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Lateline -

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Come in spinner. Come in spinner.

Tonight - returning fire, the Prime Minister hits back over the Craig Thomson scandal with claims
of political interference.

Senator Senator George Brandis ringing up his Liberal mate to ring up a Police Commissioner. Why
would that be happening? would that be happening?

Somehow, trying to insist that Senator George Brandis of all people has questions to answer and
somehow the member for Dobell has not.

As Parliament breaks for two weeks, breaks for two weeks, the Prime Minister fights Minister fights
her for her Government's survival.

This Program is Captioned Live

Good evening, welcome to Lateline, I'm Tony Jones. On day where we've seen insult and counter
insult trading in the Federal Parliament, the questions arise about how much of this is real and
how much is phony given by back-room tacticians tacticians and spin doctors. Jay Rosen is in the
country and says reporting politics is getting harder and harder, to the pound where he argues
political coverage is broken. All join us live from Melbourne shortly and we'll ask him why. That's
coming up. Our other headlines. Wanted dead if ore or alive, Liberal rebels put a $1 million price
on the head of Colonel Gaddafi. No deterrent, Colonel Gaddafi. No deterrent, an accused smuggler
being held in Indonesia and facing extradition to Australia tells Lateline plans to send asylum
seekers offshore won't stop the trade.

Gillard goes on attack over Thomson affair

Gillard goes on attack over Thomson affair

Broadcast: 25/08/2011

Reporter: Tom Iggulden

Prime Minister Julia Gillard came out swinging in defence of Craig Thomson today, accusing the
Opposition of being hypocritical with legal process.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: After being backed into a corner for almost a fortnight over the Craig
Thomson affair, today the Prime Minister came out swinging.

She is accusing the Opposition of respecting legal process when it comes to one of its own, but
putting political pressure on police to investigate Mr Thomson.

All this as unions warned of increasing job losses and urge radical solutions to stem the flow.

Political correspondent Tom Iggulden has more from Canberra.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: For day after day after day, he has been sitting stoney-faced during attack
after attack. The Prime Minister's been defending him until today. She turned to an attack of her
own on two fronts.

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER: Come in spinner. Come in spinner. Come in spinner.

TOM IGGULDEN: Point one: one of the Opposition's own members has been charged by police, while Mr
Thomson hasn't.

JULIA GILLARD: They pursue their hypocrisy and self interest day after day. It is truly disgusting.

TOM IGGULDEN: Point two: what the Prime Minister calls an attempt to politically influence police
over the Thomson matter.

JULIA GILLARD: Senator George Brandis ringing up his Liberal mate to ring up a Police Commissioner.
Why would than happening?

TOM IGGULDEN: That mate was New South Wales Police Minister Mike Gallacher, who then rang the
Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione.

MIKE GALLACHER, NSW POLICE MINISTER: During the course of that conversation I indicated as a
courtesy that Senator George Brandis was going to write to him regarding the Tompson matter. The
Commissioner indicated that if he did receive any correspondence, it would be treated like any
other referral.

TOM IGGULDEN: Police are still considering Mr Brandis' letter, and whether to proceed with an
official investigation, but the Government's already heard enough.

JULIA GILLARD: We know they're not above putting pressure on police officers because it's happened
before and now Senator George Brandis has got some explaining to do.

TOM IGGULDEN: The Prime Minister's ferocious performance ...

JULIA GILLARD: As the the Liberal Party sinks in its stinking hole of mud and hypocrisy.

TOM IGGULDEN: ...appeared to catch the Opposition off-guard.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE, MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS: Trying to marry the two together is really the
sign of a very desperate Government that's trying to create a smokescreen.

TOM IGGULDEN: Next week it will likely be the Opposition having to do the explaining when Mary Jo
Fisher is slated to face court on theft and assault charges.

STUART ROBERT, LIBERAL MP: At least Senator Fisher is standing up and facing the music in that

TOM IGGULDEN: As the point-scoring continues over whose backbencher has the bigger legal issues,
both sides at least agree on one thing: this is all a huge distraction from the bigger issues in a
week when 1300 steel workers lost their jobs. Unions say more will follow and are urging the
government and Reserve Bank to step in.

