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 deal for this week only.

I appeal to all those on Opposition benches, who are people of good will, to look beyond our normal
partisan divide and to join with the Government and in seeing the passage of passage of this Carbon
Pollution Reduction Scheme for the future.

Kevin Rudd talks about the future of the about the future of the planet. Malcolm Turnbull has to
think about the future of his leadership.

This is not about global climate change, it's about global taxation and control, that's why we will
never support is it.

This Program is Live Captioned.

Good evening, welcome to Lateline, I'm Tony Jones, computer hackers opened up a new front in the
global warming debate last week by posting online thousands of stolen emails from scientists at one
of Britain's top research centres, Margot O'Neill has a report on the communications. It's a rare
glimpse into the hot-house world of climate science, more than 10 years of hacked emails reveal
frustration, anger among some scientists about the influence of sceptics.

Something is seriously sick with a culture at the top of the global warming scientist kabal.

There's not the faintist hint of a hoax, right or left wing, bias or anything like that. It's norm
rep or day and discussion.

As climate change sceptics threaten to sceptics threaten to overturn Malcolm Turnbull's plans to
green the Liberal Party, we ask the Chairman of the Chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council, Tim
Flannery, with scepticism is making a comeback on the eve of the global talks, that's coming up.
Headlines - the Federal Government orders an inquiry into the weekend riot into the weekend riot on
Christmas Island. Premier Rann says he'll take legal action over allegations he had sex with a bar
waitress, and with a bar waitress, and on Lateline Business, James Hardie's asbestos compensation

Turnbull faces ETS showdown

Turnbull faces ETS showdown

Broadcast: 23/11/2009

Reporter: Dana Robertson

Malcolm Turnbull's leadership will face its biggest test tomorrow morning, when he attempts to
stare down a group of recalcitrant senators who have vowed to oppose any emissions trading deal.
The showdown will come at a special meeting of all Coalition members and senators, to decide
whether to endorse or reject the compromise scheme negotiated with the Government.


TONY JONES: Malcolm Turnbull's leadership will face its biggest test tomorrow morning, when he
attempts to stare down a group of recalcitrant senators who've vowed to oppose any emissions
trading deal.

The showdown will come at a special meeting of all Coalition members and senators, to decide
whether to endorse or reject the compromise scheme negotiated with the Government.

But there's more than just the legislation at stake. This evening talk has emerged of a leadership

Dana Robertson reports from Canberra.

DANA ROBERTSON: The climate change acrimony isn't confined within the building.

(protesters shouting)

Environmentalists blockaded Parliament's front doors, demanding stronger action to combat climate

Fellow travellers were greeted as heroes.

CHRISTINE MILNE, GREENS SENATOR: We are paying the people who created the problem billions and
billions of dollars!

DANA ROBERTSON: But it was heckling for the so-called deniers.

STEVE FIELDING, FAMILY FIRST SENATOR: There is something else also driving climate change.

DANA ROBERTSON: Location rather than behaviour caused the only trouble.

POLICE: I now direct you to leave the Parliamentary precincts immediately. You'll have 15 minutes
to comply with this direction.

DANA ROBERTSON: They didn't, and paid the price.

Passions are no less roused inside the parliamentary chambers, as ever more Coalition Senators
declare their refusal to support any form of emissions trading bill.

JOHN WILLIAMS, NATIONALS SENATOR: Carbon is not a pollutant. This is not about global climate
change. it is about global taxation and global control and that's why we will never support it.

JULIAN MCGAURAN, LIBERAL SENATOR: This bill is worse than bad, it's worse than bad. It's a hoax. a
hoax on Australian Parliament and people.

DANA ROBERTSON: But while talk's tough today, it's tomorrow that the real showdown begins.

After five weeks locked in negotiations, in the morning Penny Wong will hand over her compromise
emissions trading legislation to the Opposition.

Shadow Cabinet, and then a meeting of all Liberal and National MPs will then vote whether to accept

There're just three days of parliament to go for the year, but the Liberals chief negotiator says
it couldn't have happened any sooner.

