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National Press Club -

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(generated from captions) Around the country for tomorrow, we see the storms moving into Queensland, particularly for the south-east but further up into the eastern districts and another stormy day for the north western parts of the country, but under the high, clearer sky as cross the rest of the south. Around the country for tomorrow:

That's the news for now. Our next bulletin on ABC1 is at 5:30pm and don't forget there is news whenever you want it on News 24 or online at abc.net.au/news. I'm Ros Childs. Have a great day.
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It's ideally placed to supply high-quality, high-value premium priced food products into Asia but it won't happen automatically. To fully capitalise on the unprecedented opportunities for Australia's food and grocery sector we need renewed form, we need an action agenda involving government and industry. An agenda that delivers enabling rather than regressive regulatory frameworks with a focus on reducing business cost. An agenda that addresses the impact of supermarket retail concentration in this market and the market now power that flows from it and an agenda that reinvigorates innovation, investment and trade. The overarching imperative here is growth. Growth will only come from businesses having the confidence to invest, take risk and employ. We need to grow our way out of debt and stop regulating ourselves out of business. It won't be easy to turn around. To quote Morris Newman, chair of the Prime Minister's business advisory council, the new government faces enormous structural issues that have been camouflaged by effective propaganda supported by vested interests. We certainly welcome the new government's commitment to regulatory reform, it's urgently needed. Australia's falling fast in the global competitiveness stakes, dropping out of the top 20 in the recent World Economic Forum index. We ranked an abysmal 128th out of 144 countries on the measure of burden of government regulation. Food and grocery companies operate within a complex regulatory environment. Food safety regulations that protect consumers from unsafe food production and handling practices are essential and strongly supported. Reputational risk is significant, particularly when high standards are a key selling point into emerging markets but across the food and grocery sector, regulation extends well beyond product safety and here the product is finding the right challenge, where the benefit of regulation exceeds the house. The Australian Food and Grocery Council commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to examine the current regulatory environment, identify reforms and quantify the economic impact of those reforms. Today we've released that report. Its conclusions are sobering. Some of the recommendations are confronting. But the opportunities and benefits of regulatory reform are undeniable. The problems it spells out are broad, I won't go through them all, but the proliferation of special purpose regulators with roughly one special purpose regulator for each aisle at the typical supermarket. Regulatory activism, where the rule maker is also the rule enforcer creating a tendency towards empire building, complexity and overlaps abound. The consequences are complexity, cost and uncertainty that can kill investment, innovation and jobs. Deloittes quantified the economic benefit of removing $100 million of regulatory costs to be around $2 5 30 million in additional GDP and more than 200 additional jobs. If we're serious about growth we have to get serious about regulatory reform. The recommendations in in report both top-down and bottom up, will be subject to further discussion with AFGC committeeses and the government in coming months. The report also notes that 20 years ago the mutual recognition Act was passed in Australia to put a brake on individual States doing their own thing and moving the country away from the seamless national economy. We'd certainly urge the new government to state clearly that no further exemptions to the mutual recognition Act will be grant ed, where the effect of the new regulation is to increase business or consumers costs. This would send a powerful signal that we're back on track moving towards the seamless national economy, not away from it. By contrast the previous Federal Government approved a permanent exemption for the Northern Territory's container deposit scheme after the Federal Court ruled it in breach of the mutual recognition Act. Green activists continue to lobby States to adopt similar steps, but it offers only a partial solution to the challenge of reducing litter and increasing recycling, and imposes costs an inconvenience on consumers. It just doesn't make sense. The Deloitte report also notes the encroachment of food safety regulation into attempts the lifestyle regulation, classic in any State incursion s based on emotion not evidence. In the obesity debate in particular, big brands are big targets. Even when they take concerted action in areas like reformulation, product choice and consumer information. Individual foods are vilified without any scientific base nis the rush to find a simple solution to a complex problem, to be seen to be doing something with no account for the costs. Make no mistake, for some this has become an ideological crusade. With an extreme anti-business agenda. It's an attempt to pathologise industry and remove any role for any individual choice and responsibility. This is at the heart of the absurd but potentially damaging claim that the food industry is the vector of disease. Equating safe products with poison. Not only baseless on scientific grounds but risks confusing and undermining public confidence in Australia's very high food safety standards. One area for particular attention by the new government might be what I term the money go round that funds these anti-business extremists. Actsivists in government agencies fund people who produce papers that provide the ammunition for NGOs to run a campaign creating a demand for more government fund and around and around it goes. By way of example, it was exposed earlier this year that a grant of almost half a million dollars in health funding had gone to research on fat taxes despite the Henry Tax Review rejecting the idea, the failure of similar taxes overseas, and both government and opposition ruling it out. Now, obesity is a real problem. The rising incidence of lifestyle related non-commune cable diseases is a massive challenge. It's a very different problem to health risks caused by individual pathogens which are combatted through food safety regulation. Non-commune cable diseases are multifactoral. That is the combination of foods the volume of consumption add the overall lifestyle choices are the drivers. Demonising or regulating a particular food is not the answer because choices vary endless I from consumer to consumer. The food and beverage industry has been en gajed for many years in efforts to improve the health and diet of Australians. Generally in collaboration with governments and community groups and often in response to consumer demand. The results of these voluntary initiatives have included massive expense in product choice and by example, three of the four top selling soft drinks in Australia are low or zero kilojoule drinks. Consumer driven choice. The removal of thousands of tonnes of salt from the food supply by slowly changing the recipes of popular foods. The virtual removal of non-core food advertising from children's television through voluntary industry codes, improved information to consumers, including the daily intake guide, now on more than 7,000 products and the healthier Australia commitment with its focus on balance. More needs to be done and it should involve less breach and more practical action. The decision by the new government to put the Department of Health and the department of sport together under one minister is a very encouraging sign that some balance may be returning to this debate. And we certainly welcome that. Finally on the regulatory front I want to say something briefly about technology as a game changer and this also is touched on in the Deloitte report. Many regulators and bureaucrats seem to be stuck in the old government knows best paradigm. Handing down from on high the limited information though think consumers need when consumers are light-years ahead, accessing the information they want often via Smartphones. These are game changers. They shift the power to the consumer and frankly regulators have no hope of keeping one this world of hyper meldation of mass personalisation, the ability to access almost limitless information and tailor it to your own personal wants via the mobile device. The AFGC has worked with GS 1 in this area producing the app that enables consumers to scan a product and get information. It's been a got sudden for allergy sufferers. This is the breakthrough. It enables personalisation of the information that you want. But the application is just as relevant to traceability of ingredients, nutritional value, cultural sensitivities, even recipes. It is a game-changing technology. We need to embrace it and it does offer a win/win for consumers, business and government. Now having spent some time talking about ways of getting the government off the backs of business I want to turn to the other what I see as the other two pillars of an action agenda. Both of which are areas where there are persistent calls for government to do more. The concentrated retail power of the big two