Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts.These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Lateline -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

Tonight - a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. There was no debate.

I'm here in case he I'm here in case he changes his mind.

So it was left to Julia Gillard once again to xorsize the ghost of Kevin Rudd.

Now you laud Kevin Rudd as a great achiever and expect the people of Australia to vote your party
back in for another three years. Do three years. Do you feel like a hypocrite?

Meanwhile, Tony Abbott was haunted by ghosts of his own .

My question is because there's a lot of confusion and media coverage about it, I just really want
to know have you actually hung up your shovel in this area of WorkChoices, is it a dead and buried

This Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening, welcome to Lateline, I'm Tony Jones. Back now to the joke-free zone of an election
campaign in its final days. Tonight we focus on one very very clear policy difference between Labor
and the Coalition - their respective visions for Australia's digital future. Shortly the national
broadband debate we had to have. Is the NBN critical infrastructure investment, the Snowy
investment, the Snowy River scheme for the digital age, or will it be a $43 billion white elephant?
Shortly we'll be joined live by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy,
Stephen Conroy and the man who's driving the Opposition's policy Tony Smith. That's coming up. Also
tonight - a special Lateline report on the rivers of grog in Alice Springs, and the businesses that
are still making a killing.

Gillard given the win in round two

Gillard given the win in round two

Broadcast: 18/08/2010

Reporter: Nick Harmsen

Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott didn't face each other, but were both grilled by a feisty Brisbane


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: It wasn't a debate, but it was feisty nonetheless.

Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott have fronted a public forum of voters for the second time in a week.

This time the venue was Brisbane, where Kevin Rudd's axing prompted a flurry of questions to the
Prime Minister.

While both leaders were quizzed on the economy, Labor accused Tony Abbott of ducking scrutiny on
his policy costings, which were released an hour before the event.

The audience who were polled after the forum awarded Gillard a narrow win of 83 to 75.

From Canberra, Nick Harmsen reports.

NICK HARMSEN, REPORTER: From Rooty Hill to Red Hill, Julia Gillard rocked up early for round two
ready to rumble.

JULIA GILLARD, PRIME MINISTER: I'm here in case he changes his mind, but Mr Abbott is ducking a

NICK HARMSEN: There was no squaring off between leaders, just a public grilling for both.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: You've avoided an economic debate with Julia Gillard, you didn't appear at your
own broadband announcement.

AUDIENCE MEMBER II: Most of us don't trust either of you. Given that, do you still think it's a
really great idea to introduce a net filter?

AUDIENCE MEMBER III: And now you laud Kevin Rudd as a great achiever and expect the people of
Australia to vote your party back in for another three years. Do you feel like a hypocrite?

JULIA GILLARD: Thank you for the question and I like it when people are upfront. I think that's

NICK HARMSEN: In the former prime minister's hometown, the locals didn't hold back.

AUDIENCE MEMBER IV: Why weren't all Australians given the right at a democratic election to
determine whether they wanted to support Mr Rudd?

JULIA GILLARD: If Kevin were here tonight, what he would be saying to this audience is that he's
come off a sickbed to campaign for the re-election of my government.

NICK HARMSEN: This time both leaders took the floor rather than the stage, eager to demonstrate
they understand the cost of living.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: There is no magic wand, I've gotta say. I'd like to be able to come
in and tell you that I could make all of that pain disappear. But the best thing we can do is try
to avoid making it worse by putting big new taxes on things.

NICK HARMSEN: Austerity was the focus of the day. Julia Gillard pledged money to help children

JULIA GILLARD: I want kids in school to understand the benefits of savings. I want them to
understand what it's like to have a mortgage and how you pay down debt.

NICK HARMSEN: The Coalition promised to drive down government debt. It released its campaign
costings reviewed by private accountants, pointing to $30 billion less debt in 2014.

JOE HOCKEY, SHADOW TREASURER: We have undertaken the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken by
an Opposition in an election campaign in Australia's political history.

