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(generated from captions) green jacket. Day and Scot

were on track before

Schwartzel won the major.

Tiger Woods were were just

another two shots back at

Augusta but the Aussies will

have to wait a little longer

for the first time winner and

both Day and Scott have age

forecast now: on their side. Tomorrow's

PM Agenda is just moments

away. Here's David Speers. Coming up after the break,

we will look at the numerous

inquiries that have been

Minister this afternoon into announced by the Defence

the sow-called sex Skype

affair at ADFA. The head of

the academy has been stood

aside but the young male

cadets at the centre of this

whole issue have not been

suspended while a criminal

investigation continues. We

will be looking at that. Also

the budget battlelines being

drawn today. Tony Abbott has

challenged the Government to

include all the details of

its carbon tax in next

month's budget. We will take

a look at that as well. The

latest opinion poll out this

news for Labor. afternoon - more troubling

This is PM Agenda. Welcome

to the program, a clearly angry Defence Minister,

Stephen Smith has moved to

organisation, this afternoon stamp his authority on the

announcing a number of

inquiries involving the sex

Skype afir at the Defence Force academy. The head of

the academy has been stood

aside on indefinite leave

while the inquiries take

place but the young male

cadets at the centre of the

whole issue have not been

suspended. We will explore

why. First let's look at the minister announcing the inquiry to investigate just

what happened when a young

female cadet was filmed

having sex with a male

colleague and that footage

sent via Skype to six fellow cadets in a nearby room. How

that matter was handled by

ADFA and why she was later

hauled already a disciplinary

matter. hearing about a separate

It was appropriate to put in

place an independent inquiry

under the defence inquiry

regulations to enable all of the details and matters so

far as the handling and

management of the Skype

incident are concerned. And

today the Credit crisis Chief

of the Defence Force will

institute an inquiry under

the Defence Inquiry

Regulations, headed by Andrew

kirk hall QC.

Andrew Kirkham is a QC who

of course is a military law

experts. He is a former military officer so he will

look at not only the Skype

apair itself, how it was hand

-- handled by ADFA and the

decision to put this young

female cadet before a

disciplinary hearing as well.

In the meantime the head of

ADFA, Bruce Kafer was told

Chief of Defence that he over the weekend by the vice

should take leave and he has.

Effective as of yesterday he

will be on leave while this

inquiry takes place. The

Defence Force chief Angus

Houston explained why.

Very stressful for Commodore

Kafer and his family. He has

been subject to abusive and

offensive phone calls and the

like and the environment is

such that it is important

that he go on leave in the

best interests of himself,

and as the minister said, the organisation. The minister was

particularly critical of

Bruce Kafer last week calling

it stupid and inappropriate

for that defence disciplinary

hearing to go ahead in the

middle of this Skype affair

but as for the young male

cadet who is alleged to have

Skyped the sexual intercourse

with the young female

officer, he has not been

suspended. He remains at ADFA

working and studying while a

Federal Police investigation

Defence Force chief is carried out. Here was the

explaining the reasoning for that.

That individual is still at

work. He is going through his studies.

Is it appropriate?

Well, I think so, yes. We

don't jump to conclusions. We

need to go through a process

and when that process is

complete judgments will be

made and appropriate action

will be taken.

In the meanwhile separate

inquiries have also been launched. Elizabeth Broderick

will be investigating

attitudes and treatment of

women within ADFA and also

pathways to leadership for more broadly -- broadly,

women in defence. The

minister has asked for the

implementation to be fast

tracked of allowing women to

take up more roles within

defence, to be appointed not

based on their gender but on

their physical and intellectual capacity. At the

moment, of course, women are

not allowed to carry out some duties within defence,

special operations, navy

clearance diving and some other engineering and

frontline roles. The minister

asking for that to be fast

defence department will be cracked. The secretary of the

looking at some of the other

allegations that have been

raised in the last week or

two since this Skype affair

became public, allegations of

past abuse and mistreatment

within defence. They will

look at the process for

dealing with what appears to

be quite a number of allegations that have now been made and whether there

is a need for a separate

judicial inquiry into that.

There will also be an

investigation by the

Inspector Gevenal of defence

between the overlap and

interplay between the defence

justice system and the sieve

justice system. There --

civilian justice system. There have some difficulties

and problems in relation to

this incident where the two

justice systems interact. To

look at all of this and what

else has been happening today

we are joined by our two political strategists. Gaza

ham more risk from Barton

Deakin, a former Liberal strategist and former chief

of staff to John Howard and

Bruce Hawker, Labor

strategist now with campaigns

and communications. I want to

start with what appears to be

a contra dickion, Bruce Kafer

the head of ADFA is stood aside while further

investigations are carried

out, the young men allegedly

involved in the sex Skype

affair aren't being

suspended. Is that a contradiction?

