25 March 2008


ABC Managing Director Mark Scott in The Australian has promised a new world of news delivery:

In 2008, work will begin on the ABC's first purpose-built continuous news centre to provide multiple, simultaneous continuous streams of news, 24 hours a day to every outlet of the ABC - ABC1, ABC2, ABC Online, Australia Network and ABC Radio.

A specialist production team will operate the CNC using new technology to sift and distil the hundreds of hours of news content produced daily by ABC staff around the country and make it available to multiple platforms around the clock.

For our audience it means stories can be published or updated as soon as they are completed, taking full advantage of the ABC news network: more than 1000 journalists working locally, nationally and internationally.

The centre will deliver to existing continuous news platforms, and be viable for potential future ones such as an ABC news channel for digital TV, or internet TV. To do this we have to reorganise the way we work. If Sky News can deliver a 24-hour news service with a fraction of the number of journalists working in ABC newsrooms, then it stands to follow that the ABC is capable of producing a 24/7 news service for our audiences: we just need to work smarter to deliver it.

In contrast to Sky News, a niche service available only in the 25 per cent of homes that can afford pay TV, the ABC provides a universal service to all Australians, rich and poor. The CNC would make ABC news content even more accessible to all Australians, all day on different devices.

We begin with a great advantage: our strength and reputation in news gathering. By adopting a new production model we can harvest more effectively the news and information we are generating.

Digital technology means we can create news content once and use it many times over on a number of different platforms. The CNC will allow us to take stories that appear on news services in Perth, Darwin or Brisbane and make them available for audiences across the country. It means we can put cameras in the AM studio, so these interviews won't just be heard on radio but can be seen on TV or online.

The same principles apply to our creation of 60 new local websites, ABC Local, delivering not just local news, weather and sport but also video and audio, reflecting local events and cul-

ture and opportunities for audiences to contribute.

These will be the dominant information hubs across regional and rural Australia, demonstrating the depth of ABC commitment outside the state and territory capitals.

The ABC has no rival in rural, regional and local news gathering and with fast broadband coming to the bush, the ABC will be the "town square" where events, issues and community information is posted and debated.

The continuous news centre will be built within existing ABC funding, a result of a constant process of review at the ABC to ensure our funding is being used in the most efficient and effective way.

Much of it involves taking the content we already produce and finding new ways to connect with our audiences. If there's a new and better way of working offered by technology, we use it.

That's how we are able to achieve so much within existing means.

I'll look forward to seeing how this unfolds. While much of what Mr Scott says about the ABC's "strength and reputation in news gathering" is true IMO there are significant areas where the network's news dissemination could be improved. For example

  • Many stories broadcast on radio bulletins (esp outside Sydney) don't seem to be posted on the internet or available from archives
  • The news search engine doesn't seem to be able to access stories from the preceding few days (though it seems to be able to pinpoint many of those from years ago).
If the ABC can work towards implementing Mr Scott's vision so that tangible changes, including those I've suggested above, are apparent within the next two years or so this will be a considerable achievement.


Just before five o'clock this morning I was awakened by an unfamiliar sound: rain on the roof.

It's the first precipitation we've had here for weeks, and is most welcome even if it means that we have to seek out our umbrellas, raincoats and the like.

Last evening I cycled to Glenelg to watch the sun set in a cloudless sky. This will probably be the last such one we'll see for a while, as
more rain is forecast for the next few days. I'm sure most of us will welcome it.

19 March 2008

Varieties of politics: Barack Obama and Queensland

Two contrasting events, one from the USA, the other from Queensland.

Barack Obama

In the wee small hours of this morning my attention was grabbed, and held, by a speech by Barack Obama as it was broadast live on CNN.

Read the transcript or, better still watch the video.


...it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn.

On one end of the spectrum, we've heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action, that it's based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap.

On the other end, we've heard my former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation -- that rightly offend white and black alike.

I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Rev. Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain.

Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely -- just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice.

Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country -- a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America, a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

As such, Rev. Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems -- two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Rev. Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church?

And I confess that if all that I knew of Rev. Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and YouTube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way

But the truth is, that isn't all that I know of the man. The man I met more than 20 years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor.