supermarkets, and the reinvigoration of the trade, innovation and investment agenda. Australia has the most concentrated supermarket retail environment in the world with the exception of New Zealand with 70 to 830% controlled by the two major supermarkets. It means that to operate at scale, suppliers need to be on the shelves of both Coles and Woolworths and it's that relationship which is by far and away the biggest, most challenging issue for food and grocery suppliers. A year ago, the AFGC took the decision to focus our work in this area on two key areas of work. First of all, robust financial analysis undertaken KPMG taking confidential data from 18 companies and producing the competitiveness and sustainable growth report, in effect, a financial health check on our industry. Putting facts on the table about the impact of the changed market environment. It highlighted the significant increase in trade spend, that is, subsidies from suppliers to retailers to enable the aggressive discounting which we've seen. Trade spend has risen at a compound rate of 6.5% per annum for the past four years. And for the companies surveyed, this spending on rebate, discounts, promotions and shelf fees averages now more than their operating costs. Extraordinary. More than their operating costs. Toting about $4 billion per annum. It's the reason for a significant shift in profit from suppliers to retailers of the it's a key reason why retailer margins have improved despite retail price deflation in recent years. And Macquarie Bank estimated it may have added around $1.2 billion to retailer profits over three years. Suppliers have responded by improving the efficiency of their operations, investing in automation, to reduce labour and operating costs but frankly there's only so much profit in the pot and spending on innovation and brand building has taken a hit. By limiting the incentive and capacity for product innovation, and undermining the viability of domestic sourcing, this becomes a major problem for the retailers. Exposure to exchange rate risks, the more product is sourced from offshore, reputational risk from the impact on domestic suppliers, the chilling effect on innovation and reduced incentive for profitable brands to bring new ideas to market in Australia. Suppliers large and small remain under intense pressure and the ACCC has ongoing investigations into abuse of market powered and unconscionable conduct. The new government's planned root and branch review of competition law and policy is very welcome. But from an industry standpoint, we need to be looking for industry-led solutions rather than relying on government intervention. The retailers' response to the crisis facing SPC and Simplot, I believe, was a positive sign. Has has been the engagement in the development of an industry code of practice - and this is the second key area of work for the AFGC in this area. This will be a prescribed code that will deliver more contractual certainty, encourage better sharing of risk, and an effective dispute resolution mechanism without excessive red tape or cost. Our goal is to give suppliers a stronger hand in negotiations by reaching agreement with the retailers on anti-competitive practices that are simply not on. Things like retrospective demands for additional payments over and above the terms of a contract, not on. Arbitrary threats to delist products, not on. Using confidential information from a supplier about a product development or pricing strategy to contract to private label version, not on and so forth. Negotiations on the code are intensifying. They're robust negotiations. But they're being conducted openly and in good faith. And I believe we're moving rapidly toward as very small number of outstanding issues and I think we will know in the next few weeks if a meaningful code can be delivered. There's a major upside if we can achieve this through a negotiated rather than a legislated approach and that is, it can be a catalyst for more collaborative win/win approaches through the supply chain rather than simply prolonging the trench warfare of the past. Now, one effective strategy to reduce reliance on the big two supermarkets here at home is to find new customers overseas this is the third pillar of an action agenda for the food an grocery sector. If we're to realise the opportunities in Asia and other markets we need to be accelerating this trend of increased exports by identifying opportunities, improving market access and investing for the future. Moving Australian agrifood exports up the value chain means more value add in Australia, more jobs, more income, more benefit. For Australia's food manufacturers it provides the opportunity to diversify revenue streams and develop scale to offset the high domestic costs. And a strong er domestic food processing sector also obviously has flow-on benefits to other parts of the economy, notably Australian farmers. Traditionally, Australia's trade negotiations have focused on improving market access for Australia's agricultural commodities but to achieve our potential in Asia, we need to ensure that the trade in semiprocess and processed food products is also liberalised. And that there's a more strategic and coordinated approach to the promotion of Australian food. We aren't the only country trying to trade off the clean and green image so we need to find a deeper value proposition that reflects the safety, variety and high quality of Australian food. Free trade agreements need to be finalised and they need to achieve commercial outcomes. We've seen in the dairy sector the advantage this has afforded New Zealand which concluded its free trade agreement with China in 23008, and has seen its share of the Chinese dairy trade increase to more than 60%. Meanwhile, the Australian dare ee sector still faces tariffs up to 20% and our share of China's dairy imports has slumped to 15%. It's not too late to make up ground, given the scale of the opportunity in China. And other Asian nations. But we do need to accelerate our efforts. The government's focus on concluding FTAs is is a very welcome step but as they have noted they're not theened game in themselves and should instead be viewed as a platform for Australia's food trade with hair ya for decades to come. They need to incorporate mechanisms to continue addressing market access issues, including reducing trade barriers for processed food. But to really take advantage of the Asian growth in demand for food, Australia need as step change in its level of investment. As occurred in the mining sector. Right now the encouraging increases in capital investment in food processing are really only recovering lost ground. If we're to shift from the mining boom to the dining boom, we need to give businesses confidence to invest in product and packaging innovations that satisfy Asian demand and larger-scale factories that can deliver greater volumes efficiently. Targeted tax incentives that encourage food manufacturing businesses to bring forward investments at a time much needed in the up a economy have to be part of this welcome the
equation and therefore we welcome the coalition's policy commitments to attract investment into high value added manufacturing industries, including through targeted investment incentives. The AFGC has commissioned work that's now under way from KPMG to develop what these targeted tax incentives might look like. And to help drive the government agenda in this space. And we look forward to discussing the detail with government in coming months. I want to conclude by going back to the big economic challenge facing the nation. The prospect of a decade of budget deficits, the possibility of declining living standards if we can't drive higher productivity to offset a declining terms of trade. The urgent imperative of unlocking new drivers of economic growth. The food and grocery industry has proven to be remarkably resilient but at present it's run hard to standstill in the face of high domestic costs and retail price deflation. It has its roots in the agribusiness sector, one of the strongest areas of comparative advantage for Australia. And its branches in the advance ed manufacturing space. The growth prospects in the decades ahead are real but they won't automatically be realised. They require a step change in capital investment, commensurate with the opportunity. This is certainly not the time to be turning away foreign investment. It's not the time to allow major industrial capabilities in fruit and vegetable processing to be lost. It is the time to strengthen the domestic base of the industry through a food and grocery industry code of conduct with the retailers that provides greater contractual certainty and drives collaboration and innovation in the supply chain. And it is the time for serious regulatory review to reduce business costs, including the speedy abolition of the carbon tax. It's time also to drive for greater market access for processed food exports. In our trade negotiations, and for targeted incentives to boost innovation and investment that enhance our ability to respond to these export opportunities. These are the key elements of an action agenda for the foond grocery sector and we plan to take up the minister's invitation this morning to work with the government to drive growth in this important sector. Finally to members of the press here today, we did consider providing sample bags. But we thought the strength of the argument would outweigh the provision of free chocolate.(Laughter) Of course, I'm happy to concede if you're still not convinced come and see me, we may need to revisit our media strategy. I'm happy to take questions.(Applause)

