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Samoa buries its dead

SHANE MCLEOD: Samoa - a nation coming to a standstill this lunchtime as it mourns those who died in
last week's devastating tsunami.

A service is underway today in the capital Apia to remember the victims of the killer waves that
destroyed entire villages along the south coast of the main island of Upolu.

Our correspondent Kerri Ritchie is in Apia and joins us now.

Kerri this must be an emotional day for Samoans. What's the focus for today's ceremony?

KERRI RITCHIE: Well I think the focus is to move on and somehow find a way to move forward - not
forget but find some sort of peace.

I'm standing where the mass burial is going to take place. It's a cemetery on the outskirts of
Apia. It's a beautiful little spot. I mean there's a big hole here that's been dug which, you know,
reminds everyone of what's going on but there's one single tree that everyone is standing under.

And I mean you can hear some hammering now. They're doing all the last minute arrangements. There's
a big pile of fresh, beautiful, tropical flowers beside me and their men are putting them up around
the tent where all the bodies are going to be laid out.

What, I mean and we're looking over the ocean here so it's a really big reminder of what's gone on
in that tsunami.

What will happen first is the big service out at a football oval out on the outskirts of Apia, on
the other side of town. And then the cars with the coffins will make their way here and we'll have
a ceremony here.

So it's a really huge day for Samoa and it really has come to a stop. No-one's doing much in town.

And we went out to Lalomanu, the worst hit village, this morning and it was so quiet there. There
were a few families huddled under blue tarps but mainly everyone has come in on the backs of utes
and backs of trucks, any way they can get a ride in to be a part of this day.

SHANE MCLEOD: Kerri Ritchie I heard you on AM this morning talking about the difficulty that some
families are having with the concept of the mass burial. It must be very difficult for them.

KERRI RITCHIE: That's right. Samoans like to bury their loved ones in their front yard where they
are nice and close and they can sit out there and have a real connection. So for a lot of people
it's a horrifying idea to put, we don't even know the figure but it's quite a large number of
bodies into a hole all together.

That said Shane some families have said: no, we want our people to be resting with everyone else
that was taken.

A lot of these bodies are unclaimed but some people do know that their loved ones are going into
this hole.

It's a, yeah, a real sort of mixed emotions about it. When we were out there today, out at the
village I was talking to one man. And I said, "Are you going to come in to the service?"

And he said, "Oh, we buried mum right here yesterday." He said, "I just don't feel like I can leave
this land yet." He said, "I just want to sit here just all day."

So, yeah, so yes I mean from here I guess it's going to be a very difficult day but I think that
they're hoping at the end of this day that there will be a certain amount of healing.

SHANE MCLEOD: And Kerri I understand you caught up with the Australian high commissioner this
morning. What are the long term plans from countries like Australia for helping Samoa?

KERRI RITCHIE: Yes the Australian high commissioner here, Matt Anderson, he's been in the job for
three years and he's just extended his gig by another year so that he can be on the ground for

He said that Australians have done themselves proud here; that they've come in and they have saved
lives. Medics, you know, doctors, counsellors - they've all worked around the clock. He said make
no mistake, you know, Australians are just on the ground. Army guys doing everything they can. But
the need is so huge.

And some of the guys are pulling out today. I saw some firies from Brisbane and they were leaving
and it's a real mixed emotion thing. They don't want to go but their time is up.

What the high commissioner said that now it becomes a real Australia works with Samoa. The
Government here, he said, has to be congratulated.

Thankfully this did not happen in Apia where the airports are and the Government is. That was the
only blessing in some ways because the Government is ready to address this. There are, you know,
hospitals in Apia that are capable of, you know, looking after people.

So, you know, it's the only blessing. Everything else out at Lalomanu is just, oh, it's just like a
war zone.

So he said that from here Australia just works with Samoa and a big, you know it's more water, a
lot of medical supplies have been handed out.

But Red Cross says that counselling, they've got counsellors here that need to talk to the people
because they've already seen that there's some traumatised children wandering around in those
villages. Some of them just, we've spotted one. Some of them just don't have any parents, don't
have any extended family. There's no-one left. They were all washed away.

So yeah, there are a lot of very vulnerable, shattered people and the counsellors haven't been able
to get to them yet so I think that it is in, that's what's going to happen in the weeks ahead.

SHANE MCLEOD: Okay Kerri Ritchie, thank you. Kerri Ritchie in Apia there on a very emotional day in

Treasury head rebuffs Coalition on stimulus

SHANE MCLEOD: Malcolm Turnbull is hoping Kevin Rudd meets him half way on emissions trading, giving
him the best chance of convincing the Coalition to vote with the Government next month.

The Opposition party room is expected to support Mr Turnbull's plan to negotiate changes to the ETS
but dissident MPs are demanding the Government accept substantial amendments for high emitting
industries and agriculture. If not, Mr Turnbull's plan to pass the scheme may be thwarted.

He's taking heart from eminent economist Professor Ross Garnaut's critique of the Government's big
economic stimulus spending.

