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(generated from captions) go to but I don't think for one moment $100 million is going to fix it. It is one of those things why the budget is so precious. When you find money, you can do good things with it but you have to save and be prudent to find the money. Ultimately it is a cultural change. We all have to be part of that. This might seem a bit quaint and bit whoopee but we have to start changing our attitude all the time in how we deal with women. Don't swear in front of them, it is not politically incorrect to open a door. All these things we can change the attitude so we can show we respect people because if you don't respect from a younger age, then how are you going to develop it later on? SCATTERED APPLAUSEThe education campaigns need to start in the schools. There has been great initiatives at State level around this but thanks to some young women, some children at school have campaigned for curriculum to deal with domestic violence. I think it is important. But the issue of shelters, I couldn't agree with you more Catherine. As a result of the cuts we have seen previously a lot of the shelters had shut and we heard terribly distressing stories about women in dire need. But let's say $100 million is not going to fix it and it is a good start. It was Malcolm Turnbull talking about it holistically, about respect for women, about equality, all the other issues that needs to be part of the agenda.I don't think anyone thinks $100 million is the end of the story. I would differ a little with my co-panelists on this. I think there is a powerful signal to send to say to Chris Brown what you did is inappropriate.I agree.He has come to Australia since the convictions, he has been here a couple of times but since then we have begun to change our attitudes and our approach. If he has to be made an example of, then I'm for it.David Marr.Whatever good things this money brings, it has to bring shelters. In you don't have somewhere to go, you're done for. You have to be able to get out, get your kids out and at times you have to get your pets out. You've got to escape. If the money does not cover shelter and escape, it is not getting to the fundamentals. Perhaps Barnaby there needs to be some education in schools to teach people to walk through doors ahead of women? That's the thing, David, in you get to the point where you ridicule much as
everything, we are trying as much as possible to create an area where you build back into society that sense of respect.Respect us as equals.It is highly unlikely someone will belt someone in the face if they have been brought up in a environment where they have to respect think.I agree with you but I don't think the slippery slope starts by standing back and let a woman through a door first.You do it your way, we'll do it our way.That's all we have time for tonight. Please thank David Marr, John Roskam, Catherine King, Barnaby Joyce and Elizabeth Ann McGregor.(Applause)Thank you very much. Next Monday, a very special edition of Q&A as part of the ABC's "Mental As..." Beyond
week, with the founding head of Beyond Blue Ian Hickie, former AFL star Wayne Schwass who established the The Sunrise Foundation, Fay Jackson who wrestled with other her own mental, Indigenous psychologist Roderick
Pat Dudgeon and Professor Roderick Mackay who specialises in the impact of depression on older Australians. Plus we will be finishing the program with a live performance by Gurrumul and Paul Kelly that's bound to lift your spirits. Until next week's Q&A, goodnight.

This Program Is Captioned Live by CSI Australia Hello. Kathryn Stolarchuk with the top stories from ABC News. Two refugees are asking Australia for help after reportedly being raped on Nauru, leaving one of them pregnant. The ABC has obtained video of a woman calling police for help while hiding behind a rock. The attacks are the latest in a string of sexual assaults on the island. Taiwanese authorities have stepped up evacuations in prepare of Super Typhoon Dujuan. Around 7,000 people have already been moved from the outlying tourist islands. It's feared the typhoon could reach gusts of over 200 kilometres per hour and trigger waves 13m high. The Victorian Government says work is already being done to address some of the failings high lighted by Luke Batty's murder. An inquest into the 11-year-old's death identified several gaps and flaws in the State's family violence system. The Police Minister says he will consider calls to flick high-risk offenders and create a central database for family violence agencies. And Johnathan player
Thurston has become the first player in history to win the Dally M medal four times. The Cowboys co-captain claimed the NRL's highest individual honour by the biggest ever margin. He will now need to refocus on Sunday night's grand final against the Broncos. Those are the latest headlines. 'Lateline' is up next.