Let me ask the first question, in your closing comments you made reference to this not being the time to turn away foreign investment. I'm reminded of some comments that Senator Arthur Sinodinos made just prior to entering Parliament that there was a quiet almost hidden coming boom. Everyone focused on the mineral boom, and that was in agriculture, because of the massive demand that we could see coming down the pike. You talked about the paradox in terms of Warrnambool Butter and Cheedz an Cheese and the price there. Some people are prepared to price assets on a long-term basis and you'd be doing that if you were bidding for Warrnambool Butter and Cheese, others are forced to be priced on a short-term base and their banks to some extent force that as well. Is it inevitable that we will see a lot of takeover activity in the Australian industry by those investors if you like who are prepared to take a longer-term view and inevitably that may well be foreign investors?On Warrnambool Cheese and Butter most of us are just trying to work out what the basis might be. But anyway, it's a fascinating one to watch. It clearly denotes people putting real money on the table T clearly denotes a great deal of confidence in that part of the industry. It's a very important point you raise. The food and grocery sector needs patient capital. We see that in the investment that's already taken place, that's upgraded factories, that's come into this country, often from overseas. Typically the foreign investment has been more patient than the domestic. That's the truth. If we flip to a forward-looking perspective f we're going to see this step change in investment then I think we need to capture the opportunities, then clearly, a large amount of that will come from overseas. So on both counts, I think it's not something we should shy away from. It supports activity here. It supports jobs here. It supports exports from the country. The net benefits are great.

