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The Drum -

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This Program is Captioned Live by CSI Australia Hello welcome to The Drum, I'm John Barron. Coming up - the PM under pressure not to make Speaker
another captain's pick for Speaker after the resignation of Bronwyn Bishop. The super industry wants to debaunk the myth that we'll all need a million dollars to retire on. And the war on journalism, is the news media its own worst enemy? THEME MUSIC And joining us on a journos' panel tonight, 'The Saturday' paper's Sydney correspondent Mike Seccombe, national affairs columnist with the 'Financial Review' Jennifer Hewett and Linnell. And of
co-host of 2UE breakfast Garry Linnell. And of course as always you can join in on Twitter using the hash tag The Drum. First tonight the fallout from the political entitlements scandal following yesterday's resignation of House Speaker Bronwyn Bishop. The PM has called for a far reaching inquiry into the entitlements system and the process is now under way to find a replacement Speaker.We've got to ensure that we do have root and branch reform of the whole system of MPs' expenses so that never again do we find ourselves in the position that we have found ousts in with a number of members of parliament later ways
that they have used expenses in ways that are within the rules but way outside community expectations.It is time for parliament to become more appropriate to the respect which Australians expect in our parliamentary debate. There is no doubt whatsoever that Mrs Bishop was perhaps the most partisan party-political Speaker that the federation parliament has ever seen.I'm sorry that Bronwyn's had to do but it was the right thing to do. She's had a long career in public lived. Distinguished service and it's unfortunate that due so some errors of judgment he has stepped down. I just want to make one point however, just really important point - MPs and Senators are well aware that they're spending other people's money, we all know that.So, Bronwyn says
Bishop has gone, Tony Abbott says she did the right thing in resigning but also says the bigger problem is the entitlement system itself but will we see the root and branch change the PM talks about or Garry do you think we might have a situation whereby mutual consent this go auld go quietly away now.Root and branch means a complete overhaul of the if
current entitlements system and if you look at our MPs, 2226 of them down there based in Canberra, they've received an annual salary increase of about 7% a year over the last 10 years so we've allowed this mythology in this country to develop where they're under paid and they need Braga to be to change that
compensated and they've managed to change that system over the years so that instead of just having a base salary they've built up those entitlements over the years. You need to pull the whole thing apart.Would you go so far as to say we can increase the base salary even further, I could be earning a lot more if I left politics?I spoke to a truck driver this morning - you'll always hear from politicians about how many nights they spend away from their families - who spends 300 nights away from his family every year, he earns $1130,000 a year and gets $40 a night so he sleeps in the cabin of his truck. You can argue that the is service he's forming for the country is every bit as important as his elected fish official. We have to get rid of this notion that they're underpaid. They're well paid compared to their counterparts in the Europe and US.Is there a sense of grievance that I'm sacrificing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, that's why there is this sense of entitlement?I don't think it's quite as easy as that. I do think politicians work very, very hard, they work very long hours and are constantly on show much more now than ever, since the advent of social immediate a everybody becoming a photographer, they can never without
relax or go out in a crowd without being nobled for it. I do think that is a big issue. I think the entitlements issue is very difficult and that's one thing why Bronwyn Bishop one reason why she was in so much trouble because people could immediately identify that she was abusing the system but I think there should be a review, there will be a review, but I don't think we should get too carried away. I don't think politicians are paid too much. It's just whether you get value for money really.Have we got better politicians now than we had 20 or 30 years ago? Is money the issue?I don't think that's about money though but when I first arrived in Canberra it was the glory days there were
