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Qld couple facing abortion charges

Qld couple facing abortion charges

Siobhan Barry reported this story on Friday, September 11, 2009 12:10:00

ELIZABETH JACKSON: For the first time in more two decades a Queensland couple will appear in court
on abortion charges.

Nineteen-year-old Tegan Leach was charged with procuring a miscarriage after police searched her
Cairns home in February on an unrelated matter.

Her 21-year-old partner Sergie Brennan was charged with supplying drugs or instruments to procure
an abortion.

Our reporter Siobhan Barry was in court this morning and I spoke to her a short time ago.

I asked her what the Magistrate had to say about the case.

SIOBHAN BARRY: Elizabeth, the magistrate started by summing up the arguments that both sides had
made when the committal hearing sat last week. The prosecution had relied mostly on statements and
interviews with the couple, Sergie Brennan and Tegan Leach, after their home was searched on the
1st of February.

Now in those interviews and statements the couple admitted that Sergie Brennan had arranged for his
sister to send two sets of drugs from Russia. The couple admitted that Tegan Leach had taken those
drugs and had experienced side-effects associated with a miscarriage after taking them.

The defence had relied on a number of arguments. They said there was no way of proving that the
drugs Tegan Leach had taken were actually abortion drugs because no tests had been done on them.
And they also said that it couldn't in fact be proved that those drugs had caused a miscarriage.
They said the drugs she'd taken could have had a placebo effect.

So the magistrate summed up those arguments. She then went on to say that on the basis of the
evidence before the court she felt there was sufficient evidence to commit both to stand trial,
particularly on the evidence that they had given to police.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Did the court ever establish what the drug was?

SIOBHAN BARRY: No, the court hasn't established what the drugs were.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Because it's rumoured to be RU486 isn't it?

SIOBHAN BARRY: A version of RU486, that's right.

The background of the story Elizabeth is that police searched the couple's home on an unrelated
matter on the 1st of February.

In a back bedroom that was actually the couple's bedroom, on a shelf they found two blister packets
that were empty and two empty sachets that had contained powder. Now those items were labelled as
mifolian and misoprostol, which are both known abortion drugs. But of course both those sets of
packets were empty so the items couldn't be tested.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Siobhan, you say that the police were raiding the premises of this young couple
on an unrelated matter. What was that?

SIOBHAN BARRY: It hasn't emerged in court at this stage Elizabeth what that unrelated matter was.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Was the couple in court today?

SIOBHAN BARRY: They were in court today, quite serious as you'd imagine. When each one was asked in
turn to stand and ask if they wanted to make any response to the fact that they'd been committed to
stand trial each one said no.

Tegan Leach however, her eyes did well with tears as the magistrate announced that she'd been
committed to stand trial but she very discretely wiped those away and both declined to make any
comment outside of the courthouse.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: So what sort of reaction then has there been to this decision?

SIOBHAN BARRY: Elizabeth it's still very early days. In the court today it was really just the
media and the defendants and immediate family members.

Last week it was a packed courtroom full of both right-to-lifers and people from the pro-choice

But look since the decision has come down today pro-choice campaigners have already issued a
statement calling on the Queensland Government to change Queensland's abortion laws so that's about
all the reaction we've had a chance to gauge at this stage.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Siobhan, thank you.


ELIZABETH JACKSON: Siobhan Barry reporting from Cairns.

Beattie denies knowledge of Nuttall allegations

Beattie denies knowledge of Nuttall allegations

Annie Guest reported this story on Friday, September 11, 2009 12:14:00

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Queensland's former premier Peter Beattie has rejected allegations his office
knew of concerns about the now disgraced former minister Gordon Nuttall years before investigations
began into his conduct.

A former Nuttall staffer says she approached the premier's chief of staff Rob Whiddon back in 2002
and told him the minister planned to stray from standard processes in awarding a government

Both Peter Beattie and Rob Whiddon deny the claims, describing her comments as a general whinge.

Nuttall is currently facing corruption charges.

Annie Guest reports from Brisbane.

ANNIE GUEST: When Jacqueline King was a senior policy advisor to the then industrial relations
minister Gordon Nuttall she says she was concerned about his plans surrounding a government

So in 2002 Jacqueline King says she raised it with premier Peter Beattie's chief of staff Rob

JACQUELINE KING: The options were open to us in terms of discussing the issue with the premier's
office, which I did and I spoke directly with Rob Whiddon at the time to raise those concerns.

ANNIE GUEST: Jacqueline King doesn't deny she didn't get on well with her minister. She was sacked
some months later and is currently the general manager of a training company run by the Electrical
Trades Union.

Meanwhile her former boss Gordon Nuttall, is now facing corruption charges after allegedly
receiving $152,000 in payments from Brendan McKennariey over a five-year period to September 2006.

But back to what she allegedly told Peter Beattie's chief of staff in 2002:

JACQUELINE KING: Well specifically, that there was proposed contracts that was going to be issued
and the details of the contract.

ANNIE GUEST: And what did you say were your concerns about the minister's plans?

