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(generated from captions) .Professor Chubb, thank you very much for that. Let me ask you the first question and it really goes to why do we still find our selves in this position? I made the point at the outset that this is not something new. We've been discussing this for many, many years now. I actually quote from your colleague Susan Corey, President of the Academy of Science who addressed the club four weeks ago in fact today and she said in terms of just how crucial STEM skills are, 75% of the fastest growing occupations require those skills and employment in STEM-related occupations is projected to grow at twice the pace of occupations. That didn't happen overnight. She also quote ed Innes Willox, that it's causing real frustration for employers. Now, if one of the principles of making sure you don't make the same old mistakes is to understand why those mistakes were made, why do we find our selves in this position today?Because we spend too long talking about it.It's been the lack of a strategy? Yes.We talk about it but don't do anything?That's right, and it's easy to talk, you know. I mean, I just there is some action
coming.That's right. So with a bit of luck, and coming.That's bit of luck, and with a bit of support, what bit of luck, and with a support, what we need is the science community to stand up and say, "Yes, we do need a strategic approach to the vent of this." I was at the opening of a computer centre over at ANU before I came here today, and one of the points that was made by one of the speakers who quite unashamedly made a bid for more money to the minister who was sitting in the front row, which I would have done had I been in his position, but I wasn't, but the point about it is we need some certainty, we need predictability, we need some comfort from the fact that we know that we're taking a strategic approach to what is important for this country. So one of the hard questions you've got to ask yourself is: Can we do everything? The short answer to that is, no, we cannot. So the point is then a much harder question: How do you actually resolve to select the areas where Australia has competitive advantage, particular needs, particular issues that have to be addressed by the STEM community, and you can begin to focus some of your attention around some of these look at
strategies. Then you do have to look at how business is saying, or the skill sets that it needs to develop appropriately, and I do think that there are lessons that we can learn from the rest of the world. Now, I know that the economies are different, I know that people will tell me choose a different denominator and it doesn't look as bad, and I get tired of that, Laurie. I think the real issue for us is to confront the reality. If all we do is talk about it and we don't actually prepare our selves to act, all we will do is make incremental change, the sum of which in 20 years won't add up to much, and the rest of the worldal will have - America will have its extra million graduates in stm, our countries in our region will have implemented their plans, they will have increased their spend of proportion of GDP from relatively low levels. I agree the numbers of people, they will have looked at their education systems, and they will have done it on multiple fronts, because we can't wait for people who start school 2025
next year to finish school by 2025 before we get any rubber on the road. We have to work on multiple fronts and as far as I'm concerned tomorrow is already too late. It should be yesterday - it should have been yesterday.A question now from Simon Grose. From science media, professor. I haven't got a question about STEM in particular, but about education in general. The hot issue at the moment is the Government's decision to put a $2,000 cap on the tax deductibility of what are called self-education expenses. This has generated a scrap the cap campaign, led by the universities of Australia with lots of professional bodies. As Chief Scientist, what's your assessment of this potential impact on skilling of Australia's potential impact workforce, and skilling of Scientist, have skilling of Australia's
workforce, and Scientist, have you engaged any Scientist, have you engaged consultation with the PM, the relevant minister, the Treasurer, or their departments before or after the decision was announced?So the answer to the last bit is no. The answer to the first bit is it's always difficult for an independent free spirit like a Chief Scientist to comment on government policy. I remember the "independent" word, that's right.I think I would like to see some attention paid to that fairly selective ly, in areas where we need to be sure. Say, for example, we look at the post-graduate qualifications of the education element in the look at post-graduate qualifications, something to the order of 23% of the baby boomer part of the education workforce has a post-graduate qualification and something like 10 or 11% of the 20-35-year-old end of the education workforce has a post-graduate qualification, so my interpretation of that is that over a period of time, when this lot drops off, that the level of qualification of the teaching, or the education workforce, not just but education workforce could
slowly decline. Do we want that to happen? I don't think we want that to happen, so why wouldn't we do something about it? I think it's where I referred to sensitive intervention of government. I think government - I would be encouraging government and I will do this when I do see the PM, and I will certainly do it when I see the minister, that we do make at least selective interventions in this area to make sure we don't lose skill sets that we desperately need.A question now from Andrew Tillett From the 'West Australian', professor. A kind of a sequel to Simon's question. As part of when the cap was announced, the Government also announced this he were cutting $2.3 billion in funding to the university sector. Given your message today about the importance of federal funding for research, I wonder what you think about that decision and whether that should be reversed?Well, it's always hard for an independent free spirit to comment on government policy, but I do remember the word "independent". Yes, so, I think that the - one of the reasons why I want a strategy in place is that when decisions loo ik that are taken, and it is choices, we're not arguing for a truck load more money, what we are saying is we ought to deploy resources in a strategic way, and when governments are faced with the position that the Government was faced with, as I understand it, then what I would like to see is that a de - that decisions are taken in the context of strategic framework that support STEM because STEM is so critically important to the country, or the future we are trying to build for the country, so it's contextualised inside a