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Today - striking workers at Port Botany refuse to end industrial action despite a ruling from the Fair Work Commission. Live by CSI Australia
This Program is Captioned Live by CSI Australia Also ahead - unions fight back against calls to cut penalty rates, saying regional Australia will be hardest hit. Spared the death penalty, the gunman who killed 12 people in a Colorado cinema sentenced to life in prison. And Australia tries to salvage some dignity Fourth
after its humiliation at the Fourth Test but it won't be enough to save the Ashes. Hello and welcome to ABC News, I'm Johanna Nicholson. Let's take a quick look at the weather first:

100 people are maintaining a picket at Hutchison Ports facility at Port Botany in Sydney. Many are among the 57 workers who were sacked yesterday. They said they were sent emails on Thursday night redundant and
telling them they had been made redundant and not to return to work. Another 40 were sacked in Brisbane. The Fair Work Commission has ordered those not sacked to return to work and it expects workers to abide by the decision. Ships are being diverted elsewhere but the union says no-one is going anywhere.Nop of us are going home. This fight's going to be one that we continue until we get some justice and we are relying on the support of the community and other trade unions who have demonstrated our solidarity throughout today in resolutions of support.Christopher Pyne's office says he claimed more than $5,000 of taxpayers' money flying himself and three family Christmas break
members to Sydney over the Christmas break in 2009 because he had official business there. Public documents show on Chris 2DayFM in 2009, Mr Pyne and three family members flew to Sydney at a cost of $1,200 Minister says
each. A spokesman for the Mr
Minister says while in Sydney, Mr Pyne worked in his capacity as a Shadow Minister. Research on behalf of two of Australia's biggest unions have found regional Australia would suffer economic losses of up to $1.5 billion a year if penalty rates were cut. The McKell Institute says any cuts would reduce until by $750 million a year. Secretary of
Gerard Dwyer is the National Secretary of the shop distribute iff and allied employers association. He said it would be a terrible blow for workers in regional Australia.This is about reducing the take home pay of local workers and their families and that will have a negative impact on families. That is what the McKell Institute shows. This will drag hundreds of millions of dollars out of regional Australia in particular. The cities aren't exempt. We will have working people with less to spend and in a consumer-based economy, that makes no sense, no economic sense at all. What the report looks at is who owns the businesses and when you move into regional Australia, we you have
have particularly in retail, you have a lot of companies, they are big chains, be it in fashion, food or hardware, whatever, they are headquartered in Sydney and Melbourne. So if you have a reduction in take home pay in those communities by virtue of reducing penalty rates, that transfers back to Sydney and regional
Melbourne. I don't think regional Australia needs that at this particular point in time. People in the regions already get paid less than people in the city and I mean, the SDA is a very big union in regional Australia and United Voice has a strong presence there as well. We are connected to the regions and we understand what's important for their
them. For them to take a cut in their take home pay is not good for them, not good for their families and not good for regional economies. It doesn't make sense. England is poised to secure a comprehensive win and reclaim the Ashes in the Fourth Test against Australia at Trent Bridge. Australia is 7/241 in its second innings after two days and still trails England by 90. Europe correspondent Mayor Gearin has more.English fans would have expected a they
result today and why wouldn't they after Australia's horrendous day one. What stopped play today? Bad light. There are people who are disappointed they didn't see the all but inevitable Ashes Fabulous
defeat of Australia.Absolutely Fabulous today. An unexpected ending. What's the point of having lights if you can't use them.They should have carried on and been goods sportsman but they are not. We could have beaten them in two days.It's the Australians' fault that bad light stopped play?We have lights, we play Twenty20, we Australians
play in the dark.I think the Australians played really well. with the
I think they have got a chance with the Test at the oval. I think they can do well at the oval.There is sarcasm here!No. I think we will chase 7 or 8 to win.By the end of the day, we will clean it up tomorrow and win.They will be back tomorrow.Best team in the world. Best team in the world. Should it have wrapped up be
today?Definitely but we will be back tomorrow for the victory.Although it is expected to be a short day three, there will be plenty of people back here wanting to see Australia lose the Fourth Test, lose the series with a big challenge ahead.Mary Gearin reporting there. Police have charged four teenagers who allegedly caused tens of thousands of dollars of damage with baseball bats and crow bars at two Brisbane state schools overnight. Police say dozens of windows, lights and High
doors at the Holland Park State High School were destroyed at half past 10 last night. Officers were then called just after midnight to reports of State School
smashing glass at the Yeronga State School where they arrested two people. The police helicopter helped find two other teenagers hiding in nearby backyards. Two 18-year-old men have been charged with several offences and are due to face court later this month. Two boys aged 15 and 16 will be dealt with under of
