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7.30 Report -

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Tonight on the 7.30 Report - the trade dispute that's left multimillion dollar export industry in


industry in crisis.

We've got nine tonnes sitting in the tanks and ifs things continue for any more than a week or two,
we might be closing down.

And the Aboriginal leader honoured for his stand against the Nazis.

This Program is Captioned

Union warns mine safety at risk

Union warns mine safety at risk

Broadcast: 01/12/2010

Reporter: Matt Peacock

A decision by the NSW Labor Government to contract out the monitoring of coal dust has prompted
Australia's biggest mining union to warn that the country's enviable safety record might soon be


TRACY BOWDEN, PRESENTER: In the wake of the tragedy at New Zealand's Pike River coal mine,
Australia's biggest mining union is warning that this country's enviable safety record might soon
be jeopardised.

This follows a decision by the NSW Labor Government to contract out the monitoring of coal dust,
which combines with methane in underground mines to cause explosions like the one that occurred at
Pike River and also causes the deadly condition called "black lung".

NSW has the vast bulk of the country's underground black coal mines and its long-standing safety
procedures have seen the elimination of black lung from the industry.

Mining companies say the change won't necessarily compromise mine safety, but that's a claim hotly
disputed by the union.

Matt Peacock reports.

MATT PEACOCK, REPORTER: These members of the NSW Mines rescue team are suiting up for one of their
regular training drills deep underground in a NSW coal mine.

There's constant monitoring underground of the explosive mix of the gas methane and coal dust. When
levels get too high, one spark can lead to tragedy.

For more than 60 years, mines rescue and monitoring has been run by a giant union industry body now
called Coal Services, but its monopoly is now under challenge.

ANDREW VICKERS, CFMEU: What's at stake are miners' lives and also miners' health.

STEVE WHAN, NSW MINES MINISTER: This Government will not tolerate a reduction in safety standards
in mines.

MICHAEL QUINLAN, UNSW: Why would you take a system like that, which is clearly working, and tinker
with it?

MATT PEACOCK: This month the NSW Government abruptly authorised a private company to conduct this
crucial work of monitoring dust levels and the mining union's general secretary Andrew Vickers
wants to know why.

ANDREW VICKERS: Simply put, it's not broke, so there's no reason to fix it. There's nothing wrong
with the system. It's proved itself. We've eliminated pneumoconiosis. There is absolutely no
justification for any change to the existing processes.

MATT PEACOCK: The pneumoconiosis, or lung disease caused by coal dust is called "black lung" and
it's blighted the lives of coalminers for centuries.

In the United States, as in other countries, it's on the increase. There, its incidence has more
than doubled in the past decade.

WAYNE MCANDREW, CFMEU: You see a miner walking a block and having to rest to get his breath to be
able then to be able to walk another block. It's a terrible disease and it affects families and
past coalminers extremely badly.

MATT PEACOCK: But in NSW from 1948, Coal Services or the Joint Coal Board, as it was called, with
its equal union, industry and government representation has supervised the complete elimination of
black lung from the industry.

WAYNE MCANDREW: Since 1948 there have been one single provider of dust sampling, dust monitoring in
the NSW coal mining industry and that has seen the total removal of that deadly disease,
pneumoconiosis, and the deadly disease, silicosis. An absolutely magnificent, fantastic record.

NICKI WILLIAMS, NSW MINERALS COUNCIL: There hasn't been pressure from the mining companies to
change it - I mean, along with the union. I mean, we discovered this process by the announcement of
the chief inspector. So there hasn't been a driver internally for change.

MATT PEACOCK: While the NSW Government's decision also comes as a surprise to the industry's NSW
Minerals Council, CEO Dr Nicki Williams believes it won't necessarily be a bad thing.

NICKI WILLIAMS: It's quite clear that there was not consultation with the two key stakeholders,
being workforce representatives and of course the mining companies who employ them, so that is
always disappointing, but the - we don't see, on the face of it, that a change, as being described,
would result in any reduction in safety or health.