But the head of Treasury Dr Ken Henry says the stimulus is still needed to avoid the real risk of
the economy stalling.

From Canberra, Alexandra Kirk reports.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Malcolm Turnbull has been battling disgruntled MPs and very public criticism of his
leadership for months. But just like his optimistic claim that the party is unified, he's trying to
downplay the damage caused by those who've been agitating against him.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: That's what I read but again it's not, it's not something that I can, you know,
waste a lot of time on frankly.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The bubble has burst for now. Mr Turnbull is hoping it stays that way.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: What I have called for and what I must say every leader of a political party
where this has occurred on, Labor or Liberal, has always said the same thing, we've got to stick
together and invariably we do.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: On ABC radio in Melbourne this morning he was fed up with all the attention on his

MALCOLM TURNBULL: You know, here we are, we've been in the studio for 10 minutes and we've had,
gone on and on about leadership and we haven't actually got onto any policy substance.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Shortly after Mr Turnbull got his way, with the focus shifting to the economy.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: There is no good coming out of the Rudd Government's reckless economic management
and Ross Garnaut who is very much on the Labor side - he was the man of course who did the big
study for their climate change legislation - Ross Garnaut's remarks in The Australian today confirm

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But the head of Treasury Ken Henry isn't in favour of Mr Turnbull's push to wind
back the Government's stimulus spending.

KEN HENRY: So far these effects have largely been through the stimulus to household consumption
from the cash payments. And without this stimulus we estimate that the economy would have
contracted not only in the December quarter of 2008 but also in the March and June quarters of this

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Dr Henry has told a Senate hearing clawing back some of the yet to be spent
stimulus billions is not a good idea. He says the positive economic news isn't reason enough.

KEN HENRY: It's on the public record that the Treasury has advised the Government that withdrawing
the stimulus more quickly could risk stalling the economy and causing a steeper rise in the
unemployment rate.

To illustrate the point: if all the stimulus scheduled to impact in 2010/11 was cancelled that
would mean a further detraction of 1.5 per cent from GDP growth and the loss of up to an additional
100,000 jobs.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has enforced that message.

JULIA GILLARD: We are still anticipating that unemployment will rise. We've always said to the
Australian community we weren't going to be immune from the global recession. What we could do is
act quickly, decisively to cushion the impacts.

We've done that through economic stimulus and I think the figures are showing that is working to
support jobs. But we've got to keep economic stimulus going to continue to support jobs whilst we
build the infrastructure we need for tomorrow.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Government hasn't updated its economic forecast since the Budget. One is due
before year's end. But Ken Henry says the news will be good, backing the International Monetary
Fund's forecast for unemployment to peak at 7 per cent.

KEN HENRY: Well I, look I think that's a reasonable figure for us to be talking about. Without
saying, without publishing today the Treasury's revised forecast for the unemployment rate I think
that's a reasonable figure to be talking about.

I think the IMF's quite a credible organisation. They have a lot of information available to them
and they've talked to us quite a bit as well. We wouldn't be saying that 7 per cent is too low.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But the more immediate challenge for Malcolm Turnbull remains the impending Senate
debate Mark II on emissions trading. He has his fingers crossed that the Government will accept
many of the Coalition's amendments.

One of Labor's climate change negotiators Greg Combet is warning Mr Turnbull against going to the
negotiating table with some take it or leave it propositions.

GREG COMBET: Malcolm Turnbull needs to assert his authority here and the Liberal and National
parties need to front up to the huge challenge that climate change represents in a constructive

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The Government is waving the prospect of a double dissolution election in front of
Mr Turnbull; one he may have foisted on him if the climate hardliners in the Coalition win out and
the Government's legislation is rejected again.

MALCOLM TURNBULL: If there was an election held this Saturday and the opinion polls are right we
would obviously do very badly. Yes, that's true.

INTERVIEWER: So you're against a, back against a wall aren't you?

MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well not at all. I mean, you cannot be in the business of politics and be afraid
of elections; double dissolutions or otherwise. I mean we have to have an election every three
years so elections are, elections are the business we're in.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: But it's not a prospect Malcolm Turnbull and many of his colleagues relish.

SHANE MCLEOD: Alexandra Kirk.

Europe, UK interest rates on hold

SHANE MCLEOD: The remarkable about face of Australia's economy is provoking envy from other
developed nations still mired in recession.

Just yesterday economists were caught off guard when the jobless rate unexpectedly fell and on
Tuesday the Reserve Bank endorsed the strength of the economy by raising interest rates.

But elsewhere around the world the outlook is far from rosy. Today both the European Central Bank
and the Bank of England didn't think twice when they kept interest rates on hold.

Here's our business editor Peter Ryan.

PETER RYAN: Like the United States the 16 nation Eurozone is still reeling from the worst economic
crisis since the Great Depression. Unemployment there has just risen to 9.6 per cent meaning 15
million people are out of work.

More jobs are expected to be lost in the coming months and companies are still cutting back so
there were no surprises when the European Central Bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 1
per cent for the sixth consecutive month.

