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 or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts.These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Lateline -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

Tonight - coalition climate confusion.

Do not fall into the trap of abandoning the science. Do not fall into the trap trap of thinking
that what Lord Monckton says or what Monckton says or what some website says is superior to what
our leading universities, would say.

Well, it's important that all shadow ministers concentrate on their own portfolios. I think general
rule in politics. This Program is Captioned Live. Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening. Welcome to 'Lateline'. I'm Ali Moore. European leaders have agreed on another rescue
plan for Greece. $150 billion to try to keep Greece and the Eurozone afloat. But is it too late.
Tonight we're joined by a Greek economist who says the common currency is on the brink of
catastrophe and Europe has been in denial about the fact Greece is bankrupt.

This is how Europe works. It dithers, it delays. delays. It makes cowardly small steps towards the
truth, and at some point that which it has admonished as impossible embraces as inevitable.

Economist Yanis Varoufakis joins us from Athens. We look at a crisis of a different kind. Former
Irish President and UN high commissioner for human rights Mary Robinson has just returned from
Somalia. She joins us from Dublin. First our other headlines. James Murdoch's evidence to the
British parliament is referred to the police. And a 21st century old

Senator Fisher to defend shoplifting charge

Senator Mary Jo Fisher from South Australia was charged by police after an incident in a
supermarket on December 15 last year.

Transcript

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The Federal Government has welcomed Malcolm Turnbull's latest contribution to
the debate over climate change; with the Opposition front bencher saying the science should not be
abandoned and that statements about not pricing carbon until the rest of the world does are
embarrassing.

Also in federal politics, a South Australian Liberal Senator, Mary Jo Fisher, has been charged by
police with what's believed to be a shoplifting offence.

Political correspondent Tom Iggulden reports from Canberra.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: Mary Jo Fisher's been one of federal parliament's more entertaining
performers.

MARY JO FISHER, LIBERAL SENATOR (March 02): They jumped to the left and said we'll never have a
carbon tax.

TOM IGGULDEN: But behind the scenes the senator's life's been in turmoil, charged on December 15 on
two counts after an incident at this Adelaide supermarket.

The senator refused to leave her Adelaide home to front the media tonight, but released a statement
confirming she'd been charged.

(Reads statement)

"I reject the charges and will vigorously defend them" she says.

"They are listed for a contested hearing on 1 September, when I will present my defence."

Senior liberal sources have told Lateline the senator has been struggling with depression for
around a year, for which she's been taking medication.

The exact details of the incident that lead to the charges are unclear, but one Liberal source says
the senator changed her medication on the day in question and suffered a panic attack. Tony
Abbott's been aware of the senator's medical condition for several months but it's unclear whether
she told colleagues about the charges laid against her. Another source said the senator's
continuing to struggle with her condition.

News of the senator's legal problems came as the Government charged the Opposition of being split
on climate change.

Malcolm Turnbull's described as "embarrassing" the argument that Australia shouldn't lead China and
India on climate action, arguments a bit like this one.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: The Chinese aren't going ahead with one, the Americans aren't going
ahead with one, the Indians aren't going ahead with one.

You know Malcolm puts things in his own way and he's entitled to do that.

TOM IGGULDEN: Mr Turnbull's denying that he and Mr Abbott are at loggerheads.

MALCOLM TURNBALL, SHADOW COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER: I'm not going to make an admission of that kind
because I can only rely on what is our stated policy. And Tony has repeated it, you know, every day
pretty much, is to cut our emissions by that five per cent mark.

TOM IGGULDEN: But Opposition MPs have told the ABC they're angry with Mr Turnbull's latest
outburst.

One former colleague is telling him publicly to pull his head in.

NICK MINCHIN, FORMER LIBERAL SENATOR: Well, it's important all shadow ministers focus concentrate
on their own portfolios, I think that's a general rule in politics.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Government's making the most of an opportunity to get the opposition on the back
foot.

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER: It's absolutely clear that within the Coalition there are very
different views about putting a price on carbon.

