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(generated from captions) Hello, Jason Om with the latest headlines from ABC News. The foster brother of a murdered Queensland schoolgirl has been jailed for three months for lying to police. Tiahleigh Palmer was reported missing two weeks before her body was found at a riverbank. Today, Joshua Thornburn pleaded guilty to perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice. Accused drug smuggler Cassandra Sainsbury's Colombian court hearing has been suspended after the judge deferred his decision on a plea deal. The 22-year-old Adelaide woman has been in jail since April, after being found with more than 5kg of cocaine. The brother of a man shot dead by police at Sydney's Central station has hit out at the officers involved, saying they did not need to fire at his sibling. Danukul Mokmool threatened a florist during rush hour before grabbing a pair of scissors and charging at police. An officer opened fire and the Thai national was pronounced dead at the scene. And cricket bosses have upped the ante in the long-running pay dispute with players. Cricket Australia has been at an impasse with the players' union and says the dispute should go to arbitration if a deal isn't struck in the next few days. Those are the latest headlines from ABC News. Lateline is next.

This program is live captioned by Ericsson Access Services.

Good evening, I'm Jeremy Fernandez. Welcome to the program. Tonight, the latest in the citizenship saga. Could another senator be about to fall victim to the rules on dual citizenship? And the skateboard scholar. Meet the 20-year-old using his sporting skills to overcome adversity in pursuit of his Olympic dreams. No matter what challenge is thrown at me in this - in my life leading up to Tokyo, I feel like I'm ready for it. First tonight, officials in Washington are scrambling to catch up with latest polilcy turn by the US President Donald Trump. In a surprise announcement, the President tweeted that transgender people would no longer be allowed to serve in the military. The move is being seen by some as the President delivering for his support base. Others see it as a desperate attempt to distract from other problems. So far this week Donald Trump's spokesman has resigned, the President has continued to undermine his Attorney-General and his attempts to repeal Obamacare remain stalled. Michael Vincent reports.

Donald Trump's support for the T in LGBT only lasted six months. His ban has shocked supporters in the gay community.Transgender rights are human rights! Even though he'd just changed Pentagon policy, President Trump wasn't acknowledging it publicly when he met with this American legion children's group at the White House. Earlier he'd declared a ban on transgender soldiers in any capacity in the US military because, he said:

It's been pointed out that the Pentagon last year estimated the ongoing medical cost of transgender soldiers at $8 million while the US military spends $# 4 million on Viagra. President Trump ignored a reporter questioning how he came up with his new policy.

On Capitol Hill there was shock from Republicans and Democrats.At the end of the day I want a strong, vibrant military but I want to be fair and the best way to do this is have a hearing not a tweet.The President is sanctioning discrimination. Our nation is not safer when we sanction discrimination. It should be all about the security of America.We ought to be thinking about one thing and that's readiness.But from the religious right there was welcome support.The position that it would have put women in, to have to share birthing facilities and bathing facilities with anatomical and biological men, that's - that's really what is unfair.Our conservative voices that have been silenced for the last eight years, conservatives who are representing a -- and listening to the voices of the people in their states and they are saying, "We don't want to pay for this type - these types of procedures for our military." Transgender soldiers have threatened to fight the decision.You know, those are people who are serving on our front lines of American freedom and liberty and they're going to be told -- rejected and unworthy to be served. It's a huge slap in the face and they are have -- - have contracts. There he'll be repercussions. You think it's expensive to pay for these individuals? This will get expensive fast. The President has also continued to attack the Attorney-General undermining him on Twitter repeatedly throughout the past week. Washington way is to talk behind President's approach.
people's back but that's not the President's approach.I won't der if you worry permitly if the President was disclosed with -- displeased with you that he might tweet about you that way. Does that occur to you?I think one of the President's virtues is the -- his candour. I think the reason you saw 15,000 people in Ohio last night cheering this President on, the reason you saw Boy Scouts and fair families cheering the President on in West Virginia this week is because people know we have a President who says what he means and means what he says.President Donald Trump.But with a major promise, ending Obamacare stuck in the Senate going nowhere, toot the -- today the White House got good news - a major factory for mid-west Wisconsin. Investing many, many billions of dollars right here in America and creating thousands of jobs, and I mean American jobs, that's what we want. But then he reminded his Vice President what else he wants.To revitalise American industry including repealing and replacing Obamacare. We better get that done, fellas. Please, Mike. We need that so badly. It's clear the Trump administration is fighting to get its agenda under control. The new communications director was also out on Fox News defending the actions of the President.This city known as Washington DC is a pretty tough place. It has a thick system. The President is literally like a donor organ transplant into the system to make the city actually much healthier, but the first move for such a system is to attack the organ transplant. Anthony Scaramucci promised to stop the leaks that have long frustrated the Commander-in-Chief. Unfortunately we let somebody go yesterday and - but I have told people that if there's a civil war, and people are fighting internally, we have to dial that down. I don't think you can elect -- let people go just for the sake of letting them go. I think we have to give them a chance or give them some level of amnesty to see if they'll stop and work together. But I'll move very quickly if they cannot do that because I have the President's authority to do so. If the President did sack Jeff Sessions -- Jeff Sessions, a senior Republican warned via Twitter that would not give him a new Attorney-General before the end of the year.Make America great again!

