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Beazley, Nelson get key posts

ELEANOR HALL: Kevin Rudd surprised few when he named the former Federal Labor leader Kim Beazley as
Australia's next ambassador to the United States.

But he did raise a few eyebrows when he announced a new job for the former Coalition leader Brendan
Nelson who gave his last speech to Parliament only yesterday.

In Parliament this morning the Prime Minister announced that Dr Nelson will shortly become
Australia's ambassador to the European Union and will also be the country's special representative
to NATO.

In Canberra Samantha Hawley reports.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Kevin Rudd exited his office for a press conference this morning with Kim Beazley
and Brendan Nelson by his side.

KEVIN RUDD: These two men have represented Australia at the highest level. Both have been defence
ministers in the Cabinet, both have led their parties and both have earned the respect and the
trust of the Australian people.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Prime Minister has announced that Kim Beazley is off to Washington, filling
the spot that will be left vacant by the current ambassador Dennis Richardson who'll be taking over
as head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade later this year.

KEVIN RUDD: Our interests with the United States are broad and they are deep and they extend back
many, many decades - a relationship which has earned the support of both sides of Australian
politics in times of war and in times of peace.

And therefore I am delighted that Kim Beazley, given his distinguished career, has accepted this
appointment.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Kim Beazley exited the political stage in 2007. Mr Beazley was the leader of the
Opposition from 1996 until 2001 and from 2005 until 2006. He was defeated for the leadership by
Kevin Rudd in November of that year.

Now Kevin Rudd is giving him something back.

KIM BEAZLEY: Firstly Prime Minister can I thank you and your Foreign Minister for the enormous
honour that you have done me in presenting me with this challenge in public life - to be ambassador
to the United States. I can't think of anything that I would rather do.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Kim Beazley says it will be a tough job.

KIM BEAZLEY: I had not realised until this morning that Brendan was about to join me and I do
congratulate him. He has got a multiplicity of jobs. I have one. This is just about the toughest
ambassadorial job that we have. China I suppose is up there with it.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Kim Beazley is well known for his knowledge of American history and politics -
something that he's studied for most of his adult life. It's an appointment that isn't surprising
and will be widely welcomed.

The second appointment did come as a surprise.

KEVIN RUDD: Today I will also be asking the Governor-General to approve the appointment of Brendan
Nelson as Australia's next ambassador to the European communities, as Australia's representative to
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as Australia's special representative to the World Health
Organization and as Australia's ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The timing of the appointment of Brendan Nelson does raise more questions.

Just yesterday he delivered his final speech to the Federal Parliament.

BRENDAN NELSON: I said last night in my valedictory speech that it's always been a case for me to
do whatever I can in terms of public service and I didn't expect this offer to be made. It's one
that I accept with a great sense of honour and I will do my utmost to represent Australia's best
interests.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Prime Minister says appointing Brendan Nelson to be Australia's ambassador in
Brussels is the right move.

KEVIN RUDD: Brendan indicated some time ago that he was going to leave the Parliament before the
next election and subsequent to that, we spoke to him about this possibility.

Given in particular the challenges that lie ahead for us all in Afghanistan and our partners in
NATO, having a representative in Brussels who is a former defence minister and who knows the
political and policy terrain on Afghanistan well, I am delighted that Brendan has accepted that
invitation.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Kim Beazley's appointment is particularly timely ahead of Kevin Rudd's visit to
the United States for the G20 summit and less than a week after the United States administration
announced its new ambassador to Australia after an eight month vacancy.

Both Mr Beazley and Dr Nelson will take up their posts in February next year.

ELEANOR HALL: Samantha Hawley in Canberra.

Nationals find Liberal allies on ETS

ELEANOR HALL: Federal National Party MPs have issued a stern warning to their Coalition partners in
the Liberal Party not to take them from granted.

The Coalition is preparing to negotiate with the Government over the emissions trading scheme but
the Nationals don't want any bill to be passed.

They say a vote for the Government's scheme would be a breach of trust with regional Australia.

But chief political correspondent Lyndal Curtis reports that the Coalition may be more unified on
the issue than it appears.

LYNDAL CURTIS: The former Nationals leader John Anderson isn't pulling any punches warning in a
newspaper column that if the Liberal Party votes for the emissions trading scheme without the
support of regional Australia and the party he used to lead, it would be an historic breach of
trust with regional Australians and would so damage the Coalition contract that it might never be
mended.

It's a position taken by current Nationals as well such as New South Wales Senator Fiona Nash.

FIONA NASH: We certainly think there needs to be give and take within the Coalition. The issue of
the ETS is probably the most important issue for regional Australia that we have seen for decades.
And it's actually not just regional Australia; it's all Australians this is going to affect. And
we're simply not going to stand by and watch regional Australia get belted by what is effectively
just a new tax with no benefit for the environment.

Now if we are in a coalition where the coalition partners believe that we should walk away from
seven million regional Australians and not stand up for them, well then obviously we've got some
thinking to do.

LYNDAL CURTIS: So what are the possibilities for future action if you split with the Liberals on
the ETS?

FIONA NASH: Well those sort of things we'll have to decide at the time. What we are really focused
on at the Nationals though is making sure we get the right outcome for the regions. And we believe
that anybody who is supporting this ETS in any party is walking away from regional Australia.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Do you think it's a problem with the leadership of the Liberal Party, that they are
taking you for granted? Or is it a more widespread view in the Liberal Party?

