Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
7.30 -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

(generated from captions) and at this stage there's some rain forecast for next weekend. Top temperatures for the rest of this week will hover around the low to mid 20s. Before we go, a brief recap of our top stories tonight. Asylum seekers trying to make their way from Greece to Macedonia have clashed with armed border patrols. Macedonian forces fired tear gas and stun grenades.

and four members of a Channel Nine television crew are expected to appear before a judge in Leven on the day, held in connection with the attempted grabbing of two a
children from their grandmother on a street in Beirut. And that's the latest from the Canberra newsroom. For more ACT news, you can follow us online or on Twitter @abcnewscanberra. Stay with us now for 7:30 with Sabra Lane.

This program is live captioned by Ericsson Access Services. Welcome to 7.30. Tonight an election favourite resurfaces, but will it stay on track?As you know, we have a new cities and new approach to infrastructure.Malcolm Turnbull is out there today on the front page purporting to suggest that now he's in favour of high speed rail and that it can be done for free. That is a fantasy. Rick, you've been telling them that for months. Why would they believe you? The bitcoin business that lost customers a fortune. I've been waiting six months, worrying about it completely, and... Yep, still haven't received it. And meet 105-year-old Daisy, who's taking the artworld by storm.That painting's mine. The date's not official yet but the preelection campaign softening up period is in full swing. And if polling day is July 2, we've got 82 days to go. The latest election season favourite to be dusted off and pressed into service is a decades-old idea for a fast train system for the east coast. That idea from the Government follows Labor's call last week for a royal commission into the banks. Each side's accusing the other of feigning interest for political advantage - another sure sign that the campaign's almost with us. Political reporter Tom Iggulden has more from Canberra. Favourite band? I'm very sentimental about The Mentals.Every time we announce a very fast train...95% are for it. And the other 5%?Engineers...The lunatic fringe.There are fewer surer sign that is the election train is about to leave the platform than this. The national paper spruiking a fast rail plan for the east coast. Malcolm Turnbull is dipping his toe in waters tested by Prime Ministers going back to Bob Hawke by publicly contemplating the politically popular fast train idea.I rather liked the idea of popular fast train idea.I rather
liked the idea of a very liked the idea of a very fast Train. I still do. But you can't justify spending $1 to $2 billion to subsidise a rail track between Sydney and Canberra. There's no firm plan from the current Prime Minister just yet but his public numerations about how such a big idea might be paid for is leading to speculation it could form part is leading to speculation it could
form part of the government's bid for re-election. He calls it value-capture, which works by tapping into rising land values created by a new train line to help raise the money to actually build it and the Prime Minister's a big fan.It can certainly contribute it and the Prime Minister's a big
fan.It can certainly contribute to financing a project. As you know we have a new cities and a new approach to strir. Obviously there'll always be a big role for direct
Government to make grants and direct investments. But there's also the opportunity to capture some of the considerable value that is created in land by the construction of transport infrastructure. That's how railways were financed in the 19th century, actually. It is not actually a radical new plan at all. It is actually a sensible, ol plan that's been forgotten.That top -- old plan that's been forgotten. That stops a long way short of confirming the government will take railways to the elections. There is a reason for the softly soft approach. Political reputations staked and lost on reports and inquiry that is gather dust in the bowels of the Canberra bureaucracy. Voters could be forgiven for cynicism and the option has made inroads by painting the government as desperate for populist policies with no chance of success.Yet again, this is a desperate Malcolm Turnbull crutching at straws to try and shake off the tag of being a do-nothing prime minister. But if the Liberals were so committed to high speed rail, why did they scrap some of the funding for it which Labor previously point in place. Mr Malcolm Turnbull, talk is cheap. Actions are what matter.Last election, then transport Minister Anthony Albanese presided other the announcement of Labor's plan to build a fast train. He says the Prime Minister's exotic-sounding funding isn't the plan.Malcolm Turnbull is out on the front page of The Australian newspaper purporting to suggest he is in favour of high speed rail and it