the Youth Justice Act with one of the boys also charged with seriously assaulting a police officer. A 6-year-old girl found unconscious at a childcare centre in Sydney's west yesterday morning is now in a satisfactory condition. The girl was found yesterday at the Kidz Club childcare facility in Jamisontown by a staff member. Police say her scarf had become caught on play equipment. She was placed in an induced coma Children's
and taken to Westmead Children's Hospital in a critical but stable condition. Police are no longer involved and WorkCover are making inquiries. A man has died during a suspected burglary at a home in Perth's northern suburbs. Police were called to a home in Greenwood shortly before four o'clock this morning and found a seriously injured man in the backyard. St John Ambulance paramedics could not revive the man and he died at the scene. Police say the man did not live at the house and Major Crime Squad detectives are investigating why he was there. The occupants of the home are assisting police with the investigation. Holiday makers flying in and out of Bali will experience more disruptions today as a volcanic ash cloud continues to disrupt air travel services. Virgin has cancelled all of its flights and Jetstar says it's cancelled all morning flights as Mount Raung continues to Advisory Centre
erupt. The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre says winds are Denpasar
blowing the ash towards Denpasar Airport. Garuda has not yet made an announcement about its services.A Tasmanian discovered
university student has discovered six new species of soft coral in the Tamar river. Experts say it's an exciting find which highlights the ecological significance of the river system. Tamar might
For many what lies beneath the Tamar might come as a surprise.We have got some amazing soft coral reefs, seagrass immediatos, seahorses and sea Dragons.In part the of
estuary is 55 metres deep. Much of the ecosystem is a mystery.We don't really understand the Tamar estuary and animals that are there. If we are to manage it properly we need to understand what makes it tick.University of Tasmania university Megan Dykeman set out to identify the Tamar's soft car always between Beauty Point and Low Head. Her findings were unexpected.From the 46 specimens we collected, there is six groups that look to be new species. They don't match with previously described species
species.Any time we find a new species that helps us understand our environment, it's important.The discovery is expected to help protect the Tamar into the future.Having this research and a baseline of these corals means we can monitor them into the future to make sure there are no impacts.It gives us the opportunity to look for further new animals living in the Tamar.The new coral species will go on display at the Queen Victoria museum next week. The gunman who killed 12 people in a Colorado cinema in 2012 has been spared the death penalty and sentenced to life in jail. James Holmes wounded 70 others during a late night creeping of a Batman film. The 27-year-old was found guilty of murder, attempted murder and an explosive charge last month but the jury could not reach a he
unanimous verdict which means he will receive an automatic life sentence. Four years after a far right extremist Anders Behring Breivik shot dead dozens of teenagers at a summer camp in welcomed back
Norway, Utoya Island has welcomed back young people for the first time. The island was Hospitaling Norwegian members of the Labor Party's youth wing when the tragedy happened. We are going to take you live now Joe Hockey
to Sydney where the Treasurer media.
Joe Hockey is speaking to the media.Ladies and gentlemen, Australia welcomes foreign investment and Australia needs foreign investment but at all times foreign investors must comply with Australian laws. Today, I announce I've ordered the sale of six residential properties unlawfully held by foreign Nationals in Australia. The foreign nationals currently live in four different countries. The five different orders relate to six established residential properties with one investor owning two properties. One investor, the investor who owns properties
two properties, owns those properties in Kewdale, a suburb of Perth in WA. A further investor owns a property in eight Mile Plains, a suburb on the outskirts of Brisbane. NSW that
There are three investors in NSW that have been ordered to sell their properties in Eastwood, Fairfield and Mossman, which are suburbs in Sydney. The purchase price of the properties range in value from $152,000 to $1.86 million. Some of the five investors have purchased property with foreign investment Review Board approval but their circumstances have changed. And they have failed to comply with the divest meant requirements. Some have simply broken the rules. By purchase ago property without approval and against the law. The investors linked to the five divestment voluntarily came forward to take advantage of the amnesty that I announced in May. They have 12 months to sell the properties, rather than the they
normal three month period. And they will not be referred for criminal prosecution. Since transferring residential real estate compliance functions to the Australian Taxation Office in May, over 2,000 pieces of information relating to suspected breaches have come to light via data matching with third party sources, including Board,
