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(generated from captions) evacuations there and in

Charleville to the west. More

than 200 people ended up at a

makeshift evacuation centre in

Charleville but the floods are

nothing new to long-time

residents like Jess

Marshall. No good sitting down

and sulking about it. Don't

help you. So just shrug your

shoulders an get on with

it. That's right. By this

morning the flood waters had

begun to drop and people began

heading back to their sodden

homes. Very worrying because

you just don't know what to

expect when you go home. It

could be anything. You might

have not a house or anything at

all. The focus now shifts to

the town of St George, where

major river system s meet at

the top of the Murray-Darling

Basin. St George is not

considered to be at risk, but

there's so much water coming

down through the system that

the town weir is expecting to

be overflow ing within 24

hours. We're hoping it gets

right down to the mouth of the

plury where they have

experienced such dreadfully dry

times. South of St George some

of the biggest irrigation

properties including Cubbie

Station. This flood will test

how much is left to flow into

NSW once the irrigators have

taken their share on the

Queensland side of the border.

The wearing of the full

face Muslim veil has long been

contentious in many Western

countries. No tu debate is

flairing in Egypt. Muslim

clerics there recently banned

women from wearing the full

veil in schools and

universities but that decision

has been set aside by the courts until they can determine

whether it's legal. Middle East

correspondent Anne Barker

reports from Cairo. This Nile

river bridge is one of the few

place s in Cairo where couplies

can openly date. Even holding

hands in public is frowned on

anywhere else. But soon even

the small freedom might be a

thing of the past. Egyptian

Muslims are becoming more

conservative and women are

increasingly wearing the full

face veil.

TRANSLATION: This is what God

has ordered. It niece the

Koran. God hold the prophet

Mohammed to cover his wife so

nobody can harm them. 29-year-old Omnya Hussam

used to go out with no veil at

all and then he began wearing

the hijab. But two years ago

after making the pilgrimage to

mecca she switched to the full

face veil or niqab.

TRANSLATION: I am happy to have

done this because just like the

prophets wives I believe it's

brought me closer to God. Most

Egyptian women still wear the

hijab which covers only the

head and neck. But as the niqab

driving a wedge between women becomes more common it is

and Islam's highest authorities.

TRANSLATION: The niqab is not

part of Islam. It's become a

habit but it has nothing to do

with worship. It is an idea that's come from Saudi Arabia.

Senior Muslim Lerwicks in

Egypt are against the niqab and recently banned women from

wearing it in schools and universities.

TRANSLATION: There are some

fundamentalists who want to

return women into a shell. They

want to twist Islamic teaches

to force women to cover

themselves. But Egyptian women

argue they should have the

right to dress as they please

and many claim the niqab is a

guard against sexual harassment.

TRANSLATION: It's a form of

protection. I used to wear the

hijab but when I'm on the

street I can feel men staring

at me. I feel the niqab is

better protection. Sexual

harass is common in Egypt and

seems to be getting worse. A

recent study funt 83% of ejimgs

women have experienced

harassment in some form.

Harassment both physical and

verbal is one key reason more

women are wearing the niqab but

not all women support its

use. We cannot allow women to

choice to be hid. For our

society, and - for our security

we have to know each other. We

have to know our faces. Women's

rights advocates have even

lobbied the Government asking

it to ban the niqab in Egypt.

Some restaurants and public

venues refuse women entrance if

they wear the veil. It's her

right to choose but her right

communicate with society, I to stay home. If she want to

have right to see her as she

has right to see me. The

niqab's fate may lie with

Egypt's courts. Judges recently

suspected the niqab ban until

they can study the issue furts.

Time for a quick look at the

weather - a few showers in

Brisbane and Darwin, becoming

cloudy in Melbourne. Try and

mostly sunny in the other

capitals. That's all from us.

Tbliz a moment but if you would

like to lock at backat the

interview s with Nicola Roxon

or Peter Dutton, you can visit

our website. You can also

follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Now here is Lateline Business with Whitney

Business with Whitney Fitzsimons. Thanks. Tonight,

grand vision or opportunity

lost - business examines the

detail of Canberra's hospital

takeover. They're a wasted -

there are wasted opportunities

to further engage the private

hospital sector in treating the nation's patient through

put. Government spending primes

the Australian economy. To have grown the economy in what has

been one of the toughest years

since the 1930s is a truly

remarkable feat. They must

live to their promise, to cap

spending at 2% in real

terms. And taxing times for

private equity. In the context

of the TPG Myer affair I am

unable to comprehend why as a

matter of deliberate tax policy

the capital gain should not be

taxed. But an income gain

should be taxed.