WAYNE SWAN, TREASURER: Mr Turnbull has got stuck right into Mr Abbott again on the question of
climate change and the science of climate change. Mr Turnbull knows that Mr Abbott is a climate
change sceptic.

TOM IGGULDEN: No wonder some opposition MPs want Malcolm Turnbull sacked from the front bench.

Tom Iggulden, Lateline.

Christmas Island rioters separated

Twelve Iranian men have apparently been flown from Christmas Island to Silverwater Prison in Sydney
to separate alleged ringleaders in detention centre riots.

Transcript

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: After three nights of riots at the Christmas Island Immigration Detention
Centre, authorities have moved to separate the alleged ringleaders.

Lateline understands 12 Iranian men are being flown to Sydney tonight where they'll be held in
Silverwater Gaol.

No charges have been laid.

Tension remains high at the centre and there are widespread concerns about the safety and welfare
of asylum seekers and staff.

Karen Barlow reports.

KAREN BARLOW, REPORTER: Asylum seekers lit fires and threatened self harm over three nights of
riots in the Christmas Island Detention Centre.

Authorities say about up to 50 people were involved last night and Federal Police had back-up flown
in from the mainland.

KAY BERNARD, GENERAL SECRETARY, UNION OF CHRISTMAS ISLAND WORKERS: The AFP were firing tear gas and
incendiary devices that make loud noises and flashing lights and I think there might have been some
bean bag bullets fired off there as well. It was very chaotic, it was very dangerous.

KAREN BARLOW: The unions say that the damage is worse than what happened in the March riots.

Refugee advocates say asylum seekers are dealing with the same conditions inside the centre and
same sense of hopelessness.

IAN RINTOUL, REFUGEE ACTION COALITION: We're not surprised. The conditions in the detention centre
are deteriorating.

KAREN BARLOW: The Federal Government is unimpressed..

CHRIS BOWEN, MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION: Some people would call this a violent protest, I don't. It
is simply wanton violence and vandalism, attacking buildings, setting fire to mattresses and trying
to cause damage. And the only thing that these people are achieving is potentially swapping their
immigration detention for accommodation in a prison.

KAREN BARLOW: And that is exactly what's happening.

It is understood 12 men are being flown on a charted plane to Silverwater Prison in Sydney.

No charges have been laid.

The men are Iranian and are unsuccessful asylum applicants.

IAN RINTOUL: The Department has been trying to portray a picture that these people are failed
asylum seekers, but they are not asylum seekers that are out of legal process. They're people who
have been waiting too long for security clearances, they're waiting for dates for IMR (Independent
Merits Review) hearings, they're waiting for answers from the appeal hearings.

KAREN BARLOW: Refugee advocates want independent human rights observers to go into the Christmas
Island centre while the Union of Christmas Island Workers says staff engaged by the contract
company Serco are in imminent danger.

KAY BERNARD: I could see their blue shirts running when tear gas was shot over the back of
buildings into what they call the green heart, where detainees had lit some fires.

KAREN BARLOW: Serco would not comment on specific risk to staff, but released a statement saying.

(Statement Read)

"The health and well-being of our staff and those in their care is our first priority. We have a
zero harm policy in place across our organisation and we invest in training and support for
employees to reduce the risk of any coming to harm."

That's not enough for Kay Bernard, who has written to the agency that oversees commonwealth
workplace safety, Comcare, urging a priority one investigation and inspection.

She says employees and contractors are exposed to "a substantial risk of death or serious bodily
harm."

KAY BERNARD: I don't believe I am overplaying it. There are some people that are very damaged out
there. There are some very violent incidents and people are undertaking duties out there that are
way beyond their jurisdiction or their authority to hold people and restrain people.

KAREN BARLOW: Comcare has now launched a new investigation into the Christmas Island Detention
Centre, separate from a nation-wide investigation launched earlier this year after a series of
disturbances across the country.

An Immigration Department spokesman says the Department is:

(Statement read)

"... highly responsive on all reports about Christmas Island and it would consider any
recommendations about improving work practices."

The trouble inside Australia's immigration detention centres is still to be sorted, while the
Federal Government finalises its asylum seeker swap deal with Malaysia.

The Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, is expected to seal the deal on Monday.

