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Live.

The PM gets some better poll

numbers as Labor debates

foreign workers. The Newspoll

figures are still abysmal, but

they're getting better. I have

always said I'd much rather

have the less popular captain

in the winning side than be in

the losing side that have a

really popular captain. New

Zealand triplets among the dead

in a Qatar shopping centre

fire. We know that our family's

inside.

A claim Tony Blair denies

but he does admit getting too

close to the Murdoch empire.

And fear and loathing in

Ukraine as it prepares to stay the euro 2012 soccer

Championships.

Welcome to ABC News across

Australia. I'm Ros Childs. It was a slow start this morning

but the local share market is

picking up shaking off new

fears about Spain's debt.

After a tough two weeks

dominated by behaviour and

integrity issues, federal Labor

MPs are taking heart from the

latest read-out on public

opinion. Newspoll has support

for the government recovering

slightly. But it still trails

well behind the coalition. Even

so, Labor MPs think it's a sign

voters like the government's

handling of the economy. From

Canberra, Simon Cullen reports.

For MPs who say they don't like

to comment on opinion polls,

they sure like talking about

them, even to themselves.

Labor MPs seem to have taken

some comfort from the latest

figures even though there has

been no substantial change in

overall support for government

after preferences. There is a

genuine sense of appreciation

with - about this government

spreading the benefits of the

mining boom. The Newspoll

figures are still abysmal but

they're getting better. The

poll show Julia Gillard has

reclaimed the lead in the

preferred PM stakes thanks in

part to an improvement in voter

satisfaction. Tony Abbott has

taken a hit. Both leaders have

dissatisfaction ratings of

60%. Tony Abbott is a dog of a

candidate. I know that the

population know that. The

Liberal Party know that. I

think that's the real message

today. I have always said I'd

much rather that have the less

popular captain in the winning

side than be in the losing side

but have a really popular

captain. The Australian people

want an election to get rid of

this divided and dysfunctional government. Any other message

that you could take out of

today, I think, would be

wishful thinking. One issue

that's exercising minds on all

sides of the chamber is the

plan to import up to 1700

foreigners to work on a multibillion dollar mining

project in Western Australia.

Some MPs are pushing for

greater oversight of how the

agreement will work. And it's

exposing divisions within the government. It's clear that

there's a wide difference of

view between those who are

sceptical about the migration

agreements like me and many

trade unions, and those who are

there supporters and proponents

like so ministers. One of the

people who'd rather have the

debate in caucus than let the

world know how we've gone

rather than trailing our coat

in public. The backbench to

make sure that migrant workers

are looked after. If we can get

better process I will be

trailing my coat many times in

opposition benches aren't so the future. Even some on the

unemployed Australians last sure When you have 614,200

month and more coming on every

day, and we spend millions of

dollars on TAFE and education

and training a year, yet we

import workers. To me that

equation doesn't add up. An

equation the Prime Minister

will have to work out. The Electrical Trades Union

is meeting hundreds of workers

affected by the clams of Hastie

Group. Hastie went into voluntary administration

yesterday putting 2700 jobs at

Rix and leaving workers without

access to their entitlements or

unemployment benefits. Reporter

Jeff Waters is at meeting in

North Melbourne. So Jeff,

what's the message from the

union? Well, there are mixed

messages this afternoon as a

result of this meeting. It was

originally called so that the

union could explain to its

members that they'd be

challenging the lay-offs in

Fair Work Australia because

these workers, hundreds of them

have all been kept in limbo.

They haven't actually been laid

off. They've just been stood

down without pay initially. So

that means that they won't be

paid and they can't apply for

unemployment benefits. But as

the meeting was about to begin

they took a phone call from the

receivers who said that they

would offer redundancys to all

these unionists in particular.

So they're not quite sure at

the moment. They're yet to announce whether or not they

will still be going to Fair

Work Australia to challenge the

lay-offs or not. But they have

had a big long meeting about it

anyway. They're inside at the

moment discussing what to do

before their press conference.

But the meeting was taken by

the union official Dean Miles

and when it opened he certainly

wasn't happy with the situation. I think the

situation you guys have been

put this is an absolute

disgrace. You deserve better.

And the management of the

Hastie Group has failed you.