strategy rather than taken, as it were, separately from any relationship to STEM. How it has been introduced into each individual institution, and so on, I've got no idea, and I don't know what I would do if I was still a Vice-Chancellor because I haven't had to think about t but the principle thing for me would be to take decisions within that framework and you know the consequence of of taking a decision here that impaths there, on the whole framework and not just that little bit of it.Joanne magt they are, Australian 'Financial Review'. The BCA also talked a little bit about orienting research to what and wants, and I wonder is there a danger in going too far in re-calibrating that away from basic research, prance?Joanna, there is a danger if going too far in anything, so it's about balance and getting the balance right. One of the things that we put into our strategic approach is that we cannot neglect new research. I'm prepared to stick my neck out and say I don't know any innovation that hasn't been based on knowledge. Somebody knew something today that they didn't know yesterday. They might have got that knowledge by looking at what basic research has been done over 25 years, as some of these things take to get to that fruition, or it might have been a question that they specifically asked within their business, within their company, why is this like that and how do we make that better, so it's more at the application end. I think that partly we've got our self noose a bit of a problem because we continue to articulate the dichotomy between basic and applied research. We all know that it is a continuum, we all know that is overhappens at almost every point, but the one you can't neglect is the one that the American corporate leaders wrote to the President - it is the Government's to support that bakecy research
to provide the patient capital that enables them to provide the patient that enables them to create an environment that enables that enables them to create environment that enables them
to create the inspired risk-taking that leads to technological discovery. That brilliantly captures the need. You've got to have the full spectrum. You can't just say, because we don't know the outcome, the purpose, the specific thing that will be invented as a consequence of somebody beavering away in a laboratory, we shouldn't fund it, that would be a ludicrous outcome, and there are no particular signs that have in Australia, but I think it's incumbent on people like me to keep reinforcing the idea that you have to have a continuous flow of new ideas to have a creative society and if we want a creative society, that's one of the billing blocks of itDavid Spears from Sky News, professor, just on that issue of internationalising efforts here, just picking up on one of the areas you raise in Asian area research zone, I wonder if you could flesh out how that would work in practice? Are there difficulties here when it comes to intellectual property with this?David, what we planned or what we proposed was that we should, with neighbouring countries, identify a process by which we can jointly identify things of critical importance and priority for us. As an area, if you like.There are sort of - the European research zone is a similar sort of thing. Multiple countries, pult Pell economies, multiple cultures, different needs, different pressures, but they try to organise it in a way to identify what are the key things to enablise research. In my plan, we would all put a bit of money into the pot and work together to work on the big changes that confront us all. They're not all identical, but the one I focus on from time to time is studying our water basis. The - basins. What will we do about our water in the future? They have as many problems in south East Asia as we do in Australia, slightly differently driven, but certain things where you need to understand the dynamics of the fresh water systems, and so for us to lrn from each other and to say, do
"Yes, this is something we can do together," it would enable us to share infrastructure. So how many sin ka trons we want in this part of the work. How we get the best from and you infrastructure, how and infrastructure, how to share it
and you need to be government-to-government, but ult pal - but ultimately you have to be multiple governments to get the most sensible path forward. I guess the detail will come out of the subsequent work following this release, but that would be broadly the principal we get to.Dan Harrison. From the 'Sydney Morning Herald' and 'The Age'. The NSW Chief Scientist Mary O'Kane has made some strong comments in recent days about the health and environmental challenges posed by coal seam gas drilling, are you concerned about the risks that coal seam gas drilling poses to human health and the environment, and if so, what should be done to address them?Well, first we really
should understand what they really are, and I think we should accumulate the evidence that we need, and I think part of - what we should do about them is we should try to get the regulations and the policies in place ahead of the game, and I think we've just released a report or recommendations off a report shale gas, and about a month ago, six weeks ago released, and one of the recommendations in that is that we actually get the policies and regulations in place before it becomes a problem. The second thing you've got to do is make sure that the community understand more than the community did understand, it appears, when coal seam gas started to be exploit ed. So it goes back to the social compact and taking the community with you as you take your step as long this path. It's pretty easy for tous say, there is an energy problem. Let's get some gas and sell it." Of course, that's do,
might what we end up having to do, but in order to get to the point where you can do that without great controversy, you've got to take to understand, they've got community with you, they've to understand, they've got to
to understand that you're serious understand about regulation, probity, proprietity, integrity, all of those things that underpin community confidence in the science, technology, engineering and maths, and you've got to do it early.So I think that unless we pay specific and explicit attention to that, we will always be shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, and what we are saying now is let's get out there in front of this, work with the community and do all the things we need to do and then let's take them with us as we talk about exploiting presently coal seam, down the track shale, shale gas potentially, but have what we need to have in place so that the community has confidence that its interests are being looked after , and part of that, of course, is health.Are you concerned that there is a fundamental mistrust at least amongst some sections of the community about scientists, and I think not just of coal seam gas, I think of the ongoing food about genetically modified food, for instance, which many people see as absolutely essential, a agree personally it is absolutely essential to meet our future needs?Yes, I am concerned. I