Michael Warren is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard and joins me now from Washington. Welcome to Lateline.

Thanks for having me. This idea to ban transgender people from the military, where has it come from and how long has it been cooking for in the background?Well, this is something that I'm told for months the White House has been discussing, the President's been discussing with his military advisors. Remember, it was jaus over a year ago that President Obama -- just over a year ago, President Obama, his administration made an executive order or made the declaration that transgender soldiers would be allowed to serve openly. There was a sort of quickly put together study by the Pentagon by the Obama Administration Pentagon, but this is something that is relatively new. Very, very new in the American military. So there were studies, the Pentagon was doing another study to trying to see if this affected readiness and costs, and this again was being discussed in the White House. Then all of a sudden surprising pretty much everybody, the President simply tweeted that it wasn't this issue of was the military going to pay for sex reassignment surgeries or anything like that. He was just going to outright ban every single transgender soldier, and effect exactly how that was going to happen is still not clear from the administration. So, once again the President's sort of made a policy decision very quickly, very ad hoc, and is leaving everybody else to kind of piece together what exactly that means.What's your reading on what the greater strategic goal is? Is there even one?I mean, there's always folly in trying to figure out what the greater strategic goal is with the Trump administration because so much again is sort of from the President's own gut reaction to things. But if you do look at sort of the situation politically he finds himself in, he's been under fire really for the past week or so, trying to get his Attorney-General to resign. He's angry about the special counsel investigation and he blames his Attorney-General who recused himself back in March. That's been sort of sucking up a lot of the media attention. This could be something that redirects it. You know, reporters were being told that after yesterday's press conference at the White House, that pretty much asked entirely about the transgender ban and the military, the Blues was -- White House was pleased with that because it distracted them. But distracting from one headache by creating another doesn't exactly help the President, I think, and I think this is ultimately going to backfire on him. Maybe not on this particular issue but several issues down the road, you know, this is sort of an us -- unsustainable strategy if you can call it that. The core of this issue for a lot of Republicans has been around whether the military should be funding treatments and surgery for people who are transgender. What sort of support does that have among Americans, Republicans and particularly that base, that Trump base, and how do they feel conversely about funding Viagra, for instance?Well, I really think that's - these are two kind of separate issues and sort of putting them together kind of allows the bigger question. Look, transgenderism is certainly a new phenomenon for Americans in general and particularly in the military. I do think there are a lot of open questions about some of the things that - more social conservatives have raised. A lot of people in the military, high ranking people in the military have raised how is this going to affect unit cohesion and military readiness? Bringing in people who tend to have sort of more emotional or mental issues which is transgendered into the military service. These are big questions nobody has answers to. So I think that there is perhaps an openness or there has been some openness to considering - reconsidering what the Obama Administration did just a year ago. Particularly among Republicans. But I think what the issue here is, is that this happened so quickly, and nobody, you know, who might support it was really ready to defend it, and now that vacuum is being filled by people who vehemently oppose this measure.A number of people have been willing to support it