FIONA NASH: Well we would expect that the leadership of any coalition would be accommodating and
would work with the coalition partner.

LYNDAL CURTIS: And that's not happening?

FIONA NASH: Ah, it certainly could happen to a greater degree.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne has told Sky News the Nationals' position is
bizarre.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: We know the National Party are no longer at the table. They have made that
absolutely clear. That's a decision for them. The National Party is not the Liberal Party. We are a
coalition. We are not one party and that's a matter for them.

LYNDAL CURTIS: While the Opposition doesn't want a vote before Copenhagen it is pursuing
negotiations with the Government because the Government is determined to make the vote happen in
November.

The Opposition is developing amendments to the bill based on nine principles it announced earlier
this year.

It's believed the Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull does want to find an agreement to get the
legislation through and take it off the table as a potential double dissolution election trigger
and make the question one of whether the scheme works rather than whether it exists at all.

But the Nationals aren't the only ones in the Coalition who don't want any vote this year. A
significant number of Liberals don't either.

Queensland Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald can't see a vote happening this year.

IAN MACDONALD: I just have this view from long observation that at the end of the day the Coalition
will be united and resolved on an approach to take which will be to a very significant degree
guided by what happens in Copenhagen.

LYNDAL CURTIS: So do you think there are any amendments that Malcolm Turnbull and those who will be
negotiating with him can, anything that they can do to improve the bill that would make it
acceptable to pass it before Copenhagen?

IAN MACDONALD: Well I don't think anyone wants that to happen.

LYNDAL CURTIS: So you don't think that anyone would want the bill, in the Coalition would want the
bill to pass this year?

IAN MACDONALD: I don't think anyone thinks that that is in the best interests of Australia. I have
the greatest of confidence in Malcolm Turnbull and his ability to achieve a result which everyone
will go along with. I am very confident of that.

I doubt that it's going to be possible to resolve the amendments prior to Copenhagen. Quite frankly
I think it lacks common sense to even think that that might be possible.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Indeed he doesn't think that the time will allow the vote to happen. He says he has
a thousand questions he wants to ask during the debate on the legislation and he's sure his
colleagues do too.

IAN MACDONALD: I think there will be a lot of people with a lot of questions and that we will
require answers to them. Now...

LYNDAL CURTIS: And that doesn't leave time for a vote this year?

IAN MACDONALD: Well I mean it would be on the program as the Government has currently arranged it
and there is no suggestion that there would be any change to a program that the Government has had
on the desk for, what 12 months now.

I just can't see that there will be time.

LYNDAL CURTIS: Time, he thinks, will be on the Coalition's side.

ELEANOR HALL: Lyndal Curtis in Canberra.

Incest claims raise questions for Government

ELEANOR HALL: Now to the horrific child abuse allegations against a man in Victoria that have drawn
comparisons with the Austrian rapist Josef Fritzl.

Police say that DNA tests have established that the accused man is the father of his daughter's
four children and that he abused his daughter over a period of decades.

In Melbourne, Simon Lauder reports.

SIMON LAUDER: Allegations revealed this morning paint a picture of a 30-year saga which began in
the 1970s when a girl was just 11.

Police allege DNA tests have established that the man is the father of his daughter's four
children.

The allegations are being investigated by detectives in the Latrobe Valley where the man lived with
his daughter, their children and his wife.

The Victorian Premier John Brumby says he only learned of the details this morning.

JOHN BRUMBY: There is a person in custody awaiting trial and we will have to be very careful about
what we say in relation to specific cases.

But can I say much more generally obviously about any case that involves these sort of issues, they
are the worst sort of sex crimes, the worst sort of abuse of a relationship of care and I am sure
many people read that this morning and as you say, recoiled in horror.

SIMON LAUDER: The woman reportedly gave birth to the four babies in Melbourne hospitals but only
three of them survived.

John Brumby told Austereo the allegations date a long way back, which raises questions about who
knew what when.

JOHN BRUMBY: But I am advised by police that there have been, this has been going on Luke, as
you've said, for some considerable period of time. And I guess we will all have an interest in
knowing if that is the case, how is it that that occurred? How is it that the community was not
aware or the doctors or teachers or others or child protection?

It may be that government was not, was aware, wasn't aware - we don't know these things yet.

So I haven't had a report on the case but I can only say that these are the, speaking in very
general terms you know these are the worst, worst possible cases and obviously the full force of
the law will be applied.

SIMON LAUDER: The case has also come as a surprise to Victoria's Community Services Minister Lisa
Neville who spent last night in talks with the Premier after a damning report found Department of
Human Services workers had failed to carry out police checks on child carers who'd been convicted
of sex offences.

Ms Neville says she'll make it a priority to find out more about the allegations of a 30-year reign
of incest and rape.

LISA NEVILLE: I don't know what or if there has been any involvement at all over 30 years from the
department or police or other organisations so I don't know if there is any information that
actually exists.

They are very serious allegations but they are before the courts and we will all obviously need to
look into the details of these cases.

SIMON LAUDER: The allegations first emerged in a report by News Limited which says authorities had
been warned of the man's activities years ago but had failed to investigate.