Live by CSI Australia
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Good evening. I'm Steve Cannane. Tonight - the international campaign to save a young Saudi man who's been sentenced to crucifixion for his role in the Arab Spring protests when he was just 17. A former Attorney-General joins the worldwide fight to save his life.Whatever you execute somebody for - and I don't think it's ever justified - to be executing a minor, albeit now hee's attained his majority, is just bad in principle. That story coming up. When Malcolm Turnbull seized the Liberal Leadership he pointed to the poor opinion Abbott's
polls that had plagued Tony Abbott's reign. So far, the new Prime Minister has been able to turn around the government's fortunes, at least according to the latest polls. But how long will that honeymoon last? Tonight we give you an inside look into the minds of swinging voters in a key marginal electorate. The report commissioned by research agency Visibility reveals what a group

swinging voters of Lindsay were impressed by the new Prime Minister.He looks more business savvy, more intelligent, not that I'm saying Tony Abbott's not intelligent, but like I said, Tony Abbott seemed a bit more really know
whimsical and just didn't really know what he was doing.He seems a bit more truthful and upfront than everybody else. I mean the last two, maybe three. He just seems a bit more open than the rest.I think that with his drive, his determination and his business savvy sense, he will be able to take Australia forward. The prime concern among these voters is the economy. They believe that Australia is in decline, and they're worried about jobs and the future.The Treasury and how they're running the economy, there's no stability there. I mean, you know, you get someone, they just turf him off, get someone else in and you get started all over again bloody
and fix the economy. Meanwhile, bloody economy's going downhill really fast.I can't see the economy going forward while the leaders are arguing amongst themselves. While their first impressions of Malcolm Turnbull are positive, they say it's too early to judge whether he will live up to expectations. ruthless
They're also fatigued by the ruthless churn at the top of Australian politics and it's clear the Prime Minister will have to work hard to restore their trust. So far, the leadership change has narrowed the contest between the two major parties. The last Newspoll had the Turnbull Government ahead of Labor 51-49 and the difference between Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten as preferred Prime Minister was even starker at 55-21. The voters in Lindsay were unimpressed by the Labor Leader.Dishonest and shady.Sneaky and untrustworthy.Dull, a dull type of person to me.The whole Labor Party - I've got no - they've got no set solid policies for the country. All they care about is climate change and gay marriage and all stuff like that, which people aren't interested in that, they want to fix the economy. The leadership change has made a difference to these voters' intentions at the ballot box.I was not going to vote Liberal again if Tony Abbott was running. I just didn't - he just put a bitter taste in my mouth. What are you thinking now?Even playing fields at the moment.When I changed to Liberal the last election, I thought, OK, you know, we need a change. And now I'm thinking, well, I'm just going to wait and see. What were you thinking last week when Tony Abbott was Prime Minister?I was thinking I made the wrong is Tony Mitchelmore,
choice. Ha ha! Joining me now is Tony Mitchelmore, the Managing Director of Visibility, a company who specialises in qual Taitive research and communications. They conducted those focus groups we just saw in Jason Om's report. Tony has also worked on nine federal and State campaigns for the Labor party. Thanks for coming on.No problem. Before we talk more about what you found, how do you choose these focus groups and how do you know whether they're representative of swinging voters?Well, you don't talk to everyone. You talk to swinging voters, the people who will decide the go
election. So in this case you go to the marginal electorates, in this case we went to Lindsay and we selected people who switched their vote at the last election from Labor to Liberal. So essential ly they're the people that Labor need to win back to win power and who the Liberal Party need to keep to maintain power. If those samples are representative of swinging voters across the country, you'd have to say that the Liberal Party has made the right change?Well, what was pretty
reflected in those groups was pretty promising. But the support was qualified. So they're pretty impressed by Malcolm Turnbull at this stage, and saying really nice things him but they've been through a lot in recent years, so the support's qualified. They're decidedly wary and a little bit cynical. It's kind of a case of I will believe it when I see it. As you well know when Labor rolled Kevin Rudd in their first term, in his first term as Prime Minister, they struggled to explain to voters why they have got rid of a Prime Minister in their first term. That doesn't seem to be a concern for these voters. They seem to be pleased that Tony Abbott has lost his job?There doesn't seem to be that same sort of fallout at all. When were