saying America - either former defence personnel or members of the Congress who have said that readiness shouldment depend on whether a person is going through transgender treatment, it should depend on their capability to fight.Yeah. Look, I think these are open questions, and these are the kind of questions that the Pentagon is apparently currently doing a study on to try to figure this out, if this does have an effect. I think what sort of, if you asked the political question about what does this do politically, I think pretty much anything that President Trump touches sort of has the anti-king Midas touch to it. It turns to whatever the opposite of gold is. This actually in a weird way hurts Republicans who have I think - I think legitimate questions -- questions about whether this is an effective or cect strategy, a correct policy for the military. And sort of puts the Trump stain on it because he does it in this sort of haphazard way without thinking through a broader sort of communications strategy to say, "This is the reason why this is important to hold off on this sort of social engineering in the military." He can't make that argument, so he's sort of left hanging in the wind. I want to take you to also issue that's been fought out on social media between the President and his Attorney-General Jeff Sessions. Who do you expect is going to blink first on this issue? Is Jeff Sessions going to quit or will he be fired?Well, it's very difficult for me to get through to sources in the Department of Justice on this. But my feeling on this talking with people who know is that Jeff Sessions isn't really going anywhere. He doesn't plan on going anywhere. In fact, people thought that last Friday I guess was the day that Jeff Sessions was supposed to be resigning. The White House expected that, and when he didn't I think that's when you've seen the President ramp things up and try to humiliate him. I think the Washington Post is reporting this, I have some sources who would support this, who say that the President's looking to do a recess appointment essentially to try and appoint a new Attorney-General by firing Jeff Sessions, appointing a new Attorney-General when the Senate is out of session so they don't have to get Senate approval on that. I think that would be a sort of big legal and political and constitutional fight over that. I think if you look at the signals the White House is sending, that could be where they're going with this. There's also a big question about finding someone to fill that role given that Jeff Sessions is seen as a reliable pair of hands, he's influential in the Republican movement and there are a whole bunch of other people including Ted Cruise from Texas, who says he doesn't want the job.Yeah, I can't imagine who would want the job. Think about what that entails. It entails essentially if you get the President's approval the President wants you to serve as Attorney-General, you're essentially signing on to wind down the special counsel, this independent really pu in the -- but in the Justice Department investigation. Well, I think a lot of senators are going to have a lot of big questions about that if he does go in front of a Senate hearing. So that's again why you're seeing this push for a recess appointment. But you're really sort of starting this job if you do take the job sort of shackled by the President himself on this. I suppose if he had nothing to lose politically and you fully believe in the Donald Trump, you know, presidency, it would be a good job for you. But a lot of people would have said that about Jeff Sessions. Jeff Sessions simply wasn't willing to do what the President wanted him to do on this investigation. Michael Warren, we have to leave it there but thank you for your time. Thanks.

Could it be happening again? Yet another politician looks like they may have run into difficulties with constitutional rules about citizenship. This time it's One Nation's turn. Their Queensland Senator Malcolm Roberts has had to explain himself tonight. I'm joined by political correspondent Tom Iggulden in Canberra. Tom, Senator Roberts has just been on commercial television to address the growing doubts about his citizenship status. What did he say?

