What is a hung parliament


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Questions for discussion

Episode 23

24th august 2010
ew Government

  1. Retell the BtN New Government story.

  2. What is a hung parliament?

  3. How long has it been since Australia has had a hung parliament?

  4. What is the House of Representatives?

  5. How are politicians chosen for the House of Representatives?

  6. How many seats does a party need in the House of Representatives to form a government?

  7. What is an Independent member of parliament?

  8. What role will they play in this election?

  9. How could decision making be affected by a hung parliament?

  10. What do you understand more clearly since watching the New Government story?

Write a message about the story and post it on the BtN guestbook http://abc.net.au/btn/guestbook.html

Cycling safety

  1. What was the main point raised in the Cycling safety story?

  2. What are the benefits of bike riding?

  3. When did wearing a bike helmet become compulsory in Australia?

  4. It is compulsory to wear a helmet in all countries. True or false?

  5. Why are some researchers saying that people shouldn’t have to wear a helmet?

  6. What do they say has been the biggest factor in reducing head injuries?

  7. Give some examples of improved bike safety.

  8. Many experts think that scrapping bike helmet laws is dangerous. Why?
  9. What do you think? Should bike helmets be compulsory for cyclists? Explain your answer.

  10. Survey students in the school about the issue. Collate and display the results.

`Should cyclists be made to wear helmets?’ Vote in the online poll.

Test your knowledge in the online quiz.

Ozone layer

  1. Discuss the issues raised in the Ozone layer story with another student.

  2. What did scientists predict would happen by 2065?

  3. Describe the impact it would have on people’s lives.

  4. What is ozone?

  5. What does ozone absorb?

  6. What are the consequences of ozone depletion?

  7. Name the substance that was causing the hole in the ozone layer.

  8. What happened as a result of the Montreal Protocol?

  9. Complete the following sentence: Recent measurements are showing that the ozone layer has…

  10. Illustrate an aspect of this story.

Create an illustration that shows how the world might look without the ozone layer to protect it.

Career building

  1. Before you watch the BtN story, draw a picture of a construction worker.

  2. What is the construction program trying to achieve?

  3. Why does Australia need construction workers?

  4. Brainstorm a list of things that you associate with construction workers. Are there any stereotypes in the list?

  5. What skills are the girls learning in the program?

  6. What are the advantages of these sorts of programs being taught in secondary schools?

  7. What is an apprenticeship?

  8. Why are girls being encouraged to consider a job in the construction industry?

  9. Discuss the images of construction workers drawn before watching the BtN story.
  10. How has your thinking changed?

Find images that show people in traditional and non-traditional jobs. Write a caption for each image.

Youth Olympics

  1. Briefly summarise the Youth Olympics story.

  2. Where are the Youth Olympics being held?

  3. How long has trampolining been an Olympic sport?

  4. Retell Natalie Skinner’s story.

  5. Name some other sports included in the Youth Olympics.

  6. What age do athletes need to be to compete in the Youth Olympics?

  7. What do the athletes learn about when they are not competing?

  8. The Aussie athletes have been most successful in the ___________.

  9. The London Olympics will be held in

    1. 2011

    2. 2012

    3. 2014

  10. How does the Youth Olympics prepare young athletes for future Olympics?

Create a profile of an Australian athlete competing at the Youth Olympics.

Career building

Focus Questions

  1. B
    Episode 23

    24th august 2010

    Learning Area

    Society and Environment, English

    Key learning

    Students will develop an understanding of what stereotypes are and how they affect career choices.

    efore you watch the BtN story, draw a picture of a construction worker.

