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7.30. Tasmania -

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(generated from captions) again next week. For now, goodbye.

Tonight on 7:30 Tasmania - the legacy of timber company Gunns as its former boss is fined for insider trading.We mortgaged our future to the greed and hate of this rogue corporation and now very sadly we are paying the cost of it. Labor determined to hold on to power despite signs of flagging support.We enter the campaign as underdogs. We are still underdogs and we are fighting, thing is for.This election campaign for.This election pits the positive plans of the Coalition against more of the same from a divided and directionionless government.Tasmania's Senate race proving a tight fight.The sixth seat is race proving a tight sixth seat is going to be heavily contested and we will expect it to be between Labor and the Liberals and the polls are suggesting that the Liberals will pick it up.

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Welcome to the program. Hello. I'm Airlie Ward. Gunns is still dividing Tasmania despite being wiped off the economic landscape almost a year ago. After pleading guilty to insider trading, its former boss, John Gay, was today fined $50,000. The offence carries a maximum penalty of five years jail and a fine of Long-time Gunns critics say today's sentence is too lenient. Beyond the criminal proceedings, the case has company
turned the spotlight on how the company was able to wield the political and economic power it did for more than a decade. Some argue Gunns' influential position dented its business acumen, contributing to the company's demise. The question of whether the company was too close to Government lingers. Zoe Edwards reports.The demise of Gunns took years but the demolition of the headquarters was swift. There is no sign the timber company once belonged here.Gunns is a classic case study of hub rus. Where the CEO became the king of Tasmania and thought he could become the king of Australia in the timber plantation forestry market and Gunns did too many acquisitions, took on too much debt, took on the biggest new manufacturing plant in Australia, which is what the $2 billion pulp mill would have been, and at the end of the day they only had the skills to be a relatively small Tasmanian timber company.Questions about how Gunns was able to storm into the ASX 100 only to spectacularly crash a few years later are slowly being answered. The company's political connections no doubt played a role.It exercised an enormous amount of power behind the scenes in ways that I found reminiscent of the way the old Hydro Electric Commissioner used to and just as, in the end, that didn't do Tasmania much good, neither did the way in which Gunns set about exerting its authority.Tasmanian author
Richard authority.Tasmanian international attention to what international attention he saw as an unhealthy relationship. He says Gunns' collapse makes him feel sad rather than vindicated.So we mortgaged our future to the greed and hate of this rogue corporation and now very sadly we are paying the cost of it.Investors have lost more than a billion dollars and Tasmania's once-dominant forest industry has shrivelled. Gunns started as a family owned and operated company and grew into a billion-dollar listed business. Led by John Gay, Gunns thrived despite being at the centre of Tasmania's biggest political scandal.I know you are an arsehole, why do you have to pay for one? In 1989, Edmund Rouse went to jail for attempting to bribe a Labor MP to prop up Robin Gray's Liberal government.It should have stopped them in their didn't learn
tracks.Unfortunately Tasmania didn't learn the original lessons that came out of those bribery scandals involving Edmund Rouse and another series of scandals subsequently emerged many years involving some of the same parties.John Gay remained at the helm of the company and Robin Gray was made a director after leaving Parliament.We discovered that Gunns was the biggest contributor to both the Labor and the Liberal Parties at elections in Tasmania. So they called the shots.Former Liberal leader Bob Cheek revealed in his memoirs John Gay offered a $20,000 donation to the Liberal Party if it logging. Former Federal continued to support clear-fell leader Mark Latham believes Tasmanian forest policy leader Mark Latham Tasmanian forest policy showed
Tasmanian the party and then Premier was too close to business.Old Lennon wouldn't unless the guy who heads up Gunns told him to.Let's not forget this was a bizarre society parties would act against self-interest so you had leading Tasmanian party members standing shoulder to shoulder with John Howard in the final week of the 2004 election.Gunns' political influence reached its height when it decided to build a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. The Government chipped in with s.ADVERTISEMENT:Australia can
advertisement have a strong economy with a modern and safe pulp mill. That's great news for our community.And legislation to fast-track the project.That's the time at which you began to see car stickers saying "Tasmania, the corrupt State". People felt that's what was afoot.Et cyst James Rose - ethicist James Rose advised Australians the company was Australia's most business.Its