He laid out a time line. Presented some documents which it must be said a -- said a lot of us in Canberra have been asking for, for a number of days now. The time line. May 1s at the start of last year's election campaign, he wrote to the British consulate, obviously concerned his citizenship status could be a problem. He says he wrote several times and made several contacts, had nothing in reply. In early June bearing in mind this is getting -- very close to the July 2 election last year, he wrote again and formally renounced his citizenship if he had that citizenship. He wasn't sure whether he did or not. He thinks he doesn't. He didn't hear a response back from the consulate until December 1. Importantly that's after the election. But it did acknowledge and did certify that he had renounced his citizenship. He's laid all that out tonight. We have finally seen these documents or at least we have heard a lot about these documents, we haven't seen them in person. He was asked why it has taken so long given there has been a couple of weeks of questions about this for him to present this. Here's what he had to say in answer to this question.I didn't want to release the documents because you see what the Twitter people do. They misrepresent some of these thing. We have seen that already with other people. I could see they'd be doing the same with me. So, Tom, with these revelations tonight, what does that mean for Malcolm Roberts' future in the Senate, is he going to be the next casualty?I don't think he's entirely out of the woods to tell the truth. He does have the certificate saying he has renounced his citizenship but the timing could be the problem for him here. Because it's dated after the election, he says he made every reasonable effort to get it done before the election but because it's dated after the election, that registration certificate, it could mean he was in fact elected while he was still a dual citizen. As we have seen and indeed as his erstwhile one nation colleague Rod cull ton has take an view they can't be done retrospective. You can't be a dual citizen, renounce it later and be el Jill to sit in the Senate. That said, he has maintained all along he has renounced his British citizenship. We assume that document is true, and that certainly is the case as we sit here tonight.The former Resources Minister Matthew Canavan has also been out and about explaining himself today. There are calls for him to resign not just from cabinet but -- Senate but the cabinet. He's refaouzing to do that. What happens next?This is in the hands of the High Court and I don't suppose there's much anybody could do to force him out other than through political pressure until the High Court looks at this. Senator Matthew Canavan did come out very much sticking by the story he presented the other day when he resigned from cabinet. Has the support still in that course of action from the government and has legal advice saying that's a fair enough thing for him to be doing. In the meantimes there have been calls especially from the Greens for him to resign. They've gone a step further and joined with Senator rob Ron on this issue in asking for the officer bearers in Parliament, the Speaker of the House and plt of the Senate to efficient -- investigate every single person in the Parliament,en audit if you like of all our parliamentarians and their citizenship status. That could stir up quite a lot of people as the Greens said today. There could be issues for the government if anyone in the lower house is found to be a dual citizen on the government side. Here's how the Greens' leader Richard Di Natale put his request today.

Today I wrote to both the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House to convene an expert independent group to undertake a thorough review of the citizenship

and determine their eligibility. You see, it's a closed shop at the moment. None of them want to go near this because they're

That was the Greens' leader speaking today. Exactly where that investigation goes or even -- or even if it gets begun if Parliament will be something we'll find out when Parliament resumes a couple of weeks from now. Ton Iggulden, thank you.Pleasure. -- Tom ig -- Tom, thank you. Pleasure.

When you think of elite sport, what comes to mind? Swimming, track and field, basketball. How about skateboarding? Well, it's increasingly being recognised as a professional sport, and will be an official event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Here one university has awarded the country's first skateboarding scholarships to two of Australia's best young prospects for the Games. Naomi Selvaratnam

Naomi Selvaratnam spent time with one of them.

There's a lot of things I love about skateboarding but the main thing is it's freedom. In a sense, it's always challenging, there's essentially no finish line.