I've had about five or six

phone calls from builders and

head contractors that are

hiring hairg saying we're very

happy to take the boys in our

crew. We will have to work

through job by job to ensure we

maximise every possible job for

thaw we can. The government

says it will try to help, but

what can it do? Well, according

to the Workplace Relations

Minister Bill Shorten, he has

the discretion to help these

workers financially but only

when the company is declared in

liquidation which is that step

where they decide to break it

up and sell it effectively. And

then the government can step in

with some financial help. He

said he's waiting to hear, he's

waiting nor that phone call so

that he can make that decision

and he spoke to the media

earlier and here's some of what

he had to say. It is certainly

my aim to make sure people are

not kept in purgatory for 28

days. But it's moving fast. And

I know that there's a lot of

people trying to work on this.

At the end of the day these

workers are skilled, they're

caught up in circumstances

beyond their control. And I

know that the jobs they do in

many cases are still necessary

for construction projects to

get completed. Any word from

the company from Hastie itself?

No, nothing so far. These

electrical workers were

employed by a company called

Watters which was part of the

group. They're not blaming

Watters, they're blaming Hastie

but we haven't yet heard on

anything that that parent

company intends to do. Jeff,

thank you. New Zealand triplets

are among 19 people killed by a

fire at an upmarket shopping

centre in Qatar. Think smoke

was rising by the time

firefighters arrived at the

complex, a haunt of foreign

workers. They are all inside

and all of us here outside, we

know that our family's inside.

Reports suggest fire exits were

blocked and sprinklers weren't

working . Rescuers trying to

reach children trapped in the

nursery were forced to break

through the roof. They were too

late to save seven young girls

and six boys including the

2-year-old New Zealanders. The

family obviously are dealing

with the terrible grief that

they have at this time. The

konls late is coming over from

Saudi Arabia and Riyadh to support the family -

consulate. Two firefighters

also died. Local officials have promised a thorough

investigation into the cause of

the blaze. Opponents on the

pitch aren't the only people to

be nervous of at euro 2012.

Competing nations also had the

antics of fans on the terraces

to contend with, in the two

host nations Poland and

Ukraine. Their behaviour has

triggered calls for black and

Asian fans to stay well away.

And a warning, this report

contains violence images. In

Ukraine, extreme right wing

politics and football go hand

in hand. We filmed mass ranks

of fans using this Nazi-style

salute in stadiums across

Ukraine. This is how some

supporters react to rival black

players and fans. (Imitating

monkeys) Anti-racism

campaigners claim some extreme

right wing organisations are

hijacking football. One such

group is Patriot of Ukraine.

They don't trust journalists

but they agreed to take me to

one of their secret training

camps. They claim to recruit

members from football terraces.

Educate them with their

ideology. And train them to

fight. We are learning to

shoot. And we are learning

tactical combat and military

preparation. And we can take

all this fight training onto the streets.

It's one of the last matches

of the season at this stadium

in Harkiff which will host euro

2012 matches. With no

segregation, scuffles break out

between rival fans. Suddenly,

the hooligans spot a new

target. A small group of Asian

students. It appears they are

singled out because of the

colour of their skin. If - we

were supporting the whole team.

We showed our footage to

former England captain Sol

Campbell. Until we see a

massive improvement, that you

so started that you're never

gonna get this tournament.

Would you recommend families to

travel to euro 2012? No chance.

Don't even risk it. You could

end up coming back in a

coffin. In Ukraine, where some

fans are searching for a

national identity, questions

remain over whether the safety

of English supporters can be

guaranteed.

Nearly 3 million Australians

don't have access to basic financial products such as a

credit card, car insurance or

even a bank account. That's the

finding of a new study into

financial exclusion conducted

by the University of New South Wales Centre for Social Impact.

Instead, people are relying on

family or friends or turning to

fringe credit products like

payday lenders to get money.

Chris Connolly is the report's author. We've interviewed over

50,000 individuals and asked

them about their challenges in

getting access to mainstream

financial products. And the

main issues are cost, the

complexity of a product,

especially insurance and some

people have literacy difficulties, language

difficulties, and there's also

a very large group of people

who are remote, who find that

distance is a problem as well.

Unfortunately for those people,

it's quite a large group. It's

about 17.2% of the population

who don't have affordable and

appropriate access to

mainstream financial services.

So you found that a lot of them

turn to family or friends to

try to raise cash when they

need it or go to other places

such as payday lenders who tend

to judge very high levels of

interest? People who don't have

access to mainstream products,

unfortunately the alternatives

that they have, the fringe

credit products, they tend to

exploit consumers. They can be

incredibly expensive. Very high

fees, charge, interest rate,

etc. And it also means that

those individuals don't have

any money set aside or don't

have access to credit for an

emergency and they can really

be knocked about by even quite

small changes in their

circumstances. And you looked

at where around Australia this

problem was the worst. What did

you find? For the first time

we've been able to map the

levels of financial exclusion

in 58 Australian regions. We

found that there are some

regions who have very high

levels of financial exclusion.