The woman reportedly spoke to police in 2005 after a neighbour intervened but she wouldn't
cooperate further. She went to police again in June last year.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman won't comment other than to confirm that charges have been laid.

The accused is aged in his 60s and can't be identified for legal reasons. He's due to face court in
November.

Child welfare advocate Bernadette McMenamin from Child Wise says incest may be a more widespread
crime than many people think but it often goes unreported.

BERNADETTE McMENAMIN: Incest is a greater problem than sexual abuse occurring in the community. So
in terms of figures it's very hard to estimate but Child Wise uses I guess an amalgamation of local
and international statistics which is one in four girls and one in seven boys will experience some
form of sexual abuse.

Now that doesn't necessarily mean intercourse. It can be a wide range of sexual offences.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Bernadette McMenamin from Child Wise. She is the chief executive officer
there. She was speaking to Simon Lauder in Melbourne.

Pressure grows over departmental failures

ELEANOR HALL: While that investigation continues the Victorian Government is under pressure to
devote more resources to child protection.

The Premier and the Minister in charge of Community Services say they're doing all they can but an
Ombudsman's report has exposed cases where social workers have put children in the care of
convicted sex offenders and have failed to carry out police checks on carers.

Workers in the sector say they're stretched to the limit and some are calling for an overhaul of
the system.

But the Association of Childrens Welfare Agencies is urging calm, saying the system should not be
turned inside out in response to isolated cases.

Emily Bourke compiled this report.

EMILY BOURKE: This morning the minister in charge of community services in Victoria Lisa Neville
struggled to reassure the public the department's mistakes of the past wouldn't be repeated.

LISA NEVILLE: Look I think no-one can ever given an iron clad guarantee. What I would say is that,
you know, I have an expectation, the community has an expectation that the mandatory requirement of
undertaking criminal record checks is undertaken by child protection workers.

EMILY BOURKE: On ABC local radio in Melbourne the minister explained that a spelling error was to
blame for her department placing a child with a convicted sex offender.

LISA NEVILLE: Look as I understand there was a, you know, the department have advised me that the
staff member spelled the name incorrectly so the police check came up clear.

Now I mean whether it's an error of that nature or a failure to do the police checks, you know it's
obviously not acceptable.

JOHN BRUMBY: There are cracks in the system and there are children falling through and so we have
got to do better and we've got to put more into it and we will.

EMILY BOURKE: The Victorian Premier John Brumby has admitted the system has failed some of the
state's most vulnerable children.

But he said his Government is close to rolling out a new program, part of which will try to attract
and retain staff.

JOHN BRUMBY: We are coming to the final stages of a package on child protection which will help us
I think, if I could put it this way, to dot the I's, to cross the T's to make sure that every child
in our state at risk gets the maximum possible care.

The big challenge that we've had in some parts of the State is attracting and keeping staff. This
is a very demanding job.

EMILY BOURKE: Jim Walton is from the union that represents child protection workers. He says the
Government must cap the number of cases each worker takes on.

JIM WALTON: There's no cap band. It is entirely to do with the Government's position that to put a
cap on how many cases that are assigned to an individual employee would mean they would have to
employ more people.

It's not rocket science but that's the issue and our view has been for some time that if they can
spend $40 million subsidising the Grand Prix or $30 million renovating the southern stand of the
MCG, they can spend the same money on our most pressing social need - the safety of children at
risk.

EMILY BOURKE: Child welfare advocates have long campaigned for resources in prevention, saying
attention should be at the top of the cliff not at the bottom.

Maree Faulkner is from the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

MAREE FAULKNER: We know that there are many, many underlying causes of child abuse. Some of those
relate to major adult problems like drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness and we know that if
we were actually dealing well with those issues we'd be reducing child abuse.

We know that domestic violence is a major factor in child abuse. Again, if we were dealing with
those issues we could stop a lot of kids from being abused and coming into the system.

The really simple things like post-natal home visiting services, good quality maternal and child
health, good early child care - those sorts of services we also know are going to really work to
keep kids out of the child protection system.

EMILY BOURKE: While some charities are demanding a revamp of child protection and family
intervention in light of the issues in Victoria, Andrew McCallum from the Association of Childrens
Welfare Agencies urging caution.

ANDREW McCALLUM: And actually when we get focused on these atypical situations, as horrific as they
are and as bad as they are and that what we need to do something about them, but we need to make
sure that we don't actually take our eye off the other game which is actually early intervention
and prevention because in New South Wales Premier Rees this Saturday will make an apology to the
forgotten Australians, Brumby in Victoria has already done that.

That was because of abuses in the past from out of home care situations. We don't want to be laying
down the same situations in thirty years' time, we have another generation that has actually
suffered at the hands of the state.

ELEANOR HALL: Andrew McCallum is from the Association of Childrens Welfare Agencies. Emily Bourke
with that report.

Unions push for right to criticise bosses

ELEANOR HALL: It's almost an Australian tradition to sit around at the pub after work and sledge
the boss.

But when you take that sledging to a social networking site online you can run into trouble, as six
New South Wales prison officers have discovered. They've been threatened with the sack for comments
they made about their boss on Facebook.

The case is now in the Industrial Relations Commission, as Ashley Hall reports.

ASHLEY HALL: They've been dubbed the Facebook Five, although there are now six outspoken prison
officers trying to save their jobs in the Industrial Relations Commission.