of the Hawke Government and there were serious people, on both sides, and there are not to anywhere near the same extent now but just going back to the entitlements thing, I don't know that you need root and branch reform. You need a good definition of what is official business for a start. That shouldn't be the hard 20 do but part of the reason that Peter Slipper won his appeal is because there was no definition of what official business is so going off to the wineries near Canberra could be son strewed as official business. Bronwyn Bishop was able to say she was within the rules because there was no clear definition of what her official business was.As a police politician, you are a politician, you're always a politician. Up the shop with the kids getting a pie after soccer, you are never off stage.You're not. And it must be very hard to live with I would think particularly if you're one of the prom Queenstown ones. There's a lot of batchers who is go around largely unobserved. Nonetheless, they are well paid, I don't think their perks are all that glamorous these days, they have to fly economy most of the time. They have to be a little more tightly administered and shay should be reported more or less in real time as should be the case with political donations, and to be perfectly frank, for Tony Abbott to say it wasn't Bronwyn's fault, it was the fault of the rules is just utterly false. She was a serial abuser.There's a pattern of behaviour here.Let's look as well at the role of Speaker because it's going to be a week until we know who will be next. called
Philip Ruddock has said if Russell
called upon he would serve, Russell Broadbent, another name put around, Sharman Stone as well. Whoever it is, and to an extent their role, how they comport themselves will define the choice. Who do you think will come forward?If the it's a captain's pick probably the great captain's pick for Tony Abbott is choosing Philip Ruddock, to show how magnaminous he is. After that issue with removing him as whip, he could actually say, "Well this is the party's choice." He's clearly the favourite of the partyroom. of
He's got respect on both sides of the House so that would be a win-win for Abbott.Not sure if he is the favourite of the partyroom. I think there's quite a bit of disagreement about that and dissent and that will be one thing that Abbott will manage. He can't put in someone that he decides is from the right of the party, that suits him for the numbers. I don't think he'll be sill you enough 20 do that despite the evidence of the last few weeks.Do you think the next whip will ever go to the opening of a theatre event or take a helicopter ride again?Stay close to home. Do you think whoever is next Speaker is, do you think that they will recalibrate and be less partisan?I would hope so. I can't imagine that after this kind of thing it could happen again. I actually got to Canberra a year before Bronwyn did and I've been watching Speakers for a very long time and there have been some good and bad ones. I thought I'd never see anyone worse than Leo McLeay but Bronwyn is vastly worst. She has heckled people from the chair. She has had entirely different rulings on the meanings of words from the chair depending on who was saying it. We all know about the chuckings out but she's an absolute disgrace to the office and has been from day one and that's why she was appointed. Tony Abbott appointed her because she wanted a vigorous partiy San in the role. He did not want someone fair minded in going
the role and I think now he's going to have to recalibrate.For more on this former Liberal adviser Terry Barnes has written a new piece for The Drum online. He says the new puck should not be Philip Ruddock. Who should it be, look at the website.Of course one of the entitlements that politicians receive is very generous superannuation but a new report wants to bust what it calls the myth that we need a million dollars each in super saves to have a comfortable retirement. The report comes from the Australian institute of the
superannuation trustees with the support of Australian Super. They say this claim that we need a million in super is causing unnecessary fear and concern. The superannuation industry association says that if a couple owns their own home they should be able to retire on half as much. Is this refreshing honesty from the superannuation industry or are they just managing our expectations because not a lot of of us will get to a million?This is a bit of a furphy this whole argument. Not sure who has died decided you need a million dollars and because basically most people still rely very heavily on the pension and it's always supposed to be done in connection with the pension for people on lower to middle incomes. Of course, you're going to have in many cases with the help of some superannuation you're going to have enough to retire on, maybe not live fabulously well. The more complicated argument is what you do for people who are beyond getting the aged pension changed
and the fact the Government has changed that. If for example you're a couple, doesn't make difference whether you have $450,000 or $700 to more than $8,000. You won't be any better off in terms of your annual income. That is a very interesting issue.Garry, an important point that Jennifer makes with compulsory superannuation coming in 20 years ago it was never meant to replace the aged pension?It was supposed to be complementary to it. It doesn't mature the superannuation sector until 20 50, 60 so it still has 30 or 40 years to roll out.How do you help with with people who are still reliant on the aged pension?You've outlined for some people there, what are they going to do with it? Where is the incentive to save if they're not going to be better off when they finish working. Hardly an incentive to keep working.That's one of the big... Everything in super is complex. I think although this argument that pi put out the study today, fine, but in fact all the argument about superannuation tax concessions also never goes to that point about perverse incentives.There's the great unknowable, we don't know how long we're going to live so do we need our superannuation to last 15, 25 years or more?We know we're going to last a lots longer most of us.Despending on how much we drink. That's right. You're gambling on your own life expectancy really and we're all going to live longer and we're all going to ultimately work longer but I thought the whole purpose of making it compulsory was to ensure that we had something put by and I don't see why when we're paying - 9.5, you should have a fairly substantial super balance if you're starting out using
