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ABC Midday Report -

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(generated from captions) Blonsing act - the Federal

Government opens up on the data

it wants held for security

checks. Flavour of the month.

Local producers cash in on

America's beef shortage. The

prices in the US are at record

highs. Gunns drawn. Just how

long can the Tasmanian

loss-maker keep going? And Australia blitzes the pool in the women's relay in London.

Australia wins gold. And a new

world record. How good was

that? This Program Is Captioned


Welcome to ABC News across

Australia. I'm Ros Childs. On

the local share market,

Fortescue Metals has become the

latest miner to cut its expansion plans.

Will interest rates be cut?

The Reserve Bank is deciding at

its monthly meeting today.

First to Canberra. The

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon

is reassuring Australians that

privacy will be protected under

a proposal to store on-line

data in case spy agencies and

Federal Police want to look at

it. The plan would force

Internet service providers and

telecommunications companies to

keep phone records and on-line

data for up to two years. Ms

Roxon says the government can't

hey Lou advances in technology

to create a safe haven for

criminals and terrorists. She

says the government's still

taking advice on the proposal. How you make sure

that we're not reach ing too

far into the private lives of

Australians in order to ensure

that protection, in a democracy

like Australia that's always a

balancing act. The Greens say

the proposal is an unwarranted

invasion of private seed and

believe Ms Roxon has pre-empted

the work of a committee looking

at it. Victorian police have

again turned out en masse to

shut down a construction

blockade in the heart of

Melbourne's CBD. The dis fought

is already two weeks old and

there's no end in sight. Police

have managed to get 53 workers

onto the Lonsdale Street site.

The union is calling on Grocon

Chief Executive Daniel Grollo

to suspend legal action in the

Victorian Supreme Court. Once

again we call on Daniel Grollo

to pick up the independent

umpire's recommendation, the 14

days are gone and we'll sit

down and have discussions with

him to try to resolve this. The

Victorian Government has joined

the court action against the

union. Government, unions and

health experts are meeting

today for an asbestos summit to

work out how best to end the

legacy of asbestos. A third

wave of younger victims of

asbestos related diseases is

increasing pressure for a plan

to remove the toxic substance

from all commercial buildings

and from homes. Michael

Borowick is the assistant

secretary of the ACTU. We want

to see the removal of all asbestos from the built

environment by the year 2030.

There's been a lot of regulation around workplaces

for several years now. So the

deficit is in regard to other

public buildings, schools and

hospitals. We believe the

government has a special

responsibility to remove

asbestos from buildings they

control and manage. And that

should be the priority. What about private homes? You want

an audit of all residential

properties built before 1987.

That's a huge check list, isn't

it? Yes, it is indeed. We

estimate that over 1 million

Australian homes have asbestos

within the building materials.

Obviously it's not a matter of

removing that in the short

term. So we see a priority

being the identification of

asbestos. It's a silent killer.

Many Australians who love

renovating their own homes are

unaware that what they're

dealing with a substance that

can kill. It can take many

years to manifest itself but

interest's no cure once you

have an asbestos related

disease. We'd like the

government to establish an

audit system and then a certification where there is

asbestos located. So simply the

power box would contain a

certificate. If someone turned

up to work on a house or if the

home honer wanted to do tom do

it yourself renovation it is

would be clear that the house

contained asbestos and they should take appropriate

precautions. What's your target

for an asbestos-clear

for an asbestos-clear

Australia? Well, we think the

task is enormous but it's a

national priority. Unless we

start work on it now, more

people will die

senselessly. Thank you. The

Queensland Premier says he will

trial one of the hallmarks of

Insurance Scheme six weeks the National Disability

after refusing to sign up to

the Prime Minister's

initiative. Campbell Newman

says a select few Queenslanders

will be given money to purchase

specialist services themselves

rather than relying on funding

through disability services.

More than 1300 families have

been asked to consider taking

part in the trial. Cabinet has

been considering a number of

drive the dollars that are ways we can do a better job,

available further but most

morntly give people a much

better way forward in terms of

how they deal with their individual

individual needs. What we're

attempting to do is align

ourselves very cleanly with

those elements of an NDIS that

are being trialled presently

and it's a very exciting time. The premier says the

trial should be under way by

the end of the year. Northern

Territory Police say a man is

lucky to be alive after

crashing his car into a pool

overnight in the Top End city

of Palmerston. Police say the

man had been drinking when he

drove his car through the fence

of an apartment block and into

the water at about 1 o'clock

this morning. They say he

managed to escape from the

wreckage unarmed but local

residents are disappointed the

swimming pool south of use for

a while. This garden was only

put in last week. Quite

amazing that he got out of that

alive. Coming off the street

straight through the bushes. A

fairly big rock in the pool too

by the looks of it. The driver

has been charged with

drink-driving and driving

without due care. Overseas now.