First to the market and

growing optimism that Greece

won't default on its loans

lifted shares across most of

the region. The All Ords added

0.75%, the banks and the miners

awe the ASX 200 rise 34 points.

In the neighbouring yay made

sol id gains. The Hang Seng

fell and in London the FTSE is

lower in early trade. As you heard on Lateline, the Government has announced the

biggest shake-up of the health

system since Medicare. The

Government plans to take

one-third of GST revenue from

the States and directly fund

60% of hospital budgets. Peak industry groups have generally

welcomed the reform agenda, but

some businesses within the

health care sector says the

Government could have achieved

more . Desley Coleman

reports. The plan to fix the

superannuation nation's 762

public hospitals has received a

luke warm reessential from the

private sector. The country's

second biggest operator of

private hospitals says the re

forms don't go far enough and

won't deal with the 8,500

privately insured patients

clogging up the public hospital

system each and every

day. There is no significant

impact on the private hospital

sector. There are wasted

opportunities to further engage

the private hospital sector in

treating the nation's patient

through put. The Prime Minister

says demand for private health insurance shouldn't change

under the plan. But the head of

one of Australia's biggest

insurers is not so sure. On one

hand you could argue that

improved public hospital

performance would make the value for private health insurance all the less

compelling. On the other hand,

if the impact of ill proved

efficiency is simply to drive

increased volume in the public

system and put even greater

pressure on the public system

and the public purse it may

even make the economic case for

greater private sector

investment involvement all the

more crucial. Rohan Meade, the

see yore of Australian Unity

says the change s will be a

boon for his industry, sparking

more demand for primary and

aged care services. I think

what we are seeing from today's

announcement is an absolutely fundamental recognition that

Australians are going to

immediate more higher quality -

need more higher quality,

better distribute and

morflexible servicings as they

age and therefore I think there

are fantastic opportunities for

sound operators in this

sector. Industry groups broadly

support a national funding

model for public hospitals, if

it delivers real efficiency

gains and better services for

patients. One hopes that one of

the out comes of this reform

will be less bureaucracy and

more agility in terms of

delivering decisions, and that

seems to be what is

desired. But Heather Ridout

says achieve ing the desired

outcome s will be difficult. As

will be managing the

Federal-State relationship. A

fact borne out by today's

hostile responses from many of

the key players. The headline

numbers are impress ive - a

growth rate of 2.7% for the

Australian economy last year is

close to the long-run average

and comes despite the Corrs

worst financial crisis and

global recession since the

Great Depression. The growth is

far from uniform across the

economy and sectors outside of

mining are being crowded out.

Some will struggle to survive

in a period of rising interest

rates and an end to government

stimulus. Michael Troy

reports. On the surface, the

national accounts figures

looked very impressive. And the

Treasurer wasn't going to let

the moment pass quietly. To

have grown the economy in what

has been one of the toughest

years since the 1930s, is a

truly remarkable feat. In the

December quarter, gmd growth

has come in at 0.9%, taking the

annual growth rate to 2.7%.

Almost back to its long-term

trend. Financial markets hardly

reacted, having anticipated the

impact of the Government's

stimulus measures. With the fiscal stimulus was a

significant element of the

growth. Overall business in

business investment contributed

1.1 percentage points to

growth. But 0.9 of that was

coming from government

investment. Tax breaks have

helped boost private business investment. While evidence of

government spending is easy to

find on schools, defence and structure. Actual construction

of new houses went backwards

this quarter and that's somewhat puzzling. It would be

that the resources that the

Government is using on the

spending on schools might be

crowding out the capacity of

that sector to build the

houses. Growth was strongest in

the resources sector and

households were spending more.

But not enough according to the

retail sector. It is not a

pretty picture out there for retailers at this stage. But we

must temper that saying it is

patchy. Some retailers are

reporting terrific growth.