Karen Barlow, Lateline.

James Murdoch accused of misleading parliament

Some former News International employees have accused James Murdoch of not telling the truth at the
parliamentary inquiry into phone hacking.

Transcript

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: Well now to recent developments in the Murdoch phone hacking scandal.

Two former News International executives have released as statement questioning the truthfulness of
James Murdoch's testimony this week.

We're joined from London by ABC correspondent Lisa Millar.

Well Lisa it's a former editor and a former legal manager that are suggesting that James Murdoch
knew more than he was letting on?

LISA MILLAR, ABC CORRESPONDENT: This goes to the heart of a massive settlement that occurred in
2008.

James Murdoch this week was asked whether he had seen an email, when he was ticking off on that
settlement, an email that named another reporter, who may have been involved in the phone hacking
scandal.

It named the reporter on an email that showed the transcript of what had been hacked from this
victim's phone. Now James Murdoch this week told the parliamentary committee he had not seen that
email.

It's being reported that these two ex-executives, the most recent editor of the News of the World
and the legal manager, had given James Murdoch until 6pm yesterday in London to retract that
testimony. He did not, so they put out a statement saying that he'd been mistaken and, in fact, he
had been made aware of that email.

Now, why this is so important Ali is because it breaks down the defence of the Murdochs that they
weren't aware that phone hacking was more than just one rogue reporter who'd already pleaded guilty
and that they'd been let down by people beneath them. These people beneath them now are saying
'hang on, we told you about it.'

ALI MOORE: And has James Murdoch actually given any public response?

LISA MILLAR: A two paragraph statement, released this morning in London, saying that he stood by
his testimony this week before the parliamentary committee.

That was it, no other details, just very clearly saying he stood by what he had said. So, opening
the door for a confrontation between these two people.

ALI MOORE: Is that what happens now Lisa? Because of course parliament's not sitting, this
committee can't really restart these hearings; what happens to these allegations?

LISA MILLAR: Well the Labour MP, Tom Watson, who's gone down every rabbit hole on this story and
has really pursued it, he has said it is the most significant moment in the past two years of the
investigation.

He was the one who actually asked that question of James Murdoch this week. He's now referred this
to the police, to Sue Akers, who is the chief investigator on the phone hacking scandal. And he
says that if it is found that James Murdoch was aware of this email then he could very well be
charged with conspiring to cover up a crime.

ALI MOORE: It is an extraordinary story isn't it, that just continues to grow more extraordinary.

Lisa Millar, many thanks.

LISA MILLAR: Thanks.

Eurozone approves Greek bailout package

Markets have responded positively to a European bailout package for Greece that includes lower
interest rates and longer repayment periods.

Transcript

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: Markets have responded positively to details of a European bailout package
for Greece.

After a marathon meeting today Eurozone leaders approved the new deal, which includes lower
interest rates and longer repayment periods.

Banks and other private lenders will also be asked to contribute to the bailout.

Europe correspondent, Philip Williams, reports.

PHILIP WILLIAMS, REPORTER: After hours of torturous negotiations finally the leaders went home. A
deal done. And one they hoped would do the trick, calm fears of contagion that had the whole
Eurozone and beyond extremely nervous.

HERMAN VAN ROMPUY, EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT: We improved the Greek debt sustainability. We took
measures to stop the risk of contagion and finally we committed to improve the Eurozone's crisis
management.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: The markets have given the package a cautious thumbs up, depressed bank stocks led
the way. Encouraged by the package of lower interest rates and extended terms it's hoped this near
$200 billion rescue mark II will work.

JOSE MANUEL BORROSO, EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT: We need a credible package, we have a credible
package. It deals with both the concerns of the markets and of citizens. It responds also to the
concerns of all member states.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Part of the deal involves banks sharing the pain, taking a so-called haircut on
their investments. The ratings agency defined that as a default.

VANESSA TERRODE, LAWYER: Anything which extends the maturity, the repayment date of any loan made
to Greece previously, whether it's a bond or a standard loan, would be a default.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: In the place it all began there is relief.

But for Athens bar owner Manrolos Valrakis (phonetic) there is a long road ahead.