Here is John Robertson speaking after the ICAC report naming two former Labor ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald.Today's i ICAC report - I want to see the book thrown at all the people who have been found to have acted corruptly. These individuals have undermined public confidence in good Government and the honest, hard- working members of this parliament. What we have seen is an appalling abuse of public trust to advance personal interest. These individuals need to have the book thrown at them, I want to see these people prosecuted and feel the full brunt of the law and if found guilty serve time. To that end it's why I again today call on the Premier to establish a special prosecutor to proceed, to voo these individuals charged and heard before our courts. The public deserve nothingless less. The significance of these findings when the ICAC says that findings when that these people should findings when the ICAC that these people should be
prosecuted that these people should prosecuted for conspiracy prosecuted for defraud means that no prosecuted for conspiracy to should be left unturned and no effort should be effort should be reserved in ensure ing we see all of these individuals feel the full brunt of the law before our court system. These individuals have ripped off taxpayers in NSW. The ICAC has made it abundantly clear that these matters should be referred to and they should be referred to somebody whose sole focus is to prosecute these individuals. It was Jeffrey Watson who said how significant these alleged acts of corruption were and it was Jeffrey Watson who has highlighted the fact that these are of such a magnitude that we should see a special prosecutor put in place. It was the same that occurred in Queensland when the Fitzgerald inquiry concluded into the Bjelke Peterson government, a special prosecutor was put in place. I want to ensure these individuals are tried, I want to ensure the proper resources are put in place and calling for a special
prosecutor because we know the DPP is already overstretched. They've just recently had their budget cut get again by the O'Farrell Government and I don't want to see a budget cut let these individuals get off.How do you feel as they were once members of your party?I'm disgusted by what these individuals have been found to have done by the ICAC. They have acted corruptly and now a recommendation is that they should be prosecuted for conspiracy to defraud. These individuals used and abused public trust. They used and abused a position that they held on behalf of the people of NSW under the banner of the Labor Party. And I have nothing but disdain for their actions and each of them.Should the Labor Party the people of NSW for the people of NSW for allowing this to happen while it was in this to Government?I've put in place a range of reforms - to ensure that we never have individuals like this sitting in the NSW Parliament as members of the Labor Party. I haven't waited for ICAC, I've acted quickly and swiftly to make sure that reforms are put in place that don't allow people who are motivated by self-interest rather than public interest from ever sitting on the benches of this parliament.We still haven't got an apology from Labor. When is Labor going to apologise for allowing this to happen?It has been something that has been an appalling set of circumstances and that's why the ICAC has been put in place. It's why I welcome these findings that it exposes the breadth and length of activities that these people were involved in using an abusing the position they held of public trust in the parliament.What do you think of Eddie Obeid's response that it's all superficial, all the findings are just -Well I followed the ICAC proceedings fairly closely. I've skimmed the report this morning. I think the evidence and the determinations of the commissioner David Ipp are damning.What about Eric Roozendaal who has been cleared of any corrupt conduct, any apologies for him?I accept all the findings that have been made by the commission and I'm not going to get into a debate about different sorts of findings. The fact is our rules in the party are clear now as a result of the PM's intervention. Reforms have been put in place that will see anyone that's investigated suspended and anyone found guilty of corruption expelled.What part of this makes you the most angry. Is it the fact that taxpayers were ripped off or given your party a bad name?I'm angry because we've seen an abuse of public trust to rip off taxpayers. I'm afall - appalled and disgusted by that and I'm angry that we've seen people motivated by personal interest use the name of the Labor Party to advance their own personal interests.D your party come back from this?This is a party that's got a proud 120-year history. The reforms that I've put in place, the reforms that have been put in place after the PM's intervention will ensure that we never have people like this in our party again and of course, with hard work and continued efforts we will come back from this.Are you confident that this is where the rot stopped in the previous Government? Can you guarantee we won't be seeing any more inquiries involving former Labor ministers?What inquiries guarantee is I've put in place a set of reforms that will ensure we will never have those individuals in our party again. I can guarantee I am not going to allow or tolerate any form of corruption while I'm leader of NSW Labor.OK, so that was the NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson speaking a short time ago in Sydney. He wants a special prosecutors position established to pursue cases out of the Independent Commission Against Corruption report that was released this morning. So the main elements of that story, the commissioner's found former NSW ministers Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid has acted corruptly and recommended they face criminal charges. The ICAC spent months with the public hearings into the activities of the former Labor ministers. The inquiry has found Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid to face criminal charges over the Mount Penny mine deal. It investigated whether Mr Mock Macdonald was bribed with the services of an Macdonald was bribed services of an escort and it
found that Macdonald was bribed with the
