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Broadband plan runs into financial dilemma

Broadband plan runs into financial dilemma

Broadcast: 03/02/2010

Reporter: Chris Uhlmann

While Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was praising the success of last year's economic stimulus packages,
a report today revealed that the government's national broadband plan tender process cost taxpayers
more than $17 million for no result.


KERRY O'BRIEN: There was an interesting display of parallel political universes in Canberra today
as both Government and Opposition leaders played to what they believe are their strong suits: Tony
Abbott, out and about selling his new climate change package, and Kevin Rudd lauding the success of
last year's economic stimulus measures.

But Mr Abbott's sales pitch was overshadowed to a degree by an appearance by his finance spokesman
Senator Barnaby Joyce at the National Press Club. Senator Joyce, while giving the media a good
selection of political one-liners, seemed on less sure ground when it came to talking about his
shadow portfolio.

It was also the day when the Government's national broadband plan ran into a financial quagmire,
with a report revealing an initial tender process cost taxpayers more than $17 million for no

Political Editor Chris Uhlmann.

CHRIS UHLMANN: On sitting days the suburbs, schools and workplaces of Canberra act like a Hollywood
back lot.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: That's pretty hot, isn't it?

SOLAR CONTRACTOR: That's pretty hot, yeah.

TONY ABBOTT: That's pretty hot, mate.


WORKER 1: Nice to meet you.

WORKER 2: How are you, mate?


ROAD WORKER 1: How are you? Hi. Luke.

CHRIS UHLMANN: It's here that policy is turned into pictures.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: We want to achieve a million extra solar roofs by 2020.

TONY ABBOTT: I'd need plenty of cold water to shower with that, mate.

SOLAR CONTRACTOR: For sure. Can you can imagine on a hot day how hot it gets.

KEVIN RUDD: Over the past year here in Australia, we had created some 112,000 jobs.

WORKER 1: More than half of our work has been in schools.

KEVIN RUDD: That's good.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Less thought is given to some of the dialogue, which, alas, is often improvised.

KEVIN RUDD: Were you a Tonka toy kid?


WORKER 1: Too right. Meccano man?

KEVIN RUDD: Yeah, Meccano and Tonka toys.

TONY ABBOTT: At the local fire brigade, I've done the Safe Working on Roofs course, but when you're
only doing it once in a blue moon you quickly forget.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Tony Abbott was busy illustrating his newly minted plan of direct action on climate

TONY ABBOTT: We think that, over the next decade, we can get an additional 1 million solar homes,
solar roofs, as a result of our policy. And the beauty of the change that Marti is making is that
it is a material benefit to families.

CHRIS UHLMANN: The Government wanted a backdrop to celebrate the anniversary of its $42 billion
stimulus package.

KEVIN RUDD: Twelve months later, the results are here locally but they are written right across the
nation and they've been observed across the world.

Twelve months later, of the major advanced economies, this is the only one not to have gone into

CHRIS UHLMANN: Strange as it might sound, the financial crisis was the making of the Rudd

It gave it purpose, gave it confidence and it allowed it to shake off the contrived accent of
economic conservatism.

Twelve months on, it has emerged as the dominant economic voice in politics and it wants to engage
the Coalition on that front all the way to the election.

KEVIN RUDD: The difference between the strengthening growth in the Australian economy today and
being engulfed by the global recession, like eight of our top 10 trading partners, is the
Government's economic stimulus strategy.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Stimulus wasn't the only reason Australia avoided a recession.

The Reserve Bank deserves some credit and China's demand barely slackened.

But stimulus did help. It was universally applauded by business and much of the community believes
it dodged a bullet.

So the Opposition's on the hard side of this argument.

TONY ABBOTT: I am pleased that Australia seems thus far to have avoided a recession. A recession
would exact a terrible human cost but I am very disappointed that, thanks to the misguided policies
of this Government, the price of its policies has been mortgaging our future, not just for years
but for decades.

CHRIS UHLMANN: At the Press Club, Barnaby Joyce had a line on debt which showed why he can be such
a useful weapon.