STEVE WHAN: We need to remember that both the Minerals Council and the CFMEU are half owners of the
company that does this work at the moment. So, you know, there is some issues there with
transparency which need to be dealt with.

MATT PEACOCK: The combination of coal dust with methane gas can lead to coal mine explosions, like
the one that led to the deaths of 14 NSW miners at Appin Colliery in 1979.

There was a similar story at the Moura mine disaster 16 years ago, where a double explosion killed
11 miners.

The rescue teams are still working to free the men and the union check inspectors are involved in
that and they will be the people taking those decisions.

MICHAEL QUINLAN: With inspectors appointed at the behest of an employer, you've really got an
employer regulating themselves. Now, I think we've had enough history over the last 20 years to
suggest that self-regulation doesn't work, that if you want regulation, it has to be enforced
through a government agency, and in some industries, I mean, if the employer selects - there's a
real danger you'll get guns for hire.

MATT PEACOCK: The lesson of history are there from mine disasters like Tasmania's Beaconsfield,
warns mine safety expert Professor Michael Quinlan.

MICHAEL QUINLAN: It's very important that when mine workers go into a mine that they have a trust
in the people doing the monitoring. And again, these sort of issues came back at Beaconsfield where
I was part of the investigation there.

MATT PEACOCK: According to the NSW Mines Minister Steve Whan, in Queensland private contractors
already provide effective monitoring. And in NSW, the law's allowed the same since 2002.

STEVE WHAN: It's very difficult if someone actually meets all the criteria and can show that they
are competent to do these inspections to tell them that they shouldn't do it, simply to protect an
existing situation.

MATT PEACOCK: But in NSW, which has the overwhelming majority of underground black coal mines, the
union has warned the minister that it'll fight any changes it believes could erode mine safety.

ANDREW VICKERS: We will take industrial action to support our position. We're not backing away from
that. We're not going to see a Pike River in this country.

TRACY BOWDEN: That report from Matt Peacock.

Rock Lobster industry in crisis

Rock Lobster industry in crisis

Broadcast: 01/12/2010

Reporter: Danielle Parry

For more than a week Chinese officials have reportedly been blocking Australian exporters of rock
lobsters from using their usual supply route through Hong Kong.


TRACY BOWDEN, PRESENTER: Australia's half billion dollar rock lobster industry is in crisis
tonight, unable to get full access to its biggest market, China.

For more than a week, Chinese officials have reportedly been blocking exporters from using their
usual supply route through Hong Kong.

There's been no official reason given by Beijing, but experts suspect China is cracking down on the
so-called "grey trade" which allows producers to avoid paying tariffs.

Lobster prices in Australia have plummeted and many fishermen say their livelihoods are in jeopardy
if the stand-off continues.

Danielle Parry reports.

DANIELLE PARRY, REPORTER: This processing plant in Fremantle usually exports 500 boxes of live rock
lobsters every day, most of them ultimately bound for mainland China via Hong Kong. But today
they're down to just 40 crates because of a trade dispute with Beijing that's brought the industry
to its knees.

FEDELE CAMARDA, WESTERN ROCK LOBSTER COUNCIL: New regulations have resulted in difficulty in
getting lobster over the border. Obviously it means that there's going to be a problem in us
distributing our product, which means there'll probably be a backlog which will affect prices.

PETER WENTZKI, TRADE CONSULTANT: The Chinese have finally accepted that the grey trade is something
that they would like to slow down, if not eradicate, and have taken steps to let Australia know by
closing the door on the lobster imports via Hong Kong, which in fact avoids the payment of tariffs.

DANIELLE PARRY: Ken Smith runs a family lobster export company just south of Hobart, where 85 per
cent of his business is with China. He says his tanks are full and the industry is virtually at a

KEN SMITH, EXPORT MANAGER: This is the worst it's ever been since I started here, yeah. We got nine
tonnes sitting in the tanks, no prospects of any exports, local prices have crashed, and if things
continue for anymore than a week or two, we might be closing down.