Kevin Rudd was deposed, they were quite annoyed for a long affected Julia
time and the fallout really affected Julia Gillard and perceptions of Julia Gillard. But I don't see that to be the case at all. I mean, when you think about it, Tony Abbott got elected at the last election, but even then, his popularity wasn't great. It was more a case that Labor were just unelectable. So he hasn't been popular for a long time. And so a long
this has been in the media for a long time, he's not personally popular with them, so there isn't that same ... Not much of a shock?Not much of a shock. That sample group expectations of Malcolm
also seems to have very high

Turnbull as Prime Minister. Is that necessarily a good thing, if he doesn't deliver, could they quickly turn on him and swing their votes back to Labor?Yeah. That's what the honeymoon's all about. That's the potential downside for him. What he's got going for him there is people desperately want some stability. They'd love a long period of just the same Prime Minister and stable government. On the downside, as you say, expectations are quite high. He's got to live up to those and they're wary. They want to see him perform. They want to see a change from the Abbott Government, they want to see a new sort of government and he's going to find it quite hard to kind of get runs on the board and get some wins on the main game stuff like the economy. So that honeymoon may interesting thing
not last so long.Another interesting thing to come out of those groups, any attacks on him for being a man of wealth would not work?Didn't work at all. Didn't work at all. In fact, a positive. So they speak quite glowingly about him being a successful businessman and maybe that can help us with the economy. Now, Labor Leader Bill Shorten suffers in comparison to Malcolm Turnbull within these focus groups. Is that just part of the honeymoon or does Bill Shorten have some entrenched problems with the electorate?Well, sort of stuff we got on Bill isn't new. That sort of stuff has been coming through for a long time. It's just now that you've got Malcolm Turnbull as the counter point, the comparison is quite stark. So it was interesting to see him change his language last week and ask for a contest of ideas. I guess the Labor strategists know that if it's a contest of leadership or but
personality, he's in trouble but if it's a contest of ideas, and people don't see a change in policies to those kind of policies they didn't like under Tony Abbott, then perhaps they can peg him back. So they would've been picking this up, the Labor Party focus groups would've been picking this up previously but it was less important when Tony Abbotts a leader?Tony Abbott was the Labor Party's best asset, for sure. So you've been involved in successful campaigns with the Labor Party before. Do they have to rebrand Bill Shorten now?It's going to be really hard for him to cut through in the short term. He started to get together this strategy about advance Australia and I'm the modern guy versus Tony Abbott the guy of the past. That's not gonna work any more. They've got to find a strategy definition
quick smart because the definition of him at the moment is not great. They need to replace that definition with a better definition. One of the problems is just cutting through. There's so many people in those groups who just say look I don't hear from him much, I don't know much about him. A few days ago, he came up with a perfectly good policy around higher education and honours degrees. But whether people out there know about that at all at the moment is quite doubtful. He's just finding it hard to cut through. In these focus groups, there seemed to be a fair bit of cynicism towards politics and politicians. Let's take a look.Politicians today are too busy getting jobs and swapping jobs.Helping each other out.Help their mates out.Once one gets in those two will try to get me out and put you in and all that crap.At the moment in politics they're all snakes. They're all in it for themselves, who can get the better job.They backflip on do
their promises. They, you know, do deals behind closed doors and all that sort of stuff. Unfortunately, that's politics,. They're all, in my opinion, like that.Bronwyn Bishop appears as if she voted for Turnbull, because Abbott got rid of her.Exactly.Came out and said - that shows you sincerity in these politicians. You sack me, I will get you. Not what's best for the country, your party. What do you put that voter cynicism down to?They've been through a lot in the past five or six years More cynical than previous generations?More cynical than I have ever seen it. I've been doing this for 10 or 1 years. I think it's justifiable in many years. - 12 years. There've been politicians who've said one done the
thing and quite back and white done the other. They've had politicians who they thought were one thing and turned out to be something different. Politics has been played in a harsh way. All this in the declining
context of what they see as a declining economy and they are worrying about that. Politicians damage their own brand in the last five years?Yes, four sure. That's part of the wait and see about