PAUL HOWES, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS UNION: Unless we have interest rates come down and the pressure on
the dollar ease, we're going to continue to see announcements like we saw on Monday day after day,
week after week.

TOM IGGULDEN: Economists say the Reserve Bank's focused on the bigger economic picture.

SAUL ESLAKE, GRATTAN INSTITUTE: They don't need threats from the likes of him in order to make the
best judgments from the point of view of the broadest well-being of the Australian people.

TOM IGGULDEN: But Mr Howes wasn't done there. He wants the rules changed to force mining companies
to use more Australian steel to build the $430 billion worth of projects approved for development.

PAUL HOWES: All Australians deserve to benefit from the resources boom. It shouldn't just be the
miners in the north west. It should be the steel mills in the Illawarra, it should be the steel
fabrication plants in Perth.

TOM IGGULDEN: The union says local steel makers have been shut out against even competing against
cheap Chinese imports to build some projects.

KIM CARR, INDUSTRY MINISTER: The difficulty is demonstrating that these events have actually
occurred and we are looking for people to come to us with specific evidence and to ensure that we
can investigate those claims.

TOM IGGULDEN: Spoken almost like a Police Commissioner. Tom Iggulden, Lateline.

Offshore processing not a deterrent: smuggler

Offshore processing not a deterrent: smuggler

Broadcast: 25/08/2011

Reporter: Matt Brown

Accused people smuggler Sayyeed Abbas Azad has told Lateline offshore detention will not deter
asylum seekers from using people smugglers, because they are in genuine need of protection.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: An accused people smuggler being held in Jakarta has told Lateline that
threats to send asylum seekers offshore won't deter them because they are in genuine need of

Sayyeed Abbas Azad has been detained by Indonesia's anti-people smuggling taskforce at the request
of the Australian Government.

The Federal Police accuse him of organising several voyages to Australia and want him extradited to
face charges here.

He's denied the allegations.

Indonesia correspondent Matt Brown reports from Jakarta.

MATT BROWN, REPORTER: Sayyeed Abbas Azad is well known in Indonesian people-smuggling circles, but
in hurried comments at police headquarters in Jakarta he's denied any wrongdoing.

SAYYEED ABBAS AZAD, ALLEGED PEOPLE SMUGGLER (translated): I never sent any boats. It's not my job
to send boats. All of this is because the Australian police here have many Afghan informants. They
give them incorrect information.

MATT BROWN: Indonesia's anti-people-smuggling taskforce says the Australian Federal Police have
accused Sayyeed Abbas Azad of organising this boat, dubbed Suspected Irregular Entry Vessel 260. It
was intercepted near Christmas Island two weeks ago.

BUDI SANTOSO, TASK FORCE LEADER (translated): Sayyeed Abbas is being detained based on a
provisional arrest request from the Australian Government to the Indonesia government.

MATT BROWN: Abbas is also suspected of organising a string of other voyages, and police are now
preparing to extradite him to face charges in Australia.

SIUV 260 carried more than 100 passengers. It remains the largest group to arrive in defiance of
the Gillard Government's deal to send asylum seekers to Malaysia and, in a test of the Government's
resolve, a significant number were children travelling without their parents.

While he denies organising the vessels, Sayyeed Abbas Azad says the Government's plan to deter
asylum seekers will fail because they genuinely need protecting.

SAYYEED ABBAS AZAD (translated): They are looking for asylum because Australia is a good country.
They will be protected, and besides, they're asylum seekers. They are not terrorists or something
like that.

MATT BROWN: Abbas has long been on the extradition list. He has been arrested twice before. There's
evidence that this time he was in the middle of organising yet another shipment.

BUDI SANTOSO (translated): I received some information that indeed Sayyeed Abbas Azad is
coordinating this, but we need to prove it first.

MATT BROWN: It is understood nearly half the spots on Sayyeed Abbas Azad's next boat were already
spoken for. It was due to leave in just three days.

Matt Brown, Lateline.