services of found that he along with Ron Medich was involved in corrupt conduct. Eric Roozendaal, it's been found he did not act corruptly by the commission's investigators but ICAC has found Moses Obeid acted corruptly by arranging a cheap car for him. For more I'm joined by court reporter Jamelle Wells who has followed these hearings from the beginning and has the report in her hands. She's had them in her hand this morning. So just take us through the nature of the alleged corrupt activity between Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid.The ICAC found Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid colluded on this Mount Penny coal licence and through the inquiry we heard evidence that Ian Macdonald had somehow leaked information to Eddie odeed and that was inside information that would benefit the Obeid family and their various associatess.That was before the family went in and started buying property in the area?That's right. We heard after getting that information Eddie Obeid and siz his sons not only bought farms in the area but encouraged their friends and business associates to do the same. We heard some witnesses say they bought property in the area but didn't even know where it was and they told the ICAC they had to ring up a corner store to get directions to get to their farm. So those were the sorts of allegations that we heard for months and the Obeids not only bought up
property property in the Bylong Valley area but they also had involvement in mining projects through other companies and very complex trust s and depean structures and they hid this from people because they were worried that people wouldn't invest in these companies if they knew the Obeid s were involved in it and that's what brings in this other group of 7 businessmen and they were known at the inquiry as the Magnificent 7. And they included mining investors such as Travis Duncan who had a stake in a company Cascade Coal that was related to this Mount Penny licence. Now, the ICAC commissioner has found that they acted corruptly as well and interestingly at this inquiry the Commissioner has not only referred matters to the DPP but also to the tax office, to the Australian Securities and Investments
Commission and he's suggested that certain evidence about the Obeids be put to the NSW Crime Commission.And what are the specifics about how the Commission says the businessmen acted corruptly?Well, the insinuation at the inquiry was that they misled investors and that they misled the stock exchange. That they didn't give adequate information and that they should have divulge ed not only the Obeid's involvement in the company but they should have divul - divulged exactly what they knew about the issuing of this mining tender. All the businessmen deny the allegations against them and as late as last week Travis Duncan, one of Australia's richest men, went back to the High Court to try to shut the Commissioner down and stop him Commissioner against him.So a lot of court hearings now. But I just want to go back to these Mount Penny situation where the Obeid family was buying up property there. So it wasn't the case that they only bought the property but then they won the right for mining exploration in the area as well on top of that?That's right, that's right. So they had all bases covered and stood to make millions of dollars and the Commissioner, David Ipp, and the counsel assisting at the inquiry said this was huge, large-scale fraud and they said it was conspiracy to defraud the people of NSW and that it was on a scale not seen since the days of the Rum Corps. It was a staggering around of money. When you first heard it was it was $100 million and I remember there was the public gallery and we actually thought the counsel assisting had made a mistake and he was going to go back and he correct himself but he didn't. And these investors, Travis Duncan and the others, each stood to make about $60 million from this deal.So that's money they stood to make. What did the Obeid family make in fact? Because they did make some money from that, didn't they?They did. We know that they made around $30 million and that they were in the running to make a lot more than that.That was from the sale of the properties or the mining licence?It was a little bit of both. And it was $30 million plus associated amounts for various other projects and even at the time when it was mentioned at the inquiry the counsel assisting said there was no way of knowing the full extent of it. And Eddie Obeid and his sons were asked extensive about their book keeping, about their tax records and they were asked keep certain documents inquiry that a lot of their wealth evidence was given at the
inquiry that a wealth was kept in inquiry that a lot of their trusts and that they drew money out wealth was kept in family
trusts and that out of those trusts trusts and that they drew money out of those trusts rather than a set wage or declaring them as profits from the a set wage or declaring profits from the companies.You profits from mentioned those mining identities mentioned those identities are maintaining their innocence. Eddie identities are and Ian their innocence. and Ian Macdonald have
maintained their innocence their innocence. Eddie Obeid
and Ian the way through as well, maintained haven't they?They have. They've stated several times that they've done nothing wrong. They've stated that - wrong. They've stated that - or Eddie Obeid stated that he will consider legal action against the Labor Party for expelling him. Ian Macdonald has said that the ICAC evidence is not complete, that he can provide further evidence that will help clear his name and Eddie Obeid's described the whole thing as a big beat up and this morning his wife spoke to reporters outside the family home and said we've done nothing wrong, we're a good Christian family.OK. So the prospect of many court cases out of this. The DPP doesn't necessarily proceed with charges against individuals if they're recommended by ICAC?No, no, not at all. A lot of people are referred to the DPP but never charged. For example, the Woolongong Council corruption scandal, many people, including the town planner, Beth Morgan, were referred to the DPP. No charges were ever laid and if the DPP does decide to charge any of these individuals it could take a year for the charges compiled. As we've heard a little a year for the charges to be little while ago, there were calls from politics for that process to be sped up.And in fact maybe a special prosecutor.That's right. It could take years for this to get there - through the courts and remember also, if Eddie Obeid is convicted of anything and if he's sent to jail, which we're not sure if that will even happen, he's over 70 now. So the prospect of him having a custodial sentence is not really a huge one. A lot of people go to jail from the ICAC and they appeal against their sentences, they walk free, they're given a bond or some sort of community service order. Only two people I know of have actually spent time in jail after an ICAC inquiry.OK. Well there's sure to be a few more days in court yet for some of these people and I'm sure you are going to be there for the ABC listening to even more of this. Jamelle Wells, thanks for coming.You're welcome.Now