JEAN-CLAUDE TRICHET: The current rates remain appropriate. However uncertainty remains high and the
volatility in incoming data warrants a cautious interpretation.

PETER RYAN: Speaking in Vienna the ECB's president Jean-Claude Trichet reconfirmed last month's
declaration that the recovery in Europe is underway.

But he warned it could easily stall if Europe's still troubled banks fail to restore life to their
fragile balance sheets.

JEAN-CLAUDE TRICHET: Overall the recovery is expected to remain rather uneven. It will be supported
in the short term by a number of temporary factors but it's likely to be affected over the medium
term by the process of ongoing balance sheet correction in the financial and the non-financial
sector of the economy.

PETER RYAN: Jean-Claude Trichet had one caveat - that the reality of any rebound could be
exaggerated by massive economic stimulus payments.

In a message relevant to the Australian debate about stimulus rollback he signalled that a
premature withdrawal could be dangerous.

JEAN-CLAUDE TRICHET: Confidence may also improve more quickly, the labour market deterioration may
be less marked than previously expected and foreign demand may prove to be stronger than projected.

PETER RYAN: Also today the Bank of England left its key rate at half a percentage point for the
eighth month in a row. Instead of cutting rates it's sticking to a program of buying 175 billion
pounds in government bonds. That's known as quantitative easing - in other words metaphorically
printing money.

Even though British rates are on hold indefinitely economists are already talking about how rates
can be eventually raised without creating new problems.

JOHN GIEVE: Well I think the main risk is that short term that everyone thinks the recovery is
over, we tighten too quickly and we see a sort of W emerge.

PETER RYAN: Sir John Gieve is a former deputy governor at the Bank of England. He's worried that
the history of record low rates that started the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States
might be repeated unless some big lessons are learned.

JOHN GIEVE: The main risk is that we do what the Fed did I feel after the 2000 boom which
is cut policy rapidly, which is the right thing to do, but then only tighten it slowly. And I think
the bank will be very aware of that risk but I'd expect to see quite a fast tightening of policy
but once recovery is genuinely established.

PETER RYAN: A big feature of any global recovery is the fate of the US dollar which is fast losing
its lustre as the world's benchmark currency. It's now at its lowest level in 14 months against six
major currencies including the euro.

Jean-Claude Trichet has backed America's strong dollar policy, saying it's in the interests of all

JEAN-CLAUDE TRICHET: When our friend Ben Bernanke say that a stronger dollar is in the interest of
the US economy and that they are pursuing a strong dollar policy, it is an obvious judgement which
is important for us and for the global economy.

PETER RYAN: In the United States the decline of the greenback against the euro has provoked some
defensive comments from business news commentators.

BLOOMBERG COMMENTATOR: I keep hearing the same thing from strategists and that's: it's not the
dollar; it's the anti-dollar and that's really helping the euro.

PETER RYAN: But it's not just the euro. According to currency strategist Win Thin the fast
recovering economic wonder Down Under is also responsible.

WIN THIN: Australia for instance hiked rates this week. That was another leg down on the dollar.
That's a reminder of how the interest rates are working against the dollar and will continue
working against the dollar.

PETER RYAN: The Australian dollar climbed to a high 90.9 US cents early this morning and the
likelihood of more interest rate hikes makes eventual parity with the greenback a real possibility.

SHANE MCLEOD: Business editor Peter Ryan.

Taliban could come in from the cold

SHANE MCLEOD: In the United States the White House is signalling that the President Barack Obama is
moving away from any big surge in troop numbers in Afghanistan and towards acceptance of a role for
the Taliban in the country's future.

"Official" leaks from inside the Obama administration have come after days of closed door talks and
ahead of National Security Council discussions that will decide future US strategy and troop

From Washington John Shovelan reports administration officials say while there could be a role for
the Taliban in the Afghan Government the US will not allow the Taliban to assume control of the

JOHN SHOVELAN: An authorized leak today from the White House indicates the President doesn't intend
to send tens of thousands of more combat troops to Afghanistan.

A senior administration official is quoted saying President Obama is prepared to accept some
Taliban involvement in Afghanistan's future and the official goes on to say the President is
inclined to send more troops only to fight Al Qaeda.

US intelligence believes that there may be only 100 Al Qaeda fighters left in Afghanistan.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was also careful to make a distinction between Al Qaeda and the
Taliban, representing Al Qaeda as the threat to the United States.

ROBERT GIBBS: The President has wanted us to evaluate the threat that emanates from this region. I
do think there is clearly a difference between an entity that, through a global transnational
jihadist network, would seek to strike the US homeland.

The Taliban are obviously exceedingly bad people that have done awful things. Their capability is
somewhat different though on that continuum of transnational threats.

JOHN SHOVELAN: The Obama administration may be accepting that the Taliban is part of Afghan culture
and can't be defeated.

The officials said in the first two war council sessions President Obama kept returning to one
question for his advisers: "Who is our adversary"?

