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Lateline -

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Tonight -

Today, I have approved the remaining modules that are required for the that are required for the
environmental approval process for the pulp mill.

But opponents say they've only just begun to fight.

There will be increasing and I would say pulp mill were anybody foolish enough to fund it.

We've acknowledged there's people out there in the community that have strong views on this. We'd
also acknowledge there's a lot of people out there who want this project to go ahead, as well. This
Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening, welcome to Lateline, I'm Tony Jones. There's no doubt the Gillard Government has been
stung by criticism The Greens have far too much influence over policy in the minority arrangement.
In the past 24 hours, the Environment Minister has given the go-ahead to the controversial Gunns'
pulp mill and refused to renew the Heritage listing of the Tarkine wilderness in Tasmania. Is this
just a coincidence, or has Labor decided to draw a line in Greens? Shortly we'll be joined live by
the minister Tony Burke and the Deputy Leader of the Greens Christine Milne to debate both those
decisions and perhaps answer that big political question, as well. Calls for help - rebels struggle
to hold positions against Gaddafi's onslaught as NATO meets to discuss proposing a no-fly zone over
Libya. Italy's boat people people have sought refuge on a tiny island.

Pulp mill approval divides Tasmania

Pulp mill approval divides Tasmania

Broadcast: 10/03/2011

Reporter: Hamish Fitzsimmons

After seven years, timber giant Gunns has won Federal Government approval for its controversial
pulp mill in Tasmania's Tamar Valley.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Seven years after it was first proposed, the Federal Government has given
the go-ahead for timber giant Gunns to build its controversial pulp mill in Tasmania's Tamar

The company won the approval after it asked for extra environmental conditions to be imposed on the
project, a request the Environment Minister says is unprecedented.

But the Greens say it's not good enough and they vowed to continue the fight against the project.

Hamish Fitzsimmons reports.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS, REPORTER: The green light has been given for the $2.3 billion pulp mill on the
Tamar River.

TONY BURKE, ENVIRONMENT MINISTER: There are now tougher environmental conditions and they are not
simply a matter of trust, they are conditions for the development to go ahead.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Those conditions include using only plantation timbers and lower maximum
chlorine emissions.

Tony Burke says the Government agreed after Gunns asked for more stringent conditions to be added
to its application to build the mill.

TONY BURKE: I asked my department whether there was a precedent for a company actually coming to us
and saying, "We want tougher rules just so that you're enforcing the tougher environmental
conditions on us." The officials of my department know of no occasion where this has occurred

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Gunns agreed to the new conditions last week in return for conditional support
from major opponents of the mill like the Wilderness Society, a deal brokered by former ACTU chief
Bill Kelty.

GREG L'ESTRANGE, GUNNS, CEO: We acknowledge that there's some people out there in the community
that have strong views on this. We'd also acknowledge that there's a lot of people out there who
want this project to go ahead as well.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: But it's caused a rift amongst those once united in their opposition to the
mill, particularly the Greens, the Tasmanian Labor Government's coalition partner who dispute the
company's claim the mill won't pollute.

KIM BOOTH, TASMANIAN GREENS MP: There will be increasing and I would say massive protests against
this pulp mill were anybody foolish enough to fund it.

CHRISTINE MILNE, GREENS SENATOR: Gunns said it was going to build us a totally chlorine-free pulp
mill. So by its own definition, it has failed.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Among those who remain opposed to the mill is prominent businessman Geoff
Cousins, who's been negotiating with Gunns for better environmental outcomes for years. He believes
Gunns will be in for a tough ride unless it engages with the community in developing the new plan.

GEOFF COUSINS, BUSINESSMAN: If in fact they try to push ahead without giving the public a chance to
question all this and to hear the answers in some public forum, there will be enormous civil unrest
in Tasmania like nothing that's been seen since the Franklin Dam.

GREG L'ESTRANGE: Things like transparency, reference groups working with the community, we're up
for that and we'll be doing it.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: When it's built, the mill will churn out one million tonnes of pulp a year from
a site on the Tamar River next to an existing woodchip plant.

The project has been dogged by controversy and delays. The Wilderness Society had lobbied
international investors not to finance the project, now leaving it with Federal Government approval
but no major financial backer.

