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Award pledge an objective, not a promise: PM

ELEANOR HALL: The Prime Minister said today that it is an objective, not a guarantee, that no
worker or boss will be left worse off by the award modernisation process.

But the Federal Opposition says this is another example of the Government promising something that
it can't deliver.

In Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: The former Prime Minister John Howard made this promise back in 1995 before he won

JOHN HOWARD (1995): Under no circumstances will a Howard government create a wages system that will
cause the take-home pay of Australians to be cut. Under a Howard government you cannot be worse
off, but you can be better off. I give this rock solid guarantee: our policy will not cause a cut
in the take-home pay of Australian workers.

SABRA LANE: Labor used that pledge to hammer the Coalition relentlessly and now it seems the Rudd
Government might find itself subject to a similar campaign.

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission is currently whittling down more than 2,500 national
awards to just 130.

The Government has previously said it doesn't want either workers or businesses to be worse off at
the end of the process - something the Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard was reminded of two days

JULIA GILLARD: We set that as an aim of the award modernisation program. We set no disadvantage to
employees as an aim. We asked the industrial umpire to do this job for us. We have got five year
phase-in periods for the transition and we are achieving a reform that Australian employers have
begged for...

CHRIS UHLMANN: But those aims are irreconcilable, aren't they?

JULIA GILLARD: ... and for more than two decades...

CHRIS UHLMANN: Those aims are irreconcilable. Can your aims be met?

JULIA GILLARD: They are being met Chris.

SABRA LANE: But yesterday the Industrial Relations Commission found it was impossible to satisfy
the request that neither workers nor employers would be worse off, saying the two objectives are
potentially in conflict.

The Prime Minister was reminded on radio this morning that he'd hammered John Howard over his

NEIL MITCHELL: You insisted that he guarantee no worker would be worse off under his system. Can
you make the same guarantee?

KEVIN RUDD: Well we are consistent absolutely with what we said prior to the election which is our
objective is as described.

NEIL MITCHELL: Big difference.

KEVIN RUDD: Well, uh.

NEIL MITCHELL: Big difference.

KEVIN RUDD: Well, prior to the election did we provide the language that you just described? We
said we had this as an objective. We are conscious of the fact that we are dealing with hundreds of
thousands of workers under currently 4,000 separate awards.

We therefore have set up the best mechanism through Fair Work Australia, the AIRC and the Fair Work
Act to bring that into being but all these individual circumstances will be worked out through the
system over time.

SABRA LANE: A long defence of the Government's policy aims ensured when the interviewer pressed Mr
Rudd and asked if he could guarantee that bosses wouldn't be worse off either.

NEIL MITCHELL: Sorry, you've lost me. Will no employer be worse off?

KEVIN RUDD: The objective for both Neil, for employers and employees consistent with what we always
said is that when we introduce this modern award system, that it's not intended that there would be
a disadvantage for employees or employers in terms of increased cost.

NEIL MITCHELL: So we are talking about objectives and intentions?

KEVIN RUDD: Exactly.

NEIL MITCHELL: Not guarantees?

KEVIN RUDD: Well we have been consistent about that.

SABRA LANE: The Government's language now is that it's an objective, not a guarantee.

On AM Mr Rudd said the changes would be phased in over five years giving workers and employers time
to adjust.

KEVIN RUDD: We will work always to ensure that in the implementation of this overall scheme that we
can have a system whereby employers and employees can deal with any costs associated with this over
that period of time.

PAUL HOWES: It was inevitable that some people would be left worse off.

SABRA LANE: That's Paul Howes from the Australian Workers' Union. He says it was an open secret in
the union movement that there would be winners and losers under the Federal Government's
rationalisation process.

PAUL HOWES: Either employers or employees are going to be left worse off and that is the reality
that's been the case since the award modernisation process stated.

SABRA LANE: And on ABC2 the Small Business Minister Craig Emerson acknowledged some businesses will
face higher costs.

CRAIG EMERSON: The commission is ensuring that any costs increases are minimised for businesses so
that they are phased in over that five year period and that we have a proper safety net for working
Australians, especially our vulnerable working Australians.

SABRA LANE: And the shadow treasurer Joe Hockey says he's not surprised.

JOE HOCKEY: Because it over-promised in relation to award modernisation and it just seems as though
everything Julia Gillard touches turns to clay. This is another example where the Labor Party
promises but cannot deliver and in this situation it was patently clear that if you were going to
have single and national awards someone was going to lose out - inevitably small business - in the

ELEANOR HALL: That's the shadow treasurer Joe Hockey ending that report by Sabra Lane.

Scores dead after quake rocks Java

ELEANOR HALL: Let's go now to Indonesia where the earthquake off the island of Java has left scores
of people dead and hundreds injured.