BARNABY JOYCE, OPPOSITION FINANCE SPOKESMAN: For the Labor Party in the future, every time you open
the fridge, and that little light goes on, is to remind you that Mr Rudd is taxing you.

CHRIS UHLMANN: He also showed why he keeps his colleagues awake at night worrying about his
appointment to the key Finance portfolio.

In explaining how he would find $3.2 billion to fund the Coalition's climate policy, he confused
trillions with billions.

BARNABY JOYCE: We have expenditure over the MYEFO statements, if I'm correct, of about $1.4
billion, that's... that we're going to spend.

CHRIS UHLMANN: He then swapped millions for billions.

BARNABY JOYCE: The Labor Party is about to spend $1,400 million... $1,400 million. So I think I can
find $3.2 from $1,400.

CHRIS UHLMANN: But the Government has a few million problems of its own.

An Auditor General's report has found that its failed broadband tender process cost taxpayers and
the companies involved more than $30 million. And it exposed some of the tenderers to the
possibility of having to pay billions in compensation to Telstra.

NICK MINCHIN, OPPOSITION SENATE LEADER: In excess of $30 million to produce absolutely nothing. The
department's costs alone, the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy, were
some $17 million.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Today, the Government has been sharpening its attack on the Coalition's emissions
reduction policy and has had its bureaucrats in the Department of Climate Change burning the
midnight oil doing costings.

It won't surprise to learn that they think it won't cut emissions without billions more in
spending. You will read all about it in tomorrow's papers.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Political editor Chris Uhlmann.

Climate wars- Lord Monckton visits Australia

Climate wars- Lord Monckton visits Australia

Broadcast: 03/02/2010

Reporter: Tracy Bowden

While the emissions trading scheme bill continues to dominate parliament, the climate change debate
has ramped up again. The collapse of Copenhagen and the spotlight on several embarrassing slip-ups
by the United Nation's International Panel on Climate Change has charged the sceptics with fresh
energy. One of the most colourful sceptics, Lord Christopher Monckton is currently on a speaking
tour in Australia. Lord Monckton has a devoted following and spoken to packed audiences across the


KERRY O'BRIEN: Until a year or so ago, the scientific debate on climate change linked to the global
build-up of human-induced carbon dioxide emissions seemed all but over, done and dusted.

But as the push for drastic cuts in emissions by the nations of the world, grew in intensity in
advance of last December's Copenhagen summit, the voices of sceptics and outright non-believers
began to gather strength.

The collapse of Copenhagen and the spotlight on several embarrassing slip-ups by the UN's
scientific bible on global warming, the international panel on climate change, has charged the
sceptics with fresh energy.

One of the most colourful sceptics is a member of the British aristocracy and who is attracting an
enthusiastic band of followers on a speaking tour in Australia.

Christopher Monckton, an advisor to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, was in
Canberra today, where he met with Opposition leader Tony Abbott.

Tracy Bowden reports.

TRACY BOWDEN: The line snakes along two floors and down several flights of stairs as people queue
for tickets to tonight's event. They're here for a presentation by the climate change sceptic
Christopher Monckton, the third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley and it seems he will be preaching to
the converted.

(to attendee) Have you formed a view on climate change?

ATTENDEE: I certainly have.

TRACY BOWDEN: May I ask what that is?

ATTENDEE: It's a load of crap.

ATTENDEE 2: It might be changing but we haven't caused it.

PENNY SACKETT, CHIEF SCIENTIST: I think that we're seeing more and more a confusion between a
political debate, a political debate that needs to happen, it's important to happen, and the
discussion of the science. I feel that these two things are being confused and it worries me,

TRACY BOWDEN: It's a full house. More than 800 people have paid $20 each to attend. With standing
room only at the back.

They're here to listen to Lord Monckton's warnings about global government and the conspiracy of
global warming, views embraced by radio host Alan Jones.

LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON, CLIMATE CHANGE SCEPTIC: Just in case any of you have to leave early,
here is my message.