Faked footage leads to Channel Nine sackings

Faked footage leads to Channel Nine sackings

Broadcast: 25/08/2011


A senior Channel Nine news executive has resigned and three journalists have been sacked over the
faking of two live news reports.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: A senior Channel Nine news executive has resigned and three journalists have
been sacked over the faking of two live news reports.

Nine News management says two live crosses last weekend covering the Daniel Morcombe search site
misrepresented the location of the Nine helicopter.

Viewers were told the chopper was over the search site when they were in fact in Brisbane, one at
the Nine chopper pad.

News reporters Cameron Price and Melissa Mallet and news reorter Aaron Wakely have been dismissed
while the Queensland director of news, Lee Anderson, has resigned.

Channel Nine says it has also made editorial changes and all staff will receive further training.

Politics needs journalism as reality-check: Rosen

Politics needs journalism as reality-check: Rosen

Broadcast: 25/08/2011

Reporter: Tony Jones

Professor Jay Rosen is an outspoken media critic who believes political journalism in the US and
Australia share many of the same ills.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Jay Rosen is a Professor of Journalism at New York University and he's an
outspoken media critic and writer.

He's in Australia for a series of lectures on the current state of political journalism in
Australia and the US.

He believes they share many of the same ills.

He joins us now from our Melbourne studio.

Thanks for being there.


TONY JONES: Why is political coverage broken, if it is indeed broken, and who broke it?

JAY ROSEN: I think we've reached the point where politics as entertainment, the 24-hour news cycle,
the fascination with media manipulation and spin doctors, the cult of the insider in political
coverage - have gone on for so long they've all come together to the point where I think they're
not only distorting politics, but they're actually beginning to substitute for it.

This is the sense in which I think political coverage is broken.

TONY JONES: Take it back to a golden age of political coverage, if such a thing ever existed. What
was it like when it was better? I can't really remember a time when it was much better than this?

JAY ROSEN: Well, I think there was a time when the political system decided what policy was, what
their stance was going to be, and then of course consulted their advisers about how to present it.

Today, as I think Lindsay Tanner suggested in his book Sideshow, which I have read, it's almost the
reverse of that. It is, what's going to work in the media is presented first and then figuring out
policies that you can announce that correspond to that comes after.

It is that sense that this crazy sort of mix of politics and news and manipulation and media and
journalism has overtaken the political system that I think we need to register and start dealing

TONY JONES: What if I said that political coverage is not broken, not the coverage at least -
there's just a hell of a lot more of it than there was before. You have to be very careful what you
read, what you watch and what you listen to.

JAY ROSEN: Well, one could certainly make that point, and it is true there's more information than
ever. There are more choices than ever. But political actors respond to the intensive systems that
are before them. I think what we have now is a situation where journalism isn't just representing
what political actors do, it is actually changing what they do. And there isn't really an exit from
that system no matter what channel you're watching or what news source you're consulting.

TONY JONES: I'm wondering if you're perspective is peculiarly US-centric; in other words, it
doesn't take into account the differences when there's an independent public broadcaster as there
is here in Australia or in Canada or in the UK, for example.

JAY ROSEN: Well, the strength of the ABC is certainly an advantage Australia has over the US, but
you tell me, Tony, do you not see any of these things happening in the Australian political system?

TONY JONES: We could do this by you asking me the questions, but it is probably better to do it the
other way around. Let me put that to you, though, an alternative theory. It is not coverage that's
broken, rather it is the politicians themselves that are broken and what's broken in them is their
ever-increasing use and reliance on spin.

JAY ROSEN: Well, that's true, they are doing that, and it is not just spin, it's focus groups, it's
consultants, the notion of the permanent campaign, as I said before - but I think we're mature
enough to recognise that political actors and the producers of news are interdependent at this

Ask yourself this: who would be the most likely actor in that system to be able to change? Who has
the most freedom of movement, the most freedom of manoeuvre? I would say it is the people in the
news media. They could change their game tomorrow if they wanted to, and I think we're at the point
where they ought to start thinking about doing that.

TONY JONES: Change their game in what way? It would be hard to imagine us changing our own game
here on this program dramatically. We do long interviews, we do probing interviews with
politicians. Hopefully we see through the spin. So what is it that you're suggesting should change?