NICK HARMSEN: The Coalition is also promising bigger surpluses - $11.5 billion over the next four
years. The figures are predicated on $50 billion worth of savings, including $10 billion announced

ANDREW ROBB, OPPOSITION FINANCE SPOKESMAN: It is responsible, it is doable and it will not touch

NICK HARMSEN: But the document also raises questions. The Coalition has listed the closure of the
Christmas Island detention centre as a saving, but it hasn't counted an offshore centre on Nauru as
a cost. A spokesman says that would be paid for out of the existing border security budget.

WAYNE SWAN, TREASURER: We've had this Inspector Clouseau routine, the "dog ate my homework" excuse.
The only way to get to the bottom of this is for these policies to be submitted to the Treasury and
financed, something they have refused to do.

ANDREW ROBB: This is more spin. If they really want to compare our performance with theirs, turn up
with a document like this and answer the questions about the assumption and the veracity of their
own calculations.

NICK HARMSEN: Labor was only too happy to point out that Tony Abbott wasn't there to answer

JULIA GILLARD: You can't be prime minister and go missing when the big judgments on the economy
need to be made.

TONY ABBOTT: It's only fair and reasonable that I should leave these important financial
announcements to my financial and economics spokesman.

NICK HARMSEN: An approach taken by Kevin Rudd in 2007.

WAYNE SWAN: We certainly had a costings release in the last campaign.

JOURNALIST: And was he present?

WAYNE SWAN: I couldn't tell you who was there.

NICK HARMSEN: And just like the last campaign, an 11th hour costing debate is sure to follow.

Nick Harmsen, Lateline.

Conroy, Smith debate NBN

Conroy, Smith debate NBN

Broadcast: 18/08/2010

Reporter: Tony Jones

Labor's Stephen Conroy and the Coalition's Tony Smith join Lateline to debate Australia's digital


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: In tonight's forum in Brisbane, the Prime Minister Julia Gillard again
trumpeted the Government's investment in the National Broadband Network.

But the Opposition says the NBN's a white elephant and has put up a much cheaper option. So who's
best to lead Australia's digital future?

To debate their party's broadband policies, we're joined live from Perth by the Minister for
Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy and from Melbourne by the
Opposition Minister for the same portfolio, Tony Smith.

Thanks for both of you for being there.

TONY SMITH, OPPOSITION COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER: Good evening, Tony. Good evening, Stephen.


TONY JONES: Stephen Conroy, we'll start with you. And can you explain for us first of all why
Australia needs to spend $43 billion, if it ends at that, with a cost per head of population that's
vastly higher than what's being spent in governments on broadband in the US, in Europe and in

STEPHEN CONROY: Well Australia has been falling behind our international competitors for the last
12 years. Australians pay some of the most expensive and have some of the slowest broadband in the
OECD nations, the developed nations. And small businesses in Australia pay almost the third highest
broadband costs in the OECD.

All over Australia, as I've travelled, Australians are crying out for a genuine improvement in
their broadband. And what Labor is offering is the best possible available technology, the best
possible combinations of technology - satellite, wireless and fibre to the home - so that every
single Australian can get access to genuine broadband.

It's not an argument about can we afford to build the National Broadband Network, Tony; it's
whether or not we can afford not to build it. Our competitors are building fibre networks; we are
falling further and further behind.

TONY JONES: Just on that question of cost before I go to Tony Smith: is it true, as your critics
argue, that the cost per head of population of this broadband scheme of yours is more than $2,000?

STEPHEN CONROY: Well, the - that's a cost that's based on a one-off time. This is an investment in
an asset that goes between 30 and 50 years. So when you take that into account, that it's actually
a cost for an asset over all of that time period, Tony, you find that cost becomes absolutely
minuscule compared to the benefits that all Australians will get by turbo-charging competition and
by boosting our productivity and unleashing Australian innovation.

TONY JONES: Alright. Let's go to Tony Smith, because you've gone for the much cheaper option. Why's

TONY SMITH: Well we wanted to deliver something that was responsible, affordable and deliverable.
And I noticed Stephen conveniently would not mention the figure.

