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.
Australian Agenda -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This is PM Agenda. Welcome

to the show. A row has broken

out over the use of

taxpayers' dollars to pay for

a bunch of asylum seekers to

fly from Christmas Island to

Sydney to attend a number of

funerals today. 21 asylum

seekers, close Regtives of

victims, of the tragedy in

December when an asylum

seeker vessel slammed into

rocks at Christmas Island

killing an estimated 50

people, have been flown to

Sydney to attend eight

funerals today. Among them a

young boy who has lost both

his parents. He buried his

father today. An email

circulated yesterday thought

to have originated from one

nation that criticised the

use of taxpayer money to fund

the airfares of these asylum seekers saying the funeral

should be held at Christmas

Island even though the asylum

seekers who died don't have

family in Christmas Island

and do have some, however, in

Sydney. A number of talk

radio stations picked up on

the email yesterday and the

Coalition's immigration spokesman, Scott morery son

weighed into the story saying

the Government don't

understand the value of

taxpayers' dollars and the funerals should have taken

place at Christmas Island.

Tony Abbott echoed these

concerns this morning on

radio questioning the use of

Government money for this purpose.

Shouldn't those funerals

Island? have been held on Christmas

That is a fair point and I

guess I am curious about to

why that couldn't have

hatched and I am also curious

-- happened and I am also

curious as to why relatives are being mroun and the

tragedy. I think everyone

shares the grief of people

who have lost loved ones,

particularly in these

horrible circumstances, it

does seem unusual that the Government is flying people

to funerals.

Others went further in their

criticism today. Here is the

National's senator, Fiona

afternoon. Nash on Sky News this

I think there is no doubt it

was an absolute tragedy what

happened and peel right

around the country could not

help but feel for all of

these people and their

families who have been

affected but I think we have

to look at this sensibly and

it is not really an appropriate request, I don't

believe, for the Government

to say to the taxpayers of

Australia, "We want to be

able to pay for all of this

through the taxpayer dollar"

especially when Australian

people will be saying, "Hang

on a second, the Government

does not help me if I need to

travel to a funeral." While

it is a very, very difficult

situation I certainly think

Scott Morrison has it right

on this one.

The shadow treasurer, are,

moderate in the Liberal Joe Hockey, a leading

Party, took a different view today.

No matter what the colour of

your skin, no matter what the

nature of your faith, if

you're child has died -- if

your child has died or a

father has died, you want to

be there for the social to say goodbye and I totally

understand. -- and I totally

understand the importance of

this to those families.

Joe Hockey said that as a compassionate nation we have

an obligation to show

humanity to people in these

times and as you heard there

he would like to see everyone

have a right to attend the

funeral of a lost child or parent. Chris Bowen

criticised Scott Morrison for

trying to make political

points on the day of these

funerals and says it is

entirely appropriate for the

immigration department and

the Federal Police to make the arrangements they did

today. Coming up we will

discuss it with our panel.

First to the Greens

immigration spokesperson,

Sarah Hansen Young. She is

critical of those in the

Coalition who have raised

this issue today. I spoke

with her a short time ago.

Thank you for joining us,

the argument being put by

some in the Opposition at

least is that taxpayers don't

normally foot the bill for

family members to go to a

funeral and some cited the

relatives did not have their Queensland flood victims,

cost covered to go to

funerals there, why should

asylum seekers in Christmas

Island, who aren't Australian

citizens, have their travel

paid for to go to funerals in Sydney?

There is two parts to this.

Firstly this is a very unique

situation. This isn't a very

normal occurrence when we

have people who have died and are relatively stateless

because they have fled their

home country in search of

asylum and protection, and

then those people who have

survived being locked up in a

detention centre far from the

Australian mainland or,

indeed, the country they have

come from either. These

people are literally

stateless in all senses of

the word, in terms of not

being able to access consular

assistance from their home

country, because they have

fled their home countries.

been through such awful, These people, of course, have

awful tragedy. We can't dismiss how awful this experience that they have

been through has been. We all

saw those images on our TV

screens two months ago just

before Christmas and in fact the entire Australian nation

was shocked by it. Now we see

two months later some of

these bodies finally being

laid to rest and there is a

furore about allowing those

who are survivors to be able

to attend the funerals of

their love ones. The question

as to whether people should

be allowed to go and allow

their families to say goodbye is really a bit below the


Everydeath is tragic and, as

I say, the Queensland flood victims, some tragedies

there, should close family

members in situations like

that also have travel covered

and paid for by the Government?