GREG L'ESTRANGE: We've had the two parties that we've been in discussions with, and those are

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Gunns has always insisted the mill will be world's-best environmental practice,
and last year the company cut ties with controversial former CEO John Gay in favour of a less
divisive head, Greg L'Estrange. Just after he took over last year, Mr L'Estrange told Lateline he
was keen to break with the company's past.

GREG L'ESTRANGE (2010): Communities have moved on as well and they expect greater engagement than
they perhaps have had in the past and we need to be in tune with that and I think there are good
foundation stones within the organisation that have been building up over a period of time that
will take us in that direction.

GEOFF COUSINS: I think he is trying to do that, but unfortunately he has the legacy of many people
before him who have simply misled the public time and time again.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: Gunns says over 3,000 people will get jobs during the mill's construction,
making it be one of the biggest employers in the state and an earner for governments.

GREG L'ESTRANGE: If you look at the project itself, between state and federal taxes on a net
present value this facility contributes over $800 million to state and federal reserves.

HAMISH FITZSIMMONS: The Greens are also furious the Federal Government has refused to extend
emergency heritage listing for Tasmania's Tarkine wilderness, fearing it leaves the door open to
mining in the area.

TONY BURKE: All the rules of national environmental significance remain in place for any proposals
for the Tarkine. The extra overlay of a heritage listing is something where the advice of my
department says the requirements of the act are not met.

Hamish Fitzsimmons, Lateline.

Milne: Pulp mill approval a corrupt process

Milne: Pulp mill approval a corrupt process

Broadcast: 10/03/2011

Reporter: Tony Jones

Federal Minister for the Environment Tony Burke and deputy Greens leader Senator Christine Milne
discuss the Gunns approval.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: To discuss today's decisions on the Gunns' pulp mill and the Tarkine
wilderness, I'm joined in the studio by the Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke, and from
Hobart by the Deputy Leader of the Greens, Senator Christine Milne.

Thanks to both of you for being there.


TONY JONES: Tony Burke, I'll start with you. The Tarkine decision, the pulp mill decision - two big
blows to the Greens in 24 hours. Is this part of a concerted effort to prove you're not in Bob
Brown's pocket?

TONY BURKE: The pulp mill decision's been scheduled for this time of 2011 since I think 2009. So in
terms of the timing of this decision, it was always going to be around this period.

TONY JONES: Around this period, but just happens to be in a week where you've suffered your worst
Newspoll in - well, in memory, and as well as that you've had criticism from all quarters that
you're far too close to the Greens.

TONY BURKE: Well, no, Tony, when I say "around this period" I can be precise: it was meant to be
exactly a week ago today, and just before we got to that date we had the request from Gunns for
tougher environmental conditions. I wanted those requests to go through due process, through to my
department and the independent expert groups. That meant it took another week. I said a week ago
the decision would be made today, and it was.

TONY JONES: So complete coincidence in both cases?

TONY BURKE: The Tarkine decision, I sought advice from my department on Tuesday of last week on
28th. That advice arrived in my office I think at the very beginning of this week and I dealt with
it this morning.

TONY JONES: OK, Christine Milne, do you accept that? That these are coincidental decisions, both of
which coincidentally are a big blow to the Greens in their heartland of Tasmania?

CHRISTINE MILNE, GREENS DEPUTY LEADER: I think the timing is coincidental, Tony, but I think this
is the Labor Party's default position. When it comes to a choice between protecting the environment
or having a bias towards development, whether it be mining in the Tarkine or the pulp mill, then
Labor's default position will be to overrule environmental concerns in favour of development and
that will merely reinforce the fact that the Greens mean what they say when they say they want to
protect the environment.

TONY JONES: OK. But you think neither of these decisions are political in their nature?

CHRISTINE MILNE: Well that's up to the Government to say whether they are overriding environmental
concerns just as payback to the Greens, or a bigger picture thing might be to ask where is Labor
when it comes to the environment? What are their credentials, what is their philosophy, given that
their whole strategy supposedly now is to try to win back some of the Green voters to the Labor
Party? That's their latest strategy, and these decisions certainly won't contribute to that.

TONY JONES: Tony Burke, strategically, are you shifting away from the Greens to have a broader
range of voters appeal to you?

TONY BURKE: I'm doing what my requirements are under the act. We've got some very specific
requirements on environmental approvals. I'm delivering on that.