the Foreign Investment Review Board, the Department of Immigration, Australia track and State and territory land title offices. Through the information provided by the public together with our own inquiries, we now have 462 cases under investigation for breaches of the law by foreign nationals in the purchase of residential real estate. I expect more divest meant orders will be announced in the not too distant future. I once again warn foreign investors in residential real estate they must comply with the Australian law. Time is running out for foreign investors to voluntarily come forward if they illegally purchased existing residential real estate. They have until the 30th of November to come forward. They will still be forced to sell their properties if they are found to be in breach of the laws but they will not be referred for criminal prosecution. I emphasise again they have until 30 November to come forward. Australia's foreign investment policy for residential real estate is designed to increase our housing stock but those who break the rules and purchase established property illegally are doing so to the detriment of all Australians. Unlike the didn't
previous Government, which didn't take action, we are determined to enforce the rules and where appropriate make them even tighter. I will be introducing legislation into the Parliament in the next two weeks that will ensure the reporting requirements, enforcement and penalty regimes for foreign investors who break the laws are stricter and more penalties
significant. These new penalties are designed to ensure that no-one should be the
able to prove it from breaking the rules. To you for questions.REPORTER: Can you go into more detail about what some of those stricter measures might be?I will be announcing significant penalties for those that are in breach of the rules, for example in relation to non-residents who hold existing real estate, they will face a maximum criminal penalty of $127,000 or three years imprisonment. In relation to civil penalties, which I think will be the most significant and the newest part of the penalty regime, the penalty will be that they will lose the capital gain made on the property. 25% of the purchase price or 25% of the market value of the property. So that, of course, is a very significant penalty that does not exist under the current regime. It is also important to note that under the new regime, third parties such as real estate agents, financial advisers and so on may be prosecuted as well for assisting in the purchase of existing residential real estate or the unlawful activity of someone involved. How widespread is this problem? You foreshadowed further examples, but how many properties in Australia do you believe are illegally owned?In the May Budget I announced an extra $48 million foreign force meant. Previously the rules had not been enforced in relation now
to residential real estate. We now have 50 investigators who are kept very busy with the amount of work that they are getting and the referrals, as I mentioned. The majority of the WA but
cases are in NSW, Victoria and WA but as you can see from the announcement today, they are all over Australia. Importantly, the data matching that we have enabled the Australian Taxation Office to undertake, we are able to look at around $600 million - 600 million transactions a year. That's not going to be the case in total number of real estate transactions but there can be multiple transactions in the divest meant orders that I've issued and announced today, there are in some cases company structures, in some cases there is direct personal investment. We are able to look at financing of those purchases and the movement of money and so on.We are talking millions of properties or hundreds or thousands?I can only reiterate we are currently looking at 462 cases. That's significantly up the
on our previous estimate.In the last six months the Abbott Government spent half a million dollars on ghost flights...Can I come back to that in a minute. Are there other questions in relation to foreign investment. Then we will come back to that. (Inaudible) yesterday said the APRA rules for investment loans could be leading to more foreign investors in the market. Is that a concern?Well, there is significant foreign investment in residential real estate. It certainly increased over the last few years. Australia is open for business. We are open for business. Australia wants foreign investment, we need foreign investment but we need to make sure that foreign investors comply with the laws. And that's why I have announced divest meant orders today. In relation to foreign investment in real estate more generally, the reason why we allow foreign investors in particular to go into new real estate is because that creates construction jobs. And what we've seen with the fall in the mining construction boom is the jobs of electricians and boiler makers and others have moved and we are seeing job take-up in relation to property construction, that's been driven by foreign investment. We welcome that. My problem is in relation to existing real estate and specifically in relation to that comment, I have a great deal of respect for John Simons. I really do. He is a pioneer in many ways. But I see no evidence, no evidence at all, in fact quite the contrary, I see no evidence of any dissipation in foreign investment in residential real estate that complies with the rules.There were agents today that were very concerned that checks and balances are coming too late. Do you think that's a major weakness (inaudible) these transactions to go ahead that might not comply?In relation to individual property contracts, I think there is no doubt it would be good if all States and Territories had a provision in the contract where a purchaser asserts that they comply with the foreign investment laws. That varies at the moment from State to State, Territory to Territory. When I in the
