Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts.These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
RN World Today -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

Tigers could be on boats: Tamil leader

Tigers could be on boats: Tamil leader

Sabra Lane reported this story on Monday, October 26, 2009 12:10:00

ELEANOR HALL: A senior figure within the Australian Tamil community says there could be Tamil
Tigers, among the asylum seekers trying to make their way to Australian shores.

Liberal backbencher Wilson Tuckey says those comments back his controversial claims last week about
terrorists being aboard the boatloads of asylum seekers. But independent Senator Nick Xenophon is
calling for an end to what he describes as 'dog-whistle' politics.

In Canberra, Sabra Lane reports.

SABRA LANE: Last week, outspoken Liberal backbencher Wilson Tuckey suggested there were high odds
that terrorists might be among the asylum seekers trying to enter Australia by boat.

Today, the secretary of the Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations, Victor Rajakulendran
told News Radio he wouldn't be surprised if former Tamil Tigers were trying to escape Sri Lanka.

VICTOR RAJAKULENDRAN: That is a probability. That is what I have told, you know. So out of 200
Tamil asylum seekers, there could be a Tiger. Ex-Tiger cadre because they are also fleeing the
country like any other Tamils because their life is also in danger and I would say their life is in
more danger than a common Tamil civilian. The common Tamil civilians are leaving the country
because of fear of their lives. These people also will definitely flee the country so they could be
in the boat.

They should be classified as liberation fighters and not terrorists.

SABRA LANE: Wilson Tuckey says those admissions underline the point he's being trying to make.

WILSON TUCKEY: Well, I think it authenticates it. It is quite interesting of course.

SABRA LANE: Mr Tuckey says he's received phone calls supporting his views, and he's warned the
Prime Minister to stop bullying him.

Last week, Kevin Rudd challenged the Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull to dis-endorse Mr Tuckey as
a Liberal party candidate at the next federal election, as punishment for the comments he made
about asylum seekers.

WILSON TUCKEY: For Mr Rudd to come out and try and bully me. You know, I'm no flight attendant and
the reality of it is that seems to be his only defence for failed public policy. It is alright, it
works with his factional leaders I suppose and as I said flight attendants.

SABRA LANE: And Mr Tuckey's now changed his attack on the Government over the increasing number of
asylum seekers arriving in Australia. He wonders if there are enough personnel on Christmas Island
now to conduct health and security checks on the detained asylum seekers.

WILSON TUCKEY: The question is how thoroughly are those sort of things being done. I think there
are questions to be answered and more particularly those were the otherwise legitimate claim. What
is their health status and what threat, unfortunately, might they represent to children and others
within Australia.

I mean these are the things that must be established. I wonder, considering this massive influx,
how many qualified people he has got over there to do the job in the interest of Australia.

SABRA LANE: The Greens spokeswoman on immigration is Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. She says the past
week's debate on the issue has been unedifying.

SARAH HANSON-YOUNG: The Senate is back today. We've heard the ugliness from the House of
Representatives in the last week. The ugly language used. The insinuations that people are
terrorists. Name-calling of scum and illegals. I think the Senate is better than this.

Today I am putting forward a motion to call on all of my Senate colleagues to agree that we can
participate in this debate properly, respectfully and with a level of maturity that is needed for
us to have this rational debate. I am calling on the Senate to be mature. Let's have this debate
but let's do it properly and respectfully.

SABRA LANE: The Australian customs vessel the Oceanic Viking, which is carrying 78 asylum seekers,
is expected to dock today. It's planned that the passengers will go to a detention facility in
Tanjung Pinang. But, detainees at the facility now claim they've been the subject of abuse and
beatings.

Independent Senator Nic Xenophon.

NICK XENOPHON: Those allegations of mistreatment need to be investigated thoroughly. Australia has
an obligation to do so since they are funding the centre in large part and I think let's hope that
this week puts an end to the dog-whistle politics and we actually go in a much more sensible
direction in terms of getting some solutions here.

ELEANOR HALL: That is the independent Senator Nick Xenophon, ending that report by Sabra Lane in
Canberra.

Asylum-seekers end hunger strike

Asylum-seekers end hunger strike

Alexandra Kirk reported this story on Monday, October 26, 2009 12:14:00

ELEANOR HALL: The Federal Government says that the Sri Lankan asylum seekers on board the
Australian customs vessel, the Oceanic Viking, have ended their hunger strike, which was made
public on the weekend.

The Australian ship is due to dock in northern Indonesia this afternoon and Australia's Home
Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor is insisting that the 78 Sri Lankans will be well treated. But
the detention centre where they will be housed has been the subject of allegations of detainee
abuse and the local police chief hasn't ruled out using force if these asylum seekers refuse to
disembark.

And still the boats keep coming - the Government revealed this morning that another boat has made
its way to Australia. This one with just one asylum seeker on board.

The Minster spoke to Alexandra Kirk, firstly about the asylum seekers who have been refusing to
eat.