He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine, who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God's work here on Earth -- by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

In my first book, "Dreams From My Father," I described the experience of my first service at Trinity:

"People began to shout, to rise from their seats and clap and cry out, a forceful wind carrying the reverend's voice up into the rafters....And in that single note -- hope! -- I heard something else; at the foot of that cross, inside the thousands of churches across the city, I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lion's den, Ezekiel's field of dry bones.

"Those stories -- of survival, and freedom, and hope -- became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world.

"Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didn't need to feel shame about...memories that all people might study and cherish -- and with which we could start to rebuild."

That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety -- the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger.

Like other black churches, Trinity's services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear.

The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Rev. Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children.

Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions -- the good and the bad -- of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother -- a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork.

We can dismiss Rev. Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.

But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Rev. Wright made in his offending sermons about America -- to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we've never really worked through -- a part of our union that we have yet to perfect.

And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.

Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, "The past isn't dead and buried. In fact, it isn't even past." We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country.

Is there a politician (or anyone) in Australia who can speak like this?

Politics Queensland (old and new) style

From today's Australian :

Former Queensland premier Peter Beattie has performed his most spectacular backflip by accepting a $200,000-a-year job representing the state Government in the US only months after he declared he would not take any government position.

Mr Beattie's successor as Premier, Anna Bligh, announced his appointment yesterday as Queensland's Trade Commissioner to North and South America, starting on June 1 and based in Los Angeles.

At the time of his resignation in September, there were rumours Mr Beattie would be appointed the Queensland government representative in London, but in December he told a Queensland newspaper he had turned down the position.

"I will not be accepting any government positions at a state or federal level. This is to avoid any unfavourable perceptions of deals or otherwise," Mr Beattie reportedly told The Sunday Mail.

Ms Bligh also yesterday announced the appointment of former transport minister Steve Bredhauer - a close personal friend and factional ally - to be Queensland's special representative to China and Vietnam.

As a public servant, Mr Beattie will be part of Trade Queensland, whose recently appointed general manager is Rob Whiddon, who was Mr Beattie's chief of staff for the 11 years he was premier.

Mr Beattie had previously, as part of a complex factional deal, appointed one of his former ministers, Bob Gibbs, to the position he will now hold in Los Angeles.

Andrew Fraser puts the appointment in (a bipartisan) context with some trenchant but fair criticism:

One of Joh Bjelke-Petersen's last acts in the dying days of his premiership in 1987 was to appoint Tom McVeigh Queensland's agent-general in London. McVeigh had been one of his strongest supporters in the "Joh for PM" push.

The plum posting followed several other political appointments from the Bjelke-Petersen government, including postings for former Country Party minister Wally Rae, as well as John Andrews, a public servant who did the redistribution that helped keep the National Party in office.

This is the dubious tradition that Anna Bligh has continued after it was resurrected by no less a person than Peter Beattie himself. It is the political insider's "jobs for the boys" (and girls too, now), for which the taxpayer has to pay. Handing out appointments to your political opponents as well as your former colleagues only insults the intelligence of the electorate.

Queensland is alone among the states in maintaining a heavy overseas presence. The Queensland foreign affairs empire is again a throwback to the days of Bjelke-Petersen, who never trusted the Canberra "socialists" to adequately represent Queensland's interests. Hence the appointment of political mates, the sort of cronyism that was supposed to disappear from Queensland when the Nationals lost office in 1989.


For Bligh, the Beattie appointment is an appalling black mark. There's no real reason for a state to have such a heavy overseas presence, and even less of a reason to staff them with former politicians.

As for Beattie, you wonder if he has any spine left after all those backflips. But saying less than three months ago that "I will not be accepting any government positions at a state or federal level" and then signing up for this shows the very elastic nature of the man's ethics. Little wonder that people get disillusioned with politics and, especially, politicians.

17 March 2008

If you can't stand the heat, get out of Adelaide

The average maximum temperature in Adelaide in March is 26 degrees C. Not exactly autumnal, but not high summer either.

For the last 15 days we've been experiencing an official heatwave, where each day the maximum temperature has exceeded 35 deg. The Bureau of Meteorology official figures are available on its website , but I'll reproduce them here:

Observations are from Kent Town, about 2 km east of the city centre.