Gary, interesting speech. I have an opportunity now to ask the kind of question I have never been able to put here before.That's ominous.About an hour from before, rord Sims from the ACCC is going to make a speech at your event in the theatrette. I want to ask you about something he's going to say and get to respond to it. He is acting on concerns about the major supermarkets. He refers to the concerns about unconscionable conduct, possible breaches of the law but he goes on to say it's taking a bit longer than he'd initially flagged and it will stretch into next year rather than making a decision on action at the edged of this year. I want to get your response on whether there are any concerns about it taking a little while there to get action from the ACCC. But on a broader and less time-sensitive question, about the competition regulator, there was a reference this morning at your event about the tool kit that the ACCC has. Bruce Billson acknowledged questions about the tool kit. Do you think the ACCC has the resources that it needs and do you think it has the powers that it needs under competition and consumer law to actually regulate this area effectively?I have not actually read Rod Sims' speech yet but I will have a go the at answer. The investigations he is referring to were kicked off last year. They came in response to confidential information provided by quite a number of foond grocery suppliers into the retailers. I think they had about 50 companies put information forward. That led to a number of investigations, some of which are now well advanced. I'm not privy to any more detail than that. I do, however, talk to Rod Sims from time to time. I appreciate his point that when he takes a case to court, he's got to be confident it will stand up. And that's a slow process, we understand that. By the same token, a court decision in favour of the ACCC has profound implications across competitive environment. The balance of time and cost versus impact is a real one. Has for the new minister's speech this morning and it's greatly appreciated his candour and he signalled very clearly that there's a willingness to look at the market power provisions in the Act. We man to be closely engaged with the review process but that in no way means we shouldn't be progressing other options that. Won't be a quick process either, the root and branch review. It's important that it be done in a quite deliberate and well-researched way. We need to be pushing ahead with industry led options including the industry code. I'm just interested in your response to things the minister has said on the supermarket wars and the potential to have negative impacts on customers and also on industry. Did you take that to be a warning at all to the supermarkets? On the industry code of conduct, how important do you think it is that that is enforceable in some way?On the second one first, it absolutely has to be enforceable. That's why we've pursued it as a prescribed code. So it would be tabled in Parliament as part of the regulations to the consumer Act. So it would bring into play the audit an enforcement powers of the ACCC. We're not talking here about a one-page set of principles. We're talking about quite a detailed code and I've spent many hours with Coles and Woolmer worth negotiating this, and they've entered it in a great spirit. Theys understand the tensions created by the market conditions as much as anyone. They're acutely sensitive to the brand and reputational risks of the current environment. Part of our approach has been to demonstrate to them why this market structure is a problem for them and why it's a problem for consumers. The immediate effect of low prices is great. Anyone who does the shopping, fantastic. In the longer run if it restricts choice and it's already restricted choice, if it restricts in innovation, that's a problem for consumers. So as with any negotiation there's giver and take. But to come back to your question, yes, it has to be enforceable and meaningful. I don't want to get into the fame of interpreting what the intention of the minister was when he said what he said this morning. I think his words speak for themselves.