I hope that is clear.

TRACY BOWDEN: Lord Monckton is a hereditary peer but has never sat in the House of Lords. He
started out as a journalist, is also a mathematician and was an adviser to British Prime Minister
Thatcher. As he proudly illustrates at every opportunity, he is also trained in the classics.

TRACY BOWDEN: What motivates you in?

LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON: Well, I could give you the answer that our blessed Lord gave to Pontius
Pilate. He said this, (Speaks Latin)

Unto this was I born, for this came I into the world, that I might bear witness to the truth.

TRACY BOWDEN: You say you are not a scientist, you're a mathematician. Would it be fair to say
you're also a showman?

LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON: I don't think that's for me to say. But if you give me an audience, the
larger better, I do enjoy myself.

(to audience) As you can see is the houses of Parliament would disappear, to which my saying is,
and your problem is?

(audience laughs)

TRACY BOWDEN: In simple terms, Lord Monckton disputes the fact that the earth is warming and that
the activity of humans is to blame. He's totally opposed to plans to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and believes growing crops for biofuels has left millions of children starving.

LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON: We will not tolerate lies anymore. No more bogus statistics. No more
bent graphs. No more made up results.

No more global warming profiteering. By the big guy at the expense of the little guy. Those days
are over.

BEN MCNEIL, CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH CENTRE, UNSW: Lord Monckton is a former political adviser for a
UK Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. I think it's very dangerous for us to take scientific advice
from someone like that.

JOHN CONNOR, CLIMATE INSTITUTE: It's healthy to have a debate; it's healthy to be sceptical about
these things.

It's unhealthy to be in denial about the risks that is poses for Australia, the Australian economy
and even the for the global economy.

TRACY BOWDEN: Lord Monckton's visit comes at a time when the scientific case for climate change has
suffered some embarrassing setbacks.

First, the UN's climate change body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, admitted that
its claims that the Himalayan glaciers could melt within 40 years were false and based on an
unverified article in a magazine.

RAKENDRA PACHAURI, UN CLIMATE CHIEF: You can't say it's careless science, it's one mistake. In a
3,000 page report, we made a mistake and we've admitted it.

TRACY BOWDEN: Now there are further claims that the IPCC based part of a report about ice melting
from mountain peaks on a student essay.

BEN MCNEIL: Some recent developments have definitely I would say caused some people within the
community to question somehow the science. Somehow there is a grand conspiracy amongst thousands of
climate scientists to get together and really lie to the world.

I can say unequivocally that's complete absurdity.

TRACY BOWDEN: Ben McNeil is base at the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New
South Wales. Some scientists are not prepared to discuss Lord Monckton for fear of giving him more
exposure, Ben McNeil feels people need to understand the depth of scientific knowledge on global

BEN MCNEIL: It's the fundamentals of climate change have not changed. We've known for a long time
that the climate is driven by two main things in the long term: the sun and greenhouse gases. The
greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.

Climate scientists we thought that by researching and having publications on the truth is going to
pervade within society. And we're, I guess we were naive.

LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON: And then of course the arch liar of them all, St Albert Arnold Gore

TRACY BOWDEN: There's a wealth of scientific evidence supporting global warming from highly
respected organisations. Is it all wrong?

LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON: First of all, there has been warming, yes. For 300 years. So where would
you expect the warmest years to come? Of course at the end of the period.

Let's also going on to the ice sheets for instance. In fact, there's been no significant loss of
ice worldwide, sea ice, for instance. There's no clear evidence that sea level is rising any faster
than it has for the last couple of hundred years.

TRACY BOWDEN: Some scientists counter your claims saying you're actually part of a full scale
orchestrated misinformation campaign.

LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON: No, I am most certainly not part of a global conspiracy to destroy the
planet and make money out of doing so. In fact, roughly speaking 50,000 times as much is spent on
propaganda by Government, environmental group, corporate interest trying to promote the global
warming scare as is spent on the other side.