in your working life know.Mike using the word gambling on superannuation, how long you live, there's also an element of gambling in self-managed superannuation funds and this may be a subterm to this research that says not to go for the huge returns, go for the blue chips because...These days the returns are much lower in the low inflation environment anyway. Before people could rely on 7 or 8% they were getting that, these days if you're trying to be Conservative you'll be relying on 3%. The figurers don't look nearly as attractive. There is a big risk factor going on in the whole self-managed super sector but that is little recognised at the moment so we'll see what happens with that.Depending on which set of data you look at, we're all either drinking less or we're all either drinking more. It really just comes down to which set of data you look at, but it could mean obviously that attempts to change our culture of obsessive and excessive drinking is either paying off heard
or in fact everything we've heard about cracking down on binge-drinking has been a failure. The authors of a new report say it's probably the latter. We are drinking more. Men in particular it seems and we may be they suggest should have cigarette style warnings on our bottles of booze. The views of our panelists in a moment but first Mike Bureau of
Clay.Every few years the Bureau of Statistics asks Australians how much they drink and the results are sobering. We're drinking more than in 2001 and about a third of Aussie men are drinking dangerous amounts.Society needs to discuss alcohol and come to a much better understanding of its ill effects.These new figures seem to contradict the most authoritative survey in the area by the Australian institute of health and welfare. It says more teenagers are abstaining and those who do drink do it later in life. Risky drinking among the young is down as is binge-drinking across the board. So does this call for a toast?I think we probably are heading in the right direction with the numbers trending down as our data would indicate. Things are fairly steady through the 2000s according to our data through the national drug strategy household survey. Certainly seen between 2010 and 2013 a reduction in risky drinking levels.But hold up, just what is risky drinking? According to official guidelines it's drinking more than two standard drinks a day every day, why? The above yips run the numbers and come up with a life time risk assessment. How likely you are to die from anything alcohol-related. And at two standard drinks a day, that likelihood is 0.9% for men and 0.8% for women. As in so-called risky drinking gives you less than a one in 100 chance from dying from alcohol over your life time and if you don't drink and drive or injury yourself when you're drunk that risk is halved. So how does that compare to, say, getting in your car? The life time risk of dying in a traffic accident when you drive 10,000 miles a year in the US is about 1.7%. Much higher. So risk is relative but so are statistics. It depends on who and what they ask.We would just hope that our data would be used toful in those decisions, we don't make any recommendations about particular policy responses.The researchers 'Medical Journal of
behind today's study in the 'Medical Journal of Australia' want cigarette style warning labels on alcohol.Alcohol is should
in many respects similar, there should be more education about its sensible use and there should be counteradvertising to disabuse people of the way of thinking this is a way out of life's difficulties.But if we're tracking water in some studies and worse in others is more action needed or less?Mike Clay. Garry by that logic Statically at least if we're going to put warning labels on bottles of wine or beer or spirits we should also be putting them on new cars, how far would you go?Vodka is very good here, thank you very much.Your taxpayers' money at work?We need another public awareness campaign. Let's take out at $2 or $3 million in taxpayers' money money and spend it on bus stop shelter posters telling everyone how bad the booze is. Do we really believe any of these stats that come out? How honest are people in this country. We have a huge - alcohol problem in this country. If you look at the rate of domestic violence, many of those are linked to alcohol. They're alcohol-fuelled. Seen the one punch laws in Sydney and seen a significant change that