JACQUELINE KING: Well my concerns were that it was something that was totally outside of the
departmental budget and we'd just been through the budget and the estimates process so it was
something that had not gone into the next 12 month's plan; and that you know, this project was
being set up to be overseen by an internal review and not to go to tender at that point in time.

ANNIE GUEST: And you said all of that to the chief of staff?

JACQUELINE KING: That's what I recall, yes.

ANNIE GUEST: No-one is denying a conversation took place between Jacqueline King and Peter
Beattie's chief of staff Rob Whiddon.

But the man who ran Queensland for a decade says it was only a general whinge and the specific
allegations were not raised.

PETER BEATTIE: The core issue on this is that she now claims that there was material relating to a
particular, inappropriate or dishonest action on behalf of Gordon Nuttall that was raised with my
chief of staff.

I was not aware of that. That was never drawn to my attention. I was never aware of it. My chief of
staff tells me it never happened.

So the bottom line with all this is if Jacqueline King is serious about this matter she needs to go
back to the CMC (Crime and Misconduct Commission) today and ask for this matter to be fully
investigated. She needs to ask, she needs to give the CMC the name of this alleged public servant
who raised the matter with her.

ANNIE GUEST: Jacqueline King says she detailed all of her allegations to the Crime and Misconduct
Commission in 2006.

But Peter Beattie says she should talk to the independent investigator again.

PETER BEATTIE: Ask them for an investigation and name the public servant and my staff, Rob Whiddon,
is very happy to cooperate with any investigation. He made that clear to me. And he would be
willing to be part of any investigation.

The only matters that I've ever been aware of in terms of ministers are general whinges from staff.
If there's ever been a matter of improper behaviour raised with me or came to my attention, it
immediately went to the CMC.

ANNIE GUEST: Peter Beattie's former right hand man Rob Whiddon has not returned The World Today's
phone call.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Annie Guest with that report.

Calls for rethink of sex categories in sport

Calls for rethink of sex categories in sport

Ashley Hall reported this story on Friday, September 11, 2009 12:18:00

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Medical experts say the Caster Semenya case should prompt a rethink of the way
men and women are classified for sporting competitions.

A leak to News Limited newspapers has revealed that gender tests on the South African runner show
that she's an hermaphrodite.

But experts say that's an inaccurate way to describe her condition even though she does share some
characteristics of both men and women.

Regardless, they say Semenya should be allowed to compete as a woman.

Ashley Hall reports.

ASHLEY HALL: When Caster Semenya stormed down the 800 metre track at the World Athletics
Championships in Berlin last month, she created a sensation. In her first major international
competition she beat her nearest rival by nearly 2.5 seconds.

Athletics Australia's international liaison Maurie Plant was trackside.

MAURIE PLANT: After the race took place several of the top IAAF (International Association of
Athletics Federations) officials came out on the track and virtually took the girl away, avoiding
the media. Now from that point of view it would be suggested that what were the IAAF trying to

All it did was highlight to the world's media that the IAAF believed there was something wrong and
there was something that wasn't quite right.

ASHLEY HALL: Add to that her deep voice, amazing muscle development and rapid improvement in
performance, and commentators and competitors began to openly speculate about whether Semenya was
in fact a man.

So the International Association of Athletics Federations mustered a group of doctors to conduct

The results won't be released officially until November, after they've been checked and Semenya has
been informed.

But they've already been leaked to a newspaper which reports that the runner has a testosterone
level three times higher than most women and that she has internal testes but no uterus or ovaries.

It's evidence she's a hermaphrodite, according to the leak. But that's not the term medical experts

ANDREW SINCLAIR: We would define someone who is a hermaphrodite as having both ovarian and
testicular tissue in the one individual. That's the precise definition of a hermaphrodite.

ASHLEY HALL: Professor Andrew Sinclair is a specialist in early development and disease from the
University of Melbourne and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute. He says Semenya's condition
isn't quite as simple as that.

ANDREW SINCLAIR: It falls in the category of disorders of sex development, or DSDs. And there's a
wide spectrum of conditions really. When we talk about what's male, what's female, we often think
of simple boxes as a male always having certain levels of testosterone, having a penis and testes
and a female having female genitalia and breasts.

But it's a bit more complicated than that. There is a spectrum and the disorders of sex development
lie on this spectrum between what we'd consider normal male and normal female. And they can, are
mainly caused because there's a disruption to the normal development of the testes or the ovaries,
so they don't always function properly, don't produce the right amount or hormones and that can
give rise to potentially ambiguous genitalia and unusual hormone levels.

ASHLEY HALL: While full details of the gender tests aren't yet available it seems likely that
Caster Semenya suffers from androgen insensitivity syndrome.

In other words, some people with male chromosomes have tissue which is insensitive to male hormones
and without the male influence, they develop female genitalia.

The coordinator of the graduate program in sexual health at Sydney University Patricia Weerakoon
says Semenya will need treatment to keep her healthy.

PATRICIA WEERAKOON: The set of recommended management would be obviously to remove the testes
because it can become cancerous, but then to actually treat her like, as a woman; so actually give
her hormone replacement therapy to develop more female secondary sexual characteristics.