The New South Wales Department of Corrective Services has written to each of them, threatening to
sack them over disparaging comments they made about their boss on Facebook.

Stewart Little is a senior industrial officer with the Public Service Association who believes
workers should be able to speak their mind.

STEWART LITTLE: We believe that, you know, employees have a right to sort of privacy and have a
right to their own opinion in their own time.

ASHLEY HALL: There's a lot of people who say anything you put on the internet is no longer your own
and you are effectively publishing it to the world. How do you explain that it's a private
conversation on the internet?

STEWART LITTLE: You can have a chat room which is only open to yourself and colleagues. It's only
open to them and it's not something which is I think intended for the whole world.

ASHLEY HALL: The union wants the commission to change the officers' award to recognise a right not
to be disciplined for something that's said or done in private, outside work hours.

STEWART LITTLE: Why should you be open to disciplinary action by your employer for, you know, going
to the soccer, going to the football or really, you know, talking in the pub with a colleague about
your boss?

ASHLEY HALL: So how private is Facebook?

Peter Black is a senior lecturer in internet law at the Queensland University of Technology.

PETER BLACK: There is certainly I think an argument that it is a private conversation. However I
think that probably ignores the reality of how these sorts of websites operate.

ASHLEY HALL: But if you've chosen only to allow a certain number of your friends to see this
information, does that not at least exhibit a desire to keep it private?

STEWART LITTLE: Yes it may well do and then there could perhaps be an argument that there is a
reasonable expectation of privacy in that situation.

However because there is always a record kept of these sorts of conversations in an online
environment, even where it is private it is very easy for that information to get out beyond the
wall.

ASHLEY HALL: Dr Jason Wilson lectures in digital communications at the University of Wollongong.

And while he agrees that a conversation on Facebook is not really private, he doesn't think bosses
should be allowed to punished workers for comments they posted in their own time.

JASON WILSON: Having said that though, I think it's best that people kind of acquire maybe a
slightly more sophisticated literacy when it comes to that sort of stuff.

ASHLEY HALL: But a leading workplace lawyer says workers should be aware that legally a
conversation on Facebook with work mates or about work mates could be considered work related.

I think the work place would be considered to extend that far and certainly if we look at
activities such as sexual harassment outside the work place that has been considered to impact on
work.

ASHLEY HALL: Stuart Kollmorgen is a partner with the law firm Deacons.

STUART KOLLMORGEN: I've known of cases of teachers, of managers and others working in positions of
authority, managing employees, where those employees are IT savvy who've had their daily
performance reviewed. For every night they can read about themselves on the internet.

It's debilitating and in the worst cases it's designed by the employees to get rid of the manager
by forcing the manager to resign.

And that's why he's doubtful that the industrial body will give workers a sweeping new right to
complain about their boss.

Even the union's Stewart Little says he's not sure how the case will go.

ELEANOR HALL: And that's Ashley Hall reporting.

Professor pans peace push

ELEANOR HALL: A prominent Palestinian American has poured scorn on the prospect of US President
Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu making significant progress on the
Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Professor Saree Makdisi is in Australia this week to deliver the Edward Said Memorial Lecture and
he says it's just too late now for a two state solution.

He also says yesterday's UN report into the war in Gaza earlier this year is not likely to have
much impact.

The report's author Judge Goldstone condemns the actions of both sides in the Gaza conflict and
calls on both Hamas and the Israelis to investigate his allegations of war crimes.

I asked Professor Makdisi if they're likely to do that.

SAREE MAKDISI: It's not really clear what Hamas' reaction is going to be but about the Israelis
it's important to point out that they've actually completely refused to go along with this
investigation as they have with all previous investigations including the ones led by for example
Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Their position is basically nobody has the right to ask them any questions and that they are not
subject to any kind of demands on the part of the international community.

The second thing that needs to be said is that although the report is critical of both sides, the
very idea of comparing the kind of violence inflicted by the two sides on each other is I think
just absurd.

It's true that Hamas or the Palestinian rockets killed three Israeli civilians and it's true that
that shouldn't have happened.

But on the other hand to compare the deaths of three civilians to basically the wholesale
destruction of the basis of civilised 20th century society - that is telephones, water networks,
sewerage networks, electricity and so forth, the massive destruction of houses and schools and so
forth - there is just no comparison between the kinds of violence, the level of violence inflicted
by one side on the other side.

ELEANOR HALL: Well Judge Goldstone does say that both sides must now investigate. He has given them
six months and he is saying there are allegations of war crimes. Now he is saying if they don't
investigate he will refer the matter to the International Criminal Court. Is that likely to have an
impact?

SAREE MAKDISI: Well he may recommend that the matter be referred to the Criminal Court but as far
as I know all he can do is recommend and suggest and it is a question of whether the court will
actually take the case or not.

These kinds of legal authorities can make recommendations and suggestions but that is basically all
they can do.

And then the question is if it gets referred for example to the Security Council, what will happen
at the Security Council. Will the US for example allow Israel to be criticised by an international
tribunal? I find that extremely unlikely in the present conjecture, unfortunately.

ELEANOR HALL: Well President Obama has been somewhat stronger than the previous administration and
the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprised many when he said earlier this year that he
would accept a Palestinian state.