speaking before the findings were handed down this ministering the PM Kevin Rudd said he directed federal intervention into the NSW branch of the Labor Party because he was disgusted by the ICAC hearings.I've been absolutely disgust ed by what I've seen in the ICAC hearings so far and my view is very simple. Anyone who is responsible for corruption or illegal behaviour should face the full force of the law. That's what I want to see happen. I welcome this report. Anyone who is responsible for illegal or corrupt behaviour should face the full force of the law. Further, I would say, it was for no idle reason that I took a virtually unprecedented step of directing federal intervention in the NSW branch of the Labor Party. This set of reforms anchored in one core principle - zero tolerance for corruption. Zero tolerance for corruption. And I expect that to be fully reflected in the intervention we've undertaken and I go back to my comments on the ICAC report. The Australian Government welcomes the ICAC report, we've been disgusted, I've been disgusted by what I've seen before ICAC and anyone responsible for corrupt behaviour should face the full force of the law.The PM Kevin Rudd speaking in Sydney earlier today. For more on this political consultant and former Labor strategist Greg Holland joins me now from Hobart. Good afternoon. So it's a dark day for Labor, how did it get to this?Good for Labor, how did it get this?Good afternoon, Joe. It certainly is this?Good afternoon, Joe. certainly is and as both the PM certainly has said and the Leader of the Opposition of NSW have said it is a dark day for Labor but there have been steps put in place to make sure that this sort of behaviour doesn't happen again and if it does happen again, or if it has - what has happened, those what has happened, those people will face the full force of the law.Are those steps substantial enough to ensure this kind of thing doesn't happen again? We've been speaking to other people this morning who says there needs to be a former judge heading an inquiry into the Labor Party, or Peter Beattie needs to be brought into the NSW Labor Party to really sort things out?I don't think so. I think the steps John Robertson have put in place in NSW and the federal intervention that the PM's put in place will sort out a lot of these issues. The steps that John Robertson's put in place about the vetting of candidates before they stand for election, about parliamentarians not having outside interest, that all of those interests, if they have any, are laid on the table. There's no secondary employment. All those issues are now being addressed and I do agree with him that there should be a special prosecutor appointed. I think that's a very good move because these mistrust and this deception of public officers, of the ministers of the Crown, they should be dealt with swiftly and quickly.What about the preselection process and ensuring that rank and file members do have a say over who ends up being the candidate in the area rather than someone higher up in the Labor Party designating who the candidate is going to be?Joe, former is going to be?Joe, as a
former federal elections I fully support rank and file ba - ballots. I've gone through those, I've won and lost them ballots. I've and I think it's extremely important for the rank and file to have a say in those preselections and I also think that what the Sam Dastyari has done in NSW in the city of Sydney election process preselection process for the community to be involved as well is a very good step as well.So ka it be configured sod that it can guaranteed that rank and file members will have a say because is it the case now that there is often the situation that a senior federal member comes in and designates who should be the candidate?I don't think a guarantee is the right way to go. There are sometimes exception circumstances where you do have an outstanding person who is available to represent the community and a community they have been heavily involved in. A good example is Bob Carr from NSW going into the Gillard and now the Rudd governments as the Foreign Minister. A stand out of a person to do that. There could have been a rank and file ballot for that but the party decided to put someone in there who had enormous talent and has done a fantastic job. I don't think guaranteeing is the way to go. But certainly 99.9% of the time it should be a rank and file and community ballot to select the person to do it. There are plenty of people in the community who are able to step up to the plate and represent their community for the Labor Party all around Australia.You were around in NSW Labor over the past decade or so when Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald were significant figures in the party. Was there any indication through those years or any talk amongst Labor members that something was possibly wrong?Joe, the work that we do as political consultants and advisers in government relations, you hear a lot of stories about what people are supposed to do. It's always very hard to substantiate that. I never dealt with either of these two ministers. I wasn't known to them. But you hear stories all the time. You hear stories about politicians, about bureaucrats a lot of the time too. It's very hard to substantiate it. And you've really just got to get on with the job that you've been given and the advice that you're trying to pass on to the people you're representing and do the best job you can do and cut through a lot of that rumour and innuendo.This case was highlighted by members of the media. Does this case in itself show the importance of strong investigative journalism there, so issues like this strong investigative there, so issues like this do
see the there, so issues like see the light of day if they're
not going to there, so issues like this do
see the not going to be uncovered by not going to be uncovered the parties themselves?Yeah, look, I think there's things there. I look, I things there. I think certainly things there. investigative journalism, strong investigative journalism
is very strong in Australia and it should continue to happen and there are some very good investigative journalists certainly within the ABC and other media outlets around other media outlets around the country. But secondly I think that there should be the availability and the process for party members if they suspect that there is corruption going on, if they suspect there is wrong doing, they should have the process within the party to do that and that may mean that it's sometimes outside the process, there should be an special - internal process where there's an ombudsman that has been recommended by the PM in the intervention in the NSW branch and I totally support that.Greg Holland in Hobart, thanks for talking to us.Thanks very much, Joe.And we're chatting to Jamelle Wells earlier and we mentioned that Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald were maintaining their innocence or they have done so over the years. In the last ku couple of hours Eddie Obeid has issued and statement and he says:

Now the American soldier responsible for the biggest leak of classified material in US history has been acquitted of aiding the enemy. But Bradley Manning has been found guilty computer fraud in a verdict that could still see that could still see him decades behind bars.After a 2-month trial a small but dedicated band of supporters were there for Bradley Manning's judgment day.If anything, Bradley Manning has helped people inside and outside the US, he aided the people, not the enemy.We believe that Bradley Manning isn't guilty of anything and that he's actually very heroic for demanding government transparency and accountability.The 25-year-old showed no emotion as the military judge convicted him of almost all 22 charges, including multiple counters of espionage. But Colonel Denise Lind acquitted Private Manning of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy which carried a maximum penalty of life behind bars with no prospect of parole.The former intelligence analyst had admitted leaking 700,000 diplomatic cables and war logs including this video of an Apache helicopter crew gunning down civilians in Iraq. But he said he did it only to spark a debate on US foreign policy.Comment - Tate - commentators are called the acquittal on the aiding the enemy as a rebuke. It was akin to aiding Al-Qaeda because the terrorist group could access the Internet. But the combined maximum sentence on the other charges could still keep Private Manning in jail for the rest of his life, sending a chilling message to potential future whistleblowers.It is a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism. It is a short-sighted judgment that cannot be tolerated and it must be reversed.The sentencing phase begins tomorrow.Let's take a look at business news now, here is Alicia Barry.The Business Council of Australia wants both political parties to take up its blueprint for economic growth. The Council's calling for a full audit of how tax money is being spent and where it could be allocated better. The last review of the tax system was released by Ken Henry in 2010 but changes to the GST weren't in the scope of that review. The BCA is also suggesting cutting the company tax rate and a possible rise in the GST. President Tony Shepherd said this could be taken as some advice for Treasurer Chris Bowen as he prepares to deliver an economic statement as early as tomorrow. Come up with a plan to return the Budget to surplus in an orderly and sensible way and a sustainable way so no tricks, no deferrals, no, you know, bringing forward or bringing backwards and that sort of thing. Come up with a sensible, achievable Budget to surplus over time. Pay down the Budget to surplus over Pay down the debt, build up Pay down reserves for the next reserves for the inevitable downturn and that also would involve a complete also review of government and government expenditure to also would involve a complete review of government ensure that we're getting government expenditure ensure that we're getting value for money, we're not wasting money through for money, we're money through duplication with money the States and all of the programs that the Commonwealth has got running are delivering what they were intended to deliver.Tony what there. Well, the Australian share market is being pushed higher by energy stocks and banks. Investors are now chasing high-yielding shares because it's likely interest rates will come down again next week when the Reserve Bank meet. The All Ords index is up around 0.8% as is the ASX 200 index and they've been holding around those levels throughout the day. The Commonwealth Bank hit a record high early in the session this morning. It's still up sharply.

Global investors were cautious ahead of policy decisions from central banks in the US, Europe and England.

The market is pricing in a 95% chance of a 25 basis point cut to the cash rate next Tuesday.Well National Australia Bank is major institution to change its interest Australia Bank is the latest
major interest rate forecast. The NAB now believes the Reserve Bank will cut the cash rate twice before the end of the year taking it to a record low of 2.25%. The bank's knhis - economists say the move was sparked by the Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Steven's address yesterday which they believe was much more sober outlook of the economy than in the past.Official figures show growth in lending to households and businesses rose by slightly more than expected in June. The figures from the Reserve Bank show total lending to the private sector rose by 0.4% last month led by a rise in borrowings by businesses. The pace of growth in mortgage lending remained steady in the month while personal credit improved slightly.Turning overseas and Barclays Bank has announced a plan to raise around US $9 billion to boost its finances by offering a massive round of shares a t a discount. Barclay's share price plunged 8% on the announce ment to close nearly 6% lower. The share issue is designed to plug a larger than expected capital short fall of twice that amount. It follows a warning from the UK financial regulator which said Barclays had a multibillion dollar short fall in the funds required to protect savers and depositors. Today's good news certainly in terms of capital. Will there be more bad news from Barclays? Potentially yes but that has all to do with really the difficult environment or the increasingly difficult environment, we think, for investment banking and the continued competitive environment in an economy that is relatively weak.Barclays says it has a decisive plan to fill the gap including the sale of $3.5 billion worth of bonds and shrinking parts of its business by around $7.5 billion.Back home and Qantas has announced it will increase a fuel surcharge on its international routes and raise base fairs across its domestic network. The airline has blamed higher fuel cost and a fall in the value of the Australian dollar for the price hike. Fares across its domestic network will increase by between 2% and 3%. While the rise in fuel surcharges will vary, Qantas says economy passenger s will face an average increase of $20 on a one-way international flight. Top stories today - the NSW Labor leader John Robertson says reforms will ensure there will be no more corruption within the Labor Party. The State's corruption found former Labor ministers State's corruption watchdog has found Ian Macdonald and found former Labor Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid
along with Ian Macdonald along with Mr Obeid's along with Mr acted corruptly. along with Mr Obeid's son Moses recommended that criminal acted charge bs laid acted corruptly. It's