can be done for free. That is a fantasy. You don't build a high speed rail line by putting a headline in the newspaper and using phrases like value-capture.There are those things who think that value-capture can fund the entire project and there are those who don't share this view, like Anthony Albanese.Backbencher John Alexander has been heading a government inquiry as to how value-capture can help fund infrastructure.I think strangely we've come across a perfect storm of opportunity in that Sydney is the second most expensive real estate in the world and Melbourne the fourth most expensive and the opportunity to release incredible amounts of land that have very low cost that could be 20 or 30 minutes from the CBD gives that opportunity of enormous value uplift and, therefore, the opportunity of infrastructure.
value-capture to fund that infrastructure.While the Government plays with its trains the Opposition has delved into a different corner of the political toybox and has engaged in a spot of bank bashing. Much like the fast rail idea, it is an issue that's been on the agenda for last year. Only last year Labor voted against a Greens call for a banking royal commission. Now the Opposition supports one. The only thing that's changed, says the Government, is the politically expediency of a looming election.Bill Shorten is attempting to create a distraction for an Australian Securities and Investment Commission inquiry in the union industry. One backbencher is going so far as to say that the decision to rule out a banking royal commission is a captain's call. Another backbencher spent 27 years in the banking industry before he went into parliament. He says public concern about bank's behaviour is justified and he questions the effectiveness of the corporate watchdog ASIC.I think ASIC has the resources to deal with these issues and, historically, ASIC has had the resources to deal with issues in the financial services sector as well. The question is why they're not using those resources. Government hopes of a campaign fought on union corruption look to be fading by the day. The hard-hats are on and the signals are highly visible that the political season is coming and it's going to be long and bitter. With me in the studio now is the Opposition's Finance Spokesman, Tony Burke. Mr Burke, welcome. Thanks for coming in.Good evening.What was the tipping point to sign off on the idea?We changed our position...you remember a year ago we took the view we should give the banks the chance to be able to deal with these issues themselves. We're only up to April. We've already had CommInsureand the scandal with bank swap rate. We have had scandal after scandal and we won't get the confidence in the banking system that everybody wants. The right way to deal with this, we were now at the point to say, "Let's use the most serious form of inquiry we can have", which gives you not just the powers of a royal commission but the scope of a royal commission, and the public nature of a royal commission.Why should voters believe Labor's intent on this given more than a year...well, not more than a year ago, last June, Labor voted against a motion in the Senate for a royal commission, indeed, nobody from Labor spoke on the chamber floor about this idea, full stop?That's not uncommon with Senate motions. It is 2 procedure that they work on -- the procedure that they work on position...
there. We had a different position...Not only that, Sam Dastyari tweeted at the time and yelled across the chamber that it the
was a stunt. What's the change in the position?Our position has changed. I'm not denying that. A year ago we were saying the banks should be given a chance to be able to deal with these issues themselves. What's happened since then has been scandal after scandal and the seriousness and severity of them has been increasing, not decreasing. It is not simply what does it mean for the institutions of the banks, you go to four cap -- Four Corners on this network and where this
you see real-life situations of where this is ending up. The framing of the story we just saw was as an election wedge. We hope the Government will sit down with us, take the politics out of it and agree on a term of reference. That would be the best outcome here. It is something we would have expected on.