Officials fear the death toll will rise with many homes reportedly buried by a landslide.

The tremors were felt in the capital, Jakarta, 200 kilometres to the north of the epicentre and
residents fled into the streets in panic.

Our Indonesia correspondent Geoff Thompson is in Jakarta and joins us now.

So Geoff, is there still panic in the earthquake affected areas?

GEOFF THOMPSON: Look there is always a little bit of anxiety for people who live in Java because
earthquakes are quite common here and especially after the shock we saw yesterday measuring
magnitude seven on the Richter scale.

Look every tall building in Jakarta shook and it was felt on the ground as well and there is always
anxiety in the days that follow that aftershocks could come and could sometimes be worse.

In the areas themselves down throughout across West Java, people, the true extent of the damage is
only just slowly being revealed today.

ELEANOR HALL: So what are authorities now saying about the number of people injured and killed?

GEOFF THOMPSON: Look the latest figure we had was that 44 people were dead but in Cianjur which we
are just on our way to now, there are reports that at least 40 people are missing and feared dead
from a landslide there alone. A bunch of houses established under a cliff basically were washed
away by the cliff face which fell down because of this earthquake and that is just one area.

In many other areas, in hidden valleys all around this most densely populated part of not only
Indonesia but the world, authorities are trying to establish the extent of damage in these areas
where houses are really not built to withstand serious earthquake.

ELEANOR HALL: Yes Geoff tell us a little more about the housing in these areas.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Well look they are densely packed. There's all different levels of quality but for
the most part they are bricks and mortar and really not much thought is given to withstanding
earthquakes. They just hope and pray that they don't give way.

We saw in the Yogyakarta earthquake in 2006 that something like more than 5,000 homes were
destroyed. I think many more than that but that many, sorry that many people were killed. Many,
many, many houses were destroyed. In these densely populated valleys people just do not build with
earthquakes in mind and what happens is you get a tremor like we had yesterday and they just simply

ELEANOR HALL: It seems extraordinary given that Indonesia is an earthquake prone country that they
don't build with earthquakes in mind but at least were there effective warnings given?

GEOFF THOMPSON: Look you can't warn people about an earthquake. It's one thing that is impossible
to do.

What we do have in place to some extent is a partly working tsunami warning system that did work
but in some areas it didn't. Down in Pelabuhan Ratu the warnings didn't go off.

There wasn't a tsunami yesterday yet there was a 15 to 20 centimetre wave, that is all. But
unfortunately the world doesn't have the technology yet to warn of earthquakes. And what happens is
they happen, buildings fall down and then authorities have to deal with the mess that is left

ELEANOR HALL: Now Australia's Prime Minster this morning said that the Australian Government was
prepared to offer any assistance needed. Has the Indonesian Government asked for international

GEOFF THOMPSON: Not yet. They may but this is the sort of disaster that they are equipped to
handle. It doesn't seem to be on the scale, anything like the Yogyakarta earthquake of 2006 or
anything like the Aceh tsunami of 2004. They may, they may not ask for help and we've got some
indications that they haven't yet.

In fact the Foreign Minister Stephen Smith spoke about it this morning and this is what he had to

STEPHEN SMITH: We have indicated to Indonesia that we are very happy to provide assistance if
that's requested or required. Currently there has been no request for assistance.

To date we have got no information to suggest that any Australians have been caught up in it but
obviously we are monitoring that very closely so our officials through our embassy in Jakarta and
very close contact with Indonesian officials. We fear that the fatality rate will rise but
obviously our hearts go out to Indonesia. They are suffering this terrible tragedy.

ELEANOR HALL: That is Australia's Foreign Minister Stephen Smith speaking to reporters in Perth
this morning about the earthquake in Indonesia and our correspondent Geoff Thompson on the way out
of Jakarta to the earthquake zones there with the latest details.

Pfizer fined record amount

ELEANOR HALL: The world's biggest drug maker has been fined a record amount by US regulators for
its fraudulent practices.

Pfizer has been fined $2.8 billion, the largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history, for
trying to sell drugs for uses not approved by the regulators.

The US Government says the practices put public health at risk and lawyers say the penalties are a
clear message by the Obama administration that such behaviour won't be tolerated.

Sue Lannin has our report.

SUE LANNIN: US Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli was not mincing words when he announced the
record fine against Pfizer for the illegal promotion of its products.

TOM PERRELLI: When a drug is marketed or promoted for non-authorised so-called off label uses, any
use not approved by the FDA, as was the case here, public health may be at risk. And there is a
real danger for patients that the medical providers who prescribed the medicine or the device
aren't provided with, don't have full information about the drug's risks and benefits.