Others aren't. Russell

Zimmerman says recent sales

figures are only showing growth

because of the big discounts on offer. Just recently we

surveyed our members an well

over 60% of our members said

that the trading period between

Christmas and New New Year was

pors worst than the previous

year and further to that we're

getting evidence from our

retailers that they're not

expecting great gains going

forward into the new year. They

want interest rates to to be

kept on hold 689 the Federal

Opposition meanwhile says the

economy is now strong enough to

limit government spending

sooner. They must live to their

promise to cap spending at 2%

in real terms. Already in our

forward estimates we're meeting

it, even though we're not forecasting growth back above

trend. As to the economy can

grow without further stimulus, economists say our GDP numbers

still trail the United States

but the signs here are

good. Underlying growth in our

economy is going to remain much

stronger than the US and I

suspect that the US will also

basically be unable to provide

another stimulus package, given

that their net debt is likely

to rise to 90% of GDP by 2014.

So our prospects look

exceedingly better than the

US. Encouraging news for a

government possibly looking to

trim spending in the May

budget. For market reaction to

the Government's health care

plan and the GDP figures, I

spoke earlier to Martin Lakos at Macquarie Private Wealth.

Lakos lakes, how did the

market receive today's official

measure of economic

growth? Which ever way you look

at it, that GDP number was a

strong number and probably

really doesn't reflect the

underlying momentum of what's

taking place in the economy. We know that housing number rims

proving and retail sales, clearly business investment has

been picking up and within that

very strong 0.9% for the fourth

quarter, equipment finance came

up as 11%. The Government's

stimulus package is help ing

too. We're up 11%. It wasn't a

surprise on the number aloeven

but it's the make-up that is

giving us strong ind keeftion

what's happening out there.

Investors have to be taking the

view that the economy is

certainly back in the groove. What implications are

there for earnings growth,

especially coming out of the

recent reporting season? The

reporting season was better

than expect and now you have

the economic growth well and

truly on track, if not probably

better than expected.Ageist

also probably be in the force

of the next three to six months

to upgrade their earnings

outlook for corporate

Australia. That is always a

very big driver of future performance out of the share

market. Clearly we're still in

some tough times in terms of

southern debt issues in Europe

but at the end of the day

earnings are a big driver for

this market and we're expecting

further up side. How have

health care stocks performed

after the announcement by the

Government? It does appear that

by stock performances they

ignored it for the moment or

maybe they will take time to

digest that. Sonic health care

was down 30 cents but that

reflect add 24 cent dividend

that went today. Ramsey health

care, a big hospital op ritor,

down two cents. HealthScope

weak er down 13 cents s. But

there's so much detail in that

they will be taking time to

digest that. And gold and

nickel stocks have been well supported? Both good

performances by gold and

nickel. Nickel is at the

highest since 2008 and gold is

up about 1.7%. That was

certainly reflecteded in stock

prices today with Newcrest gold

up 1.3%, Lihir up nearly 5% and

amongst the nickel stock s Pan

rammic up. Martin Lakos, thanks

for speaking us to. My

pleasure. To the other major

movers on our market. Shares in

CSR rose on up beat comments

about the shug market. The National Australia Bank added

more than 2%. Macquarie Group

made solid gains. The

investment bank announced plans

to sell a large stake in oil

and gas services firm nick land

express offshore through a

public float. Floet and woorms

slipped 19 - dr Woolworths slipped 19 cents.

A Federal Court judge has

taken the extraordinary step of

speaking out against the tax

laws governing priority equity

firms operating in Australia.