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: We've been offering food at each meal occasion and of course we encourage them to
eat. I believe that they wanted to make their point that they were concerned about the processing
and they'd sort of made clear they were concerned about their future and they have made their point
and they have resumed eating.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: What if they refused to leave the Oceanic Viking as the previous boatload of Sri
Lankan asylum seekers did when they were taken to Indonesia? Will they be forced to disembark?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: Well, of course we are talking advice on the best approach for these passengers.
We have, of course, from the beginning been putting to the forefront their safety and that is
reason why the Oceanic Viking in the first place responded to the distress signal and we will
continue to do what we need to do to put their interests first but of course that has to be done in
conjunction with the Indonesian authorities. The Indonesian authorities are the lead agency and we
will work closely with them.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Well, the local police chief hasn't ruled out using force. Is that part of the deal
that Australia has done with Indonesia?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: No, as I have made clear is our priority is to make sure that these passengers
are dealt with properly. We want to make sure that the safety of these passengers is the priority
and of course, therefore we want to make sure that they are dealt with in a manner that we would
expect them to be dealt with and that is of course, properly with respect.

They have gone through a difficult time. Everything we have done to date has been responding to
humanitarian concerns of these passengers and we want to make sure it is consistent with that
approach.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Does that include forcibly removing them from the boat?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: Well, as I have indicated to you, we will have the conversations with the
Indonesian authorities. I think it is important that...

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Have you had that discussion yet with them?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: The agencies are dealing with those matters.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The conditions in the detention centre where the asylum seekers will be sent - are
you confident that they are up to standard?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: The Australian Government in 2007 provided $7 million to fund the refurbishment
and improvements of two detention centres in Indonesia. One of which is the one in Tanjung Pinang.
The International Organisation for Migration supervise those detainees at that particularly centre
and...

ALEXANDRA KIRK: And you happy with the way that the International Organisation for Migration does
supervise them?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: Firstly, they are a reputable organisation. They put the concerns and wellbeing
of detainees as a priority and I think we can be assured that they will do everything they can to
ensure that the facility is adequate.

There have been claims as I understand about the facility and about its capacity to properly house
temporarily these passengers and as I understand it the Indonesian authorities are indeed
investigating those claims.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Shouldn't it be investigated before you send some more asylum seekers there?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: Well, can I say to you that we have just heard these claims. The Indonesian
authorities have confirmed that they are going to investigate those claims and indeed the
International Organisation for Migration, who supervise the centre and the UNHCR, who have access
to the centre, will indeed, I'm sure, also consider the centre in light of those claims.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The director-general of immigration in Jakarta has said that he doubts that the
Afghan asylum seekers were beaten by staff because he says that the detention centre is
understaffed. As well as that a couple of weeks ago some of the Afghans allegedly spent about
$12,000 bribing their way out of the detention centre. No matter which way you look at it, the
administration appears to be substandard.

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: Well, I think we have to consider the circumstances in which we have this vessel
heading towards the Indonesian port.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: How is that relevant?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: Well, it is relevant because we were responding to a distress signal a week ago,
just over a week ago. That vessel itself was in an Indonesian search and rescue zone. The lead
agency from the beginning in relation to this particular rescue was the Indonesian agency.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: And are you satisfied so far that the detention centre is being run properly?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: On the advice we have received from the International Organisation for Migration
and the fact that the UNHCR has access to the centre would certainly lead me to conclude that the
facility is appropriate but these claims need to be, the claims that have been made in relation to
the centre, need to be investigated and the Indonesian authorities have made clear they will do
just that.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: I understand Australia has intercepted another boat on the way to Australia. How
many people are on board?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: There is one person in a very small vessel being found on Saibai Island in the
north Torres Strait and that person will be processed properly as along with all people seeking to
arrive irregularly in our waters.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: And do you know where this person came from?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: No, that hasn't been confirmed as yet and that will be confirmed once he is
spoken to on Christmas Island.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: It is unusual that one person would arrive on a boat?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: That is quite unusual. Usually it is larger numbers but clearly in this case, I
haven't got many details, but clearly he has found his way to this particular island.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: This person isn't an illegal fisherman in your view?

BRENDAN O'CONNOR: Look, I have been advised that he was seeking to come to Australia. That is all I
have at this point and he is now being brought to Christmas Island for proper processing so we can
assess his health situation and also look at the security and identity matters.

ELEANOR HALL: That is the Federal Home Affairs Minister, Brendan O'Connor speaking to Alexandra
Kirk in Canberra.

Obama leads condemnation of Iraq bombing

Obama leads condemnation of Iraq bombing

Shane McLeod reported this story on Monday, October 26, 2009 12:21:00

ELEANOR HALL: The US President Barack Obama is leading international condemnation of the bomb
attack in the Iraqi capital overnight that killed more than 100 people and injured at least 500.

Twin suicide bombers targeted the Iraqi Ministry of Justice all but destroying the government
department's headquarters, which are just outside the high-security 'green zone' in the centre of
Baghdad. No group has claimed responsibility for the blast but Iraqi government officials are
blaming the local offshoot of the Al Qaeda organisation.

Shane McLeod compiled this report.

SHANE MCLEOD: As police picked over the rubble, the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki toured the
site where more than 130 people were killed in the worst terrorist attack in the country in two
years.

(Sound of explosion)

The sound of the second blast was captured by a mobile phone video camera being used to survey the
aftermath of the first. Targeted was the headquarters of the Ministry of Justice, just a few
hundred metres from the fortified green zone in Baghdad.

