the company for a successor to Don Argus, who has been chairman for 10 years. There are
challenges ahead including managing the relationship with China and getting approval for plans to
merge iron ore operations with Rio Tinto.

Mark Taylor is senior resources analyst at Morningstar Australia.

MARK TAYLOR: It's this longer term challenge of how do you grow a company that's already one of the
biggest companies in the world, and that's pushing all sorts of regulatory limits in terms of
precisely who they can and can't take over or merge with.

And getting approval for the iron ore joint venture with Rio Tinto in the Pilbara which is quite
contentious. And then also linked to that of course, the perception of strange relations between
BHP and China.

SUE LANNIN: Paul Xiradis the head of fund manager, Ausbil Dexia, holds BHP Billiton shares. He
thinks it's a good appointment.

PAUL XIRADIS: When he took over Ford there was obviously some drastic action that had to be taken,
there had to be costs taken out of the business and certainly he did do that. BHP's a different
story completely, it is quite a very well managed organisation and mind you he's the chairman not
the chief executive officer.

So while he'll be governing the board and also will have very close contacts with the chief
executive officer, it's up to the chief executive officer to run the business and I'm sure Jack
will allow that.

SUE LANNIN: Don Argus is nicknamed "Don't Argue". He drove the merger between the big Australian
and Anglo African miner Billiton, Mr Argus also had to rollback some bad investment decisions, like
getting into nickel.

Peter Chilton is from fund manager Constellation Capital Management which owns BHP shares. What do
you think has been the legacy of Don Argus?

PETER CHILTON: Probably stability, and a good balance sheet through the difficult times, also the
courage to pull away from the Rio acquisition when Rio's debts and the markets were just going
against them.

ELEANOR HALL: That's fund manager Peter Chilton ending that report by Sue Lannin.

White collar crims in the money

ELEANOR HALL: While many Australians have been suffering through the economic downturn, white
collar criminals have been quietly getting on with business. A survey out today shows that over the
last 18 months there's been a boom in major fraud in companies and government departments.

Gary Gill, from the accounting firm KPMG, has been speaking to our business editor Peter Ryan about
the report.

GARY GILL: Unfortunately the white collar criminals don't seem to discriminate when it comes to the
types of organisations they will go for, for anybody including the public sectors, including
Governments in other words, and you know, pretty much all sectors are under attack.

PETER RYAN: Are there common characteristics of a typical company fraudster?

GARY GILL: He's a male aged about 38-years-old, been in his current position for about four years,
been with his employer for about six years, so that's somebody who's well known in the
organisation, typically well liked and well trusted and often the person least likely to be
considered the fraudster.

PETER RYAN: So some of these white collar criminals planting themselves inside companies with the
long term intention of draining cash?

GARY GILL: Yes certainly, and also this is probably more anecdotally, stories about white collar
criminals being planted inside organisations by organised criminal gangs. So in other words, they
recruit people, put them into organisations to basically steal the cash or possibly steal personal
information to create false identities or duplicate identities and then perpetrate fraud using
those identities.

PETER RYAN: Are you finding that organised crime syndicates are becoming much more active during
the downturn?

GARY GILL: Yes it's certainly the cases that go to court, you know, show that there is a regular
involvement on the part of organised crime, I think organised crime is one of those things which is
always there, it targets not only Australia but most places around the world, and I suppose in the
current environment the criminals are doing it tough as well, so business is probably good for

PETER RYAN: What sort of fraud activities are we seeing from organised crime syndicates?

GARY GILL: A lot of it has to do with identity crime, stealing identity information and then
targeting for example, financial institutions, obtaining loans and not repaying them, obtaining
credit cards not repaying them, things like skimming of credit card numbers at ATMs and that type
of activity.

PETER RYAN: Have financial institutions been specifically targeted by organised crime during the

GARY GILL: Look I think the reality is they do get targeted probably more so than most other
sectors, you know, by organised crime yeah.

PETER RYAN: Have some of these criminals who've been able to quietly operate during the good times
been uncovered when profit margins start falling?

GARY GILL: We're certainly finding that and you know, if you look at the Madoff fraud in the US, a
giant sort of Ponzi scheme which relies on investors putting in more and more money which the
fraudster is then using either for him or herself, or to pay other investors. When times get tough
and markets go down, yes these things do tend to get uncovered, so they may well have been running
for many years.

But once the markets have gone down as they have in the last 12 to 18 months, these kinds of things
do tend to get exposed.