I'm Mikey Mendoza, I'm a professional skateboarder. When I first started skaght I was about 6 years old. I wanted to be out of the house as much as I could, away from the kind of madness that it was. Growing up object Gold Coast with my family was quite difficult. My parents, unfortunately, suffer from mental illness being schizophrenia and bipolar especially my mum with schizophrenia. The kind of illness where reality and non-reality is almost the same. But for me, skating was really creative and it was very social and I felt protected in that kind of environment. You know, the people in the skate park were older than me and knew things were tough at home and they always looked after me. You know, I often didn't have much food and things like that unfortunately but they would buy me lunch. In fact, they would make it a challenge for me. "If you do this trick we'll buy you lunch" or something like that. So it was always a fun thing whether I felt I was earning something. Skateboarding allowed me to be part of something more. I think I realised I probably had something I could do with skateboarding as a career was around 12. I won a champion in Australia. This was a 16s and under contest and it was the first time I ever competed. I attended school probably about oo days in a year or something ridiculous like that, where child services were knocking at the school's door pretty much week to week. Not only did I not relate with my peers and didn't really have the uniform and stuff like that, I would almost go as far as to say I was illiterate when I going into high school. I never practised. I never had mum or dad at home to help me go through my homework. I never did home work. When I had my first kind of assignment in high school, 300-word essay or so, I wrote the first 100 and the rest of the 3 hun were just words. -- 300 were just words. I feel like I was wearing a load of bricks on my shoulders. And taking that off felt like I was free and able to do anything I needed to do. But, yeah, even just getting a C in grade in school, in Year 7, getting a good mark which I pretty much thought I -- was an A plus made me feel bit by bit I was growing and getting better. I think it's also the discipline I learned through skateboarding. Skateboarding probably is one of the most disciplined sports. You'll try a trick a thousand times, probably get it once. The mind is the most important thing. The strength I gained from in my mind to apply myself to things, unwavingly was the best thing I could have done, yeah.

I knew that fi were to go to uni I'm gonna get myself a sports scholarship. I'm going to make sure I'm the most professional athlete anyone has ever come across. I don't just want to be seen as a skateboarder. I want to be seen as an athlete sportsman.Obviously skateboarding isn't a traditional sport as such. Whilst most children have probably played on skateboard at some point in their lives, it's not really a sport you coincide with being elite and something that's gonna be in the Olympics. It was quite hard to get some of our senior executives staff -- executive staff on board with the idea of having skateboarders. It was an interesting sort of ride and we did have st pull a few strings and talk it up a little bit to get it over the line.

Because skate boaring is seen as a street sport and certainly not something that's super competitive, I suppose depending on the people that you're talking to, but, yeah, it's just - it's so important for him because he's really carving a path for himself but also for other skateboarders in the future to come to university. A lot of people would sort of think of -- think of skateboarders and probably a sport like surfing as well as something you don't see a lot of academic people in, I guess. So the fact that he's been able to work really hard whilst he's been at school and get into a university as prestigious as the University of Sydney is huge. Facing board. Don't let yourself twist.The whole program is essentially for Olympic levelled athletes or potential ath lets for the Olympics. So it allows me to make sure I'm top of my physical form. To get myself to the Olympics it's the amazing secured -- structured program that the uni provides in training, sports psychology, things like that.

It is a dream come true. It really is. And to represent Australia, to even - even for the prospect, to even just get there, I may not win gold but just to even be there representing Australia would be the most incredible thing. No matter what challenge has thrown at to me - in my life leading up to Tokyo, I feel like I'm ready for it.

And that's all for Lateline. You can find tonight's stories and interviews on our website.

This program is live captioned by Ericsson Access Services.