A US consular vehicle has been

far geted in a suicide attack

in Pakistan. Three people,

including the bomber, were

killed when a car rammed the

four-wheel drive in the

northern city of Peshawar.

Police say more than 100 kg of

explosives were detonated. Two

American and two Pakistani

consular were among 19

injured. We pray for safety of

American and Pakistani victims

and once again we deplore the

cowardly act of suicide

bombing. It's the deadliest

strike against Americans in

Pakistan in more than two

years. The key Hispanic vote is

lining up as one of the most

intense battle grounds of the

US presidential campaign. With

more than 50 million Hispanics living in the US their

political might is growing.

There's a definite Latino lilt

to this political gathering

with. The Spanish population

booming they know their vote

could make or break President

Obama's re-election homes. This

is the largest number of Latino

delegates to attend a Democrat

convention. Our path is very,

very clear. It's time for fous

hit back. Hispanic voters

turned out in force four years

ago for Barack Obama by a

margin two of to one but some

have been left wanting and the

problem of the estimated 11

million undocumented workers in

the US has proved beyond this

President. I don't think Mitt

Romney really hilt the ball out

of the the park. We got to address this issue in this

country. The party has done a

lot about inclusion. We have

over 800 delegates ... But the

Republicans are making headway

with the Latino vote? Jai don't

think they are. If we come to

the basic what Obama has got to offer and what Romney has got

to offer, there is no

comparison. No other minority

is getting this kind of

attention. Both parties make

sure their campaign messages

can be delivered in fluent

Spanish. The President, who

spent the day in storm damaged

Louisiana, will make sure

Hispanics feel he has heard

their message when he speaks

later this week. Democrats have

started their convention with a

street festival to make sure

this week isn't just about

anointing Barack Obama, but

signing up people to vote for

signing up people to vote for

him. The next challenge for Democrats is convincing them they have to come out on

election day.

The Greens are calling on

the Federal Government to

intervene to protect two

Australian sheep shipments

rejected in the Middle East

after outbreaks of scabby

mouth. Negotiations are said to

be continuing to get 22,000

sheep off an Australian ship

moored off Bahrain. Sheep on

another ship silting off Kuwait

have now been offloaded to a

feed lot. Senator Lee Rhiannon

says a memorandum of

understanding put in place

after 6,000 sheep died in 2003

is meant to protect animals

involved in the live export

trade. The memorandum of

understanding now look like worthless bits of paper. What

they require is for the sheep

to be unloaded within 36 hours

of docking even if they're sick

they're supposed to be put into

quarantine feed lot. The sheep

waiting off Bahrain have

already been at sea for 33

days. Beef exports to the

United States have jumped 40%

in year, and are tipped to hit

the billion dollar mark by

December. It's a major rebound

brought on by America's

devastating drought. But for

local producers there's no easy

ride. Exporters are trimming

margins to offset the strong

Australian dollar. And here, local butchers are getting

creative to tempt budget

conscious consumers. The meat

industry is in Anne Patterson

that's blood. She joined the

family business 20 years ago

hand her small suburban shops

embrace the Internet to attract

more customers They are looking

for value for money. If you

have specials that people are

actively looking for that. Meat and Livestock Australia says beef prices have been

stable in the past couple of

years as shoppers sharpen their

focus on cheaper cuts. We sell

the whole carcass and not just

specific cuts. So our

profitability as a small

business owner is still - still

remains quite viable for us to

be in business. One bright spot

is exports to America. Up 40%

and rising. Last year it was

the lowest volume of meat we'd

sent to the US since the late

60s. Prices for the product we send, there manufacturing beef

which is typically hamburgers,

lower value products the prices

in the US are at record highs.

But that doesn't spell a boon

for farmers there a no more

meat being ex porlthed, it's

simply being shipped to the US instead of markets like

Russiaened a the strong dollar is keeping a lid on

profit. Every cent that the

dollar moves is equivalent to

$50 million to the beef

industry and this country.

Sometimes that's good if the

dollar is going down. But sadly the last couple of years it's

been going up. The US cattle herd is at the lowest level in

about 60 years and demand for

cheap Australian beef's tipped

to surge again next year.

Australian producers are hoping

key raishan markets chug Japan

and Korea bounce back, boosting

flagging demand for premium

peeve. It was once one of

Australia's top 100 companies,

but now Gunns is fighting for

its life. The timber outfit

posted a $90 4 million loss for

last financial year, has bank

debt of $550 million, it's only

valued at $24 million, and the

share price hasn't traded since

March. Many analysts say Gunns

needs a miracle to survive.

