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Swan sees positive signs in rate rise

SHANE MCLEOD: Australia's dollar is surging after the Reserve Bank's decision to lift interest
rates - the first rate rise for any major economy since the global financial crisis hit.

The Treasurer Wayne Swan says Australians have a common-sense approach to rate rises. He says they
know rates couldn't stay at 50 year lows forever.

That's not how the Opposition sees it, though some in the Coalition give the Government some credit
for stimulating the economy.

The more immediate problem for Malcolm Turnbull is how to negotiate with Labor on emissions
trading.

The Government says he has to ensure his troops will vote when the legislation is debated again
next month if he wants to be taken seriously.

From Canberra, Alexandra Kirk reports.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The manufacturing and retail sectors are worried a rate rise now, even one quarter
of 1 per cent, could kill off the first tentative signs of economic recovery. But the Treasurer
Wayne Swan sides with the Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stephens that rates couldn't stay where they
are.

WAYNE SWAN: You could see someone with a $300,000 mortgage is still something like $708 per month
better off since August last year. So monetary policy being withdrawn gradually as is the fiscal
stimulus being withdrawn gradually as we go forward, recognising that the economy is still weak,
but it is beginning to grow and that is something that Australians should celebrate. We have
achieved some of the best results in the advanced economy in the world.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Treasurer says government spending will be wound back gradually as the economy
speeds up. With the central bank kicking of a cycle of rate rises, the Opposition's taking
advantage of having positioned itself over the past few months to blame the rate increase on
Labor's big spending strategy.

But the Government's getting some credit from the Coalition. Finance spokeswoman Senator Helen
Coonan.

HELEN COONAN: The stimulus has done its work, quite frankly, that's what the Reserve Bank Governor
said.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But that's as far as the pat on the back goes.

HELEN COONAN: So why should we be incurring further debt and more borrowed money in circumstances
where you may not get much bang for your buck at all and continue to put pressure on interest
rates?

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Government says the economic stimulus is being gradually wound down as it was
designed to do and that it's in synch with the Reserve Bank Governor's comments. But Helen Coonan
says now that monetary policy's being wound back, the same should apply to the Commonwealth's
stimulus.

HELEN COONAN: The wasted money that's gone into this schools package with lots and lots of wasted
money and the blowout of over a billion dollars, that's one area where you can obviously look at
whether or not the money's committed and whether or not that can be wound back. It's been deferred
after December because of the costs blowouts.

Also with the infrastructure spending, it's a very good opportunity for the Government to take a
very good look at whether this final part of this stimulus package is really necessary, whether
it's going to the productivity benefits claim for it.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The more immediate problem for the Coalition is how to steer a path through the
troubled waters posed by Kevin Rudd's emissions trading scheme. Malcolm Turnbull's called his
shadow ministers for a meeting in Melbourne today to run past them the broad outline of amendments
he intends to negotiate with the Government, which wants to retain the upper hand.

The Treasurer's demanding Mr Turnbull put an end to talk from his colleagues of prolonging the
debate to delay a vote until next year.

WAYNE SWAN: It's about time the Liberal Party demonstrated their bone fides and made a commitment
not to use procedural tricks and filibusters in the Senate to frustrate discussion of this very
important legislation.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Liberal frontbencher Ian Macfarlane says a filibuster to prevent any Senate vote on
the bill is not his intention and that he wants to negotiate amendments in good faith. Liberal
Senator George Brandis has branded the Treasurer's filibuster allegation as "offensive".

GEORGE BRANDIS: Now nobody has any doubt that this is one of the most complex packages of
legislation that will ever be considered by the Australian Parliament. It's more complicated than
the GST, it is more complicated than the Mabo legislation and it would be an outrage, an outrage,
an expression of utter contempt for Australian democracy if ministers of the Government sought to
characterise a thorough parliamentary debate on such an important and complex bill as a procedural
trick, a delaying tactic or a filibuster.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: It was one of your own colleagues who suggested debating or keeping on talking out
the debate so that a vote couldn't be taken or a vote may not be taken this year. So that
suggestion came from your own side.

GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, I don't know what was said by the person to whom you're referring but my
point is that this legislation has to be debated in the ordinary course of events.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: So do you think it can be done within the two weeks of...

GEORGE BRANDIS: I don't know. I don't know. It may be able to be, it may not be able to be.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: After the parliamentary two week sitting in November, there's another three weeks
in which Parliament could sit before Christmas. So do you think that it would be advisable for the
Government say to extend the parliamentary sitting if you can't finish the debate in time?

GEORGE BRANDIS: Well, it may be that that's necessary, it's too early to say.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: It's not unheard of senators to filibuster.

GEORGE BRANDIS: Nobody's talking about filibustering this and it would be quite wrong, very wrong
indeed for anyone to characterise the desire of the Senate to debate this, particularly through the
committee stage because we know there'll be opposition amendments, very thoroughly as a filibuster.

SHANE MCLEOD: Liberal Senator George Brandis, ending that report from Alexandra Kirk.

Youth jobless hits highest level since 1990s

SHANE MCLEOD: While economists say they are starting to see signs of economic recovery, it's clear
that young Australians are still feeling the effects of the global financial crisis.