  2. What is the construction program trying to achieve?
  3. Why does Australia need construction workers?

  4. Brainstorm a list of things that you associate with construction workers. Are there any stereotypes in the list?

  5. What skills are the girls learning in the program?

  6. What are the advantages of these sorts of programs being taught in secondary schools?

  7. What is an apprenticeship?

  8. Why are girls being encouraged to consider a job in the construction industry?

  9. Discuss the images of construction workers drawn before watching the BtN story.

  10. How has your thinking changed?

    Challenging stereotypes

Dictogloss warm up

Students will work in pairs to recreate the BtN Career building story that has been read aloud to the class. Print a copy of the transcript from the Teachers section on the BtN website http://www.abc.net.au/btn/teachers.html#teachertools Ask students to write down the key words as the text is read (the text may need to be read more than once). Each pair rewrites the text then proof reads and edits their text. Students then present their texts to the class and compare them to the original.

Students will be exploring stereotypes associated with job/career choices for males and females. Ask students to discuss with a partner what a stereotype is. Come up with a class definition.

Give some examples of career stereotypes. Find images that show people in traditional and non-traditional jobs. Write a caption for each image.

Working in pairs, investigate the following questions:

  • How are stereotypes made?

  • Are all stereotypes bad?

  • How do they affect career choices?

How can people be encouraged to try non-traditional work? Choose a non-traditional job for a male or female. Research and write a brief description of the job and create a product (poster, oral presentation, Power Point) that persuades a person to consider it as a career choice.

Students share their products with the class.

Peer feedback

On a scale of 1-10, how convincing was the persuasive product?

How could it be improved?

8 Related Research Links

Doorways 2 Construction – Official website

Adelaide Training and Employment Centre – Construction program


Pasadena High School – Building and Construction


Ozone layer

Focus Questions

  1. D
    Episode 23

    24th august 2010

    Learning Area

    Society and Environment, Science

    Key learning

    Students will develop a deeper understanding of the importance of ozone and the consequences of ozone depletion.

    iscuss the issues raised in the Ozone layer story with another student.

  2. What did scientists predict would happen by 2065?

  3. Describe the impact it would have on people’s lives.

  4. What is ozone?

  5. What does ozone absorb?

  6. What are the consequences of ozone depletion?

  7. Name the substance that was causing the hole in the ozone layer.

  8. What happened as a result of the Montreal Protocol?

  9. Complete the following sentence: Recent measurements are showing that the ozone layer has…

  10. Illustrate an aspect of this story.

    Ozone layer

Working in groups of 3-4, students will form expert groups to investigate a key question about the ozone layer. Discuss the BtN story and record on a concept map what students understand about ozone and the depletion of the ozone layer. Create a glossary of key words about ozone and record any questions they have. Some possible questions for groups to investigate include:

  • What is ozone and why is it important?

  • What are the consequences of ozone depletion? How do humans contribute to the problem?

  • Where is the hole in the ozone layer? What is the current status of the hole?

  • What is the Montreal Protocol and what has it achieved?

  • How is ozone measured?

  • How might the world look without the ozone layer to protect it?

Support students to locate information from a variety of sources, including:

  • Print (books, newspapers)

  • Electronic (Internet, television)

  • Library/Resource Centre

  • People (friends, family, teachers)

  • Community, Government and Private Organisations

Negotiate how each expert group can share their response to the key question they researched. Think about ways the information can be shared with other students through the school newsletter or whole school assembly.

Student self assessment

Students can assess their own learning by asking themselves:

  • What did I do well?

  • What could I have done better?

8 Related Research Links

ABC Catalyst – The Hole Truth

ABC Science – The hole in the ozone layer: 25 years on


Bureau of Meteorology – Ozone Frequently Asked Questions


Bureau of Meteorology – How ozone is destroyed by CFC’s


NASA – Basics on ozone


BtN: Episode 23 Transcripts 24/08/10

On this week's Behind the News:

  • Experts go head-to-head over bike helmet laws.

  • The “hole” truth; why the ozone layer is on the mend.

  • And building a career, as ladies become tradies.

Hi I'm Nathan Bazley. Welcome to Behind the News.

Also on the show today, we check out how the Aussies are doing at the world's first Youth Olympics.