attitude that they're talking about when they talk about Malcolm Turnbull. Because they've been through all of Prime
that and that revolving-door Prime Ministers, it's not surprising that they're a bit wary. OK. So if those voters are craving some stability, that is going to suit Malcolm Turnbull, isn't it?It is. That's what's going to help him. If he can get this right, they are seriously craving stability and the economy, they're feeling really uncertain about that. So commodity that
there's almost no stronger commodity that you can offer at the moment to the public than stability and certainty. That really came through in your focus groups, the economic issues. People are not happy with the way the economy is at the moment?No, I haven't seen it as bad, I haven't seen bad
perceptions of the economy this bad and confidence this low. For the first time, people are starting to develop a path of decline in their minds or the Australian economy. And they're quite literate on it. They can off, they
talk about mining coming of0 off, they can talk about the struggle to compete with Asia and Asian wages, that we're at the whim of China. They're not sure what will keep the country going. They also picked up on the death of the car industry?Manufacturing closing, can't compete, what's going to keep the country question for
going? That's the $64 million question for them. Now, in your focus groups, you also get a sense of the role attack ads can play with voters. Let's take a look.I support the change to family payment reform.The Liberals have brought in a new leader who's just as out of touch as the last.Maybe I will go Labor after all.It's just the uncertainty of the co-payments, how much of a co-payment there is, what's the gap and there's just this little grey area that - how much will we be slugged now?The policy seems to be the same in Liberal and there seems to be a follow-on, we will do the policy of Abbott but Turnbull is doing the same thing. He's basically following on from where we left off. I don't like that idea at all. I want someone fresh with fresh ideas and fresh policies. Now, the first woman we heard from there seemed to change her hearing
mind, didn't he? Just after hearing that attack ad. That's interesting?No, that had a strong effect on a few people in the group e, that's for sure. That idea that he's just going to be the same as Tony Abbott had a strong effect on people. She may change her mind back when she sees the other attack ad going back the other way?You have to be careful with this. I didn't show any Liberal ads. There is also cynicism towards attack ads as well. They're used to both sides saying bad things about each other. They're aware of the vested interests behind the ad. They know there's a reason for it. So the total effectiveness isn't always as apparent as it was there. Just finally, there is a danger we can read too much into focus groups or even read the wrong things into focus groups?Oh sure. People can be way too literal about focus groups. You've got to be really careful about them. You don't do things just because focus groups say they will. In fact, focus groups and all sorts of research whether it be dials or models or any sort of quantitative work can be really poor predictors of what's actually going to happen. It's what the
been a fascinating insight into what the people of Lindsay are thinking, the swinging voters. Thanks very much for joining us.Not a problem. An international campaign is under way to stop the execution of a young Saudi man sentenced to death for his role in the 2012 Arab Spring pro-democracy protests. Ali Al Nimr was arrested at the age of 17, and is the nephew of a high-profile dis department in Saudi Arabia. Saudi authorities have accused him of attacking their security forces, but his lawyer says his confession was made after he was tortured. Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world. Ali Al Nimr now faces crucifixion, which human rights groups say means that he will be beheaded then placed on public display. And a warning, this story contains footage which some viewers may find disturbing. John Stewart reports. In 2012, Ali Al Nimr was just 17 when he took part in anti-government protests in Saudi Arabia. The so-called Arab Spring uprising saw the
pro-democracy protests across the Middle East, and parts of North Africa. Ali Al Nimr was arrested and accused of carrying a weapon, and attack ing Saudi security forces during the demonstrations. The former Attorney-General Philip Ruddock leads a group of Australian politicians against the death penalty. He's been lobbying Saudi officials to spare Mr Nimr.Chris Hayes and myself as the co-chairs have written directly to Saudi Arabia, to the Crown Prince and to the diplomatic representatives here in Australia, because we view it as very significant. An campaign
international social media campaign calling for Ali Al Nimr to be freed has been gaining momentum. But Mr Ruddock says he's yet to receive a response from Saudi officials about the case.These are allegations that he admitted these offences, but the argument that is put by his representatives is that that occurred under torture. Now, when you've got issues of doubt like this, about a person who is a minor when it occurs, I think it's just absolutely fundamentally wrong and I can't - I can't see any way in which it can be justified. So far this year, Saudi Arabia has executed 134 people, many by public beheading. According to Amnesty International, in 2014, China had the highest execution rate Saudi