recommended that criminal charge bs laid over a coal charge bs mining deal in the charge bs laid over a mining deal in Valley. Eddie and Moses Obeid have Valley. Eddie and have issued statements denying any have issued statements any unlawful behaviour:. any unlawful Soldier Bradley Manning has been found guilty of espionage. Private Manning was equited of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy. The 25-year-old former intelligence analyst could be sentenced to more than 100 years in jail. WikiLeaks has accused the US Government of launching a war on whistleblowers and journalists.The ution Secretary of State John Kerry said there will be substantive talks over the next 2 weeks on the Middle East peace deal. The talks will be held in Israel or the Palestinian territories and Mr Kerry said no issue will be off limits. The Israeli Justice Minister says she's optist mystic a deal can be reached. And the Essendon Football Club has strenuously denied new allegations about its 2012 supplements program. The club's former high performance manager Dean Robinson says the coach James Hird and head of football Danny Corcoran conceded the program was to be run as a black op.Now more on the Independent Commission Against Corruption report that was handed down this morning. ABC court reporter Jamelle Wells has been following that corruption investigation since it began and filed this report from outside State Parliament.After months of highly publicised public inquiries and hundreds of witnesses, the Commissioner David Ipp has found that former Labor ministers Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid and Eddie Obeid's son Moses engaged in corrupt conduct over the Mount Penny mining licence. The ICAC heard that Ian Macdonald rigged the tender process to put the Obeid s and their families and associates profit hundreds of millions of dollars. Ed Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald have been referred to the dollars. Ed Eddie Obeid and the DPP. Evidence from the inquiry has been referred the DPP. Evidence from inquiry has been referred to
the NSW

the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and to the tax office. Now in 2 Investments Commission and separate inquiries Ian Macdonald has been found to have engaged Macdonald has been found have engaged in corrupt conduct for accepting the services of an escort called Tiffany as a bribe to arrange business meetings. However, another former minister, Eric Roozendaal has been cleared of any wrong doing over allegations that he received a $10,000 discount on a car as a bribe. Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid continue to deny any wrong doing.Bad weather has delayed the first transfer of asylum seekers to Manus Island under the Government's new deal with Papua New Guinea. The Immigration Department says the group is still on Christmas Island but will be transferred as soon as possible. Meanwhile the Opposition's immigration spokesman is back from Nauru. Scott Morrison has defended his decision to travel courtesy of Toll Holdings which supplies tents on the Island.We're not in the middle of any tender process. We're in Opposition, we're not in Government, and Toll Holdings were going up there for the ordinary course of business anyway which is in my disclosure.The Opposition has announced plans to house up to 5,000 asylum seekers in tents on Nauru as part of a 5-year plan.Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has declare head will surrender power if he loses today's election. His main opponent is Morgan Tsvangirai who shared pow wer the president in an uneasy coalition since disputed elections 4 years ago. Mr Mugabe has dismissed allegations that voting will be rigged.It's still a very divided country but for once a peaceful campaign as Zimbabwe hurtles towards the polls tomorrow.It's over. We have suffered, please go.President Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe for 33 years and at the age of 89 seems still determined to cling to power. But would he accept a defeat gracefully?Mr President, if you lose are you prepared to hand over power to the victor and stand down?You either win or you lose. If you lose then you must surrender to those who won. If you win those who have lost must also surrender to you and this is it.But that wasn't the case in 2008. That election saw a violent campaign against the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change and widespread allegations of voter intimidation.President Mugabe and his ruling party were finally forced into forming a party were finally forming a coalition government
with his party were finally forced into with his long-term rival Morgan Tsvangirai.But there are growing concerns that however
peaceful this election may appear peaceful appear on the outside, there are appear on the are already rumblings of are already rumblings heavily manipulated voter's roll. Opposition parties received their copies of this roll just this afternoon. So will these elections be any different from 2008? PM Morgan Tsvangirai believes not.Don't even doubt the fact that he doesn't want to get back to power by hook and by crook. Don't believe that. He doesn't believe in the right of the people to choose, he doesn't believe that he can actually be voted out of office.But there's no doubt that a great deal has changed in 4 years. An often unhappy power sharing arrangement has seen the creation of a new constitution and has delivered relative economic stability.Have these changes gone far enough and who gains from them? One thing is certain though, there's expected to be a massive turnout at polling stations on Wednesday as Zimbabweans decide their future.Time now for sport with Amy Hetzel and reports of a failed drug test by an AFL footballer?Yes , Joe, and the AFL is declining to comment on it at this stage. Reports have surfaced that a St Kilda footballer is under investigation for returning an irregular test to a banned substance this month. According to Fairfax the player took the substance unwittingly but still could be facing a significant suspension. Meanwhile Essendon has denied claims by former high performance coach Dean Robinson that Stephen Dank was recruited to run a supplements program described as black ops. Robinson quit the club on the weekend and alleged he Robinson quit the club on weekend and alleged he was