ASHLEY HALL: But the question remains, what should happen to the gold medal she won in Berlin?

Another leak suggests the IAAF would let her keep it while awarding another gold medal to the
runner up.

Professor Sinclair says it's time to re-think how people are characterised for sporting

ANDREW SINCLAIR: Perhaps being more flexible about our simple black and white categories of
male/female. I think you know certainly in this instance if someone feels they're female, and it's
usually their brain sex if you like, how they feel, and in every other sense are female from their
perspective, I think they should be allowed to compete as females.

ASHLEY HALL: What if that gives them an unfair physical advantage?

ANDREW SINCLAIR: Well I don't think it does because most female athletes are in that extreme
category of women. Most of them will probably have naturally higher levels of testosterone. And if
you look at the runners many of them have very narrow hips compared to perhaps what many other
women would consider as a normal sort of female hip width.

So they're sort of naturally predisposed up to the extreme end of what we would normally perceive
of as female.

ASHLEY HALL: Patricia Weerakoon says if Semenya identifies as a woman, that's how she should

PATRICIA WEERAKOON: She saw herself as a female.

ASHLEY HALL: But if she's running like a man, what does that mean?

PATRICIA WEERAKOON: It means we have to rethink what we mean by gender and sex when it comes to
sport. But then we've been rethinking it in every field of science and we still accept that there
are a lot of grey areas when it comes to talking about sex and gender.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Patricia Weerakoon, the coordinator of the graduate program in sexual health at
Sydney University speaking to our reporter Ashley Hall.

Caster Semenya not a unique case

Caster Semenya not a unique case

Kirsten Aiken reported this story on Friday, September 11, 2009 12:22:00

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Well Caster Semenya's case is not unique.

Several other athletes have had their performances discredited after being informed of anomalies in
their genetic make-up.

An Australian Olympian says the fall-out has been devastating to the individuals concerned as well
as their competitors and shows why the international sporting fraternity must make gender
confirmation a priority ahead of the sporting meets.

Kirsten Aiken reports.

KIRSTEN AIKEN: Caster Semenya looks almost certain to keep her World Championship gold medal,
regardless of the results of gender verification tests.

Not so lucky - the Indian athlete Santhi Soundararajan who was stripped of her silver medal from
the 2006 Asian Games in Doha Qatar after officials told her she possessed male characteristics.

The athlete spoke to the BBC.

SANTHI SOUNDARARAJAN (translated): I feel and think and behave like a lady.

BBC REPORTER: But in any respects do you feel that you're male?


KIRSTEN AIKEN: But Soundararajan, who attempted suicide after being informed of her physical
make-up, does concede her gender is blurred.

(Santhi Soundararajan speaking)

TRANSLATOR: She says there are certain changes in her body but she cannot say she is a full man.

KIRSTEN AIKEN: And the history books cite more examples of sexual confusion in the sporting arena.

Australian track legend Raelene Boyle recalled one Olympic athlete who was banned on account of
ambiguous gender.

RAELENE BOYLE: In my early days of athletics when I went to my first Olympics, in fact the year
prior a woman by the name of Ewa Klobukowska, who was a polish athlete who came third in the 64
Olympics in the 100 metres, was actually banned because she failed a sex chromosome test. Even
though she passed a visual examination she obviously had confused chromosomes and an extra one. And
in fact they declared then that she was a male.

KIRSTEN AIKEN: Another case involves an athlete who won a silver medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics,
coincidentally in the same stadium where Caster Semenya recently won gold.

RAELENE BOYLE: There's another great example from the 36 Olympics in Berlin where a woman who came
second in the 100 metres, another Polish woman, moved to America, changed her name to Stella Walsh,
in fact was caught in crossfire in a robbery and she was in her 80s, and when they did the autopsy
she actually had no female organs at all but insignificant male testes and penis. That's called

So there's lots of stuff like that. How does the IOC address it? I don't know. Do they start a
separate Olympics for these people with not the normal physical make-up or chromosomal or
scientific make-up that we have? I don't know, it's a very hard situation. But the one thing I do
know is that the IOC has to protect the rest of us.

KIRSTEN AIKEN: Has to protect those people who are training day in, day out and expecting to
compete on a level playing field; is that what you're saying?

RAELENE BOYLE: Exactly. That's right.

KIRSTEN AIKEN: As the international sporting fraternity faces increasing pressure to explain how it
will verify the gender of athletes before competition, a German film which has debuted this week
has highlighted the case of Horst Ratjen - an athlete who disguised himself as a woman to compete
on behalf of Nazi Germany in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The Nazis installed Ratjen in the place of a gold medal contender in the women's high jump because
they feared the Jewish athlete would embarrass Adolf Hitler. Ratjen came fourth and watched as a
Hungarian Jew accepted the prize for first place.

His has been the only verified case of gender cheating in modern Olympic history. But his
performance wasn't discredited after a battery of medical tests. Instead he was found out a couple
of years after the Berlin Olympics when he was seen sporting a five o'clock shadow.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Kirsten Aiken reporting.