in the world, followed by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United States. Last week, Saudi United
Arabia was chosen to lead a United Nations human rights council. The decision was questioned by human rights groups. But the US State Department welcomed the news that one of its key allies had been chosen for the job.We've talked about our concerns about some of the capital punishment cases in Saudi Arabia in our human rights report, but I don't have anything more to add to it.How about the reaction to them heading the council?Again, I don't have any comment. I don't have any reaction to it. I mean, frankly, you know, it's - you know, we would welcome it. We're close allies.You think that they're an appropriate choice given - I mean, how many pages does Saudi Arabia get in the human rights report annually?I can't give that on the top of my head. Let's cross live to London now, Kate Higham is a case worker for the human rights group Reprieve. She's on their death penalty team who are campaigns to have Ali Al Nimr saved from execution. - campaigning. Thanks so much for joining usHi, thank you for having me.This is an incredibly disturbing sentence. Reports suggest that Ali Al Nimr has been sentenced to both beheading and crucifixion. Can you explain to us how this sentence is meant to be carried out and what it is meant to achieve?Well, as you noted, Ali has been sentenced to crucifixion, which means something very different in the Saudi context to what we might think of. People in Saudi Arabia when they're executed are most commonly beheaded with a swordened a the crucifixion part means that his body will be publicly displayed. We think for a minimum of around three days. And very concerningly, it appears that the crucifixion element of this sentence has been added in Ali's case because of the political nature of the charges against him. So Ali is accused of a number of acts relating to protests against the Saudi authorities and we think this is to send a strong message to other people within Saudi that if you protest against the government, this is the kind of thing that will happen to you, which is extremely disturbing. According to sources very close to Ali's family, he did attend protests, he went along with friends of his from his school and shouted slogans and held up signs and I think anybody who's attended a protest as a teenager will understand where the imperative to do that comes from. But the idea that in Saudi Arabia you could then be paying for that with your life and with the knowledge that your family will, you know, have to see your body displayed after your death is absolutely appalling. We'll come more to the evidence in a moment but just sticking with the sentence, how much is it related to his uncle do you think who's a high profile Shi'ite cleric who's previously been critical of the Saudi royal family and who himself has been sentenced to death?Well, as you say, Ali's uncle has also been sentenced and has also been sentenced to crucifixion. The two things are fundamentally linked, I think, which is - you know, appalling in and of itself. The idea that who your uncle is can determine the way that the State treats you and can result in you getting a sentence like this is absolutely appalling. Shikh Nimr al-Nimr has been very critical of the Saudi authorities. He is known to be pro-democracy to a degree and to have campaigned for more freedom in the way that people are allowed to practise their religion, so the idea that he is being sentenced to these appalling, appalling sentences for standing up for what he believes this is bad enough, his
but then to also be punishing his young nephew, who is only 17 at the time, is even more outrageous. Ali is accused of carrying a weapon, of being violent during these protests back in the Arab Spring. What can you tell us about the evidence against this young man and how it was obtained?Well, Ali was convicted primarily on the strength of a confession. Ali was arrested in February 2012 and for the first three months of his detention his family had no idea where he was, what had happened to him, they only knew that he had been arrested because a neighbour reported seeing undercover police officers. After three months they were finally allowed to see Ali and reports suggest, from sources close to the family, say when they saw him, he was very, very badly beaten, his face was damaged and he said he'd been held in solitary confinement, complete solitary confine ment for those three months. During that time, Ali had signed a confession which again sources close to his family say was not even in his handwriting. And that confession was the only evidence against him that was relied on in court proceedings. Now these proceedings were incredibly unfair. Ali was tried in the special criminal court, which is a reasonably newly established court, even more opaque than the rest of the Saudi legal