meet with the State Treasurers in the next fortnight, I will be raising this issue and asking them to change the proceed form a residential real estate contract, purchase contract to ensure that there is a provision there for declarations in relation to foreign investment.Can you give an idea of (inaudible)?The majority are in NSW, Victoria, as I mentioned, and two a lesser degree WA. Which is quite interesting because Queensland has also a number of cases but WA currently with a smaller investigation.
housing stock has more under investigation. But last year there was more foreign investment in residential real estate in Melbourne than there was in Sydney. Which many people in Sydney would probably not believe.Anything elseIs there any significance you are making this announcement on the 8th of the 8th?No, no. Any other questions? We can go to the other question.Treasurer, do you think it's appropriate for taxpayers' money to be spent on ghost flights?These issues are at an independent review. I'm getting on with the job of doing everything I can to create more jobs, more prosperous Australian economy. That's what I'm focused Christopher
on.There are reports today Christopher Pyne flew his family over the Christmas-New Year period. Is that appropriate?This week we have seen terrific economic data, expectations for
retail sales were double market expectations for the June quarter. That's terrific. There is real momentum in retail sales. Importantly this week we have also seen 38,000 new jobs created in the last month.Do there need to be changes to the family reunion allowance?I'm not going to pass comment on those issues because I'm focused on jobs and growth.(Inaudible) it's taxpayers' money they are spending?You have to be precious with every dollar of taxpayers' money, I've always said that. You have to be precious with every dollar of taxpayers' money. Any other questions.(Inaudible question)?I will leave that to the candidates. I'm very reluctant to say anything publicly about that. Last time I said something about the Speaker it did create ructions. I think I will leave my comments in relation to and
Speakership for the candidates and I must say they are four outstanding, maybe five out janding candidates in the field.Do you think anyone will nominate Philip Ruddock?I haven't spoken to all the candidates. I will leave it at that. Thank you for coming in.That was Joe Hockey speaking to the media. Mr Hockey was announcing he has ordered the sale of six residential properties that were illegally held by foreign nationals in Australia. He said the value of the properties million
ranged from $152,000 to $1.86 million and he said that many other cases were under investigation and he urged those who have purchased residential property illegally to come forward. Moving on to other news now and France has launched air, land and sea in
searches around Reunion Island in the hope of finding more debris which could be linked to MH370. Malaysia said a wing section came from the lost Malaysian flight but French investigators are yet to confirm the link. The relatives have been angered over the contradicting statements from French and Malaysian Italian police
authorities. Italian police have arrested five men over a deadly shipwreck off the coast of Libya which left more than 200 refugees feared drowned. Mediterranean police say three Libyans and three Algerians are accused of multiple homicide and human Trav being offences. The overcrowded boat flipped over as an Irish Navy ship approached and desperate passengers surged to one side as they spotted the vessel. More than 400 people were rescued and transferred to the Italian island of Sicily. Sydney Swans star Adam Goodes is expecting a warm reception to
from Geelong fans when he takes to the field for his AFL return tonight. The league is confident fans have got the message that the relentless booing of Goodes by opposition supporters is not on. Cameron Best is in Geelong.Behind these gates the Sydney Swans are warming up ahead of Adam Goodes return to AFL after the booing controversy. All eyes will be on Geelong for the AFL match here tonight. In a show of unity the Swans and Cats will run through the same banner but that has drawn criticism from Cats fans who believe it will take away from Geelong captain Joel Selwood's 200th match.It's a shame he can't have it to himself. Deep down he would like to have it to himself. I'm sure his team-mates feel the same way too but it is what it is. I think the whole Adam Goodes out
situation has been a bit blown out of proportion, make your bed, you lie in it.It's good for reconciliation to go through it all and tell people things have got to stop but it is a shame they don't have another one for him to go through as well. Yeah.It's very generous of him and I think it's wonderful, yes. It shows good sportsmanship.It's only a game and we are going to go on and enjoy it, whether you win, lose or draw.We are sick of everything that's been going on and let's get on with the footy.Joel, a number of fans online at least have said you are running through a banner together for your 200th. How do you feel about it?It doesn't worry me too much. It is what it is. I understand why we have to do it. I'm more upset for the Geelong cheer squad. They get a chuf out of putting a banner together and we are really thankful that those guys do that for us. But, you know, we are going to run through the banner together. We decided that as a Football Club. I'm happy with that and we'll move on.Are you concerned that may incite people who may have been considering not booing, to actually boo?I hope not. From my point of view, I'm a proud Geelong person too and what would make me proud is that the Geelong people behave the right way too. Let's take a look at the satellite. A trough and front are producing showers and isolated storms across southern WA. While a high pressure system is producing mostly clear skies and light winds across southern and Central Australia. Looking around the country now:

The top stories from ABC News - about 100 people are maintaining a picket at Hutchison Ports facility at Botany in Sydney. Many workers are among the 57 workers who were sacked yesterday. They say they were sent out emails on Thursday night telling them they are being made redundant and not to return to work. The Fair Work Commission last night ordered those workers not sacked to return to work and the company says it expects workers to abide by the decision. Research on behalf of two of Australia's biggest unions has found that regional Australia would suffer economic losses of up to $1.5 billion a year if penalty rates are scrapped. The McKell Institute
research conducted by the McKell Institute shows any cuts would reduce disposal income in regional areas by as much as $750 million a year. The gunman who killed 12 people in a Colorado cinema in 2012 has been spared the death penalty and sentenced to life in jail. James Holmes wounded 70 others during a late night screening of a Batman film. The 27-year-old was found guilty of murder, attempted murder and an explosive charge last month but the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on the death penalty which means he will receive an automatic life sentence. And England is poised to secure a comprehensive win Fourth Test
and reclaim the Ashes in the Fourth Test against Australia at Trent Bridge. Australia is 7/241 in its second innings after two days and still trails England by 90. Johanna
That's the news for now. I'm Johanna Nicholson. Thanks for your company. Stay with us, 'Landline' is coming up next.

This Program is Captioned Live. # Theme music

Hello, I'm Pip Courtney,
welcome to Landline. First up today, a special report
from the Solomons on how an Australian economist
is helping the poor island nation develop a coconut oil industry. As Sean Murphy reports, a new system for producing
cold-pressed virgin coconut oil could hold the key to helping developing countries
develop a long-neglected resource.

They're modern-day missionaries spreading a gospel
of economic development for some of the poorest people
on the planet. Agricultural economist
Dr Dan Etherington has been coming
to the Solomon Islands since 1981. Now he's sharing his passion
with his family.

This is such a beautiful place.
I love it. And to come here on the boat
with my son, who is an agriculturalist
and has grasped the vision, and to have my grandson as well helping in a significant way
on this venture is - is - is amazing.

(Conch shell blows) You hear the conch shells? (Men shout)

On the western end
of Guadalcanal island, the warriors of Sumate
honour Dr Dan's party with a traditional challenge
and welcome. (Men shout) (Harmonious singing)

# There is unity and harmony
in us # Unity and harmony... # There is warmth and respect
like this across the Solomons for the 79-year-old. (Sing) # To show
that we are one... # Humble by nature,
the man known here as Dr Dan has spent much of his working life
studying coconuts and their impact
on traditional communities. I've never experienced
anything like this before. (Singing continues) It frankly brings me to tears. It's, ah -
it is an incredible experience to have a welcome like this
for what we've done and, um...
oh, I'm totally overwhelmed.

Coconuts are known
as the tree of life, surviving cyclones and tsunamis and sustaining indigenous peoples
for generations. But when Dr Dan
first came to the Solomons, they were a neglected resource.

(Laughing) As a cash crop,
it has been so abused and as an economist I was concerned
that you're getting nothing for it. As one of the producers said,
'God is raining money down on us and we don't know it
and we don't recognise it,' and, 'It's a money tree,' but they weren't actually getting
value for the work that they did.

Dr Dan has developed a system called Direct Micro Expelling,
or DME, and it's the basis of an emerging
virgin coconut oil industry.

The coconuts are cut open, their meat is shredded and then dried on
a specially designed heating table. It's then packed into cylinders and cold-pressed
with a low-tech manual device.

Dr Dan invented the press after experimenting
with a caulking gun. What we've come up with is the
fastest method of producing the oil where from the time
that you open a coconut to the time you get the oil
can be in under one hour.

Before the DME, copra production
was the only income from the Solomons'
vast coconut resource, estimated to be
around 390,000 hectares. Copra is a traditional industry, where the coconut flesh
is cut and dried for export to be processed into a low-grade oil.