The situation here is that

if an Australian was caught

up in an awful disaster

overseas they would be able

to have access to consular

support and assistance and of

course we would work as the

Australian Government to

bring the body home so that

the family could lay them to

rest in a place where they

could grieve and, of course,

that they could go back to

and visit as that grieving process over time would

happen. In this situation we

see a number of these people

who have died, they have extended family in places

like Sydney. So of course

that's where they're asking

the bodies to be buried, and

rightly so. Then caught up in

this is the other members of

the family who travelled with

them who happened to survive,

such as an 8-year-old boy who

has now been orphaned, should

he have not been able to

attend the funeral of his mum

and dad? Surely not. Anyone

who is suggesting that is a little heartless.

I want to ask you about that

boy in particular. Scott

Morrison's other suggestion

is that the funerals should

have happened on Christmas

Island. Are you surprised by

the line that he and others

in the Coalition, we have

heard Joe Hockey take a

different line, this argument

that is being put by Scott

Morrison and others in the

Coalition, has it surprised

you at all?

I think anyone suggesting

that these vulnerable people

who have been through so much

and such tragedy, should not

be afforded the opportunity

to say goodbye to their loved

ones is not just mean

spirited and cruel but it is

below human decency. Frankly,

I am surprised that there are

people in the Coalition who are prepared at all costs to

play this political game,

even when it's - on a day

like today when grieving

families are saying goodbye

to their loved ones. It is

pretty yucky politics and a

pretty yucky thing to see.

The comments from Joe Hockey,

coming out and saying pretty

much what I have just said,

these are people we are

talking about, this is about

human Dee sendcy, this is

about respecting the rights

of a child to say goodbye to

his family, you know, well

done to Joe Hockey for

standing up and saying, "Even

though Scott Morrison is out

there taking whatever cheap

political shots he can, there

is still some other thinking

people left in the


I'm not sure how come

fortable Joe Hockey will be

with credit from the Greens?

Credit where credit is due.

The boy that lost both

parents, we read he is a bad

way at Christmas Island. He

is bouncing a ball during the

day and kicking his bed posts

at night. What should happen

to this boy and others who do have family members in

Sydney. They have been flown

here to Sydney for the

funeral, should they be

allowed to say there, perhaps

in a detention centre in Sydney?

I always said from day one

of the tragedy that any of

the survivors should be able

to be brought to the mainland where they are close to

services, close to other relatives who could give them

support, communities who

could offer them assistance

and the case still remains

that these people should be

able to be brought to the

mainland and have their

claims for asylum processed

here. This young boy we are

talking about, he is the

exact same boy that two

months ago I called on the

minister to grant him a special guardian other than

the minister himself so that

he could have his rights

advocated for, so that there

was someone looking out for

his welfare. It is a really

awful tragedy for this young

boy to have lost both his mum

and dad and be locked up,

left on Christmas Island in a

remote location while he has

other extended family living freely in the Sydney

community. Surely it would

make much sense and be much

more humane to have him stay

in Sydney, whether that be in

some type of community detention relationship or to

release him under the guidance of his Australian


A final question, on a very

different matter, your Green

colleagues across the ditch

in New Zealand have snubbed

our PM, they have prevented

her from addressing

parliament, what do you think

about this? Has Julia Gillard

been humiliated here by the

Greens in New Zealand?

I don't think she shes been humiliated. Let's not forget

she has been able to address

the parliament in New

Zealand, it just happens to

be that similar to the rules,

I guess, that we try to

uphold in Australia that

those official sitting

periods of parliament are

reserved for those of us who

have B elected to represent

and to use that time to

represent the people who have

put us there. So she is able

to talk to those members.

She is using the same

chamber but it is not a

sitting of parliament though?

That is right, exactly. They

have said, "Yes, you can

allow us to here you in our

chamber. -- hear you in our

chamber" that is a great

honour for any Prime Minister

to speak to the elected representatives of any

country, but not speaking

during their work time. That

is the decision they have

made. I don't think she shes

been smubed -- snubbed but it

is a storm in a tea cup actually.