IAN MACFARLANE, OPPOSITION ENERGY SPOKESMAN: This is not a bid to ram this through the party room.
The advantage Tuesday gives members much more time to discuss the issue, probably upwards of four

DANA ROBERTSON: And they'll likely need every moment of it.

While Malcolm Turnbull's supporters are confident the majority of MPs and senators will ultimately
support an ETS deal, they concede that the meeting won't be pretty. Whichever way it goes, the
party will be fractured and Mr Turnbull's leadership damaged along with it.

There's even talk from some Liberals about demanding a secret ballot, or going as far as a
leadership spill.

Parliamentary chatter is naming Kevin Andrews as a potential leadership contender.

KEVIN ANDREWS: That's not an intention at this stage.

Kevin Rudd's trying his best to divide and conquer.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: I appeal to all those on Opposition who are people of good will to look
beyond normal partisan divide and join with the Government to passage carbon pollution reduction
scheme for the future.

CORY BERNARDI, LIBERAL SENATOR: I find it disturbing that some of my colleagues intent to help
Labor impose massive new tax on every Australian families.

DANA ROBERTSON: The government's willing to extend the parliamentary year into the weekend if need
be. But the olive branch only extends so far.

KEVIN RUDD : The deal we put to the open is a deal for this week. The Government focused on this
week and the reason for that is that the clock is ticking for us all.

DANA ROBERTSON: No-one more than Malcolm Turnbull.

Dana Robertson, Lateline.

LA aims to be coal-free by 2020

LA aims to be coal-free by 2020

Broadcast: 23/11/2009

Reporter: North America correspondent Lisa Millar

Los Angeles is one of the biggest power consumers in America but it has set the ambitious goal of
being a coal-free city by 2020. They are calling it an energy revolution.


TONY JONES: Los Angeles is one of the biggest power consumers in America, but it's set itself the
ambitious goal of being a coal-free as a city by 2020.

While nuclear power and natural gas will continue to play a key role, it's the possibilities for
renewable energy that are creating a buzz.

This report from our North America correspondent Lisa Millar.

LISA MILLAR: It has the dirtiest air, the biggest sprawl and the worst condition of any city in
America. And LA wants to do something about it.

ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, LOS ANGELES MAYOR: We can't continue to dither, if you will, as our national
government's refused to take the responsibility to address climate change.

LISA MILLAR: The city's mayor has set an ambitious goal of ending LA's use of coal-fired power in
just 10 years. LA currently gets 44 per cent of its electricity from coal, 26 per cent from natural
gas, 14 per cent from renewable sources, nine per cent from nuclear, and seven per cent from

Taking coal out of the equation means the labyrinth that is LA needs to find reliable sources and

There's an obvious one and there's no shortage of it in California.

This field of mirrors on the edge of the Mojave Desert is the only of its kind in the United
States. the 24,000 reflective panels follow the sun's rays, directing the heat onto boilers at the
top of these towers. Steam is created, driving a turbine, which then produces power for 5,500
Californian homes.

DR RAED SHERIF, ESOLAR: What's so special about this particular sort of heartland and what's
exciting is that this where we have found a way that we can generate electricity in a very cheap
way, at a much lower cost that standard conventional solar panels.

LISA MILLAR: ESolar says it will eventually make electricity for less than the cost of coal and
without Government subsidies. It's a sign of a green revolution happening right across the state.

DR TONY HAYMET, DIRECTOR, SCRIPPS INSTITUTE: You might say that LA was such a mess that it bloody
well had to start here in California.

LISA MILLAR: Tony Haymet was with the CSIRO before becoming Director of Scripps Institute of
Oceanography in San Diego. They've been going green here for a long time. Algae green.

Tony Haymet likes to joke, they've been studying algae for 106 years. But for 104 of those, nobody

Now they're talking about it becoming the bio-fuel of the future.