PENNY SACKETT: Honest scepticism is actually required in science. Scientists are generally their
own worst sceptics. And so scepticism is frankly something that science is founded on.

TRACY BOWDEN: Australia's chief scientist, Professor Penny Sackett, encourages debate about climate
change but worries that the lines are blurring between the science and the politics.

PENNY SACKETT: This is what I meant about polarising society. We're beginning to describe people as
sceptics or denialists or alarmist, warmist, all of these words that I'm beginning to hear. And I
think that is very unhelpful, because when we're doing that we're actually playing the man and not
ball. We should be discussing the science, not labelling people.

TRACY BOWDEN: Lord Monckton is entertaining, he's a good speaker, is he dangerous?

JOHN CONNOR: Well, he's dangerous to the extent that people aren't challenging those views or the
extent to which they're entertained or paraded as somehow an equivalence of a view on the science.
And there's a role for all of us including the media about how those views are presented.

LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON: A huge army of new bureaucracies to enforce the will of those whom you
do not elect on those whom you do.

And this is what they were going to be given the power to do: to take control over all formerly
free markets and set the market rules. So control or to rig the market.

JOHN CONNOR: Claims that he's made around a world government being formed quietly behind the scenes
is just crazy stuff, frankly. And a gross misinterpretation of what was going on in the Copenhagen
negotiation process.

TRACY BOWDEN: Lord Monckton's supporters describe him as a champion of free speech and debate. But
he doesn't always appreciate the views of his opponents as a group of climate change supporters in
Copenhagen discovered.

LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON: You are listening now to the shouts in the background of the Hitler
youth who have sprayed Copenhagen with slogans of a childish nature.

TRACY BOWDEN: So if climate change is nothing to worry about, what does Lord Monckton suggest?

LORD CHRISTOPHER MONCKTON: My advice would be to sit back, wait 10 years. If we have another 10
years during which the absurdly exaggerated temperature forecast do not come to pass it will become
apparent to everyone that nothing needs to be done.

TRACY BOWDEN: Lord Monckton is due to leave Australia at the end of the week. But in a federal
election year with climate change a hot button issue, debate on the subject is far from over.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Tracy Bowden with that report.

Inquiry Into Montara Oil Spill

The official inquiry into last year's Montara oil spill, which saw thousands of barrels of crude
leak into the Timor Sea off the WA coast is scheduled to begin public hearings before the end of
the movement while the public awaits answers on the cause of one of the nation's worst
environmental disaster, the company at sent over the crisis has been on a shopping spree buying up
more offshore oil fields. With fields. With a series of major offshore gas proect pro- jects also
about to get under way off the WA coast tlee, a lot at stake for a local industry that's on the
verge of an unprecedented boom. Di Bain reports.

About 67% of the planet's surface is covered by water. More than 1,000m in depth. And of that only
5% of that has been explored.

Thousands of metre s under the sea, science is shining a light on another worlds. It's a world
which biologist Dr Adele Pile can survey, thanks to her survey, thanks to her partnership with the
oil and gas industry. She's been given rare access to high security oil and gas rigs and uses
underwater robots to monitor the sea creatures.

Seals will actually just swim up and look in the camera.

The deal is in part designed to give the oil industry a greener image. And given recent events,
that image needs needs whatever good publicity it can get.

Gas spewing into the air and thousand of gal ons of oil pouring into the water each day. This spill
has been claiming sea snakes, birds and dolphins.

This rig This rig would not be allowed to operate in the United States of America.

When the Montara oil well started leaking oil into the Timor Sea last August, the story went

The spill is far away from American waters it's come at an awkward time for those pushing for more
offshore drilling inning in the US. Under the slogan - drill, baby, drill.

In the United States, it's been held up as an example of what can go wrong.

Like at what happened in Australia with an attitude that is state-of-the-art and is operating near
the United States, and I see million s and millions of oil spill ing and weeks before they cap it

Analysts say for Australia's oil and gas industry, there will be consequences. Not just for its
image, but for the impending natural gas boom.

Congratulation, good luck with the project. Well done.