ethically-challenged business.Its culture has been behind its erosion in the last few years.In circumstances where an entity or individual becomes too powerful, some of the safeguards might normally apply, either by law or simply cautious business practice, can fall by the way side.He says Tasmania's size lends itself to the creation of such a powerful organisation.Tasmania's not unique in this respect. You can look at the experience of places like Iceland and Ireland in the lead-up to the financial crisis and part of the problem in both those situations was that a small number of organisations or individuals accumulated too much power.Parliament has moved to strengthen etical conduct standards, installing a Parliamentary Standards Commissioner and creating the State's first corruption watchdog. Soon after its launch, the Integrity Commission was asked to look at whether the former Lennon Labor Government's support for the proposed pulp mill was improper. The watchdog ruled it didn't have the power to investigate.It may be some of those things need to be strengthened.It appears Tasmania's leaders don't see a problem.Do you think the relationship between the Lennon government and Gunns was too close? No.How would you describe that relationship? Like any relationship, with any business ...I think it is important that government do its bit to support Tasmanian business of all sizes. We want to see more jobs, we want to see more investment.Richard Flanagan says lessons can't be learned if mistakes aren't acknowledged.We need politicians to admit they were wrong in order that we can rebuild that trust between the community and the with the State Government
headed a long government.Gunns' relationship
with the State headed a long list of criticism headed a s of how the company s of how the run.Things s of how the company was
run.Things like media from a run.Things like banning the media from a public company media from a public AGM, not having an independent chairman, not AGM, not chairman, not having a majority of independent directors, suing directors, suing their critics in the Supreme Court, doing renovations to the Premier's home. In 2008, as the financial crisis set in, Australian firms were making management changes to calm shaken investors.Banks in Australia, they completely took heed and jumped in.But Gunns snubbed an Australian Securities Exchange recommendation to install an independent chairman keeping John Gay as the head of the board as well as chief executive.It is really within the organisation's best interests and shareholders' best interests to comply with those corporate governance principles that are set out.If you have a strong-willed, aggressive CEO you need someone else who is the chairman and a majority of independent directors to provide a power counter-balance to that dominant CEO.To move away from that, you'd have to have a very strong justification to do that. The justification was that he had knowledge and skills and could lead the company in the direction that they saw fit.Shareholders didn't object to the make-up of the board.You wouldn't want to see directors on a board for more than nine really comes about because of the fact they can become too the fact comfortable with one another. Things may not be checked. Questions may not be asked because that familiarity kicks in.Gunns is the best example of the failures of institutional investors to insist on good corporate governance and big name investors such as Perpetual sat back and let Gunns get away with their poor governance. That was partly because John number
Gay delivered returns for a number of years.While big investment groups seem to have learnt their lesson, Tasmania is still consolidating the losses.I think this is the tip of the iceberg and I'd watch this space because I there is going to be a lot more come out about Gunns and as more come out, a lot more will come out about how corporations operate in Tasmania, in Australia and perhaps questions raised about what the capitalist model is we are currently using.The question is will we learn from it? Will Tasmanians learn from it? Will we be wiser? Will we expect our government to behave in the interests of us as people and not in the interests simply of one corporation? and with two weeks to go until polling day, the Opposition has unveiled a controversial new plan for regional action to stop people smuggling. It's pledged to buy back unseaworthy boats in Indonesia and offer villages bounties for information about smugglers. Labor has dismissed the scheme as crazy and a grab for media attention. Meanwhile Kevin Rudd has predicted he could pull uf a - offer a 1993 Paul Keating-style election comeback. National affairs correspondent Heather Ewart reports. Just past the midway point in this campaign and the pressure is on to hone the sales pitches for the crucial final stretch.We entered the campaign as underdogs. We are still underdogs and we are fighting, fighting, fighting. The thing is worth fighting for.Two weeks to go now and it is clearer and clearer that this election campaign pits the positive plans of the Coalition against more of the same from a divided and directionless government.Buoyed by opinion polls continuing to run in its favour, the Opposition smells decisive victory. Kevin Rudd, during a media blitz on the hustings in Western Sydney, clings to the hope he can pull off the un expected.People need to think about this in terms of some political history. I am old enough to remember what happened in a campaign 20 years ago, in 1993, where the then Australian Labor Prime Minister Mr Keating entered the race as but there is no underdog.And went but there is repeat for but there is no sign yet of repeat for Labor this time the Opposition ramps up what repeat for Labor this thinks is a the Opposition ramps up thinks the Opposition ramps up what it
thinks is are not going to be all talk and no action here. are not going to be all and no action here. We are sending and no action sending the clearest signal to sending the clearest the people smugglers sending the clearest signal is the people smugglers your game