Justice Richard Edmonds says

the ATO's treatment of TBG

after the Myer float highlights

in consistencies in the law and

says urgent reform is needed if

Australia is to remain an activity destination for

foreign investment. Frances

Bell reports. As the pressure builds on the Federal

Government to lay out its plans

for tax reform, there's no

shortage of people willing to

offer advice. It's crucial that

the Government does not lose

sight of the need to continue

along the path of tax

reform. You might say it's a

never ending saga. But it is

important that it does not end

until it's finished. David

Williams told the tax's

Institute's national convention

in Melbourne he is expecting

the Government to deliver its

response to the Henry tax

review within the next couple

of movement key note speaker

Justice Richard Edmonds is

hoping one of the change s will

be to abolish the distinction

between capital and income

gains I find it totally

unsatisfactory that the tax

outcome should depend on

whether the gain is an income

gain or a capital gain. The

distinction is at the hearted

of a draft ruling by the ATO

which is treating the profits earned by

earned by TPG's sale of Myer as

income, not a capital gain. In

the context of the TPG Myer

affair, and the taxation of

non-residents on gains from the

sale of shares in Australian

companies, I am unable to

comprehend why, as a matter of

deliberate tax policy, a

capital gain should not be

taxed but an income gain should

be taxed if the other ingredients for assessability

are satisfied. Justice Edmonds

says the law is creating

uncertainty and has the

potential to discourage foreign

investment. He says the change

needs to come from policy

manger, not the tax office. The

commissioner has a duty to

administer the provisions of

the statutes for which he is

responsible and the rules and

regulations made thereunner,

according to law. In my view on

the whole he dauz bloody good

job of that. It's not just corporate taxes under 1309

slight. A new report has called

for the introduction of

significant income tax reforms,

starting by slashing the top

marginal rate to 35%. The

centre for independent studies

says the current top rate of

45% is stifling productivity

and is too much of a

disincentive for higher

earnings. An author says the

similar change when in current Government slate add

Opposition. The Government

seems to have backed away from

that idea in the last couple of

years an I am suggesting it

should come back son to the

agenda. Robert Carling's other

issue is the Medicare live

levy. He says it will reduce

the Government's revenue but

that would be partly paid for

else. Where It will be partly

paid for by curb ing the growth

of government expenditure. The

Government has already said

that they will hold the growth

of spending to 2% per annum in

real terms. More food for

thought for a government

already trying to digest the

range of re forms contained

within the Henry tax review.

While Australia's economy is

holding up remarkably well, the

same can't be said for most of

the developed world. A number

of countries in Mediterranean

Europe are at risk of default

and currency markets are

increasingly nervous about the

debt in situation in the US and

International Monetary Fund has UK as well. Despite this, the

been steadily raising its

growth forecast for this year

and next. The IMF's deputy

director is in Australia to

meet Reserve Bank and Treasury

faicials. Spoke with him

earlier today. Murilo Portugal, welcome to Lateline

Business. Thank you. What

dangers are there for Australia

being so reliant on res source

and China as it appears to be

doing at the moment? I think

Australia has weathered quite

well this crisis. It was very

resilient. Certainly one of the

reasons is that it had very

good initial conditions, very

prudent fiscal policies, which

allowed room for policy

response. Certainly location

factors and the point that you

mentioned, China, is important.

But I think the growth in China

and in India and in Asia is

likely to continue. We have a

revised of pro projections for

the region. We're expecting a

7% growth in Asia. We are

expecting 10% this year in China. So this is quite a

strong growth. This process of

conversions, of captal income

both in China and in India

would be a long drawn

process. Now as we've seen in

our previous story, there are increasing concerns that Australia's focus on resources

is crowding out our industries. What are your thoughts on

that? I think there is an important competitive advantage

of Australia in the resource

sector and that is going to

continue. That doesn't mean

there aren't other sectors on

which you can s will be

competitive. I think financial

services industry could be one.

I think Sydney is an important

financial centre. Certainly

here in Australia. But it could

also play a bigger role in the

region. Here we are on the cusp

of an election budget. Given

the strength of the growth of

figures, do you think it's

prudent for government to

withdraw stimulus in line with

what the central bank is

doing? I think so. I think the

central bank is right in

starting to withdraw stimulus

because the situation here is

much stronger than it is in

other areas in the world and

much stronger than people

forecast for Australia itself.

The basic principle is that, if

there is a self- sustaining

private demand, then you can

withdraw that stimulus and we

saw very good results on the

labour market for instance

where the unemployment rate

peeked at the much lower level,

not only of other countries but

what has been expected by us

certainly and I think also by

the Reserve Bank here for

Australia. So it's the

appropriate step. The momentum

for global reform of the

banking system appears to have

been lost. Do you think we

missed that opportunity? No, I

think it's not lost. I think

it's proceeding. A number of

steps have already been taken

in July last year a a

committee approved new capital

requirements, higher capital requirements for certain types

of activity for the banks,

trading book, the annual

capital requirements. Also for

certain types of securitisation

there are capital requirement

also which are going to be

implemented throughout this

year. Then in December they announce new measures that are

still to be implemented. So the

momentum I think continues.