Since US troops withdrew from Iraqi cities at the beginning of June, local forces' security
measures have been under pressure. Another bombing in late August targeted government ministries.
This time the blasts were more deadly, seemingly timed for the start of the working week.

MP, Mohammed Naji from the Iraqi National Coalition.

MOHAMMED NAJI (translated): It's obvious that these attacks are very similar to the 'bloody
Wednesday' attacks in August. These attacks have all the same hallmarks as those attacks. Last time
they targeted the Ministries of Finance and Foreign affairs. This time they've targeted the
Ministry of Justice and Baghdad province.

SHANE MCLEOD: The US President, Barack Obama, has led international condemnation. He's issued a
statement, describing the blasts as "hateful and destructive", condemning the perpetrators for
"outrageous attacks on the Iraqi people".

While no group is yet to claim responsibility for the blasts, national security advisor to the Iraq
Government Dr Mowaffak al-Rubaie believes it is likely the work of Al Qaeda insurgents.

MOWAFFAK AL-RUBAIE: There is now shadow of doubt in my mind. All the blueprints indicate that this
is the act of Al Qaeda terrorist organisation. All the evidence indicates this will point to Al
Qaeda. If you like, they came after the hard-core Saddamists. They provide the logistics for Al
Qaeda and Iraq as the Saddamists, the hard-core Saddamists the former regime enemies.

SHANE MCLEOD: Analysts believe the timing is a test of the security situation in the Iraqi capital
ahead of parliamentary elections planned for next year. They fear an upswing in violence to match
reductions in overt security measures.

Safia al-Suhail is an MP from the political bloc led by Prime Minister al-Maliki.

SAFIA AL-SUHAIL (translated): I think we need to consider the necessary measures at the executive
level in imposing security measures in a clear-cut way. We'll have to reconsider the security plan
that has been drawn up for Baghdad which is basically in place until the elections.

SHANE MCLEOD: But national security advisor Dr Mowaffak al-Rubaie says protecting every government
building is impossible.

MOWAFFAK AL-RUBAIE: There are probably more than half a million of these government buildings in
the way of schools, hospitals, clinics, government buildings, different offices belong to different
ministries. It is practically impossible. The way to tackle this problem is intelligence. This
fight has changed from military to intelligence.

Now this is an intelligence-led war and what we need to do is to strengthen our intelligence
agencies and to abort and pre-empt these attacks even before it happens.

ELEANOR HALL: Dr Mowaffak al-Rubaie is the national security advisor to Iraq's Government. That
report from Shane McLeod.

No cause for alarm: Iraq analyst

No cause for alarm: Iraq analyst

Eleanor Hall reported this story on Monday, October 26, 2009 12:22:00

ELEANOR HALL: An analyst who was in Bagdhad at the time of the August bombings says he doesn't see
this latest attack as a sign that Iraqi Government is losing control of the country's security or
that the US should consider its withdrawal plans.

Sam Parker is from the Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations at the United States
Institute of Peace and he spoke to me from Washington.

Sam Parker, how destabilising is this series of attacks?

SAM PARKER: It is hard to say but at least based on the last attack which was of similar magnitude
and happened about two months ago, Iraq is proving more and more resilient to this sort of thing
and it seems clear that the worst days of sectarian violence are over. The kind of sectarian
violence and retribution that these attacks are intended to stoke but you never can tell with this
kind of thing in that if there is accumulative string and the narrative comes up that the Iraqi
Government can't protect the people then you could see a majorly destabilising affect but so far
the ship is still on course.

ELEANOR HALL: Well, you were in Iraq at the time of the August 19 bombings. Are you surprised about
this surge in violence? I mean the bombers apparently in the latest attack passed through multiple
security checks.

SAM PARKER: No, I mean Iraq is a place with weak institutions, lots of political division and no it
is not surprising that violent actors can penetrate really any neighbourhood and any compound as
long as they pay the right price.

I mean I have been in Iraq in some pretty violent periods where you would hear bombs out in the
city and you would say oh well there was a car bomb but this time it was such a massive bomb and so
close to the green zone that literally knocked me off balance and raised up dust in our office.

But politically speaking the thing that was interesting to me was that when I had been in Iraq in
previous years people were getting killed all the time and you would have like a big suicide
bombing and it would just kind of get lost in the steady drumbeat of violence.

This time it was almost like a terrorist attack in a normal city where people are talking about it
and talking about it and digesting it and blaming people and having this whole process that you do
in regular stable countries when there's a terrorist attack.

So, you know in some ways, not to be just like Mr Optimistic here but seeing that and seeing how
abnormal it was and I think you would also see the same thing here was kind of refreshing or kind
of an indication, an indirect indication, that Iraq is back on the right track at least compared to
where it was but you know, it is not easy and I am afraid that Iraq is going to be dealing with
this for a while.

ELEANOR HALL: Well, the Iraqi Government is blaming the Syrians for the August bombings. It is now
talking about Al Qaeda being behind this one. Who do you think is responsible?