You can explain it if you

put a political hat on. The

young men themselves, we've

still not lawyers, police and

everyone else looking at that and action will happen

through the courts. However,

we went through a period late

last week where you could

argue that the minister

misled the community. It may

have been inadvertent but he was given information which

caused him to mislead the

people. The last person who

did that - a Defence Minister

- was Ian McLaughlin that

resigned on the spot.

Where did he mislead the people?

He was given information

which said that certain

things didn't happen relating

to the young girl and by the

look of it they did happen.

What things though?

He has gone through this

afternoon and said she was offered counselling, she was

not asked to apologise to her

fellow cadets as was

reported, he's countered many

of those suggestions?

Yes, he has. You know, he

was denying many of the

things last week that clearly

did happen and he was denying

on advice, by the look of it

the advice was wrong. Now... I'm still unclear. What was

he denying that was happening?

There are a number of things

relating to the young woman,

who had been claimed she had

- various - placed under

pressure and by the look of

it that didn't happen. The

minister was skating on thin

ice. Somebody had to take the

blame for that and it's clear

that the Commodore had. To me

that is the difference, one

is - who caused the minister

to mislead? Incidentally I think Stephen Smith has done

a very, very good job. I

don't think anyone could

fault what he's done today.

I'm still unclear on where

he's misled us. He has said

no, she was not forced to

apologise, that she wasn't

ordered to do so, yes, there

was some vilification in

relation to shaving cream

being sprayed on her door but

it's unclear to me where he's

misled the pub lick?

I still think -- public?

I still think there are a

couple of areas there that

the advice that the minister

got and relayed to us was

wrong. I think that is why

the Commodore was stood down

on Saturday and why he's not

in the job now and probably

why he will not return.

Has Bruce Kafer beenscape

goated here in your view?

No, I think there h be a proper process gone through here.

They're going to have an

inquiry so I think it is

quite appropriate given what

we've heard so far that he be

stood aside for the moment. I

have no idea what Graham was talking about with the young

woman. I think everything the

minister has done so far has

been according to hoyle. He

stepped in very early in the

piece, he made it clear he

was unhappy with the way

things had gone, particularly

in respect to disciplinary

proceedings for an unrelated matter that were brought

against her immediately after

the allegations about this

other matter were raised by

the young female cadet.

Everyone was looking at that

saying there might have been

a bit of payback or pressure

brought to bear on her or at

the very least it was highly

insensitive to her position

given what she'd gone through

but now it seems to me that

the Government is going

through a series of inquiries

to make sure that they get to

the bottom of the Skype

incident and, you know, I

take your point about the

young men allegedly involved

in this thing. Maybe it is

appropriate that they just be

allowed to continue with

their studies and so forth

until the matter is resolved

but in other circumstances

you could easily contemplate

them being confined to

barracks or what krefr the

current equivalent of those

sorts of things is.

Obviously if this happened

in a school you might have a

police investigation but kids

would be suspended, wouldn't

they? There is a potential

here of this girl having to

return to ADFA, they talked

about a comprehensive management plan to ensure she

is supported - I'm sure

that's right - is it --

there's a potential that she

will come face-to-face with

these guys.

I think it will be very

tricky for her in the long

term and in the medium term

because we know the culture

of these institutions and

they are not unlike boarding

schools for grown ups. Can be

very clicky, very tight and

very cruel at times. This is

what this inquiry really

needs to get to the bottom

of. That is what Elizabeth Broderick's inquiry has to

look at too. What is it about these institutions that lends

itself to this sort of

behaviour. Sometimes it's -

I'm not saying this is the

case here, but sometimes it's

because people at the top

turn a blind eye. You see

that in boarding schools, you

see that in all sorts of

institutions where people come together in quasi

military environments or single sex environments and

they can be quite unhealthy.

If there is this sort of

unhealthyness in the - in

ADFA, then it has to be

stamped out and stamped out

quickly. This woman cannot be

allowed to be suffering anymore punishment as a

result of making legations

about inappropriate - highly

inappropriate - behaviour in

the institution. Angus Houston was saying

this is just the way things

are done in defence, you have

to wait for the Federal Police investigation, you

can't prejudge it by taking action against these young

male cadets but given there

is the potential there of

this young woman returning to

ADFA would suspending them or

confining them to barracks

make a bit more sense?