Wollongong, the inner city

areas of Sydney and Melbourne,

for example and also some very

large regional remote areas of

Queensland, South Australia and

Western Australia. And we're

really worried that these areas

that need better services, need

better education about financial products and probably

aren't being well serviced by

the mainstream banks and

insurance companies. You also

looked at the reasons why

people wanted to access credit,

get more money. Was it for

unexpected expenses or was it

simply to just make ends

meet? We were very surprised to

find that people's current need

for credit wasn't related to

major items such as health or

education or car repairs. It

was all really about quite

minor items, even food,

clothing and certainly paying

utility bills is one of the

highest reasons that people

needed credit. And that's

really worrying for Australia,

that there are people who don't

have access to credit who can't

afford to pay for these basic

everyday items and there might

be quite a gap developing

between their income and their

day-to-day expenses. Thank

you. Laid off in the east,

plenty of jobs in the west.

It's a dilemma the government

is trying to tackle with its

foreign workers job program.

Industry groups say the scheme

is essential because even high

wages can't lure enough

Australian workers to remote

areas. Unions say they want better conditions. Gina

Reinhart isn't the only mining

boss looking to use enterprise

migration agreements to bring

in foreign workers. Resource projects with capital

expenditure of $2 billion and

more than 1,500 workers can use

the new arrangement to boost

their work force during the

construction phase. And

industry groups say that Roy

Hill is just the start. There are about 12 projects in that

category and is another 12 at

advanced stages. So you have

about 24 projects that fit that

definition. If you down to went

1 billion you would probably

end up with about 40 projects.

Industry groups say that

workers from the eastern States

won't move west to live in

remote locations and the new enterprise migration agreements

are the only way to secure

killed labour. Start doing 12

weeks on, 12 hour shifts one

week off and fly-in fly-out

arrangement it's a big

adjustment for people. But

unions say that resource

companies need to provide

better working conditions. Currently they're

four on week off. Maybe they

ought to start looking at that

area and making it more

attractive and more accessible

for married men and women to

take up jobs in that sector. Unions want Australian workers

who are being laid off from the manufacturing sector to be

retrained to work on the big

resource projects. A small

amount of skilled migration for

these projects is a good thing but the vast majority of people

working on these projects will

be Australians and there will

be Australian employment

training opportunities as well. I would hate to see the day

where one of these projects

don't go ahead because of some

shrill narrative about foreign

workers. Western Australia has

just 10% of Australia's workers

but now takes 25% of foreign

workers. Across Australia,

skilled migration is soaring,

with more than 90,000 457 visa

holders, up number a third from

this time last year. Not all

the action is in the west. A

multibillion dollar coal mine

in central Queensland's Galilee

Basin has been given

conditional approval. The State

Government says Hancock Coal's

Alpha Project could earn $3

billion a year in exports over

30%. Queensland's

Coordinator-General has imposed

124 conditions on the

development. But it still

requires federal environmental

approval. This is the first

approval for a mine in the

Galilee Basin which when developed will be one of the

biggest in Australia. It comes

after a four-year process

involving an environmental

impact statement examining all

of the anticipateded impacts of

the project. The project aims

to be operational in 2016

generating 3,600 construction

jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs.

New home sales are surging the

most in two years. Up almost 7%

in April. That's not enough

according to the Housing

Industry Association, which

says home building is headed to

recessionary levels without

more interest rate cuts. There

may be an answer for analysts

who've been wondering how

Facebook might grow its

business. A Facebook Smartphone

is set to be released next

year, that's according to the

'New York Times', which says

the company has been hiring a

former Apple engineers. And

Spain is causing more euro

jitters. The Spanish Prime

Minister says the country's

struggling to raise money as

borrowing costs rise to levels

that have pushed other nations

to bail-outs. Shares in the

country's second biggest lender

Bankia have plummeted it after

it pleaded for the biggest

state rescue in Spanish

history. A check now of the markets. Here's finance

reporter Alicia Barry. With

Wall Street closed what are

investors focusing on here? The

market has turned its attention

to those Spanish debt problems

in Europe, with US markets

closed for the memorial day

public holiday. The local share

market has fallen over 9% since

the start of the month on worries about Greece leaving

the Eurozone. And it added to

those falls this morning, but

has ticked up midway through

the session. The All Ordinaries

index is up 11 points or

2/10ths of a per cent and the

ASX 200 index is 10 points higher. How are the miners

looking today? It's a mixed day

for resources stocks. BHP

Billiton has dropped 1% giving

up yesterday's gains to $31.75.