SUE LANNIN: Pfizer agreed to pay nearly $3 billion to settle criminal and civil allegations it
illegally sold four drugs for uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

One of those products was Bextra, an arthritis drug which Pfizer told doctors could ease severe
pain. Bextra was pulled from the market in 2005 after concerns it could cause heart attacks and

Pfizer was also accused of paying kickbacks to doctors to prescribe the drugs.

US Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says the company will now report to her department.

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: The agreement requires that Pfizer's audit committee conducts annual reviews of
the company's compliance program.

This is the first time ever that a drug company has agreed to look at the risks associated with
marketing on its own and develop a plan to deal with those risks. And we are going to continue to
closely monitor Pfizer's performance.

SUE LANNIN: The practices were exposed by former Pfizer sales representative and Gulf War veteran
John Kopchinski.

In a statement he said:

EXTRACT FROM STATEMENT BY JOHN KOPCHINSKI: In the army I was expected to protect people at all
costs. At Pfizer I was expected to increase profits at all costs, even when sales meant endangering
lives. I couldn't do that.

SUE LANNIN: Mr Kopchinski and the five other whistleblowers will share more than $100 million for
their role in exposing the scandal.

Erika Kelton, a partner at Phillips and Cohen in Washington, is Mr Kopchinski's lawyer.

ERIKA KELTON: It takes a lot of courage to take the risks and stand up and speak out. It's
important to appreciate what those risks are. When John lost his job there were great disruptions
in his family; very stressful. It was six-and-a-half years. He had a very young family. When he was
fired by Pfizer he had an infant son and twins on the way. So you can imagine how stressful that

SUE LANNIN: Pfizer says it regrets past actions and will learn from them.

Ray Kerins is Pfizer's vice president of worldwide communications.

RAY KERINS: Let me be very clear. We absolutely regret the actions that we have taken in the past.

Off marketing promotions is something that we do not accept regardless of the product. When the FDA
indicates, or frankly any regulatory authority indicates its usage, that is what we are focused on
in making sure that patients and physicians are well aware of what the drugs are used for.

So you know we seriously regret the actions of the past year but we are focused on looking at what
can we learn from the situation and make sure we are a stronger company going forward.

SUE LANNIN: The Department of Justice says that you illegally promoted four drugs. What were the
reasons for that?

RAY KERINS: You know, as I said to you, this is what's really important is we have, this is a
agreement that we previously disclosed back in January this past year that we made with the
Department of Justice for $2.3 billion settlement.

And what Pfizer has done here today in essence it allows us to come to final closure of significant
legal matters that we are now are happy to say are in the past but more importantly allows us to
focus on what we do best which is, you know Pfizer is a global company. In fact we have a pretty
significant presence in Australia which is very important to us and our focus is on discovering and
developing and delivering life saving innovative medicines to patients and physicians.

SUE LANNIN: Was anyone hurt as a result of your practices?

RAY KERINS: This was not about safety but more rather about promotional practice again we just do
not accept as a company.

ERIKA KELTON: The historic $1.3 billion criminal fine for Bextra marketing does speak to the
gravity of Pfizer's conduct.

SUE LANNIN: Pfizer Australia says Bextra was never sold here. The company is planning to buy drugs
giant Wyeth giving it control of 40 per cent of the world's prescription drug production.

ELEANOR HALL: Sue Lannin reporting.

Doctor delves into drug world

ELEANOR HALL: Dr Ken Harvey is a public health professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne.

He's just returned from Sri Lanka where he attended a meeting with a group which fights for access
to pharmaceuticals for the developing world.

He joins us now in Melbourne.

Dr Ken Harvey thanks for being there.

Now Pfizer as we have just been hearing has just signed the largest health fraud settlement in US
history. Is pharmaceutical fraud a big problem here in Australia?

KEN HARVEY: Well certainly inappropriate promotion and excessive promotion is a problem.

You know Pfizer have had something like 17 complaints upheld against them over the last few years.

Ironically unlike America the average fine given by the industry self-regulatory body is about
$50,000. So you know the contrast between the severe action taken in America and the
self-regulation by industry in Australia is very stark.

ELEANOR HALL: So could we see a similar payout imposed on a drug company here in Australia or do
the rules prevent it?

KEN HARVEY: As I said, it's self-regulation. The industry regulates itself. The code of conduct
which Pfizer and other (inaudible) companies obey is Medicines Australia, has a maximum fine of
$200,000 which is absolutely ludicrous.

I mean even in America they made the point that $2.3 billion is only three weeks of sales for
Pfizer. And you know an average fine of $50,000 is not even a smack over the wrist. It's just
written off as a marketing expense.

So look in Australia we are meant to have co-regulation. The Government is meant to be doing
something. In fact they have let the industry look after itself and it's entirely ineffective.