It would to me. In many

other walks of life, be it

business or schools or what

not that is what you would

do. We will have all these inquiries and they will be

very difficult because this

is - I'm not quite sure how

they're gonna do this but

defence is not civilian life.

What was done is inexcusable

and is disgraceful. I suspect

there are several laws that

would have to be broken here

but when all these people are

doing their inquiries, they

have to take into account

that unlike you or I David

who can be sceptical with authority and can question

everything, the Defence Force

doesn't work on, that it

works on discipline. When

young people go into the army

they sort of give up some

freedoms - they give up some

choices - and they do what

they're told. Now it's in

that sort of climate that

people are going to be

conducting these inquiries

and if you just go in with a

civilian hat on you will get

a very different result I

think than you would with a

defence hat. So they hope

they go in with a common

sense hat on. They clean up -

hang on, they clean up some

of this stuff which just is

unacceptable but they've got

to remember that defence

works on discipline. It is

not like civilian life. Just on that one point I think that is essentially

right, they are a disciplined organisation. But what we are

looking at here is extreme

ill discipline allegedly on

the part of certain people within the institution. We

need to find out how deep

that goes because if they are

ill disciplined and they are

not showing respect for other

people they are not showing

the loyalty to another cadet

that is owed her then that

has to be really cracked down

on and cracked down on really hard with the discipline you

would expect of a military operation.

I think that is right. After

the break we will turn to

some other matters, the

budget battlelines, certainly

being drawn today. We will

look at that and the battle

over poker machine reform is certainly heating up. Stay with us.

In a moment we're going to

bring you the latest opinion

poll out this week, the

essential poll which has troubling news for Julia

Gillard. Let's check in on

the latest news headlines first.

Defence Minister Stephen

Smith announced a series of

independent inquiries into the culture of the Defence

Force sparked by the recent

sex scandal at ADFA. An 1-year-old female cadet was

filmed having sex with

another student without her knowledge and it was

broadcast on the internet.

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth

Broderick will head one

investigation that will focus

on how women are treated at

ADFA. Melbourne man Arthur

Freeman has been gaoled for

life for murdering his four-year-old daughter Darcy

by throwing her off Melbourne's West Gate Bridge.

He will be eligible for

parole after 32 years.

Freeman began ranting after

being sentenced in the

Victorian Supreme Court today

and had to be pulled from the

dock by security guards. The

Queensland Floods Commission

of inquiry has heard that the

state's water utilities

minister Stephen Robertson

did not seek advice from his

own department on the Bureau

of Meteorology forecast that

resulted in the state's worst floods. He has been the first

to give evidence at the

inquiry which began today. He

says he asked Wivenhoe Dam's

manager whether it should be

lowered to 95% capacity in

preparation for an unusually

wet season but didn't raise

it with his department. A man

has been charged over the latest assault on South

Australian police minister

Kevin Foley. Mr Foley claims

he was grabbed by the jaw and

thrown against a toilet wall

in an Adelaide restaurant

last weekend. A 36-year-old

man from Salisbury north was

arrested and charged this

afternoon and released on

bail. In sport - Australians

Adam Scott and Jason Day have

tied for second at the US

masters. South African Charle

swars sell extended

Australia's long history of

heartbreak with a two stroke win. The weather:

Let's take a look now at the latest opinion poll out

today, the essential media

poll shows Labor still

trailing the Coalition and

some bad news for Julia

Gillard in her personal

ratings. Peter Lewis from essential media

communications is with us.

Joining us as he does each

Monday. First on the

two-party preferred result,

in movement but it's not a

pretty result for Labor?

No, look, it's no movement,

53%, 47%s a of last week,

which isn't a great place to

start with, there has been a

1 point drop in primary vote

for Labor, that has gone to

the greens rather than the

Coalition but Labor is now

down to 35% primary vote,

greens 11%, Coalition 46%.

The main movement is in the

apre Val ratings. Let's look

at Julia Gillard's numbers

there. She has taken a bit of

a hit over the last week.

She has taken a hit - since

March she has gone from 41%

to 37%. Disapproval from 46%

up to 50%. If you go back to

the first time we asked that

this year, which was just

after Christmas, January 17,

at that point she was net

positive 15, that's now 37%,

50%, that's a 28% shift since Christmas. That is over one

in four voters changing from

the positive Cam top the

negative camp. So that's a pretty horrible result.