Joe's outburst sparks debate

Joe's outburst sparks debate

John Shovelan reported this story on Friday, September 11, 2009 12:26:00

ELIZABETH JACKSON: There's speculation about the future of Joe Wilson, the South Carolina
Republican Congressman who called President Obama a liar during last night's address to a joint
sitting of the Congress.

Some from the southern states say he will be re-elected in a landslide while his likely Democrat
opponent is reported to have raised $60,000 since Mr Wilson's outburst.

Mr Wilson is generally considered a mild-mannered man and many in his home state were surprised by
his comments.

The President has accepted Mr Wilson's apology but the Democrat who represents the neighbouring
district, Jim Clyburn, says he wants a more formal and public apology.

From Washington John Shovelan reports.

JOE SHOVELAN: Joe Wilson, the man who called President Barack Obama a liar has become a hero to the
right wing.

His office in Washington has been mobbed today by conservatives.

LAURA INGRAHAM: He was speaking for the American people right now, right then, at that point in
time. He was saying what you were thinking, was he not?

JOE SHOVELAN: Laura Ingraham's remarks on her conservative radio program were echoed on many

But to the left, Joe Wilson is now a man who must be beaten in the 2010 mid-term elections.

PATRICK MURPHY: It's just incredible. There's no sense of decency left with these guys and they're
just hitting the lowest possible rung in the ladder to try and upset healthcare and try and undo
this presidency.

JOE SHOVELAN: Patrick Murphy is a Democratic Party consultant who saw last night's interjection
that was heard all around the world by Mr Wilson and the other raucous behaviour by Republicans
during the address as part of a concerted effort to undermine President Obama.

For his part Joe Wilson today didn't look or sound like a hero. Instead he seemed like a man who
had touched off more than he planned. He revealed he'd only said sorry after the Republican Party
leadership had told him to do so.

JOE WILSON: Well I last night heard from the leadership that they wanted me to contact the White
House and state that my statements were inappropriate; I did. I'm very grateful that the White
House, in talking with them, they indicated that they appreciated the call and that we needed to
have a civil discussion about the healthcare issues and I strongly agree with that.

JOE SHOVELAN: Democrats say Mr Wilson was made to apologise so it's not genuine.

JAMES CLYBURN: You cannot stop people from applying their own limited intelligence to words, and
that's what we have here.

JOE SHOVELAN: Democrat House Member James Clyburn says Mr Wilson must be made to formally apologise
to the House and he plans to bring it to the floor of the House for a vote.

JAMES CLYBURN: There's a decorum of the House was violated and I would have hoped when I spoke with
him today that he would follow my advice and go to the House and apologise to his colleagues for
violating the decorum, but he refused to do that.

And now he's saying today that the only reason he called the White House is because his leadership
ordered him to do so. So he has no remorse whatsoever so his words have very little meaning.

JOE SHOVELAN: Democrats say it's not enough to just ring the White House and say sorry. The
institution, they claim, has been brought into disrepute and that must be put right.

John Shovelan, Washington.

Myer plans to refloat on local market

Myer plans to refloat on local market

Sue Lannin reported this story on Friday, September 11, 2009 12:30:00

ELIZABETH JACKSON: The department store Myer will refloat on the stock market later this year after
its private equity takeover more than three years ago.

The public float is expected to net the company's owners around $2 billion in pure profit.

Some market analysts say that might be good for private equity buyout kings TPG but it's not a
bargain for investors.

More from our finance reporter Sue Lannin.

SUE LANNIN: It was the week's worst kept secret. Department store Myer plans to relist on the
Australian Securities Exchange. Chief executive Bernie Brookes announced the news this morning.

BERNIE BROOKES: Myer proposes to commence an IPO preregistration process today. This will allow
Myer One members and employees to pre-register their interest in receiving a prospectus for the
Myer IPO.

A prospectus offering Myer shares may be lodged with the Australian Securities and Investment
Commission on or around Monday the 28th of September.

SUE LANNIN: Myer was owned by supermarket chain Coles but it was bought out by private equity firm
TPG for more than $1 billion three years ago.

JENNIFER HAWKINS: I love it. I love it. I honestly have a lot of fun. We're doing something
different all the time, whether it's a new campaign, a launch...

SUE LANNIN: The face of Myer, former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins, was also rolled out to sell
the merits of being a shareholder.

JENNIFER HAWKINS: I'm very proud to be a shareholder. Didn't think I would be at this age but my
family are just as impressed and they're like, you know, so (laughs) they would love to be too but


Yeah, just very proud.

SUE LANNIN: The new owners have turned around the business. They've used in-store promotions,
direct marketing and targeted sales to get results.

Net profit for 2009 rose almost 15 per cent to $109 million and even though retail sales are
flagging, Bernie Brookes is expecting a good Christmas.

BERNIE BROOKES: And first of all the economic indicators that we're seeing are consumer confidence,
certainly spending through department stores, discretionary spending, debt. So I'm not an economist
but we certainly look at those indices as an important leader.