(Manrolos speaking)

"Since the crisis began we're 70 per cent down on profits" he says, "during the last three years
every year has been worse."

And this bread shop owner says he too is having a hard time, his profits down 80 per cent.

But according to the Greek prime minister, conditions would have been a whole lot harder without
the deal.

GEORGE PAPANDREOU, GREEK PRIME MINISTER: We now have a program and a package of decisions which
create a sustainable path for Greece, a sustainable debt management for Greece.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: And it's not just Greece breathing a little easier, both Portugal and Ireland have
had the interest rates on their bailout packages cut. And the vulnerable elephants in the troubled
Euro-room, Spain and Italy, have been given more time to get their respective books in better
shape.

While no-one believes this is the end of the crisis, the European stabilisation fund has been given
new autonomy to intervene earlier and hopefully prevent Greek-style crises in the future.

Philip Williams, Lateline.

The Greek deal is too late: Varoufakis

Athens University economist Yanis Varoufakis says the bailout package is 18 months too late and
dithering by European governments allowed the crisis to infect the rest of the Eurozone.

Transcript

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: Well just a short time ago I spoke to Yanis Varoufakis, an economist at
Athens University.

Yanis Varoufakis many thanks for talking to Lateline tonight.

YANIS VAROUFAKIS, ECONOMIST, ATHENS UNIVERSITY: Thank you.

ALI MOORE: Another rescue package for Greece, this one includes the private sector, interest rates
on its loans have been cut and it's been given double the time to pay back those loans, is this it,
is this going to fix Greece's problems?

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: No it won't because Greece's problems are not Greece's any more.

Had this package been implemented about a year a year and a half ago, perhaps it would have done
the trick. But it's a year and a half too late, the horses have bolted and now we are reconfiguring
new locks for the gates.

It's a crisis that has spread well without the limits of Greece. It has, as of course you all know,
moved to Ireland and from there south to Portugal; recently it has contaminated Italy and Spain.
Currently it's spreading its wings over Belgium, the French banks and so on.

So trying to deal with a Greek problem, as if this is a problem, is effectively seriously to
misunderstand the very structure of the crisis.

ALI MOORE: At the same time though, this is 150 billion euro, it's a sort of reshuffling, if you
like, of the debt repayment, it has the private sector involved, as I said, is this not going to
make it a bit easier for Greece to start repaying its debts without killing the economy?

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: Absolutely. But the problem is that Greece cannot survive if the Euro system
collapses all around it.

So, this is precisely what I said earlier, that had this package been implemented a year and a half
ago when the problem was well contained in Greece, then perhaps that would have been the solution,
or at least we would have given Europe a very long period of time during which to fix the
architecture of the Eurosystem.

But given that the crisis now is well without the limits of Greece there's not much sense in
allowing Greece more leeway for repaying its debts if the Euro, as a currency, as a common currency
area is on the brink of catastrophe.

If Italy and Spain explode, and there is nothing in this package for Italy and Spain, if Ireland
buckles under and demands too a restructure of its debts similar to the restructuring that was
granted Greece yesterday, there's nothing in this package to help.

And the moment that these developments happen, and I think they will within the next two or three
months, then there will be another summit and another long debate about how the problem will be
fixed. And, you know, time waits for no-one and a general disintegration of the Euro area would do
no-one any good and, of course, it will do Greece no good.

ALI MOORE: That said though of course, there was a real fear that with this package and with
Greece's private lenders having to take a hair cut that there'd be contagion, that we'd see other
Eurozone borrowers like Spain and Italy, would face sharply higher rates; but in fact in the short
period since this package has been announced that hasn't happened has it? Why is the market feeling
more confident then, if the situation is as dire as you paint it?

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: I shall suggest that you look back to the previous 18 months of summit after
summit after summit and plan and package after plan and package that has been announced.

Every time the summit of the European leaders announces a new deal, a new bailout, a new stability
package, the market's nerves steady for a couple of weeks and then when everybody realises that
this suggested solution is simply part of the problem, then the market reacting negatively again.