Is this a sign that in fact a conservative leader in Israel may be able to finally bring about some
solution to this conflict?

SAREE MAKDISI: No because the kind of state he's talking about is the kind of state that has been
on offer, so to speak, for almost you know for 18 years now.

And when he uses the word state the kind of entity he is talking about the Palestinians perhaps may
be possibly being entitled to is a state of disconnected territories that is literally patches. It
is more like an archipelago really than a contiguous territory.

It would have no control over its airspace, its territorial water, its borders. It wouldn't be able
to enter into treaties with other states. It wouldn't be a state by any understanding of the term
state.

So he is just using a word to talk about something that the Israelis have been willing to talk
about for 20 years...

ELEANOR HALL: The word Palestinian state hasn't really been used much by Israeli leaders though,
has it?

SAREE MAKDISI: No but that's the point. So he is using the word Palestinian state so what are we
supposed to do? Are we supposed to say hooray because he is using a word completely out of context
and completely distorting the dictionary meaning of the word state?

ELEANOR HALL: So do you agree with a two state solution?

SAREE MAKDISI: No I think it's hopeless to try and resolve the situation in that way because first
of all the two populations at this point are thoroughly intertwined. Even if Israel withdrew
tomorrow to the 67 borders, 20 to 25 per cent of the population of Israel within its pre-67 borders
is Palestinian and they are at the moment systematically disenfranchised in all kinds of ways
simply because they are not Jewish.

So even a two state solution that went into effect tomorrow morning wouldn't address their right
nor would it address the rights of those Palestinians who were expelled from their homes in 1948,
again because they are not Jewish, because they didn't fit into the character of a state that
wanted to describe itself as Jewish.

ELEANOR HALL: What is the solution then?

SAREE MAKDISI: The solution then is to say both populations are there to stay. Neither population
has the right to lord itself over the other population. And therefore the solution is to find a way
for them to live as equals in one reconstituted, democratic and secular state.

It would allow everybody to live and to fulfil their aspirations as human beings irrespective of
their ethnic background.

ELEANOR HALL: Isn't a one state solution though even more unrealistic particularly from an Israeli
point of view than a two state solution?

SAREE MAKDISI: No. It is perfectly realistic. It may be not desirable from Israel's point of view
at this point but then again neither was it desirable for the South African white community to give
full rights to blacks in South Africa in the 1970s and 80s. They were forced to ultimately.

These systems and structures of exploitation and racial differentiation resist change and the only
way to ever change is when massive pressure is brought to bear on them.

ELEANOR HALL: So do you think that the Barack Obama administration in the United States is capable
of bringing that pressure? Is it likely to be a catalyst for real progress?

SAREE MAKDISI: No, I mean capable? Of course it is capable because Israel couldn't do what it does
without American support. Speaking now as an American I find it absurd that Israel can tell the US,
no we won't do this when they depend on aid from the US to the tune of billions of dollars a year
and they depend on American goodwill and so forth.

I mean if I, just speaking purely as an American now, I find it outrageous that this little client
state treats the American superpower in this way.

But the point is that Obama is held to account by domestic pressures at home and so what has to
change I think in the US and in Australia and in Europe and everywhere else around the world is for
normal citizens, people who believe in justice and equality, to bring pressure to bear on their own
governments.

South Africa changed not because the ANC won. The situation changed because pressure was brought to
bear by well meaning citizens around the world who compelled their governments to take action.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Professor Saree Makdisi, who's visiting Australia to deliver the Edward Said
Memorial Lecture. He'll also be speaking at the Sydney Ideas Festival at the University of Sydney
next Tuesday.

Letter reveals night repairs on sunken ferry

ELEANOR HALL: To Tonga now where it's still not known what caused the ferry accident which killed
74 people last month.

Now a secret letter written by the boss of Tonga's Port Authority and sent to the country's Prime
Minister has been leaked to a newspaper.

In the letter the boss of the Port Authority reveals that repairs were made to the ferry under
cover of night, as New Zealand correspondent Kerri Ritchie reports.

KERRI RITCHIE: A few days after the Princess Ashika sank the chief of Tonga's Port Authority Lupeti
Vi wrote a letter to his Prime Minister.

He told the ABC he felt it was his duty to tell Feleti Sevele everything he could remember about
the ferry.

He outlined in the letter how he'd noticed welding on the vessel and when he asked some questions
he discovered the repair job had been done at night without the correct permits. Commander Vi said
the welding might have been done in darkness to stop locals raising concerns.

He also warned the Prime Minister that there would be bloodshed if the victims' families ever
learned the truth - that the ferry was unseaworthy.

The letter was never meant to be seen by the public but today it was printed in Ke'lea, a
pro-democracy newspaper in Tonga.

When contacted by the ABC this morning Commander Vi said he'd just been instructed by his lawyer
not to do any more media interviews.

Early this morning he did speak to Radio New Zealand International.

LUPETI VI: I'm not worried about it because what I said in the letter is the truth, you know. And
whatever the consequences of that, you know, it's up to the people to decide.

All I am telling you I am not happy to see that the letter has been published publicly in the paper
or the media because the letter was written to the Prime Minister.

KERRI RITCHIE: The Princess Ashika was owned by the Government but it was managed and operated by
The Shipping Corporation of Polynesia.

