1. Wide of Australian Prime Minister John Howard's address to the National Press Club
2. SOUNDBITE: (English) John Howard, Australian Prime Minister
"If Iraq is not effectively disarmed, not only would she use chemical and biological weapons against her own people again, other rogue states would be encouraged to copy her, the spread of those weapons would multiply the likelyhood that terrorists would lay their hands on them. In other words doing nothing about Iraq potentially is much more costly than using force if necessary to ensure Iraq's disarmament."
3. Close up journalists
4. Wide side shot of Howard
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) John Howard, Australian Prime Minister
"The failure of the Security Council to adopt a further effective resolution, even if the forces were to remain, would create a completely new dynamic. Saddam Hussein would know that he had won at the very least a major reprieve and his incentive to cooperate in the future would be completely non-existent."
6. Wide shot of Howard
7. SOUNDBITE: (English) John Howard, Australian Prime Minister
"I don't believe sitting on the sidelines is either good for Australia nor do I believe it's ever really been the Australian way. The world in which terrorism is a threat is not a world that any one of us can escape. We haven't escaped it and there's always a worry that we won't escape it in the future."
8. Wide of audience
9. US ambassador to Australia Tom Schiffer listening
10. SOUNDBITE: (English) John Howard, Australian Prime Minister
"In this new world, we are a terrorist target. Those who assert that through some calibration of our foreign policy, we can buy immunity from terrorist attacks, advance a proposition which is both morally flawed and factually wrong. It is morally flawed because this nation should never fashion its foreign policy under threat."
11. Wide of protest outside Australian parliament house
12. Various of anti-war placards
13. Effigies of Howard and US President Bush in bed
Australian Prime Minister John Howard cited humanitarian arguments as well as Baghdad's potential to arm terrorist groups in an address on Thursday to the National Press Club.
Howard's speech was aimed at persuading a skeptical Australian public to support his hardline stance against Iraq.
"I don't believe sitting on the sidelines is either good for Australia nor do I believe it's ever really been the Australian way," Howards said.
His comments in the Great Hall of Parliament came amid growing public opposition to war on Iraq and signs that his fervent support of Washington was creating unease within the nation's defence and intelligence establishments.
A strong supporter of Washington's drive to disarm Iraq, Howard has deployed two thousand troops to the Persian Gulf to join U.S. and British forces and has refused to rule out going to war without a U.N. mandate.
But opposition to Howard's support of Washington is high and climbing.
A poll of one thousand people taken last week reported public opposition to war with Iraq has risen steadily. Fifty-nine percent of those questioned disapprove of Australian forces taking part in military action without U.N. backing, compared to 32 percent who approved.
In November 2002, 51 percent were against and 37 percent in favour.
In recent weeks about half a million (m) Australians have come out in protest against war, adding their voices to those from around the world for a U.N. resolution to the crisis.