SAM PARKER: Very hard to say. I mean there are a number of regional actors that have an interest in
destabilising Iraq who are worried I think by the growing stability in Iraq and particularly the
growing capacity of the Iraqi army and you know, there is just a lot of regional interests in
keeping Iraq weak and divided. Not so weak and divided that it descends into chaos but so that it
keeps it from coming forward as a viable sovereign actor that can swing its weight around on the
regional and international stage.

Whoever it is, whether it is a foreign government or an internal government, it is someone that
wants to delegitimise the political process and again, at least so far, they don't seem to have
succeeded but the real period of transition is coming up.

ELEANOR HALL: Is there a possibility that the deals that were made between the US Government and
Sunni militias that calmed Iraq a few years ago are unravelling?

SAM PARKER: No, it doesn't seem like it. A lot of those what are called Sons of Iraq militia
members that you're talking about, a decent number of them have been incorporated into Iraq's
security forces and yes, there are still some that are on the payrolls but we haven't seen a whole
lot of security breaches from that per se. That is still largely a successful program.

ELEANOR HALL: Is there still a risk of civil war in Iraq? Do these attacks point to that?

SAM PARKER: Again, you know I would say no. I mean, I think the main reason why the surge, the US
troop surge, worked was because of conflict exhaustion and because Iraq Sunnis primarily the
stakeholders of the former Saddam regime realised that they had lost and realised that it was
better to play the political game and use the US to help them get the foot in the door and gain
some representation.

And because of that, because of that broader exhaustion it is hard to see there being like a
massive effort to overthrow the political process beyond these like isolated events.

ELEANOR HALL: Given the number of people killed though in these two recent attacks and the outrage
from the public that we are already hearing, I mean what is this attack and the August one likely
to mean for the elections in January?

SAM PARKER: Well, clearly it undercuts Prime Minister Maliki's main narrative which is Iraq was
chaos and he brought it back from the brink. It definitely hurts him and certainly if you look at
what has followed the August bombings there has been a lot of that, a lot of finger pointing and a
lot of people saying your claims are bogus. That Iraq is just as unsafe as it has always been and
that generally is not true.

I mean, yes you can point to these like high-profile mass casualty attacks and as tragic as they
are, overall death counts in Iraq are still, even despite these attacks, are still much lower than
they have been at any period except for right after the invasions. So for the entire war, we are
still at the lowest points and so these large scale attacks largely had propaganda value to them.

ELEANOR HALL: And so do you think these attacks should cause the US to reconsider its withdrawal
plans? The US is meant to be out by the end of 2011.

SAM PARKER: No, I wouldn't go that far. I mean, you know it has just been a period of gradual
transition and there is a sense that a lot of this was bound to happen.

You know, I think that once we get through these elections and then once, especially once we get
down from 120,000 to 50,000 troops then we will really be able to make the assessment about 2011
but that is still a long ways off and there is a lot to get through before we can even make that
decision.

ELEANOR HALL: Sam Parker, thanks very much for joining us.

SAM PARKER: Thank you.

ELEANOR HALL: Sam Parker is from the Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations at the
United States Institute of Peace. He was in Iraq at the time of the last major Baghdad bombing in
August and he was speaking to me from Washington.

Big miners dig through mountain of debt

Big miners dig through mountain of debt

Sue Lannin reported this story on Monday, October 26, 2009 12:28:00

ELEANOR HALL: A report on the world's major mining companies warns that they're struggling under a
wall of debt that could push commodity prices higher. The global accounting firm, Ernst & Young,
has found that the combined debt of the big resources companies is more than $US180 billion and
that this means they will be concentrating more on making repayments than on looking for new
supplies.

As finance reporter Sue Lannin explains, such a supply gap could push up commodity prices.

SUE LANNIN: Consumers weren't the only ones enjoying access to cheap and easy credit which helped
cause the global financial crisis. Mining firms got in on the sugar rush too borrowing billions and
billions of dollars to fund takeovers and mergers as commodity prices jumped to record highs.

According to Ernst & Young net debt at the world's biggest miners jumped by one quarter to $US182
billion from 2003 to 2008. Mike Elliott is the global head of mining and metals.

MIKE ELLIOTT: In fact the gearing levels of the sector and when we looked at the top 65 global
mining houses had actually reached an all-time record rate of about 58 per cent gearing but most of
that expenditure was used to fund acquisitions. They weren't debt-fuelled acquisitions as opposed
to being used for major capital expansion or paying returns to shareholders.

SUE LANNIN: So what happened during the global financial crisis with companies having debt levels
so high?

MIKE ELLIOTT: Well, it certainly put, this is a cyclical business and it put this sector under
enormous stress. The ability to be able to provide cash flow from operations was diminished because
of falling commodity prices meant that cash margins were reduced or in some instances negative so
the ability to service that debt became a critical issue of many businesses.

Immediate action was taken to try and reduce cash outgoings by way of either deferring exploration,
deferring capital expenditure and reducing costs in the business.

SUE LANNIN: Mike Elliott says miners now have to focus on paying off debt rather than expansion and
exploration. The number of new projects has plunged and that could lead to higher commodity prices
because of a lack of supply.