That's hard to put down to a

statistical blip. That's a significant move. Oh yeah.

How are Tony Abbott's

figures looking in

He's at 36%, 48%. That is on

par with Gillard. 17ian he

was up 42%, 37%. Positive

five, he is now negative 8%.

I got my numbers wrong a

little bit there. All up it

is a 17% turn around for him.

Neither are in great shape. You still have Julia Gillard

ahead as preferred Prime

Minister but that gap is narrowing. It want to turn to

one of the issues you asked

this week. Again as we see

each week, very interesting

issues you asked. This one on

the budget, it will be a

budget deficit this year - we

have heard from the Government theres that been a

further dip in company tax

and personal income tax

receipts - what do people

blame the deficit on?

Look, what this speaks to is

a bit of a lack of a narrative around what's

really going on. We put five different reasons out there

and there's no come pelting

story, -- compelling story.

It is a little bit all over

the shop in terms of the

reasons for the looming deficit.

We had the wrong figures,

I'm apologising on screen

there. As you said, it was

23% poor economic management

and that seems to be the

biggest number there and

flowing down from that. The

Government still has a battle

ahead of it there. You've

asked other questions about

the budget, we're out of time

but some interesting findings

and challenges ahead for the

government in selling its

message. Thanks for that.

Let's get back to our panel

Bruce Hawker and Grahame

Morris. The Government has been building the argument

that there are pressures on

the budget. Grahame, it is

hard to dispute that weave

seen floods and cyclones in

Japan -- we over seen floods

and cyclones in Japan. All of

this is putting a strain on

the budget?

China is still propping us

up. There is still going to

be massive income there for

the government from the

resources sector. It will be

interesting to see how many -

the Government at the moment

is fighting about five wars

and it will be interesting to

see if Martin Parkinson in

his first budget as secretary

to the Treasury putting them

all in. What is the cost of

the whole re-- cost of the

whole resources tax? What is

the cost of the carbon tax?

What is the cost of the sort

of war with the

pharmaceutical industry?

What's the cost of all the

news agents and service

stations and the tobacco war

that they're fighting. The

last one - this is serious

and very -- in very many

parts of the country; is the

Government going to pick up

all the costs of subsidised

meals of all the sporting

organisations and everything

else that are paid for by

poker ma sheeps in clubs?

Tony Abbott picked up on one

of those points today. He

challenged the Government to

include all of the details of

the carbon tax in its budget.

Four weeks from today the budget document will be in

the process of being printed.

If those budget documents do

not contain all the details

of the carbon tax the budget

will not be worth the paper

that it's printed upon.

Bruce Hawker is there is

fair point there that if you

have a budget that doesn't

include the carbon tax and

then some months later

announced all the details, compensation, costs of the

carbon tax, it makes the

budget pretty pointless. They've got to go through

that process of working out

what the carbon tax is going

to be? I think it's too early

to actually say that. It's

going through a multiparty

committee right now, they're

receiving lots of input from

various sectors and the

community so we have a way to

go. I think Tony Abbott was

really setting up a straw man

and knocking it down at the

same time. This will be a

tough budget, absolutely no

doubt about that, but

Governments sometimes have to

take really tough decisions

in order to make the - make

the budget work. I mean the

Howard Government had five

successive budgets where the

spending just kept blowing

out by 37% in the end and

there were all sorts of

warnings about inflation

which went unheeded by the previous Government. This

Government's going to

actually have to make hard

decisions and it will be

painful in some areas. Now is

the time to do it. There's been significant Government

spending in the last two

years in order to stimulate

the economy at a time when we absolutely had to but now

they have to get into the

business of making sure that

they get the balanced budget

back so the electorate

doesn't have to be worrying

about inflation in the way

they did under the Howard Government.

I don't think anyone

disagrees. It has to be a

tough budget, they have to

move towards surplus because

that is what they promised

sensible. I don't think that and it is economically

is the point. I think the

point is how can you have a

budget which talks about what

you're going to do for the

next three or four years and

not include the cost of a

carbon tax. It's like you and

I doing a budget and saying,

"We won't include our incomes

that we earn on Thursdays and

we won't count the insurance

policies that we have each

budget. month." It will be a toy

Circumstances arise

sometimes where you actually

do need to make changes and

they do make changes. They

have mini budgets and make adjustments accordingly. That

has happened in the past and

will happen in the future.