ELEANOR HALL: So is the public here in Australia at risk?

KEN HARVEY: Well if you look at some of the fines again against Pfizer they did, they did achieve a
$200,000 maximum fine and bringing the industry into disrepute.

You know some of the actions have been claiming again with an anti-arthritis drug that its safety
profile was much better and its effectiveness was much better than it really was.

There's very similar concerns in Australia but we just don't get stuck into them and the companies
keep on keeping on.

As I say 17, Pfizer has got 17 complaints that have been upheld over the last few years. They just
keep on keeping on.

ELEANOR HALL: Now you've just returned from Sri Lanka. Is this decision likely to help the
situation in the developing world in terms of the relationship with drug companies there?

KEN HARVEY: Oh look the problems are far worse with even less controls of promotion in developing
countries. This led the World Health Organization in 2007 to urge member states to enact new or
enforce existing legislation to ban inaccurate, misleading and unethical promotion of medicine and
to monitor promotion.

We are trying to get some action in governments around the world including Australia I might add
for the reasons I have said. But you know industry and government are very close. There's a lot of
paid lobbyists in government from industry to try to prevent any action and it's a big problem

ELEANOR HALL: And the size of fine is not going to make a significant difference?

KEN HARVEY: Well I think it will. It will in America where they are now getting fines that are

We have argued with the recent Medicines Australia code of conduct review, Choice consumers'
association, others, that the minimum fine in Australia should be a million dollars at least. That
would concentrate the mind.

But when you have an average of sort of $50,000 fine of course the companies will keep on doing it
and it's about time that the Government or the ACCC took some action in this.

ELEANOR HALL: Dr Ken Harvey thanks very much for joining us.

That's Dr Ken Harvey who is a public health professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne.

No change on policy on asylum seekers.

ELEANOR HALL: The Federal Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans today clarified that the Federal
Government is not changing its policy on where to process asylum seekers.

Yesterday the Government transferred 10 teenage Afghan asylum seekers from Christmas Island to

The Opposition's spokeswoman says the move was policy panic and that she wants to know if the 10
will have full access to Australia's court system.

Senator Evans has been speaking to David Mark in Canberra.

DAVID MARK: Senator Evans, why were the 10 Afghan boys moved to the mainland?

CHRIS EVANS: Well those boys had been on Christmas Island since the 7th of May and they are in the
final stages of processing and it was thought best to bring them to the mainland to finish that
processing and to assure they had proper care and were able to transition to life in Australia. So
it was about timing as much as anything else.

I have got to make the point, these are children who arrived without accompanying parents. They are
on their own and so they are a particularly vulnerable group.

DAVID MARK: Senator Evans for the past eight years all asylum seekers have been processed offshore.
Does this signal a change of your policy?

CHRIS EVANS: No these boys were processed offshore. As I say, they have been there since the 7th of
May. They are in the final stages of their processing and are likely to be accepted as refugees.

And I decided after representations from the department to bring them off slightly earlier than we
would have on the basis that we can care for them better in Melbourne and we'd be able to finish
the processing quicker and provide better support to them.

So as I say these are a particularly vulnerable group. We have brought vulnerable groups before
final visa clearance before. Even the Howard government did it in special cases where there were
women who were pregnant etc.

DAVID MARK: You seem to be suggesting that there is no doubt that the 10 will get their visas.
Surely if they are still in the process there may be some doubt about that?

CHRIS EVANS: Well that's why they continue to be in immigration facilities - so they are under the
care and control of immigration officers. They have not been released out into the broader

DAVID MARK: The Opposition spokeswoman on Immigration and Citizenship Sharman Stone says the
movement of the 10 is policy panic and she wants to know whether they'll have access to the full
gamut of Australia's court system. Will they?

CHRIS EVANS: No they won't. She doesn't understand the legislation that she, her government put
through. I mean this makes no change to their legal status. They are offshore entry persons. They
have been processed on Christmas Island. They have been on the island since May the 7th.

And I took a decision based on advice about concerns about their vulnerability that they come
ashore a bit earlier. We have done this in other cases and as I say, even the Howard government did
it in other cases.

It doesn't affect their legal status whatever and these boys are on a visa pathway. The final
processing has not yet been completed.

DAVID MARK: Senator Evans, is it the case that keeping asylum seekers offshore is more expensive
than if you were to keep them on the mainland?

CHRIS EVANS: Well there is no doubt that it costs more to service the facility on Christmas Island
than it would say in the middle of a capital city on the mainland. That's always been understood,
that the costs of flights and transporting people and goods to Christmas Island makes it more

DAVID MARK: So why continue the practice?