JAY ROSEN: I think this is a very good program, that's why I'm so excited to be on it. I think you
do a good job.

What I mean by changing the game is first of all abandoning the fascination with "inside baseball"
as we call it in the United States, or the media manipulators, and begin to return to journalism as
a reality check.

A much heavier emphasis on fact-checking - calling out lies and distortions - would be a good start
- but I think too much of the political press has begun to look at the public and electorate
through the same eyes that professional operatives use when thinking of their next campaign.

I think this kind of fascination with the mechanics of political presentation, staging, media
narratives, appearing before the cameras and the arts of imagery - those kinds of things have
become kind of the mutual fascinations of the political class and the journalistic class.

Maybe you avoid a lot of that on your program, but I think within the press culture as a whole in
the United States and, according to Lindsay Tanner, in Australia, these values have begun to
overtake the depiction of the real.

TONY JONES: It's interesting you should say real. This is one of the key points. There's a growing
sense, I think in the public, politicians are appearing to be less real than they used to. In fact,
you hear politicians now say, "I'm going to be the real Julia Gillard", or "Now we're going to see
the real Tony Abbott", or whichever politician you're talking about.

There was a period in this golden age - I can remember 15, 20 years ago - politicians did appear to
be more real. They appeared to be saying what was on their mind rather than what was written out in
front of them in talking points.

JAY ROSEN: This is the end result of the kinds of changes I'm talking about, because politicians
have always tried to dress up their policies in the best appearance they could find, but what
happens if appearances begin to overtake policy itself?

Then I think you've reached an inflection point where we have to ask if our political system is
even capable of registering the real any more. I know in the United States we're beginning to reach
that point where things like denialism are becoming a part of our politics, where people are
becoming kind of hopeless that the political system can not only solve problems but recognise what
the reality is out there, and to change a system like that is going to take action on many
different levels ... but I would go back to what I said earlier, Tony, the people who have the most
freedom to manoeuvre and change what they're doing right now, in my view, are the journalists.

TONY JONES: To some degree that's what we're doing at the moments in discussing this.

We had a perfect example of this today with the leaking of the Government's Talking Points over the
Craig Thomson affair. This is a Labor MP who was caught up in a scandal over allegations he misused
his union credit card, in case you haven't caught up with it.

You can see misuse of funds and the inquiry - that's a matter for Fair Work Australia - that's what
you're supposed to say if you're a Labor politician. On the NSW ALP paying legal fees, well,
questions about that should be directed to the NSW Labor Party. Has the Prime Minister's office
been in touch with Mr Thomson lately? Well, as the PM said, her staff is always talking with Labor
MPs. Et cetera, et cetera.

So what you see is, every time these questions are asked of anybody, any MP, from a minister on
down, you get exactly the same answers. What causes this kind of poison or is this just very clever

JAY ROSEN: Well, it is management for sure. Whether it's clever will, I suppose, be foretold in
future events. But what that is is an attempt to minimise or eliminate all risk, but risk is part
of living fully.

It is part of trying to master the moment. It is part of being real, as you suggested earlier, so
what that really is an extension of the arts of control all the way through politics until there's
nothing left but control and leaked talking points, which then become the story built on top of the
story - which is what I meant by the fascination with media manipulation.

TONY JONES: Indeed. Is it your view that the public consciously or subconsciously are seeing
through this so the politician appear to them to be faked up?

JAY ROSEN: I think that's one reaction. I think the withdrawal of trust is another reaction, or a
third possible reaction is just boredom.

TONY JONES: You can say that again. You've got another catchphrase, what you call the quest for
innocence, or the production of innocence. Can you explain, first of all, what you mean by that,
because that pertains to journalists like myself who do interviews, for example.

JAY ROSEN: In the US the quest for innocence means continuously advertising that you're not on this
side or that side, you're not favouring the left and not favouring the right. You don't think
anyone has the better of the argument. Both sides are equally guilty of distorting the case. The
left says this, the right says this, you figure it out. Washing your hands of political disputes.
In presenting yourself as the sort calm and controlled moderator in the middle.