DANIELLE PARRY: On the first day of the West Australian rock lobster season a month ago, fishermen
were getting $50 a kilo for their catch. Today they're getting just $25.

IAN RICARDI, LOBSTER FISHERMAN: We cannot work at these prices. We'll all go broke this way. So,
they have to pull their finger out and do something about it.

DANIELLE PARRY: Ian Ricardi has been fishing off the Perth coast for 30 years. He's furious the
industry has become so dependent on the duty free trade route into China via Hong Kong.

IAN RICARDI: If this industry relies on the black market, I'm sorry, there's something wrong there.
What industry in the world relies on a black market to sell their product? They should have thought
of this before, not just now.

FEDELE CAMARDA: To export lobster to China legally is a much more expensive operation, so we have a
situation where some sellers and buyers try to avoid that tariff.

DANIELLE PARRY: And they do that by going through Hong Kong?

FEDELE CAMARDA: They go through Hong Kong, yes.

PETER WENTZKI: The murky path has existed for so many years and it was just a convenient thing to
do. The Australian Government certainly has been aware of it. The word "grey trade" to Hong Kong
has been on the lips of ministers and other people for many, many years. That we've allowed it to
continue is quite extraordinary, really.

DANIELLE PARRY: Peter Wentzki is an international business consultant who has lobbied the Chinese
Government on behalf of companies and industries wanting to get access to lucrative Chinese
markets. He says he was warned a crackdown was coming.

PETER WENTZKI: There was a warning given in the sense that we were briefed by Chinese authorities
in March this year that they would take action.

DANIELLE PARRY: The Federal Government says while there's no blanket ban on Australian lobster
imports to China, embassy officials are trying to get to the bottom of the disruption. The
Fisheries Minister denies any knowledge of the grey trade out of Hong Kong.

JOE LUDWIG, FISHERIES MINISTER: I'm not aware of that until you've just raised it, but what is
important is that we do get to the issue at hand to see what the technical barriers are so we can
continue to have a trade of rock lobsters into China.

DANIELLE PARRY: Export veteran George Stavrinos has opted to cook or freeze much of his stockpile.
He doesn't think the stand-off will last and has 100 tonnes of lobster waiting in his Perth cooler
until prices recover. He says in the normal market his live lobster goes legitimately to Hong Kong,
but he doesn't know what happens after that.

GEORGE STAVRINOS, BLUWAVE LOBSTER: All the lobster landing to Hong Kong, from Hong Kong, transport
to China, to Shin Jin. I'm not sure how they're doing. My job landing the lobster in Hong Kong.
What they're doing there, I never ask, you know.

DANIELLE PARRY: China has shut the Hong Kong border trade sporadically before, but past crackdowns
have never lasted so long. Some believe the only permanent solution is a free trade deal with

FEDELE CAMARDA: It is still our hope that everything will go back to normal quickly and then in the
longer term, hopefully we can reach some sort of agreement where we can trade freely and without
this sort of stress and uncertainty.

JULIE BISHOP, OPPOSITION TRADE SPOKESWOMAN: New Zealand will have a zero tariff environment as of
next year. Now that will put Australian rock lobster exporters at a disadvantage. That's why it's
so important for the Australian Government to focus on negotiating a free trade agreement with
China as soon as possible.

DANIELLE PARRY: The Federal Government wouldn't be drawn about progress on a Chinese trade
agreement or current seafood tariffs.

JOE LUDWIG: It's not for me to judge what is appropriate or not in relation to other country's
duties. What's important to me is that we continue to have a legitimate trade overseas.

DANIELLE PARRY: In the meantime, the silver lining of this turmoil could be low prices for
consumers at Australian fish markets.

Michael Angelakis' family has been catching and selling seafood in South Australia for 80 years. He
feels for the fishermen, whose income has plummeted, but is predicting bargains for shoppers
heading into the holidays.