It is $2,000 for every man, woman and child for Labor's reckless $43 billion NBN. It amounts to
about $5,000 for every household.

This is a $43 billion debt plunge and that is to build it, and that is the minimum cost. That is,
Tony, if everything goes right over an eight-year period. That is if every duck lines up, nothing
goes wrong.

I mean, at the peak of this they're connecting 4,000 houses a day, and that's why industry analysts
have pointed out this is an incredible spend by government by world standards. There's nothing
comparable to this level of government intervention. And that $43 billion, that is just the
starting point.

As one analyst pointed out just a couple of weeks ago, it would not be unusual to see a blowout of
50 to 100 per cent in the cost of building the network. And of course for every delay, there's more
taxpayers' dollars involved. And the other point Stephen conveniently forgets to mention ...

TONY JONES: Well, actually - shall we just deal with that point first about the - shall we just
deal with the cost first of all? Stephen Conroy, you've heard this now many times. I mean, people
saying the cost of your network is gonna blow out possibly to $100 billion. I mean, can you
guarantee that it won't?

STEPHEN CONROY: We actually haven't heard this many times. We've got one analyst that Tony and Tony
Abbott like to try and claim. Let's be clear about this: we've delivered an NBN to Tasmanians ...

TONY SMITH: Well I heard him on ABC Radio. I heard his own words.

STEPHEN CONROY: Yeah - we, ah - thanks, Tony. We have delivered the Tasmanian project where we've
got live services to people in Tasmania now on time and 10 per cent under budget. We are delivering
the 6,000 kilometres of backbone that we're got underway at the moment on time and on budget.

The industry at large believes that this can be delivered for less than $43 billion, and
importantly, the recent deal we reached with Telstra reduced the cost of the NBN. Industry experts,
none of them associated with the NBN, have all argued that the savings to NBN is somewhere in the
$4 to $6 billion region.

So Tony continues to just grab one person and try and suggest that he represents the industry view.
He is far from the industry view and the industry believes this is deliverable within the budgeting
envelope that we've put in place.

TONY JONES: A very quick answer to this one, Stephen Conroy: can you guarantee that if things start
to go wrong with this infrastructure project as they've gone wrong with other infrastructure
projects, that no extra public money will be put in your budgeting for $26 or $27 billion of public
money, that no extra public money will go in; can you guarantee that?

STEPHEN CONROY: Well, as we said, we have delivered the Tasmanian part of this leg so far under

But what is important to understand is that this is a project that replicates itself. It's the same
project being done all over the country. So where there is a process that you're going through in
each different locality, you learn from that, you find the best methods that have worked in all of
those localities and you take that information and you take it into all of the future parts of the

So this is in actual fact a process that locks itself into finding the best methods each time as we
roll out across Australia and reducing the costs. We are under budget on the build so far.

We've got some of the world's leading experts in technology, in rolling out this network. And Tony
mentioned the 4,000 to 5,000 people - homes that we have to connect per day; that's exactly what
Mike Quigley used to do in the United States when he rolled out networks in the United States.

TONY JONES: Alright, alright. Well we've talked about the costing, we've talked about the timing.
Tony Smith, let's talk about your broadband plan. It's costed at $6 billion.

TONY SMITH: $6.3 billion.

TONY JONES: $6.3 billion. Many experts say it'll be vastly inferior in terms of speed and risk
becoming redundant in just a few years. How can you guarantee it won't?

TONY SMITH: Well, look, what we're trying to do is ensure that we put down the platform and unleash
competition and we deal with the blackspots.

Now let me just go through just very quickly the key elements.

We are spending $2.75 billion on fibre optic backbone that will run right around the country. That
will have a huge competitive effect. It will mean that every telecommunications company, Tony, can
access that backbone network known as the backhaul network.

It will drive competition particularly into rural and into regional areas where broadband will be
delivered across a number of platforms.

We're also introducing some competition reforms for longer term pricing from the ACCC.

But on top of that in tandem, we are taking action to bring those who've got a poor broadband
service up to speed, up to a decent speed as fast as possible.