The need for journalists to continuously advertise their innocence is part of why they don't
intervene and try and tell us where reality is.

TONY JONES: Can I interrupt you there, because that's precisely what shock jocks do on radio. They
push their opinions all day. You wouldn't want someone in my position pushing opinions. What if I
were to substitute your phrase for "open-mindedness", for example.

JAY ROSEN: Well, what if you're declaring your open-mindedness about whether Barack Obama was born
in the United States or not? Right? That's not a matter of opinion. As Senator Daniel Moynihan
said, "You're entitled to your own opinion, you're not entitled to your own facts".

When political actors appear in the public stage and appear to be entitled to their own facts,
that's a point where journalists have to step in or they lose their authority.

TONY JONES: That's a particularly extreme case. What about in normal day to day political coverage?
For example, coverage of economic management where there are obviously competing philosophical
ideas, how do you that? You can't jump on one side or the other. You've got to keep an open mind,
otherwise, you'll miss something huge possibly.

JAY ROSEN: I agree entirely with that. But at the same time, while you're showing your open mind,
it is really important as well to make sure you communicate to the public what is known in this
situation. I think it is easy to lose sight of that when refereeing a fight.

TONY JONES: Isn't it really about the rigour, the intellectual rigour, with which you approach each
individual argument?

JAY ROSEN: That's another way to say it.

TONY JONES: If people are being rigorous but open minded you're happy with that?

JAY ROSEN: If they're being rigorous, open minded and reality-based, I'm happy with that

TONY JONES: Jay Rosen, we'll have to leave it there. It's fascinating talking to you. We don't have
these kind of discussions very often about ourselves. It is quite a good thing we do it from time
to time. We thank you very much for being there.

JAY ROSEN: Thanks for having me on.

Libyan rebels place bounty on Gaddafi's head

Libyan rebels place bounty on Gaddafi's head

Broadcast: 25/08/2011

Reporter: Karen Barlow

A bounty of $1 million has been placed on the head of Libya's Moamar Gaddafi as rebels purge
Tripoli of gunmen still loyal to the former dictator.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Libyan rebels are now bounty hunters in the search for the former Libyan
dictator Moamar Gaddafi.

A million dollar reward has been offered in the hope that one of his own will turn him in.

Streets of Tripoli are now the setting for both intense fighting and celebration as rebel forces
purge the capital of gunmen still loyal to Colonel Gaddafi.

Karen Barlow reports.

KAREN BARLOW, REPORTER: The party has started in Tripoli. In taking over Moamar Gaddafi's Tripoli
compound, the rebels are tasting victory.

But the fighting is nowhere near over. Gaddafi loyalists are fighting a rearguard action. Bodies
litter the streets and are being taken to Tripoli hospitals. With the help of NATO, the hunt for
Colonel Gaddafi and his sons is gathering pace. The rebels suspect their former leader is hiding
underground in a network of tunnels.

LIBYAN REBEL: I would think Gaddafi is here. There's a lot of tunnels, it's like impossible. He
built it for this day. You know, to stay running away from people, you know.

KAREN BARLOW: A $1 million bounty has been placed on the colonel's head. If he's not still in
Tripoli, it is expected Gaddafi is on his way to his home town of Sirte to the east of Libya.

AHMED BANI, SENIOR REBEL MILITARY SPOKESMAN: Now I think he's running between Sirte and
[inaudible]. He's somewhere around Sirte or [inaudible] I think. We will capture him anyway. We'll
take him directly to the court of course.

KAREN BARLOW: Families are being taken out of the Gaddafi compound. The rebels accuse his forces of
having used them as human shields.

LIBYAN REBEL II: Try to make good a plan. Tonight I'm going to attack the area and save the family
from there.

KAREN BARLOW: With street fighting raging, civilians are indoors and it remains a dangerous place
for the media.

On the road into the capital, four Italian journalists were captured and their driver shot. They
were later freed.

Better news for the 35 international journalists released from the Rixos Hotel. They were confined
by Gaddafi loyalists for days, believing the hotel was surrounded by snipers.