system. For the first half of his trial he didn't have a lawyer. He was eventually permitted a lawyer but he was never permitted access to that lawyer, never permitted to have a meeting with him to discuss what his defence should be. So he did say during his trial that the confession was false, that he didn't - it wasn't what he had said, he hadn't had any involvement in any of these alleged offences. But nonetheless, the court relied on that confession without investigating it further. Given the process you just outlined and also the brutal nature of the Saudi justice system, what hope does this young man have and does his family have that that sentence may be changed?Well Ali's family are appealing to King Salman in Saudi Arabia asking that he doesn't sign Ali's death warrant and that he grants mercy in the case. Saudi is a signatory to the convention on the rights of the child. It's illegal under that convention to sentence anybody and there
under the age of 18 to death and there are clearly grounds here for this sentence to be revoked and renewed, and Ali's family and others in Saudi are very heavily campaigning for mercy to be granted, for an investigation to be lodged into this case. What we at Reprieve are trying to do is make sure that that campaign also reaches an international audience and make sure that Ali has support not only from within Saudi but also from the international community, from key allies of Saudi Arabia like the UK and the US, and Australia, for whom human rights is a clear priority. And so making it clear that Saudi really needs to comply with the convention on the rights of the child, comply with the convention against torture, and commute this terrible sentence. In the middle of all of this, Saudi Arabia was appointed to a panel of the UN Human Rights Council that is responsible for helping to choose the council's human rights experts. What did you make of that decision?I have to say, I understand that the person serving on the council is serving in a personal capacity and not as part of the Saudi State. But I think Saudi's membership of the Human Rights Council, which is done in a State capacity, is extremely concerning. And I think you know the UN, a group of UN experts have commented on Ali's case, have said that the sentence clearly contradicts the convention on the rights of the child, the convention against torture and I think if Saudi wants anybody to think of their membership of the Human Rights Council as anything other than laughable then they need to show their commitment to the human rights treaties that the council is designed to ensure compliance with and they need to commute Ali's sentence proceedings
and review the entire trial proceedings in this case and show in many other cases where children are being sentenced to death or where torture is being used, that they are also willing to change their tune now. Otherwise no-one can really take this seriously. We State Department
did hear the spokesman from the State Department say before that they welcomed that before. The US is a key ally of Saudi Arabia. Have they done anything to speak out in favour of clemency be granted to Ali Al Nimr?The US following that interview did then subsequently release another statement saying that they were very concerned about Ali's case and that they were raising it with the Saudi authorities and we can only hope that they're raising that extremely strongly and directly asking for Ali's sentence to be commuted. I think we're very hopeful that that is what will happen, and we also need to see the same thing being done by other countries like the UK, Australia. We need a global voice, backing the campaign that's going on in Saudi on the ground, run by Ali's family, who have spoken out against this and his lawyers there. So we hope that their statement is the public face of some serious representations and if those representations haven't already that
been made then I very much hope that they will be. Kate Higham we'll have to leave it there. Thanks very much for your time tonightThank you very much. That's all for 'Lateline' for tonight. You can find all of tonight's stories and interviews on our web site. I will see you again tomorrow night. Goodnight. VOICE-OVER: From 4 October,
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Good evening. Coming up on 'The Business' - why size matters for M2 and Vocus, they are creating Australia's fourth largest telco. And testing 5,000, what passing the psychological barrier means for investors.Australia is likely to have a new Internet giant with the merger of Vocus and M2 that was announced today. Never heard of them? Well, you certainly will have heard of M2's brands.Dodo, Internet that flies...IPrimus connected you then. Connecting you now and into the future.As for Vocus's communications it's big in the corporate world providing networking and IT products.One end to end partner, one powerful Trans Tasman network.They are both listed on the ASX and the mergeer will create a telco worth around - putting it behind Optus and TPG which recently swallowed iiNet. M2 also bid for iiNet earlier this year and was knocked back. The details of the M2 Vocus merger are vet to be confirmed but shareholders are expected to year.