Last year, gas sales contracts worth almost contracts worth almost $500 billion were signed.
Chevron kicked off its $50 billion Gorgon gas project off WA's Pilbara coastline. Woodside and its
joint venture team renewed their plans to push ahead with the 35 billion dollar development of the
Browse Basin off the Kimberley Coast.

I am advised that these contracts could deliver in the order of $70 billion worth of exports for
Australia over the next 25 years.

These new gas projects are located in some of the deepest waters off Australia.

About only 10% of all offshore oil and gas reserves are under production right now. And as we move
into the future we need more energy reserves, we're going to be seeing more and more fields get

But the brave new world of LNG is making some nervous. Dr Michael White is a specialist in
international maritime law. He America, the Australian oil and gas industry is still young and it's
lacking in governance.

There are plenty of laws about offshore petroleum industry but, when we have an accident like this
one, we don't have the automatic fund against which those who have suffered clean-up cost and
damagies can recover.


damagies ca

estimate estimate the clean-up and repairs related to the Montara oil disaster will cost up to half
a billion dollars. PTTEP, the company responsible for the oil field, is backed by the Thai
Government. It's fully insured but there are many smaller companies known as petroleum minnows,
explore ing the deep seas which are poort worth much less than the cost of this disaster.

In that case, the company might well just have walked away and then the Australian taxpayer would
have to pay for all the costs that flowed from it.

An independent inquiry into the cause of the Montara oil disaster is now under way. The Government
won't take any action until the inquiry is complete.

I've got no intention of commenting on what may have caused the incident. We will wait for the full
report. It is about learning from what occurred then making sure we try then making sure we try to
avoid a similar situation in the future.

In the meantime, PTTEP has been celebrating a new investment - at the height of the oil spill PTTEP
was given the go a head to buy another oil company. OMV Timor Sea. It boasts in this release it's
receiving petroleum exploration rights for five blocks anal two offshore oil fields.

If they want to actually have those exploration permit s re allocated to them they have to apply to
me. And I will consider through the appropriate designate authority whether or not they are of the
sufficient ex-per's the to be given those rights. I have no intention of commenting ob how those
applications might be considered in the future.

But in evidence to a US Senate committee in November, the head of the US minerals department was
critical of the design was critical of the design of PTTEP's oil well.

The well design is not one that we would have approved. They had a single barrier to control the
well. We require redundant barriers. We also require that the barrier s be tested at pressures
slees at least as great as those expected to be nund the reservoir.

I reject the proceeds of the United States Congress and indicate that science 1984 we have drilled
1,500 wells in Australia West Indies had one blow-out.

While owl spills may have huge environmental implications, some are looking to the bright side of
industry development. Adele Pile's research has found rigs are becoming underwater homes for
thousands of sea creatures.

A lifetime event oil field for the 20 or 30 years it's place you actually develop impressive reef s
on all the structure s that have been placed on the sea floor.

She's urging policy makers to look at a different side to the debate - one side to the debate - one
that brings the gas world into harmony with the sea world.

One of the questions that we need to understand is that the end of the life history of an oil field
is what do we do? Do we leave the infrastructure there and keep that community going? Or do we
replace it going? Or do we replace it as the way we found it? Which is most likely a barren piece
of sea floor?

We did seek an interview with PTTEP, but the company declined, saying it didn't want to pre-empt

Edinburgh Military Tattoo down under

Edinburgh Military Tattoo down under

Broadcast: 03/02/2010

Reporter: Nick Grimm

This week Sydney has been invaded by marching bands for what is being billed as the largest
military tattoo ever staged. Bringing the Edinburg Tattoo too Australia is no mean feat - given
that this week's performances will be the largest Tattoo staged anywhere.


KERRY O'BRIEN: It may seem somewhat anachronistic in today's high-tech world, but the ancient
Scottish tradition of bagpipes can still pull a crowd.

Each year the Edinburgh Tattoo draws a huge global television audience.

This week Sydney has been invaded by marching bands for what's billed as the biggest military
tattoo ever staged.