is up. Your game is up. We run this is up. Your game is up. this country and we decide who this country and we decide cops here and we cops here and we will exercise the control that is necessary.In Darwin came the latest addition to the Opposition's operation sovereign borders policy. A $440 million plan for more regional action to stop people smuggling.The policy which Scott Morrison and I are proud to announce today essentially involves working much more closely with source and transit countries to inter dict the operation of the people smugglers.It is a new take on the old stop the boats theme that means sending more Australian police to Indonesia to work with local authorities but way more contentious, a move to set up a village watch and offer bounties for information as well as buy back unseaworthy boats destined for people smuggling.We want to have a program that reaches up to 100 villages across Indonesia but also the opportunity where the intelligence leads you to the option to be able to get that boat before the people smuggler does and stop that boat from leaving Indonesia. That saves lives. It saves the taxpayers money ultimately.It is much better and much more sensible to spend a few thousand dollars in Indonesia processing
than to spend $12 million processing the people who ultimately arrive here, so it is a commonsense measure.A measure that was swiftly met with derision by Labor.Of all the mad ideas I have heard in immigration, I think boat buy-back wins. The whole concept three-quarters of a concept that you three-quarters of a million boats, most of which are being used for boats, most used for poor villages to make a livelihood, and Australian officials are going to wander in and buy the boats from them? It is simply crazy policy. No other way of describing this.Mr Abbott's plan to have, it seems a three-star general sitting at the end of a jetty with a chequebook to buy back fishing boats in Indonesia is about as irresponsible as his plan for a paid parental leave scheme which gives 75,000 bucks to millionaires.As Labor refines its campaign strategy, attacking Tony Abbott's generous paid parental leave scheme is now a consistent focus. At almost every turn in Sydney's western suburbs today, Kevin Rudd was at it again and again even as he announced cutting GST red tape for small business.We're in the business of making it easier for small business to get out there and prosper, whereas Mr Abbott is imposing on small businesses and independent retirees and families the tax burden to pay for his unaffordable, unfair and irresponsible paid parental leave scheme.If you want to do the right thing by the families of Australia, by the workers of Australia, by the businesses of Australia, you need a fair dinkum paid parental leave policy and that's what people will get from the Coalition.But Labor knows full well the policy sits uneasily in Coalition ranks and in the business community, worried about its cost. That's why Kevin Rudd will continue to hammer it from now till election day. This and the Coalition's failure to release its budget costings and potential cuts. Tony Abbott took a hit on that front today with respected economist Saul Eslake claiming a gap of almost $30 billion between the Coalition's spending promises and savings unveiled so far.I have high regard for him as an economist but when it comes to doing budget numbers it is an entirely different thing. We have a proper process. We have gone through the Parliamentary Budget Office. Our numbers are absolutely right, our policies have gone to the Parliamentary Budget Office.All of our policies will be fully costed and fully funded and the be
overall budget bottom line will be better under us than under the Labor Party.Which jobs go? Which health services are cut? Which schools are cut? Et cetera. Is this the sort of person you want running a $1.3, 1.5 trillion-dollar economy. I don't think so. We have to zip and go and meet other good expect
folks.Voters still shouldn't expect to get all of Opposition's costings and until the last few expect to get all of the
Opposition's costings until the last few days of the campaign. While the race is on to determine who will form Representatives
government in the House of Representatives after September 7th, there is another battle under way in the Senate. It is a powerful House with equal representation of 12 Senators from each of the States. The Territories only get two each. But with all the focus on the Lower House, how much do voters really know about their Upper House representatives? It is quiz night at a local Hobart pub.Bit of a local question for you. How many Senators does Tasmania have? 7:30 Tasmania planted a couple of questions with the quiz master.Can you name them all? We don't even know how many.Can you guys think of anymore? Far too many anyway.You have been used as guinea pigs tonight people. The correct answer was 12. Of which two teams got I believe.None of the teams were able to name all 12 Senators. The highest was seven. It is a challenge even for those involved in politics. Would you struggle to name all 12? Yes. I'm hoping desperately you won't ask me that. There are six spots on the red leather up for grabs at this election. Senators serve six-year terms. The other six will be recontested in another three years. Voters will have 54 candidates representing 23 groups and parties to choose from. More than double the number in 2010.We are going to be going for 24 columns which, as far as I can found out, is the largest Senate paper we've ever had in Tasmania.There are three sitting Labor members ever had in Tasmania.There three sitting Labor re-contesting. Lin Thorp, Carol Brown and Catryan Bilyk. Richard Colbeck and David Bushby from the Liberal Party and Peter Whish-Wilson from the Greens. It is expected the top two spots on the Labor and Liberal tickets are safe.I think it is reasonable to expect that myself, Peter Whish-Wilson and the Liberal candidate Sally Chandler will be in a battle for the last two seats for Tasmania