TONY JONES: OK. Let me come to you on the decent speed question, because your plan has a low-end
speed of just 12 megabits per second. Now what proportion of households will be stuck on that
low-end speed of 12 megabits per second?

TONY SMITH: Well we've said that's a baseline, Tony, and we're doing that with a wireless network
in rural and regional Australia and we're doing it with a wireless network also in metropolitan,
particularly outer metropolitan areas.

TONY JONES: But have you managed - have you estimated what proportion of households will be on that
really rather low speed?

TONY SMITH: Well it's a baseline that all households will have access to, but of course today,
Tony, many households have access to higher speeds.

Those on ADSL2+ have access to the faster speeds on copper. Of course they are faster the closer
you live to the exchange.

But of course with the HFC cable network, the pay TV cable network that we have passing 2.5 million
homes in our capital cities, Telstra lit that up last year here in Melbourne at 100 megabits a
second and just in the last couple of weeks Optus have ...

TONY JONES: Alright. Well I'm gonna interrupt you there again, because it's a simple question,
really. I mean, the Government says 90 per cent of homes will be covered by the fibre-to-the-home
network. What percentage of homes have you calculated will only get 12 megabits per second, the low
speed you're talking about?

TONY SMITH: Oh, no, Tony, we aren't making any apology for not spending - we're not gonna spend $43
billion and roll fibre out to every single house whether they're going to make use of it or not.
What we've said is ...

TONY JONES: No, but I'm simply talking about your scheme and whether you can actually tell us what
percentage of homes would have this low speed?

TONY SMITH: Sure. No, well, that is a baseline that all homes have access to and many will have
access to much higher speeds. I've just told you: 2.5 million homes have access to higher speeds
and with that competition platform, we are going to ensure that there's competition across a range
of technologies that will drive better broadband services, faster speeds and lower prices.

TONY JONES: Alright. Stephen Conroy, what's your baseline?

STEPHEN CONROY: Tony, if I could just come in there. Tony refused to answer your question: how many
homes are going to get what he describes as a baseline, which is a peak speed, not an actual speed.

If you're standing in the laboratory underneath the tower at midnight on a Saturday using it by
yourself you might get his baseline speed. That's a peak speed. But there's a whole range of
questions that Tony is continuing to refuse to answer. There is no available spectrum in
metropolitan Australia for ...

TONY SMITH: This is ridiculous.

STEPHEN CONROY: ... for his network to be built in. There is none. It's being used.

Just identify it, Tony. Name it. How many towers are you planning on building across metropolitan

There are thousands of towers going to be needed and towers have to be connected to fibre. So
you're planning on building a range of towers, thousands of towers and then running a piece of
fibres right through the streets of metropolitan Australia right up to a tower.

And Tony, he keeps talking about - and Tony Abbott did it again tonight in Queensland - he keeps
talking about this wonderful mobile network ...

TONY SMITH: I'm losing touch with all the Tonies here.

STEPHEN CONROY: They are building a fixed wireless network. You will not be able to pick your
laptop up and go for a walk into your street and use a fixed-line network. The simple questions
are: how many towers? What spectrum?

TONY JONES: If you don't mind I'll ask the simple questions.

TONY SMITH: What, are you doing the interview, Stephen?

TONY JONES: I'd like to get Tony Smith to respond to the issues that are being raised there.

TONY SMITH: Oh, well, look, I mean, let me deal with the spectrum issue first, if I might, Tony.

I mean, Stephen would have you believe that there's no possibility of any spectrum for wireless
services. Look, I just wanna go through this very clearly for him. There is spectrum today that is
suitable for wireless.

It's in a number of bands and there are existing players using that spectrum. We've made clear with
our $2 billion wireless investments that those existing players are welcome of course to come
forward and they may well make a bid for one or both of those opportunities to use the spectrum to
deliver those services.

Over and above that, Tony, in many cases - not all, but in many cases, that spectrum is tradeable,
so they may well wish to trade it to another player who's able to use that spectrum to deliver the

Just last week AUSTAR issued a media release talking about the spectrum they had, particularly in
rural and regional Australian.