Thanks for your time. As

mentioned there, the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has

begun the first day of her

first overseas trip of the

year in New Zealand. She has

addressed a business lunch

today but she won't be

addressing a form session of

the New Zealand parliament

tomorrow, simply talking to

the same parliamentarians in

the same place in their

chamber but not an official session of parliament. For

more on this and the visit

itself we have Barry Soper

with us from Wellington. Tell

us, what - why are the greens

so worried here. Why don't they want Julia Gillard

addressing a formal session

of parliament? Essentially they are setting

a precedent. You will know

that the co-leader of the

greens in this country is

none other than an

Australian. He was born and

bred in Brisbane and he has

come here into politics and

now he is the co-leader of

the Greens. Maybe he is

living in exile from Julia Gillard's twang.

You are blaming an Aussie

for this decision?

Of course! It was an Aussie

stirring it up here.

Basically he said that, look,

if we allow Julia Gillard to

speak to a formal session of

parliament then what happens

to anyone else that wants to

come here and speak in a

similar vain? He mentioned

Barack Obama, I don't think

anybody here would have my

problem with that. He mentioned George W Bush, but

he is not in office any

longer, but he did raise the prospect of the Chinese

leader that he had a physical

dust up with last year when

he tried to wave a Tibetan

flag in his face. He was

taken out by the security

men. If a Chinese communist

leader wanted to address a

democratically-elected parliament that would be

beyond the pale. That is his

view. I don't know whether it

is commonly shared here but

it just takes one objection,

he objected and it is all

off. She will still get to speak.

This isn't a majority...

Not just in the parliament

brew we will hear her at a

press conference and there is

a state banquet being laid on

for her in the Beehive here lunchtime tomorrow.

The twang is of interest to

Kiwis and I think we are used

to it here in Australia now.

I am interested in a couple

of things there. Any MP can

deny a foreign leader the

chance to address the

parliament and surely they

can pick and choose which

foreign leaders they want to

address. If you don't want

the Chinese leader, don't have him?

That is right. It is really

over to the Government to put

up the prospect of a leader

addressing a parliament. It

has never happened in New

Zealand before that a foreign

leader has addressed

politicians in the debating

chamber. It is an honour for

Julia Gillard and she made

the point he is honoured to

be doing so. I hope she

leaves out the multilanguage

because she tried it at the

luncheon today with her

Australian twang it sounded

nothing like mouledy so I

think she is best to a leave

mouledy to one side.

That is some sensible advice

there. A single economic market, this is the theme of

the talks, I know it is the

theme of the talks every time

New Zealand and Australian

leaders get tonight. Are they

making much progress on this

and what is the feeling over there about it?

It is fashion Nating when

you consider that two-way

trade between your countries

has grown by 8% a year since

1983 which was when the CER

agreement was signed. It is a

big deal for us, of course,

because we are a tiny economy

compared to Australia's.

There will be signing of a

protocol tomorrow that will

allow Australians to invest

in this country $500 million worth of investment without

having to go to the overseas

investment commission, the

regulatory body. So they are

certainly getting more investment opportunities in New Zealand but we need all

the money we can get at the

moment. You allow us to

invest more than $1 billion

in your country and I think

that probably just goes to

show, David, we've got less

money than what you've got.

Sounds like a fair deal to

me. We will see how that

progresses through the rest

of this visit. Thanks for

talking to us. Good to chat with you.

We will take a quick break

and then with our panel. Laura Tingle and Malcolm far.

Our panel in a moment to

look at the use of taxpayers'

dollars for the asylum seeker

funerals. Good idea for not?

First, the headlines.

Survivors of the Christmas

Island boat tragedy have

farewelled their loved ones

in Sydney. Funeral services were held for eight victims

of the disaster killed when

their boat crashed into rocks

two months ago. The

Opposition has criticised the Government's decision to pay for family members of the

dead to fly to Sydney for

today's funerals but senior Liberal, Joe Hockey, has

broken ranks with his party

saying the Government has an

on gligation to help the victims' families. Julia

Gillard reaffirmed the tight

bond between Australia and

New Zealand describing the

nations as very close friends. Ms Gillard has

jetted into Auckland on her

first official visit to New

Zealand as Prime Minister.