The second is the average item price in our stores and so if that's starting to lift from $50 to
$60 to $70 then we know the consumers are spending with more discretion. We've had a great start to
the outdoor furniture season.

So they're all really good signs for me that Christmas is going to be quite good.

SUE LANNIN: Myer could float for more than $2 billion.

Independent analyst Roger Montgomery says the owners will make a killing but it won't be a bargain
for investors.

ROGER MONTGOMERY: They'll actually make an infinite profit. Because they had all of their money
paid back to them, the equity that they put in, that was all paid back to them in the first year,
they've effectively got the business for free. So any proceeds from the float that go to them
represents pure profit. It's an infinite return on equity.

SUE LANNIN: Why should we be surprised? Isn't that what private equity does? It takes damaged
businesses and turns them around and makes a big profit and walks away.

ROGER MONTGOMERY: Well I think the interesting thing, rather than envy the private equity guys for
making so much money, the interesting thing is to look at why the previous management of this
particular business weren't able to achieve exactly the same thing. Clearly it was humanly
possible. They didn't do it - why was that?

SUE LANNIN: What's likely to be the offer price for the shares?

ROGER MONTGOMERY: Well nobody really knows that at the moment. We don't know how many shares will
be issued and we don't know what price they will be. There's some speculation about that, that the
total price of the business might be $2.5 billion. Given that it's got $400 million of debt you
would say that there's probably $2 billion of equity that's going to be on offer.

Basically all of that amount of money will go to the vendors and it's a little bit higher than my
estimate of what the business is worth.

SUE LANNIN: So do you think it's a good buy for potential investors?

ROGER MONTGOMERY: We'll need a bit more information about its performance after it's listed to know
what it's truly worth but it looks to me as though it's not a bargain.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Independent analyst Roger Montgomery ending that report from Sue Lannin.

Australians now world's best polluters

ELIZABETH JACKSON: A report by a British risk analysis company says Australians have overtaken
Americans as the world's biggest carbon dioxide polluters.

The report relies on US Energy Department data to highlight the risks business would face in
Australia under a global emissions trading scheme.

It also illustrates how much work Australia will have to do if a global emissions reduction target
is introduced.

As Simon Lauder reports, it also means Australia will have a more difficult time convincing
developing countries to take responsibility for cutting emissions.

SIMON LAUDER: Whether you look at Australia's emissions in total or per head of population, it's
really just another way of illustrating how hard global climate negotiations are.

Poor countries have more to gain by continuing to pollute and rich countries have more to lose by
reining it in.

The chair of climate change at the University of Adelaide professor Barry Brook says even compared
to other developed countries Australia would have a lot more to cut.

BARRY BROOK: The whole idea of per capita emissions means that for each person you're responsible
for more carbon reduction than someone in an economy which has a much lower carbon production such
as France for instance which has about a third of the amount of carbon emissions of an Australian.

SIMON LAUDER: UK risk assessment company, Maplecroft, puts Australia at the very top of the chart
when it comes to per capita emissions of CO2.

Maplecroft finds Australia's heavy reliance on coal makes for an average output of 20.58 tonnes of
carbon dioxide per person per year, compared to 19.78 in the USA.

China which recently overtook the US as the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter overall has a
per capita average of about 4.5 tonnes per person.

Tony Mohr from the Australian Conservation Foundation says the ranking will be noted by the
international business community.

TONY MOHR: This new report has been produced by a business for businesses and that really shows
that the leading businesses are interested in what's going on. Most businesses in Australia already
understand that it's a matter of when, not if we have a price on greenhouse pollution.

SIMON LAUDER: Dan Atkins managing director of the Shaper group, which gets paid to help companies
cut their carbon footprint. Mr Atkins says the top polluter status Australians have gained will
damage the Australian brand overseas.

DAN ATKINS: It's certainly not going to increase our reputation if we remain that way in the next
five to 10 years.

SIMON LAUDER: He says growing awareness of "food miles" is something that will directly impact on
countries which use coal fired electricity.

DAN ATKINS: With Australia being so high in terms of CO2, that's going to put us at a competitive
disadvantage both in terms of brand but also in terms of the actual volume of those carbon
labelling systems. So that's going to put Australian companies who export at a competitive

SIMON LAUDER: But not everyone buys the argument that business is damaged by Australia's ranking as
the number one carbon emitter per capita.

The chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia, Mitch Hooke:

MITCH HOOKE: That just takes us into a blame game. And really the whole argument about climate
change should be about commitments to solutions, not seeking concessions, not getting into this
business where the developing countries who have a lot more people and therefore lower per capita
emissions think there should be less obligation on them to reduce emissions than the developed

That's why we have this continual per capita debate. It's about trying to sheet blame, it's about
trying to sheet responsibility. Yet in actual fact everybody has got to focus on solutions to
managing climate change.

SIMON LAUDER: You dismiss that argument at the same time as using the argument that Australia is
less that 2 per cent of the global emissions in total. Why isn't it legitimate to look at it
another way, in terms of per capita?