At the same time, what we've had with the decision today is a very different approval to the pulp
mill that was the subject of the original application, very different. I don't agree with the
thesis that's just been put by Christine Milne about what the Tarkine decision means. And there's a
very major fight we're involved in in a moment with the Victorian Government over looking after
national parks.

In terms of the environment, our record is good, our record is strong, and in terms of
environmental approvals, I apply the law.

TONY JONES: Alright. Let's look at each of the decisions. We'll start with the pulp mill. Do you
think there's enough heat left in this, or have you taken the heat out of it so that there won't be
the massive protest movement that's been threatened?

TONY BURKE: If you look at the statements made by the major environmental groups this morning when
they knew that the decision was going to come today, they said at the very least you need to have
an elemental chlorine-free system. That is now a rule of the development. They said it should be
plantation timber, not native forestry.

Let's not forget, four years ago, at the heart of this debate was the loss of native forests in
Tasmania. Every single piece of timber that goes through this pulp mill will be from plantations.
It's a massive change and it's hard to build an argument that chopping down trees in plantations is
bad for the environment.

TONY JONES: Alright. Which environmental groups are you talking about, because The Greens clearly
are not on board over either of these issues?

TONY BURKE: Well, these demands were made by the Australian Conservation Foundation; similar
comments were made today by Environment Tasmania of demands for the decision. I'm not saying that
means they're signed up and enthusiastic about the pulp mill.

TONY JONES: Well you're making it sound like they are.

TONY BURKE: No, no. What I'm saying is there are demands that they said, "If these things are part
of it, Tony Burke should reject it." And what I'm saying is: those elements that they referred to
are no longer going to be part of any pulp mill in Bell Bay.

TONY JONES: Christine Milne, is the environmental movement split on this issue? Do some
environmentalists think this pulp mill, this version of it is OK and others, like The Greens for
example, do not?

CHRISTINE MILNE: No, in fact the first line of the press release that was put out by the combined
environment groups was calling on Minister Burke not to approve the project, to say that it doesn't
have a social licence to operate and that there are still considerable concerns about the marine
environment, for example.

But Tony, I can tell you that there is huge opposition to this in Tasmania, because you can't
change a project. And the minister himself has said it has changed dramatically from the 2004
proposal to where it is now.

You can't do that without re-submitting the project to the proper assessment, and this is the crux
of the problem: that there has never been a thorough and rigorous assessment of the project because
Paul Lennon, former Premier of Tasmania together with John Gay, managed to pull it out of the
proper assessment process, fast-track it through the Tasmanian Parliament, and as a result it has
lost public confidence and has no social licence.

TONY JONES: Alright. Briefly, will The Greens lead these "massive protests" if there are any? Will
you be protesting against the Federal Government's decision?

CHRISTINE MILNE: Well the Greens - Senator Brown and I made very clear today that we will be doing
everything we can in the Federal Parliament and our colleagues will be doing the same in the
Tasmanian Parliament to make sure that there is no federal or state government money going into
these projects and to make very clear to any potential joint venture party that we won't be a party
to federal or state funding to subsidise the mill and nor will we be supporting it.

We'll be out there supporting the community in opposing it, because this pulp mill should not be in
the Tamar Valley. There was never any rigorous assessment of the site. The environmental concerns
are just as valid today as they have ever been in terms of Bass Strait and in terms of the stench
from the mill and the inversion layer.

So what we have got here is a project that's been through a corrupt assessment process. The
Commonwealth had a tiny part of that, and that's Malcolm Turnbull's doing. The broad assessment of
the project is a failure and therefore it needs to go back to day one and start again.

TONY JONES: Tony Burke, why not? Why shouldn't it go back to day one and start again as The Greens
are demanding, pretty much?

TONY BURKE: Well, the situation where you can change a project after an assessment has been put
forward is if you want to improve the environmental outcome. And what happened last week is very
unusual, and my officials can't think of any time that it's happened before, where a company
voluntarily comes forward and says, "We intend to use much better practice - environmental
practices and we want you to enforce them."

Now, let's not be naive about some of the context of why they've done that. This issue that
Christine ...

TONY JONES: What was the context? That they needed your support?