As the rebels advanced, Gaddafi prizes are revealed. This large tank storage facility has been
found at an airbase in the north east of the capital, while the spoils of power have been found at
the seaside villas of Colonel Gaddafi's children.

LIBYAN REBEL III: You see the place, you know, you see expensive things here. This is the problem.
This is why the revolution has happened.

KAREN BARLOW: And these tears of joy are the result.

Karen Barlow, Lateline.

Ukraine's opposition fears slide into authoritarianism

Ukraine's opposition fears slide into authoritarianism

Broadcast: 25/08/2011

Reporter: Norman Hermant

As Ukraine marks 20 years of post-Soviet independence there are growing protests over the trial of
former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: As Ukraine marks 20 years of post-Soviet independence many opposition
supporters fear the country is sliding backwards to wards authoritarianism.

There are protests over the trial of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, one of the co-leaders
of the Orange Revolution.

The case has galvanised Ukraine's opposition and threatening the government's European ambitions.

Norman Hermant reports from Kiev.

NORMAN HERMANT, REPORTER: To commemorate 20 years of post-Soviet independence, Ukraine's government
pulled out all the stops. But not everyone was celebrating. Thousands of opposition supporters were
marching into a wall of riot police as they protested the ongoing trial of former prime minister
Yulia Tymoshenko.

OPPOSITION SUPPORTER: It is not true process. It's because it is false. It is very big false.

NORMAN HERMANT: Yulia Tymoshenko was one of the leaders of the democratic Orange Revolution. She
has been on trial for more than two months and her supporters have occupied part of central Kiev
since she was jailed for contempt of court nearly three weeks ago.

She's accused not of personal enrichment, but rather of abuse of power for signing a natural gas
deal with Russia that wound up costing Ukraine $200 million.

As the trial goes on, the attention grows by the day, which has many asking, why would the
government of president Viktor Yanukovich push ahead with what is turning into a public relations

The answer, say Yulia Tymoshenko's allies, is simple.

SERGEY VLASENKO, PARLIAMENTARY DEPUTY: He's just the Soviet-minded guy, and he is maybe the
dictatorship-minded guy. He doesn't care about any European or worldwide attention to that case. He
need to take her out. That's his main goal.

NORMAN HERMANT: The opposition may not agree, but Viktor Yanukovich has shown he does care what
Europe thinks.

For much of the last year, Ukraine has surprised many by focusing on closer ties with the European
Union, and the foreign ministry admit this trial isn't helping Ukraine's reputation abroad. It says
this case has been misrepresented in the West and it shouldn't derail Ukraine's goal of moving
closer to and perhaps even joining the EU.

OLEG VOLOSHIN, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY: Whatever you think of one person and one process against
this particular person, it doesn't mean that the country should be deprived of a chance to join the
European Union.

NORMAN HERMANT: But there's no sign these charges and the political fallout are going away.

SERGEY VLASENKO: For Viktor Yanukovich, there is no way out. If the court will say that Yulia
Tymoshenko is not guilty after the conditions in which this court is held, it will be a political
defeat for Viktor Yanukovich.

If Yulia Tymoshenko will be put in jail, it will be a very [inaudible] situation for the rest of
the world, it is no way out. He'll lose face in both scenarios.

NORMAN HERMANT: For now the government is standing its ground, but the longer this goes on, the
more the pressure will build.

Norman Hermant, Lateline.

Indigenous disadvantage worsening: report

Indigenous disadvantage worsening: report

Broadcast: 25/08/2011

Reporter: Jane Bardon

The Productivity Commission has found a worsening of key indicators of Indigenous disadvantage
across the country despite a drop in mortality and less reliance on welfare.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: In Australia the Productivity Commission has reported that many of the key
indicators of Indigenous disadvantage across the country are getting worse.

It says there is been a drop in Indigenous mortality rates and less reliance on welfare, but as
Jane Bardon reports the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people is widening in health,
imprisonment and education.

JANE BARDON, REPORTER: Governments are trying to reduce Indigenous disadvantage with programs like
building new houses in the Northern Territory. The Productivity Commission has found the billions
of dollars spent are barely scratching the surface.