MITCH HOOKE: The argument that actual goes to the fundamental point and that is, what can we
actually do? If we're less than 2 per cent of global emissions, even if we said okay we'll shut
down the Australian economy, we're only going to contribute 2 per cent.

The accent should be on technologies and developing solutions to managing climate change, not
getting into this internecine warfare about who has the greater degree of responsibility.

I'm saying to you, even if we accepted that we're the highest per capita and therefore that means
we should be doing more, you still can't do it if you don't have the technologies. And you still
can only shut down the Australian economy to the tune of contributing to about 1.5 per cent of
emissions to the global problem.

It begs the question, what more do you want?

SIMON LAUDER: The UN Climate Conference is just months away.

Professor Barry Brook from Adelaide University says the two different ways of deciding who is the
biggest polluter is likely to be the biggest stumbling block.

BARRY BROOK: So it's a bit of a political game like that. Australia has about five times the per
capita emissions of China for instance but China produces over 20 times the carbon emissions of
Australia because China has such a huge population.

So you can play around with these numbers all you want but ultimately what matters is the total
global carbon budget and unless humanity as a whole can find solutions to that problem then all of
that petty bickering amongst nations about who's more or less responsible isn't really going to be
very helpful.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: That's the chair of climate change at the University of Adelaide, professor
Barry Brook, ending that report from Simon Lauder.

First shots fired in economy wars

ELIZABETH JACKSON: We've had the history wars, the culture wars and now there's the economy wars.

The economic legacy of the Hawke/Keating years have been debated for some time now but things
really heated up this week.

The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd fired the first shot on Monday when he argued the Howard government
had squandered its years in office.

Since then both sides have had their say, as David Mark reports from Canberra.

DAVID MARK: The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd launched a book by the political journalist Paul Kelly on

Kelly's thesis in The March of Patriots is that while the former prime ministers John Howard and
Paul Keating were political foes, they were also collaborators when it came to reforming the
Australian economy.

But that isn't how Kevin Rudd sees it.

KEVIN RUDD: On the economic reform agenda we would describe our opponents as in fact indolent,
perhaps not always opposing the great transformational reforms engineered by Labor during its 13
years in office but barely adding to that reform agenda during their 12 years in office.

We have argued constantly that this represented in fact opportunities squandered rather than
opportunities seized when the public revenue was awash with the proceeds of the global resources

DAVID MARK: His comments sparked a furious reaction from the Leader of the Opposition. Malcolm
Turnbull told his party room the speech was ungracious and he elaborated on those thoughts in a
speech in Canberra overnight, claiming the Prime Minister was manipulating history.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Now these claims are as audacious as they are mendacious. They are both graceless
and ungenerous.

The reality is that you can't airbrush history aside and that is what Kevin Rudd has been
endeavouring to do. He has the capacity to look down the lens of the camera and unblinkingly say
things which he must know, as an intelligent man, are completely and utterly untrue.

DAVID MARK: Now the conservative warriors are joining the fight. This morning on Fran Kelly's
Breakfast Program on Radio National the man who was treasurer throughout the Howard years Peter
Costello defended his legacy.

PETER COSTELLO: I think the record of our period of government from 1996 to 2007 speaks for itself.
I don't think there's a better period of economic management in Australian history.

What I think is the most interesting in relation to this is that Mr Rudd is yet to find his
ideological position. I think he would be better frankly to say yes I inherited an economy which
was in a very good state, to pay recognition for that and to say and now I intend to take it in the
following direction.

FRAN KELLY: I can hear Paul Keating laughing as he listens to this, if he is listening because you
spent many years of course traducing Labor's economic record, talking about the Beazley black hole
and paying no credit at all to the achievement of the Hawke/Keating years and the legacy you were

PETER COSTELLO: Oh no I give credit to the Hawke/Keating years for deregulating interest rates as I
just did and for floating the currency. But at the end of the Hawke/Keating years - and these are
facts, you can't deny them - unemployment was above 8 per cent, the Budget was in deep deficit, we
had $96 billion worth of debt. So what we were able to do is we were able to take the good things
out of the Keating years and address the failures.

DAVID MARK: John Howard expressed a similar argument in a piece for The Australian newspaper this

He says Kevin Rudd's "analysis of the economic reform process in Australia since 1980 was partisan,
inaccurate and lacked any semblance of objectivity".

Of course pride is on display here - from both sides. But the debate is also very much about modern
politics. The Opposition is attempting to draw a link between the recession and high debts and
interest rates of the Keating years with the Government's big spending of today.

Labor is trying to tie the positive aspects of the Hawke/Keating years to the relative success of
the Australian economy amid the global economic gloom which is why the Small Business Minister Dr
Craig Emerson put in his two bobs worth today on history:

CRAIG EMERSON: It'd be very difficult to describe the Coalition government as a reformist
government. During its period in power it's probably best described as a decade of squandered

DAVID MARK: And the present:

CRAIG EMERSON: Malcolm Turnbull's call for the early withdrawal of stimulus and their view that it
is acceptable that unemployment goes up is both heartless and reckless and they should recant on
that position.