Malcolm Turnbull to follow through on. Instead, they've gone immediately to on extraordinary frame of Scott Morrison actually defending that these issues should be dealt with in secrecy.Hang on for a tick. Just last month a Labor-led Senate committee on forestry managed investment scheme handed down its report. It did so at 4:59pm on the Friday of a long weekend. Those findings were pretty serious. The Greens said it reinstated their need for a call for a igs ro. Yet the Labor-led committee - it was a Labor-led committee - by tabling this report when it did effectively buried that committee's work. Now, actions do speak louder than words, don't they?Until you arrive at a new position, you don't hold it. We've been responsibly waiting, as the case has built, and each issue that you raise, yes, they have been additional layers as the case is being built. We don't do what the other side of politics does, where they've had royal commissions, where the purposes have been transparently political. Labor's the party that, you know, the royal commission into institutional abuse, black deaths in custody, the royal commissions that we have involved ourselves with have been serious and grave policy issues. We don't make these decisions lightly. That's why we didn't arrive at this decision quickly. That doesn't go to some sort of strategic decision. It goes to the simplicity of we waited for the case to be built and now there is no doubt in our minds, the best thing, not only for banking consumers but for the institutions and
themselves, is for all the powers and scope of a royal commission to be put into play. ASIC's Chairman said last year the authority was thinly resourced. Do you believe it has enough resources? $53 million would go a long way to filling the cut it took in 2014?The cut it took was $120 millionAnd $53 million is almost half.Malcolm Turnbull has floated in some of the news organisations a concept of 'maybe we'll give them more money'. I don't argue for a minute that they don't need more resources. Those cuts were targeted at the institution that's meant to be doing the work on whether or not the law has been broken. But people want to know more more than that. You'll restore the 120?Today we're dealing with the royal commission. We won't rush any announcement off in a day. That's now how the Opposition works. To take the issues through, a royal commission does work that ASIC cannot do. A royal commission doesn't only deal with whether or not for a particular case there's been a breach of the law. It can also go to unethical behaviour. It also hears evidence in public. It will be able to deal with systemic issues in a way that ASIC doesn't, and beyond that it will also be able to look at whether the regulators, themselves, have the right levels of power and authority hardly
for themselves, and you could hardly expect the regulators to be in charge of that question. Alright. Switching to your other hat, the Manager of Opposition Business, Parliament's recalled next Monday with the specific purpose of discussing the BCCC. Do you have a problem with that?This is breath-taking. Of all the acts It
of arrogance from Malcolm Turnbull. It was either enough, given his history, that he went to the representative of the Queen and asked for the Governor-General to assist - of course he acted on the advice of the Prime Minister, but what Malcolm Turnbull was asking for was to get permission to perform a political stunt to facilitate a sense of crisis to what
deliver an early election. That's what he wanted. When you recall the Parliament, people presume it will sit, we have a Question Time. Instead we have this concept that we turn up to perform the stunt for him, then we all go home and he have
doesn't answer any questions. We have five days where the House of Reps and everyone thought would be sitting, but no, no, it is only the Senate.The Clerk's advice is all proceedings come to an end. The chamber is effectively starting with a blank slate. Isn't it more productive to send people back to their electorates to do work?Well, no, no, every piece of legislation the Government wants to introduce, they can introduce it. The one thing you don't need motions on to Notice Paper to be able to do with is Question Time. That's the thing he's dodging. He's meant to be a Prime Minister. He is not meant to be a monarch. He's meant to have to appear before the floor of the Parliament and answer questions from...well, as it's turned out, hard questions not only from our side of politics but some hard questions from his own side. In fairness, I can understand why he's doing this. The current state of the Liberal Party, he wouldn't be that keen in having them all in the same room every day. It's not likely to end too well for him with a number of them sniping at him whether it is a former prime minister or former party whip. But that's the job. If he wants to be Question
prime minister, turn up for Question Time.We'll get to see next week. Sadly, we're out of time. Thanks for coming in.Good to be back.Every day hundreds of millions of dollars worth of what's being called digital gold is trading is unregulated market that's grown like topsy. It's bitcoin and its price continues to soar - it is now double what it was a year ago. Tonight we expose one Australian bitcoin exchange called Igot. It's left dozens of victims hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket. The company's CEO has admitted to 7.30 he's struggling to pay people back. Now, Igot is the subject of a sproort action to declare it insolvent but company
as Jake Sturmer reports, the company is continuing to accept new customers. Igot claims to be an international bitcoin exchange and its Australian headquarters is here - deep in the Adelaide suburbs.