I think we're seeing exactly the same pattern being repeated here. Everybody now in the market
place expects and bets, that everybody else will expect that somebody will be optimistic having
heard the new, quite radical, package for Greece yesterday, and for the next few days they are
taking bets that things will improve.

But for the next two or three days, given that the fundamentals have not been addressed we're going
to have the same old pattern of deterioration, of editorials being written that the problem has not
been fixed, that the can has been kicked up, not down the road anymore. We're kicking it up the
road and with every kick it's getting heavier, and in two or three months time you and I might be
having exactly the same conversation.

ALI MOORE: And indeed, with this package, is it effectively a restructuring that amounts to a
default by Greece because those private lenders are going to end up taking a haircut no matter
which way they slice it?

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: Absolutely. Look, Europe has been in denial now for a year and a half about the
fact that Greece is bankrupt. So they've been throwing good money after bad to prevent a formal
acknowledgement of the bankruptcy of Greece, of the default of Greece. Well now they have given up
on that.

They have tried to do it in such a way as to present it in a kind of an orderly way, they're
talking of a haircut of around 20-21 per cent, I think that is highly inadequate. Very soon we're
going to be talking about 30, 45, 50 perhaps 60 and 70 per cent haircut. This is how Europe works,
it dithers, it delays, it makes cowardly small steps towards the truth and at some point that which
it has admonished as impossible it embraces as inevitable.

This is typical European way of delaying decision making. The question is whether Europe has run
out of time and whether the Euro is going to collapse before the European leaders face up to
reality.

ALI MOORE: Well indeed, if Greece is bankrupt as you say, if the system itself, if there is a
systemic problem with the system as severe as you say, even if Europe woke up today and
acknowledged all of this, what could be done?

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: I think Europe is a quite rich common currency area, it's got very deep pockets.
And it still has time, and the resources, to deal with the task in hand. Which should be, ought to
be, it is not at the moment, the redesign of the architecture of the Eurosystem. There is still
time to do it.

At some point the point of no return will have been exceeded. I don't think we're there yet, but
we're not too far off and the longer our leaders pretend that this is a debt crisis for one or two
countries, the longer that they pretend that there is problem with the banking system and the
banking system in reality of the Eurozone is bankrupt, or quasi-bankrupt, the closer we are coming
to this point of no return.

ALI MOORE: But how do you redesign the system and at the same time resolve that. I mean if you look
at a map of the various interrelated debt in the countries in the Eurozone, it's extraordinary,
everyone owes everyone else; how do you redesign the system and resolve those deep seated financial
problems?

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: Very simply, within a few days. Let me outline three steps that we could take in
Europe and solve the problem very, very quickly.

The first thing we need to do is unify the banking sector. It is preposterous to have European
banks, global banks, that are subject to supervision by member states that don't have their own
currencies. It's preposterous to have France responsible for the French banks, it's like having
Tasmania responsible for the banks that operate in Tasmania or having Wall Street supervised and
recapitalised in times of crisis by the state of New York. You can imagine what catastrophe would
befall Australia or the United States if that happened. So, the first thing we could do is unify
the banking system, supervision and recapitalisation.

The second thing we need to do is we need a common bond. Something like the US Treasury Bills,
something like the Australian Government Bond, Federal Government Bonds; Eurobonds in other words.
Eurobonds would allow us to unify part of the debt of each member state and therefore to
restructure it in its entirety and make it manageable.

And the third thing we need is an investment policy which is European wide. Something like a
Marshall Plan, not for Greece, that they agreed to yesterday, but it is ridiculous to have a
Marshall Plan of Greece which is unfunded, which means effectively that monies will be taken out of
Ireland, restructure of funds for Ireland and Portugal and Italy, to be redirected and reach out
towards Greece.

If you have a Eurobond, at the European level, you could co-finance a Marshal Plan for the whole of
Europe using the European Investment Bank, which is twice the size of the World Bank, and thus
create a growth drive, spurt, that drives the whole of the Eurozone out of the mire of the present
crisis.

Those three steps could be implemented in a week. And our leaders know it but there are political
reasons why they do not implement it.