CHRIS EVANS: Well because that's where the Howard government built the detention facility. We
committed to maintaining offshore processing but the previous government spent $400 million
building the centre with a capacity of 800. That only came on line early last year and that is the
most appropriate place for us to detain people at the moment but that is the facility we've got.

DAVID MARK: So you are saying the policy stays because it's there?

CHRIS EVANS: Well one of the reasons why you wouldn't change it currently is I've got nowhere else
to place people.

But I also make it clear that our policy was to continue excision of offshore islands and to
process people offshore at Christmas Island to take advantage of that centre.

ELEANOR HALL: That is the Federal Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans speaking to David Mark
in Canberra.

Financial regulator critised over Madoff

ELEANOR HALL: Now to the mea culpa from the US financial regulator.

In a damning report into its own activities, the Securities and Exchange Commission found that it
botched no fewer than five investigations into the now imprisoned financial conman Bernard Madoff.

The report found that despite receiving numerous detailed and credible complaints about Madoff's
conduct the SEC never conducted a thorough or competent investigation.

Among the findings was that two SEC officers became aware that they were carrying out parallel
probes into Madoff's schemes only when he himself alerted them to the fact.

Barbara Miller has our report.

BARBARA MILLER: The report by the Securities and Exchange Commission's Inspector General David Kotz
starts off well enough.

It finds no evidence of improper behaviour. There was nothing, the report found, to suggest that
any SEC personnel had any financial or other inappropriate connection with Bernard Madoff or the
Madoff family that influenced the conduct of their investigations into his investment schemes.

But the report's conclusion is stinging.

complaints the SEC never properly examined or investigated Madoff's trading and never took the
necessary but basic steps to determine if Madoff was operating a ponzi scheme.

BARBARA MILLER: In the end the global downturn was Bernard Madoff's downfall. When investors hit by
the bad times tried to cash in on some of the investments they'd made with him he didn't have the
money to cover their requests.

Previously existing investors had been paid high returns from money put into the schemes by new
investors. New victims were also in short supply as the recession took hold and the multi-billion
dollar ponzi schemes were exposed.

In June Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in jail for what the judge described as extraordinarily
evil crimes.

Some of his clients thought that wasn't punishment enough.

VICTIM: When he leaves prison, which means after his death and he leaves prison virtually unmourned
by anybody on this earth, that he will then go down to the depths of hell. He'll join those other
people who are in the mouths of Satan.

BARBARA MILLER: The Securities and Exchange Commission found it should never have got that far.

At least six detailed and credible complaints were made to the commission over a period of a
staggering 16 years. The second of these was said to be "very specific".

entitled "The world's largest hedge fund is a fraud" and detailed approximately 30 red flags
indicating that Madoff was operating a ponzi scheme, a scenario it described as highly likely.

The red flags included the impossibility of Madoff's returns, particularly the consistency of those
returns and the unrealistic volume of options Madoff represented to have traded.

BARBARA MILLER: SEC officers were assigned to look into these complaints but their investigations,
the report finds, were not thorough.

At one point unbeknownst to one another two officers were carrying out parallel investigations into
Madoff's activities.

at the same time in different offices without either knowing the other one was conducting an
identical examination.

In fact it was Madoff himself who informed one of the examination teams that the other examination
team had already received the information they were seeking from him.

BARBARA MILLER: David Ruder was the SEC chairman between 1987 and 1989.

DAVID RUDER: I think that the commission was understaffed and incompetent in what they did. It
boils down to that for that particular area.

What happened was that the commission did not assign people with sufficient understanding of the
securities markets to investigate the Madoff matter.

BARBARA MILLER: In a statement the current chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission
Mary Schapiro said the steps being taken to try to better detect fraud included putting more
experienced staff on the frontlines, increasing training and revamping the way the hundreds and
thousands of tip-offs received annually were handled.

Mary Schapiro said the fact that Bernard Madoff's fraudulent practices had not been detected was a
failure that the commission continued to regret.

ELEANOR HALL: Barbara Miller reporting.

Most child abuse not reported: survey

ELEANOR HALL: A survey by the Australian Childhood Foundation has found that one in four
Australians who were suspicious that a child may have been the victim of abuse chose to do nothing
about it.

The survey showed that while almost half of those Australians who said they were aware of a child
abuse did report it to authorities, but one in six took no action because they didn't want to get
involved or didn't know what to do.

Today another child welfare group is calling for an overhaul of the way the Family Court assesses
abuse allegations, saying too many children are being put in danger.

Simon Lauder has more.

SIMON LAUDER: The report is called "Doing nothing hurts children" and it's a joint effort by the
Australian Childhood Foundation and Monash University which paints a disturbing picture of the
extent of child abuse in Australia.

A quarter of the more than 700 adults interviewed for the study say they have identified a case of
child abuse or neglect in the last five years but most did not report it to authorities.