ROBERT FITZGERALD, PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSIONER: We have an enormous distance to go before we can
claim to be succeeding in closing the gaps in a lot of areas.

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER: There's so much to do, but you can see projects and plans around the
nation that are making a real difference.

JANE BARDON: The commission found improvements in Indigenous secondary school attainment and less
reliance on welfare, but not in the remote areas. It says domestic violence and child abuse are
increasing. And locking up more Aboriginal people isn't helping. The Opposition, however, is
advocating more tough love.

ANDREW LAMING, OPPOSITION INDIGENOUS HEALTH SPOKESMAN: We want to see the laws of attending school
applied everywhere. The law that if there's an appropriate level of training, or a job, you have to
take it.

JANE BARDON: Indigenous morality rates reduced slightly. But Indigenous hospitalisation rates for
preventable, acute and chronic conditions increased and the gap with other people widened.

PAUL BAUERT, AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION NT: Unless things are done to build capacity within the
communities for individuals and some communities as a whole, then in another 10 years we're not
going to see much improvement.

JANE BARDON: Indigenous organisations also want more investment in community-run programs.

WALTER SHAW, TANGENTYERE COUNCIL ALICE SPRINGS: In terms of moving into full time employment,
sending children to school, putting in skills that are necessarily for familiar less to function.

JANE BARDON: The Productivity Commission says Indigenous community leaders must be involved in
designing and evaluating programs.

Anti-dengue mosquito trial sets scientists abuzz

Anti-dengue mosquito trial sets scientists abuzz

Broadcast: 25/08/2011

Reporter: Lauren Day

Australian scientists have released thousands of specially bred mosquitoes in two locations in
northern Queensland in a trial to stop the spread of dengue fever.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Australian scientists are one step closer to stopping the spread of the
mosquito-borne illness dengue fever.

Earlier this year they unleashed thousands of specially-bred mosquitoes in two locations in
northern Queensland.

Results of the world-first study are being hailed as a major scientific breakthrough.

Lauren Day reports.

LAUREN DAY, REPORTER: For professors Scott Richie and Scott O'Neill the idea was an itch that just
wouldn't go away: to battle a virus that affects more than a third of the world's population.

SCOTT O'NEILL, MONASH UNIVERSITY: 2.5 billion people live in dengue transmission areas around the
world, and more than 50 to 100 million people get sick every year from dengue.

LAUREN DAY: Their research team found that infecting mosquitoes with a natural bacteria, Wolbachia,
reduced their ability to grow the dengue virus.

SCOTT O'NEILL: It's almost like a vaccine for the mosquito. Because the virus has to be transmitted
by the mosquito, if we can stop the mosquito getting dengue, we can stop it being transmitted.

LAUREN DAY: Earlier this year they released thousands of modified mozzies in two suburbs of Cairns,
and within months the bacteria had spread throughout the local insect population. The people who
signed up for the trial didn't mind sharing their homes for the sake of the project.

ALLAN CULLINGTON, TRIAL PARTICIPANT: I was quite confident that none of the mosquito they released
were going to cause me or my family any harm. I was quite okay with that.

LAUREN DAY: The results of the world first study have now been published in the scientific journal
Nature, and the researchers say they're thrilled.

SCOTT RITCHIE, JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY: At the very release, we suspect we're not going to have big
major epidemics any more. There might be small, smouldering outbreaks, instead of large, hundreds
and thousands of cases.

LAUREN DAY: Further trials are planned in Cairns as well as the virus hotspots of Thailand,
Vietnam, Indonesia and Brazil, where a simple mosquito bite can be deadly.

A quick look at the weather now. Sunny in Sydney and Darwin, partly cloudy Melbourne Perth and
Hobart, possible showers for Brisbane, northern frost and fog for Canberra. That's all from us. If
you'd like to lack back at tonight's be view with Jay Rosen or review any of the Lateline's
transcript you can visit our website and go to Twitter or FaceBook. Ali Moore will be back with you
tomorrow. I'll be back next week. Until then, good night.