PETER RYAN: A lot of companies have been cutting back on costs during the downturn, but do you
think that has helped white collar crime thrive?

GARY GILL: What that can do is basically weaken the controls in the organisation in that there are
less people to carry out those controls and therefore more opportunities for fraudsters now. I
think we'll see more of that sort of stuff coming through in the next six to 12 months.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Gary Gill from KPMG, speaking to business editor Peter Ryan.

Save Our Seas, says Sylvia

ELEANOR HALL: The 40th anniversary of the moon landings have just been celebrated around the world,
but the last five decades have also seen extraordinary expeditions into a vast and still largely
unexplored part of our own planet - the oceans. Internationally renowned oceanographer, Dr Sylvia
Earle, has been studying the seas for more than 50 years and from a vantage point most of us never

In 1970, she took a group of fellow scientists to the bottom of the ocean for two weeks, and has
been making aquanaut expeditions ever since. She has just won the prestigious TED award, which
gives her a cash prize but more importantly, the considerable financial backing of the Technology,
Entertainment and Design conference to carry out a goal.

For Dr Earle, that goal is the establishment of an international network of marine protection
zones. She is in Sydney today as a guest of the Lowy Institute, and she spoke to me this morning.

Dr Earle, you've drawn comparisons between astronauts and aquanauts, are the world's oceans really
as much a mystery to us as unexplored space?

SYLVIA EARLE: Well space goes on in a rather infinite way, but here's the thing, less than 5 per
cent of the ocean, this part of the universe has been seen. It's amazing, less than 5 per cent of
the ocean has been mapped. We have better maps, the moon, Mars and Jupiter, than we do of our own
part of this great solar system.

ELEANOR HALL: And you're one of the few people that have seen if from a unique position, just after
the first steps of man on the moon you led an aquanaut expedition to spend two weeks at the bottom
of the ocean, what's it like being down there?

SYLVIA EARLE: Well, for me it transformed my perspective, being a resident, getting to know fish as
individuals, now I got to see them swimming in the ocean on their own terms. I learned a lot that I
hadn't learned before, I had more than 1000 hours already of diving, but they were short visits, 20
minute excursions into a hundred feet of water, here I could stay day and night and be in the water
as much as 12 hours a day.

ELEANOR HALL: But you were there for two weeks, that seems extraordinary.

SYLVIA EARLE: We all longed for more, actually an Australian tektite aquanaut, we originally
planned to dive together, a group of ichthyologists, fish people, and I would be the botanist, the
one looking at seaweeds and see how they interact and look at the food chains.

But the powers that be at the time didn't like the idea of having women aquanauts at all, but the
head of the program said well half the fish are female, maybe we can put up with a few women here.
But they put us all together instead of having us with some of our colleague who shared common

ELEANOR HALL: You say that still only 5 per cent of the ocean has been explored, and yet we've
managed to make our presence felt. I mean how much damaged have humans done to the ocean?

SYLVIA EARLE: We know enough to know that the ocean is vulnerable to our actions, that we did not
know in the middle of the 20th century. The ocean is infinitely resilient we thought, now we know
better, now we understand that it's possibly to take as much as 90 per cent of the big fish out of
the sea and in less than half a century.

Many of the creatures that we love to munch on, are now 10 per cent in many cases less than that,
of what they were when I was a child. That's just unacceptable. It's also a problem because in the
process of fishing many of the techniques used - long lining, and especially bottom trawls - are
terribly destructive. The waste that comes about through this large scale fishing is really taking
a huge bite out of our life support system, and that basically is what the ocean amounts to.

ELEANOR HALL: What is the main danger to the ocean from humans, is it overfishing, is it pollution
or is it global warming?

SYLVIA EARLE: It's a combination and of course global warming, a big problem that actually an
Australian researcher identified and now the world is alerted to this, that the ocean is becoming
increasingly acidic, and that's bad news for corals, bad news for the Barrier Reef, the Coral Sea,
fish, for us.

It means that our life support system, the chemistry of the ocean is in jeopardy because of the CO2
that we allow to go into the atmosphere and also it goes into the sea.

ELEANOR HALL: Now you've just won a prestigious award that gives you financial and corporate
support for your work, what are you planning to do with this TED award?

SYLVIA EARLE: Well the challenge was to come up with a wish that could change the world, shouldn't
be a trivial wish, it should be something big, and achievable, and I wished for what I have been
doing for basically a big piece of my life, to establish protected areas in the sea, a network that
I refer to as hope spots.