A new report to be released tomorrow indicates that the number of teenagers not studying or working
full-time has risen to the highest level since the early 1990s. That means there are more that
175,000 teenagers aged between 15 and 19 that aren't working or studying.

And the biggest number of teenagers, rather, the number of teenagers without a full-time job has
had the biggest one year rise in the past two decades.

Lucy Carter reports.

LUCY CARTER: Twenty-one year old Kayleigh Long has been looking for a job since the beginning of
the year.

KAYLEIGH LONG: Well it's been quite tricky, it's quite demoralising really. And I've been applying
for a wide range of jobs and not really had all that much luck and I'm still on the hunt at the
moment.

LUCY CARTER: She deferred her university degree at the end of 2008 to try and earn some money but
in the 10 months since she's had no luck finding a full-time job.

KAYLEIGH LONG: To a lesser extent I've been looking for hospitality type work. I've applied to some
journalism jobs and also general office type administration work, PA, reception. The ones that I've
actually wanted I've had a few interviews for but not, I haven't had anything solid yet.

I mean, there's one job that I applied for maybe five weeks ago, I've had three interviews and I'm
still in the process there, so it can be quite frustrating, the whole timeframe.

LUCY CARTER: It's a story that researchers from the Foundation for Young Australians are familiar
with.

The 2009 How Young People Are Faring report is the foundation's 11th annual look at the earning and
learning habits of Australians aged 15 to 24.

Director of research, Dr Lucas Walsh, says this year's report is pretty bleak.

He says the most disturbing figure is the number of 15 to 19 year olds that aren't in full-time
work or study.

LUCAS WALSH: It's deeply concerning, we know that this particular age group of teenagers are
amongst the most deeply affected by the economic downturn and this jump from 13 per cent a year ago
to over 16 per cent is the highest level since the recession of the early 90s.

LUCY CARTER: He says that though the economy is showing signs of recovery, it will take years for
young Australians to recover from this slump.

LUCAS WALSH: It's very challenging because we know from this research that the people who miss out
on opportunities post-school to either earn or learn can feel the repercussions years later. We
also know that this is a critical formative period in their development in terms of learning about
the worlds of work and further study.

LUCY CARTER: The report indicates that the current situation is worse for boys than girls, with 15
to 19 year old boys experiencing the greatest overall rise in unemployment.

Dr Walsh says this is to be expected.

LUCAS WALSH: In part we can look at the fact that young men tend to take up apprenticeships and
traineeships and they have ground to a halt in the last year. That's primarily because they're the
first to go when there's an economic downturn. We know also that young women tend to go into
education.

LUCY CARTER: He says state and federal governments must act quickly to get this generation of young
Australians back on their feet.

LUCAS WALSH: Well there's already some good measures in place. I mean we know from the research
that those who complete Year 12 or equivalent will have better chances in life and the current
governments are targeting to increase the number of young people who complete Year 12 or
equivalent. They've got a 90 per cent target that they're seeking to meet by 2015. But more effort
will need to be done in those areas where we need to lift opportunities for young people. This is
regional and remote areas for example.

LUCY CARTER: Twenty-one-year-old Kayleigh Long says she's realised she'll need to look at
alternative ways to find a job.

KAYLEIGH LONG: A few friends who have finished uni have, they've all decided to go regional because
it just seems to be a bit tricky in Sydney. A lot of people have been finding that it's not the
work that they find advertised; it's something where they might do an internship and then see it
internally, so yeah, it doesn't appear on the surface of it that there's a lot out there but it's
the connections that they seem to make when they are doing free labour which seems the way that I
need to get into things at the moment.

LUCY CARTER: The full report from the Foundation for Young Australians will be released tomorrow.

SHANE MCLEOD: Lucy Carter with that report

First home buyers boost construction industry

SHANE MCLEOD: The rush for the last of the increased first home buyers grant seems to have boosted
the construction industry.

A private sector survey of the industry showed a jump in activity in September, helped also by the
Rudd Government's infrastructure spending.

For the first time in 19 months the industry has expanded and home loans to investors have jumped,
although first home buyers are pulling back.

More from finance reporter Sue Lannin.

SUE LANNIN: The construction industry has been in the doldrums for a year and a half but now it's
finally starting to grow.

Tony Pensabene is the chief economist from the Australian Industry Group.

TONY PENSABENE: Looks like the industry's pumped and primed for a fair bit of new housing
construction to take it through right to the middle of next year.

SUE LANNIN: The AI Group carries out the Performance of Construction Index with the Housing
Industry Association.

The index came in at 50.8 in September - it jumped by just over eight points from August.

Tony Pensabene says the rush by first home buyers to get the bigger government grant before it ran
out at the end of September was a factor.

TONY PENSABENE: I think there might have been an element in that, but I think generally what we're
seeing is the combination of low interest rates, the boost that we've had to the first homeowners
scheme. Both have acted in a way to encourage potential home buyers to look for getting into the
market and the construction sector is also offering significant discounts in order to attract
clients.

SUE LANNIN: Do you think this rise is sustainable? Because the index was at just under 40 back in
July and it seems to have improved by quite a lot since then.