New Government

Reporter: Sarah Larsen

INTRO: After five weeks of intense campaigning millions of dollars spent on advertising and more than seventy thousand k's in air travel between the two candidates, Australia has finally voted.

And the result was, well, really close!

Let's go to Sarah to find out what's going on.

SARAH LARSEN, REPORTER: When you went to bed on Saturday night, you might have thought you'd seen the last of election 2010. After five long weeks of campaigning, soon we'd know who the next Prime Minister would be. But if you turned on the TV on Sunday morning you might have noticed something strange. The votes are in but the election was too close to call. For the first time in 70 years we ended up with something called a hung parliament. That's when there's no outright winner. To understand how that happens, you need to know a bit about how this place works.

REPORTER: Welcome to the House of Representatives. This is where the PM and the opposition leader and all the other MPs sit and make decisions that affect us all. There are 150 seats here and each one represents an area of Australia known as an electorate.

On election day, adults in each electorate get to vote for a politician to represent them. They can belong to political parties like Labor or the Liberal Coalition or the Greens or they can be Independent which means they don't belong to any party. But usually, most of the people who win seats are either Labor or Liberal.

REPORTER: And if more than half the seats go to one party they get to form a government. So the winner has to have 76 seats and usually that happens but not this time!

It was really close and neither Labor or the Coalition could get 76. So no-one could form government. But there are some other seats that don't belong to any of the main parties. One's in the Green party and the rest are Independents. Now Independents are exactly that! They have their own ideas and policies so they don't have to go along with any party. But they can give their support to either Labor or the Liberal Coalition to help make up the 76 seats they need to win. Which means these guys are suddenly very important because they could ultimately decide whether Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott gets to be Prime Minister. So you can bet that both of them will be working very hard to win the support of the Independents. In the mean-time officials will be counting and recounting and adding the votes of people who were away on election day.

When it's this close every vote counts.

GILLARD: Bill Clinton once said "the people have spoken, but it may take a while to figure out what they've said".

Even when we have figured out who's in charge, a hung parliament will change the way decisions are made in the House of Reps. These guys have to vote on every decision that's made and with an almost equal number of pollies on each side there will be a lot of close calls. And doing some of the big things that the leaders have promised might be difficult. So get set for an interesting few days and an interesting few years. Because right now anything could happen!

PRESENTER: And in our poll last week you voted that Julia Gillard had run the best campaign in what turned out to be a much clearer decision.

Now let's take a look at some of the other big stories making the news, in the Wire.

The Wire

Two Australian soldiers have died and two more have been wounded in separate explosions whilst on patrol in Afghanistan.

35 year old Private Grant Kirby and 21 year old Private Tomas Dale were killed on Friday when a roadside bomb exploded near their armoured vehicle.

Then another explosion hit the same regiment the next day, leaving two soldiers wounded but stable.

20 Australian soldiers have now been killed in Afghanistan and 149 wounded.


To Pakistan now where the flood disaster is worsening.

20 million people are estimated to be affected by the floodwaters with many of those homeless and lacking food and clean water.

The military there are doing food drops to as many people as they can find but with flood waters still high they can't keep up with demand.

The UN has started a fundraising drive and so far 900 million has been raised.

But Pakistan says it will need billions more to re-build and recover.

Bike Helmets

Reporter: Natasha Thiele

INTRO: If you fall off your bike it's a good idea to be wearing a helmet.

In fact, you don't have a choice because it's against the law to ride without one.

But last week there were calls for the law to be scrapped in the hope that it would encourage more people to take up cycling.

Tash got on her bike to see why most people think that's a dangerous idea.

NATASHA THIELE, REPORTER: Notice something wrong about this picture?

Look a little closer. No it's not his clothes or his bike.

He's NOT wearing a helmet!

That was around the late 80s when you didn't have to wear one, but things have changed a lot since then.

In 1991, Australia was the first country to make it a law to wear a helmet while riding a bike.

The government wanted to protect us from hurting our heads if we fell off our bikes.