DR GREG MITCHELL, SCRIPPS SCIENTIST: From a point of view of sustainability, hunger, water use,
land use and yields per area, per time in efficiency, algae has the most promise in the long-term.

DR TONY HAYMET: There's real science, they're real breakthroughs that have happened. There are
generally good ideas being followed up.

LISA MILLAR: And it could be another option for LA as it weans itself off coal.

It's a long way from the frenetic pace of LA, but the small town of Delta in Central Utah has its
own links to California's green revolution. Delta is home to a massive coal-fired power plant and
up until now, LA has been its biggest customer.

In fact 45 per cent of the electricity produced here goes straight to LA. And no matter how clean
and efficient, the Intermountain Power Agency says its power plant is, LA doesn't want it.

JIM HEWLETT, IPA GENERAL MANAGER: What we find fewer and fewer purchasers out there want coal-fire.
And so the timing is not good for new coal-fired energy.

LISA MILLAR: LA's decision only reinforced IPA's move to ditch plans to expand the site. Why build
if no one's going to buy?

JIM HEWLETT: We don't subscribe necessarily to all of that science but we can't ignore it, we can't
ignore the tide of sentiment, as you say, against coal fire right now. So we have to do the best we

LISA MILLAR: And that means trying to reduce the plant's carbon footprint even further and can
consider how it can use renewable energy.

Jim Hewlett's confident coal-fired power will remain the best, most reliable source of electricity
for decades to come. LA wants to prove him wrong.

Because the mayor believes turning this city green will have an impact far beyond the Hollywood

ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, LOS ANGELES MAYOR: As LA goes, so goes California. As California goes, so
goes the nation. As the nation goes, there's an impact all across the world.

LISA MILLAR: And if he pulls it off, that would be an Oscar-winning performance.

Lisa Millar, Lateline.

Private climate documents hacked, published

Climate documents hacked, published

Broadcast: 23/11/2009

Reporter: Margot O'Neill

Some of the world's leading climate scientists have been embarrassed by the publication of private


TONY JONES: Some of the world's leading climate scientists have been embarrassed by the publication
of hundreds of private emails and research documents which were stolen by computer hackers from a
British university.

Climate change sceptics have hailed the material as proof that research data has been skewed and
suppressed. But the authors of the documents say they show only that scientists are human and
sometimes choose their words poorly in robust private exchanges.

Margot O'Neill reports.

MARGOT O'NEILL: It's a rare glimpse into the hothouse world of climate science.

More than 10 years worth of hacked emails from the climatic research unit at the British University
of East Anglia, revealing frustration and even anger among some scientists about the continuing
influence of sceptics.

In one email sceptics are described as "idiots" in another, the 2004 death of Australian sceptic
John Daly is called "cheering."

ANDREW BOLT, COLUMNIST, HERALD-SUN: Something seriously sick in the culture at top of the climate
warming cabal. It's indicative of a tribal mentality, a demonisation of anyone who dares doubt
their work. Now they gloat over the death of a very gentlemanly sceptic, John Daly, who was in
Tasmania in fact, who did wonderful work on sea level rises

ANDY PITMAN, CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH CENTRE, UNSW: I don't think anybody should be happy if someone
dies, but I think we can hold those sceptic, like Daly, to account for placing future generations
at risk.

MARGOT O'NEILL: Climate scientists complain they've been accused of far worse.

ANDY PITMAN: We have been accused of scientific fraud. That is a sackable offence. If a climate
scientist can be shown to have committed scientific fraud, they should be sacked. But I'd like same
standard to sceptics.

MARGOT O'NEILL: There are serious questions about some of the scientific references in the hacked
emails which sceptics claim debunk the notion of a consensus on climate change, such as this
statement by a leading American atmospheric scientist, Dr Kevin Trenberth, who wrote about
temperatures plateauing in 2008: "The fact is we can't account for the lack of warming at the
moment and it is a travesty that we can't."

ANDREW BOLT: I'm worried that these guys are committed to theory that is falling to bits and
privately they admit that it's got problems but publicly they're pushing the world to adopt a
massive reorganisation of the way do business.