DateDayTempsRainEvapSunMax wind gust9 am3 pm







Statistics for the first 17 days of March 2008






Those who measure heatwaves by the Fahrenheit scale will note that the 100 deg F (37.9 deg C) mark has been passed for the last 13 consecutive days. This is a record for an Australian capital city, breaking Perth's 11 day spell of 35+ deg C days set some years ago.

Despite the consistently high temperatures the days have not been identical: most have been sunny and with relatively moderate winds, but there have been some overcast ones where the sun hasn't shone through for long (or at all).

Today's max was 40.5 deg, but a cool change is predicted for tomorrow with a max in the 20s. At 10.45pm the temperature was, according to the BOM website, 28.5 deg, so I hope the prediction comes true. But if it doesn't I, like so many other people, will maintain (or try to maintain) a stoic fortitude in the face of the climatic adversity.

How well have people coped? i think that two things have helped: (1) widespread air conditioning , particularly in public places, and (2) no (or very few) power cuts despite the system being placed under considerable strain.

My house is made of brick and stone, which means that once it heats up it stays heated up. Opening windows at night has sometimes helped a little but, as the BOM stats show, the minimum temp hasn't always dropped very much. I have one airconditioned room, to which I've retreated at times and a cellar, where I've slept very comfortably for a few nights, and to where I'm about to adjourn. i hope to wake up tomorrow to a cool(er), crisp morning much more typical of mid-March in Adelaide.

Clyde Cameron

Clyde Cameron has died aged 95. He was at one time a shearer, then became a union official, then an MP and subsequently a minister in the Whitlam government.

His obituary in The Australian, written by Mungo McCallum, is worth reading.

I recall seeing him only once, one night many years ago, at a sparsely attended street campaign meeting (perhaps the closest thing to this nowadays would be the well orchestrated walk through a shopping mall). I don't remember him speaking, just that he, a federal politician, took the trouble to campaign for a Labor candidate in a safe Liberal seat.

By today's standards an old style Labor man (there were few women active in the party for much of his career) yet one who apparently made friends across the political divide. Today on TV I saw Alexander Downer and Brendan Nelson speak positively about him in parliament during a discussion (there was no debate) on a condolence motion. Downer's tribute was especially fulsome: it doesn't seem to have been reported online, though the ABC report mentions both the PM and Leader of the Opposition's contributions. It will be published in Hansard in due course.

Update 19 March

I was wrong about street corner political meetings being a thing of the past. Today I received a letter from my federal MP Ms Kate Ellis (who is also Minister for Sport) inviting me to a street meeting in a week or so. I now recall that she's done this before.

Age had a detailed obituary of Cameron.

...and now HMAS Sydney

The wreck of HMAS Sydney has been found , reports the ABC website.

News.com.au has further details:

The wreckage of HMAS Sydney, sunk off the West Australian coast during World War II, has been found, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced today.

The ship's entire crew of 645 went down with the ship in the Indian Ocean and its location has been a mystery for 66 years.

The wreckage of a German ship - the merchant raider Kormoran - believed to have sunk the Sydney was found at the weekend in waters about 800km north of Perth.

Both sites are likely to be protected as war graves. Mr Rudd said Environment Minister Peter Garrett was in the process of issuing an interim protection declaration in relation to both ships.

"The environment minister will be issuing a full statement a bit later in the day, but I'm advised it provides immediate and early protection of the sites against any unauthorised intrusion," he said.

Mr Rudd said the Sydney was found yesterday, about 22km from the Kormoran.

"I'm advised that the HMAS Sydney was found some 12 nautical miles from the Kormoran, some eight nautical miles from the scene of the principal battle site and at a depth of some 2470 metres," Mr Rudd said.

Hull intact

Mr Rudd said the hull has been found largely intact. But Chairman of the Finding Sydney Foundation, Ted Graham, said there were no plans to raise the ships.

"For a start they're in very deep water, and secondly, from my point of view, and from the foundation's point of view they contain the remains of many people, and our view is firmly that they should be left alone," he said.

Mr Rudd said it was important to understand that the Sydney was the tomb of 645 Australian sailors and air force members.

"The good thing about Australians is we treat our war dead with respect and these war dead will be treated with complete respect.'


The Prime Minister said the Federal Government hoped the find would bring some closure for the families of the 645 sailors who went down with the ship.

He said the Australian Defence Force would be contacting family members.