Peter Warnes is an analyst with

Morningstart. I think that's

exactly right. Miracles don't

come around very often. With

the financial situation Gunns

are in pretty dire straits at

the moment. How much longer can

they go on? Oh ... I would say

that it's going to be very,

very difficult, the financials

just don't add up at this point

in time. Or having said that,

don't forget that it is a

result of significant non-cash

impairments on assets that are

worth a lot more than they are

at the rule-off date and so if

in fact the prospects of the

global pulp market and then

obviously the woodchip market

that spins off that, if that

recovers over the next couple

of years, those assets will be

revalued significantly upward.

But I don't think Gunns has the

luxury of time at the moment.

So is Gunns' only hope for a

white knight investor to come

in. Is that likely or if an

investor does come in, will it

just be to pick off those as

sets that Gunns has? Well,

possibly that's exactly what

might happen. I mean, they are

valuable assets. And it could

well be that someone will come

in and just be a predator and

clean them up from the receiver

should that be the way that

this plays out. Look a white

knight I don't think is really

a chance hat this point in

time. The waiting time for that

could be a few years, and I

don't think the patience of a white knight would be

justified. Finally - are

Gunns' problems self-inflicted,

do you think? Or is the company

just a victim of global

economic circumstances? Well, I don't think it's

self-inflicted. They've had a

lot of opposition in Tasmania

from the environmental

movement. Programs the global financial crisis certainly

hasn't helped, and when you're

raising capital in a very

hostile environment, it's very

difficult. So they've probably

been the victim of circumstance

albeit they have to take some

responsibility for how they've

handled the whole situation,

rather than non-aggressive

approach early in the project.

But overall, I think there are

many side thoz blame for this


To some of the other stories

making news in business. The Commonwealth Fisheries

Association says imposing

restrictions on a Dutch

supertrawler in Australian

waters is a setback for the

industry. Federal Environment

Minister Tony Burke has

announced limitations on the

'Margiris', which he hopes will

stop seems and dolphins being

caught in its nets. Seafish

Tasmania has listed Brisbane as

the base for the trawler,

though it may never go there

and will be operating around

Australia. Strawberry farmers

say they're being forceed to

abandon perfectly good crops as

prices plummet. While shoppers

are enjoying strew breeze for

has low as 99 c a punnet,

farmers say some growers have

been offered just $5 for 12

punnets which only covers about

a third of production costs.

And a study from America's

Stanford University has found

that organic food is not any

more nutritious than

conventionally grown food. It

scored equally for vitamins and

minerals but is it safer? The

study said yes, it's 30% less

likely to have pest side

residue and antiobiotic

resistant bacteria. A check now

of the markets with Michael

McCarthy from CMC Markets. So

Michael, Fortescue Metals is

trimming its sales? Yes, it is.

It's announced plans around the

open of trading this morning to

cut costs by reducing staff

numbers and also slowing its

expansion. It's going to focus

on the lower cost mining

opportunity it is has given the

volatility that we've seen in

iron ore prices and given that

they've halved over the last 12

months A lot of analysts would

see this as a reasonable move.

We have a very wide range of

opinions on this the company

has titled its press release

very pos think ofly saying that

Fortescue Metals takes decisive

action in the face of iron ore

volatility but investors seem

to be less pleased. We've seen

a sell-down in Fortescue Metals

shares today. They touched a

two year low at $3.43 in

tradeing this morning although

they've since bounced back to

be trading around the $3.50

mark. How are stocks looking

across the fwhoord? Overall the

markets, we've seen a slight

fall in the Australia 200

index. It's down around 12

point bs and sitting just above

4,300. The mining stocks are

ironically given Fortescue

Metals's announcement the best performing sectors in the market today. That's because

we've seen rises in the price

of gold, silver and copper

overnight. Worst affected today

are the banks. Once we strip

out the property trusts, the

financial sector's down by

1%. It's the first Tuesday of

the month, so the Reserve Bank

is meeting to consider interest

rates. What are you

expecting? Like a lot of other

analysts I don't think we'll see any change to interest

rates today. Governor Glenn Stevens gave testimony to

Parliament last week. He laid a

pick turts of the economy that

has the Reserve Bank waiting

and watching to see how things

develop. Although markets

remain focused very much on

central banks we also have a

European central bank meeting

later in the week then next

week we'll have the US Federal

Reserve. It's much more likely

we'll see market moving

announcements out of those two

central banks. Michael thank

you. Wall Street was closed for

a hol day. The figures for the

Dow, S & P and the Nasdaq are from Friday's close.