TONY BURKE: No, no, not that. The issues that Christine raises about social licence are true. It is
true that there has been a significant loss of trust before you had the regime change within the
company with that local community.

TONY JONES: And why would that miraculously appear now just because the company has conceded some
of the points, and only some of them?

TONY BURKE: But that's exactly why I presume the company said, "We want you to enforce the
conditions." So there's no argument what if the board changes? What if they change their mind? You
can never use (inaudible) ...

TONY JONES: Yes, but have you decided as a minister there now is a social licence simply because
they've agreed to some of the conditions that the environmentalists, or some of the
environmentalists, demanded?

TONY BURKE: No, I'm the Environment Minister; I'm not in charge of gauging social licence at a
community level. That's something that the company has to hear those concerns and take on
themselves. That's not part of an environmental approval, and I don't take issue with what
Christine's raised in those terms about the importance of working with the community.

TONY JONES: Christine Milne, are The Greens angry enough about this that it could threaten the
working relationship with the Federal Government in Parliament?

CHRISTINE MILNE: Oh, look, the Greens are going to fight this project as much as we possibly can
through the Parliament and with the community. We have a good working ...

TONY JONES: But you hear what I'm saying. I'm talking about the relationship you have, the
so-called Green-Labor alliance that's operating in Parliament, a controversial alliance at that.
Are you - is it under any threat as a result of this decision?

CHRISTINE MILNE: Tony, we are working in a shared power arrangement in Australia where no one party
has all the power and everybody works in various combinations to try and advance things that they
believe in and we'll continue to do that, Tony, and I'm sure that that is what people who voted for
all of us expect us to do.

But that doesn't mean to say that we're in any way going to back off our concerns about this pulp
mill and we'll be making it very clear to the Federal Government that we will not support money
going into this project.

But also, I think that the Federal Government really needs to acknowledge that they had a small
part in this approvals process because Malcolm Turnbull defined it accordingly. Issues like air
pollution and the stench from the mill were not something that the Federal Government approved.
That was through the corrupted process in Tasmania and that is something the community is going to
have to live with if this mill proceeds, and that is a major issue for people in the Tamar Valley
who do not want it there, as indeed is the assessment of the site. Because I don't believe Gunns
ever did a proper assessment of the site.

TONY JONES: Alright. I'm going to move on because I want to get a response from Tony Burke and I
want to move on to the Tarkine decision while we still have some time. One critical thing you
mentioned before: only plantation timber can be used in the mill. What's to stop a new government
changing that decision once the mill is up and running?

TONY BURKE: There's one part today where I rejected the advice of my department. There's one clause
which has become a standard clause over recent years, which is that we allow companies to come back
to us at any point and vary conditions. And I was given advice to include that.

I rejected that advice and put in a changed condition that if the company ever wants to come back
to us, they can only do so if the change involves an equivalent or improved environmental outcome.
There's not a single step backwards from the environmental standards put in place today.

TONY JONES: Unless someone changed the legislation.

TONY BURKE: Well ...

TONY JONES: A future government.

TONY BURKE: You're talking about a future government changing legislation or someone changing a
constitution or something like that.

TONY JONES: Not the constitution, it's just legislation.

TONY BURKE: It's legislation that you have to get through a senate.

TONY JONES: So once the bill's up and running, a future government could come along and change the
whole equation and allow them to use forest timber?

TONY BURKE: Oh, Tony, if absolutely everything changes then something like you've described could
change, but, I mean, let's be serious. You're talking about something to get through a senate. If
you think had there been an Abbott Government that won the last election, look at what the
complexion of what the Senate would have been, would it have changed like that had got through? The
answer's no.

TONY JONES: Christine Milne, we've got a little time, let's talk about the Tarkine decision. Which
decision are you angrier about, actually: the pulp mill or the decision to not allow the heritage
listing of the Tarkine?

CHRISTINE MILNE: Well, both are highly significant, because the Tarkine is a magnificent wilderness
area, it's got world heritage values and I'd like to actually put to the minister whether he hasn't
got a report in his department saying that in fact it has world heritage values.

But it is a magnificent area of temperate rainforest with world class caste systems and
archaeological history, and it's terribly important that that is protected and not eaten away by
mining licences. That is one issue, but at the same time, we do not want to see the Tamar Valley
polluted by this pulp mill that is being proposed, and as I said, could change anytime and did
change in 2007 with the approvals process.