"They will be using their own communications systems to make sure that the surviving family members of the crew of HMAS Sydney are informed of this discovery as soon as is practically possible."

Chief of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Russ Shalders, said it was a very historic day.


"For 66 years, this nation has wondered where the Sydney was and what occurred to her, we've uncovered the first part of that mystery ... the next part of the mystery, of course, is what happened.

"It will take some time to try to ascertain exactly what happened that day over 66 years ago."

Admiral Shalders said there had always been an HMAS Sydney in the Australian navy.

"It's an historic name and we've added to the history of that name over the weekend."

Standby for more information, interpretation and speculation.

16 March 2008

Wreck of Kormoran found

Today the Prime Minister has announced that the wreck of the Kormoran has been found :

Mr Rudd says it is a promising outcome which could lead to the discovery of HMAS Sydney.

"Finding the Kormoran is one big step forward," he said.

"Of course that does not mean that the search has yet found the Sydney itself but it does play one significant step closer.

"All of us concerned about this great ship and those of us who are concerned about what happened to the 645 brave souls who went down with her, have all these years been wondering where she lay and what in the end actually happened."

11 March 2008

An unfortunate choice of words?

In today's Crikey Keysar Trad , who frequently features in the media commenting on behalf of Muslims, asks "Can we please stop talking about Muslims?" He's referring to a federal government proposal to create a seven person Muslim reference group to replace a larger one set up by the previous government.

Well there you have it. Laurie Ferguson has found the solution to the problem, the more than $440 million that the previous government wasted on the "Muslim Community Reference Group" can now be spent on a smaller group made up of seven that includes academics, business and sports people. Problem solved!

This hyped approach tells people that "a lot of Muslim youth in my electorate that are totally irreligious, or its marginal to their existence and they don't spend a lot of time thinking about the Koran."

Firstly, what problem are you trying to resolve? What are the objectives of the group? Surely starting with the group before stating its objectives is like putting the cart before the horse. I won’t buy the old story of "factors contributing to the radicalisation of young Muslims", this issue has already been the subject of research and literature and has been done to death.

The last three words may not be the most constructive way to express disagreement in the current environment.

New sins for our times

Today's Australian prints ( p3) an abridged version of a piece by Richard Owen in The Times about the Vatican's revised list of deadly sins.

The Oz, as it often does with items from The Thunderer, has cut some of the more interesting parts, including a list of "seven holy virtues" (chastity, abstinence, temperance, diligence, patience, kindness and humility) and the punishments for the original seven deadly sins:

Pride: Broken on the wheel
Envy : Put in freezing water
Gluttony: Forced to eat rats, toads, and snakes
Lust : Smothered in fire and brimstone
Anger: Dismembered alive
Greed : Put in cauldrons of boiling oil
Sloth : Thrown in snake pits

Source: The Picture Book of Devils, Demons and Witchcraft; Ernst and Johanna Lehner.

Do these "punishments", I wonder, not count as torture because they have, or may have had, ecclesiastical imprimatur? I'm surprised we've not heard this argument, casuistical though it is, advanced by the US authorities.

10 March 2008

University expertise used to help identify unknown sailor

Since my recent post about the search for HMAS Sydney, which was scheduled to begin off the WA coast a few days ago, I've heard nothing.

On Friday ABC TV (aka ABC1)'s Stateline SA edition reported that more advanced techniques are now being used to try to identify the unknown sailor (generally assumed to be from the Sydney) whose remains had been discovered on Christmas Island a couple of years ago. The original shortlist of three has not produced a result, so a further 13 names on the list of 118 possibles will now be investigated at Adelaide University's Ancient DNA lab. If no identification can be made then it isn't clear whether the quest will be continued.

All this comes at a time when the wreck of HMS Hunter, a Royal Navy destroyer lost in Norwegian waters in 1940, has been discovered, but not disturbed. The BBC and Norway Post websites have more details.

09 March 2008

"A good hearted little town, not overburdened with imagination..."

What I think of Adelaide now is pretty much what I have thought of Adelaide every time I've come here, that it is a good-hearted little town not over-burdened with imagination. Much of it is very like the seaside Melbourne I grew up in, only more so.

Thus spake Germaine Greer about Adelaide in today's Sunday Mail/ Adelaide Now.