Just harking back to 2011 when you released your State of the nation report. You had an event at Parliament House where I think all your members were invited to give away free products to parliamentarians and the press gallery. I would advise that was a very successful strategy.(Laughter) I went to a meeting yesterday at a town about two hours away from here in with the head of the national farmers fed race, the meeting was also attended by Fiona Simpson from New South Wales farmers. The theme of the meeting was basically the farmers saying they're sick and tired of producing food for free. They had a genuine message, and Barnaby Joyce has said that the way to describe his role as the new agricultural minister is to improve farm-gate returns. That basically came up with some solutions. Nothing solid. Their idea was to basically create more competition in the market and also obviously get behind their farm groups more to bring a stronger message to Canberra, but in terms of passing on some advice from your point of view about overcoming the supermarket duopoly, their pressure seemed immediate but a lot of solutions are longer tern. We we have a lot of content why your speech about longer-term solutions but they are obviously looking for immediate assistance. What's your view in terms of that?If you look at what's worked in the dairy sector, there are a number of things that have worked. For all the - come back to the point earlier about this strange paradox of a sector under huge pressure yet clearly the target of huge money. What's worked on a smaller scale has been products that are in-Witt taifr and promoted around quality or provenance. There is something to be said for direct line of communication into the major retailers. Or to look for other options. Dairy farmers direct in Melbourne is a great example of an alternate delivery route completely. There's no easy answer. And then at a larger scale you've got products like A 2 where they've been able to differentiate themselves in what looked like a commodity market. It's a difficult one. Because to a lot of people, milk is milk and that product differentiation is not obvious or easy. And they were caught in the squeeze, obviously, because milk was such a driver of foot traffic through supermarkets and a lot of the productivity has been sucked out of that sector. I don't have an easy answer but I think focusing on innovation and in terms of their provenance might be a good way to go. And also looking at al turn Nate routes to market, alternate access to customers. If I can pick up on Jess's question and talk about the pressure on suppliers from the concentration of power in the supermarket giants - when Kevin Rudd came to power he promised GroceryChoice and nothing really eventuated in that. New government comes to powered an lines up the big two on a slightly different issue. How important this time around is it that there is some concrete outcome, whether it be through the ACCC, the industry code or through the government and if there's not, if the status quo remains, what will the impact be on customers down the line? Will we see increased prices which the minister touched on this morning?The difference now is there's action on multiple fronts. is not
There's the ACCC action, which is not as fast as some would like but is continuing. There is the root and branch review of competition law and there's a the action we're taking from an industry-led perspective so I think environment is different right now. It's an environment more conducive to real action and real responses. I think you're already seeing the supermarkets respond to that to an extent in terms of their attitude and tactics. That's really the area that we want to work on in the immediate sense is the point of leverage to improve those working relationships. That's where the work on the work on the code is important. It's where the work we did around the real financial impact on the supply chain was important to demonstrate clearly what the medium-term risks were. It's where the response in terms of SPC and Simplot has been important. Look, without that, I mean it's critical, because without that, I think you're inevitably going to see a slide of more and more production offshore. Unless we can change some products in the market or unless we can change some behaviours and activity in the market, then the more and more suppliers are going to struggle. I remain cautiously optimistic that things are changing in the market but we need to keep up the pressure. We need to keep up the pressure politically and through the industry, through the code. And on customers?Well, exactly and this is the risk to the customer is both around choice, restriction of choice and it's around in the longer run price. Once this current period of aggressive discounting runs its course, if you're left with - if you're left with the major retailers controlling the retail space, controling a much bigger chunk ever the supply space through their own labels, then I think there is a risk to customer in the longer run around price. Of higher prices. I wanted to ask you about the five-star system of food labelling. You signed up to that system earlier in the year, you since seem to have backed away from it somewhat. What concerns do you have about the system and where is the whole process up to?We agreed to be at the table in the development of the system. We certainly haven't signed up to it as yet. We agreed to be on the table on the basis that it worked toward as system that was scientifically robust that was attractive to companies to implement. And that would have an impact on consumer preference, in other words, be worth doing, be worth the cost . We felt it was a premature announcement by the previous government on it, when still a great deal of work needed to be done. We're still not satisfied that the work that has to be done has been completed. Hasn't been adequate consumer research there's still quite a bit of technical work under way on the - on how you'd calculate the actual number of stars. The latest version I saw had a Chiko Roll at three stars and water at two stars. Now ...(Laughter)The Chiko Roll may well be a high-quality health product. I think it indicates more needs to be done. We're still heavily engaged. It's been people out of industry who've been doing the hard work, the ek technical word on that. This system won't work if it's not credible. It won't work if it's not robust and it won't work if companies aren't willing or don't see the value in putting on it on their packs. We've also made the point that the industry has voluntarily developed and implemented the data intake died, the thumb nails that are on the pack . They're on more than 7,000 products and growing. It's been done pat no cost to the taxpayer. It's clearly useful information. The research we've done found 78% of people found it either very useful or somewhat useful. That's a pretty high number. And there doesn't seem to be any good reason to say to companies, well, yeah, take that off and put this on particularly when the work has not been done on the if you system. In terms of your speech today, there seemed to be a lot of issues. However, what was your organisation actually done to address them out of your own energy and motivation in terms of of coming up with some more innovative approaches? At the moment food labelling seems to be a dumbing-down game whereas the consumer usually wants more choice, wants to be better informed and your members don't really seem to be addressing that when one walks through the supermarket shelf today?On the food labelling front, I come back to the point I made earlier. I think the technology is the game changer on that. Look, if you've got teenage children, they live on these things and you can see where that is heading. Limitless information, Mobil access to the Internet, tailoring information to someone's individual needs the we've led the way on that with GS 1 developing the goscan app. A lot of companies have their own apps. I don't know if you've seen track my Maccas the app where you can find where the meat came from that's in your burger. This is an insight into where this is going yet we're still fixated on how much we can fit on the the pack in that tiny font thaw need a magnifying glass to read. We need to change our thinking on