And back then, it was a big story on BtN.

OLD BtN STORY: Most people know that helmets are designed to protect bike and board riders from serious injury. But it seems that many people still aren't prepared to actually wear them.

They even showed us how they tested the safety of helmets.

One test measures the pressure on the skull. And this test measures the helmet's ability to cushion the brain.

Even though helmets have been law for a long time here, it's still legal to ride without them in most other countries.

There's an argument that more people would ride bikes, if they didn't have to carry a helmet around. And bike riding is great exercise.

But is opinion in Australia about to change?

Researchers from Sydney University have looked at the number of head injuries over past decades.

The only big drop came in the years before helmets were made compulsory, so the researchers reckon we should be allowed to ride without helmets if we want.

REPORTER: They think the biggest factor in reducing the number of head injuries hasn't been because of helmets. They think it comes down to road safety awareness.

Thanks to things like this road school aimed at kids as soon as they learn to ride a bike.

And things we take for granted like safe cycle lanes are a relatively new idea.

Also the amount of street lights on roads has increased significantly, making it easier for drivers to spot cyclists.

These days, there are bright cycle vests, reflectors and lights fitted on bikes.

But many experts think all this talk of scrapping laws on helmets is dangerous.

One guy who knows a lot about head injuries is Doctor Malcolm Higgins.

DR MALCOLM HIGGINS: This child's been in a bad accident and has a nasty fracture to her skull. Obviously if you're wearing a helmet that's covering this area it can help protect from severe injury and that's why we're always really keen for children to wear helmets when they're bike riding.

BOY: If you wear a helmet it’s better, if you fall off, it's better than having your skull cracked open.

GIRL: I think it's really important because if you fall off, it might save your life.

BOY: I think it's irritating taking it on and off and adjusting it.

GIRL: I think it's really important because if you fall off you can hurt yourself really badly.

So make sure your helmet fits right and you're clipped in correctly, because it might just save your life.

And no matter what anyone thinks, wearing a helmet is still law!

Presenter: OK that's an issue that has a lot of people talking so let's make that our poll this week.

Online Poll

The question is:

Should cyclists be made to wear helmets?

To vote just head to our website.

Ozone Update

Reporter: Nathan Bazley

INTRO: You might not know that just 25 years ago scientists were predicting a catastrophe for the entire planet.

It was all because they found a hole in something called the ozone layer - a part of the earth's atmosphere which protects us from the sun.

But if it was so critical why haven't you heard anything about the ozone layer lately?

Well it's looking like this is one environmental problem we may have actually managed to do something about.

NATHAN BAZLEY, REPORTER: Can you imagine a world where you can't play on the beach, can't play sport?

In fact, can't really go outside much at all.

This is where it was predicted the world was heading by just 2065.

Because by that date easily within your lifetime scientists had predicted the earth would be unprotected from the sun's radiation.

But somehow we avoided going down that path. All because 25 years ago, we discovered a lot about what was really going on way up there.

Up in the air around 17 or so k’s up is the ozone layer.

Ozone is a special molecule made up of three oxygen atoms and it's pretty much the planet's sunscreen because it absorbs up to 99 percent of the sun's ultra-violet light.

That's the stuff that does so much damage to our skin so you can imagine how bad life would be if we suddenly lost our protection from it.

And 25 years ago news broke that those worst fears were coming true.

NEWSREADER: Ozone depletion in the atmosphere is getting worse.

NEWSREADER: May present a greater threat than a whole brace of nuclear missiles.

In 1985 a report was released that showed that the ozone layer had sprung a leak at each of the poles and it was getting worse.

The culprit wasn't big black billowy clouds of smoke, it was invisible particles called Chlorofluorocarbon or CFC's for short.

Back then they were everywhere; in spray cans, air conditioners, story-foam containers and most refrigerators.

But each time they were released into the atmosphere they had the ability to break apart heaps of ozone molecules making them useless in stopping the sun's radiation.

It was all happening right above us and it was happening quicker than anyone imagined.