MARGOT O'NEILL: But that's not what Kevin Trenberth meant, says Professor Pitman, who says although
temperatures have plateaued, this decade is still the hottest on record.

ANDY PITMAN: There isn't a faintest hint of a hoax, of a conspiracy, of a right-wing or a
left-wing, biased, to fund the research of climate science or anything like that. It's normal
discussion between climate scientists.

MARGOT O'NEILL: Andrew Bolt says other emails discuss suppressing data. East Anglia University's
Professor Phil Jones wrote in 2005 that "If they ever hear there is a freedom of information act
now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send it to anyone."

ANDREW BOLT: Obviously some of the world's top climate scientist, ones most involved in developing
this theory, involved in a massive collusion stretching from America to Britain in trying dodge,
fiddle with data, destroy data when others try to check it, sceptics try to check it.

MARGOT O'NEILL: But many scientists are bound by contract not to reveal their raw data because of
its commercial or military value, says Professor Pitman.

ANDY PITMAN: If they did pass it on, it's a breach of contract and even beyond that they're
currently in negotiations with most of those countries to ask for permission to pass the data on.
But until that's agreed, it's not that the climate scientists want to pass it on, it's that the
people that have given you the data say that you can't.

MARGOT O'NEILL: Police are now investigating the cyber attack on the University of East Anglia.

Margot O'Neill, Lateline.

Tim Flannery discusses hacked climate emails

Tim Flannery discusses hacked climate emails

Broadcast: 23/11/2009

Reporter: Tony Jones

Joining Lateline is chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council, Professor Tim Flannery, to discuss
how more than 10 years worth of hacked mails have revealed frustration and anger among scientists
about the continuing influence of sceptics.


TONY JONES: Joining us now is Tim Flannery, Chairman of the Copenhagen Climate Council, thanks for
joining us.


TONY JONES: Are you part of a left wing conspiracy to de-industrialise the western world?

TIM FLANNERY: Strange if I am, because the councillors, including big companies, you know, Duke
energy, Intel, China Power International, a number of others, so I don't think there's a
conspiracy, it is interesting to see this sort of, this issue raise its head again at this moment
in time.

TONY JONES: Why is it happening?

TIM FLANNERY: I think that, you know, the sceptics, and those who don't want to see action on
climate change realise we are at the critical moment. No matter what Copenhagen produces in terms
of concrete outcomes, if there is a move to deal with the problem, I think what we then, we are in
a position where a strong message it sent, a strong moral message is sent. We are seeing it in
places like Los Angeles, where people want to phase out coal. Once it's a global message, the
balance of power shifted.

TONY JONES: Are you surprised at the shifting of the balance of power in the Opposition, the
Liberal Party, in Australia. I mean, you know Malcolm Turnbull, you advised him in some respects on
soil carbon sequestration and other things, but at the same time he's got this group of now very
powerful vocal climate change sceptics threatening to pull him under.

TIM FLANNERY: Well, that's right. Not only pull him under, if they have their way, in my view pull
the whole country under, because we are now move inextricably towards a global deal, to deal with
this problem. I wonder what the sceptics will say in 2018 if the Waxman-Markey legislation passes
and Australia does nothing, we'll be subject to border tariffs, will they still be sceptics. So
there really is no problem, it doesn't matter what the Americans think or the Chinese, there is a
problem. It's just not a productive position.

TONY JONES: What do you say to people like Senator Nick Minchin, who believes that what's going on
here is something going on here is fraudulent; that environmentalists have braced a new religion,
with the collapse of communism, now they've taken on environmentalism with a religious fervour that
goes beyond science.

TIM FLANNERY: It's not just the environmentalists, when you get companies like Alcoa, and Duke
energy arguing that we need a cap and trade bill to deal with the problem, you are way beyond that,
this is not a scientific debate, it's about politics and economics, that's being worked out as we
speak in Australia and in Copenhagen.