Welcome to The Business. I am Elysse Morgan. Coming up on the program: The dollar flies above 80 US cents on a dovish Federal Reserve. What the high Aussie means for business. And, Fortescue's native title fight. Claims the miner may face a $100 million compensation bill. Mining giant Fortescue is refusing to back down on a fight with native title holders. Last week, the court awarded the Yindjibarndi people exclusive title over a huge tract of land in the Pilbara, including the Solomon Hub. Experts estimate it could be up for 100 million in compensation following the ruling. But Fortescue is adamant it won't be paying anything. I spoke to Nev Power from Perth after the firm released quarterly production figures. You had a week to look through Justice Rares' ruling, can you confirm whether you can launch an appeal or not?We haven't yet seen the full ruling and we are waiting for that before we make the final decision. However, it is an unusual ruling and on the face of it right now, we will be appealingWhat is so unusual about it? Native title has been granted to an Aboriginal group who can prove long-term ownership of the land?It is, because exclusive possession native title has been granted over this land, despite the fact there have been a number of different native title groups that have had a connection to this land and there hasn't been the ongoing continuous connection that we have seen with other exclusive possession.The estimates are that should this ruling stand, and you are unable to successfully appeal it, that you could be up for compensation in and around $100 million. Are you prepared for that? Or will you take this all the way to the High Court, appealing it and fighting it?Well, I think those estimates have been based, somehow, off some form of mineral royalty, but of course, those mineral royalties are due to the state. It is not a matter of paying royalties to native title groups. In The fact...Lawyers that we have spoken to at the ABC believe that that is based on the same royalty that the people have an agreement with Rio Tinto, so therefore, believing it sets a precedent.Well, those agreements have been done with those mining companies quite separately and as I said before, we have also made seven other agreements with native title groups in the Pilbara where we have provided a balance across cash, jobs and business opportunities, in terms of that compensation for native title. And so, it is not a matter of setting a precedent. The law is quite specific and says that mineral wealth is actually not part of the calculation for compensation in native title. And as I said, we are very prepared to sit down and work with native title groups and make sure that their communities benefit from the growth and development of Fortescue, which we have done successfully.I want to switch to taking a look at your report on Fortescue's production, record iron ore shipments in the June quarter but you pledged to cut costs further. How could you cut costs out of a greyhound operation?It gets harder as we go down. But looking at new and different innovations we can bring the to the business and looking at things like automation and technology that we can apply, we believe that we can continue that process. Our strategy is to continually improve the business, and look, every day, at what we can do better to improve the efficiency of our business. That is underpinning the long-term sustainability of the company.If you continue to strip costs out, does it mean you don't think the iron ore price will go higher?We think it will trade around the historical level that had has done for the last 18 months around 55 to 65 dollars a tonne. It has been a little higher than that of recent times and that has been driven by a number of things in the market, particularly in China. But we think that the global cost curve would indicate that a price of around that 55 to 65 is the normal level.And the Australian dollar is sitting up around 80 US cents. There are not too many people who predicted it would be around this level at this time of year. Where do you see that going? Is it having any impact on the business?I am certainly not going to try to predict the Aussie dollar, that's very difficult. What I would say, though, is for every cent movement in the Aussie dollar, it is around 12 to 13 cents impact on our business. Being up 5 cents from where we had struck our cost estimates, that is around 60 cents impact on our business and we will be looking to off set that if the dollar stays up here.Thank you. Thank you.Well, the Australian dollar is defying gravity and the will of the Reserve Bank and some businesses jumping above 80 US cents, the highest level in more than two years. Yesterday, the are, BA governor said it would be helpful the Aussie dollar was lower but the US dollar was unhelpful. The market interpreted Janet Yellen's words as dovish. The RBA might not like the Aussie soaring above 80 US cents, but there is little it can do to fix it.They can attempt to jawbone down, to talk down the Aussie dollar. That doesn't tend to be very successful, particularly at the moment in an environment where actually the key drivers of the currency are on the US side more than on the Aussie dollar side. Australian import and export businesses are the ones at the coal face affected by the fluctuating Aussie dollar. With the dollar holding at record highs, businesses like GUD Holdings which rely heavily on imports are celebrating. They own a slew of autoparts that you probably don't know about. Today they announced a loss of $7 million, an improvement of last year. Jonathan Ling, most of your products are imported. How do you feel about the Aussie dollar at the 