ELEANOR HALL: How difficult is this going to be to achieve though, I mean just this week we've
heard leaders of Pacific Island nations say they want to increase their fishing industries.

SYLVIA EARLE: For their local consumption that might work, but if we continue down the track of
taking on a large scale, a commercial scale, it's simply going to drive us further into economic
hardship for the Island nations and for the world. And a collapse of systems that are right on the
edge right now.

When people become aware, the leaders will follow, and the leaders here in Australia are certainly,
over the years have taken a step in the right direction with enhanced protection for your waters
and it's a gift to the planet, it's a gift to the future as well as to the present that we have to
understand as we now can by holding the world in our hands, we can do it. And the more of our life
support system that we can protect, the better our chances will be of riding through the tight
times that we will face no matter what.

ELEANOR HALL: Dr Earle thanks so much for joining us.

SYLVIA EARLE: Thank you for having me on board.

Sea sponge sequence similar to ours

ELEANOR HALL: And a group of scientists in Queensland would no doubt agree with Dr Earle's message
about the importance of the ocean and its creatures. Marine biologists from the University of
Queensland have just released some surprising findings about their research, mapping the genome of
the sea sponge.

They've found that its genes are remarkably similar to those of humans and that the sea sponge may
contribute more to human medical research than anyone ever imagined. Carly Laird prepared this

(Sound from SpongeBob SquarePants)

CARLY LAIRD: For anyone who thought the cartoon character, SpongeBob SquarePants, was a bit far
fetched, think again. Bernie Degnan is a professor of marine biology at the University of
Queensland. He says although sea sponges certainly can't talk and don't have their own apartments
under the sea, they are indeed clever marine animals.

BERNIE DEGNAN: Sponges just by their natural biology do things that we only wish we can engineer in
a biomedical laboratory.

CARLY LAIRD: Professor Degnan and his colleagues have just completed the first genome sequence of
the squelchy organisms. They found that sponges are very similar to our own gene make-up.

BERNIE DEGNAN: Turns out this sponge is the first marine organism in Australian waters to have its
genome fully sequenced, assembled and annotated which means it's been analysed to completion.

By having all that genomic information we've been able to start to tease apart the ways sponges
actually work and funny, try and relate that back to our own condition. So even though sponges and
humans have kind of split off from each over at least 600 million years ago, we can find a whole
range of molecular characteristics, genes that are shared between sponges and humans.

CARLY LAIRD: But Bernie Degnan says the most significant finding of the sequence in relation to
human medical research, is to do with the stem cells of sponges.

BERNIE DEGNAN: Basically they have the capacity to take any cell in their adult body and
transdifferentiate it back into a stem cell. So imagine like all of a sudden some of the cells in
your skin could actually convert back into a cell that can give rise to other cell types.

CARLY LAIRD: That's something researchers have been trying to do in humans for quite a while, with
some recent success by creating what's called induced pluripotent stem cells. But Professor Degnan
says the sea sponges' cells work even better.

BERNIE DEGNAN: The cool thing about sponges is that those stem cells are what they call totipotent
which is they can then give rise to any other cell type in the body. So they're kind of like the
dream stem cell for human medicine, being able to take any cell, convert it back down to like an
embryonic stem cell and then having that cell be able to be then differentiated into any other cell
type in the body.

CARLY LAIRD: He's not, however, suggesting we extract these stem cells for use in human medicine,
but rather learn from sea sponges how this natural process takes place. Professor Richard Boyd, the
director of the immunology and stem cell laboratories at Monash University, thinks that has merit.

RICHARD BOYD: The human body's a very complex organism and to be able to take a much more simpler
organism such as these sponges and single cells of the sponge breaks down all those complexities
and we can look at those individual cells and say, well what secrets do they hold which we can then
apply back to much more complex system like intact humans.

CARLY LAIRD: But he's doubtful that human medical advancements will come quickly.

RICHARD BOYD: Would it translate to a human therapy? Probably not in the near future, but when one
goes back to totipotency, that's a cell that can create all the cells of the body including the
extra embryonic cells such as the placenta, that's a very, very unique type of cell and it may also
teach us a little bit better how some cancers develop, for example, because you're really unlocking
a lot of mechanisms there. So will it translate tomorrow probably not, but will it add to the big
picture, certainly.

CARLY LAIRD: For the moment, Bernie Degnan's research on the sea sponge is still under wraps. But
because it's not being patented, the sea sponge's genome sequence will be publicly available in a
few months' time.

ELEANOR HALL: Carly Laird reporting there.