Of those who knew of child abuse happening only 44 per cent reported it, 21 per cent discussed it
with a professional, but 16 per cent did nothing.

The foundation's Dr Joe Tucci says that's because of a reluctance to get involved or a lack of
knowledge about what to do.

JOE TUCCI: In general people know how to respond to child abuse if it's in their face but they
don't know necessarily what to do next.

SIMON LAUDER: In the lead up to Child Protection Week the National Council for Children
Post-Separation is calling for a review of the way the Family Court decides whether children have
been abused.

Spokeswoman Jen Jewel Brown says the process often ends in a child being put back in the care of an

JEN JEWEL BROWN: The whole system is set up towards forcing shared care. There are inadequate
safeguards to make sure that children who might have been experiencing abuse are really cared for.

The system is not properly educated. There are often 15 minute interviews going on with children
who are then expected to disclose abuse to a stranger and it doesn't work.

SIMON LAUDER: Earlier this year Federal Government announced a series of reviews aimed at better
protecting women and children from family violence, including an inquiry into how state and
territory laws interact with the Commonwealth laws and a review of Family Court processes.

Ms Brown says a 15-minute interview with a court appointed expert isn't enough to determine whether
a child has been abused and that should be changed.

JEN JEWEL BROWN: So we think that the parties, where there is abuse allegations, that each of them
should see a separate therapist who is experienced and trained, highly trained in the treatments of
some abuse, that there should be a range of appointments, that the courts should be given really
quite expert opinion that is taken in a reflective way.

SIMON LAUDER: Another of the Australian Childhood Foundation's findings is that one in three
Australians would not believe children if they disclosed that they were being abused. Dr Joe Tucci:

JOE TUCCI: If we don't believe a child is disclosing then we are not going to protect them and one
in three is way too high for an adult community to hold as an attitude when children are reporting
to us what has happened to them.

SIMON LAUDER: The Australian Childhood Foundation is using its report to call for the Federal
Government to fund a public awareness campaign to promote a sense of shared responsibility when it
comes to reporting child abuse.

ELEANOR HALL: Simon Lauder with our story.

Patients fall fro anti-cholesterol drugs

ELEANOR HALL: And in more bad news for pharmaceutical companies scientists at the Menzies Research
Unit in Hobart say they've completed research which proves that drugs which are prescribed to lower
cholesterol levels can create other risks in some patients.

The research shows that cholesterol drugs can increase the risk of older people falling over
because they reduce muscle strength.

In Hobart Felicity Ogilvie reports.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Sixty-year-old Tony Hilder is one of many Australians taking drugs to lower his

Mr Hilder has been taking the drugs known as Statins for the past 20 years.

TONY HILDER: Recently I do get sort of muscle stiffness and you know if I have done anything sort
of active, physical, the next day I am really sort of stiff in the muscles.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Mr Hilder's experience is quite common.

Professor Graeme Jones has noticed many of his patients are getting stiff and sore when they take
the drugs.

But he didn't know why until he did a detailed study of the cholesterol lowering drugs as part of
his role as the head of the musculoskeletal unit at the Menzies Research Institute.

GRAEME JONES: Medications that lower cholesterol act by inhibiting an enzyme called HMG-CoA
reductase which is in the liver, makes cholesterol, but it's also important for muscle function. So
if you inhibit that enzyme in muscle then you can have deleterious effects on muscle.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The discovery that cholesterol lowering drugs increase the risk of falls in the
over 50s is a world first.

Professor Jones made the discovery after spending three years studying 1000 Tasmanians.

GRAEME JONES: When we looked at them at multiple time points, Statin use was associated with weaker
muscles at both baseline and follow up and predicted change in muscle strength during that time.

It was also associated with falls risk so that people on Statins at baseline had a small but
significant increase in falls risk between first and second visit. And we also found that people
who stopped Statin medications for whatever reason had a big increase in muscle strength.

FELICITY OGILVIE: He says the drugs increase the fall risk scores of the patients by 15 per cent -
by weakening their vision, stability and muscle strength.

Professor Jones says one in every four of the Tasmanians in the study are taking cholesterol
lowering medication and he expects the statistics on Statin use are similar around the country.

GRAEME JONES: They are very effective at reducing cholesterol and in various groups they are highly
effectively at preventing heart attack and stroke.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Now if people are on this medication to lower their cholesterol and their chances
of heart attacks but it could increase their risks of falling over, I mean should they choose
between taking a fall and having a heart attack or high cholesterol?

GRAEME JONES: Well that is the $64,000 question and I think you have to trade off the severity of
the side effects versus the benefits and that's going to vary from one patient to the next.