80 cents mark?It help -- helps us because it makes it cheaper. We rode the wave down from $1.05 and has improved in recent times.You have got a conglomerate. We see the leading business surveys saying business confidence and conditions continue to be above average. And yet, on the other side, we see that consumers continue to be very unconfident in the outlook. Why do you think there is that dichotomy?That, I am not sure. I think a lot of it is because we are going through a fair bit of structural change within our markets at the moment. We are always hearing the words around disruption and new technology. It is dem graphic changes to the -- demographic and cultural changes from millennials to baby boomers. It means some businesses are doing very well at the moment and some are struggling. What we are doing and trying to reshape our portfolio is to probably make it simpler and to focus on less things but also to focus in areas where we think we can do well. And where we have a competitive advantage and where markets are doing well, such as our automotive parts business.You are taking the company a lot more industrial, I mean, you sold off the Sunbeam business and you have made acquisitions during the past year of particularly in the autoparts of your business. What made you open up the purse strings and invest when so many businesses, even though they are confident, they are not investing?Ookay, I think it is really two-fold for us. On the one hand, we have been devesting businesses. So over the last couple of years, we have devested the Sunbeam business, Dexion and Lock Focus, the security business and reallocating the capital into the automotive business where profitability and strong and more importantly, we have got dominant positions in the market place where we have got strong competitive advantage, we have got growing markets and it is much easier for us to deliver a very good financial return for our shareholders in those sorts of niches.Apart from the dominant position you have in the autoparts industry, what else is it that makes you think you should expand there?I think what we like about it is fairly recession-proof. Our target market is cars which are between five and 70 years old. We find Australian consumers or car owners are good at servicing their cars, whether it be a recessionary or economic difficult times, people still tend to service their cars. So we focus on the parts that are used like air filters and oil filters and the parts used in replacing cars. What we also like about the industry is that generally speaking, the purchase is nondiscretionary, in other words, you have got to do it, and it is not particularly price sensitive. I ask a lot of friends and family, how much was the oil filter the last time you serviced your car and most people don't know. They probably say too much.They say the service is too much, but they don't know how much the oil filter isThank you for your time. ? The chairman of Macquarie Bank has hinted the bank could move its oneration offshore to avoid the federal government's new bank tax. Speaking at the AGM, Peter Warne lashed out of the levy saying Macquarie is paying 41% in tax. He said it will be slugged around $66 million in pre-tax earnings.Given the relatively small size of our Australian banking business, we were surprised by our inclusion in the group to pay this levy. We have also expressed our concern to government. They posted a profit of $2 billion the last financial year. The profit reporting season gets under way next week with Rio Tinto the first of the big guns to unveil numbers next Wednesday. But while their fortunes are determined by the price of iron ore, in the retail space things are complicated. With a string of retail collapses and now a profit warning from Myer, investors are bracing for the worst. One of the biggest battle grounds in retail is between newly energised Woolworths and Coles. Coles boss John Durkan outwardly at least not bothered by the resurgence in his biggest competitor.Plenty of opportunity for us if we deliver for our customers and we give them low prices, high quality product, make it easier for them to shop, no doubt there is plenty of trade for everyone.Coles' response is to step up the lowering of prices, which if the first half is a guide, lowered its profit.I can't give you results but I can assure you investing in lower prices over the long time will ensure it is a growth company.With Masters behind it, Woolworths is tipped to unveil a profit of around $1.5 billion after last year's loss of $2 billion.Woolworths has done well in the last two months in terms of growing the market share in the food sector.But like Coles, Mr Falls said the price war is taking a toll.Sales are growing, but the heavy discounting will have an impact on the profitability of the sales.Away from food and liquor, shareholders in retailers will be hoping last week's profit downgrade from Myer is not a portent of things to come this season.We have seen real retail turnover only increase by about 1.5%, which is around the rate of population growth. After inflation, we are not really getting any growth in retail sales per capita.Which according to David Rumbens adds up to a gloomy outlook. It wouldn't surprise to see poorer results come through, because the market environment has been pretty flat. And we know that competition is also pretty intense.Nowhere nor so than in fashion retailing where falling share prices show just how unfashionable fashion has become. The write down of Topshop and Sass & Bide has helped Myer shares down 40% in the last 12 months. Specially retail, which includes Rivers, Millers and Katies is down 16%. Even Solomon Lew's investments with Peter