need to change our thinking on
that. My question is about China. And FTAs. You mentioned FTAs and the benefits of them. If you can elaborate on those comments for me and specifically about China with the government's ambition to get it done in a year. And your concerns about intellectual property rights. I know of one cheese maker a few years ago now told me that they'd tried to break into China and the Chinese partner had said well you can come in, as long as you make your cheese the size a particular size which turned out to be the size of his biggest competitor. He was going to repackage his cheese in a competitor's pirated box. Are these a concern for you and FTAs?Look, on the IP issue, not a detailed response, but absolutely. Any company going into another market needs to be alive to that n a market like China, where there are some question marks over the legal structure around things like IP. You know you have to go in with your eyes wide open and work out if it's worth while or not. For some companies it won't be. I think on the FTA, look, we are realistic about the - what is clearly the new government's intent and broadly supportive of it. That we need to - we'd support trying to get this deal done, absolutely. That's going to mean trade-offs, absolutely. Obviously we'd like to see agriproducts, processed food products, semiprocessed food in there as part of that liberalised trade. But if it's not then we'd like to see ebb mechanisms for how that discussion can be advanced once the FTA is done.To do nothing would be to hey Lou more of what should be our market there to be taken by New Zealand, by other countries. We've lost competitive advantage as to food markets into China but probably not as quickly as we should've. We're engaged with the new government on the trade front. We're realistic about it and we'll obviously keep lobbying for it to include the commodities that we think should be there.

Captions by CSI Australia

# Theme music

MARGARET: Tonight, Forest Whitaker
is a silent witness to change in The Butler. DAVID: It's hammer time
as Chris Hemsworth suits up in Thor: The Dark World. And Diane Kruger ties the knot
to break a family curse in the comedy Fly Me To The Moon. Hello.
Good evening. Also tonight, higher aspirations
cause family tension in Sister. We look behind the pulpit in
the documentary In Bob We Trust. And relive the end of the world
in Fallout. And our classic this week is
David Cronenberg's The Fly. Margaret, why don't you
start us off with The Butler? In the lead-up to the election
of Barack Obama as president
of the United States, a journalist, Wil Haygood, decided to track down
an African-American who had worked in the White House
during the Civil-Rights Movement. 89-year-old Eugene Allen had worked there
under eight presidents. The Butler is his story. He's called Cecil Gaines
in the film, played by Forest Whitaker, who began his life on a cotton farm
in the South in the 1920s, where his mother was raped
by the plantation owner and his father killed in front
of his eyes, all without redress. After being taken on
as a house servant by the mistress of the house,
Vanessa Redgrave, he gains the skills
that will take him to the North and ultimately to the White House
under Eisenhower, played by Robin Williams. Whilst his son Louis -
David Oyelowo - is confronting the issues
of his time with activism, Cecil is hearing nothing,
seeing nothing behind the scenes. Ready.
Lord help us.

Don't be nervous, man. Just go on and get to it.