ALI MOORE: Well indeed you make it sound so simple, we are out of time. But I have to ask, if you
were a betting man, would you bet this will happen, or do you truly believe the system is that
close to collapse?

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: There is a fundamental difference between the bet that I would place as a
rational agent and the bet I would place as a sentimental agent. My sentimental bet is that it will
work, because I can't even imagine what kind of postmodern 1930s we're going to end up with in
Europe if the Eurosystem breaks up.

ALI MOORE: Well Yanis Varoufakis, if only it was all so simple to resolve. Thank you so much for
joining us tonight from Athens.

YANIS VAROUFAKIS: Thank you.

UN calls for talks on Africa

The United Nations is calling for crisis talks to deal with an escalating humanitarian crisis in
Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Transcript

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The United Nations is calling for crisis talks to deal with the escalating
humanitarian crisis in the drought and famine affected Horn of Africa.

Famine has officially been declared in two parts of Somalia, with the rest of the country and
Ethiopia and Kenya also badly affected.

Australia has pledged an extra $30 million dollars but getting aid to where it's needed is going to
be the major challenge.

Africa correspondent Ginny Stein reports.

GINNY STEIN, AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: In northern Kenya, years of drought have changed the way these
people who depend on livestock live their lives.

These are now villages of children, women and the elderly.

There's no pasture or water here, the water dried up a long time ago.

REINTAN LEISORO, VILLAGER (Translation): The drought has affected everyone from the village. That's
why you don't see anyone in the villages. They are out with their animals looking for food and
water. All the elders are out. The only people remaining are the children. They followed the
animals. It's only us left behind.

GINNY STEIN: The Kenyan government has declared a state of emergency, but no aid is yet to reach
this far.

No sealed roads, no electricity and with a population on the move, this part of Kenya has long been
ignored by the government.

People here used to count their wealth in cattle but they are all almost all gone.

The land can no longer sustain them. This part of the world is now goat and camel country, but they
too are now dying.

ZEKE DAVIDSON, CONSERVATIONIST: The kind of livestock that has been on the land for decades and
millennia is arguably not the right kind of livestock for Africa. Cattle originally came from Asia
in the east, from the middle east anyway and weren't bred for African conditions so they weren't
really suited for this environment.

GINNY STEIN: The UN says more than 10 million people are now at risk of starvation, it's launched
its biggest relief drive yet.

JOSETTE SHEERAN, UN WORLD FOOD PROGRAM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: I've met people from all over southern
Somalia and there's no food where they are. And what we've heard from them, I just heard from one
woman who's lost three of her children.

GINNY STEIN: But getting aid to people in need remains the greatest challenge.

International agencies are negotiating with armed militant groups to ensure aid is delivered.

JOSETTE SHEERAN: And so we're calling on the world to really back operations, to scale up very
quickly to reach those in the epicentre in the famine conditions in southern Somalia. It's very
dangerous and risky but we have to reach people. They're not making it all the way here to
Mogadishu, these are the ones lucky enough to make it here and even these feeding centres are
over-run.

GINNY STEIN: Former UN high commissioner for refugees Mary Robinson has warned there's a very real
danger of a new generation dying from famine.

MARY ROBINSON, OXFAM INTERNATIONAL HONORARY PRESIDENT: Since I was here in 1992 (sob) I look around
and I see, yet again (sob) and these are very resilient people.

GINNY STEIN: Food aid is expected to start being airlifted into Somalia within days.

The Al Shabab militant group, which controls much of the famine affected area, has denied it's
lifted a ban on western aid agencies.

The UN knows the risks, but to delay imperils the famine spreading to all eight regions of southern
Somalia.

Ginny Stein, ABC News, Lateline.

Perfect storm in Somalia: Robinson

Former Irish president Mary Robinson says Somalia has been hit by a combination of two decades of
conflict, poor governance and a worsening drought.

Transcript

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: The former Irish president, Mary Robinson, has just returned from that visit
to Somalia in her capacity as honorary president of the aid organisation Oxfam International.

She joined me a short time ago from Dublin.

ALI MOORE: Mary Robinson, many thanks for joining Lateline this evening.

MARY ROBINSON: I'm happy to.