vote on the scheme early next year.It's likely to get the all clear from the competition regulator as well. The ACCC's Chairman Rod Sims previously ruled out further consolidation in the broadband market after TPG bought iiNet. Mr Sims today said the M2 Vocus deal is different and he'll look at it with an open mind.It all comes as Australian tech heavyweight Atlassian announce s its file to list on Wall Street, most likely on the NASDAQ. A major step forward that will be a multi billion dollar listing. It's a huge deal for the Mike Cannon-Brookes
company that was started bid Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar and funded by a $10,000 credit card debt. The IPO will be the biggest ever for an Australian tech business swamping this year's MYOB float on the ASX, which was worth $2 billion. It seems all the cogs are grinding into motion for wants
the new Prime Minister who innovation
wants to put technology, innovation and digital disruption at the forefront of the economy.For more on Geoff
today's deal, I spoke with Geoff Horth, M2's Chief Executive, just after the announcement.Geoff Horth, thanks for your time on a busy day.Thanks very much for having me.Why such a scramble for mergers between telcos this year, there's been a frenzy, including your $1.6 billion bid for iiNet in April this year.I think there's el - I. I don't know that it's been a scramble. I this it's been a long road. We saw the market fragment significantly following de regulation in the 90s and obviously that's been largely consolidating and scale is important in this category, there's no doubt about the fact that having the infrastructure and assets to be able to compete in an NBN world, it's really important you have tomorrow some scale, it's probably been the primary driver, but it has been going for quite some time. Between our two businesses we have done close to 30 acquisitions.Is it the NBN that's really sparked it? Vocus and Amcon merged in contested by
Juncker this year, hotly contested by TPG as well. Is it the view that it's either get big or get out in this environment?I think there's an element of you need to have a certain amount of scale. You - obviously when you're talking about connecting to 121 NBN points, you have to have a certain amount of fixed cost in your business to build core infrastructure and applications and points of presence, then there's definitely benefit to having some scale in your business and some financial strength, there's no doubt about that.So why this deal with Vocus? It's a very different part of the market, than what you were looking for next
in iiNet. Is Vocus just the next best deal you could find after iiNet? I think it would be fair to say we think this is a much better deal, this is a business which is truly complementary, if you think about the combination, we are similar businesses, both small business, consumer centric. We talk about combining our business with Vocus, it's almost the marriage made in heaven. We have both got very complementary businesses, a large portfolio of customers at M2, significant network infrastructure and the ability to leverage that is actually a very important piece of this combination.So what's the growth strategy from here? This will increase your standing as the fourth biggest telco in Australia, but where and
are you going to find growth and tackle the likes of Telstra and Optus?We are a business which has great growth already. Both Vocus and M2 have delivered many years of consistent organic growth. We have got brands that resonate in our chosen segments, distribution and sales capacity, we have got balance sheet capacity to grow organically as well, the cash to invest in our growth and I think we have got some unique points of difference, M2's capacity to leverage other utilities with our energy portfolio and helping us to build new distribution and create new product bundles. I think a business $1.8 billion of revenue, single digit market share in the corporate and consumer space.Talking about boosting growth organically, how are you actually going to do that, is it going to be on price, speed, how are you going to do it, because Telstra, Optus and TPG have a huge lead on you?Yeah, I'd say they have a huge lead. They are obviously very relevant competitors. I think we have demonstrated over many years now that we can grow. We are a business that's actually suffered a little bit of a margin disadvantage, we Interestingly
have largely been a reseller. Interestingly as we move into the NBN everyone becomes a reseller. We think that is one of our core competitive advantages.Do you think it will level the playing field for you?I have no doubt it will. We have obviously managed to compete on price and on that we
price terms despite the fact that we have got a margin disadvantage today. As we move into NBN we fundamentally dealing with a situation where everybody is dealing with the same cost base, changes the margins paradigm and we think that positions us very well to be a really relevant competitor in that market.The axe's Chairman Rod Sims spoke out following the TPG iiNet deal saying he was uncomfortable with approve ing any more deals doesn't think