We've come looking to find out why the company hasn't been paying its customers and clients the hundreds of thousands of dollars they're owed. Who's there?Oh, hello, it's Jake Sturmer from ABC television. I was just hoping to speak to Ahmed? : -- Ahmed?Um, he's not home.Armit is a former Director of Igot. We then got a call from Rick Day, calling from Mumbai.Yeah, got a call from Rick Day, calling
from Mumbai.Yeah, I called you because you sent a camera to my friend's house and I'm like you can't do that.

Also feeling uncomfortable are the dozens of Igot victims spread all around the world.There they're worse than a, bloody, you know, Greek bank. You can get money out of a Greek bank faster than, bloody, Igot.28-year-old Owen Champion put his life-savings, $7,500, into bitcoin. Not only was he hoping to make money, he also wanted to make online purchases easier.It allows instantaneous transfer of wealth. You can basically send it to anyone over the internet without actually physically moving the money over. And, um, the transaction fees is basically non-existent compared to existing services.Last year, he lost his job and began trying to withdraw his $7,000 worth of bitcoin from Igot, and that's when alarm bells began ringing.I done a search on eight Igot -- search on Igot. My heart started to pump. Felt like I was having a heart attack after reading through all the comments, on the posts. Everyone is saying, "They're a scam, they're a scam, they're a scam." And, yeah, I've been waiting six months, worrying about it completely, and, pffft, yep, still haven't received it.He sent email after email and received promise after promise of payment from the company.It's pissing me off. Um, and it took me forever to save up that money, and I just assumed that since they're in Australia that there would be some sort of safety net or, like, you know, regulation or something like that, bare minimum, where he could be accountable for his actions. And it seems like no-one's really helping.Igot began with great promise in 2013 when India-born Rick Day created the company in Australia. It wasn't long before the entrepreneur moved to New York to build and expand his bitcoin business.

In the heart of New York, Igot's grasp of this emerging, exciting technology attracted the interest of American entrepreneur Jesse Chenard, who came onboard as an advisor.He would tell me things were going quite well. So I got, you know, quite interested in potentially joining the company. But not long after coming onboard, he discovered things didn't quite add up.Oh, I think at that time it was insolvent but because he claimed to have other assets and because everything was murky and in his name, and what have you, he...he claimed that he was able to cover it and that it was a small, you know, accounting thing. And so as to whether the company was insolvent, I would say that the balance sheet looked pretty crappy. When Jesse Chenard put this to Rick Day, the relationship started to fall apart.Basically said he didn't want me involved in the project anymore and that's when I moved my money out and said, "I don't want to be involved either." Back in Adelaide, our search for continued. When
some more answers from Rick Day continued. When are the people going to get their money back, Rick?Well, I would like to say within a fortnight.Rick, you've been telling them that for months. Why would they believe you?Well, they don't...you know, at this point they need their withdrawals, you can believe me or whatever, but this is what we are doing.Why has it taken...There are two sides to the story, Jake.I'm very interested...

That's a question Egyptian-born Akram Bekzada has been trying to answer. He, like other victims, saw the many complaints online and tried to get his $13,500 out of Igot in October last year. The qualified engineer has written to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the ACCC and fair trading bodies, but all have told him they're powerless to act. Bitcoin is now traded in billions of dollars. So a currency or a kind of trade this big should gain more public attention and draw proper regulations in order to secure people's assets and hard-earned money. He says, "Thank you for reaching out. We are unsettled to release these funds."He has been waiting six months and counting and been given promise after promise from the company founder Rick Day. His latest response was, "Hello, as I told you last week, it will be sent." That was about a month ago. Valentine's Day.No love from Rick? No love from Rick.It is not just the customers complaining. Business deals with igthd eight have hit troubles too -- Business deals with Igot have hit troubles too. A pert millionaire is owed $180,000 is seeking to have Igot declared insolvent and wound up. Igot is not the only exchange to experience serious problems. While hundreds of millions of dollars worth of transactions go through been some
successfully every day, there have been some spectacular collapses. Worried bitcoin investors are converging on the exchange to hopefully get answers.As always, the law is struggling to keep up with innovation. That's not a new problem.A final interview with Rick Day, he told us that delays with banks and system errors had caused the problems. Is your company insolvent?No, it's not.If you can't pay back if debts to which people are owed, is that not the very definition of 'insolvency'?