TONY JONES: Is this resurgence of scepticism only happening here, you travel widely around the
world, there's a strong body of scepticism in the United States, what about other parts of the

TIM FLANNERY: It's strong here and in the United States, it always has been, we have a stronger
source base and fossil fuel based economy. Probably in Russia as well, there's a reasonable amount
of it. I just think that at the moment, if you are a sceptic, you really have nowhere to go. If you
just want to deny that there's a problem at this moment in time, where do you go, except for
attacking the scientist, which is a crazy game.

TONY JONES: Where the serious sceptics want to go is there be no action, because they believe
engine nothing is happening. This is the Y2K of the current generation, it's something that
scientists warn about that is never going to happen, that's the way they look at it.

TIM FLANNERY: Their argument is with some of the biggest corporations and some of the biggest
governments on earth, not just the scientists.

TONY JONES: It's with a lot of scientists, you saw the story about the computer hackers breaking
into the computer system at Britain's Climate Change Research Unit. The sceptics are now using
these emails to support their case that scientists are swept up in the fervour, and they falsify
data, as Andrew Bolt said, there's been a collusion to fiddle or destroy data. You know these
scientists, is that what they are involved in?

TIM FLANNERY: I know the way science works, it works through a robust interchange and testing of
ideas. As you see that process, it looks messy, when you are in the middle of it. Ultimately
science is driven by, you know, by testing and retesting of hypotheses until we get to something we
agree is a likely cause. And in climate science, that is exactly what happened. And really what's
happened here is that some criminals have hacked their way into a university database, taken these
emails, for all we know selectively distributed ones that look incriminating or look like they put
the scientists in a bad light just two or three weeks before Copenhagen. Why is that happening? You

TONY JONES: I mean, what sceptics like Andrew Bolt would argue is that it's happening because there
are people out there who don't believe these scientists, now they appear to have proof, there's a
dissension among the scientists, and they are not letting the public know that there's dissension
between themselves about the arguments about what is happening. Take one, because one of these
published emails, it goes to one of the hottest sceptic arguments, that since 1998, and I say hot,
you know, advisedly, because 1998 the hottest year, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased
after that, but the temperature did not keep going up. So the argument of the sceptics is therefore
the theory of global warming is not working like it should.

TIM FLANNERY: Well, the thing is we deal with an incomplete understanding of the way the earth's
system works, we know enough to say as the IPCC said that greenhouse gases cause warming. They are
90 per cent sure, 90 per cent plus sure that it's caused by humans, we can go that far. In the last
few years, were there hasn't been a continuation of that warming trend, we don't understand all of
the factors that create earth's climate, so there are some things we don't understand, that's what
the scientists were email about, you know, we don't understand the way the whole system works, and
we have to find out.

TONY JONES: The published email that made the front pages of papers was from a respected US
climatologist, called Kevin Trenberth saying we can't account for the lack of warming, it's a
travesty that we can't. He appears worried that science is not doing the right thing or the climate
is not doing what he expected it to do.

TIM FLANNERY: No, it's not. These people work with models, computer modelling, when the computer
modelling and the real world data disagrees you have a problem, that's when science gets engaged.
What Kevin Trenberth, one of the most respected climate scientist in the world, is saying is, "We
have to get on our horses and find out what we don't know about the system, we have to understand
why the cooling is occurring, because the current modelling doesn't reflect it". And that's the way
science progresses, we can't pretend to have perfect knowledge, we don't. We have to go forward and
formulate policy on the basis of what we know now.

TONY JONES: Is it right that cooling occurring? I mean 1998 was the hottest year, there's many
other hottest years since recorded history in that 10 year period. Are they right to say it's
cooling or not?

TIM FLANNERY: We had a huge cooling event in Sydney between yesterday and today. Time scales are
important. If you take too short a time scale you won't get a climate signal, you get a regional
weather signal or whatever else. The scales that the climate scientists use to look at the overall
trend is century long, and on that trend we are still warming, sure for the last few years we have
gone through a slight cooling trend, we saw it in the 1940s the same sort of thing, but that does
not negate the overall warming trend.