TONY PENSABENE: We've been hearing for months now amongst house builders that demand for new homes
was building and we know that there is now a long pipeline of demands for new homes. The lowering
of the first homeowner grant will reduce demand somewhat, but the basic point is that there is now
an underpinning in the housing market that's going to provide it with jobs, growth and activity
into next year. What we still need to see is a pickup in commercial construction, apartments, which
is a very difficult market, and some of those infrastructure programs to come into the pipeline.

SUE LANNIN: Ben Phillips from the Housing Industry Association is optimistic but is worried about
further rises in interest rates.

BEN PHILLIPS: We'll only get worse in the apartment sector. It's a bit of a double blow I suppose
that you've got difficulties in obtaining finance and the level of presale remains very high across
the board in the apartment sector. And now of course on top of that you've got the prospect of
increasing interest rates which will slow down the demand side. So it's both a supply crunch and
also a hit to demand is what we'll see over the coming 12 months if we do have the strong increases
in interest rates.

SUE LANNIN: Paul Brennan is the head of economics at Citigroup. He thinks there is a recovery going
on.

PAUL BRENNAN: I think that we're just really at the start of it and when you're at the start of a
recovery people still aren't certain about exactly whether it's sustainable and how strong it will
be. But looking ahead I think, you know, there is some good scope to see housing activity pick up
quite nicely over the next 12 months.

SUE LANNIN: Official figures show the value of home loans increase by 0.7 of 1 per cent in August
to $22.7 billion. The value of loans to investors jumped nearly 8 per cent. But those to owner
occupiers fell almost 2 per cent, as did the number of loans borrowed.

And first home buyers pulled back to just under 25 per cent of owner occupiers taking out loans.

SHANE MCLEOD: Our finance reporter Sue Lannin.

Crowded corridors of power for Afghan debate

SHANE MCLEOD: The US President Barack Obama has been meeting congressional leaders at the White
House to brief them on the debate within his administration over what course of action they should
take in Afghanistan.

The 31 Democratic and Republican figures have also given their views on whether Mr Obama should
consent to the request from his military commander in Afghanistan for 30,000 to 40,000 extra
troops.

From Washington, John Shovelan reports Republicans are supporting an expanded war effort while the
President's own party is more sceptical.

JOHN SHOVELAN: Tomorrow marks eight years since the start of the US war in Afghanistan.

Troop casualties are mounting and public support for the war has soured.

And eight years after forcing it from power, the Taliban is resurgent.

The administration is in the thick of deciding whether to escalate the US military involvement by
as much as 60 per cent to 100,000 troops.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates says that is the result of too few US and international troops on
the ground in the early years of the conflict.

ROBERT GATES: And the reality is that because of our inability and the inability, frankly, of our
allies to put enough troops into Afghanistan, the Taliban do have the momentum right now it seems.

JOHN SHOVELAN: Mr Gates has been inscrutable on the troop numbers debate within the administration.

That debate has broadly been between the Vice President's camp - advocating the light, nimble
Special Forces style military footprint - versus the overwhelming force doctrine of the Pentagon.

At issue is whether US forces should continue to focus on fighting the Taliban and securing the
Afghan population or shift to more narrowly targeting, with unmanned spy drones and covert
operations, the Al Qaeda terrorists believed to be hiding in Pakistan.

After today's meeting at the White House, Republican Senator John McCain says any successful Afghan
strategy has to fight both Al Qaeda and the Taliban at once.

JOHN MCCAIN: I don't think it's a proper reading of both history and the situation to somehow think
that Al Qaeda will not quickly emerge in Afghanistan if it falls to the Taliban.

JOHN SHOVELAN: Officials say that President Barack Obama considers today's meeting with the
congress "tremendously important".

The previous administration was criticized for failing to fully inform Congress about the war in
Iraq.

But the President's spokesman Robert Gibbs says the President won't be basing his decision on the
mood of Capitol Hill or eroding public support for the war.

ROBERT GIBBS: We're focussed on getting that right, not about who's for or who's against what.

JOHN SHOVELAN: The remains of US troops killed in the fierce Taliban assault over the weekend
arrived back at Dover Air Force Base today.

Eight American soldiers died in that battle overwhelmed by Taliban insurgents.

The bloodiest day of the year for the US underscored the appeal by the US Commander in Afghanistan
for 40,000 more troops and Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said the President
should listen to his generals.

MITCH MCCONNEL: I hope that at the end of the end of the day that the President will follow the
advice of some of our finest generals who we believe know what it would take to stabilise the
situation in Afghanistan, prevent the comeback of the Taliban and obviously prevent a haven for Al
Qaeda.

JOHN SHOVELAN: Democrats are more sceptical with Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledging the
differences.

NANCY PELOSI: There was some agreement and there was some diversity of opinion as well.

JOHN SHOVELAN: The President isn't expected to make a decision on troop numbers and strategy until
late this month or early November, but the decision is expected before he travels to China in the
middle of next month.

John Shovelan, Washington.

Millions in need after natural disasters

SHANE MCLEOD: Now to our own region, the Asia-Pacific, which is still coming to grips with the
aftermath of a series of natural disasters.

The United Nations has launched an appeal for $74 million to help the Philippines, where floods
have killed several hundred people and damaged millions of homes.

