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Tuesday 8th April 1997

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Packer was put under the limelight by the 4 Corners Programme last night. There is a full transcript of the programme at this US link which explores the hidden world of Australia's wealthiest man...

Video coverage of police supported by US marines allegedly beating up Aborigines outside an Ipswich night club has created a timely diversion for the television media. The media are running a story along the lines of police brutality and questioning why the US marines got involved (at the time of the Tandem Thrust operation).

My very reliable sources who heard the whole 2.30 am fracas on their police scanner sees things in a very different light to the Aboriginal Legal Service and their chief in Ipswich, Pat Thompson, who have now referred the case to the Criminal Justice Commission.

It appears, from my sources, that the Australian Police were outnumbered and being abused by law breaking individuals. The US marines came to their aid and helped resolve a situation which had threatened to get out of hand. Interesting, however, what you can do when you clip minute pieces out of a video tape and display it on national television as a true reflection of events.....

See what the Ipswich residents have to say.


Pauline Hanson launches her political party One Nation on Friday. We will be covering this event.

In a significant escalation of pressure on Independent Senator Mal Colston the Australian Democrats leader Cheryl Kernot threatened yesterday to refer the allegations of fraud to the Federal Police if the Federal Government refused to launch a criminal investigation into allegations that Colston has rorted his travel expenses in the past.

Extensive political commentary and links can be found on Palmer's Australian Politics page.

You say:

Subject: Four Corners

Later today (probably between 4pm and 5pm Melbourne time), I will start posting the full transcript of last night's Four Corner program on Packer. It'll appear on my site both in the recent posts section and the archives.

I have seen the stuff you have written on your site and I am sure the transcript will contribute to the huge interest this story will generate.

The whole thing is over 6,000 words so it will be split into 2 or 3 parts.

The issue is worth pursuing vehemently as this Packer business has been one of the main cancers of Australia's media.


Here is a transcript of the Four Corners Program on Kerry Packer.

Subject: endemic corruption

Dear Sir,

It's endemic: the rorting of the system. From the Telstra vans at the beach with surfboards on the top, to the perks of politicians contemptuous of taxpayers; from "whatever it takes" to "whatever you can get away with, is legal". It's the spectacle of a society defaecating in its own bed. It's time to flush!

Graham S.


We referred above to Brierley Investments Limited (BIL) possible role in acting as a "holding point" for their 20% stake in Fairfax until the media ownership laws allow Packer to take them over. Now read a little more into this story when you see... what Paul Collins (BIL's CEO) said yesterday:
"If someone comes along and says that they will bid for Fairfax, then I guess we will have to evaluate it (the sale of our shares) at the time". He said, when asked whether BIL and Packer had entered into an agreement on the shares Collins said, "The answer is none whatsoever. Are there any arrangements, undertakings or discussions? The answer to that is irrelevant."

Under the current media ownership laws Packer is restricted to his current 15% equity in Fairfax.

Interesting then that BIL, under director Rodney Price, is fighting for changes in the media ownership laws while they say they have no interest in acquring any more of the company.

Price said, "...our view on the cross-media ownership rules is that we don't see any grounds for them to be retained, or the foreign ownership rules for that matter.

Yesterday a single transacion of 3% of Fairfax (22.75 million shares) took place at Au$2.99 a share. The unknown buy was placed through stock broker Merrill Lynch.

Personal trivia, from the global office:

Another beautiful day in paradise.

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