The world sprung into action.

In 1987 the Montreal Protocol was signed by all developed nations.

It planned to cut the use of CFC's in half.

But critics said that was nowhere near enough to stabilise the problem, let alone reverse it.

Others complained that because poorer countries weren't signed on they would continue using CFC's because substitutes were more expensive.

But over the next five years, as the hole in the ozone layer grew bigger and bigger, those targets were raised even higher and eventually, the whole world was banned from using CFC's.

Fast forward to today and where are we at? Are CFC's still a threat?

Well CFC's stay up in the atmosphere for a long time so it'll be a while till the hole disappears.

But measurements are now showing that the ozone layer has stopped getting worse. So we've certainly turned a corner!

And just as a final reminder of how close we could have come to disaster the world on the left is us now.

The world on the right is what would have happened if we did nothing about CFC's.

The blue is areas where ozone has disappeared and by 2065 it's gone worldwide and UV radiation's tripled.

It's good to know that when it comes to the environment it seems we really can make a difference.

Presenter: That's an interesting subject. Let's have a quiz about it.

Quiz 1

The ozone layer is found in the:




Answer: Stratosphere

Construction Girls

Reporter: Sarah Larsen

INTRO: The earth's atmosphere is divided into five layers. The stratosphere is the second layer.

To layers of a different kind now: Brick layers.

When you think of builders and construction workers, you might think of men in overalls.

But more and more women are getting into the industry and professionals reckon they're just as good, if not better than the guys.

Sarah visited a girls-only construction class that's designed to encourage kids to build a career in construction.

SARAH LARSEN, REPORTER: They're out there in the sun with dirt on their hands and sweat on their backs; everything you'd expect from a hard working band of construction workers, except for one little detail.

GIRLS: Girl power!

This is an all-girl construction class, part of a South Australian program aimed at getting school kids interested in the industry. Australia needs construction workers and it's not hard to see why. With a growing population comes more homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and roads and they're all built by tradies. But there are a few old stereotypes that go along with the industry.

REPORTER: What do you reckon people imagine when they think of builders and construction workers?

JO: They think men, like muscles; like big buff men

SHANAE: Um a big fat hairy man with a plumber's crack

BRIT: Whenever I've told people what I do for my TAFE course they say I didn't expect you to do that. Just because I'm small and I'm a girl they expect me to be into I don't know fashion and going shopping and stuff but it’s not really me.

Their teacher Peter says more and more employers are seeing the benefit of getting girls to do the jobs that used to be reserved for blokes.

PETER: The girls tend to have a better way of finishing things off and really making things look better in the long run rather than the boys.

There are boys’ classes too and right now everyone's working on the school's outdoor eating area.

BRIT: The boys originally started this off and we're continuing it today

The first step involves a lot of shovelling, and then using a compactor to get the surface flat. It’s not as easy as it looks! The girls are learning lots of different construction skills and getting a taste of the many different jobs on offer. Think of how many people it takes to build a house; the people who build the frame, lay the bricks, plaster the walls and ceiling, fit the windows, the carpet, the pavement. There're machinery operators, plumbers, electricians, painters, landscapers and the list goes on. There are also safety officers who make sure no-one gets hurt and project managers who oversee the job.

KATY: There's like so many different ranges you can do. This course helps us train in safety and shows us different techniques. We're trained in concrete and taking down massive brick walls. This course helps us decide what we want to do.

When they've finished the course the girls can go for an apprenticeship which is when you're paid to learn on the job. But most say they'll stay at school and do another course to specialise in their favourite trade, whatever that is.

LOREN: Carpenter! Yeah I want to be a carpenter and a bricklayer

KATY: It changes every week. I just love being outdoors it’s just awesome. I don't really know what I want to do yet I just know I want to be in construction.

For now these girls will go right on doing what they do best. Building skills and friendships and demolishing stereotypes.

Presenter: OK, let's have a quiz about that.