Copra is one of the world's
most volatile markets and it's often not even worth
drying out at this village level for processing overseas. It's hot, hard, dirty work and it's been likened by some
to a form of slavery.

Copra is still a mainstay
of the Solomons' rural economy and was the nation's
first export industry. In the early 20th century, the oil produced was the world's
most popular edible oil and the base ingredient
for soap production.

(Newsreel theme) War in the Pacific broke
the copra industry's supply chain. NEWSREEL: A fleet of merchantmen accompany warships
on a secret mission... And soon after,
a new war on saturated fat broke what was left
of the coconut oil industry. But more recently,
there's been a backlash. Now there's just
the most remarkable demand for this virgin coconut oil
worldwide and nobody knows how it will -
how it's going to finish up It was a traditional food
in the tropics and the people who had coconut oil
as a staple food never experienced heart disease. Coconut oil may be enjoying
a resurgence, but Australia's National Health
And Medical Research Council still says its consumption
should be limited. In its revised dietary guide in 2013, it found there was insufficient
evidence to change this finding. I guess for a long time we were
telling people how good this oil was and how good it was for them
dietary-wise and people weren't convinced. In the last three years there's been
a big turnaround in the market and people now understand
the value of coconut oil and so that has enabled us
to expand. The market's grown
and we're able to grow with it.

Trading as Kokonut Pacific Niulife, the Etheringtons are riding a new
wave of popularity for coconut oil. They have been marketing
their Solomons-produced certified organic oil and cosmetics
for the last decade. They're also manufacturing
the DME presses and have sold the technology
in a dozen countries. Their Canberra-based business
is operated as social enterprise. Our aim is to make a profit because we have
to be a sustainable business. But our objective is not
to make a fortune for ourselves, but rather to reinvest that money
into our greater goal, our greater mission,
which is to help the islands, to help the coconut communities
to improve their livelihoods and to get out
of the poverty they're in.

Last year, the United Nations ranked
the Solomon Islands near the bottom out of 187 countries
for its human development index. Gross domestic product, the value
of goods and services produced here, is among the lowest in the region
at around US$2,000 per person. The Solomon Islands is one of the most aid-dependent
countries in the world. About 85% of the population
are living in this rural subsistence and some describe it
as an affluent subsistence, so life's not too difficult
for most, although with the increasing
population that's slowly changing. So you're living a lifestyle where you go to the garden
when you need to, you go fishing when you need to.

This year we expect
to export at least 160 tonnes of certified organic VCO. That's at least be a 25% increase
on what we produced last year if we do that. Bob Pollard runs Kokonut Pacific
Solomon Islands. At a recent Australia Pacific Islands
Business Council forum in Honiara, he told delegates
the biggest challenge in developing the virgin coconut oil
industry is finance. At a cost of $23,000 Australian, the DME system is beyond the reach
of most villagers. That's a problem. Banks aren't able
to lend to people in villages - they don't have security,
financial records - and so this is a major obstacle
that our industry faces, the financial entry barrier. It's something the Australian
Government has been working on as part of its development assistance
to the Solomon Islands. In fact, we are doing quite a bit
in that area in terms of economic empowerment, particularly for rural people
and particularly for women. So we've worked with both or are
working with both ANZ and Westpac, for example, to help
roll out banking services to rural areas through
mobile phone banking technology and in the last year alone
that's enabled 10,000 rural women to open bank accounts
for the first time. We're also working with the World
Bank Rural Development Program which is giving people
alternative sources of livelihood so they can raise a bit of capital, they can do things
like start savings clubs and start to access
what we would consider kind of normal basic financial
services for the first time. High Commissioner Andrew Byrne says investor confidence
is returning to the Solomons, after ethnic tribal unrest
crippled the economy at the beginning of this century. A regional peacekeeping operation has been downscaled to training
and advice for local police.

The High Commissioner says developing
a virgin coconut oil industry can deliver important
social and economic benefits for the Solomon Islands. This technology can help give young
rural people a source of livelihood

This technology can help give young
rural people a source of livelihood that they wouldn't otherwise have
in their village. It reduces the incentive
to drift into places like Honiara, where often they're unemployed, they're hanging around
and unable to find employment here and become frustrated and turn
to things like alcohol and crime. So potentially it has
a really positive social impact right across the country.