MICHAEL ANGELAKIS, FISHMONGER: The prices have come down. That's encouraged consumption, so it's
great news for the domestic market and the consumer that really buys lobster only one time of the
year, which is Christmas.

TRACY BOWDEN: Danielle Parry with that report.

Report card on AIDS

Report card on AIDS

Broadcast: 01/12/2010

Reporter: Tracy Bowden

On World Aids Day - Professor Julian Gold joins the program to discuss the progress in the battle
against the deadly virus.


TRACY BOWDEN, PRESENTER: Today is World AIDS Day and much has changed since the 1980s when most
Australians heard about the disease for the first time. Back then the prognosis was dire, and so
was the public health message, in ads like this.

1980s AIDS ADVERTISEMENT (male voiceover): At first, only gays and IV drug users were being killed
by AIDS. But now we know every one of us could be devastated by it.

The latest United Nations report suggests the world has turned the corner and has halted the spread
of HIV AIDS, but it says the gains are still fragile.

Professor Julian Gold has been involved in the diagnosis and management of the disease for 25
years. He advises the World Health Organisation and has worked on HIV/AIDS projects throughout the
Asia Pacific region.

I spoke to Professor Gold a short time ago.

Professor Julian Gold, you've been working in this field since the very early days.


TRACY BOWDEN: Where does HIV/AIDS sit now as a health issue in Australia?

JULIAN GOLD: I think Australia has done remarkably well when it comes to our approach to the HIV
epidemic. There's been about 20,000 people in Australia that have been infected with HIV, but
largely we've been able to control the epidemic here, and I think that's because of the bipartisan
political approach to the disease, the fact that we were able to engage the gay community early in
fighting the epidemic, the fact that we made clean needles and syringes available widely throughout
Australia has really prevented thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands, of women, children and
men being infected with HIV in this country.

TRACY BOWDEN: Looking back at those advertisements in the 1980s, some might say they looked overly
dramatic, but do you think that was warranted and was that part of helping solve the problem?

JULIAN GOLD: I think if you look back 20 years to those advertisements, yes, they were, they
sensitized people, even frightened them, they sensitized governments, politicians to do something,
whereas they may not have done something as quickly. And I think again that even though many people
thought they were over the top, in fact they were very instrumental at the time in our preventative
measures and having government allocate funds to those measures at the time.

TRACY BOWDEN: What about the global picture?

JULIAN GOLD: Well, the global picture I think is very interesting at the moment. There are about 35
million people around the world infected with HIV/AIDS, and sadly since the beginning of the
epidemic, more than 30 million people have died of this disease. Even though we can prevent
transmission of the virus from mother to child, still 500,000 women have HIV infected children
every year. So there's still a long way to go. But, on the positive side, many millions of people
who need treatment for HIV are being treated now. There are still probably five times more people
needing treatment than are currently being treated, and I think there are still many challenges.
For example, with the Global Financial Crisis, the amount of money that countries are giving to
responding to the epidemic, especially for treatments, is going down. So there are still huge
challenges in prevention. What we're also seeing is that in many countries, many major cities like
New York, London, San Francisco, many European cities, the number of HIV cases is increasing
dramatically. And while we haven't seen that in Australia yet, what we are seeing here is a rise in
sexually transmitted infections, much higher than we've seen for almost a decade. So there are
warnings here to what's going on overseas.

TRACY BOWDEN: There are now forms of treatment, people living for years with HIV/AIDS. How
different is it for you now when you have to give people the news that they've returned a positive

JULIAN GOLD: Oh, it's completely different. When I started treating people more than 25 years ago
now when there weren't treatments and we knew that this disease would cause them an early death and
in general a terrible way to die, there wasn't much we could do. These days there are wonderful
treatments, almost magic treatments, if people take their tablets every day. So it's a very
different situation for somebody with HIV today, compared to even 10 years ago.