present when coach James Hird and all the club's head of football interviewed Dank for the sport scientist position.They put a scenario to Steve and Steve said to Danny and James, specifically to them, "What you're asking me to do is black ops."Last night further claims detailing Hird's involvement in the supplements program aired on the ABC. '7:30' reported that the Bombers coach had concerns about programs at least 2 clubs and he instructed Dank to match the strength of their rivals.The Brumbies have praised coach Jake White for leading them to their first final in 5 years. They will take on the Chiefs in New Zealand this weekend. The Brumbies hit rock bottom in 2011 with their worst season in a decade but they've since credited White with the major turn around in the past 2 years.Completely different side to what we were 2 years ago. So not just the young blokes, the older blokes, everyone, everyone's just been training so hard towards a common goal and it's great that we're so close but in saying that we're still a long way away from achieving our goal.To cricket now and Australia has dismissed talk of a 5-0 victory for the hosts in the Ashes series ahead of the third Test at Old Trafford. Chris Rogers says Australia could still win and he thinks David Warner could make all the difference.Could this man be Australia's saviour? Fresh from notching up an impressive 193 for Australia A David Warner is back with the squad. The batsman apparently unincumbered by the barroom ball that saw him sent to South Africa in the first place.Davy brings a lot of energy to the group always, you know. He's just one of those guys. He goes 100 miles an hour so you know, it's fantastic to see him get runs. He's such a destructive player that if he bats for a while he could put some real pressure on England.Warner may be on form but he's still courting controversy. On this elect mind selectors mind will be reports of heated sledging in South Africa but risks may have to be taken if Australia is to proven wrong predictions of a 5-0 series win for the focussing on, to be honest, we hosts.It's not something we're don't want to look focussing on, to be honest, ahead. We played well don't want to ahead. We played well in the
first don't want to look too far
ahead. We first two games and our job now is to try to improve on those is to try to improve on first two games.Kevin Pietersen is keen to be fit but the calf injury looks to be still troubling him. James Taylor could step up to the crease in his place if he can't shake it. If this is the first Ashes Test to be played at Old Trafford since the pitch was rotated 09 - 90 degrees to try to avoid problem with the late afternoon sun. But if the forecasters are correct it's not the sun but the rain that could be a factor in this Test. The ground is an unknown quantity for many of the Australian players.Of all the grounds this is probably the most foreign.The tourists can only hope it doesn't bring them to their knees.Australian ska opals star Lauren Jackson won't play for the Canberra Capitals in the WNBL season next season after all. Early negotiations looked promising but the talks fell through after the Capitals didn't meet a contract deadline imposed by Jackson's management. Jackson spent all of last season on the sidelines are a hamstring injury. She's now looking to play oversea s this summer. Jackson has vowed to honour her promise to return to the ACT for the following 2 seasons.The Australian men's water polo team has gone down fighting to Croatia in the quarter finals of the FINA world championships in Barcelona. The Sharks led throughout the match Croatia fought back to send the match into extra time and they finally prevailed 7-6.Now in the swimming Emily Seebohm won a silver medal in the 100 metres backstroke final. She was edged out by American teenager Missy Franklin who claimed her second gold. Franklin clocked 58.42 seconds in the final just missing out on the 4-year-old world record. Seebohm was 0.5 seconds behind.And Australia has 1 gold and 4 silver medals so far in the pool so some great results coming out.Is Christen Sprenger looking good for another gold at any stage?We can only hope. He's done well so far. Gold medal, you can't fault that performance.Thanks, Amy. Now for a look at the weather here is Paul Higgins.An area of rain and thunderstorms off the NSW north coast will bring a few showers north of Newcastle this afternoon. The tail end of a cold front is brushing past the south-west of WA bringing a few coastal showers there. A few showers for Tasmania as well with this approaching cold front but most of the nation is fine under a large high sitting right over the south-east.Tomorrow that high will still keep most of the east clear.A few coastal showers for Queensland and northern NSW and also for northern and western Tasmania but really not all that much about. Another cold front is going to bring some showers to the south-west of WA.

Thank you, Paul. Now the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is due to start a media conference at any moment, he's at the Commonwealth parliamentary offices in Sydney, that's a live shot you can see there. The story's around today that the Opposition Leader might be commenting on, we've got these findings coming out from the Independent Commission Against Corruption in Sydney naming those two former State NSW ministers and also a bit of controversy about Scott moreson's trip to Nauru.This is my first appearance in this new press conference room and no doubt it's a first appearance for many of you and so it's nice to be here. It's good to be here with Eric Abetz, the Shadow Minister for Workplace Relations and the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. Also good to be here with Paul Fletcher, the Member for Bradfield who will be heading a new Opposition task force that I announced today.Today is a black day in the history of the Labor Party because the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption has exposed the rotonness at the heart of the NSW Labor Party and the rotten heart of the Labor Party nationally because the Federal Labor Party is very much dominated by the NSW Labor Party and by NSW members of the caucus.So it's very appropriate that today I launch the Coalition's policy to ensure that we have clean unions and clean registered organisations in the future that don't betray their members that let down the low-paid members of our country the way we have seen all the recent past with instances in the Health Services Union whose president Michael Williamson was the national president of the Labor Party and whose national secretary Craig Thomson is still the Member for Dobell and is apparently still having his legal fees paid by the NSW Labor Party the subject of the damning findings, the damning corruption findings from the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption today. So I'm pleased to say that in the first week of a new parliament an incoming Coalition Government will introduce legislation to ensure that dodgy union officials face the same penalties, the same sanctions, the same criminal penalties and criminal sanctions as dodgy company officials. And if Mr Rudd is serious about cleaning up the Labor Party, if Mr Rudd is serious about cleaning up union movement, he today should offer bipartisan support for what the Coalition is proposing to do in a new parliament.. U I note when we introduced this in a private member's bill a couple of months ago the Labor Party did oppose it. But I give