They're both bad decisions for different reasons and they both significantly impact on the future
of Tasmania, because we want to see this state prosper as clean, green and clever with all those
industries, not the old industries.

TONY JONES: OK. Alright, fair enough. Tony Burke, do you have a report saying the - it should be
world heritage listed, the Tarkine Valley, or have you rejected that report?

TONY BURKE: Look, there's been a report from the National Heritage Committee recommending national
heritage listing for the Tarkine. I received that together with advice from my department
recommending that there be more consultation. Now, given the discussion we've just had about the
Bell Bay decision, I think when you get advice saying more consultation and engagement with the
community is required, you do that.

TONY JONES: So you're not ruling out world heritage listing sometime down the track?

TONY BURKE: Heritage listing - all I've asked for is more consultation. Now, the additional ...

TONY JONES: Would you favour - given that you've got a report saying it should be listed, would you
favour listing it if the consultation process indicates that?

TONY BURKE: I don't want to undermine the consultation, but certainly I'm allowing the process to
go ahead. You do that when you are open to a heritage listing; that's why you do it.

TONY JONES: Alright, so go ahead.

TONY BURKE: If I may. Christine's referred to my rejection of bringing back in a new emergency
heritage listing in the context of mining. What Christine has described there is factually not what
that decision I made was.

The advice I had from the department had to answer this question: if I were to make an emergency
heritage listing, given the values and the boundaries that had been recommended, would that make
any difference to the mining applications that were in front of me? The answer was no.

So the reason there's no emergency listing is simply because if you put one in place, the advice
is, given the boundaries and the values for these particular applications, it would not make any
difference. A national heritage listing would not stop those applications, but, they still have to
get through the environmental hurdles.

TONY JONES: Alright. We're nearly out of time. I'm going to just go to Christine Milne for a
response to that and also what you've heard, which is the consultation process on heritage listing

CHRISTINE MILNE: Well we've been having this area assessed and reassessed since 2004. The minister
could have gone to the listing from the Australian Heritage Committee at the time he got it. He
chose not to. He chose to let the emergency listing lapse. He's chosen not to relist an emergency
listing, as indeed he could have and chose not to.

In my view, ongoing consultation is taking no personal responsibility for a decision which will
have a cumulative effect of at least three mining proposals that are in the pipeline for this area.
So it gets serious.

TONY BURKE: It won't affect them, Christine. It won't affect them.

CHRISTINE MILNE: Well, the department has said it could have a significant impact on threatened
species for example, but my point is three mining applications, cumulative impact and your own
brief from your own department has said to you that it will infringe the aesthetic value that is
listed in the heritage report. But I seriously want to know - the question is: do you have a world
heritage. We know you've got the Australian heritage committee listing; do you have a world
heritage report there and will you make it public?

TONY BURKE: Oh, look, on the brief that I've looked at of late is the national heritage listing
one, I'm not going to jump at an answer before I've actually had a look at that particular ...

TONY JONES: So you don't know if you've got a world heritage listing report?

TONY BURKE: There's a series of reports on these issues.

TONY JONES: Yes, but do you know if you've got a world heritage listing report?

TONY BURKE: No, no, on that one, I don't know the answer to that right now.

TONY JONES: Sounds like you'd better find out and go back and report to Christine Milne as to
whether you've got on in your little (inaudible).

TONY BURKE: But, I mean, realistically - yeah. But you're not going to put a world heritage listing
forward before you've dealt with national heritage.

TONY JONES: OK, we have to leave it there. Thanks to both of you for joining us. Tony Burke,
Christine Milne in Hobart.

TONY BURKE: Thanks, Tony. Thanks, Christine.


Garnaut: Climate change will be worse than expected

Garnaut: Climate change will be worse than expected

Broadcast: 10/03/2011

Reporter: Tom Iggulden

Senior government advisor on climate change Ross Garnaut says the likely scale of weather upsets
has been underestimated.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: As Professor Ross Garnaut said today, the argument about climate change is
becoming less and less about the science and more and more about politics.

The Government needs the support of key independents to pass its carbon tax legislation.