Dr Dan says
the Solomon Islands can prosper with the right sort
of development opportunities. Kokonut Pacific has installed about
40 DME systems across the archipelago and it believes up to 300 could
be operating within a few years. Get past the troubles
and you get peace and people who really
are willing to work hard and are very generous
in their hospitality out of what they've got and I think
that's a critical thing here, where this is all developed out of what
the people themselves have and it's just enabled them
to make best use of it. Hello, Annette.
Hello, Dr Dan. Nice to meet you. Welcome.
Thank you very much. Very good to see you. Very pleased to see you.
Me too. In this village, Dent and Annette
Somar bought a DME last year. They employ seven people
and buy coconuts from farmers MAN: We produce, within two weeks, I think it would take two months
for the copra cutter to earn that same amount of money. The benefit coming out of the DME is going out mainly to the farmers where they help out to meet
the daily necessity of the family, the school fees, clothing, the food, all that for the families.

In Honiara last month,
Kokonut Pacific Australia officially opened
a new coconut technology centre. It's wholly funded
by the Australian company's profits and is keenly supported
by the Solomons Government.

I, as the minister
responsible for agriculture, would like to thank KPSI
and Kokonut Pacific Australia for making it possible for many rural families
to improve their standard of living. We hope the industry
will find its way to all communities in the country, so that we
can do away with copra altogether.

The technology centre
aims to promote best practice as the industry gathers momentum. There's a big emphasis on training and helping people
understand the requirements of producing
for a First World organic market. Also, we work in the fair trade, so that fair price
would be given to the nut suppliers. But to implement that they need
to record all their transactions. Like if the DME buys the nut he should give receipt
to the supplier and when we visit them
we want to see those records as well to prove that that's fair trade.

At the technology centre, they're working on giving added value
to the resource by making soap and they hope also
to produce coconut flour from the meal left over
after the DME process.

(Pigs grunt and squeal)

Richard Etherington
has been using his skills as an agricultural scientist to develop ways of using
this coconut meal to feed livestock. MAN: Really,
there's a great opportunity with improved management
and with use of those feed materials to improve food security and
protein production in the villages. Training's a really important thing
though, capacity-building. Demonstrating it for people and doing things that are really
appropriate in the village, stuff that can be reproduced
in these remote villages and not something that
relies on inputs from the city, but can really rely on what's
available in that environment.

In his travels around the islands, Dr Dan says he's been impressed
by the innovative ways that communities with little
experience of the market economy have adapted to the realities
of running a business. You've got to trust them
to find ways that it doesn't disrupt the society. You can't live their lives for them. But they're
highly intelligent people. They don't want their societies
to be disrupted and I believe
that they will make best use of it.

10km north of the Murray River
at Mildura lies the Mourquong Basin, a natural saltmarsh
and a haven for birds. It's also a valuable source of salt - so valuable in recent years
it has won worldwide acclaim.

I suppose salt used to just be
a seasoning tool, but now
it's a really gourmet product. When I sort of
first started my career, it was all the Maldon sea salts
and the imported European stuff and this took over in a period
of a couple of years, I think. It just exploded.

It makes you proud that,
you know, something from Sunraysia that was an environmental disaster
sort of come out to be a good thing. This is what's helping
stave off environmental damage. This highly saline water pumped
from bores beneath the Murray River is part of a salt mitigation scheme. Each day, this system removes
about 200 tonnes of damaging salt that would otherwise
travel downstream. This being on the NSW side, this is the resulting
end of the bores, the water comes out and
it's the same salinity as seawater and this comes out here and then migrates its way
up towards the north, where we then turn this waste
into products that we can sell. What happens,
is that brine does infiltrate into the base of the Murray, particularly when you get
lower flows through the Murray. But what we do is, in partnership with the NSW and
the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, but also the NSW
and Victorian Governments, we get that brine
and then we turn it into something.

The Mourquong Basin
is six kilometres long. A series of lakes
helps manage the quality of brine. As the water flows along the basin
it naturally purifies. Unwanted minerals gradually drop out. So when the brine
comes onto your mining lease, then it's of
a really good high quality. That's the first little trick
with making salt is you're only as good as the brine. Duncan Thomson knows
a great deal about brine. He has mined salt, the residue of
Australia's prehistoric inland sea, in north-west Victoria
along the NSW border for more than 30 years.