STEPHEN CONROY: That spectrum in regional Australia ...

TONY SMITH: No, don't - you don't need to interrupt.

STEPHEN CONROY: And I acknowledge that. This is about metropolitan Australia.

TONY SMITH: No, no, no, you don't need to interrupt. And, over and above that, there is new
spectrum becoming available with the switchover from digital television.

TONY JONES: OK, well that covers your answer to the spectrum thing. Let me ask you this though:
isn't it true that the more people using wireless technology that use it, the slower the speeds.
Isn't that a simple mathematical equation?

TONY SMITH: Well, wireless is contended, but the speeds and the technology is getting better all
the time, and we are not only promising wireless, Tony.

As I said, we are putting down that platform for a range of technologies to compete. And what
you'll see is upgrades across all of those technologies, and they'll compete with each other and
that's the way it should be.

That fibre backbone that we're putting down, 60,000 to 70,000 kilometres of fibre creating a
dual-lane highway and breaking that bottleneck, unleashing competition, will see telecommunications
companies able to go and deliver services in rural and regional parts of Australia particularly
where they haven't been able to before because of the price barriers.

And you'll see a cycle of competition that will see fibre rolled out ...

TONY JONES: Alright, alright. Sorry. I think we'd better go to Stephen Conroy because we are
actually running out of time. Unfortunately it always happens with these kinda debates because
there's so much detail ...

TONY SMITH: Well, he keeps interrupting.

TONY JONES: There's so much detail to cover. But Stephen Conroy, the other benefits of the fibre
optic network include this eHealth program that you're talking about and of course the smart grid

Can you, though, not do it with other forms of technology, internet technology, including wireless

STEPHEN CONROY: The eHealth and the eEducation applications require high definition video

If you want to be able to - as I recently met a stroke victim who was going through rehabilitation
after a stroke, and the new technology that we are providing allows that person to be in their own
home being monitored by two-way high definition video while they engage in their rehabilitation
exercises being monitored in real time, live time by their doctor or their health provider,
rehabilitation health provider, and that sort of technology is required to support that level of

The sort of consultations that Julia talked about on Monday in our campaign launch where she talked
about wanting to be able to talk with patients from your local GP without having to travel all
those distances.

You can't provide those sorts of services. Last week we talked to Betty, who was using a new device
that is monitoring her vital signs. She's in her 80s and she's monitoring her vital signs and she's
got a video conference link with a nurse.

She described it - and she'd only just gone on the National Broadband Network in Tasmania. She
described it as a security blanket. You can't deliver those sorts of services on Tony Abbott's

STEPHEN CONROY: Alright. I'm gonna have to go back to Tony Smith. We're nearly out of time and I've
gotta ask you this: the network you're talking about with its slower and variable speeds, could it
possibly do these kinds of things, could it carry a smart grid to a house, could it actually work
in the way that the fibre optic network is going to work?

TONY SMITH: Well, Graham Lynch, who is one of the most respected telecommunications commentators
from CommsDay, made the point the day after we launched our policy that all of these sorts of
things can easily be delivered on the sorts of platforms and the faster speeds that we're talking
about rolling out through competition.

Now, the other point I'd make, Tony, and I know we're nearly out of time ...

STEPHEN CONROY: That's just simply not true.

TONY SMITH: Well Graham Lynch said it so you're saying ...

STEPHEN CONROY: You're rewriting - you are trying to rewrite the laws of physics, Tony.

TONY SMITH: Well, Stephen, you might like to interrupt, but if I could just answer the question.
Graham Lynch said that. If you want to argue with a respected commentator like Graham Lynch, you
can, but I'd take his word over yours any day of the week.

The other point, Tony, is with our backbone rollout, that $2.75 billion investment, we are
connecting hospitals where they're not connected. And the sorts of examples that we've seen given,
many are occurring today, of course with higher speeds.

We see higher speeds being rolled out over a range of platforms. Wireless is the baseline. But I've
mentioned the HFC network. That's delivering 100 megabits for those that want it in Melbourne.