Today, Regional Development Minister Simon Crean opened a new health training centre, but not just
any training centre; it's in the town of Taree, in the middle of independent MP Rob Oakeshott's
electorate, where his support for the Government's carbon tax is facing stiff opposition.

Political correspondent Tom Iggulden has more.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: If recent polls show public opinion about the carbon tax heading down, the
science has scholarly concern about climate change heading in the opposite direction.

The Government's top climate change expert released a review today showing most scientific
indicators were pointing to a greater impact from climate change than the IPCC report of 2007

ROSS GARNAUT, CLIMATE CHANGE ADVISOR: A lot of the world's path-breaking work on Antarctica is done
not far from here. And that work is showing that sea level rise will be well above the levels - the
range indicated in the IPCC report.

TOM IGGULDEN: For an economist like Professor Garnaut, that should logically lead to increased
concern from the general public, not the swing against climate change action pollsters say is
actually happening.

ROSS GARNAUT: But it's an important question why it seems that in Australia, the United States and
some European countries confidence in the science has diminished. One must presume as an issue
moves from something of purely scientific interest into the subject of political debate and
dispute, there's a whole lot of communications come into play that aren't actually about the

TOM IGGULDEN: And on the shores of the mid-north coast of New South Wales today, an illustration of
that point.

In the NSW town of Taree, Simon Crean opens a small nurses training centre, seemingly unrelated to
climate change.

SIMON CREAN, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT MINISTER: Pleasure to be here with Rob because this is a
demonstration of what he's been arguing for some time since he's been in the Parliament: the
importance of bringing skills to the region.

TOM IGGULDEN: The local member, Rob Oakeshott, is a key supporter of the Government's carbon tax,
but his traditionally conservative electorate isn't as hot on the idea.

VOX POP (2010): Yeah, I was a bit disappointed that he actually, um, went Labor, because his
electorate wanted the Coalition.

TOM IGGULDEN: And so to bring them around, he's got to prove to voters his support for the
Government will be accompanied by real benefits for his electorate.

ROB OAKESHOTT, INDEPENDENT MP: They really appreciate that you're spending the morning with us, and
hopefully we can get that chequebook out of his back pocket and get some money out of him as well.

TOM IGGULDEN: Mr Oakeshott's naked grab for largesse puts the Government in a difficult position.
With a billion dollar Regional Australia Fund to be spread around the bush, any implication that
Simon Crean is pork-barrelling Mr Oakeshott's electorate could cost the Government support in other
regional seats.

SIMON CREAN: Well, that's nonsense. The funding package that's been put aside will go to - will be
available for all RDAs. Pork barrelling, quite frankly, was the role that the previous government
perfected as an artform.

ROB OAKESHOTT: My job is to shamelessly lobby for and advocate for my area and that is what I will

TOM IGGULDEN: But it's not just the Government that's been sending frontbenchers to the seat of
Lyne. Joe Hockey was there a couple of weeks ago for the Opposition, fanning local discontent
toward Mr Oakeshott.

The Nationals held the seat for 60 years before Mr Oakeshott won it from them and the Coalition
wants it back, a move that would take Tony Abbott one step closer to The Lodge and move the carbon
tax one step closer to extinction.

Tom Iggulden, Lateline.

France recognises rebels as Libya's government

France recognises rebels as Libya's government

Broadcast: 10/03/2011

Reporter: Anne Barker

France has officially recognised the Libyan opposition's National Council as the country's only
legitimate representative.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: France has officially recognised the Libyan opposition's national council as
the country's only legitimate representation.

The decision was announced after French president Nicolas Sarkozy met with officials from the
council in Paris just a short time ago.

The recognition is a boost for the Libyan rebels, who've repeatedly called for a no-fly zone over
the country, something NATO and the EU will discuss in talks about to begin in Brussels.

Meanwhile in Libya, forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi have resumed their bombardment of the two rebel
strongholds of Ras Lanuf and Zawiyah.

Middle East correspondent Anne Barker reports.

ANNE BARKER, REPORTER: Libya is at war with itself. This is the front line between rebel fighters
and Colonel Gaddafi's forces in Libya's east. Rebel fighters fire rockets on dug-in Government
troops, but they're pushed back.

During the exchanges of fire, one of the key facilities the two sides are fighting for in Ras
Lanuf, the oil terminal, was hit, sending plumes of dark black smoke into the air. Each side
accuses the other of blowing up the facility.