So a person of relatively low risk of cardiac events with troubling muscle symptoms, well in that
situation you'd look at lifestyle factors to lower cholesterol like red wine, exercise and certain
margarines which have plant sterols in them that decrease cholesterol levels. So there's all these
things you can do.

But in terms of prescription medications it's clear that the Statin agents are by far the best for
lowering cholesterol levels.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Tony Hilder has no plans to stop taking his cholesterol lowering drugs.

TONY HILDER: I think it's something I'll be on long term, on that medication so because of the
problem with cholesterol.

FELICITY OGILVIE: And there is some good news. You may have a greater risk of taking a fall if
you're taking Statins but another side effect of the drugs is that they increase bone density.

ELEANOR HALL: Felicity Ogilvie reporting.

US climate change bill up in the air.

ELEANOR HALL: The United States administration is facing a new delay in getting its climate change
legislation passed.

The Senate has put off tackling the bill until later this month and that means that the President
Barack Obama may not have his climate change laws in place in time for the United Nations summit in
Copenhagen in December.

Washington correspondent Kim Landers reports.

KIM LANDERS: The battle over climate change legislation in the United States is being waged on the
airwaves in the Midwest and Mountain West.

EXCERPT FROM ADVERTISEMENT: So why is Congress now trying to pass a huge energy tax? They call is
carbon trade but it is really just a big new tax all of us will end up paying for.

KIM LANDERS: The National Association of Manufacturers says it's spending millions on TV ads in 13
states, calling climate change legislation anti-jobs and anti-energy and now the chances of
legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions are dwindling.

The House of Representatives has narrowly passed a bill in June that would reduce US carbon
emissions by 17 per cent by 2020 from the 2005 levels.

But the Senate hasn't yet taken it on.

The chairwoman of the Senate Environment Committee Barbara Boxer says they're making progress
towards crafting their version.

It was supposed to be introduced next week but now Senator Boxer says it won't be ready until later
this month.

Daniel Weiss is a senior fellow and director of climate strategy at the Centre for American
Progress. He doesn't think the effort to introduce climate change legislation is slipping away.

DANIEL WEISS: There is plenty of time for the Senate to pass a comprehensive clean energy and
global warming pollution bill before the Copenhagen negotiations in early December.

Delaying the introduction of a bill by a couple of weeks won't have much impact on that schedule.
As long as the bill is ready to go by early November, the Senate will have plenty of time to act.

KIM LANDERS: Kenneth Green is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

KENNETH GREEN: The dynamic has been until this point to have it done before Copenhagen but it seems
like it is slowly shifting to an after Copenhagen scenario.

KIM LANDERS: If that does happen, if the US goes to the Copenhagen meeting without its own climate
change legislation, does that undermine the ability to get a new agreement on climate change in

KENNETH GREEN: No, I actually think it strengthens it. This may sound unusual but I believe it
would be a mistake tactically to go to Copenhagen with a bill drafted and/or signed because that is
the only leverage the United States really will have to bring other players to the table to take on
binding commitments, that meaning China and India.

If we have already committed to a bill and put it into US law or got it through the House and
Senate and had taken bruising fights to do it, we have much more leverage if we haven't got one
signed than if we do.

KIM LANDERS: But wouldn't countries like China and India for example be looking to see what
Washington's response is? There hasn't been a lot of action here and the United States and if they
see further inaction, why should they be convinced to take any action of their own?

KENNETH GREEN: Well you know I have never been one to believe this idea that China and India are
simply waiting on US moral leadership to take action on climate change. I don't believe they are
waiting on us for climate change legislation any more than they waited on us for human rights and
women's rights legislation.

They will be looking to decide how little they have to do in order to get out from under the bad PR
they are getting for not agreeing to sign anything.

If we have already committed ourselves I think they will give less than they would otherwise.

KIM LANDERS: But Daniel Weiss disagrees.

DANIEL WEISS: It's going to be difficult for the United States to get other countries to agree to
binding emissions reductions if we don't clean up our own act. Historically the United States is
the number one emitter of the global warming pollution that is already in the atmosphere even
though China is now the biggest annual polluter.

It is essential that the United States take responsibility for its pollution as part of its efforts
to get other countries to clean up as well. It is hard to get your kids to clean up their room when
the parents' bedroom is a mess too.

KIM LANDERS: Both sides have spent tens of millions of dollars making their case.

This is Kim Landers in Washington for The World Today.

Europeans to stick with stimulus

ELEANOR HALL: As the political debate continues here over the future of stimulus payments leaders
in Europe are warning that an early winding back could risk a double dip recession.

European Union officials say that at this month's G20 summit political leaders may approve an
extension of the fiscal stimulus programs.

Amelia Torres is a senior European Commission official and she spoke in Brussels to business editor
Peter Ryan.