Nick Grimm reports.

NICK GRIMM: A hot Sydney sports oval is a long way from the chill of the parade ground that lies in
the shadow of Edinburgh castle. But this week the best known bag pipers in the world have been
here, sweating it out with local pipe bands.

TATTOO PRODUCER: I have the envious task of getting you lot in position in the next nine minutes.

TATTOO PRODUCER 2: Stand by, all of you, defence officer, stand by.

NICK GRIMM: Their mission is to bring Australia a bit of Scotland and a few other places as well.

MAJOR GEN. EUAN LOUDON, PRODUCER, EDINBURGH TATTOO: We come from 10 countries from here and from
far. We speak six languages, between the 1300 or so of us who will be part of the main performer

NICK GRIMM: Transporting the Edinburgh Tattoo to Australia is no mean feat. Especially given that
this week's performances in Sydney will be the largest ever staged anywhere.

1,500 performers from all around the world have gathered for spectacle, almost double the number
that perform each year in Edinburgh itself. Most have never taken part in a tattoo and they have
let lest than a week to hone their military precision.

Drum major Brian Alexander has been a part of the Edinburgh Tattoo for 20 years. Interrupted
occasionally by the odd military deployment to hot spots around the world with the British Army.

But for the last few days it's been his job to help teach tattoo newcomers the drill.

BRIAN ALEXANDER, DRUM MAJOR, EDINBURGH TATTOO: Even the civilian bands there's a good rank
structure. And communication, use of the chain of command and it will come together. We're all in
the same boat anyway, we're all enthusiasts, so it's a passion.

NICK GRIMM: And certainly it is a passion many people share. While it may not be everyone's idea of
a great night in, in this country the annual broadcaster of the Edinburgh Tattoo attracts more than
a million viewers.

EUAN LOUDON: Why that is I am not sure.

NICK GRIMM: Even organisers admit to being a trifle mystified by the Edinburgh Tattoo's unstoppable
march across the globe.

EUAN LOUDON: It is an extraordinary story. 60 years ago it was nothing more than a little display
of piping and dancing up on the esplanade of Edinburgh castle. There were no seats, people stood
around behind ropes to watch. Since then it's grown into a situation where a billion people around
the world every decade watch it on television.

NICK GRIMM: What is it about the pipes and the drums, the mass bands that make this so popular

BRIAN ALEXANDER: I think the history that goes behind the pipes and the drums. I think every child
wanted to be a drummer and I think everybody worldwide respects the pipes and it's just is an
inspiring music.

NICK GRIMM: Scot's College students Will Donneelly and Charles Harper are two of the school's
pipers who spent much of the summer practising their instruments.

WILL DONNEELLY: Unique. You don't have many pipe bands in Australia. So it's quite cool to watch.

NICK GRIMM: At just 13, Charles Harper will be one of the youngest performers to fall into step
with the mass pipes and drums.

CHARLES HARPER: I am only just moving into year eight. And I was always trying really hard with my
piping. And so I could get to some tattoos and now I am just happy to be here.

NICK GRIMM: 19-year-old Stephanie MacLeod found her way into the Edinburgh Tattoo by leaving her
home in Scotland.

STEPHANIE MACLEOD: I am working as a nanny here and I played with an Ireland district band back in
Scotland. And I wanted to carry on so I went on the Internet and looked for a pipe band and found
the Melbourne pipe band and when I got there when I went to the practice and they asked me to come
to Sydney and play at the tattoo.

EUAN LOUDON: I think in Edinburgh, our four pillars are make sure there's mass pipes and drums,
make sure there's mass military band, make sure there's an international, spicy, razzle dazzle wow
factor in there, and then always finish the show in an emotional way that sort of pulls people's
heart strings but also makes them want to tap their feet. I think you would be a fool to tamper
with a recipe that seems to have served us really well for 60 years.

NICK GRIMM: One of the great music spectacles. Nick Grimm with that report.

That's the program for tonight. We will be back at the same time tomorrow, but for now goodnight.