In 2000, his company SunSalt
got environmental approval to utilise and crystallise the
saline water pumped into Mourquong. Our salt factory takes over,
makes the mineral salts - we see the pink salt,
swimming pool salt, hide salt - a lot of different things
for industry. And if you didn't intercept
and get that salt it would simply cause,
what, further land degradation? This area here would just
gradually fill up with salt water and as everybody knows
what happens with salt is it gradually migrates,
it just permeates everything. The good old-fashioned
take a negative and try to turn it into a positive and provide people with jobs
in the meantime.

And that's what SunSalt, with its Murray River salt brands,
is doing very well. This sensible environmental outcome had a silver -
or more accurately, a pink - lining. The salt from Mourquong
has no additives, but it is naturally loaded
with minerals and elements such as magnesium and calcium and that's what makes it
a distinctive pink colour.

Its colour has got it noticed
around the globe. The Murray River
gourmet pink salt, that was a brainchild
of Duncan and Jan. They've persisted with it
through the early years, but now it's gone
from strength to strength over the last
maybe five or six years. It's became known as a really top-end brand
in Australian gourmet food and the pinkness and the taste
and the environmental story and the texture,
they all come in together and it's to do with the minerals.

Evaporation during summer makes
the brine ponds even more vivid. And when they're dry enough, a special harvester
skims off the hardened crust.

We've built this refinery so
that the salt that we harvest here is then washed and put through to a drying process,
then crushing classification and then the bags behind us here
are used in hide salt so the chemicals are
added to that to facilitate that. In other areas,
we make swimming pool salt, which is pure
and we've got other forms of salt that we can bag off
in different areas of the plant.

The higher grade salt goes
to the company's factory in Mildura, where in large vats it slowly crystallises
into large pinkish flakes. It's then delicately dried
and packaged.

For years, the Thomsons
relied on selling their gourmet salt at fairs and markets. The couple is still promoting
their products in person, such as here at the Perth food fair. Now, such is the demand
for the gourmet table salt that the Mildura factory
is about to double in size. In recent years, their pink salt has
won dozens of awards here and abroad. Notable customers include
several international airlines. Some way, shape or form
all of the continents, mainly obviously Europe and America, but also more and more
pushing into Asia, particularly through
the new free trade agreement, such as Japan and South Korea
and now into China. So it keeps us on our toes. With the gourmet salt,
we're getting more orders from all around the world. We've had to reject customers. We've got a lot of things
that we can do. We've had Chinese here
wanting to buy because it's clean, green. They want us to export
food grade salt straight over there. So I've got no fear at all to say that there's a market
for anything we produce here.

The business began
with lesser-grade salt products. One of its mainstays
has been supplying the minerals for salt licks for livestock. The range of products fit in
with the different sites. We've got a Hattah site, which is just down the road
towards Melbourne in Victoria. That produces a golden colour salt and that goes into
the stockfeed products. So that's sold again to farmers right through
the Murray-Darling Basin, so I think that's a great
little story in itself there. Because you've got the brine that's being lifted
to stop the inland salinity, but then you're also turning it
into things like saltlicks that can benefit the farmers.

The company's new saltworks
alongside the Mourquong Basin has been built
with future expansion in mind. This is a facility
that we built for the future and with the prospect
of getting more water in to make sure
that we've got a facility that can handle 50,000 tonne,
not 20,000 as we're doing now. We're putting out over 30,000 with
Hattah, so we've got the facilities, we've got everything sitting there, we just want to get
a little bit more water to really make sure
that the employment keeps on going To do that, Duncan Thomson will firstly have to win
environmental approval from a raft of government departments
on both sides of the border. But he's an old hand
at dealing with bureaucracy and confident it will go ahead. This thriving enterprise that turns
wastewater into a gourmet delight continues to amaze. Never in my wildest dreams
I would have thought that it was gonna be,
you know, this big. But, you know, the flavour of it was to continue
to grow and grow and grow to have a good, world-class
food grade mine facility producing food grade salt, as well as the other end of it,
being the pink salt.

It's unbelievable -
it's gone in leaps and bounds. I've been around NSW
and around Australia a lot of places and sat in different restaurants and the old pink salt
always seems to be on the table. So it makes you proud. Don't forget our regular Landline
every Sunday on the ABC at noon. And of course you can also follow
the team on Twitter and Facebook. I'll see you next week,
bye for now. Captions by CSI Australia

This program is not captioned.