TONY JONES: Let's go to Copenhagen, as we get closer to the conference, this debate intensifies,
you were pessimistic about the chances of a genuine global agreement. What are you feeling now?

TIM FLANNERY: A few months ago I was pessimistic particularly about the possibilities of a global
treaty, and it's clear now that we're not going to get a global treaty, the conventional process,
the UNFCCC process, has really come to a dead end. Instead we are seeing is something new and
interesting, which is global leaders engaging, particularly the leaders of the United States and
China, and I suspect we'll get a deal, what peel call a political deal, just the headlines of what
people agree to which will be quite effective in my view. I'm optimistic about the outcome of
Copenhagen and about the probability of overcoming this problem.

TONY JONES: Do you agree whatever happens between the United States and China in particular is
fundamental to the outcomes at Copenhagen?

TIM FLANNERY: It's absolutely central. You know the announcement made a few days ago between Obama,
and Hu Jintao in China, that joint declaration, that has very deep roots, you know the Chinese
scientists and the US science people have been working for years on this, even before Obama came to
power. There's a lot of detail laid into that. It's great to see that coming to fruition now.

TONY JONES: It surprised many people because after these talks, Barack Obama came out from speaking
with President Hu Jintao, and said, and I quote "that China and the US are aiming at an accord that
covers all the issues in the negotiations and one that has immediate operational effect." But no
one knows what he meant. Do you know what he meant?

TIM FLANNERY: Look, I don't. That surprised me, quite frankly, first of all the comprehensive
nature of the agreement that they are brokering. I suspect...

TONY JONES: Sounds like there's a deal on the table. Do you think he has, or that China and the US
have a deal on the table and we just haven't seen the full breadth of it at this stage?

TIM FLANNERY: I do, I met John Holder and Steve Chu earlier in the year, who are two of the key US
negotiators in this area with the Chinese, at this stage they had an MOU in existence between the
two countries, so hopefully it's developed into an agreement that is immediately applicable.

TONY JONES: Do you have any idea what it might look like? We know that Penny Wong was aiming at a
special deal for developing nations like China and India, for example.

TIM FLANNERY: That's right. That'll be a key part of it, what we'll see is the US go to Copenhagen,
with a promise of a cap. So they won't have the bill through the Senate, but they'll promise a cap.
Part of the deal is a global cap for developed countries. For developing countries like China and
India that haven't been included we'll see an interesting new approach, the National schedules
approach which is what Penny Wong has been championing, that is come out of the gap trade rounds.
And the way that works is that under gap countries are asked to put together a series of action to
free up trade adding up to a pre-agreed target or volume, that'll be applied to countries like
China or India under this new agreement. It's less onerous than a Kyoto like obligation or an
obligation to cap your emissions. For developed countries we assess national emissions and cap
them. China won't have to do that. They'll do a series of undertake a series of actions adding up
to a pre-agreed volume of emissions avoided, which by 2020 hopefully will put them on track to
accept a cap.

TONY JONES: One thing we know absolutely, you just mentioned it again, that the American are not
going to have their climate bill through the Senate possibly not until somewhere near the end of
next year, looking at the legislative agenda. Why does Australia need to have, in your view, some
kind of Emissions Trading Scheme before Copenhagen, when, in fact, the Americans simply won't?

TIM FLANNERY: Tony, could I just deal with that issue of the US first. I think that the US is going
to have their bill through the Senate by April for not at all. The mid-term elections come into
play after that, it's increasingly difficult to do anything. I'd say we'll see it in the few months
after Copenhagen.

The question of Australia is an interesting one. My personal view is someone has to show leadership
on this. Kevin Rudd has been brilliant at the international level. I was in APEC last week, he
performed fabulously, he's deeply committed to doing something at an international level. He's been
appointed friend of the chair for the Copenhagen meetings, which is a very important position, it's
critically important for Australia, if they want to live up to leadership expectations and play a
useful role to come to the table with something in hand.