You have to budget on what

you've got before you at the

moment and right now they

will work with what they've

got before them at the

moment. When the other

information becomes available

in. then that will be factored

minutes we have left I want In a couple -- in the

to look at the poker machine

battle that is certainly

gathering strength. Andrew

Wilkie is pushing for serious

restriction s on what you can

gamble and lose. He wants pre commitment technology, smart

dads that can set a cap or --

smart cards that can set a

cap or limit on how much you

can blow away on the poker

machines. They have launched

today what will be the start

of a $20 billion campaign

eventually, but newspaper campaigns today saying who

voted for a licence to punt.

If the Federal Government

gets their way you will have

to apply for a licence to

have a $5 punt. This will be

a tough campaign for Labor

because it will target those

outer suburban marginal seats

where clubs are popular. A

lot of Labor voters enjoy

going to the club and

spending money on the pokies.

They do and they have a

right to. No one in the

Government is saying, "You've

got to stop doing that." They are saying problem gambling

with a serious problem in

this country. There are

21,000 problem gamblering out

there, 200,000 poker machines

and is it asking too much to

get people so say before they

go to the club to bet, "I'm

going to put in an amount I'm

going to bet up to and not

beyond that." It is up to the

individual to determine that

amount. It can be high other

low. There is nothing too

unAustralian about what the

government is doing right

now. It is unAustralian to be

profiting from the misery of

other people and that's what

the government is trying to stop.

Is this just a scare

campaign from the clubs to

try to protect their turf?

I rather like the clubs and don't mind a flutter on the poker machines.

Would you still have a

flutter if you had to set

your limit of I'm only going

to loose $100.

Probably not but it is

outrageous that one

individual in parliament

would hold an entire industry

to ransom just on his vote.

The clubs do pay for sport -

kids sport - for all the

rugby leagues club, for all

of the entertainers around

the country, they have

nowhere to go except the

clubs. They subsidise pension

meals and most of that comes

from poker machines. The

Government and Wilkie in

particular really wants to

stamp out poker machines but

if he does that the

ramifications for all these

communities will be huge.

A big debate is coming on that one. We will have to

leave it there. We will catch

up with you both next week.

In the meantime after the

break we will look further at

this poker machine issue and

Clubs Australia. will be joined by the head of

Welcome back. The clubs

industry has launched an

advertising campaign to fight

what it says is an unfair

crackdown being pushed by

independent MP Andrew Wilkie

to limit poker machine

gambling and tackle problem gambling in particular. The

Government is looking at pre

commitment technology that

Andrew Wilkie says would be a

big step towards tackling

this problem. Joining us now

is the head of Clubs

Australia, Anthony Ball.

Therings for your time. Just

on the tech -- thanks for

your time. Just on the

technology itself, just on

smart cards, what would it

mean for your industry?

The first thing to say is

the whole reason we are

talking about this is because

of the political deal done by

the last election. This is

everything to do with Mr

Wilkie and nothing to do with

good public policy around

problem gambling. We are

upset that the Government is pursuing a licence to punt.

That is hugely expensive

technology that has not been

designed yet but we have a pretty good feel for what it

is, that would require half

of your poker machines to be

replaced and the other half

needs significant upgrades.

That's a cost of $3 billion.

It is completely untested as

to efficacy for problem

gambling. We have a feeling that recreational gamblers

will run a mile from it and

that will have a significant

impact on our revenues and that means our support for

sport, community and

recreational facilities dries

up. We are concerned on a

ring of levels.

Andrew Wilkie says this has

-- there has been a study and

it has been in practise on

Nova Scotia and it's worked.

There has been a limited

study to South Australia as

well. Just getting back to

how this would actually work,

as you see it, a card that a

poker machine gambler can

simply gnome Nate the amount

they're willing to bet apart

from the cost of implementing

it do you really think it

gamblers. would turn off a lot of

It would turn me off and I'm

a recreational gambler.

What's being asked is for a

system for 5 million poker

machine players to register,

obtain a card with their

personal details on it and

with their gambling history,

to use that to set binding

limits on poker machines and

to have their play track.