In India, the worst flooding in a century has claimed more than 250 lives and millions of people
have been displaced.

And in Samoa, fears about another tsunami remain strong.

Barbara Miller reports.

BARBARA MILLER: The Philippines is no stranger to natural disasters but this one is severe enough
for the United Nations to launch what it describes as its largest flash appeal to date for the
country.

The UN is asking for $74 million to help the hundreds of thousands of people left homeless by
back-to-back storms.

John Holmes is the UN emergency relief coordinator.

JOHN HOLMES: The situation on the ground is still difficult in the main affected areas. Rain, heavy
rain in some places is still continuing, which is affecting relief operations. There is a serious
risk of communicable diseases as always with flooding and lack of clean water.

A lot of people have still not been able to return home and some are even still in their flooded
houses, in the top areas of their flooded houses.

BARBARA MILLER: Close to 500,000 people are thought to be living in emergency shelters around the
capital Manila, which was particularly badly hit.

This woman, being given shelter at a basketball stadium, says she simply can't return home.

VOX POP (translated): We just tried to fit ourselves in this smaller space. We just have to bear it
for the time being because we have no other choice. It is difficult but this is better than us
staying in our place, which is still flooded.

BARBARA MILLER: In Indonesia, help is reaching some of the survivors of last week's devastating
earthquake, which has killed at least 700 people.

Charlie Mason is an emergency team coordinator with Save the Children.

CHARLIE MASON: Save the Children is distributing immediate relief items, which is a hygiene kit
with personal hygiene products, plastic sheeting to provide shelter from, especially during raining
season, with shelter from the sun and the climate as people have lost their houses and their roofs.

BARBARA MILLER: But there are still huge numbers of people without adequate food, fresh water or
shelter.

This teenage boy says his family is living a day-to-day existence.

CHANDRA (translated): We only get instant noodles and blankets. We hope the authorities will help
us rebuild our homes.

BARBARA MILLER: Millions of people in India have been displaced by the worst flooding in a century
and large swathes of cropland have been swamped.

Teams of emergency workers are reaching some of those affected sometimes being brought in from
other states.

EMERGENCY WORKER (translated): We have come here from the Gujarat Disaster Management Authority.
The entire rescue operation team has come here for the rescue since a lot of damage of human life
and property have taken place here in several districts of Karnataka due to the floods triggered by
incessant rains. We have come to save the people who are still trapped in floods; 14 boats have
arrived here and 46 rescue workers will come.

BARBARA MILLER: In Samoa, preparations are being made for a mass burial for some of the victims of
the tsunami.

Relief teams are still combing more remote areas looking for the missing, with reports that some
villagers are too afraid of another tsunami to return to coastal areas.

Steve Hunn is with the New Zealand Air Force.

STEVE HUNN: The locations of the people are changing every day, it's different to what there was
here yesterday, so yeah, there's challenges to come.

BARBARA MILLER: With natural disasters such as those that have hit the region predicted to only
increase in coming years, relief agencies say the scale of this series of tragedies brings home the
urgent need to focus on disaster preparedness and resilience, and not just on the response after
the event.

SHANE MCLEOD: Barbara Miller.

Former top cop says it's time to go legal

SHANE MCLEOD: The war on drugs has vexed governments around the world as they've tried to stem the
distribution of illicit drugs and the associated criminal activity, and death and sickness that
result.

Dr Norm Stamper is a former chief of police in Seattle in the United States. He's now an advisor to
a group of police and drug agents in the US that's advocating legalisation.

His group says that the money spent fighting traffickers and dealers would be better spent on
addicts and health.

He's in Australia to debate the issue alongside the Australian Drug Reform Foundation.

I caught up with Dr Stamper today and asked him if what he's talking about are the campaigns we've
seen here in Australia, like the decriminalization of marijuana and safe injecting rooms.

NORM STAMPER: Well, I'm certainly supportive of those things but it's not what I'm talking about.
You know, I belong to an organisation called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and we believe
that prohibition as the organising mechanism of the drug war is a failed public policy.

Prohibition has never worked, it can't work, it won't work in the future and if we know that to be
true, we need to ask ourselves, all this money that we're investing or squandering in the drug war,
couldn't that money be spent better in prevention and treatment and education programs or reserving
enforcement for people who commit criminal acts perhaps under the influence of any drug including
alcohol.

You drive impaired, you furnish to a kid, you abuse your child, you beat your spouse, you rob a
bank - you should be held accountable for that criminal behaviour.

But if we were able to invest our money in stopping people from becoming addicted to drugs and
providing treatment to those who do, we'd all be healthier and safer.

SHANE MCLEOD: You're talking across the board.

NORM STAMPER: Across the board.

SHANE MCLEOD: All drugs that are currently considered illegal should be made legal.

NORM STAMPER: Yes. It sounds all so counter intuitive and it sounds, you know, just outrageous for
a police officer even an ex-police officer, much less a police chief to be saying this. But when
you stop and think about it, those drugs widely available to everyone, including our kids today,
are under the control of cartels and street traffickers. They're the ones who decide what they're
going to sell and to whom. They're going to decide at what levels of purity their products will be
retailed. And they're bad and they're greedy people and they just don't care if they're going to
sell to your kid.