DAVID MARK: In these economy wars, the battle is far from over.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: David Mark with that report.

Call for more stimulus as economy falters

Call for more stimulus as economy falters

Sue Lannin reported this story on Friday, September 11, 2009 12:42:00

ELIZABETH JACKSON: The increase in the number of people out of work in August has quelled
speculation about a rise in interest rates next month.

The unemployment rate stayed steady but the number of jobs lost over the month was nearly double
what economists expected and a prominent public sector economist is now calling for a third
stimulus package to help counter under-employment.

Our finance reporter Sue Lannin:

SUE LANNIN: Fewer people are looking for work and employers are cutting hours. That's Australia's
economic reality as the country copes with the fallout from the global financial crisis.

The unemployment rate remained steady in August at 5.8 per cent but 27,000 jobs were lost over the

Citigroup senior economist Joshua Williamson expects unemployment to peak at up to 7 per cent,
better than the Rudd Government's estimates.

JOSHUA WILLIAMSON: We do expect to see more job losses. We've come out of the deepest downturn
since the Great Depression and employment also is a lagging indicator overall of the economy. So
going forward probably at least a for another couple of months we do expect to see overall net job
losses probably in full-time and partial moves to part-time to deal with the downturn.

But looking ahead probably another six months along the horizon the leading indicator for the
employment are actually very, very good.

SUE LANNIN: Joshua Williamson says there won't be an interest rate rise next month but there could
be one later in the year.

JOSHUA WILLIAMSON: It's highly unlikely that we're going to see an interest rate rise in October.
Don't forget in addition to the labour market fall we had yesterday we had a second consecutive
fall in retail sales in the month of July, data came out on Wednesday.

The Reserve Bank is showing they're wanting to tread relatively softly on this. They don't want to
upset (inaudible) economic recovery. Having said that though, we think there's enough momentum
moving forward in the economy to move the cash rate away from its emergency 3 per cent level and
we'll still look for an interest rate rise in December.

SUE LANNIN: Professor Bill Mitchell from the Centre of Full Employment and Equity at the University
of Newcastle thinks any interest rate rise would be bad policy.

BILL MITCHELL: Yesterday's labour force data tells us that things aren't very good at all and I
think the central bank would be very ill advised to push interest rates up this year. I think they
should be holding interest rates where they are until full-time work starts re-emerging, a growth
in full-time work. I doubt whether the central bank will do that but I would hope they would. I
certainly don't think we'll get an interest rate rise in October.

SUE LANNIN: The Rudd Government is under pressure to withdraw the billions of dollars in stimulus
spending it's pumped into the economy.

But Bill Mitchell thinks there should be a third economic booster.

BILL MITCHELL: People who want the stimulus withdrawn have got rocks in their head. I think that
there's a crying need now for a third stimulus package to be directed very specifically towards
employment creation and very specifically in areas where hours of work are really falling

The priority should be to minimise the loss of full-time work, minimise the loss of working hours
right now.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Bill Mitchell, professor of economics at the University of Newcastle ending that
report from Sue Lannin.

First global survey of youth deaths

First global survey of youth deaths

Emily Bourke reported this story on Friday, September 11, 2009 12:46:00

ELIZABETH JACKSON: The first global survey of deaths in young people has been published and there
are some alarming figures on mortality rates in Australia.

The study published in the latest edition of the Lancet was put together with the help of
Australian researchers who found young people here are up to four times more likely to die in their
late teens and early twenties than in earlier childhood.

The death rates of young Indigenous men and women were on par with those living in poorer

Emily Bourke reports.

EMILY BOURKE: The study is the first to detail the rates and causes of deaths in young people and
it's used data from 192 countries.

Australian researchers worked with the World Health Organization to produce the report and they've
found the death rates increase rapidly from puberty - especially in high income countries.

TERRY DWYER: Well there's been growing interest in public health over the last couple of decades in
trying to understand what's happening to deaths, disease at a global level. But this age group has
been missed out and so that's why this particular analysis of the 10-24 age group was undertaken.

EMILY BOURKE: Terry Dwyer is the director of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.

TERRY DWYER: It's interesting just in terms of sheer numbers that 2.6 million young people in the
prime of their lives, 10-24, are dying in the world each year and that's maybe not surprising given
the size of the world population but it's something that people need to realise.

I think the fact that the death rates in the low to middle income countries are so much higher in
this age group than in the developed world, four times as high, has not been known before and it
needs to be highlighted and emphasised with reliable date.

EMILY BOURKE: Perhaps not surprisingly violence, motor accidents and suicide are the leading causes
of deaths in young people in developed countries like Australia.

But the figures also indicate particular success in the area of infant health.

TERRY DWYER: The major impact of these data here in Australia for example will be just highlighting
how important relatively the deaths in this age group still are. We've actually made more of an
impact on deaths in infancy and early childhood through our public health programs than we have on
deaths in this age group and it will raise the identified level of importance for them.

So I think it will create more attention and give more of an impetus to look for ways of reducing
deaths in this age group further. I think that will be one impact.