MIKE ELLIOTT: The need to still deal with these high debt levels is affecting the average business
across the sector so there is going to be a longer lag period of getting balance sheets in order
than what we've seen coming out of previous downturns and this will continue to defer critical
expenditure in exploration but also developing new projects and because those will come on later
than what we have seen coming out of prior downturns, it will mean that there will be less supply
available and hence put pressure on markets.

SUE LANNIN: With credit hard to get miners are having to find other ways to pay for expansion and
takeovers. Ernst & Young says there will be more share sales and new players including sovereign
wealth funds will enter the market.

MIKE ELLIOTT: We've seen already the entrance of new capital providers into the market over the
past 12 months. A lot of the attention has been given to Chinese investment. In fact being one of
those alternative sources of capital and so bringing new partners in who have available equity to
invest in projects is something that has already taken place significantly in this sector.

There will still be acquisitions but we will see more of those acquisitions being done for shares
rather than necessarily for cash and those that are done by cash will probably come from new
players. Players like the Chinese state-owned enterprise which we've seen but also sovereign wealth
funds.

SUE LANNIN: Chinese companies have spent around $US10 billion investing in Australian miners. Mike
Elliott attended a mining industry conference in China last week and says there is concern about
how foreign investment rules are applied.

MIKE ELLIOTT: There is still need for a large amount of communication because in my view there is
still quite a lot of misunderstanding. The particular areas of greatest concern were clearly around
the Foreign Investment Review Board's announcements of the last couple of weeks and I think a lot
of that has to do with an interpretation in China that these are hard-and-fast rules when very much
in fact they are a principle-based system which has got the national interest test in there and
that has created a lot of confusion in China.

SUE LANNIN: So does that suggest that they could look elsewhere and invest in other countries
because they think it is too uncertain in Australia?

MIKE ELLIOTT: Certainly in my discussions, one-on-one discussions with a lot of companies, they
were starting to broaden the net of alternative countries that they were looking for. I wouldn't
say that they are immediately racing out to higher political risk countries but they are probably
looking at countries with slightly higher political risk than Australia and Canada and those would
include places like Chile and South Africa and so forth.

ELEANOR HALL: That is Mike Elliott, the global head of mining and metals at Ernst & Young, ending
that report by Sue Lannin.

Charities reveal high cost of marketing

Charities reveal high cost of marketing

Bronwyn Herbert reported this story on Monday, October 26, 2009 12:30:00

ELEANOR HALL: A peak body representing charity groups in Australia says a national set of accounts
would boost transparency and end the criticism over the fundraising practices of some charities.

More than 600,000 charities operate in Australia and many of those that raise funds through street
marketing hand over an enormous proportion of their takings to private marketing companies. But the
charities concerned have defended the practice saying it happens worldwide and is just part of
doing business.

Bronwyn Herbert has our report.

BRONWYN HERBERT: It might be an oversized koala giving you a hug, or a boy in a brightly coloured
T-shirt spruiking the good work of Doctors Without Borders. But 95 per cent of money raised through
street marketing in its first year isn't going to the charity.

DAVID BRITTON: Fred Hollows is one of a number of companies in Australia that are doing direct
street marketing through the face-to-face method. Over the last four years the foundation has been
able to increase the number of operations it's doing in the developing world from 50,000 in 2005 to
176,000 in 2008, and that is a result as being able to raise more money from the Australian public.

BRONWYN HERBERT: David Britton is the director of public affairs with the Fred Hollows Foundation.

DAVID BRITTON: Technique that is used all over the world by many, many charities and it is an
effective way of helping us plan, giving us regular income.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Marketing company Cornucopia Consultancy has some of Australia's best known
charities as clients including Amnesty, the Red Cross and Oxfam. Cornucopia takes 95 per cent of
the value of the donor's pledge in the first year, but takes the loss if a supporter withdraws
within the first three months.

The company declined to speak with The World Today but in a statement says fundraising these days
is a profession and the commercial arrangements between Cornucopia and its clients are available
publicly.

Chris McMillan is the chief executive of the Fundraising Institute of Australia - the peak body for
charity groups. She says there is nothing wrong with this style of marketing - because people sign
up far beyond a year.

CHRIS MCMILLAN: In the main they stay for the long-haul because the charity then takes over and
engages with the individual and brings them on board so that they actually feel very much a part of
shaping what is happening as a result of their donation.

BRONWYN HERBERT: An Amnesty spokeswoman says face-to-face fundraising is its most effective and
successful means of raising money and on average donors stay committed for at least four years.

Marc Purcell is the executive director for the Australian Council for International Development. He
says the Australian public donate about $800,000 a year in aid and street marketing is one
legitimate way of recruiting funds.

MARC PURCELL: Some aid agencies will use companies that will help secure donors that provide
credit-card donations over a number of years. When those donations are averaged out on the four
year credit card deductions, it means that for a $30 donation per month, that might be about $1400
over four years, $1100 will go to the aid agency. So it provides a very secure, predictable income
for an organisation to be able to plan into the future to provide its programs.

BRONWYN HERBERT: But Chris McMillan from the Fundraising Institute of Australia says reform is
necessary.

CHRIS MCMILLAN: Right now we do not have a national chart of accounts in Australia that will allow
us to compare charities equally.