in the number of attacks in that area since those laws were introduced. You can have public policy and laws that will have an impact but we don't really want to touch it because there's a very powerful lobby called the Australian hotels association and the alcohol companies, and they employ some of the best lobbyist s around and while they're still allows to make large donations to political parties we're never going to get anywhere on this subject.On that question of warnings and plain packaging, plain packaging on cigarettes has had a discernible effect as did the warnings before that, in the old days they used to be very glamorous with coats of arms and now they look awful. If we made Botts of wine look awful?I do thnt so. It's very hard to make the same comparison because there's such a range of alcohol and there's a lot of people who have socially drinking, you can have a couple of drinks and it doesn't do you any harm at all. They are fundamentally different. I agree with that alcohol in
there is a big problem with alcohol in the country but the idea that smoking and warning labels will change that for the problem drinkers is nonsense.Is that an important statistical difference, between one in three and one in two regular smokers will die from than
the habit. Mooirfg said less than 1% of heavy drinkers were?I thought I was a risky drienker at first and it's increase by risk of dying. I'd rather have fun and a few drinks and take the risk. Of course there's a difference, there's a difference in the risk involved. Trillion is not safe cigarette use. There is safe alcohol use. As a result they should be treated differently. I think there are social problems that need to be addressed but I don't think putting warning labels on bottles of plonk will do it.Overall we as a nation drinking several litres of pure alcohol now less than we were in the 70s so there's a lot more heavy drinking going on in our parents' generation than today?It's probably changed depending on who you are. Some statistics support the idea that there's more binge-drinking among young girls than there was before, maybe so some extent among younger boys as well but speaking as a journalist where we all grew up on the lung lunch, peempl are going off jogging instead or to the gym.Those old journeys dropped off a twig rather early.Some are still around, that would be going
me.Speaking of which, we're going to talk about the state of the news moo edda now. The nerpt - news media now.It's created an didn't competition that that news would be free. Meanwhile both Government and whistleblowers have found they no longer actually always need the media to get their message out. The result - the last few years has seen a procession of journalists leaving major mastheads and heading up to the pub . The once mighty broad sheets literally shrinking before our eyes but according to journalist and author Andrew Fowler journalism is under attack on more than one front and in some cases it may only book
have itself to blame. His new book is called 'The War on Journalism: Media Moguls, Whistleblowers and the Price of Freedom'. Andrew Fowler welcome back to the drum. You've written a lot in the past and effect
you write about the Wikileaks effect and what that whole affair revealed about the State of news journalism. What did it tell you?People with information very often don't trust the existing news media, they tend to go to people outside. For example Snowden went to a freelancer who then got the story published in the 'Guardian' but there's a lot of pressure from Greenworld to get that story up so it shows you that one reason why the mainstream media is in such a crisis is that people have really lost confidence in it, not only because the money itself has dried up so they really can't fund the kind of investigations that they did in the past but also because they think that they tend to go down market to compete with the Internet. You get clickbait stories and things like that which really are just trash.Wikileaks of course did partner with major newspapers around the world, they realised that at least at that point in their evolution they needed mainstream media?That's right. Chelsea Manning didn't go to the New York 'Times', she went to this outfit called Wikileaks. They were the people that then did the deal with the 'Guardian'. There was that separation between the source and the information going to the mainstream media. It's an interesting area to look at to understand why those things occurred.Why the erosion of trust and why the shift in journalists
power it seems, away from journalists more towards Government, more towards corporate interests?I think Governments and corporate interests have become more powerful and more controlling of journalists and as journalists we've become weaker as the rivers of gold as Murdoch called them as dried up, the Governments and the large corporations have really made a great play of that and have fed news organisations pretty easy to digest news that they can run and the public sees it but it's a very difficult situation because there's no money in journalism, there's
in print journalism, and there's not much money in the ABC, so the problem is how do you get out of that issue.You lose the money, you lose power inevitablityThat's right.Not fallen
too sure is confidence has fallen that far in the media. I can pull out surveys from 30 or journalists
40 years ago that shows that journalists were trusted on just above used car salesmen and the same survey this year will show the same thing. It's really a money issue that's really affected journalism. The rivers of gold, we lived in a fool's paradise through the 70s produced