Speaking ahead of an address

to business leaders the PM

signalled further transTasman

business partnerships. It is believed the twin of

four-year-old boys who remain

in critical conditions in

hospital were playing with

matches before a garage fire

in Melbourne. The boys are in

induced comas one suffering

burn to 80% of his body and

the other to 50%. The twins'

uncle says the boys were in

the garage when the fire

started. Queensland Premier

Anna Bligh, told a special parliamentary sitting the

floods and so I clone Yasi

have cost the state $4

billion in commercial losses. Normal parliamentary business

has Ben set aside with the

first sitting day of the new year dedicated to those who

lost their lives. Police are

treating as suspicious the

deaths of a man on whom whose

bodies were found in a north

Perth unit. Police were

called to the property early this morning and the bodies

were found. The dead pair is

believed to be aged in their

30s. In sport - the Gold

Coast Titans have shown faith

in John Cartwright resigning

the foundation coast to a new

five-year deal. He has

steered the Titans to the

finals in the last two years

in the NRL. They were beaten

in the preliminary final last

year by the Roosters. The weather:

Joining us now for our

panel discussion is Laura

Tingle, political editor of

the Australian financial review, Malcolm Farr,

political editor of This issue about

the asylum seekers funerals

that have taken place in

Sydney, eight of them today,

21 asylum seekers were flown from Christmas Island to

Sydney, close Regtives of

those who died in the tragic

boat disaster in December at

Christmas Island, is it right

that taxpayers' dollars are

spent to fly them to Sydney.

There are two issues here,

one is it right to spend the

money and two, should

politicians be making really,

cheap political capital of a

really bad human tragedy? On

the first point, I think you

have to say decent humanity

should let people go and bury

their children or their

parents and you can think of

lots of other ways that

people fritter away money, if

people are really worried

about it some MPs could chip

in their printing allowances

they all stashed away before

the election campaign, which

was hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Greens are trying to

make the point that sure the

Government does not pay for

all family members to go the

funerals but these people are locked up on Christmas

Island, they have nothing,

they don't have much or any

other way of getting there? Their particular

circumstances, they are

locked us, they can't just

catch a commercial flight and

go to the communeal. There is

a lot of contention about the

circumstances of the funeral

arrangements themselves but

if we are going to lock

people up on Christmas Island

this is one of those ongoing

effects of this that we can't

just say, "We are going to bury your dead relatives who

have been killed in this tragedy somewhere else and

too bad if you can't get

there." I don't think that is

a viable position.

The initial response from

Scott Morrison, the shadow

immigration minister, was one

of, "Let's look at the

ledger. This is going to cost

a lot of taxpayers' money"

and the unstated thing of,

"It is these people that came

here without our permission

and we are forking out even

more money for them." Then he

went a step further and said,

"Not only will it cost a lot of money but you wouldn't get

any money to go to a funeral,

would you?" That reinforced

that these people are getting

benefits you are not entitled

to and they are a real -- and

you are a real Australian and

they are not. A lot of people

would say, "That's right, why

are they getting something I

quantity and I pay taxes"

except I think there will be

a lot of Liberal Party

members for whom that won't

work and they are more likely

to take - I used to call them

doctor's wives, they will be

taking something close to

line of Joe Hockey who said,

"This is a time of compassion

and we have to retain our

humanity" during this entire

asylum seeker debate and

let's show some concern for

these people and using for

their predicament.

How significant is it that

Joe Hockey said what he said today?

I think it is significant

both as a point at which the

Liberals can go thus far and

no further on this issue of scare mongering if you like

on boat people and I think it

is obviously also significant

in the more tawdry level of

internal politics. There is positioning going on, I think

without a doubt.

By Joe Hockey?

I think by Joe Hockey and a

lot of sear senior Liberals,

the discipline that was there

when they didn't think they

were going to - when they

thought they might be months from office, when they thought they might be able to

woo the independents across is gone.

This is the second time this

month that Joe Hockey has

taken a different line to

Tony at bot, there was the

email that included the

Liberal Party call for donations and Joe Hockey said

that was a mistake and Tony

Abbott wouldn't? This is the

second time he has taken a

different line.

There is product differentiation here. It does

not mean Joe Hockey will make

a big charge at Tony Abbott,

not at all, I think that is

highly unlikely, but he is

there creating a Joe Hockey

profile should the moment

come when the party might sit

back and select another

leader or perhaps select a

deputy leader.

Or , I think also, reopen

the policy pot because we do

have a knew sort of position

where we have 12 months for

the Coalition members to say,

"Do we want to be really

right out here? Do we want to

be in the middle. Tony Abbott

could take us so far and no

further in the last election

campaign? What do we need? Do

we need to moderate our views

on a range of issues?"

The moderates in the Liberal

Party had a pretty rough time

when John Howard was in

power, they didn't get much

of an airing. How do they

fair now days under Tony

Abbott as leader, do they

have as much voice as they

did back then?