The boss, New Zealand man John Jonesse, wouldn't go on tape but he did admit maintenance was done
at night.

He said the company wasn't trying to hide anything. It was just taking advantage of the limited
amount of time the Princess Ashika spent in the port.

Tongan woman Elisapeta Ofa lost her mother, sister and brother when the ferry went down.

What do you feel about this letter from the ports boss that says that work might have been done at
night time so locals wouldn't question the seaworthiness of the boat?

ELISAPETA OFA: There is something they've been hiding. We the family would like to get to the
bottom of this. Why they did it at night. Why not during the day? It makes me mad now.

If the Government are not going to do anything, come up with answers to us family, to give us a
satisfactory answer, then probably something else is going to happen which I'm too afraid. I don't
want the people of Tonga to go, to do anything like how they burn up the city in Tonga. But the
people are angry now.

KERRI RITCHIE: The port authority boss thought that there could be bloodshed on the streets, the
anger was so great. Is that what you think, rioting?

ELISAPETA OFA: I think that is just what I don't want that to happen but I think that's what is
going to end up that is what is going to happen if the Government is not going to give the people
in Tonga the truth.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Elisapeta Ofa speaking to our New Zealand correspondent Kerri Ritchie.

OECD warns of jobs crisis

ELEANOR HALL: The OECD is warning of a jobs crisis in advanced economies.

It says the unemployment rate across member states will reach 10 per cent by the end of next year
and that up to 25 million people could lose their jobs.

Finance reporter Sue Lannin has more.

SUE LANNIN: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has given a stark warning in
its 2009 Employment Outlook.

While it thinks the world economy is recovering, tens of millions of people are at risk of being
left behind.

Secretary General Angel Gurria says the trillions and trillions of dollars in spending by
governments has helped but more needs to be done to prevent unemployment becoming a permanent
fixture.

ANGEL GURRIA: Even though there is growth you will still see bad unemployment numbers. That means
in 2010 you will still get maybe to 10 per cent on average unemployment in the OECD.

SUE LANNIN: That would mean nearly 60 million people out of work.

The unemployment rate reached 8.5 per cent across the OECD in July - the highest level since World
War II.

Spain, Ireland and the United States are the worst hit countries.

Professor of economics at the University of Newcastle Bill Mitchell says the predictions are
realistic, not pessimistic.

BILL MITCHELL: The thing about recessions is that once output growth starts returning and there are
signs that's now occurring, the labour market continues to deteriorate for many months and quarters
after that.

SUE LANNIN: In Australia the OECD has given a tick to the Rudd Government's stimulus spending. It
says government handouts stopped unemployment from going higher.

The Treasurer Wayne Swan, has hailed the report as a vindication of his Government's policies.

WAYNE SWAN: What this OECD report shows is just how effective, how timely and how powerful the
Australian stimulus was. And the consequence of that has been that more people, many more people
are now in work who would have otherwise been unemployed had we not acted.

SUE LANNIN: But the Opposition has continued its campaign to wind back the spending. It says the
stimulus should be better targeted to help the unemployed and Deputy Opposition leader Julie Bishop
says there is too much stimulation.

JULIE BISHOP: We've had significant interest rate cuts, over 4 per cent and that has meant that
people have more money in their pockets. If you've got a mortgage or loan you've got a lot more
money in your pockets. That's had a huge stimulatory effect.

SUE LANNIN: The OECD is warning of a lost generation of young people and has called on governments
to act decisively.

It's warned of growing discontent in Australia because of the reduction in working hours and says
there is a higher rate of poor jobless households than in other OECD countries.

ELEANOR HALL: Sue Lannin reporting.

Low prosecution rate in 'shaken baby' cases

ELEANOR HALL: Now to a report that suggests that "Shaken Baby Syndrome" is not being taken
seriously by authorities.

A study has found that fewer than half of the people who inflict head injuries on children are
charged and almost all had confessed to their crime.

Annie Guest reports.

ANNIE GUEST: When a six-week-old baby was taken to hospital with head injuries, often known as
Shaken Baby Syndrome, he became the first child protection case seen by Sydney doctor Amanda
Stephens.

Later the baby went home with his family.

At the age of two he was dead from multiple injuries.

What she saw prompted Dr Stephens to find out more and today she's releasing a study that concludes
few people are prosecuted over Shaken Baby Syndrome.

AMANDA STEPHENS: The major reason is that it's difficult to identify the perpetrator in many cases.

ANNIE GUEST: She says families generally close ranks after incidents of what doctors call
non-accidental head injuries.

Dr Stephens studied 68 children treated by the child protection unit at the Children's Hospital at
Westmead in Sydney.

Prosecutions were launched in only 27 cases - less than half. Twenty-three were convicted of crimes
ranging from neglect to murder and almost all had confessed.

And the secrecy surrounding most cases poses other challenges for authorities.

AMANDA STEPHENS: Because if you don't know who did it and you are not able to sort of make that
decision, it can be very hard to decide whether that child should be returned to the family or
whether they should be removed because obviously removing children results in risks as well because
you are sticking them in foster care etc.

ANNIE GUEST: The children studied by Dr Stephens were treated between 1997 and 2005. A few years on
all of those she was able to trace had problems ranging from blindness to mild developmental delay.

But Dr Stephens does not believe greater prosecutions would help reduce the incidence of Shaken
Baby Syndrome.