and 80s and 90s. We also produced a lot of boring journalism that people just consumed but they weren't compelled to go and follow, they were just institutional readers. They bought the 'Sydney Morning Herald' or they bought stage or the 'Herald Sun' and that's what they did.The journalism that sells is very different to the journalism that most journalists want to in
produce.What you want is a mix in the newspaper where you get people reading good, strong stuff like investigations done by the 'Herald Sun' or by stage mixed with light stories?The business model - the serious journalism in inverted commas the overseas burrees always classified
cost money, it was the classified that subs diced a lot of that investigative journalism. How do you recreate a new business model without the classified and advertising revenue which has also dried up.Unless you do, the fourth estate which is the fourth pillar that stands against the other three pillars of the realm will fall and for democracy and it sounds awfully large call to make but for democracy it's a really dangerous time.It is. To Garry's point it's the business model that's the problem. When you say unless you do, they've been desperately trying to come up with a business model. There may be I think at best a role for niche products that do invest in journalism but it will not be sustained by advertising in the same way but the idea also that people are turning away is because there's so much more choice. Naturally people like to find their alternatives where they like and also like, that's one of the problems I do think is that people respond to people who they like, they don't get that broad view and so people kind of go in their own echo chambers.There is the problem of recognising the issue in the first place, theary gans in the print media in particular, the people going to suffer the most was palpable. People were denying that there was a problem in this country, they were saying classified ads will always be here, they'll always be...Didn't they make a mistake.I think Roger Corbett was from Fairfax. In the early days of online they looked at it as a loss leader to be given away and that only accustomed people to getting their news for freer only belatedly if we put up pal walls and thing. Is to too beat to coral the consumers again.We need to recognise that that was a huge mistake in the first place. We have this huge base of readers and we can give them for an extra 2 cents a day and try to get that get connection but as far as I can see there has been no major investigation of how this failure occurred because most newspapers were in denial until they got clobbered with relate reality.What about the power of targeting high quality journalism, 'Financial Review' behind a pay wall seems to have a successful model.I want the 'Financial Review' read by other people than just those people who have blue chip stock. I want the newspapers, a broad newspaper, a broad corporation like the ABC, a broad paper like the 'Sydney Morning Herald', has been in the past, largely, not so much now, I want more of that, I don't want this narrow casting because it means people quite rightly live in an echo chamber and that breeds all sorts of problems, extremism, people with prejudice only reading what they want to read. Never being exposed to a big idea.That's the Internet isn't it?Haven't we always had that? People have gone to the 'Sydney Morning Herald' because they're of a certain persuasion and people have gone to the 'Daily Telegraph'.Sometimes they get surprised.That's true. It's like the iTunes effect. You want to hear something you haven't heard before. That's all the time we have. Thank you to our panelists tonight and our guest of course Andrew Fowler. Wour website has plenty more analysis, check it out, and I hope to see you at the same time tomorrow. Good night.

Today we've come
to a very unusual location that's a first
for the Antiques Roadshow. We've been to our fair share
of stately homes, elite sporting institutions, we've even visited some of the
country's best industrial heritage...

..but we've never
come to a venue like this before - an RAF base with squadrons
currently on active duties overseas. But, hey, this is the first in a new
series of the Antiques Roadshow, and we thought we'd surprise you. So it's lift-off
with a brand-new series from RAF Marham near King's Lynn
in Norfolk.

RAF Marham is home
to three front-line squadrons, No.2, 9 and 31. These Tornadoes have recently been
flying over the skies of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

So, you may ask, why is
the Antiques Roadshow at an RAF base, with squadrons
and servicemen and women currently on classified operations? Well, this is the centenary year
of the Royal Flying Corps, the forerunner of the RAF,
and of No.2 Squadron.

And there it goes.

This tailfin commemorates
their 100 years of service, which began less than ten years after the Wright brothers' first
powered flight in the United States. In 1912, No.2 formed
as Army Cooperation Squadron, which it still is. Back in those days, they weren't
flying things like Tornadoes. In the First World War,
their pilots flew over enemy lines in spluttering biplanes,
dodging bullets and taking photographs
of enemy positions. It was a risky business. Exploits like these won the squadron
the first Air Victoria Cross in 1915.

Here in the home of the RAF's
most historic squadron, you find some pretty interesting
things, like this - the squadron's first diary,
dating from 1912, a fantastic record of illustrious men
and their magnificent machines.