Which voice would that have been? (LAUGHTER)

Are they as mooted as they

have ever been?

The question is this their

last gasp, is Joe their last

gasp, that this is their big

chance if they are ever going

to make a bit of a pitch to

control some territory on

policy this is one of the few

times they can do it, I think.

There is an argument that

the moderates have been bred

out of the Liberal Party, the

federal parliamentary Liberal

Party. Chris Pyne technically

is a moderate. I guess Joe Hockey is.

Scott Morrison at one stage.

Wasn't there a famous party

conference where he went to

the caucus for both the right

or the left or the moderates?

They are lacking a whole

stack of moderates who either

left last election or have

left over previous elections

or who became ministers and therefore didn't play with

them. In New South Wales in

particular the moderates are

still sitting back in second

place whereas once they were

running the show. I don't

think they were the strength within the party that they

used to be but they haven't disappeared entirely.

Let's move on. Julia

Gillard's trip to NZ, a lot

of focus over there on the

address to parliament that is

not an address to parliament.

Is anyone here going to care

about that? What do you

think, is this a snub?

I guess it is a snub but it

is not one that will resonate

around the world. I'm sure

Julia Gillard does not take

it as a personal insult, I

don't think many Australians

will, but it is a very isow

layionst view of the world --

isolationist view around the

world and the co-leader of

the Greens there. He does not

want to set a precedent. It

is that sort of thinking, he

would invite you over to

dinner but serve you a meal

on the porch because he

didn't - he wanted to make

sure a mass murderer didn't

say, "Right this is an

ininvitation to come in." I

think it is silly. If the

parliament is not sitting and

the mace is not in the holder

and it is not in session, the

chamber is another function

room they have managed to

hire for the occasion. It is

not the same, it is not the same privilege or honour.

It is not really a snub to

her, they have saying they

don't want anybody to address

the parliament. It is an isolationist position and she

is still getting to talk to

them and possibly might get

more attention in New Zealand

than she otherwise would as a result.

They are throwing her lots

of banquets as well so she

won't go hungry! You couldn't

open a newspaper this morning without seeing the adds from

the NAB, the bank wars are

heating up. I think we have a

picture of one of them here.

This is this love letter or

the end of the relationship

letter from the NAB to the

other big banks saying, "We

have to break it off" this is

a really difficult letter for

me to write. It was an

incredibly twee letter to

read and an interesting

marketing strategy but the

fact we are talking about it

means it is working on one level.

Would Graham Samuels see it

as an admission that there

years. head been collusion all these

We have to break it up, does

that mean they were colluding before?

It is a good marketing

strategy and Wayne Swan is

thrilled because he says it

is all a result of his

brilliant competition policy.

The Opposition are saying it

is all a result of Joe Hockey

last year so everybody... Everybody...

But it does look like a confession.

If it means lower fees it is

not necessarily a bad thing.

Meanwhile this week a lot of

focus on the leaks from both

sides out of cabinet and

shadow cabinet. Reports that

Kevin Rudd took it fairly --

took a fairly hostile line to

the changes Julia Gillard

made to the health reforms

and stormed out or left early

to catch a plane from the

Cabinet meeting. Differences

between Julie Bishop and Tony

Abbott over the cuts to the

foreign aid budget. Which

leader has to worry most about these leaks, Julia

Gillard or Tony Abbott?

Each in their own way are

indicative of a problem even

if the reported leaks weren't

completely accurate. In terms

of Kevin Rudd, he made his

views known on the health

policy and then he had a

plane to catch and said words

to the effect of, "I've got

to zip" and left and there

was not a hissy fit or a

tantrum but it did identify

the Rudd problem within the

Government. It will be

hanging around for ages and

what do they do with it? On

the other side I think there

is still some jockeying

around for position within

the Opposition. Related to what Laura was talking about

if there is a policy - a

renewed policy debate, people

want to be in a position to

do it. There is also personal

ambition at play there. I

don't think it was as serious

as portrayed. Certainly by last Thursday people were bulling back and saying,

"Hang on a minute this is

indicative of something and pretty dangerous." It was

that was a certain unsettled

nature of the shadow ministry.

Is this just the normal

course of politics?