So I think it's important to recognise that the legalisation of drugs is actually necessary for
government then to step in and regulate them and tax them and exert the kind of control, imperfect
as it is, that government has over tobacco and alcohol today.

SHANE MCLEOD: It sounds like a libertarian argument but you are actually advocating that the
Government takes a central role in the trade of drugs.

NORM STAMPER: Yeah, there are many people when I trot this argument out who say you know I agree
with you up to the point at which you say the Government should control it. Well I believe
government does have a responsibility, a public safety responsibility, which is the most basic of
all governments' charges, to ensure that every aspect of drug growing, producing, manufacturing,
pricing, packaging, is controlled and regulated.

Otherwise we'll have, frankly, what I think is the legacy of no government control over alcohol and
tobacco back in the early days. Because that was basically the spring board for marketing and
promoting and frankly selling to our kids and nobody's going to convince me that alcohol and
tobacco companies have not targeting young people.

SHANE MCLEOD: That's, I mean, in terms of the social cost of what you're advocating, drugs do have
an enormous social cost at the moment. But even the drugs that are regulated and legalised like
alcohol has a terrible social cost in terms of violence on families. Can that be controlled? If
you're talking about legalising a drug, for example, methamphetamine - "ice" - a drug that causes
immense amounts of violence in Australia. How can you control that social impact?

NORM STAMPER: Well let's take a look at the progress that's been made in alcohol control for
example. Back during prohibition we saw in my country and you in yours enormous lawlessness
associated with prohibition - an underground market was created, violence on the streets, drug
overdosed deaths in the form of bad bathtub gin and so on and so forth.

So we know the prohibition model doesn't work. We do know that there are models of education and
prevention and treatment that actually can reduce the suffering, the social and the personal and
the family suffering, associated with currently illicit drugs. So I think it's important to really
point that out.

But it's also most useful I think to recognise that - if I may just tell a quick story - I was
doing a radio show much like this one at a local public broadcasting system affiliate in Seattle.
We were on the air for about half an hour, the host was asking me a bunch of questions and then he
threw the phone lines open. Third or fourth call in a man says, I agree with everything you're
saying chief. I just don't understand however, in good conscience, how you can advocate the
legalisation of ice. He said, I was a crystal meth addict for 10 years. I lost my wife, I damn near
lost my life, I lost my kids, I lost my job, I lost everything - my health, my teeth.

And for 10 years he was a meth addict. I congratulated him for being clean and sober and then I
asked him, where did you get the drug? Can't have it, it's illegal, it's barred, it's banned, it's
prohibited, you cannot have that drug. And yet for 10 years in the throes of a gripping horrifying
addiction, he was able to have this intimate relationship with an illicit drug which caused all the
destruction that he described.

Well that's under our current system, what if we had a different system? What if we had a system
that said you know, two years into your addiction - you know, god forbid you should get the
addiction in the first place, maybe we do a better job of prevention and education. Maybe we
advance with early treatment when you've broken some other law for example.

But let's say two or three years into your addiction, you decide that your life is on the way to
utter destruction and you want to turn it around. No stigma attached to your illness, you're not a
criminal, you're a sick person and you're going to get help and you're going to get treatment.
Would you have done that?

And he said, I never thought about it that way.

You know, for me as a representative of the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, that was a huge
sort of breakthrough and success story that even somebody who was in his shoes can really
appreciate how a different system might have produced a different outcome.

SHANE MCLEOD: I can understand why you're able to make these points as a former police chief, a
former police officer. Can you understand why for political leaders, this is a far more difficult
challenge to convince a sceptical public that this would be a better way of doing things?

NORM STAMPER: It's terrifying for them. They fear that they will be labelled soft on drugs, soft on
crime. They fear that if they support the regulation model over a prohibition model, they will be
seen as advocates of drug use. Forget drug abuse, they will be seen as people who are promoting
drug use.

We have spent a trillion dollars prosecuting this colossally failed model and what do we have to
show for it? Drugs are more readily available today at lower prices and higher levels of potency
than in the history of the drug war. It's an unsuccessful mission.

SHANE MCLEOD: That's Dr Norm Stamper, the former chief of police in Seattle and now an advocate for
the legalisation of illicit drugs.

Child Safety Commissioner raises privacy concerns

SHANE MCLEOD: Businesses are being warned by Victoria's Child Safety Commissioner to do everything
they can to protect the private information of their customers and children in particular.

The airline Jetstar is investigating how a male flight attendant was able to make contact with a
15-year-old girl on a social networking site after a flight from the Sunshine Coast to Melbourne
last month.

The girl's mother believes the flight attendant got her daughter's name from the passenger list in
a major breach of privacy.

Alison Caldwell reports.

ALISON CALDWELL: The woman and her two daughters flew from the Sunshine Coast to Melbourne late
last month.

A male flight attendant approached the 15 and 16-year-old girls when they were standing at the
toilet and began a conversation.

The girls say they didn't give him their names.

Within hours of the flight arriving in Melbourne, the man had added the 15-year-old to his Facebook
page and asked her to become one of his friends.