BRONWYN HERBERT: She says she supports the Productivity Commission's recent recommendations in its
draft report for a national set of accounts.

CHRIS MCMILLAN: I can tell you most charities would welcome that with open arms because it will, I
guess, in lots of ways put to bed the issue surrounding cost of fundraising and hopefully allow
people to not just focus on that, but get on with focussing on the real services that are
delivered.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Marc Purcell from the Australian Council for International Aid says many companies
already disclose their administrative costs but a national set of accounts would help.

MARC PURCELL: I think that sort of standard would be very welcome. We have a code of conduct that
115 aid agencies are signed up and that requires a standard of financial transparency and
accountability back to the donor in terms of a common standard but I think other standards and
other improvements would be very welcome.

BRONWYN HERBERT: Responses to the commission's draft are due by late November, before a final
report is released at the end of the year.

ELEANOR HALL: Bronwyn Herbert.

Calls to act on breast cancer disparity

Calls to act on breast cancer disparity

Barbara Miller reported this story on Monday, October 26, 2009 12:33:00

ELEANOR HALL: At events across the country this lunchtime to mark national Breast Cancer Day, the
message has been one of hope. Death rates from the cancer are continuing to fall because of earlier
detection.

But breast cancer groups say more must be done to help Indigenous women and those in lower
socioeconomic groups.

Barbara Miller has our report.

BARBARA MILLER: It's hard to avoid pink on Breast Cancer Day. Ribbons, balloons, t-shirts and even
life jackets have been fashioned in the colour to raise awareness of the disease.

And according to the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre it's paying off. Dr Helen Zorbas is
thecCentre's chief executive.

HELEN ZORBAS: Out of every 100 women diagnosed with breast cancer 25 years ago, only 73 women were
alive five years later. Today 88 women are alive after five years and if those 100 women have their
breast cancer diagnosed while it is very small and confined to the breast, today at least 98 of
these women can expect to be alive five years later. A clear reminder of the importance of early
detection in surviving breast cancer.

BARBARA MILLER: But data released to mark Breast Cancer Day shows that not all women have an equal
chance of surviving the disease. Women in lower socioeconomic groups and Indigenous women have a
significantly lower chance of survival five years after diagnosis.

Helen Zorbas says that disparity must be addressed.

HELEN ZORBAS: Our challenge is to ensure that all women irrespective of where they live across
Australia, their ethnicity or socioeconomic circumstances equally benefit from our early detection
programs and the availability of the world-class treatments which this country offers.

BARBARA MILLER: At a pink ribbon event in Sydney, the Federal Minister for the Status of Women
Tanya Plibersek also highlighted the plight of some Indigenous women with breast cancer, telling
the story of the Queensland woman Jennifer Martens who had to regularly travel four-and-a-half
hours for treatment:

TANYA PLIBERSEK: She talks of the loneliness that she experienced on that drive and in Townsville
where she felt that people didn't understand her culture or her loneliness. "I cried and cried,"
she said but while she was there in Townsville getting treatment she was able to offer support to
others. She saw two other Aboriginal women from the Edward River on the Gulf of Carpentaria who
were also in Townsville for treatment and they, like her, felt pretty lost and lonely.

"They were worse off than me," she said. "No one speaking their language. They were scared and
culture shocked. They came up to me and said sister can you please help us. We had to lean on each
other," Jennifer said.

That is what women with breast cancer do and it is up to all of us here and I know that you feel
and share this responsibility to help ease the path of women like Jennifer.

BARBARA MILLER: The success of breast cancer awareness campaigns means funding is now available not
just to focus on eradicating the disease, but also on relieving some of the side effects of
treatment.

Sharon Kilbreath an associate professor at the University of Sydney has just begun an 18-month
study into the causes of lymphoedema, a swelling of the arm which one in five women experience
after breast cancer surgery.

SHARON KILBREATH: It can for some women cause pain, discomfit. Things like buying clothes. You
know, fitted shirts can be very challenging if your arm is quite swollen but your arm can't get
through the sleeve of some clothes and when this condition really deteriorates long term the skin
can break down. It is a bed for infection to set in and also sort of other systemic problems.

BARBARA MILLER: You yourself had breast cancer. Did you suffer from lymphoedema?

SHARON KILBREATH: Yes, I developed it in my chest wall about, my surgery was in 2001 and it wasn't
until about five years later I developed a very, very mild case of lymphoedema. It is what I do for
my science. What can I say (laughs).

It is actually quite controlled. It is not a big issue for me like some women.

BARBARA MILLER: This kind of humour and modesty was evident in many of the events to mark Breast
Cancer Day. But despite the positive outlook, campaigners say we shouldn't forget that every day
the disease still claims the lives of seven Australian women.

ELEANOR HALL: Barbara Miller reporting.

Bridgestone talks inflate job hopes

Bridgestone talks inflate job hopes

Nance Haxton reported this story on Monday, October 26, 2009 12:46:00

ELEANOR HALL: Representatives of the Bridgestone tyre company will meet unionists and government
officials this afternoon to try to devise a plan on redeploying the 600 people soon to lose their
jobs at the Adelaide plant. Bridgestone announced on Friday that it would close its Australian and
New Zealand operations.