AMANDA STEPHENS: In many cases it is possible to work particularly with the non-offending parent to
try to keep that child within the family and to give that family support.

ANNIE GUEST: Dr Stephens' position is endorsed by the Chairman of the Abused Child Foundation Dr
David Wood.

He's also the head of paediatrics at Brisbane's Mater Children's Hospital.

DAVID WOOD: Whether you prosecute to raise the profile of child abuse and its adverse consequences
or you really just try to improve the community's awareness that child abuse is everybody's
business, then it becomes everybody's business to step in and help a family that is having
difficulties.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Dr David Wood ending that report from Annie Guest in Brisbane.

Renault car bosses get the boot

ELEANOR HALL: Executives from French car maker Renault all but admitted overnight that their
Formula One team cheated at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

The company's former star driver had already told the sport's governing body that he deliberately
crashed his car and that he was told to do so by Renault bosses.

Overnight Renault's team chief resigned and the car maker now says it won't contest the charges.

As Di Bain reports not only is the car maker's reputation now in tatters but Renault could face a
fine of more than $100 million and expulsion from the sport.

DI BAIN: The charismatic Italian Flavio Briatore was the driving force behind Renault's successes
on the track. He was the boss of the team - ultimately responsible for its wins and losses. When he
was interviewed trackside just a few months ago there was no sign he was about to be booted out of
his 20 year career.

FLAVIO BRIATORE: I want to be in this business for a long time and you know, if it is me, it would
be a lunatic find (phonetic).

DI BAIN: But overnight Flavio Briatore fell on his sword and so too did Renault's executive
director of engineering Pat Symonds.

Their resignations came as Renault was called to answer charges that it conspired with driver
Nelson Piquet Jr to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Twenty-four-year-old Piquet has signed a statement saying he was told to crash into the barrier
during the race.

That meant while Piquet's car was being taken away other cars behind him were forced to pit stop
and refuel giving his team mate Fernando Alonso who was up the front a clean ride to win.

MURRAY WALKER (COMMENTATING ON THE SINGAPORE RACE): And Renault's gamble looked to have paid off
when Piquet crashed heavily and brought out the safety car.

DI BAIN: A hearing into the event has been scheduled for next week.

Renault has now issued a statement saying it won't contest the charges.

The Formula One community is stunned. Former team boss Eddie Jordan told the BBC he can't believe
anyone would stage a crash.

EDDIE JORDAN: There is not a sport I believe in creation that doesn't have some form of
manipulation. We can look at the rules and see how we can get around them and legitimately fight
them in a case in a court or something like that. That is part and parcel of what makes up sport.

But you know, when you endanger or the potential to endanger somebody's life let alone the driver
himself which obviously, I am surprised that Piquet Jr even in allowing this to happen. Really
surprised.

DI BAIN: Commentators say it's a serious offence which could cost Renault fines in the hundreds of
millions of dollars and even expulsion from the sport.

Former race caller Murray Walker says Piquet Jr is now very unlikely to earn the famed career of
his father - F1 legend Nelson Piquet.

MURRAY WALKER: Nelson Piquet has not done at all well last season. His career was obviously in
danger of finishing which it has now done and he was fighting to retain his career and was prepared
to do this dastardly thing of crashing deliberately which is, as I say, is without precedent in
Formula One.

DI BAIN: The scandal will also send shockwaves through the Renault boardroom which is trying to
turn around the company's financial problems.

This year Renault reported a first half net loss of 2.7 billion euros - that's more than $AU4.5
billion.

ELEANOR HALL: Di Bain reporting.

Bonza brainwave turns out dinky-di Aussies

ELEANOR HALL: Most Australians probably think they speak standard English but for newly arrived
migrants colloquial phrases like flat out and give it a crack can be mystifying.

To overcome that language barrier an Adelaide TAFE teacher has designed a website to help people
learning Australian English to translate what they hear.

In Adelaide Nance Haxton reports.

TEACHER IN CLASSROOM: If you go over things you look at it again. You look at something, you talk
about it together.

NANCE HAXTON: It's not coming the raw prawn or other bonza cliche slang that confuses most new
migrants to Australia.

Keturah de Klerk teaches English at Adelaide TAFE. The words that she found the hardest to
translate were often the ones in most common usage.

KETURAH DE KLERK: Simple things like last week I had some great news for my students. I said,
"Guess what?" And they didn't know how to answer me. You know, "can you give us a hand"; "take your
time doing this". Not to mention just you know irony and sarcasm and giving a statement as a
question like: "how good is this weather?"You know, and thinking that they have to provide an
answer.

NANCE HAXTON: Mrs de Klerk found that students were constantly coming to her for advice on words
that they had never heard of before arriving in Australia, even though they had learnt basic
English.

NANCE HAXTON: For example the phrase "I'm stuffed" has at least three different meanings which Mrs
De Klerk has featured on her e-phrase website.

(Extract from website)

WOMAN: How was work? Are you tired?

MAN: Yeah, I'm stuffed.

MOTHER: Did you study for the test today?

SON: No, I forgot all about it. Oh man, I'm stuffed.

WOMAN: You want any more dinner?

MAN: No thanks. I'm stuffed.