ROBERT GIBBS: We've been focussed on Al Qaeda as the primary, again global threat that emanates
from that region based on its past attacks and its intent to continue doing so.

JOHN SHOVELAN: But the US fight now in Afghanistan is primarily against the Taliban. Dr Marc
Sageman told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday even if the Taliban returns to
Afghanistan, Al Qaeda won't necessarily follow.

MARC SAGEMAN: The Taliban is really a collection of rival and fractious groups united against us
but lacking the ability to coalesce in the future, or in the near future I should say, into an
offensive force capable of marching onto Kabul.

Taliban return to power does not automatically mean an invitation to Al Qaeda to return to
Afghanistan. The relationship between Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, with a major faction
constituting the Afghan Taliban, has always been strained.

This provides the US Government with the opportunity to play on internal rivalries and use
political skills and economic incentives to discourage the Taliban from hosting Al Qaeda again.

JOHN SHOVELAN: Tomorrow is the fourth meeting of the President's war cabinet in the past fortnight.
President Obama will begin examining the request for more troops from his commander General Stanley

The General sent a range of options to the President understood to be between 10 and his preferred
option of 40,000 more troops.

John Shovelan, Washington.

Cameron tells Conservatives he's ready to rule

SHANE MCLEOD: The man widely tipped to become Britain's next prime minister has been addressing his
supporters at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

A general election needs to be called in the UK before May next year and David Cameron is firming
as the favourite to be the next resident at Number 10 Downing Street.

The Conservative leader told the crowd at the conference that he was ready to lead the party to
victory, pledging to take the tough decisions needed to fix a broken Britain.

Europe correspondent Emma Alberici reports.

EMMA ALBERICI: After four years as Opposition Leader David Cameron remains a bit of an enigma to
the British public.

(Music and cheering)

He got a rock star's welcome at the Tory Party conference. He's determined to prove that he's the
right man to lead the country.

He listed a troop surge in Afghanistan as his top priority and vowed to get the UK out of its
economic shambles.

One in five young people are out of work and Britain's budget deficit stands at $310 billion - the
highest in the developed world.

DAVID CAMERON: None of this will be easy. We will be tested. I will be tested. I'm ready for that
and so, I believe, are the British people. So yes there is a steep climb ahead but I tell you this:
the view from the summit will be worth it.

EMMA ALBERICI: But for all the tough talk about savage cuts in public spending the only reference
to that in the Tory leader's speech was a freeze in parliamentary salaries.

Under 12 years of Labour and its big government philosophy, Mr Cameron said that people in Britain
no longer knew how to take responsibility for themselves.

DAVID CAMERON: I won't promise things that I cannot deliver. But I can look you in the eye and tell
you that in a Conservative Britain if you strive to earn a wage you will be better off. If you save
throughout your life you will be rewarded. If you start your own business we will be right behind


EMMA ALBERICI: David Cameron calls his style of politics compassionate and progressive

Simon Hoggart has been watching these conference speeches for the past 20 years. He's The Guardian
newspaper's parliamentary columnist. He thought it all sounded strangely familiar.

SIMON HOGGART: He's learnt the lesson from pollsters that only optimists win elections. And what he
was saying was we've got a tough mountain to climb but when we get up there the view will be
fantastic. It's wonderfully vague. He's become exactly like Tony Blair.

EMMA ALBERICI: He claims to have learned the lessons of Tony Blair.

SIMON HOGGART: I'm sure he has. But you've got to remember that he, David Cameron, the Tory Leader,
was the guy who stood up, led the House of Commons in a standing ovation when Tony Blair finally
quit as prime minister two and a bit years ago. So this is a man who really, really admired Tony
Blair whatever he now says.

EMMA ALBERICI: Given we're only months away from a general election, given also the state of the
polls, it would seem that this really is an election now for David Cameron to lose.

SIMON HOGGART: Absolutely. But the one thing they are scared of is that all their polling shows and
all the public polling shows that people dislike the Labour Government very much indeed but they
don't really love the Tories at all.

EMMA ALBERICI: David and Samantha Cameron left Manchester looking quietly confident that by May
next year they could well be the new first couple of Britain.

This is Emma Alberici in Manchester for The World Today.

Abbott laments torpor of two years

SHANE MCLEOD: "Torpor and sloth" are delaying action in dealing with housing needs for Indigenous
Australia according to the Federal Opposition.

A report this week has revealed the scale of the problem. It found that 11,000 homes are needed
just to meet extreme needs.

The Opposition's Indigenous affairs spokesman Tony Abbott has just been on a tour of Central
Australia and says the Federal Government's remote Indigenous housing program for the Northern
Territory is beset by delays.

He blames some of the Federal Government's changes to the intervention for the slow progress.

Sara Everingham reports.

SARA EVERINGHAM: During his visit to Central Australia this week the Opposition's Indigenous
affairs spokesman Tony Abbott visited the community of Santa Teresa south-east of Alice Springs.