Its main rival Rio Tinto is a

third of a per cent stronger,

while smaller iron ore miner

Fortescue Metals has jumped

well over 3.5%, making up for

some recent losses. What

company news is out today? The

jobs web site Seek has spent

around $100 million on on-line

sites in Brazil and Mexico, and

its shares are up 3.5%. And

Suncorp is joining the big four

banks and planning to issue

covered bonds in order to raise

funds. It's set to become the

first regional lender to issue

these types of bonds which are

typically backed by mortgages.

Covered bonds are being used by

the big banks to help bring

down their funding costs. Dart

Energy shares have jumped 7.5%.

It's put off a planned initial

public offering in Singapore

because because of weak market

conditions.

Wall Street was closed for

the memorial day holiday. Those

numbers for the Dow etc. are

from the close of trade last

week.

World leaders are struggling

to find new ways to punish

Syria over the massacre of 49

children and 60 adults at the

weekend. United Nations Special

Envoy Kofi Annan has flown in

to Damascus hoping to rescue

the ceasefire that was agreed

to in April. Anne Barker

reports. Even as world leaders

came to grips with the massacre

at Houla , more Syrians were

under attack nearby. Amateur

video posted on-line

purportedly showed shelling at

Hama and Homs. Human rights

activists said pro-government

forces had moved in to Hama

overnight, killing at least 24

people. The latest claims came

as Special Envoy Kofi Annan

touched down in Damascus for

talks aimed at salvaging his

failed peace plan. He will hold

talks with the President Bashir

al-Assad and renew pressure on

Syria's government and rebel

fighters to respect the

ceasefire. And this message of

peace is not only for the

government, but for everyone,

every individual with a gun.

Shortly before, Britain's

Foreign Secretary William Hague

was on a similar mission to

Moscow to push Russia as

Syria's main ally to put more pressure on the Assad regime. The alternatives are

the Annan plan or ever

increasing chaos in Syria and a

descent closer and closer to

all-out civil war and

collapse. Russia, though, has

challenged claims that Syrian

forces alone are to blame for

the slaughter at Houla. Here we

are dealing with a situation in

which both sides evidently had

a hand in the deaths of

innocent people, including

several tens of children,

including women. That region is

under the control of armed

fighters, but it's also

surrounded by government

troops. World condemnation of

the violence in Syria continues to grow.

The former British Prime

Minister Tony Blair has told

the Leveson Inquiry into media

ethics that political leaders

have to court powerful media

barons. He's admitted getting

too close to the Murdoch

empire, but denied any deals

were done to win Rupert

Murdoch's support. Philip

Williams reports. Five years

out of office, but ever the

politician as he batted away

suggestions he e'd made a deal with Rupert Murdoch to support

each other's interests. There

was no deal on issues to do

with the media, with Rupert Murdoch or indeed with anybody

else, either express or

implied. And to be fair, he

never sought such a anything. There were also questions about a News

Corporation conference in 1995

at Hayman Island. On the guest

list the then Prime Minister

Paul Keating and a British

Opposition Leader Tony Blair

who was in Australia on a mission. I wouldn't have been

going, of course, all the way

around the world. I remember I

had to go after one Prime Minister's Questions and return

for the next. If it hadn't been

a very deliberate and again

very strategic decision that I

was going to try to persuade

them. Tony Blair was his

characteristic unflappable

self, even when a protester somehow evaded security and

snuck into the inquiry. Held up

the Iraq bank for 20 billion.

He was then paid $6 million

every year and still is from JP

Morgan, six months after he

left office. The man is a war

criminal! Tony Blair denied

the allegation shouted at him,

but he admitted he had made a

decision when in government not

to take on powerful media

interests as it would've

drained all the government's

energies. And I felt the price

you would pay for that would

actually push out a lot of the

things I cared more about. But

there were times the former

Prime Minister felt he was the

target of media vendettas. With

any of these big media groups

you fall out with them and you

watch out, because it is

literally relentless and unre-Milting once that

happens. That was not quite

the last word as Tony Blair's

car was driven away, it was hit

by an egg. The former Prime

Minister still has the power to

divide. A quick look at other stories making news around the

world. An explosion has ripped

through a building fall of

small shops in Nairobi injuring

at least 33 people. Police

initially said the blast

could've been caused by an

electrical malfunction but

Kenya's Prime Minister said it was deliberate. Government and

industry experts in Nigeria say

the country is losing a fifth

of its annual oil revenue to

thieves. Oil companies say taping into pipelines to steal

crude oil is on the rise,

despite a 2009 amnesty that was

supposed to end conflict over

the distribution of oil wealth.