While South Australia's Industrial Relations Minister says he is optimistic that the workers will
find alternative employment, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union is not so positive.

In Adelaide, Nance Haxton reports.

NANCE HAXTON: South Australia's manufacturing sector is smarting once again with the news that the
Japanese tyre giant Bridgestone will close its Adelaide plant, taking 600 jobs with it. The factory
is based in Salisbury in Adelaide's struggling northern suburbs, with many raising fears about how
these workers will fare seeking alternative jobs.

But South Australia's Industrial Relations Minister Paul Caica says the state is well placed to
absorb the job losses, even on top of the 1000 manufacturing workers at Mitsubishi who lost their
jobs in March last year.

PAUL CAICA: The first thing is to find out what the workers want. For some it will be to retire or
take a holiday. For others it will be a smooth transition to alternative employment. For others it
generally will require some additional skills being provided.

NANCE HAXTON: Sounds like these packages could be some way off though and did this decision really
catch the State Government by surprise?

PAUL CAICA: Well, it did, caught us by surprise because we had no indication from the company that
this was going to occur.

NANCE HAXTON: Bridgestone said on Friday though that they had been looking at their profitability
in Australia and New Zealand for a number of years. Should the State Government really have been
more proactive?

PAUL CAICA: Bridgestone will ultimately make a commercial decision. That decision will ultimately
be made given the nature of Bridgestone many miles away from Australia but certainly this
Government has been proactive in relation to diversifying our economy, a focus on mining, a focus
on defence.

NANCE HAXTON: Will the workers though be able to find jobs in those diversified areas in time or is
that really some way off?

PAUL CAICA: One of the things that I do know is that South Australia is enjoying record levels of
employment. We have also had historic low levels of unemployment so our economy is looking sound
based on the fact that we also have a strong foundation going forward in regard to mining, defence
and indeed our primary industries.

I think that there will be job opportunities for these people and the Government's role is to
support these people from Bridgestone.

NANCE HAXTON: But Australian Manufacturing Workers Union state secretary John Camillo says with the
mining industry already laying off workers in many sectors, it will be a difficult task.

JOHN CAMILLO: Yeah, well I don't, in the immediate term I don't think there will be any opportunity
but when BHP gets up and running, they will require a lot of skilled workers and we need to bring
those skills up now. Give the opportunity to people to be trained in those skills that is wanting
in six months time or 12 months time.

The mining industry is on a down at the moment. It is down but the situation in the mining industry
is not going to be like that forever and a day. It will start picking up and when it does ramp up,
we need to make sure we have the skills.

There is nothing worse than bringing the skills from overseas and bringing those people from
overseas to Australia when the opportunity is for us to train these people right now so the
employers jump up and down in six months, 12 months time saying we haven't got the skills there. We
need to work on it right now.

NANCE HAXTON: Representatives from the State and Federal Government will meet with unions and
Bridgestone management this afternoon to try and work out a support package to ensure these 600
workers do not end up on the long-term dole queue.

Mr Camillo says it's vital that a well-designed and substantial package is offered to help workers
through this difficult time.

JOHN CAMILLO: Premier has committed in short at this stage to helping these people. How much money
at this stage we don't know but we are seeking support from the Federal Government that this is a
State and Federal Government Initiative in regards to retraining and educating these people to find
full-time employment elsewhere.

ELEANOR HALL: That is John Camillo from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union speaking to
Nance Haxton in Adelaide.

Experts say cyber-terrorism threat overstated

Experts say cyber-terrorism threat overstated

Timothy McDonald reported this story on Monday, October 26, 2009 12:41:00

ELEANOR HALL: Online bandits often make headlines by crashing websites and stealing banking
details. But internet security experts are warning today that this amounts to mere thuggery
compared to a cyber-attack that could one day cripple a major piece of infrastructure and they say
that the leaders of government and industry have just a few short years to prepare for that threat.

Timothy McDonald reports.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: US Government websites crashed, and then a few days later, South Korean
Government websites suffered the same fate. North Korea seemed to be the obvious culprit for July's
attack, but the guilty parties haven't yet been identified. The authorities were surprised, because
the attacks appeared well coordinated and targeted government assets.

But a new paper from the Center for Strategic and International Studies says the attack was more of
a noisy demonstration than cyber-warfare or terrorism. Experts here agree there's a big difference.

Professor Matthew Warren is the head of the school of information systems at Deakin University.

MATTHEW WARREN: What we haven't got, and a lot of it is linked to the development of the
information society, is attacks that would cripple a country in a critical areas. Certainly in
Australia we have what is termed critical infrastructure and there is critical infrastructure
protections where there are key systems, physical systems as well as information systems, in
government and with corporations that if attacked would have a dramatic impact.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: The distinction is that the attacks didn't cause casualties, loss of territory,
destruction, or serious disruption of critical services. But Professor Warren worries that that is
a genuine possibility for the future.

MATTHEW WARREN: If they are controlled by computer systems that are internet-enabled or have remote
access, in theory yes, because it just means that people can attack the infrastructure or they can
remotely gain access to it.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: In fact, the paper says it's highly probable that some advanced states have the
capacity to mount cyber attacks but they haven't played a major part in conflicts to date, possibly
for strategic reasons. The opposite is true for terrorist groups who most probably haven't used
them because they don't yet have the expertise.