Optus has upgraded or about to upgrade theirs to 70 megabits. You'll see this cycle of higher
speeds across all of those platforms over the next years, and of course, Stephen's network's gonna
take eight years to roll out in any event.

TONY JONES: OK. Well, Stephen Conroy's bursting for a final word. I'm gonna give that to you and
then we're gonna have to go.

TONY SMITH: Well, he's interrupted so many times. I don't know why.

STEPHEN CONROY: 70 per cent of the funding in the profile that Tony Smith produced last week is
spent after the year 2014.

He still won't answer you how many people he is going to condemn to a wireless network that can't
deliver the services that Australians are increasingly going to need and demand over the coming

He's essentially decided he's going to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge and he's gonna only build it
with two lanes. Tony Abbott's plan entrenches the digital divide. It takes millions of Australians
and locks them into a broadband world that is never gonna move.

TONY JONES: OK. I'm sorry I'm gonna have to call a halt to it there. We'll have to leave you both
for tonight's debate.

Stephen Conroy, Tony Smith, thanks for both of you for joining us.

TONY SMITH: Thanks, Tony.

STEPHEN CONROY: Thanks very much, Tonies.

Grog still flows in Alice Springs

Grog still flows in Alice Springs

Broadcast: 18/08/2010

Reporter: Katrina Bolton

The national emergency in the Northern Territory is still a reality in Alice Springs, where 'rivers
of grog' still flow.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: If there's one issue that hasn't had much attention in this election
campaign, it's Indigenous affairs.

Five years ago the troubled lives and horrific deaths of Aboriginal people in the Northern
Territory were described as a national emergency, but the rivers of grog are still flowing in Alice

Now the man who buries the victims of alcohol is demanding change from businesses he says are
making a killing and says governments haven't done enough to stop them.

Katrina Bolton reports.

KATRINA BOLTON, REPORTER: Basil Schild is a pastor in Alice Springs. He's speaking out because he's
tired of burying his friends.

BASIL SCHILD, LUTHERAN PASTOR: A mother was burying her son number five. All her sons, she'd
buried. All of them were alcohol-related deaths.

KATRINA BOLTON: He says he's done nearly 80 funerals because of alcohol and it's not just the
drinkers who are dying.

BASIL SCHILD: Some of the coffins that have travelled through this room in which we sit, a
13-year-old girl whose stepfather would come home and get drunk and touch her up; she took her own
life. A 26-year-old young woman whose partner would come home and get drunk and smash her up; she
took her own life.

KATRINA BOLTON: The rivers of grog are still flowing in Alice Springs, four years after a report on
child sex abuse called for urgent action. The Territory Government has cut the availability of cask
wine and banned takeaway alcohol before 2pm, but it still allows some of the town's bars to open at
10 in the morning and behind darkened windows, hundreds of people hit the grog before lunch.

BASIL SCHILD: It will be totally crowded, it's full. There are elderly people, some of them frail,
sitting on the floor. There's hardly any air-conditioning. The air is thick, it's hard to breathe.

JOHN BOFFA, PEOPLE'S ALCOHOL ACTION COALITION: The bar in the Todd Tavern, which is well-known
throughout the community as the Animal Bar, is that bar that's only open from 10 o'clock in the
morning till 2 o'clock. It closes as soon as the takeaways open.

KATRINA BOLTON: So busy is the Todd's riverside bar that the Licensing Commission last month
suspended it for a week after CCTV footage showed 236 people inside when it was licensed for 100.

GP and alcohol campaigner Dr John Boffa thinks bars like the Todd are targeting alcoholics.

JOHN BOFFA: The sort of people that need to start drinking at 10 o'clock in the morning in a public
bar are likely to be alcohol dependent.

KATRINA BOLTON: The other two bars are hidden. The Heavitree Tavern is tucked behind the
supermarket on the outskirts of town. It's allowed to serve close to 150 people. And at the Gap
View Hotel, their bar is completely unmarked, but the drinkers know it's there.