The new Northern Territory

Country Liberal government has

been officially installed at

Government House in Darwin. Chief Minister Terry Mills

heads a nine-member Cabinet

sworn in by the Northern Territory administrator shallow

Thomas this morning. I Terence Kennedy Mills do swear that

except as may be required by

law, I will not divulge any

information including the

contents of any document of

which I have become aware by

reason of my membership of the

the Executive Council of the

Northern Territory of

Australia, so help me God. The

new government includes the

first Indigenous ministers to

serve with the Country Liberal

Party. The Indigenous

advancement minister Alison

Anderson was also a minister in

the previous Labor Government

before resigning and joining

the Country Liberals.

Researchers are investigating

how evolution could help save

the Tasmanian devil from

extinction . The university of

Tasmania study has confirmed

aggressive devils are more

likely to contract the deadly

facial tumour disease. More

than 300 devils in Tasmania's

highlands were studied over

four years. The more

aggressionive devils became

infected from biting each other

during mating and fielding and

researchers say boosting

natural selection in more

docile devils is key. This is a

race between the devil and the

tumour to learn to co-exist

with each other. The facial

tumour disease has wiped out

about 85% of the Tasmanian

devil population. The first

penguin chicks of the season

have hatched in the last mainland colony in New South

Wales and that's in Sydney

Harbour. This one month old

chick was out and about during

the day and was given a quick

health scan by park rangers.

Weight and height were checked

as well as food intake giving

scientists some idea of how the species is faring in the urban

environment. This one and its

sibling are in the nest by

themselves now. The penguin

population is endangered with

only 60 pairs left in Sydney.

Their decline is mainly due to

loss of hab tat, attacks by

dogs and foxes and being struck

by boats. Sectarian tensions

have resurfaced in Northern Ireland. More than 40 police

officers are still recovering

after being injured in a

weekend riot in Belfast.

Triggered by a Republican

parade. Sunday afternoon in

Belfast. The police try to keep

rival loyalist and Republican

gangs apart. After clashes

broke out during a Republican parade along one of the main

roads in the north of the city.

47 police officers were

injured. One of them, seen here

on the left of the screen, was

hit by a brick on the head. The

violence continued through the

evening and into the early

hours of the morning. Even in

Northern Ireland, it's rare for

so many police officers to be

injured in one night. The

violence last night was savage.

Violence in which we saw an

excess of 34 petrol bombs,

hundreds of fireworks, huge

pieces of masonry and even

lasers used against this community's police officers .

Used against public servants

who on a Sunday afternoon went

out to deliver policing on

behalf of this community. So

why did the riot break out?

Back in July, a loyalist band

was accused of playing a

sectarian tune outside the

local Catholic Church. Then

last month, there was trouble

after another parade at exactly

the same place. There were

fears of violence during

yesterday's Republican march,

but no-one expected it would be

so intense. Another parade will

take place here at the end of

this month. Work has already

started to try to prevent

another riot. A quick look at other stories

making news around the world.

Rebekah Brooks the former chief of News International has

appeared in a London court

facing charges linked to

alleged phone hacking. Ms

Brooks made a brief appearance

speaking only to confirm

personal details and that she

understood the nature of the

charges against her. Dozens of

workers in South Africa held in

connection with the murder of

34 colleagues at a platinum

mine have been released after

charges against them were

dropped. The strike at the

British owned mine has

intensified with even fewer

miners now turning up for work

than last week. And the World Downhill Skateboarding

Championships have attracted

hundreds of riders to Calgary's

Olympic Park, site of the 1988

Winter Olympics. Not for the

faint hearted competitors can

reach speeds of up to 90

kilometres an hour in a run

that's a mixture of controlled

slides hand and feet dragging

and air braking. Street luge

was also on the agenda and

collisions are just part of the

action. There's been another

world record for Australia at

the Paralympic Games in London.

This time, it was in the pool

where the women's relay team

won gold and the victory gave

Jacqueline Freney her fifth

gold medal of the games. A day

after the men's swim relay team

celebrated gold the girls are

ready to do the same. Ellie

Cole got Australia off to a

strong start in the 4 x 100

freestyle event. The United

States grabbed the lead in the

first change. 13-year-old nad

son Elliott got Australia back

in front, but was pipped by

Great Britain at the next

change. Catherine Downey and

Jacqueline Freney restored the

Aussies' lead. Freney's final

blitz capped off a sensational

performance to add to her

growing tally. Fifth gold

medal. Australia wins gold! And

a new world record. The team's

absolutely amazing, and I'd

just like to thank all these

girls for their support and we

swam an awesome race girls.