However, that doesn't mean that if you get infected with HIV, you just take one or two tablets a
day and not worry about it. In fact, it's very different to that. HIV is perhaps now the most
complex area of modern medicine. And what we're finding is even with treatments, even though we're
able to suppress the HIV virus, we're finding that people infected are getting heart disease,
cancers, liver disease, kidney disease and brain disease much earlier. So, for example, a
50-year-old person with HIV has the same organs, if you like, as a 70-year-old person, so for
whatever reason or reasons that we know about, both the virus and the treatments are causing people
to age much faster than they normally would. So it's become a very complex disease, a very complex
infection and a very expensive one to treat.

TRACY BOWDEN: The Pope has recently said that condoms could be used to prevent the transmission of
infection. How significant is that?

JULIAN GOLD: I think it's very significant. With more than 30 million people having died of AIDS,
with more than 35 million people with HIV/AIDS and many of those who are Catholics, I think that
it's about time that the Pope noted that condoms are the best way of preventing transmission of
HIV. So I think it's very significant and will be very important in the future.

TRACY BOWDEN: How do you see the future? The question everyone would ask is: will there be a cure?
How far off might it be? We've come a long way in almost 30 years. What do you think?

JULIAN GOLD: We've come a long way in being able to control the virus, so long as people take their
tablets every day for the rest of their life. Unfortunately, the research - the most recent
research is showing that we're still very, very far from developing a vaccine and we're really a
very long way from developing a complete cure for this virus. It's a remarkably interesting, a
remarkably smart and a remarkably difficult virus to control, and it only affects humans. This
virus doesn't affect animals at all, so all of our observations, all of our work in looking for a
treatment has to be done with people, and therefore it takes a long time and we have to be very
careful what we do.

TRACY BOWDEN: Professor Julian Gold, thanks for speaking to us.

JULIAN GOLD: Thankyou very much.

A walk to remember

A walk to remember

Broadcast: 01/12/2010

Reporter: Mary Gearin

William Cooper is recognised as one of the founders of Aboriginal activism - he fought for the
plights of many oppressed groups as well as his own people. This weekend he is being honoured for
the protest he led to the German consulate following Kristallnacht - a dark night in Germany and
Austria's history when thousands of Jews were sent to prison camps and nearly a hundred killed.


TRACY BOWDEN, PRESENTER: It's 72 years since the terrible night in Germany and Australia called
Kristallnacht - the Night of Broken Glass. The organised mass violence against Jews saw rampaging
Nazis smash Jewish stores and properties, kill nearly 100 people and intern 36,000 others in camps.

A month later, across the other side of the world in Melbourne, a remarkable elderly man organised
a protest march to the German consulate, the only private demonstration against the pogrom of that
night. The man was William Cooper, now recognised as one of the founders of modern Aboriginal
activism, who fought for the plight of many oppressed groups as well as his own people.

Next week William Cooper's descendants will fly to Israel where he'll be honoured with an academic
chair established in his name.

Mary Gearin has the story, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the
following report contains images of deceased persons.

SHMUEL ROSENKRANZ: Well, let me tell you the story of Kristallnacht. ... We saw burning synagogues,
burning old age homes. The street was covered with glass. Everything destroyed.

MARY GEARIN, REPORTER: Shmuel Rosenkranz was only 10 when the Nazis stormed his hometown of Vienna
in the terrifying attacks of Kristallnacht. He and some of his family were among the relative few
to escape the destruction of that night.

Decades later, he was to discover in his new home on the other side of the globe that back in 1938,
an Australian man had stood up for the Jews in the only known private protest against

SHMUEL ROSENKRANZ: In my opinion, the man was a great humanist, above all.

MARY GEARIN: The man in question wasn't just half a world away from the Nazi horror, he was a man
disenfranchised in his own country, the founder of the Australian Aborigines' League, William

KEVIN RUSSELL, WILLIAM COOPER'S GREAT-GRANDSON: And his message to the world was that if we're to
sit in silence while evil's happening around us, we're no better than those who are doing it.