Inside, the bar is open, but you can't buy food, even at lunch, and like the Heavitree and the
Todd, even though it's allowed to stay open, it closes at 2pm right when the takeaways open.

JOHN BOFFA: It seems as if the publican only wants to make space available for very heavy drinkers
until they can sell them takeaway and basically get rid of them.

KATRINA BOLTON: While drinkers are on site, licencees are obliged to make sure people don't get too
drunk, but the businesses have no legal responsibility for what happens after the drinkers go on to
buy large quantities of alcohol at the bottle shops.

BASIL SCHILD: If you do the figures, those major hotels must be making an absolute killing.

KATRINA BOLTON: Fosters acknowledges the Todd and the Gap View are among their biggest individual
beer customers in the country. Lawyer Russell Goldflam says they also feature heavily in court.

RUSSELL GOLDFLAM, DEFENCE LAWYER: The horrible fact is that in the majority of the homicide cases
in which I've been involved, cases where a killing was literally made, the perpetrator, the victim,
the witnesses, they all bought their grog at these pubs.

KATRINA BOLTON: Alcohol keeps Alice Springs police extremely busy with assaults, rapes and untimely
deaths. The town's Indigenous people are 14 times more likely than other Australians to die from
alcohol. Figures obtained by the ABC show that in 2008-'09 the hospital treated nearly a stabbing a

Russell Goldflam says the violence almost always involves enormous amounts of takeaway alcohol.

RUSSELL GOLDFLAM: The standard killing: the victim was very drunk, the person who did it was very
drunk and the witnesses were all very drunk. The standard serious harm, the standard rape: also,
victim, perpetrator, witnesses - everyone's drunk.

KATRINA BOLTON: He says the scientific literature is very clear about how alcohol consumption can
be cut, but the solutions are politically unpopular.

RUSSELL GOLDFLAM: Higher prices, shorter trading hours, a grog free welfare pay day, less outlets,
a volumetric tax. It's not rocket science.

MARGARET KAMERRE TURNER, EASTERN ARRERNTE WOMAN: A lot of people are getting sick, a lot of people
are dying. All my family have died from alcohol. The place where they buy alcohol, they wouldn't
care. They like their money.

KATRINA BOLTON: Senior Eastern Arrernte woman M K Turner says it's time the Government drastically
cut the number of alcohol outlets.

MARGARET KAMERRE TURNER: Well in my family they just drank so much ... because alcohol was there.

KATRINA BOLTON: Basil Schild says all the companies selling alcohol in Alice Springs need to take a
hard look at the damage their product is causing. He's calling on the supermarket bosses and the
CEOs of the companies that make the alcohol to come and meet the people on the flipside of their

BASIL SCHILD: They would surely begin a conversation regarding their corporate social
responsibility to ensure that their products are not reaping such total chaos.

KATRINA BOLTON: The pubs we've mentioned all declined to be interviewed for this program, as did
Coles and the two major liquor suppliers, Fosters and Lion Nathan.

Fosters said in a statement that it's extremely committed to promoting a culture of responsible
alcohol consumption and Lion Nathan said in a statement that no responsible player in the industry
wants to make a dollar from alcohol dependency.

The Territory's Alcohol Policy Minister was also unavailable for interview. The Government has
announced it'll buy back three of the town's takeaway licences, but the Todd and the Gap View are
not being touched.

The Government is preparing to make more changes to alcohol laws. Basil Schild and M K Turner hope
it happens soon before the cemetery gets any fuller.

BASIL SCHILD: Over here we buried another dear friend of mine. Very recently was lying drunk on the
road just outside Alice Springs, hit by a car. Over here, another dear friend of mine - renal
failure at the age of 39.

Many still-born deaths just here behind the tractor. Recently, this side, two suicides. Over there
further, a dear friend of mine, I said to him, "If you don't stop drinking, I'll bury you next
year." We buried him next year.

MARGARET KAMERRE TURNER: You know, people have stopped - old people have stopped crying now. They
got no more tears to cry.

TONY JONES: Katrina Bolton with that report.