There he saw two houses which still have no roofs 11 months after they were damaged in a severe

TONY ABBOTT: Santa Teresa is not exactly a million miles from Alice. There have been unroofed
houses in that community for almost a year now; $450,000 was pledged to put rooves on those places
and they still stand abandoned and derelict.

Now this is a symptom of utterly dysfunctional government. This is symptomatic of a failed state in
remote Australia.

SARA EVERINGHAM: When the former federal government launched the intervention in the Northern
Territory it put the high profile Major General Dave Chalmers in charge as the operational

The intervention is now run from the minister's department and Tony Abbott has told Territory
Stateline that change has been detrimental.

TONY ABBOTT: I think that with the appointment of General Chalmers, with the appointment of
government business managers with serious authority to bash heads together, to bring together
people out of the dysfunctional silos that they so often operate, to tell state government,
territory government, local government as well as different arms of the national government that
things have got to work in ways that they haven't previously, as I said kick butt people, I think
they would not have tolerated for a second the kind of situation that we have seen now for almost a
year in Santa Teresa.

SARA EVERINGHAM: Fixing the rooves is the responsibility of Northern Territory authorities. The
Territory's Minister for Housing is Rob Knight.

ROB KNIGHT: Oh look I think it has been too long and I apologise for that. But you know I guess
they were trying to figure out whether they could actually just put two new rooves on there. But
you know there's such structural weakness in the whole building that, you know, it wouldn't have
been worthwhile to actually do it and there would have been problems going forward. So I've asked
the department to demolish those houses and build two new ones.

SARA EVERINGHAM: Tony Abbott has raised other concerns about housing at Santa Teresa related to the
Federal Government's $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program or SIHIP
which he says is troubled by torpor and sloth.

Mr Abbott says the community was originally promised $5 million under the SIHIP but that the money
has been scaled back to $2.8 million.

Rob Knight again:

ROB KNIGHT: Well look I don't know where Tony Abbott has got his claims from. He's incorrect. I
mean they're totally baseless. $5.2 million which has been allocated to that community will be
delivered in that community as part of the construction program. And you know I look forward to the
final sign-off of that package and we can get work underway.

SARA EVERINGHAM: So how much will actually go on construction in that community?

ROB KNIGHT: Well the $5.2 million have been allocated for that community. It'll be part of the
construction program for that community and all the costs attributed to that will be about getting
the work done.

SARA EVERINGHAM: Do you know how much will be on administration?

ROB KNIGHT: The admin is outside of that. The $5.2 million for Santa Teresa will be spent as part
of the construction program in Santa Teresa.

SARA EVERINGHAM: Santa Teresa is getting refurbishments under the SIHIP.

The Territory Opposition has raised concerns that the Alliance building in Santa Teresa is
assessing houses that the Territory Government has classified as being beyond economic repair. A
Territory government map shows more than 20 houses are in that category.

Rob Knight again:

ROB KNIGHT: Oh look that's what the Alliance team are doing at the moment; scoping that out,
looking at how they could spend that $5.2 million. And I look forward to them coming back with how
they're going to spend it to get the best value for money and improve the conditions as much as

SARA EVERINGHAM: But are you worried that they might be trying to repair houses that the Territory
Government has already classified as being beyond economic repair?

ROB KNIGHT: Oh look they'll obviously be coming back with us on the best way to spend that money.
We're going to obviously assume some responsibility for those houses going into the future so we
obviously want to be very assured that we're going to get a quality product out of it and we want
to see that $5.2 million spent as wisely as possible.

SHANE MCLEOD: The Northern Territory's Housing Minister Rob Knight ending Sara Everingham's report.

New standards for organic foods

SHANE MCLEOD: It's often taken for granted that an organic label on a box of cereal or piece of
fruit will guarantee it's been grown without the use of certain pesticides or fertilizers.

And while organic certifying bodies have been giving accreditation to foods for some time, those
standards have been difficult to enforce because there are so many different ideas on what organic
actually means.

Now the organic industry has come up with a single uniform standard which it hopes will reduce
fraudulent claims about food standards.

Timothy McDonald reports.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: If you're shopping for organic produce, how do you know if that $7 head of
cauliflower is really all it's cracked up to be?

The CEO of Standards Australia John Tucker says some curious claims have been made about what's
organic and what's not.

JOHN TUCKER: There have been some concerns and there have been matters taken to court with findings
of, you know, improper claims and contravention of the Trade Practices Act. And we had other
products, like claims for example that water was organic, which started to almost make it

So that led to a demand I think from consumers and their advocates, from regulators and frankly
from the industry itself. The responsible industry is very happy to step up to serious benchmarks
so that there is trust in what is organic and what is biodynamic.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: The issue came to a head in 2007 when the Federal Court ruled against a company
that sold non-organic eggs as an organic product.

But while the court made orders against the company the judgement noted that the case was tricky
from the outset because there was no common standard to which producers could be held.

John Tucker says the new standards will help fix that problem.

JOHN TUCKER: It's enforceable in the sense that these documents take on evidentiary status. So
we're not a regulatory body and regulators really wanted to focus on fundamental issues of food
safety. So we're really getting into the area of trade practices and fair trade.