You hear nothing. You see nothing. You only serve. This is such a great story -
the generational conflict between a father who has learned
to be grateful for the submissive but decent role
he has achieved in society and the son who is enraged about whites-only sections
in restaurants, in buses, about the segregation of education
for blacks and whites in America and who is determined
to do something about it, much to the chagrin
of his father. It is a wonderful chance
to represent the history of the civil-rights movement from both within
the political centre of the time and out there on the streets. Unfortunately,
Lee Daniels, director, never seems to understand
the strength of his material, so he goes into overdrive
on direction, underscoring where none is needed. With the cast assembled,
Oprah Winfrey as Cecil's wife and a score of cameos
as various presidents, there was obviously a lot of
goodwill towards this project. It should have been a great film.
Unfortunately, it's only average. David. I found it terribly disappointing
because it is such an important story and really such a good story too.
It's a great story. But, I mean, one of
the major problems, I thought, was those presidential cameos. I mean, Robin Williams as Eisenhower,
it was just ludicrous, laughable. I didn't think so.
I thought so. I didn't mind that at all. And John Cusack as Nixon? I mean...
Well, who would you cast? I don't know. Maybe they couldn't get
Anthony Hopkins to do it because he did it so well
the last time. Well, he's a little bit old
to play Nixon at that time. Cusack is just hopeless. If that's all you took away from
this film... No, well, it's a major component
of the film because it's done so badly,
that side of it. But also, I think the film is... I think Forest Whitaker, frankly,
is rather dull in the role. And I don't think Oprah Winfrey
is particularly exciting either. Well, I mean, the role he's asked
to play is...I know that. ..you know, hidden.
I understand that. But even so, I think
it's a monotonous portrayal. So I was really,
really disappointed in this because I really wanted it to be good and I don't think it's very good
at all. Well, I agree with you. I think he's ham-fisted,
Lee Daniels. Really, just trust your material
a lot more. And I think some of those
performances are really fine. Look, I'm giving it three stars. I'm only giving it two. I know your son is a freedom writer.

He's in prison right now in
Birmingham with Martin Luther King.

You, uh... You know how he is, sir? I'm guessing he's pretty beat-up.

Based on his record,
he must be used to it. Yes, sir.

Will that be all, sir?
That's it.

You know, I never understood...
what you all really went through...

until I saw that.

My brother says these kids have...
changed his heart.

They've changed mine too.

That was James Marsden as JFK
in The Butler, which opens
around the country this week. Thor: The Dark World unfolds two years after the events depicted
in the first Thor, and now the evil dark elves
are threatening to unleash the ether and destroy the universe
as we know it. Fortunately, Thor -
Chris Hemsworth - son of Odin - Anthony Hopkins -
is here to help. As he did in the original film,
Thor teams up with earthly astrophysicist
Jane Foster - Natalie Portman - and once again has to cope with
his untrustworthy brother, Loki - Tom Hiddleston. The evil Malekith -
Christopher Eccleston - is a formidable enemy, but the good
guys include batty scientist, Erik Selvig - Stellan Skarsgard - and Jane's chatty friend Darcy -
Kat Dennings. There's a great deal
of slam-bam action. (Yelling, grunting)

I've got this
completely under control. Is that why everything's on fire? The Marvel Comic superheroes have
an enormous and devoted following. I'm not a fan of this kind of movie,
but I reckon that, on film, the Iron Man franchise
is the most entertaining and Thor the most tedious. Yet another boring villain is
threatening to destroy the world and yet another boring hero
is going to stop him. Absolutely no surprises there. Kenneth Branagh
directed the original Thor, a surprising choice,
but he isn't back for the new film, which is directed by Alan Taylor,
without much distinction. The humour is puerile,
the action utterly conventional, the visual effects mundane and
the performances strictly routine, and that includes Anthony Hopkins, who's clearly there
only for the paycheque. Margaret. Ooh, you're making
big assumptions there. (Both laugh) I can't see why else
he's in the film. No, look, I was watching this and I was thinking, you know,
really it is cartoon stuff. Yeah.
There is no depth. It's all service,
it's the same story, you know? The world is threatened by these
bad guys with supernatural forces and we've got a supernatural hero
to combat them. The dialogue is leaden. It's so... And, you see, Chris Hemsworth,
who was so impressive in Rush, he doesn't have anything to
work with here. He sounds like he's talking with an
apple in his mouth. Yes.
I couldn't quite work out... Well, maybe it's the dialogue that's
in his mouth - it's so unpalatable. But I just sort of thought
it's all whiz-bang special effects, all design,
there's no real imagination. No.
And no wit, no real wit. Now, Margaret, to the scene
at the end of all the credits? Not all the credits.
Not all the credits?No. Oh, well, you missed the last scene. Well, I can't really
judge the film then, can I? What are you giving it?
I'm giving it two stars. I'm giving it 1.5.

(Laughs) You must be
truly desperate to come to me for help.

What makes you think
you can trust me?I don't.

You should know that when we fought
each other in the past, I did so with a glimmer of hope that my brother was
still in there somewhere.

That hope no longer exists
to protect you.

You betray me and I will kill you.

Hmm.