It's not the only part of Libya where Moamar Gaddafi's forces appear to have the upper hand.

Libyan state television has broadcast these pictures of Zawiyah showing Government soldiers who
claim to have driven the rebels out of the town after a four-day offensive.

There are reports large parts of this key western city have been destroyed and at least 40 people
killed, although a rebel in Zawiyah later told the Reuters newsagency that opposition forces have
initially pulled back from the town's main square, but have now reclaimed it.

Both claims are difficult to verify, with Western media being kept well away from Zawiyah, and
those who try to go there do so at great risk. On the outskirts of Zawiyah, a team from the BBC's
Arabic service was detained and beaten by Government forces and subjected to what they claim were
mock executions.

FERAS KILLANI, BBC ARABIC CORRESPONDENT: Get out of the car. One of the guys, soldiers he hit me by
his gun, it's Kalashnikov, on my back. I dropped on the ground. And then they asked me to put my
hands behind my head and then I start hear this machine, this gun machine.

JOURNALIST: When they're cocking the weapon?

FERAS KILLANI: Yeah, exactly, and I feel it's just behind me. At this moment I felt that it's just
minutes and they would shoot me.

ANNE BARKER: The journalists say they were taken to a Government detention centre and described the
brutality meted out to the captured civilians and rebel fighters held there.

GOKTAY KORALTAN, CAMERAMAN: Most of them, they're hooded and handcuffed really tightly, all swollen
hands, broken ribs. They were in agony. They were screaming.

ANNE BARKER: As the violence inside Libya continues, so too does the international debate over the
introduction of a no-fly zone. Today NATO and the European Union begin talks on the issue, although
the NATO head is playing down the prospect of the West getting involved.

ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL: NATO is not looking to intervene in Libya, but we
have asked our military to conduct the necessary planning for all eventualities.

ANNE BARKER: With the rebels already struggling to hold their positions it's a cautious note which
offers no encouragement.

Anne Barker, Lateline.

Italy braces for 'biblical style exodus' from Africa

Italy braces for 'biblical style exodus' from Africa

Broadcast: 10/03/2011

Reporter: Emma Alberici

The Italian government is bracing itself for a rush of immigrants form north Africa as violence
grows in Libya.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: In an interview with a French newspaper, Colonel Gaddafi has issued a
warning to Europe that it will be invaded by Libyans should his regime be toppled.

The Italian Government is bracing itself for what it's described as a biblical-style exodus of
North African immigrants using Italy as their transit point.

The tiny Italian town of Lampedusa off the Sicilian coast is already overwhelmed by arrivals who
are risking their lives by fleeing Tunisia in small boats.

More than 8,000 have landed on Lampedusa in the past three weeks, as our Europe correspondent Emma
Alberici reports.

CONO GALIPO, LAMPEDUSA REFUGEE CENTRE DIRECTOR (voiceover translation): When they arrive here, we
give them a pair of trousers, a shirt, a jumper, hygiene products, they get a phone card and even
10 cigarettes. They get everything they need to maintain a certain level of personal dignity.

EMMA ALBERICI, REPORTER: The holding centre on Lampedusa sleeps 850 people. Cono Galipo, the
director of the facility, tells us there are currently 1,400 people preparing to bunker down here

CONO GALIPO (voiceover translation): Yes, we're overcrowded, but so far the situation is under

EMMA ALBERICI: There are no detention centres in Italy. In places like this, people can come and go
as they please.

Most, like 25-year-old Aram Akremi, will end up in France. He has a diploma in art and photography
and he owned his own studio in Tunisia, but in January it was torched by rebels. He says corrupt
officials refused to recognise his insurance claim, so he saw no option but to flee.

ARAMA AKREMI, TUNISIAN ASYLUM SEEKER (voiceover translation): Our boat was in difficulty. The
engine had stalled and we spent 22 hours stranded at sea. A friend from Tunisia sent a mechanic to
help us, but while we waited it was very hard. We were very scared. It felt like we were staring at
death. We could see nothing else.

EMMA ALBERICI: Tunisia is a former French colony. While its people are landing in Italy, for most
it's just a transit point as they make their way to France, where they can speak the language.