So organisations like state consumer affair trading bodies and the ACCC will now be able to make
assessments that if a product claims to be organic and upon investigation there is no substance to
that claim, we now have an evidentiary document, a benchmark by which the judiciary or
investigating officers can say this is false, this is not acceptable, and take action.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Out on the farm organic producers don't expect much to change.

Duncan Harris runs an organic vineyard in the Swan Valley in Western Australia. He's already
adhering to one set of rules and the bodies who enforce the old standards had input into the
uniform national standard.

DUNCAN HARRIS: From my reading of standards, the standards are much the same. Certainly there has
been a lot of head bashing and moving about but I think that the standard is a little more
comprehensive than it used to be; as comprehensive as the standard the BFA (Biological Farmers of
Australia) has, which I work to.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: He says a uniform standard will make it easier for producers to sell their goods.

DUNCAN HARRIS: Yes in some ways it means that the consumer, whether they be a wholesaler overseas
or a person in the supermarket will eventually be, I'd say drawn along, and know that everyone is
working on the same page whereas there's been controversy before. Say, people who are working with
the BFA have got different standards to people who are working with NASAA (National Association for
Sustainable Agriculture, Australia) or OFA (Organic Federation of Australia) or a number of the
other certifiers in Australia.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Organic food is already more expensive but industry bodies say the new standards
won't make any difference to shoppers at the checkout.

Catriona Macmillan is one of the directors of the Organic Federation of Australia.

CATRIONA MACMILLAN: I don't see it will make any difference at all. Really this is about having a,
something to back you up. The standards are the, organic standards and organic integrity is
actually there. What this will help do is help define those that do tell pork pies, you know who do
bend the truth a little. It will actually help safeguard consumers.

SHANE MCLEOD: Catriona Macmillan from the Organic Federation of Australia. Timothy McDonald the

Mandatory regulations put iodine in bread

SHANE MCLEOD: There's another move today to use the food we eat to ward off some fairly easily
prevented medical conditions.

As of today all Australian loaves of bread will contain iodine, with a new food standard coming
into effect that makes it compulsory for bakers to use iodised salt in their batches.

It's designed to counter iodine deficiency among Australians.

But as Lindy Kerin reports, for some it doesn't go far enough.

LINDY KERIN: All bread on supermarket shelves and at bakeries around the country will now be made
with iodised salt. It's a new mandatory regulation.

Dr Paul Brent is the chief scientist from Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

PAUL BRENT: We're not getting enough iodine from our normal diet and so it was felt that because of
this iodine deficiency that we need to fortify bread with iodine. And the best way to do that is to
put it into the bread making salt.

LINDY KERIN: It's estimated that 43 per cent of Australians don't get enough iodine. Iodine
deficiency is the leading cause of preventable brain damage and thyroid diseases.

The Australian Thyroid Foundation's president Beverley Garside says adding iodine to bread is an
important public health move.

BEVERLEY GARSIDE: So if we're not getting enough iodine in our diet we're not going to make enough
hormones and therefore we're leaving ourselves open to iodine deficiency disorders such as an
enlarged thyroid and hypothyroidism.

LINDY KERIN: Creswell Eastman, a professor of medicine at the University of Sydney, is an expert in
iodine deficiency. He confirmed the need for the new standard after a national survey in 2003.

CRESWELL EASTMAN: Iodine deficiency has re-emerged in Australia. It's an old disorder that has
returned and it's in a sense a silent epidemic because you really don't notice it's happening until
well down the track.

We now know that from our studies that iodine deficiency is such a problem that Australia is being
labelled as an iodine deficient country like many emerging countries or developing countries in the

LINDY KERIN: Professor Eastman says the new standard is a good initiative but he says it could have
gone further to eliminate the problem.

CRESWELL EASTMAN: What it will do for children and for adults, non-pregnant women and adult men,
will restore their iodine requirement almost back to normal for most, but not everyone.

However it will not give you enough iodine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You're still going
to be well short of what you require.

LINDY KERIN: So based on that, is this move worth it then?

CRESWELL EASTMAN: Yes it's worth it because it's going to raise the iodine nutritional level within
the general population. That's a good thing.

It does not as I said fix the problem in pregnant or breastfeeding women. You need to do more. If
you follow the policy of the World Health Organization, Unicef and the International Council for
Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders they all recommend universal salt iodisation - in other
words adding iodine to all salt for human consumption.

But that's not being politically acceptable in Australia and therefore it's a compromise. Adding it
to bread is, bread is such a staple food, it's an excellent idea. But we would like to see it added
to many more foods.

LINDY KERIN: That's a view shared by the Thyroid Foundation's Beverley Garside.

BEVERLEY GARSIDE: We would prefer it to be added to more food sources like biscuits and cereal.
Children particularly, it needs to be available for children to have access to more viable sources
so we would like the food standards to increase the amount of foods. And we'd like food
manufacturers and producers to become aware of this and conscientiously decide to make the change
for themself.