I have to say to some extent

I think this is why they are

all here. They are here to

actually have arguments. I

think we have got so much

into this tunnel of argument

leadership challenge that we

forget the Cabinet split

cliche. Of course Kevin Rudd

did not like these changes

because they were different

from his. For Julia Gillard I

think is problem will

probably recede in time as it

becomes a Gillard Government,

as it is no longer a Rudd being transformed into

Gillard Government and she

can say, "He was entitled to his view when he was Prime Minister but that is not the

case." He was not going out

there and publicly

disagreeing or any of those

things. I think that is fine.

On the other side they were

more serious policy issues

and the really bad thing

about that is that it

undermined the Coalition's

credibility on its cuts so I

think that does them a lot

more long-term damage whereas

the Rudd problem is around

but it is just a personality

one and it is not throwing

into question the actual

policy position.

And those senior leadership

positions as well as part of

that. We are out of time.

Good to talk to you. Thanks

for joining us. After the

break, Barack Obama's budget

- cuts of $1.1 trillion. Stay

with us.

In the United States

President Obama has handed

down his latest budget vowing

to trim the enormous US

deficit by $1.1 trillion over

the next decade. That sounds

like a lot but the US debt is

extremely large. Still

President Obama wants this to

be seen by American voters as

evidence of his ability to

make tough decisions.

We do this in part by

eliminating waste and cutting whatever spending we can do

without. As I start - as a

start I have called for a

freeze on annual domestic

spending over the next five

years. Even as we cut waste and inefficiency this budget freeze will require some

tough choices. It will mean

cutting things that I care

deeply about. For example,

community action programs in

low income neighbourhoods and

towns and community

development Brock ramps that

so many of your cities and

states rely on. If we will

walk to walk when it comes to

fiscal discipline these kinds

of cuts will be necessary.

Where will the axe fall? What different will this

budget make to the US economy. Sky News US correspondent, David Lipson economy. Sky News US

filed this report.

Around budget time

Governments are usually faced

with a choice, whether to

save money to try to pay off

some debt or whether to spend

money to investor the future.

Well, with his budget

proposal handed down today,

US President, Barack Obama,

is really trying to achieve

both. He is talking about

significant reductions to the

deficit over the next 10

years to the tune of $1.1

trillion. He is also talking

about investing in areas like

education, invasion, even transportation and also

high-speed internet, so some

echoes there with politics in

Australia. In order to

achieve that significant $1.1

trillion reduction to the

deficit over the next decade

President Obama is having to

make some pretty tough

decisions and that includes

increasing taxes - that will

cover about one third of the

taxes for financial savings, taxes for the rich,

institutions and getting rid

of subsidies for gas and oil

- but he is also making deep

cuts to areas that

traditionally, Governments

and administration don't like

to touch, for example,

defence and also talking

about getting rid of about

200 federal programs that the

Democrats and Barack Obama

himself have supported over

the last couple of years. But

nonetheless, these cuts and

savings are significant but

still the Republicans say

they are not nearly enough.

The big challenge for Barack

Obama now will be whether he can actually get this budget

through the House, through

Capitol Hill, the House now

being controlled by his

opponents in the Republican

Party and they say the cuts

must be deeper and they don't

want to see increases to

taxes as well. So a

significant challenge for

Barack Obama. He wants to

avoid the sort of problems he

had getting the budget

through Capitol Hill last

year and with this budget we

are seeing significant cuts,

as I say, to areas that

traditionally they wouldn't

touch so that challenge may

be greater for Barack Obama

this time. But he's very

hopeful, of course, of

getting this through. He will

be selling this message throughout the rest of the


Let's look at what's been

happening in business and

finance back home. John

Kerrison is with us. Fosters

a big plunge in the first half profits reported today.

They saw a dip on the

previous responding period by

12% to $312 million. Analysts

expected somewhere around the

$350 million mark. They

revealed a couple of things

including a hit in beer

volumes down by about 6%

because of the terrible

summer we have had, particularly on the east

coast. The wet conditions

mean people are not enjoying

that summer ale as much as

they normally would. That has

seen a hit for Fosters. They

did close flat at $5.74 today.

Have a beer tonight. The

other key economic data out

today was from China. What

does it tell us?

It was not as bad as many

analysts expected. It came in

at 4.9 versus 5.4 for

inflation. This was quite

good. Market, no significant

reaction to the number. If we

icy late food in that data,

10.3% inflation for food in

China. The authorities there

are sure to keep an eye on

monetary policy with that

kind of number.

Talk about cost of living rises. Thanks, we'll talk

tomorrow. That is all we have

time for for this edition of

PM Agenda. Back at the seam time tomorrow. Live captioning by Ai-Media.