When do we start? Thor: The Dark World
opens nationally this week. There may have been good reasons
for changing the name of the French film Un Plan
Parfait - A Perfect Plan - to Fly Me To The Moon,
but they're not obvious. It's a rom-com with not
a great deal of difference, except you get to see
a few exotic locations. At a dinner party
with a distraught guest, the family of Isabelle - Diane
Kruger - try to distract her with the story of Isabelle's efforts
to avoid the family curse of failed first marriages. Isabel is in love with Pierre -
Robert Plagnol. She wants to marry him
and have a baby, but to avoid the family curse, she flies to Denmark to marry
a cypher, where, it appears, you can divorce your husband
within ten minutes of marriage. On the plane she's seated next to
dorkish Jean-Yves - Dany Boon, and when her negotiated
husband-to-be doesn't turn up, she decides to pursue
Jean-Yves instead. Excuse me. I would like to sit next
to Monsieur Jean-Char.Uh, Yves. Sorry, Monsieur Yves.
Jean-Yves. (Laughs) Jean-Yves. But, madam, you're
in business class.

Oh, no. No!

I would like my seat in economy,
please. You can upgrade somebody else. Me? Please?
OK, no problem. Thank you.

From Denmark to Kenya,
Isabelle is in hot pursuit. Then, when a Masai wedding
proves effective, she tries to reverse
the situation as fast as she can.

It's a funny thing with rom-coms when the morality starts
to become a problem and the heroine, despite the fact
that she is divinely beautiful, starts to become unlikeable, but that's what happens
in this film. The premise is so wildly
beyond belief to begin with that the suspension of disbelief
becomes impossible, which, let's admit it,
you have to do with most films. It is so implausible that you wonder why such
a fine actress as Diane Kruger would sign up for this nonsense,
and she's so good in it. It's a weird combination. Dany Boon also enters into the
creation of this nerdy character, who has a sense of adventure
and decency about him. But the screenplay
is so beyond saving that director Pascal Chaumeil can do little but work with
his fine actors. Look, there's a great Hollywood
tradition for films like this. I mean, there are elements even
of Bringing Up Baby in the idea of a woman who disrupts
the life of this guy, this nerdy sort of guy, and falls in love with him
in the process. Yeah, but it most probably had
a better credibility base than... Well, it had a much better script. That's the thing, you're quite right. The basic idea here, that a woman as intelligent as Diane
Kruger seems to be would think that she has to
break a family curse about divorcing her first husband, that first marriages
are never gonna work, and she wants her first marriage
to work, so she goes through his whole
ridiculous charade... She wants her second marriage
to work. Well, she doesn't want her first
marriage not to work... I mean, it's a ridiculous,
ludicrous plot. Yes, but in the process,
she becomes really unlikable. And, to me, her behaviour is
actually really questionable. Yeah, but of course, it looks like
a very expensive film because there's not only scenes in
Kenya, but scenes in Moscow and shot on location very lavishly. It's a very slick piece of work... Maybe the French just swallowed it
hook, line and sinker. I think Dany Boon is a very popular
actor in France.Yes, I know. And I imagine Kruger is too. Yeah, sure.
She's gorgeous. But it really is not very good,
I don't think. I'm giving it 2.5 What about you?
I'm giving it 2.5 too. (Chanting)

(Singing)

Yes, exactly.
Did I say 'over'? No. So, please, quiet.

Fly Me To The Moon is currently
screening around the country in limited release. Sister, winner of the Silver Bear
in Berlin last year, is set in a Swiss ski resort surrounded by
spectacular mountain scenery. In the expensive chalet situated
high up the mountain slopes, well-to-do tourists
enjoy their skiing holidays. Down below in the valley, Simon -
Kacey Mottet Klein - a 12-year-old con artist,
lives in a shabby apartment block with his older sister, Louise -
Lea Seydoux. Louise seems to do little work and has various relationships
with men. She's hopeless at
caring for the boy. Simon, on the other hand,
is resourceful. With a pass that allows him up
to the chalets and speaking passable English, the kid steals all kinds of goods
from unwary tourists - skis, goggles, helmets
and even sandwiches on which he and Louise feed. This young charmer ingratiates
himself with an Englishwoman, Gillian Anderson, and her children and with a not-too-honest Scottish
kitchen worker, Martin Compston. But things don't always go his way. Money. Give me my money for the ski. You understand? Give me my money for the ski. Here. Take it. Here. For noel. Christmas, alright? Oh, no, mister. It's not good. (Laughs) Give me my money for the ski,
you understand? Money. Money for the ski.

How much?

The brother-sister relationship
is the key to this small
but very well-made film, and both Klein and Seydoux
are excellent in their roles. Director Ursula Meier is skilful