ELIZABETH: She was a bit shocked and she sort of thought it was funny but I think she, she seemed
as though she also found it a bit weird because she clearly knows that he's, you know, way too old
for her anyway.

ALISON CALDWELL: Their mother wants to be known only as Elizabeth. She believes the flight
attendant accessed her daughter's details through the flight manifest.

She says he couldn't contact her 16-year-old daughter because she doesn't use her full name on her
website.

ELIZABETH: She's abbreviated her name on Facebook so he can't find her there. The invasion of
privacy is really strict and it contravenes Jetstar's privacy policy.

ALISON CALDWELL: The flight attendant tried to reach the older daughter through her younger sister.
Here an actor reads from his Facebook message.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT (voiceover): What is your sister's name? Does she have Facebook? Hey, you're the
one who sprayed the perfume that smelled so good.

ALISON CALDWELL: Even after finding out how young the passenger was, the flight attendant continued
to write to her. He says he got her name from her boarding pass.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT (voiceover): Why can't you add me? This sucks. I saw your name on your boarding
pass. I have never wanted to add a 15-year-old before. Um well you seem quite mature, maybe we
might come friends. Hey here is my number, do you even have a phone? What area do you live in?

ALISON CALDWELL: The flight manifest contains the number of passengers on a flight, their full
names and their allocated seats.

Jetstar is investigating the incident. Spokesman Simon Westaway says the information is protected
and secured on the flight.

SIMON WESTAWAY: What would occur normally with a passenger manifest, it's provided for a domestic
flight, it is handed over to the cabin manager, to the senior flight attendant on each service. The
male cabin attendant wasn't the cabin manager so he would not have had access to the passenger
manifest.

ALISON CALDWELL: But that's not so according to Peter who rang in to ABC Local Radio in Melbourne.
He says he works with the airlines.

PETER: The manifest actually goes into quite a few people's hand before departure itself. So
including the checking supervisor would actually get it, the person who loads the aircraft itself
and all the cabin crew on board actually do get to see that manifest itself.

ALISON CALDWELL: Bernie Geary is Victoria's Child Safety Commissioner; he says a customer's privacy
must be protected at all costs.

BERNIE GEARY: I think it's a tremendous concern and one would expect that those sorts of lists and
details wouldn't be available to the public to be looking over somebody's shoulder and taking
notes. And as a result, children, who are out most precious and vulnerable people in our community,
are becoming at risk. And no, absolutely a very, very poor piece of policy or practice that public
can be looking at names and addresses and following them up.

SHANE MCLEOD: Victoria's Child Safety Commissioner Bernie Geary ending Alison Caldwell's report.

Breakthrough for transplant hearts

SHANE MCLEOD: Hundreds of Australians who need heart transplants miss out every year.

It's not because of a lack of donated organs but the four or five hours a donated heart can spend
in transit that's been the problem.

But today there's a potential breakthrough.

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute is revealing it's found a way to keep a donated heart
alive a lot longer.

It could save many lives around the world.

Our reporter Annie Guest spoke to the institute's executive director, Professor Bob Graham.

BOB GRAHAM: In our pre-clinical trials, prolonging and preservation of a donor heart from the time
it's taken out of the donor until it gets implanted into the recipient, we've been able to go out
to 14 hours. Whereas at the moment, the longest time you can preserve a heart is four hours.

Now that may not translate quite as much in a larger human heart, but we're very optimistic we're
going to get at least a doubling of the time. So we're going to go from four hours to at least
eight.

ANNIE GUEST: And how did the researchers at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in St
Vincent's Hospital manage to more than double and almost triple the life of a heart that's intended
for transplantation?

BOB GRAHAM: By paying great attention and working out over a number of years what the mechanisms
are that cause deterioration of a heart and what drugs it will take to block them. And fortunately
those drugs are already available.

ANNIE GUEST: And what are the characteristics of those drugs that are going to produce this
extended life of a donor heart?

BOB GRAHAM: Well it's a combination of drugs that both dilate the blood vessels and also which
block certain little channels in the heart which are inactivated when the heart gets taken out. So
when we take an organ out of a donor, it's deprived of oxygen and nutrients. So we have to tell it
to sort of go into hibernation if you like and to slow down and not to die, but just to slow down
its metabolism.

So that's what this treatment is aimed at, at getting the heart to be good at doing that, but it's
to go into hibernation if you like rather than going on to deteriorate.

ANNIE GUEST: And potentially how many more people's lives could be saved because of this research?
And could it help people on say pacific islands and other countries who may have previously been
out of reach of help?

BOB GRAHAM: Absolutely. So well the islands will still have to come over here to where we do the
transplants, but it may allow us to use potential donors on those islands. But in terms of how many
more people, at the moment, we only are able to use about 40 per cent of potential donor hearts,
but we're able to say get 90 per cent of kidneys. And some of the reasons for that, the reason we
only get 40 per cent of the hearts is because the heart deteriorates during the time it gets taken
out.

ANNIE GUEST: And how many people does that translate to, that 40 per cent?

BOB GRAHAM: We're doing about 250 heart transplants a year, so if we can increase that, even by 100
to 120, that will be enormously helpful because we have many people waiting for a transplant who
never get one. They succumb before they get a heart transplant.