AMELIA TORRES: We are observing presently signs of recovery or at least signs of stabilisation of
the economies and certainly we will need at some stage to withdraw the different forms of stimulus
that governments and central banks had to adopt in order to substitute themselves for the private
sector during this crisis.

That being said, there is a clear understanding at this stage that the time has not come yet to
withdraw the stimulus. What we need to do is to start discussing the withdrawal of the stimulus and
in particular of the budgetary stimulus from the moment the economic recovery takes hold.

PETER RYAN: So here in Europe when you are considering the development of an exit strategy, what
signs would you be looking for to throw the switch?

AMELIA TORRES: The situation still remains very fragile in the financial sector where the banks are
still in the process of cleaning up their balance sheets. The situation in the labour market is
still deteriorating. We have seen recently an implement figures for July and they continue to,
unemployment continues to increase.

So for the moment it is too early but it is never too early to start discussing it and to start
demonstrating that we have a clear and precise and credible strategy for doing so. And then when
the right moment has arrived it will be a matter of implementing it and implementing it in a
coordinated way not just at the EU level but at the world level as well.

PETER RYAN: The Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said an early removal of the stimulus would, quote
"kneecap the economy". Is that a fair assessment of rash action on stimulus?

AMELIA TORRES: I think this is a concern that is also shared by many in Europe, yes certainly that
the stimulus needs to be withdrawn when the moment is right. And I suppose it means not a minute
earlier or later. And it is extremely difficult I can imagine to find that right moment because
this is considered to be the biggest crisis we have had to face since the Second World War.

But we are doing our best to examine those previous experiences and not to commit the same mistakes
that have been made in the past.

ELEANOR HALL: That's European Commission official Amelia Torres speaking from Brussels to our
business editor Peter Ryan.

More questions over Lockerbie release

ELEANOR HALL: The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is adamant that his Government was not
involved in any double dealing over the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

But pressure is growing on his Government with a US lawyer representing the families of Lockerbie
victims threatening legal action to bring all government correspondence on the matter into the

The latest allegation is that despite assurances to the US authorities British politicians told
Libyan leaders they not want the Libyan prisoner to die in a British jail.

And Britain's Opposition leader is now warning that the Prime Minister's handling of the matter
will damage British relations with the United States for years to come.

Stephanie Kennedy has our report from London.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: In Tripoli Libya marked the 40th anniversary of the bloodless coup that brought
Colonel Gaddafi to power with a lavish show that paid homage to the leader himself.

The evening featured a sound and light spectacular and a video clip of the jubilant return of Abdel
Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.

But thousands of kilometres away the release of al-Megrahi continues to haunt the British
Government over allegations of a secret deal with Libya.

The Foreign Minister David Miliband confirmed to the BBC that a junior minister told Libya that
both he and the Prime Minister Gordon Brown did not want the Lockerbie bomber to die in a Scottish

DAVID MILIBAND: He was expressing the view that he had to give from the British Government in
answer to a question.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: And now the Opposition wants to know more. The Conservative leader is David

DAVID CAMERON: The double dealing is quite straight forward. The accusation is that they said one
thing to the Libyans, we don't want this man to die in prison, and yet the British Government had
pretty consistently said to the Americans, said to the Americans that this man would serve his
sentence in Scotland.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: The Prime Minister has been under attack for not the addressing the issue but
overnight Gordon Brown came out fighting.

GORDON BROWN: There was no conspiracy, no cover-up, no double dealing, no deal on oil, no attempt
to instruct Scottish ministers, no private assurances by me to Colonel Gaddafi.

We were absolutely clear throughout with the Libyans and everyone else that this was a decision for
the Scottish Government.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: And Gordon Brown went on to explain that the al-Megrahi case was part of the
wider negotiations to bring Libya back into the international community. It wasn't about oil but
rather the fight against terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

But for the Americans the British Government's diplomatic manoeuvrings are untenable.

DAVID RIVKIN: But I really cannot think about a more duplicitous act by Britain vis-a-vis the
United States in a post-war period.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: David Rivkin is a former US Justice department official.

DAVID RIVKIN: It was clear that the British Government at the highest level wanted to please Libya
by letting Mr al-Megrahi get out of prison. That's total nonsense. The man has been convicted to a
substantial term imprisonment.

Britain made promises to its longest and best diplomatic partner that they would actually, they
would on behalf of this joint responsibility to the victims, would ensure the sentence and carry it

And then they are telling Libyans at the highest level that they don't to die him in prison. Those
two statements are absolutely irreconcilable and may sound like a small thing to a lot of your
listeners but let me tell you, it is going to damage US relations with Britain for years to come.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: In London this is Stephanie Kennedy reporting for The World Today.