TONY JONES: So you would argue that Malcolm Turnbull should get on board, that his party should get
on board and vote this through the Senate in Australia?

TIM FLANNERY: Absolutely, not only that, it's in their own interest transparently to vote this in.
Because even if they roll Malcolm over in the next few days, the next leader will face the problem.
The party is deeply divided on this and the last thing it needs is the issue to keep surfacing.

TONY JONES: Tim Flannery, that's all we have time for. We'll speak to you in Copenhagen, it will be
interesting to see what comes true and what hasn't out of your predictions for that meeting. We'll
speak to you every month or so until then, when we speak to you next time you'll be in that place
itself. It will be fascinating to speak to you from Copenhagen.

TIM FLANNERY: I look forward to it.

Asylum seeker riot under investigation

Asylum seeker riot under investigation

Broadcast: 23/11/2009

Reporter: Karen Barlow

Several investigations, including a criminal one, are underway into a violent weekend riot on
Christmas Island between asylum seekers. Forty-eight people were injured and three were so
seriously hurt they had to be flown to Perth for hospital treatment. There is concern about
overcrowding and preferential treatment.


TONY JONES: Several investigations are underway into a violent weekend riot on Christmas Island
between asylum seekers.

Forty-eight people were injured, three so seriously hurt they had to be flown to Perth for hospital

While there's concern about overcrowding and preferential treatment, the Federal Government says
the brawl was triggered by anxiety over a tough immigration approval process.

Security is now being tightened, as Karen Barlow reports.

KAREN BARLOW: Deportation may be a self fulfilling prophesy for the asylum seekers on Christmas

Anxious about their claims for asylum, getting involved in a wild brawl on Saturday night may
ensure a ride back to their home country.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: If a detainee on Christmas Island has committed a serious offence, this
will be taken into consideration as part of the assessment as to whether or not they are granted a

KAREN BARLOW: Pool cues, tree branches and broom handles were used in the riot that took half an
hour to contain.

Five staff members and 43 asylum seekers were injured, three detainees were flown two and a half
thousand kilometres away for treatment in Perth.

CHRIS EVANS, IMMIGRATION MINISTER: It was obviously a very serious incident on the weekend and we
take it very seriously.

KAREN BARLOW: The brawl was between two large groups of afghan and Sri Lankan asylum seekers.

CHRIS EVANS, IMMIGRATION MINISTER: There has been some anxiety for some weeks now among Sri Lankan
detainees largely as a result of their concerns when we removed six men against their will to Sri
Lanka a couple of weeks ago.

KAREN BARLOW: The Immigration Department is investigating the riot and Federal Police are looking
at laying criminal charges.

The Opposition says overcrowding and preferential treatment for the Sri Lankans who were aboard the
Ocean Viking are to blame.

A lawyer for about 200 Afghan and Sri Lankan detainees on Christmas Island says pressures have been

DAVID MANNE, IMMIGRATION LAWYER: It is a pressure cooker environment in which people have been
placed under enormous additional pressure. This is innocent and vulnerable people who have been
placed under enormous additional pressure having already experienced profound trauma in their

KAREN BARLOW: The Christmas Island facility will have another 200 beds by the end of this year.

Today the 54th boat since August last year was intercepted just 100 nautical miles north-west of
Derby. It has 58 people in board.

Karen Barlow, Lateline.

Disabled athlete 'forced to crawl' through airport

Fearnley humiliated by Jetstar's wheelchair rules

Broadcast: 23/11/2009

Reporter: Tony Jones

Budget airline Jetstar has been accused of forcing a high profile disabled athlete to crawl through
Brisbane airport after forcing him to check in his wheelchair. Multiple wheelchair marathon winner
Kurt Fearnley had just arrived on a flight after crawling the length of the Kokoda track.


TONY JONES: Budget airline Jetstar has been accused of forcing a high-profile disabled athlete to
crawl through Brisbane Airport after forcing him to check in his wheelchair.