ALI MOORE: You've just returned from Somalia, indeed just yesterday. It's a visit that in many ways
has a sort of awful symmetry, doesn't it, because it was 20 years ago that you were there and it
was 20 years ago that famine was last used to describe what's happening in Somalia.

MARY ROBINSON: Yes. In fact 19 years to be precise. It was in October 1992 and there had been a
whole summer of both drought, famine and conflict at the time between war lords, so the food
couldn't get to people and Irish aid agencies asked me if I would go as president. And I was happy
to draw attention and went to the United Nations and spoke about the scale of the problem.

Again, this time Irish aid agencies, who are involved on the ground there, asked me if I'd travel
with them and try to highlight the problem. And it was really very heart-wrenching to be in Dolo in
Somalia, they had photographs of the health centre of my visit 19 years ago.

And to see very much the same images, but the numbers seemed to be really devastating, who are
having to leave Somalia, partly because it's very difficult to get access there for food within the
country.

ALI MOORE: And of course it's a whole new generation of people who are suffering?

MARY ROBINSON: It is, and children in particular, children who are severely malnourished. I watched
them being weighed and given the Plumpy'nuts, and then the nurse told me, unfortunately these
should stabilise the children, they should begin to gain weight, but in a number of cases the
Plumpy'nuts, which should be for the malnourished child, are shared with other children or even
with mothers who are desperate because they don't have enough food. And some of them have travelled
more than 100km.

They were in transit within Somalia into Ethiopia on the day that I was there, three days ago, and
those in transition had sort of come and were collapsed under trees being given a minimum amount of
water and food to tide them over while they went into Ethiopia.

Then the following day, the day before yesterday, I was in the big Dadaab camp, which really three
huge camps, each of which has more than 100,000 Somali refugees. They are registered, they do get
food when they arrive, but there's such a pressure, some of them are not in the proper camp and
they run out of their rations and the camp itself is enormous. We drove for miles and miles to get
from one place to another. And yet these people have to do it on foot.

It's a very sad, very chronic situation. And I think it's worse this year than in 1992.

ALI MOORE: Worse because of the numbers or worse because, I've read you, or heard you describe it
as a perfect storm. It's way more than just drought?

MARY ROBINSON: It is. It is a perfect storm. There has been a conflict in Somalia basically since I
was there in 1992. It has not had good governance of any kind to address internally. The drought is
worse, there's La Nina affect and there's also an increasing sense of this being the warmest eight
years in the Horn of Africa ever. We know that there is this global warming. It's affecting that
part of Africa very dramatically.

High food prices have made buying food a very difficult option. And on the first day I was there,
we went to a part of northern Kenya, which is very dry, the Celebi Desert it's called, we stayed
overnight in a small town and we met a number of pastoralists affected.

They move to get water, and they have to go further and further and you can almost see them
becoming the next refugees if we're not careful. And yet they have a perfectly viable life normally
and indeed make a big contribution as pastoralists because they provide meat to the market.

We were talking about how to make them more resilient, because, frankly, I was haunted by the
reality that we're facing the beginnings of these climate negative impacts. It makes the problems
worse because there are no predictable seasons, because there are long periods of drought and then
flash flooding.

But most of all, seeing those starving and undernourished children and knowing that this is July.
When I was there in 1992, I went in October, just before they would expect a rainy season. Now it's
going to be dry with no rain at least until October, if the rains come in October, which nobody is
sure of.

ALI MOORE: And yet, despite that picture that you paint, the international community has been, as
many are now saying, very reluctant to help. Why do you think that is? Do you think it's
fundamentally because of a concern that the aid simply won't go through, or is there something
deeper at work?

MARY ROBINSON: I think that's part of it. While we were there two big areas of Somalia were
declared to be famine areas, which means that people are starving to death, particularly children
and the elderly already. And that has helped to galvanise, I think.

Certainly the head of the World Food Program was in Mogadishu yesterday, and she's announcing that
they're going to use different methods to get food to people. There's to be a big FAO meeting in
Rome next Monday and indeed the Security Council was discussing climate change and security and
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was talking about these climatic disturbances and unpredictable
consequences already. So that's helping.