But there's a stern warning and a lesson to be learned. The world is increasingly moving online and
is therefore becoming more vulnerable. Again, Matthew Warren agrees.

MATTHEW WARREN: A lot of those systems aren't internet-based but this is going to be the risk for
the future because in the future a lot of these systems will be internet-based for financial
reasons, for the development of technologies so there are the future areas, you know, where systems
could be attacked.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Is there an argument then for perhaps not putting some of these systems online?
That these things need to be kept secure because they are pieces of infrastructure so maybe it is
better to keep them away from the internet?

MATTHEW WARREN: Ah, but again the counter-argument for that is when you look at power systems that
they are operated by commercial organisations. You know what they are focusing on is costs so what
businesses are looking for, you know, is maximising profits, lowering processing operational costs
and this is the big advantage, you know, that the information society has.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Experts say government and industry has a window of opportunity to get the
problem in hand. Professor Warren says time is of the essence, and Australia needs to look overseas
to effectively deal with the problem.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: It was proposed by the Labor Government before the election that they would have
a Department of Homeland Security that would deal with all aspects of security whether it is
physical and cyber.

They then decided primarily because of the cost factor that it would be too expensive to set up an
organisation. It would be too complex to break down the existing intelligence security apparatus
and replace it with a new one but that is how countries are dealing with it is they are
restructuring their intelligence, their security agencies to deal with these threats.

ELEANOR HALL: Professor Matthew Warren from Deakin University.

The eyes have it: how crabs see the shore

The eyes have it: how crabs see the shore

David Mark reported this story on Monday, October 26, 2009 12:45:00

ELEANOR HALL: And now, to those links between mud crabs and robots. Scientists have shed new light
on how fiddler crabs use their very small brains to perceive the world.

The crabs' eyes are made up of 8,000 separate parts, each of which can see in just one direction,
but together, enable the crabs to see everywhere. The research has implications for building better
robots as David Mark reports.

DAVID MARK: It's a life and death world on the mud flats. Fiddler crabs have constant decisions to
make: who's a mate, who's a competitor, who's food and who's trying to eat them.

Dr Jan Hemmi is a visiting fellow at the ANU's Vision Centre.

JAN HEMMI: They have a problem. They have to monitor all of the visual space in one go.

DAVID MARK: You'd need eyes in the back - and the top - of your head. And in fact that's very
similar to what fiddler crabs have. Their eyes are made up of 8,000 parts known as ommatidia.

JAN HEMMI: But each one of these ommatidia is a little bit like one of our eyes. It has an
individual lens that captures light and transmits it to a photo receptor but each of these
ommatidia only sees one point in space and so the whole eye is made up of 8,000 points they see.

DAVID MARK: Imagine your digital camera with its millions of pixels. Each of the crab's ommatidium
is like one of your camera's pixels - but instead of millions there's just 8,000.

JAN HEMMI: Our eyes, we have only one eye but we have millions of pixels in there. We have lots and
lots of pixels so we can see in many different places at one with that one eye but each of their
eyes only has a pair of ommatidia which make up the eyes together sees only one spot but those
actually looking the entire hemisphere, upper hemisphere. So their 8,000 pixels are distributed
throughout their world, not just in one direction like ours for instance.

DAVID MARK: So they can see in front, they can see behind to a certain extent and they can also see
above themselves?

JAN HEMMI: That is right. All at the same time without moving their eyes.

DAVID MARK: So is it the case for instance that the ommatidia that look straight ahead or that
point straight ahead, operate differently to the ones that point straight up?

JAN HEMMI: That is right. The ones that look straight ahead for instance have very big lenses and
what they'll ask them to do is to look at a very small part of the visual field so they have very
good resolution there. Crabs can distinguish two spots that are very close to each other. Whereas
the ommatidia that look up at the sky are very small which actually means that they collect light
from a large area.

DAVID MARK: It's all about maximising limited resources - getting the most out of those 8,000
pixels.

JAN HEMMI: Up in the sky all they need to do is to detect birds that fly past. They don't need to
know the shape of the bird. They just need to know something is there and something is coming
closer and they need to be able to respond.

But in front of them they are interested in other types of information. They are interested in
other fiddler crabs so they need to decide what sort of colour these crabs have, they need to know
how big they are. The crabs have colour patterns from which they can know each other individually.

DAVID MARK: One wouldn't make an immediate connection between crabs of very little brains and
high-tech robotics. But Dr Jan Hemmi thinks his work has very practical implications for the way
robots see.

JAN HEMMI: The lesson really is that you need to work out what information your robot needs to do
whatever job it is meant to do. You start from the very front. So you make already the camera in a
way that it gets the optimum amount of information. You don't just put the channel purpose camera
on top like we used to do and then trying to do everything in software.

So if you want to do it effectively, you need to have a camera that already subtracts only those
bits you want by for instance having the pixels look in the right direction or making them smaller
or bigger depending on where they look.

DAVID MARK: Dr Hemmi's work with researcher, Dr Jochen Smolka, was published in the Journal of
Experimental Biology.

ELEANOR HALL: David Mark reporting.