in that space. Today he said he doesn't think this fits into that category. Do you think it will make it harder for you to make acquisitions going forward?I'm no competition lawyer but I'm pleased to hear Mr Sims has offered that opinion. We'd agree with him whole heardly. We think we are a business that cannot only be a very relevant competitor in the Australian market but also We have
an enabler of new competition. We have a great wholesale pedigree and we can help to open up that NBN to new entrants.Malcolm Turnbull says he's bringing a real emphasis on the importance of technology, innovation, digital disruption. What are you hoping it actually means?I think that - I love that mandate, I think he has great credentials as a technologigist.Is there anything lacking that needs to be addressed?In terms of the NBN strategy, I'd have to say we have a very clear path forward, I'm pleased with the have
direction the NBN is taking. We have got growing confidence in the capability of the management team to execute it, I think Bill and his team have done a great job just giving us more reliability about roll-outs and I think we are at the point where we have got the industry generally has a great deal of confidence in the NBN's roll-out schedules and that's going to be a really important enabler for innovation and connectivity for Australians generally.Geoff Horth, thank you very much for joining the program.Thanks very much for having me.The Australian sharemarket enjoyed a much needed bounce today, but it's been a horror six months on the local exchange. Stocks are down 15%, since April as the major indices hover just above the key 5,000 level. And it's the miners
market heavy there's weights, miners and banks that have led the sell-off. The sharemarket route is causing havoc with superannuation balances with August marking the worst month for returns in over six years. Neil Woolrich reports.From China's market melt down to uncertainty over US interest rates, and the Australian economy stuck in low gear. Invest torres have seemingly lurched from one drama to another over the past six months. Frts it's been no different to 2011-12 with the Greek crisis and the European crisis more broadly. But this time around, I think investors have become a little bit more conditioned to expecting increasing volatility and they have handled it pretty well.Amid the recent gloom it might be easy to forget the Australian market began a stall lar rally late in 2014. From December to April the market climbed nearly 14%, but since then, it's fallen 15%, a net loss of 4% over a year. And while the ASX 200 index has briefly dipped below 5,000 points five times in the past month, for the most part it's managed to stay just above that key barrier.There's been a lot of cash on the sidelines and I think that those funds remain there waiting for buying opportunities. So whenever we see the market getting close or testing a key level some of those funds get deployed into the market, and often we'll see a rally from that point.The sharemarket correction is causing headaches for The
superannuation funds as well. The average balanced fund fell 2.9% in August, the largest monthly fall in over six years. It was a pretty challenging month in August, it has to be down by
said. We saw Aussie shares were down by nearly 8% for the month. We saw some challenges in international markets and it really conspired against super funds.Banks and miners have been the main drivers behind the Australian market correction. But Paterson's says now might be the time to reconsider the big resource stocks, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.As they say, it's always sentiment being
darkest before the dawn, with it
sentiment being as negative as there is
it is, the contrary in me says there is some value there and for those that can stomach the volatility.Cash was the most preferred asset class last added to
week. 24 billion dollars was added to money markets during the week, whereas nearly $5 billion was taken out of global shares.There's a little bit more money going into alternative assets, which is good to see, for those longer term sort of players. But we are also seeing some funds with higher average account balances, probably shifting more to that defensive side.But the rain of cash is king might be brief this time with the US Federal Reserve poised to raise interest rates at either its October or December meeting.Most of my colleagues and I anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant raising short-term interest rates at a quite gradual pace over the interest
next few years.And while interest rate lift-off has been telegraphed well in advance the change, whenever it comes, is expected to spark another round of market upheaval and test the 5,000 mark again.I'm expecting continued volatility through October and potentially into November as well. In terms of the bottom of the actual market itself, 5,000 points seems to for
be a very good support level for the market. We have fess Tested that a number of times and I wouldn't be surprised if we did that again, at least a couple more times.Buckle up, the bumpy ride still has some way to run.To the markets and a surprise rally to start the week, it pushed the ASX up almost 1.5%. Ken Howard from Morgans joined me. Thanks for your time. We pulled clear of the 5,000 mark for now at