But the reality is the humanitarian coordinator, Mark Bowden, was telling us in Nairobi, we met him
there, that there hasn't been a good response. There's a sense somehow of using the word
"terrorism" in relation to Somalia that is turning people off.

But this isn't about al Shabaab, or anybody else, this is about millions of people who must have
access to basic food to stay alive, basic water. And I have been aware, you know, of the fact that
two of the organisations I was with - Trocaire and Concern of Ireland, have been in Somalia for 20
years and find ways to work within a difficult system.

So it's not, you know I think we have to do more to address the problems and hopefully, hopefully
this terrible crisis again, this famine, the deaths, the struggle of people to go hundreds of
kilometres to be sometimes robbed or raped en-route, as we heard from some of the women, that this
will maybe change the balance, because undoubtedly aid agencies have been told they can have access
to areas they weren't able to access before.

And it could be, those could be the crisis that opens up Somalia to the need to come together more
inclusively with some form of government that will produce peace and stability for a period that
will allow the country to stabilise.

ALI MOORE: Because I wonder if not, is food aid really just a bandaid? I mean if you have a
completely failed state, you've had no central government there for two decades, is it enough for
the west to simply put money and food in? Is it almost time for something else to happen?

MARY ROBINSON: It's vital in the short term. The UN has said it needs at least another 250 million
now, urgently, and probably $1 billion over a period to ensure that they can address the multiple
problems of the refugees who have already had to leave Somalia and the problem in Somalia itself.
That is urgent. We cannot let children die. This is the 21st century.

It's already in a way a disgrace for all of us, not just the Somali government, non government,
that a famine has been fully developed, because the warning signs were there. Only 40 per cent
response has been met so far in the appeal for the Horn of Africa.

It's not just Somalia, it's also Ethiopia, Kenya itself, as I saw, and Djibouti. There are more
than 10 million people at risk, tens of thousands of children will die in the coming months unless
we get the food aid.

But then you're perfectly right, we need climate resilient ways of ensuring livelihoods. And I did
hear very good advice when I was in northern Kenya with the pastoralists from one of the workers of
Concern Worldwide, the aid agency there, he's a Masai and he's a qualified veterinary surgeon and
he was a wonderful, knowledgeable advocate for the pastoralists.

They represent about 20 per cent of the population of Kenya and that's a population of about 40
million. So you're talking about eight million with a lot of arid land that they can have an
existence on by moving their goats and camels around, but they need to diversify as well. And
that's what he's helping them to do, to diversify into honey, into chickens, into alternative ways
of income generation.

Also having more resilient types of sheep, he was talking about the red Masai sheep which are
better sheep and smaller camels which are less vulnerable.

And these are very important indicators of the future, because we know that the climate impacts are
going to get worse. I was haunted by having a sense I was seeing a window into a future that's
almost on us in a global sense in so many places, but this is a very vulnerable part in the Horn of
Africa.

ALI MOORE: Mary Robinson, you paint a really a truly disturbing picture really. Thank you very much
for joining us and telling us about it this evening

MARY ROBINSON: It's a pleasure. And I just hope that there will be an urgent response from
Australia's as well, because it is so badly needed. Thank you.

ALI MOORE: Thank you.

to areas they weren't able to

Lucian Freud dead at 88

British painter Lucian Freud has died in London at age 88 after a life dedicated to realist
depictions of the human body.

Transcript

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: Britain's pre-eminent painter of the nude, Lucian Freud, has died in London.

He was 88.

Freud was born in Berlin but fled to England with his Jewish family in the 1930s.

He put on his first one-man show when he was only 21 and quickly became renowned for his realist
depictions of the human body.

He wasn't concerned with modesty or flattery and liked to use friends, lovers and members of his
family as models.

LUCIAN FREUD: I don't want to use them for an idea I've got where I must use a figure - let's have
that one. I actually want to do them, and even their identical twin wouldn't do at all if I didn't
know them.

ALI MOORE: Freud had lots of family to choose from, fathering at least 13 children with five
different women.

In his later years the artist vowed to never give up working, saying he intended to paint himself
to death.