(End of extract)

NANCE HAXTON: Kavita Anil Gourd moved to Australia from India nine months ago. She says the
Australian vernacular has taken some getting used to.

KAVITA ANIL GOURD: It is very hard for me because some words very hard like hang on and I reckon, I
never understand.

NANCE HAXTON: While Kae Kwon from Korea found that problems arose with the common Australian
practice of shortening some words.

KAE KWON: Ta. When I get on the bus and the bus driver say ta. (Laughs) Ta sounds in my country is
very different meaning, yeah (laughs).

NANCE HAXTON: It's not just a matter of understanding casual conversation.

Mrs de Klerk says she knows of some migrants who have lost their jobs because of basic
communication barriers.

KETURAH DE KLERK: Students who we get qualified to get into the workplace and have the English
level to get the job officially and get the job but don't maintain it, can't hold onto it because
the boss sees them as not just getting along socially with everyone; which is you know really big,
has a high level of importance in Australia.

TEACHER IN THE CLASSROOM: So catch me, could mean maybe if you see me.

STUDENT IN THE CLASSROOM: Not get?

TEACHER IN THE CLASSROOM: No not actually catch me, no.

NANCE HAXTON: The Aussie slang classes are now spreading around the country with other TAFEs
introducing similar courses.

Parvati Bhattarai came to Australia from Bhutan and says before doing the course she was constantly
confused by Australian colloquialisms.

PARVATI BHATTARAI: They speak English but it is quite different from our tongue and our way of
talking and the most important thing for us is to learn the slang word and to understand the jokes.

NANCE HAXTON: Keturah de Klerk simply hopes her classes and the e-phrase web site help new migrants
to make sense of Australian sayings that most of us take for granted.

KETURAH DE KLERK: Accent is the biggest problem along with the slang and the idioms and the...

NANCE HAXTON: And shortening the words?

KETURAH DE KLERK: Shortening the words yeah, you know. Mossies, sunnies, chewies, I'm devo. You
know all these sort of things is, yeah shortening is just another example.

ELEANOR HALL: Language teacher Keturah de Klerk ending Nance Haxton's report.

Who the bloody hell are we?

ELEANOR HALL: The Government has now opened the tender for advertising agencies to give Australia's
international image a sophisticated makeover.

It's spending $20 million to make us look less ocker and more highbrow, as Dina Rosendorff reports.

(Extract from advertisement)

SPEAKER: Hi, my name is Cann (phonetic) and I'm from Denmark and this here is my baby boy. His name
is August. I am doing this video because I am trying to find August's father.

So if you are out there and you see this then this is for you. We met one and a half year ago when
you were on vacation here in Denmark and we met at the Custom House Bar. We went back to my house
and yeah, we ended up having sex.

DINA ROSENDORFF: Does listening to this make you want to visit Denmark? That was the aim when the
country's tourist board released this ad as part of a viral marketing campaign but it backfired,
receiving fierce criticism from the Danish for its portrayal of their women.

Now our Government wants to re-brand Australia and it too wants to try a different approach.

Jonathan Kneebone is from the independent creative group The Glue Society. His company appeared on
the ABC's The Gruen Transfer pitching a campaign that would "unsell" Australia to tourists.

(Theme music from The Gruen Transfer)

DINA ROSENDORFF: Featuring wide-open landscapes and deserted beaches the ad ended with the line:
"so many beautiful places to dispose of a body. Australia: Where the bloody hell are you buried?"
(Laughter)

This time The World Today asked Jonathan Kneebone to do the reverse - sell Australia as a
world-class brand.

JONATHAN KNEEBONE: IKEA is symbolic of Sweden and something like Levis is symbolic of America. And
without shooting myself in the foot by solving the problem for free if you see what I mean, it
might be good to come up with a new brand if you like, which basically you then sell around the
world to give people a taste of what Australia is all about. And obviously hopefully that could
become an inspiration to sort of basically come and travel here and experience it more fully.

DINA ROSENDORFF: What would you call the brand?

JONATHAN KNEEBONE: It doesn't have to be sort of necessarily focused on the word Australia but I
guess the one thought that we have played with in the past is the fact that everyone thinks that
Australia is upside down and I think that is kind of interesting so maybe there is something in
that area (laughs).

DINA ROSENDORFF: If we talk about remaking Australia's image from being ocker to more highbrow,
what sort of areas can we concentrate on in promoting?

JONATHAN KNEEBONE: I think optimism, creativity and the desire to enjoy new things is a very strong
aspect. Whether that is in contrast to ockerness I don't know. I think there is a down to earthness
which is truly enjoyable here too.

DINA ROSENDORFF: On the streets Australians had their own opinions on some of the country's
intellectual and cultural assets.

VOX POP: Probably Australian fashion designers, the city life.

VOX POP 2: The opera, the symphony.

VOX POP 3: Intellectually we stand with the rest of the world in science and things like that.

DINA ROSENDORFF: Others however aren't so sure Australia needs such an extreme makeover.

VOX POP 4: We have cultural and intellectual assets but it's not enough to bring people here for
tourism. Like they need to focus on touristy stuff, not intellectual stuff.

DINA ROSENDORFF: As part of the "Building Brand Australia" promotion, creative agencies have one
month to pitch their ideas to the Government. Contracts are worth $4 million over four years.

ELEANOR HALL: Dina Rosendorff.