ANNIE GUEST: Extending the life of a donor heart has been proven to work in rats. You're yet to
commence the clinical trials in people. How confident can you be?

BOB GRAHAM: Oh look, I think I'd be extremely confident because the same mechanisms apply in
rodents even though we may think we're a lot better than rodents. We have to first go to a large
organ which will be from a pig, which is very similar to the human heart. So once we've done that
I'll be even more confident. But even now I'd be very confident that it will work in a human
hearts.

SHANE MCLEOD: The executive director of the Victor Change Cardiac Research Institute, Professor Bob
Graham, speaking there to our reporter Annie Guest.

Rugby league woos John Howard

SHANE MCLEOD: The former prime minister John Howard is being asked to take the field in a different
but no less political arena - rugby league.

High ranking league figures want Mr Howard to head up a new independent commission for the sport to
tackle the code's complicated ownership structure, factional in-fighting and player discipline.

Bronwyn Herbert reports.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The engraving on the Premiership Cup is barely complete, but already the race is
on for who will lead a new independent commission for rugby league.

It's reported former prime minister John Howard has been approached to chair the proposed
commission.

The Gold Coast Titans chief executive Michael Searle is leading a committee to establish the new
board

MICHAEL SEARLE: So these commissioners will add to the game and that's an important opportunity I
think that we shouldn't miss.

BRONWYN HERBERT: So have you approached him?

MICHAEL SEARLE: I'm not prepared to speculate on whether Mr Howards been... we've had discussions
with him, and it's unfair on all of the candidates. But this may be the vehicle that we can use to
allow the number of high profile and certainly well credentialed people to come into our game and
have a major influence on the game moving forward.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The commission, with up to eight directors, has been proposed as a way to resolve
the game's complicated ownership issues.

MICHAEL SEARLE: We have extensively reviewed international models, particularly the NFL in America
and the benefits to an independent body controlling the game is clear worldwide, and at the moment
of our ownership structure is probably a legacy of 1998.

BRONWYN HERBERT: The fractious nature of rugby league began in the super league war of the mid
1990s.

Two separate competitions were played that were run by rivals - the Australian Rugby League and the
National Rugby League.

The competition merged in 1998 but the wounds have never truly healed.

DAVID MORROW: The admission that perhaps it's time and long overtime that News Limited got out of
the game. I mean they came into the game with a bang in the mid 90s, tried to steal the game for
themselves. In the end they, I suppose in many ways people believe they won the battle and probably
even won the war because of the simple fact that they got a very cheap product for Fox Sports.

It's very hard to come out and say that's an above board relationship between the partnership,
which sits as the financial controller of the game, and Fox Sports because 50 per cent is owned by
the same company.

BRONWYN HERBERT: ABC sports commentator David Morrow says an independent board can't come soon
enough.

DAVID MORROW: There's the ARL, there's the QRL, there's the New South Wales RL, there's the CRL,
there's the Queensland CRL, there's all these other bits of bodies that poke their nose in and out
of the game.

And then you've got the NRL. Now of course the NRL, you'd think David Gallop might run the game -
wrong. He's the CEO of the NRL, but his hands are tied when it comes to finances.

BRONWYN HERBERT: John Howard is a well known league supporter and follower of the St George
Illawarra team.

He's seen as a unifying force in a divided sport.

David Morrow says the prime minister has the sporting credentials.

DAVID MORROW: He's a man who loves the game, he's got an enormously high profile and I think he's
pretty popular irrespective of which side of the fence you sit.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Do you know much about Mr Howard's knowledge of the game?

DAVID MORROW: I do know that he went to Canterbury Boy's High School and he's a mad St George fan.
I mean anyone who went to school in the 50s as John Howard did and followed the Dragons through
their 11 successive premierships knows a lot about the game.

He knows a lot more about the game than perhaps some people even are willing to concede. He
certainly may not know as much about the game as cricket, but then we all know that his first love
in life almost is cricket and that's not being rude to Janette.

SHANE MCLEOD: That's ABC sports commentator David Morrow, ending that report from Bronwyn Herbert.

Jessica makes final sailing preparations

SHANE MCLEOD: Teenager Jessica Watson is in Sydney making final preparations for her attempt to
become the youngest person to sail solo around the world.

The 16-year-old had an uneasy start to her voyage - heading south, her yacht collided with a
freighter within hours of leaving her home port on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

But she says she's sorted out the problems, and she's confident in her preparations for the voyage
ahead.

Timothy McDonald reports.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: A fresh-faced 16-year-old arrived at Circular Quay to face the media, who had
plenty of questions about her quest to sail around the world.

Jessica Watson knows has a tough job ahead of her, but says she's confident she's up to the task.

JESSICA WATSON: Yeah, no it's amazing I suppose the interest and I suppose opinions that's come
out. But yeah sure, I mean there's people out there who I suppose have their doubts and rightly so,
because it's a big, scary and possibly dangerous thing. But I'm not here without you know the
confidence and yeah, it's I suppose experience not age and maybe the right attitude like everyone's
been saying.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: And she's confident in her boat too, even if it's bright pink and packed with
makeup provided by her sponsor.