MARY GEARIN: Then aged 77, William Cooper led a delegation from his house in Melbourne's inner-west
to the German consulate in the city to deliver a resolution, "... against the cruel persecution of
the Jewish people by the Nazi Government of Germany and asking that the persecution be brought to
an end."

KEVIN RUSSELL: That's a powerful thing for people who had no status to walk into a capital city and
demand at the German embassy, "You stop this." Can you imagine what people were thinking of him?
Now, we see him as a hero. Then, he was just a troublemaker. Just a stirrer. "Gotta watch him, he's
a stirrer, that fella."

MARY GEARIN: So who was this stirrer who dared attempt to walk onto the stage of world politics?
Cooper was a Yorta Yorta man and lived most of his life at Cummeragunja on the Victorian NSW
border. The site of the famed mass walk-off protesting conditions at the mission.

Kevin Russell often returns to this land with son Michael and Cooper's grandson Alf, or 'Uncle
Boydie', Turner, who was a boy when his grandfather moved to Melbourne and fought for his people

ALF 'UNCLE BOYDIE' TURNER, WILLIAM COOPER'S GRANDSON: I remember him as a big man. He was around
six feet and solidly built. And a very quiet man, until the question came up about his people, the
Aboriginal people, and he'd fire up then.

MARY GEARIN: Having learnt to read and write as a precocious youngster, Cooper was a prolific
letter writer and in his last years, wrote to the King, the Prime Minister, whoever might deliver
better conditions and parliamentary representation for his people.

KEVIN RUSSELL: In all of his letters, as he signs off, "I am forever yours", "Your faithful
subject". Words like that just show who William was and that he knew that the way forward was not
through bitterness and he started to do white way, 'cause the fear of extermination of our people.

MARY GEARIN: William Cooper died in 1941, not seeing the measures he'd fought for.

Slowly, recognition within Australia of Cooper's achievements has grown. The display in Melbourne's
Jewish Holocaust Centre, a justice building in Melbourne will bear his name and he still inspires
the Aboriginal community in Melbourne's west, which became his home.

William Cooper, for what he has done for our people and I think that he makes me, he inspires me
for the work that I do.

MARY GEARIN: His story also inspired property developer and founder of the Australian-Israel
Cultural Exchange, Albert Dadon, to act. He says before he knew of Cooper's Kristallnacht protest,
he believed there'd been widespread ignorance about the treatment of Jews at the time and that's
why no-one, seemingly, had acted to stop it.

ALBERT DADON, AUSTRALIA-ISRAEL CULTURAL EXCHANGE: And you wonder why William Cooper stood up. And
perhaps you look at the de-legitimatisation that Jews were subject to the time and perhaps it took
someone else that was himself de-legitimised to recognise the humanity of those people.

SHMUEL ROSENKRANZ: We the Jewish people were people without land and the Indigenous people were
able or could have their own land, but others prevented it.

MARY GEARIN: Now two years after trees were planted in William Cooper's honour in Martha's Forest
outside Jerusalem with water from the Murray, Albert Dadon's organisation has established an
academic chair in Cooper's name for the study of resistance against the Nazis at the Yad Vashem,
Israel's official memorial to Jewish holocaust victims.

ESTEE YAARI, YAD VASHEM: We checked that William Cooper is a legitimate figure who indeed did
protest the Kristallnacht pogrom in Australia and we were happy to acquiesce to the donor's

KEVIN RUSSELL: We're grateful for that, because really, William hasn't had the recognition he
deserves here in Australia, not by his own people, not by the Australian Government. Yet the Jewish
communities and Israel have put William on the world stage as a global warrior for humanity.

ALF 'UNCLE BOYDIE' TURNER: I think it's terrific because they're recognising what the man done. I
think there is a great parallel to our people.

TRACY BOWDEN: And William Cooper's great-grandson Kevin Russell will lead a walk to Melbourne's
Federation Square this Sunday to commemorate the Kristallnacht protest. Mary Gearin with that

That's the program for tonight. We'll be back at the same time tomorrow, but for now goodnight.