Elliott is now the youngest

Australian Paralympian to have

won gold. Her reaction when

told her team had broken the

world record was just as

golden. Madison, did you not

know about the world

record? No, I did not know

about the world record! I was

just wanting to win that gold

medal! Earlier Freney

collected her fourth gold in

the 100 freestyle where she set

a Paralympic record. In the

men's event, Matthew Levy won

silver behind the Chinese

competitor. In track and field

Brad Scotted aed a silver medal

in the 1,500m for athletes with

cerebral palsy. I left nothing

on the track tonight. I gave it

110%. Seven time Paralympian

Russell Short won bronze in the

shot-put for the vision

impaired class. Australian's

men's wheelchair basketball

side remains unbeaten. The

Rollers defeated Italy 68-48.

They'll face pole hand in the

quarterfinals. South Africa's

Oscar Pistorius is set to meet

with the International

Paralympic Committee after his

shock loss to Brazil's

competitor in the 200m final.

The man dubbed 'The Blade

Runner' claims Olivera had an

unfair advantage because his

prosthetic blades were too

long. It's claimed a US spy

plane has made secret trips to

an Adelaide Air Force base

touring the past decade. A

group of local aviation buffs

says it monitored the Global

Hawk's movements in and out of

the state for five years. The unmanned Global Hawk arrived at the Edinburgh Air Force Base

from California in a blaze of

publicity in 2001. It's an

historic evening not only for

military aviation but opening a

new frontier in aviation

itself. During six weeks of

test flights, local aviation

enthusiasts were spying on the

spy plane. We followed its test

flights but after 2001, we also

managed to track other

operational flights coming into

Edinburgh at different times.

Paul Daw says they recorded at

least 10 missions in the

ensuing five years but don't

know where the planes went when

they left Australia. If a US

Air Force transport aircraft

was noticed arriving and

unloading shipping containers,

we guessed that that was the

command and control position

for Global Hawk. He says their

guesses about its arrival were

always correct. Members of the

group who posted details of the

missions on-line at the time

say they were told to stop by

the Defence Department.

According to the ABC's 'Foreign

Correspondent' program, in

2004, then Defence Minister

Robert Hill planed to publicise

details of the flights. But

didn't do so at the insistence

of the US Air Force. Mr Hill wouldn't comment today and the

current minister says he's been

too busy to investigate the

claims. Well, I haven't

descended my mind to those

matters at all as I've

indicated I've been focused exclusively on Afghanistan

matters. The Defence

Department says flights did

occur after 2001 but were rare,

and were for maintenance and


To the weather now. The at

slight shows a band of cloud

over WA with a strong cold

front bringing damaging winds.

Cloud crossing South Australia

will a trough mostly clear

elsewhere due to a high. A

vigorous front should cause

damaging winds showers and

squally thunderstorms across

the west. A high should bring a

mostly sunny and mild day to Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, northerlies should become warm and strong in

western Victoria, Tasmania,

South Australia and Central

Australia ahead of the front

and trough. And around the


That's the news for now on a

day when unions started a new

am pain against asbestos in

buildings. And Australia broke

a world record in the pool at

the Paralympics. There's

continuous news on ABC News and

also news on-line. Our next

full bulletin on ABC1 is at

7pm. 'Ros Childs. Have a great afternoon. See you tomorrow.

Closed Captions by CSI

This Program is Captioned



Good evening. Welcome to Q&A.

I'm Tony Jones. Answering your

questions tonight - the Deputy

leader of the Nationals in the

Senate, Fiona Nash, rock star

and would be politician Angry

Anderson, British Indian

musician, cultural pioneer and

nuclear activist Nitin Sawhney,

model turned best-selling crime

novelist Tara Moss, the Minister for Environment,

Sustainability and Population,

Tony Burke. Please welcome our

nanl. (APPLAUSE). - panel.

Q&A is live from 9:35 Eastern

standard time. It is simulcast

on News 24, News Radio. Go to

our web site if you want to

send a question now or use the

Twitter conversation using the hash tag that

hash tag that just appeared on

your screen. The first question

from satisfy Hannah

Saville. Julia Gillard's

promise to bring Australia into

the top 5 into 2025 is set to

bring a new standard for

Australian students. As a

current Year 12, I can

appreciate the intent to

bolster the future. In your

opinion, is

opinion, is this target genuine

or a ploy to dampen current

prospects without thinking

what's best for current school

students. Tony Burke? I don't

think we should underestimate

at all the challenge of the

scale we are talking about

here. The problem is real and

Hannah has acknowledged the

problem and you only go back

over the last decade how we