Quiz 2

The question is:

Which tradie is most likely to use a plumb bob?




Answer: Builder

Presenter: A plumb bob is simply a weight hung from a piece of string.

It helps builders to make sure the walls are straight.

Now let's go straight to sport with the latest action in the Score.

The Score

The Aussie women have killed it at the Pan Pacific swimming championships in California.

Emily Seebohm grabbed two gold during the meet, the first in the 100m backstroke, the second in the 200m individual medley.

She also secured a silver, behind fellow Aussie Marieke Guehrer in the 50m butterfly.

Jessica Schipper climbed to the top of the podium for this win in the 200m butterfly, while Melissa Gorman had long distance covered, with a win in the 15 hundred metres freestyle.

In the guys comp, the Americans took most of the honours with only Nick Darcy and Brenton Rickard grabbing a silver each.

But the really bad news out of the event is that Olympic Gold medallist Stephanie Rice has pulled out of the Commonwealth Games, to have surgery on her shoulder.


Back home now, to the thrills and spills of Billycart racing in Brisbane.

The annual billycart championships were held on the weekend and for many it was a painful affair.

UPSOT: I'm sort of scared! You'll be right!

There were some early finishers and some desperate finishers.

And just like the election, sometimes you get a dead heat.

Pity about the climb back to the top!

Youth Olympics

Reporter: Natasha Thiele

INTRO: If you've ever watched the Olympic Games you've probably dreamed of growing up to win a gold medal one day.

But that dream could happen sooner than you'd think.

The world's first YOUTH Olympics has started in Singapore.

Tash checks out how the Aussies are doing and meets one athlete who just missed the cut.

NATASHA THIELE, REPORTER: You've probably bounced on one of these before, but perhaps not as high as this!

This is trampolining at an elite level and is just one of the events at the Youth Olympic Games.

It's only been an Olympic sport since the year 2000.

Natalie Skinner started trampolining when she was 9 and was so close to being part of the action in Singapore.

NATALIE SKINNER: I was nominated as the reserve for the Youth Olympics, so I went through the trial process, the preparation process, then just missed out unfortunately as the last competition.

Australia has sent the maximum number of athletes. One hundred are taking part, so expectations are high.

NATALIE SKINNER: Very jealous that they're over there but yeah, really hope they do really well and I'm sure it'll be a fantastic experience for them.

So what is the Youth Olympics and why haven't we heard about it before?

Well, it's because it's the first one!

More than three thousand athletes from over two hundred countries have come to Singapore for this huge competition.

And there are 26 events, but you've got to be aged between 14 and 18 to take part.

The youth games are designed to provide the ultimate Olympic experience for the next generation of athletes.

So when they compete as adults, they might be less nervous and will know what to expect.

For a lot of these guys, it's the first time they've been away from home, let alone overseas!

The kids are looked after by coaches and officials. And it's not all about sport!

These kids are missing school, so they spend some of the time learning about the different cultures of the countries they're competing against.

Like the real Olympics, athletes have to follow strict rules, that even means taking part in drug testing, a side of sport that most people don't really think about.

The Aussies have been most successful in the pool. Both the guys and girls have picked up some gold medals.

And in the trampolining events:

Aussie Madeline Johnson came 6th in the women's final and Patrick Cooper finished 10th in the men's qualification.

Back home in Australia while Natalie is proud of their efforts she knows she'll never get another chance to compete in a Youth Olympics.

She'll be too old by the time the next games come around in 2014.

But Natalie isn't giving up on making the grown-up Olympic Games, like London in 2012.

NATALIE SKINNER: I'd love to get to future Olympics, maybe not the next one but I don't know, who knows what will happen in the future.

So maybe we'll be seeing a lot more of young athletes like Natalie in future Olympics, as they do Australia proud!


And that's it for this week's show!

Don't forget to log onto our website and get more info about any of our stories. You can send us your comments and tell us what you think in our poll.

We'll see you next time.

© ABC 2010


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