And it will also focus on where the major deaths are occurring, like suicide, and I think indicate
to the public health community, the research community that we still need to do a lot more in this

EMILY BOURKE: One such area is the death rate among young Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders
which is four times higher than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

As Terry Dwyer explains, these figures are disturbing, with comparisons drawn with Africa.

TERRY DWYER: For boys in this 10-24 age group in the Indigenous population the rate of death is
almost as high as the highest region in the world, which is Africa. It's a little lower
proportionately for girls. But for boys it's very, very high and it's four times as, a little more
than four times as high as in our non-Indigenous population in Australia.

The reason our Indigenous girls, females, are dying at a lower rate than African girls is because,
partly because the maternal mortality rates are lower here.

EMILY BOURKE: So how would you envisage this study being used to inform health policy, preventative
health policy?

TERRY DWYER: If you look at what the causes are for this age group, 10-24, you see for example that
suicide is such an important cause in Indigenous and the non-Indigenous population; motor vehicle
accidents are. A lot of the influence on that will come from broader societal factors.

Our group which has done this work are a group who essentially come from a public health and
medical research background and of course we'll have thoughts and hopefully useful thoughts on what
we can do as a society. But it will be a broader based consideration from people with broader
experience and skills that will have to come up with the best way of tackling this.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Terry Dwyer from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute ending Emily Bourke's

Swine flu vaccine expected to be rolled out

Swine flu vaccine expected to be rolled out

Carly Laird reported this story on Friday, September 11, 2009 12:50:00

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Australia's chief medical officer professor Jim Bishop says preliminary trial
results from a swine flu vaccine look promising.

The vaccine will now go through an approval process with the Therapeutic Goods Administration
before it's used on the most vulnerable groups of Australians.

So far there have been 169 swine flu related deaths in Australia since the pandemic began earlier
this year and there are currently 336 people in hospital with the virus.

Carly Laird reports.

CARLY LAIRD: Since the swine flu pandemic broke out in Mexico in April nearly 170 people in
Australia have died from this type of the virus.

Australia's chief medical officer professor Jim Bishop says it's good news that the rates of
infection are now slowing down.

JIM BISHOP: We're seeing that the intensity of the pandemic through Australia is lessening and
we're seeing less numbers now in hospital and in intensive care than we did see.

CARLY LAIRD: The preliminary results from two trials of a swine flu vaccine that were released
today show that one dose should be enough to immunise adults against the virus.

JIM BISHOP: So these two trials can be taken together with some verbal information we've got from
NIH trials, which also suggest one does may be sufficient in adults. And the Chinese have also
reported that one dose of their vaccine will be sufficient in adults.

CARLY LAIRD: But he says children may need more than that.

JIM BISHOP: Now I'd stress that we don't have information on children and the history would tell us
that often children with these flu vaccines might require two doses.

CARLY LAIRD: Alan Hampson is the chair of the Australia Influenza Specialist Group. He agrees that
this is good news.

ALAN HAMPSON: This has shown surprisingly good responses seeing that it's a new virus where
everybody expected that we might have to go to a two dose schedule to get responses.

CARLY LAIRD: But only 95 per cent of people responded positively. Is that enough?

ALAN HAMPSON: That's well within the normal limits for release of influenza vaccines; in fact we
often see inferior responses to that.

CARLY LAIRD: The chief medical officer professor Jim Bishop says the next step before the rollout
of the vaccine will be approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. He says he doesn't know
how long that process will take but Alan Hampson says it could be just a matter of weeks.

ALAN HAMPSON: Look is has to go through all the normal processes of checking all the data that
relates to the batches of vaccine and the standardisation of the vaccine, the testing that's been
done for safety etc. So it may take another couple of weeks or so. It may even take longer. But
certainly I'm sure that they will be giving it their immediate attention.

CARLY LAIRD: Professor Bishop says it's important to get a quick rollout of the vaccine even though
the Australian flu season is coming to an end.

JIM BISHOP: It may come back next flu season. On the other hand it could come back at any stage
through our summer and this is what's happened in the UK. And also in the US we've seen it run-on
through their summer.

It may also come back at any point in a more virulent form and we've been talking about that from
the beginning. We don't know whether that will occur and we certainly hope it won't.

But these are the contingencies that we must now plan for and this is the reason we think that a
vaccination program, when we're ready, is the right time to roll it out, not just for next flu

CARLY LAIRD: Once it's approved the vaccine will first be offered to those most at risk.

JIM BISHOP: The vaccine should go to the most vulnerable, in other words the people most likely to
end up in hospital or in intensive care. And these are the people with chronic underlying diseases,
pregnant women. Also a higher proportion of chronic disease occurs in our Indigenous populations so
Indigenous Australians would be offered the vaccine and also children in special schools.

Healthcare workers are important because of the degree of exposure that they have to these viruses.

CARLY LAIRD: Last month the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases raised concerns about the
risk of infections when using multi-dose vials in administering the vaccine but professor Bishop
today said that Australia will be using multi-dose vials in line with worldwide regulations.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Carly Laird with that report.