Since the ABC began investigating the dozens of victims, Akram Bekzada is still waiting to receive his money. Though, the company says it has completed the transaction. Tristan Champion has received half of the bitcoins he's owed and continues to receive promises he'll get the rest. What would you say to Rick if he was here right now?I'd What would you say to Rick if he
was here right now?I'd just was here right now?I'd just walk right up to him and say you should be ashamed of yourself, mate. Look what you're doing to all these other people? You know, just taking their money, taking all their hard-earned cash they've saved up. It's horrible. hard-earned cash they've saved up.
It's horrible. Jake Sturmer reporting there. Imagine discovering you had an unknown talent at the ripe old age of 95? That's exactly what happened to a quietly-spoken elder from the remoment Kimberley region. Her extraordinary paintings are now winning acclaim around the world. Reporter Erin Parke went bush to meet 105-year-old laong -- Daisy Loongkoonan. The community of Jarlmadangah isn't easy to find. It is three hours inland from Broome, down a dirt track that floods in the wet season and where stray cattle roam. But this is home for Daisy Loongkoonan - an elder of the Nyikina people.Nyikina. Nyikina country.As with many older Aboriginal people, it is not known exactly when she was born. But everyone from around here knows it was more than 100 years ago.

Daisy, also known simply as Loongkoonan, picked up a paint brush for the first time in her mid90s. One day someone said, "Look, there's a couple of old ladies that might like to come and paint, would that be OK?" Loongkoonan was quite keen to do something gainful with her days and the painting exercise seemed something that was of interest to her.It wasn't long before a Perth gallery, scouting for talent in the Kimberley, saw her potential.Her first paintings were very simple works, but she quite rapidly progressed to painting some more complex and beautiful works. I think they just reflected, both, the fact that she was a naturally fantastic painter but that she was painting a topic that was very dear to her heart. You know, her country and bush tucker and the river. And so, therefore, she passionately created beautiful paintings. Daisy Loongkoonan's long life stretches back to the formative days of the Kimberley's pastoral industry. She was born early last century at Mount Anderson Station where she worked in the kitchen.

She cooked bread?Yeah, she used to be a cook, a bred-maker. She used to make bread.My Mummy, my daddy. So that's very important for her to come back, come back here, because her mother and father are buried here, mmm, and with the rest of the important
family. That's why it's very yeah.
important for her to come back,

30 years ago, the traditional owners reclaimed part of the Mount Anderson estate to create the community of Jarlmadangah. Traditional culture is still very strong, and stool attendance is close to 100%. And Daisy plays a part in that.At school, wanting to do arts and crafts. So having leadership from our elders actually help reinforce and carry on that culture and, yeah, so she, Granny her
Daisy, brings a lot of stories with her paintings to young members. It's amazing that she's still doing this work even though that she's over 100. It's very important that it gets preserved.I like the painting that she does with animals and stuff. Now, possibly Australia's oldest practising artist, she's making an epic 2,500-kilometre journey to open her latest show.She's been an amazing travelling companion. She's enjoyed the journey. She's an amazing human being. We say 105. She's still am but -- ambulent, she takes no medication except bush medicine.Daisy Loongkoonan is one of the attractions of the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art.I was compelled to include Loongkoonan's paintings. There is an incredible amount of optical movement.We'll have lots of people coming today, lots coming to meet you.They read very much as aerial maps and she's described them as having an eagle-eyed view and they mark out that area around the Fitzroy River, which, of course, is her country. Her family have no doubt that it's her closeness to country that keeps her strong.

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

This program is live captioned by Ericsson Access Services.