Many of her comments were about the environment:

The architecture of the upmarket beachfront homes at Henley Beach and Glenelg is just as bad as that of seaside suburbs anywhere in Australia, but there are signs of greater awareness in the treatment of the Adelaide foreshore than I can recall seeing elsewhere.

I grew up dodging flashers who lurked amid the dunes and behind bushes; in Adelaide walkways have been built and everybody has to keep off the fragile coastal vegetation and use them.

The dunes are still infested with exotic weeds, marram grass and gazanias, that will not leave of their own accord as the sexual predators have had to. As much of a worry are the exotics that nobody is making any move to extirpate, chief among them, the Norfolk Island pine.

There are more Norfolk Island pines on the Adelaide foreshore than anywhere else in the world, including Norfolk Island.

Every year thousands more are planted – which is what I mean by lack of imagination. There are alternatives, melaleucas and casuarinas that would help to clothe naked sidewalks and car parks, making beautiful shapes that will filter the breeze.

Some city fathers have dared to plant Turkey palms on their roadsides and central reservations. These are no less exotic than the Norfolk Island pines but they are more unusual, and in Adelaide's semi-desert conditions they do well, better than the araucarias.

The valiant efforts being made to clothe with native vegetation the banks of the Torrens and the batters of the storm drains are producing results. As I drove west along the A6 (Sir Donald Bradman Drive) a blue heron kept pace with me and native ducks dabbled in the fast-drying mud.

Nevertheless, environmental catastrophe looms over Adelaide. The increasing salinity of the Coorong has already turned it into a Dead Sea. The Hindmarsh Bridge of Sighs will soon straddle no water whatsoever. Already the draught is so shallow that the big yachts cannot use the waterway and smaller boats moored midstream are careened twice a day.

The "Hindmarsh Bridge of Sighs" is presumably meant to be the bridge connecting Hindmarsh Island to the mainland at Goolwa. The River Torrens, which is spanned by several bridges in the suburb of Hindmarsh, is also in a sad state: when I last went by several weeks ago there was no water there for much of its course through the western suburbs. Near the city centre a weir preserves what is really an artificial lake, but even here algal bloom is a major problem and, despite efforts to treat it with aerating machines (like little fountains) the river/lake has been closed to boating and similar activities (it may have been reopened for the festival: I'm not sure).

08 March 2008

07 March 2008

It's hot in March, so it must be Writers' Week

"Cooler on Monday with a maximum of 37", is the local weather forecast according to ABC News just now. I've never heard Adelaide's weather described that way before, but if the predictions for the next few days turn out to be correct then the statement will be accurate enough.

After a relatively cool February March has kicked off with a fiery vengeance. Today has been the third day on the trot where the temperature has nudged or surpassed 38 degrees, and no relief is forecast for a few more days. I'm not counting Monday's 37 as "relief", but will try to be endure whatever nature has in store for us. I'd willingly put up with a few more hot days if we could have some good soaking rain.

As always seems to happen, the hot weather has coincided with Writers' Week, an alfresco series of talks, book launches and panel discussions held in one of the greener sections of the parklands where the shade is augmented by several marquees.

Attending the whole six days requires considerable
planning ( to choose the sessions which are most likely to interest you) and fortitude (to endure the heat) but it's always possible to refresh yourself at the bar and food stalls or to duck away for a while to the airconditioned State Library, Museum or Art Gallery.

The weather and other commitments precluded me from attending the whole week, but I did attend sessions on most days (today was just too hot). Here are my personal highlights:
  • Ian McEwan launching Peter Carey's latest novel His Illegal Self with an elegant and succinct assessment of Carey's qualities as a writer.
  • A panel discussion on sport with Gideon Haigh, John Harms and William McInnes.
  • "The lure of war", a session with individual contributions from Geraldine Brooks, Richard Holmes, James Meek and Henry Reynolds
  • Peter Godwin, a white Zimbabwean in exile (if I understood him correctly)
  • A conversation between David Marr and Gideon Haigh which ranged over several topics including the Australian media and business reporting.

In the past some of the sessions have been broadcast on the ABC. I asked at the information counter if this was going to happen again but nobody there knew. Despite this I hope that as much as possible of the event is made available to a wider audience (as well as to those like me who would like to hear some of them again) .