JESSICA WATSON: She's really cute, really cute little boat and I'm so proud of her, but she's
really tough as well. Tough as anything so we've stripped her right back to nothing basically and
basically rebuilt a boat. So she's ready to take on the world, yeah. So we've got big heavy keel,
so if we go over we come back up, which is a bit un-comfy but we can take it.

I've got an amazing amount of equipment so we've got all sorts of satellite communication
equipment, nav gear, there's all the fancy stuff on there and it's set up so I can handle it really
easy. But I suppose the important thing is too that when it comes down to it, I can survive without
all the fancy gear as well.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: An investigation by Queensland's Maritime Safety Bureau found she wasn't using
some of the most basic safety strategies when she set off on her last journey.

Just hours into her attempt to sail down the coast in preparation for her circumnavigation, she
crashed into a 63,000-tonne tanker off the south-east Queensland coast.

The bureau concluded she was too inexperienced to sail solo around the world.

And there's no denying she's still at a tender age.

JESSICA WATSON: I mean I've got my school work if I get real bored.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: But another circumnavigator, Ian Kiernan, says he doesn't think age should be a
barrier.

IAN KIERNAN: You know, I mean in many instances the 16-year-old of today is like the 20-year-old or
the 18-year-old of earlier decades. The kids are really, really developing a lot earlier now I see.
It just depends upon their preparation and in fact their character and their ability to do this
undertaking.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Nevertheless, he says the difficulty of sailing around the world solo shouldn't
be underestimated.

He had a few troubles of his own along the way, and says Jessica's earlier incident isn't entirely
unfamiliar.

IAN KIERNAN: I think that she has addressed those areas where she might have been not quite well
enough prepared. But what you've got to remember is that the convergence of shipping lane under the
coast and into the ports brings an incredible intensity of shipping and she got caught in that. And
a bulk freighter will go from horizon to horizon in 20 minutes, so you haven't got much chance if
the gods are against you.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Jessica Watson says she doesn't yet know when she'll set off.

But once she leaves, it'll take her the better part of a year to complete her journey.

JESSICA WATSON: Starting from Sydney I'll be sailing up above New Zealand, out into the Pacific, up
to the Equator - a little Island in the Line Island group just over the Equator. And from there
it's back down to Cape Horn, so Cape Horn's you know the big Everest of sailing, so it'll be pretty
amazing to get around there. A bit cooler and some bad weather around that way, so then after that
it's back through the Roaring 40s, bottom of south Atlantic, Cape of Good Hope, Indian Ocean and
home.

So should be working for just under eight months.

SHANE MCLEOD: Hoping to become a world record holder, that's Jessica Watson ending that report from
Timothy McDonald.

Dame Ellen calls it a day

SHANE MCLEOD: Now from an aspiring yachtswoman to an accomplished one. But Dame Ellen MacArthur,
perhaps the most famous woman to take the helm, says she won't be racing again.

Even though she has the incentive of regaining the world solo circum-navigation record, she says
her new priority is the survival of the world.

As Europe correspondent Phil Williams reports.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: She's just 33 and yachting royalty, a legend borne of her 2006 world record for
the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe.

But where storms and massive waves could not deter her, time on the isolated islands of South
Georgia in the south Atlantic have prompted a change of course.

One which has forced a rethink about unsustainable consumption that's eating the planet.

ELLEN MACARTHUR: For the first time I actually stopped and I realised something for the first time
that really jarred inside me, and that was the fact that when you sailed around the world on a
boat, you take with you the minimum of resources and you don't waste anything. You never leave a
light on, you never leave a computer screen on - everything is looked after.

You only have what you have and if it doesn't last till the end, you won't make it. And that could
be a life or it could be the fact that you simply don't break the record. And then whilst I was in
South Georgia, I realised that on land we do not do the same thing. We don't see things as precious
anymore. We take what we have for granted. You'd never do that on the boat. If you need some
kitchen roll, you tear off a corner, not a whole square because someone somewhere thought that
perforated line is what everyone needs.

And it jarred inside me and it started to make me think and I was looking at plans for the future
and it just hit home to me that we cannot keep doing that because this world that I thought as a
child was the biggest most adventurous place you could imagine is actually not that big and there's
an awful lot of us on it.

And we're not managing the resources that we have as you would on a boat because we don't have the
impression that these resources are limited.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: That epiphany three years ago has reordered her priorities. Now she wants to use
her fame to take the sustainable message to the world, which means the best known female sailor
won't race again.

ELLEN MACARTHUR: I never thought that anything in my life could eclipse sailing, but after being in
South Georgia, after learning these lessons I suppose and the more I researched into it, the more
frightened I got. And that has really scared me to the point that I can't go back to sea and go
around the world again because this really matters.

I still sail, I still sail for pleasure, I sail with our charity, the Ellen MacArthur Trust with
kids with cancer and leukaemia, but as long as this challenge is there to be communicated, then
will I invest four years of my life into sailing around the world? No, because this new
understanding for me has become far more important.

PHILLIP WILLIAMS: Dame Ellen's round the world record was broken by two weeks in 2008. She says
she'd love to snatch it back but has something far more important to achieve.

This is Philip Williams in London reporting for The World Today.