LINDY KERIN: Food Standards Australia New Zealand's Dr Paul Brent says expanding the measure has
been considered but he says it would have offered little benefit.

PAUL BRENT: We certainly looked at the addition of iodised salt to biscuits and cereals but in fact
when you do the modelling, the dietary modelling it actually doesn't actually make a lot of
difference compared to just fortifying bread and so we decided to just go with the fortification of
bread using the iodised salt.

SHANE MCLEOD: Dr Paul Brent from Food Standards Australia New Zealand ending Lindy Kerin's report.

Cricket offers dead bat to corruption concerns

SHANE MCLEOD: It's often said Australians love sport and betting but the mixing of the two has
drawn a dire warning from a corruption expert who says Australian sport is "ripe for exploitation"
by match fixing crime syndicates.

There have been well documented concerns with cricket over the past decade, from illegal bookmaking
activities in India to former South African captain Hansie Cronje's acceptance of bribes.

But the warning to Australia is being batted away by administrators here. Cricket Australia says
it's comfortable with its close ties with the gaming industry but says quoting betting odds during
televised games is an issue.

Bronwyn Herbert spoke with Peter Young from Cricket Australia about corruption concerns.

PETER YOUNG: There are very sophisticated and well tested anticorruption processes at work globally
through the International Cricket Council, including here in Australia.

Overlaying that, we've been successful with our lobbying at a state government level to give us the
power to impose integrity agreements with gaming operators.

BRONWYN HERBERT: You speak of a sophisticated procedure but how much does that actually rely on
players' good word?

PETER YOUNG: The International Cricket Council through its anticorruption unit has officers on duty
at every single international cricket match that's played around the world, including here in
Australia, and they are there monitoring everything that goes on and have got a very, very good
record for identifying and tracking anything that is remotely suspicious.

BRONWYN HERBERT: You would concede that there have been some scandals within the sport in regards
to match fixing?

PETER YOUNG: There have been concerns in cricket, particularly well documented concerns,
particularly in the subcontinent and areas like that. And I think people are familiar with the
Hansie Cronje scandal and other concerns about illegal bookmaking industry in India in cricket.

But I think it's also fairly well documented that the anticorruption process that the ICC has put
in place has been very, very successful in addressing that.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Peter Young, there is a growing trend to work betting odds into sporting
commentary. Is that something that Cricket Australia is comfortable with?

PETER YOUNG: We're comfortable with the fact that the gaming industry has a place in Australia's
commercial life.

As far as quoting odds in the run of ball commentary it's our preference that that not happen and
it's an issue that we have under active discussion with the telecasters.

But we're very comfortable with the at-match promotional presence that organisations have through
advertising or clearly identified promotion that stands aside from commentary.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Does Cricket Australia ultimately rely on the betting agencies as a source of

PETER YOUNG: We have a wide range of commercial relationships with sponsors and commercial
partners. Gaming agencies are a part of that and we have a partnership with the Betfair
organisation which incorporates built-in integrity agreements that give us a great degree of
comfort around how it offers odds on cricket.

If a gaming agency is generating revenue through the use of our intellectual property it's
appropriate that they return something to the game to help further develop the game from which they
are deriving an income.

SHANE MCLEOD: Cricket Australia's Peter Young, speaking with Bronwyn Herbert.

Didgeridoo fans gather for annual festival in Israel

SHANE MCLEOD: It's indisputably Australian and the didgeridoo is now hugely popular overseas.

In Israel hordes of fans have turned out for the sixth annual Israeli Didgeridoo Festival.

But is the didgeridoo's success coming at the expense of its traditional owners?

So popular is the instrument in Israel the festival's organiser now even manufactures an
Israeli-style didgeridoo for export to Europe, as Middle East correspondent Anne Barker reports.

(Music - didgeridoo)

ANNE BARKER: It could be any music festival in northern Australia where the didgeridoo has been an
intrinsic part of Aboriginal culture for centuries.

But this is about as far from Aboriginal Australia as you'll get. In fact this is a kibbutz not far
from Tel Aviv and the annual Israeli didgeridoo festival which coincides with the Jewish holiday

YORAM SIVAN: The didgeridoo I think is one of the most magical instruments I've come across and
people are very excited about it.

ANNE BARKER: Organiser Yoram Sivan launched the festival six years ago and admits for all its
Aboriginal origins, traditional didgeridoo rhythms are giving way to a more modern, global sound.

YORAM SIVAN: Maybe there are still more didgeridoos being made in Australia than in other places in
the world but definitely the scene in the world is so much larger.

In Australia the thing about didgeridoo is the tourism, you sell didgeridoos to tourists. And in
any other place in the world it's not about that. It's about the music.

ANNE BARKER: Even the musicians have drawn limited inspiration from Aboriginal didgeridoo players.
Some have never been to Australia.

The didgeridoos aren't made down under and Ortal Pelleg, member of one band that specialises in
didge, says its music is far from exclusively Australian.