And pesticides are being blamed

for the death of dozens of

white herons in El Salvador.

The birds nest in a small

reserve surrounded by thousands

of hectares of farmland, where

pesticides are used to combat

crop threats. International

smash hit 'Somebody That I Used

To Know' is continuing its roll

of success. The song earned its

writer Wally De Backer known

professionally as got got three

of the top honours at the APRA

Music Awards. Singers Tex

Morton and Tina Arena sang the

hit at the awards ceremony last

night. Since it's released last

year it's hit the No. 1 spot in

more than 20 countries around

the world. Got got was named

song writer of the year and his

song the most played Australian

work. It's an amazing thing

when you're a young songwriter

and you get a cheque for

playing your own music live.

That really gets you

places. But the Belgian born

Australian didn't have it all

his way. AC/DC's classic 'Highway To Hell' was most played Australian song

overseas. Other winners

included Shane Nicholson in the

country category for 'Famous

Last Words' and the five piece

Boy and Bear folk group won breakthrough songwriters of the

year. A British woman arrested

in Bali for drug smuggling

could face the death penalty.

She was caught in a sting

operation by Indonesian police

who allege she was carrying

cocaine with an estimated

street value of $2.4 million.

Three other Britons were also

arrested. A British housewife

and mum of two, or an

international drug smuggler?

This is Lindsay sander Ford,

led by Indonesian police to

face media. Looking bewildered

she seems to mutter "Please

keep me safe". Please keep me

safe. And this is some of the

5 kg of cocaine police say Mrs Sanderford smuggleed from

Thailand in to Bali. It has a

street value of $1.6 million -

?1.6 million. We checked her

suitcase when our sensitive

equipment showed something

suspicious inside it. We couldn't actually see it. The

cocaine was in the lining of

her suitcase. Bali's beaches

make it a popular idyllic

tourist destination. It's also

a country that takes a zero

tolerance approach to drug

crime. It's likely that Mrs

Sanderford will be transferred

to the notorious Kerokoban

Prison near Denpasar. More than

140 people are currently on

death row following their conviction for drugs

trafficking. A third are

foreign nationals. Since her

detention, Mrs Sanderford,

whose last known address was in Cheltenham, has been

cooperating with the Indonesian police. Three other Britons

have also been arrested in

connection with the case. To

the weather now. The satellite

shows cloud across the east

trough coast with a trough and

onshore winds. Cloud over

coastal parts of South Australia, Victoria in Tasmania

and high cloud streaming across

the tropics due to the jet

stream A high should turn a

cold morning into a mostly

sunny day over the inland and

tropics. Wind as I long the

east coast should turn more

onshore causing showers to

develop in some parts. Westerly winds should maintain showers

in the west.

Back to the Stock Exchange

for a final check of the

markets. The All Ordinaries is

up nearly 15 points now. Nikkei

is down, Dow Jones was closed

yesterday for the memorial day

holiday and the Australian

dollar at 98 US cents. That's

the news for now. On a day when

Julia Gillard got a poll boost

to be preferred PM over Tony

Abbott. And there were warnings

about racist behaviour at the upcoming euro 2012

Championships in Poland and in

Ukraine. There is continuous

news on ABC News 24 and theres

a also news on-line. Our next

full bulletin on ABC1 is sat

7pm. I'm Ros Childs. Thanks for

joining us. Have a great

afternoon. Closed Captions by CSI This Program is Captioned

Live.

APPLAUSE

Good evening. Welcome to

'Q&A'. I'm Tony Jones answering your questions tonight.

Journalist and author David

Marr, award winning stage and

film actress Jacki Weaver,

celebrated Australian writer,

satirist and actor Barry

Humphries, English actress and

champions of dickens women

Miriam Margolyes and former leader of the Liberal Party

John Hewson. Please welcome our

panel.

APPLAUSE

Right. 'Q&A' is live from

9:35 eastern standard time and

sim ul cast on News 24 aid. You

can send us your questions from

the website. Our first question

comes from Herb Iem a foreign

worker lives in this country on

a temporary visa. Australia

seems to welcome people like me

yet there's now an outcry about

Asian workers coming to fill a

critical labour shortage. Is

this an economic or race issue

and has this country really

gotten behind the white

Australia policy? David

Marr? We have a long lingering