Recreational gamblers will do

anything else, they will jump

online where it is completely

unregulated. To say this

worked in Novacastrian have a

Scotia or Norway is the other

country that has trotted it

out is ridiculous. It has not

been tested. The only place

where they have actually taken poker machines out is

in Norway and what happened

when they did that? The rate

of problem gambling stayed

the same because punters

simply went online. This is

the elephant that Mr Wilkie

will not talk about He believes that he will win

the support of his fellow independents, Rob Oakeshott

and Tony Windsor. How

furiously are you lobbying

them at the moment?

politicians that are I've only met two

enthusiastic about this, Mr

Wilkie and Mr Oakeshott. I

think those Independents know

what clubs do. There is about

45 clubs in each of their electorates, Mr Oakeshott and

Mr Windsor, I think Mr Katter

has about the same. It is not

just clubs that are upset

about this. Not a single

state or territory Government

supports it and there are

many experts out there who

say this won't help problem

gamblers because you are

saying, "Look, it's okay to

keep gambling, just get the

card, set your own limit.

You'll be sweet." It's the wrong message. They should

not be gambling. It is like

saying to an alcoholic it is

okay to drink but limit

yourself to three or four schooners.

What do you do? Are you saying nothing should be donor are you saying there is

something that can be done

about those problem gamblers.

We are certainly not saying

nothing should be done.

Before the election, just

before it we agreed, I

thought, a very sensible

agenda with the Government

that would lead to

constructive reform. In

addition to all of the things

that have already happened

over the decades with state

Government we are saying we

do need to do more to help

problem gamblers and we need

to do what we do within the

identifying people and club as far as staff

getting them into treatment.

We need better counselling

and treatment services and to

ban credit betting across the

board and are more than

willing to look at a system

of voluntary prelim itting to

help problem gamblers stick

to limits. We will not invest

$3 billion over 18 months and

there are not many clubs that

can afford them and those

that can be only introduce

technology that will kill

them. What about the compromise option floated

over the weekend where you'd

have in a club the regular

machines as we know them,

that you'd have to have a

card for that limits how much

you are willing to bet, then

some slower machines that

don't pay out as much, work

slower, lower risk and lower

potential loss that you would

not need a card for.

These are like fruit

machines. This is not in the agreement Mr Wilkie has with the Prime Minister. There is many things in the agreement

that he is now calling for.

That is just another one.

What do you think of it?

That makes things more complicated and difficult

than just straight out

mandatory pre commitment. You

are expecting clubs and

hotels to go and buy another

kind of machine that people

have never seen before.

So it would be more costly than what's being talked about?

Absolutely and they ire

still talking about having a

licence to -- they're still

talking about having a

licence to punt on a poker

machine as we know it. The

traditional form we have had for years.

How much are you willing to

spend on this advertising campaign, there is talk of

$20 million. If you are looking at the $3 billion

loss that you suggest you

would dig deep to try to stop it.

People are getting very

excited about the magical $20 million. We think we can run

a very effective campaign on

the grown. We will have 6,000

clubs and pubs as campaign

offices. There are millions

of people that walk through

the door each week and we

will talk to them as they do.

There are lots of club

employees, hundreds of

thousands of people who make

their living in pubs and

clubs. There are 5 million

poker machine players and

sporting and community groups

that have been interest in

this and we will keep talking

to them until common sense prevails.

Let's have a look at what's

been happening in business

and finance now. First on the

market itself, how did it perform today?

It was a really interesting

day on the markets today. The

S&P ASX 200 index closing up

around 0.6 of a% to around 4,971. I just might add that

that seems like a solid gain but earlier in the session

this morning there were some

major takeover rumours which

really pushed the market up

to a fresh high in 12 months

today. We had rumours

surrounding BHP Billiton and

our largest oil and gas

producer Woodside Petroleum.

There was talk that BHP

Billiton was interested in

taking a stake in Woodside

through an asset purchase of

Shell's stake in the company.

Those rumours were quashed

quickly by the Woodside CEO

who was speaking in Perth at

an industry lunch today. Also

BHP Billiton coming out and

saying that it wasn't

interested in taking a

takeover offer for Woodside Petroleum. Once that was

announced we had some heavy

selling out of Woodside

Petroleum today and we saw

the benchmark index really

lose steam but it did finish

up positive and lots of the

analysts that we have been

speaking to today believe

there will be continued strength moving on through the rest of the week.

What about the dollar,

strength to strength, where's it gone today?

It's up around at the moment

at about $1.05 US cents. It

was teetering at us peek and

some traders suggesting it

could push up to $1.06 US in

the short-term. It is sitting

below $1.02 US at the moment.

Good news for exporters but

bad news for people looking

to travel overseas.

We're out of time for

today's show. We will be back

same time tomorrow. In the

meantime stay with us for the latest Sky News. Live captioning by Ai-Media.