Multiple wheelchair marathon winner Kurt Fearnley had just arrived on a flight after crawling the
length of the Kokoda Track.

He says he was humiliated when the airline demanded he use another wheelchair, which he couldn't
control himself.

KURT FEARNLEY, WHEELCHAIR ATHLETE: I said there is not a chance that I'm going to sit there and be
pushed through an airport. An able bodied equivalent, a normal person's equivalent, would be having
your legs tied together, your pants pulled down and carried or pushed through an airport.

TONY JONES: The Parliamentary Secretary for Disability Services, Bill Shorten, says he'll contact
Jetstar and the human rights commission tomorrow.

SA Premier denies affair claims

SA Premier denies affair claims

Broadcast: 23/11/2009

Reporter: Nick Harmsen

The South Australian Premier has denied having sex with a married woman, after claims of an affair
were aired on national television last night. Mike Rann says it was friendship that was 'flirty'
and 'fun' and he has vowed to sue media outlets who paid for the story.


TONY JONES: The South Australian Premier has denied having sex with a married woman, after claims
of an affair were aired on national television last night.

Mike Rann says it was a friendship that was 'flirty' and 'fun' and he has vowed to sue media
outlets who paid for the story.

Nick Harmsen reports

NICK HARMSEN: For three days one question has pursued Mike Rann.

NEWS REPORTER: Did you have sex with Michelle Chantelois?

NICK HARMSEN: It's a question the Premier had left unanswered, until now.

MIKE RANN, SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PREMIER: I have not had sex with her.

NICK HARMSEN: In paid interviews with Channel Seven and New Idea, the former parliamentary waitress
Michelle Chantelois outlined a lurid sexual affair with the Premier, while she was married and he
was dating the woman who later became his wife.

House desk and...

NEWS REPORTER: In his office?


NEWS REPORTER: You had sex with the Premier of the state on his desk in his office?


MIKE RANN: The idea that I would have sex between meetings in my office in Parliament House while
Parliament is sitting is so patently ridiculous.

NICK HARMSEN: The Premier insists his relationship with Ms Chantelois was nothing more than a
friendship, one his wife was aware of.

MIKE RANN: It was funny, it was flirty, just like any other friendship would be.

NICK HARMSEN: The relationship incensed Ms Chantelois' husband Rick Phillips, who last month was
charged with assaulting the Premier.

He is now demanding a parliamentary inquiry.

RICK PHILLIPS, MICHELLE CHANTELOIS'S HUSBAND: I call upon Mr Rann today to start to begin and
behave with some honour and honesty and apologise for us to the pain he has caused to my children,
my wife and to me.

NICK HARMSEN: Mike Rann says he'll sue the outlets who paid for the story, claiming he's the victim
of a malicious personal and political attack.

MIKE RANN: We're dealing with the powerful in Channel Seven. We're dealing with the powerful in
terms of New Idea and I will be taking them to court. Did you ring Kerry Stokes? I absolutely did.

NICK HARMSEN: Ms Chantelois is standing by her story.

MICHELLE CHANTELOIS, FORMER PARLIAMENT HOUSE WAITRESS: I don't want anymore stress in my family.
I've come to the point where I've spoken the truth. What more can i do?

NICK HARMSEN: But it seems she won't be sued.

MIKE RANN: I do not intend to denigrate her in any way whatsoever.

NICK HARMSEN: For now, Mike Rann has the backing of the Prime Minister.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: Mike's a great guy. And a first class Premier of South Australia. And
he works very effectively. One of the best premiers I know.

NICK HARMSEN: And so, four months from an election, Labor MPs are throwing their support behind the

Having made strenuous denials to the party and the public, Mike Rann has staked his political
future on his own credibility.

Nick Harmsen, Lateline.

A look at the weather: That's all from us, Lateline Business is coming up in a moment. If you'd
like to look back at the interview with Tim Flannery, or review stories or transcripts visit
transcripts visit Lateline's web site Now here is Lateline Business with Ali