ORTAL PELLEG: I think that the music in this band is a mix of cultures around the world, with
African touches, Brazilian touches, really a lot of different influences are weaved in there.

ANNE BARKER: The huge success of didgeridoos as a tourist souvenir or marketable product in
Australia means this traditional Aboriginal artefact is more and more a global commodity adopted
and modified by overseas musicians without necessarily any regard for its Indigenous origins.

Some fans at this festival say the didgeridoo may even be bigger in Israel than in Australia.

VOX POP: As far as I see it now in this festival, it has nothing to do with Aborigines and
Aboriginal music. I think that it is more based now on electronic music.

VOX POP 2: I think today there are more players in Israel than in Australia (laughs). People are so
much in love with this instrument.

ANNE BARKER: The didgeridoo in fact is now so popular in Israel that Yoram Sivan manufactures his
own instruments at a workshop near Tel Aviv.

But while it might sound like a didge this "compact didge" as it's called, doesn't look like one.

Instead of a single long pipe, the wooden tube is curled around like a snake.

VOX POP 3: Okay, so, like I said, it's a long didge simply folded, folded like ... (didge playing)

ANNE BARKER: And Yoram Sivan's unique didgeridoo is now making lucrative inroads into a growing
market in Europe, no doubt clearly tagged as made and designed in Israel.

YORAM SIVAN: We are in contact with festivals in France, in Germany, in the States, in Switzerland.
I know there is a scene in Europe and people are very hot for this instrument. And it happens all
over the world simultaneously.

SHANE MCLEOD: Yoran Sivam, the organiser of the Israeli Didgeridoo Festival, talking to our Middle
East correspondent Anne Barker.

Indigenous artist celebrated after 50 years

SHANE MCLEOD: It's almost 50 years since the first album was recorded by an Indigenous Australian.

Since then a proud tradition has developed with songs by Jimmy Little, Kev Carmody and Christine
Anu and others at times dominating the charts.

But efforts are now underway to celebrate and preserve the work of their forerunner, Cairns-born
Georgia Lee.

Annie Guest has our report.

(Music - Yarra River Blues)

ANNIE GUEST: Yarra River Blues is one of 11 songs on the first album by an Indigenous Australian.

Recorded about 1961, Georgia Lee sings The Blues Down Under was also only the second album by an
Australian woman, and in another impressive statistic, the first in stereo.

Born Dulcie Pitt in Cairns in 1922 she was one of eight children of a Torres Strait diver and a
mother of mixed Aboriginal, Afghan and Scottish heritage.

She formed a group with her siblings. War time visits from American serviceman influenced their

Her name was changed to Georgia Lee to fit the international jazz and blues career she forged out
of North Queensland.

The Indigenous diva's work has been preserved by people like Nick Weare from the National Film and
Sound Archives.

NICK WEARE: She was actually a big star. They had an Aboriginal Moomba Parade in Melbourne and she
led that. She was quite a well known performer of jazz around Melbourne and Sydney.

But in those days her indigenousness wasn't really concentrated on. It was the sort of thing that
she was more or less just a dark skinned woman who could have been from the Caribbean or America or
anywhere really.

ANNIE GUEST: And did that make her path easier in those days?

NICK WEARE: I think it did. I think it might have. She was taken as a good singer with good jazz
bands and she played with Graeme Bell and she played with Frank Traynor and all the leading jazz

ANNIE GUEST: Including touring with Nat King Cole. She also performed in London for several years.

(Music - Blues in the Night)

Nick Weare says this year her work is included in the prestigious Sounds of Australia register.

NICK WEARE: Often they're things that people have forgotten. They could be things that have
culturally stuck in our mind like the Vegemite song or the Aeroplane Jelly song...

ANNIE GUEST: Which in terms of this year's collection actually were the ones that gained the most
media attention and very little was paid to Georgie Lee.

NICK WEARE: That's right.

ANNIE GUEST: Has her work influenced other singers and other artists?

NICK WEARE: She had an influence on a lot of the Indigenous Torres Strait Islander people.

WILMA READING: She was like an idol, my idol. And I thought well if she can do I think I can do it

ANNIE GUEST: Wilma Reading is Georgia Lee's niece and she's also had a successful recording career.
She says her aunt succeeded without grants or government programs but it was a mixed experience.

WILMA READING: She loved the blues. She loved the blues. She could associate with that because of
the pain I suppose.

ANNIE GUEST: It is noted that she had what was referred to as a nervous breakdown in her life.

WILMA READING: Yes she did. Well you have to imagine where she came from, where she started. And
she's reached this stardom. She worked with a lot of society people in London as well as in
Melbourne. It was a big, big difference from where she came from.

ANNIE GUEST: She never married and became involved with a cult.

Now 88, Georgia Lee has early Alzheimer's.

On the eve of its 50th anniversary her first album is now being re-released on CD. She is said to
be overjoyed.

(Music - St Louis Blues)

SHANE MCLEOD: The sound of Georgia Lee's St Louis Blues ending that report from Annie Guest.