so it is a very important, tight fight.The sixth seat is going to be heavily contested and we will expect it to be between Labor and the Liberals and the polls are suggesting that the Liberals will pick it up.Tasmania was the only State with a swing to Labor at the last Federal election.The Liberals in the Senate polled very poorly. They only secured 33% of the vote. Yet if we look at more recent opinion polls, they've got the Liberals securing as much as 50%.If Lin Thorp loses, it will be the second time in as many years she has been ousted by voters. Ms Thorp lost her seat in Tasmania's Upper House following a number of controversies over the handling of her ministerial portfolios. She has only been in the Senate a year after being selected by the party to replace retired Senator Nick Sherry. Third on the Labor ticket, Ms Thorp's not contemplating her future beyond this election.I'm just looking at this particular contest at the moment and I will wait and see.The Liberal's Sally Chandler is the likely candidate to claw back a seat for the party and replace Lin Thorp.How many employees on this site? Got about 30 people here.Born on a farm at Forth in the north-west, Ms Chandler is an international trade specialist who has throughout Europe and Australia. Until the election was called, she was a trade start adviser with Austrade. On the campaign trail, businessman Phil Thompson was keen to tell her what he thinks any incoming government should do.I think there should be more encouragement to R & D in Australia.She is also aware of the plight of farmers.I am getting the message that people are very concerned about the Bass Strait freight issues and the Bass Strait passenger issues.While Labor has an all-women ticket, if she is successful, Ms Chandler would be the first female Liberal Senator for Tasmania since Jocelyn Newman resigned more than a decade ago.Certainly it would be good for the Liberals to have female representation from Tasmania in Canberra.If the Liberals do secure three Senate seats, it will likely be a contest between Labor's Lin Thorp and the Greens' Peter Whish-Wilson. Like Lin Thorp, Mr Whish-Wilson wasn't elected in his own right. With his Twitter handle Senator Surfer, his path to politics was concern over ocean outfall Gunns' proposed pulp mill rather than forests. He filled the casual vacancy left after Bob
the retirement of former leader Bob Brown.It has only been 12 months for me to get up my profile but I have been working as hard as I possibly can.The former economics high flier who Street is spent time working on Wall Street is often called a Street is often called a light Green.My portfolios have been non-traditional for Greens. Areas like small business, competition policy, waste, trade. In all these areas, and marine.Richard Ecclestone thinks Mr Whish-Wilson is the front runner ahead of Lin Thorp but says there could be an impact from voters dissatisfied with the Greens at a State level.Labor/Green minority State government is unpopular and that's impacting on federal voting patterns. That's one reason why there would be a significant improvement in the Liberal vote in Tasmania in the Senator and the House of Representatives.With the focus on the Lower House and who will be the next Prime Minister, it is not surprising many voters don't know who all their Senators are. However the outcome in a Senate contest is critically important.Our Senate is based on the American model, it is about dividing political power so it designed to be a constraint on government.It is a powerful house of review. The only thing it can't do is introduce money bills but it can block themThe last time a party controlled both houses of Parliament was
under John Howard both houses of under John Howard after the 2004 election.They did make quite radical changes particularly around industrial relations and Work Choices. That was a poisoned chalice as it turns out and it didn't serve the interests of the Coalition.Mr Ecclestone says while an Abbott Government is looking likely, voters are also worried about what that will mean. As a result, he expects there'll be an increase in voters who will hedge their bets and vote for a different party in the Senate.So there are some checks on the power of government and I think under current circumstances, that kind of strategic voting might be quite a significant factor in the Senate election. Historically it has been around could
5% of the vote. I think it could be a little higher this time round.Yet the low profile of Tasmanian Senators he says is a problem.Really over the last decade from both sides of politics, we haven't had much representation particularly in cabinet. I guess that is a reflection on the state of health of both major political parties in Tasmania but I think there is deeply entrenched disillusion with political practice, particularly with the major parties.He says Senators rather
tend to vote along party lines rather than necessarily representing State interests.The fact is that, if you secure a high position on the Senate list or the Senate ticket of a major party, you are guaranteed election, so, therefore, it is generally parties
senior operatives within the parties who secure Senate pre-selection and end up representing the State in the Senate. That's true across all of the States.A broader challenge beyond the election cycle . That's our program for tonight. Don't forget if you miss any stories you can catch upon line vie the website. If you have any story would like you have any story ideas or send us an would like to get in touch, send us an email. We will leave you send us you with send us an email. We will you with images of wind surfers you with images of wind xeet - competing in conditions in Tasmania's north-west. Have a great

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