CONCETTA SALZANO, INT. ORG. FOR MIGRATION: Many Tunisian, that they pass the border between France
and - Italy and France and they're stopped by French police and there they are being transferred to
a detention centre.

EMMA ALBERICI: For the past three weeks there have been a steady flow of boats coming to Lampedusa
from Tunisia. Since the collapse of Bengalese government, close to 9,000 people have made the
perilous journey here.

What did it feel like when you got off the boat?

TINA ROTHKAM, BOAT ARRIVAL: I liked to kiss the ground, but there was too much people and there was
no time for it, you know.

EMMA ALBERICI: Tina Rothkam and her eight-year-old daughter Emiri are German, not illegal
immigrants or asylum seekers. They're both citizens of the European Union. But last night they
jumped on a boat and took a 24-hour trip across the sea to reach Italy. She has full custody of her
daughter, but claims that her estranged husband in Tunisia is violent and would not allow her to
leave freely.

TINA ROTHKAM: Her father is a doctor in Jabba. He have a very much influence on the police. The
police take her passport, which is not allowed, and we had big trouble years to get a new passport
and now we got a new passport in Tunis and - three weeks ago, and so we had the chance to do this
and we got by illegal way, but we are legal in Italy. She is legal. She have all the papers she

EMMA ALBERICI: The Guardia di Finanza is Italy's customs police and border control agency. They're
part of a civil service cavalcade that has arrived on Lampedusa to deal with what the Italian
Government has declared as a state of emergency.

STEFANO BASTONI, ITALIAN CUSTOMS POLICE: When the weather is good and the face of the sea is
playing many, many boats coming from North Africa, and we have to do a really hard job to catch
them all.

EMMA ALBERICI: Lieutenant Colonel Stefano Bastoni is preparing his crew for their daily
reconnaissance flight to establish how many boats are attempting to cross into Italian waters and
whether a search and rescue team should be dispatched to help.

And it's big business for the traffickers?

STEFANO BASTONI: Yes, very big business, because they take more than 1,000 euros for a single
person. So, 1,000 or 1,500. So you can imagine for a boat of 100 or 200 people, so a very big
business, yeah.

EMMA ALBERICI: While we're filming at the centre, a young Tunisian man is rushed to hospital after
an attempted suicide.

This centre has only just reopened after having been closed for nearly two years. There simply
weren't any boats coming from North Africa after a deal struck between Silvio Berlusconi and Moamar
Gaddafi which involved Rome handing over $5 billion to Tripoli. As part of the deal, Italy became
Libya's biggest trading partner. Just two weeks ago when the Italian PM was asked whether he'd
spoken to his dear friend Moammar Gaddafi, Silvio Berlusconi said, "He didn't want to disturb him."

The longest pipeline in the Mediterranean links Libya and Italy, feeding Italy with 30 per cent of
its oil needs and 10 per cent of its gas. For the Italian Government, seizing Libyan assets is a
tricky business. Colonel Gaddafi owns stakes in the country's biggest bank as well as seven per
cent of the Juventus soccer club. The central bank governor in Rome has warned that the unrest in
Libya will slow growth in Italy's already near-stagnant economy.

Emma Alberici, Lateline.

Dalai Lama resigns from secular leadership

Dalai Lama resigns from secular leadership

Broadcast: 10/03/2011


Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has announced he will step down as a political leader of
the Tibetan government in exile.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The Dalai Lama has announced he's bowing out of politics in favour of an
elected representative from the Tibetan Government in exile.

The Tibetan leader says it's a long-planned change, to both the tradition of reincarnation and the
constitution, that's in the best interests of his people.

The move is seen as an attempt to modernise the Tibetan leadership and to ensure there's no gap in
succession as it pushes for autonomy from China.

China has accused the Dalai Lama of playing tricks.

QIANGBA PUNCOG, AUTONOMOUS REGIONS COMMITTEE (voiceover translation): In terms of political
influence, he has none. So whether he steps down or dies, there'll be no effect on the situation in

TONY JONES: The Dalai Lama has been criticised by some younger Tibetans who want to see a more
muscular approach to China. He says he wants to hand over to a leader freely elected by the exiled
Tibetan community.

If you'd like to look back at tonight's debate or review Lateline's stories or transcripts you can
visit our website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Ali Moore will be here tomorrow. See you
next week. Goodnight.