Rush hearing delayed for another week

Rush hearing delayed for another week

Broadcast: 18/08/2010


Two clerical errors have delayed Bali Nine heroin smuggler Scott Rush's final appeal against the
death sentence.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: A judge in Bali has delayed a final court appeal by drug smuggler Scott Rush
against his death sentence.

The delay is the result of two clerical errors made by a court official in Denpasar.

Family and friends flew to Bali a week ago to prepare for the hearing, but they'll now have to wait
until Thursday next week.

JEFF LAWRENCE, FAMILY FRIEND: Look, the family have been through hell, as you would understand, and
this a particularly difficult time for them. This is the big one.

TONY JONES: The hearing is Rush's last chance to have a court cancel his death sentence.

New York mosque a 'political football'

New York mosque a 'political football'

Broadcast: 18/08/2010

Reporter: Kim Landers

Debate over a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero in New York is heating up.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Religious leaders in the United States are battling growing opposition to
plans for a mosque just two blocks from the site of the World Trade Centre.

Members of the Muslim and Jewish communities are accusing politicians from both sides of turning
the mosque into a political football.

The heated debate is overshadowing the president's attempt to keep the political focus on the

North America correspondent Kim Landers reports.

KIM LANDERS, REPORTER: A bakery in Seattle was the president's latest stop in his three-day,
five-state trip. Barack Obama is on the campaign trail trying to promote his attempts to revive the
US economy as the November mid-term elections loom.

The president has been greeted by protesters calling for immigration reform, but it's the furore
over a mosque near Ground Zero in New York that's overshadowing Barack Obama's attempts to focus on
the economy.

Opponents of the 13-storey mosque and cultural centre want it moved to a less emotionally charged

SARAH PALIN, FMR VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: This hurts. This is a slap to those innocent victims
who were murdered that day on 9/11.

KIM LANDERS: Muslim and Jewish leaders are dismayed that the mosque has become a political

MAHDI BRAY, MUSLIM AMERICAN SOCIETY OF FREEDOM: Do you really want to be the president that bad? Do
you really wanna control the House and the Senate that bad that you want to do it off the back of
the rights of Muslims?

ARTHUR WASKOW, SHALOW CENTRE PHILADELPHIA: The alleged sensitivities are being turned into a wedge
issue by certain politicians who think they might gain votes by doing that.

KIM LANDERS: The President says developers have a right to build the mosque, although he won't
comment on the wisdom of it being so close to where the World Trade Center once stood.

The Senate's top Democrat, Harry Reid, who's in a tough re-election battle, has broken with the
president, saying he opposes the mosque.

HARRY REID, SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: The Constitution gives us freedom of religion. I think that
it's very obvious that the mosque should be built someplace else.

KIM LANDERS: The White House says the president isn't worried about the furore, but with the
November congressional elections looming, it's made its way into a campaign ad for a Republican
hoping to be Florida's next governor.

RICK SCOTT, GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE (political advertisement): Mr president, Ground Zero is the
wrong place for a mosque.

SARAH PALIN: How else do you describe it? He just doesn't get it, that this is an insensitive move.

KIM LANDERS: Some Democrats are now hoping a compromise will emerge.

HAROLD FORD, DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP COUNCIL: But it may be that the politics has gotten so intense
that you may have to consider moving this just a few blocks away.

KIM LANDERS: Muslims in the US say it's not just the New York mosque that's attracting controversy.

MAHDI BRAY: In reality, there is a growing pattern of opposing mosques not near or in the proximity
of Ground Zero, but opposing mosques all over America.

KIM LANDERS: While the political furore is focused on the mosque for now, there's another
contentious issue that hasn't been settled and that's the stalled trial for the five men accused of
planning the September 11th attacks. The Obama administration still hasn't settled on a date or
location for that.

Kim Landers, Lateline.

If you'd like to look back at tonight's debate with Stephen Conroy and Tony Smith Conroy and Tony
Smith or review Lateline's stories and transcripts transcripts you can visit our website and follow
us website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. See you again tomorrow. Have a good night.