It's difficult and complex

topic on which you have to

proceed carefully. But I don't

think we are losing the

momentum. Sovereign debt issues

are weighing heavily on market

sentiment. Is this an over

reaction or are some

Mediterranean country really in

trouble? I think it's a little

bit of both. There is basis

because in many countries debt

is large as a proportion of

GDP. But they are

GDP. But they are taking

measures. They have announced

very ambitious, appropriately ambitious targets and that they

have started with implement

ation. So I am confident that

market confident is going to be

maintained. Are the concerns

about the US p UK's debt

position base ed in fact or is

it just a knee jerk reaction

highlighted by the falls in the

pound in the last week? I think

the concerns are exaggerated

and I think the UK has taken

steps and has announced steps

to deal with this problem. I

think the debt problem is an

inheritance of this crisis. But

it's an issue that can be

solved. We have had experiences

in the past of very high levels

of debt. And this has been

gradually reduced and I think

there is all the reason for

expecting this process to be

repeated this time. China does

hold a large amount of US

currencies. So how do you see it diversifying away from

that? I think that's not the

idea that I see from the

Chinese authorities. I think

there is confidence in the

dollar as the main and the

dominant reserve currency in

the world. The US has the deepest financial market, a

market where you can realise

major transaction s without

affecting prices. And I think

the US stra dig ally has had -

traditionally has had a history

of low inflation, a history of

strength in terms of property

rights and these are the things

that give the dollar its

dominant position among the

reserve currencies. And I think

this will continue for quite a

long time. It am curious

because a number of currency

strategists I've spoken to over

the last 12 months have said

that the debate about whether

or not the US currency will

remain the reserve is gaining momentum. Is that not what

you're hearing from your position? No, it's still the

major reserve currency about

70% - 64% of the reserves in

the world are held in US

dollars. And the reason, as I

said, is because it's very deep

and efficient market. When you

hold reserves, you hold

reserves in terms of government

paper. And the US market is the

highest and the largest and

deepest in terms of government

paper. So I don't see any short-term change to the

position of the dollar as the

dominant reserve currency in

the world. Murilo Portugal,

thank you for joining Lateline Business. Thank you. Before

we go a look at what's making

news in the papers. The 'Herald

Sun' report on Australia's relatively healthy growth

numbers. The the 'Australian'

covers the same story. The

'Australian' nurve examines the Federal Government's proposed

over haul of the health care system. And this's all for

tonight. As I leave you, the

FTSE is trading lower by 0.22%

or 12 points. And the Dow

futures are lower by 13 points.

I am Whitney Fitzsimons. Thanks

for watching. Goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI

This is a box, a magical box, playing a magical tune. But inside this box there lies a surprise. Do you know who's in it today? It's Sam Tyler. Hello, Sam, how are you today? Oh dear, not very happy. Is it Gene Hunt? Is he kicking in a nonce? (Whispers) Oh my God. TELEPHONE RINGS Tyler. Boss, are you still on that sickie? Chris... I'm fine, I just need another day. Yes, it's just that we could do with a bit of a hand here.

Chris, what the bloody hell are you doing there? I work here, boss. Look, we've got a bit of a situation but it's nothing too serious, but it could end up in a couple of deaths. So can you hurry? ACTION MUSIC RADIO ANNOUNCER: Due to a hospital error, Sam Tyler has been given an overdose of medication, which has placed him in extreme clinical danger. No! I've given you time, I've waited and I've waited. You don't know what I'm going through! Just calm down, Mr Lamb, Simon. Sam, he just won't listen.

We're doing all we can. Release Graham Bathurst! Release him, or they'll be dead. You failed them! Hey, come on, Mr Lamb. I always say there's a time to take off the noose and put on the kettle. We were hoping you could be the voice of reason. I came out of a musical box. Uh, a stabilising influence? They screwed up my medication, Annie, I'm speeding. I've OD'd. For God's sake, Sam, there's been a kidnapping. We've got two people missing, their lives are in danger, we've got no solid leads and we're running out of time. And I'm seeing things. Oh, you're always seeing things. Oh, you made it then. About bloody time. As for you, I can just about handle you! Driving like a pissed-up crack head and treating women like bean bags, but I'm gonna say this once and once only, Gene, stay out of Camberwick Green. No! My name is Sam Tyler, I had an accident and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad? In a coma? Or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home. THEME MUSIC There you go, Mr Lamb. If you're really serious about topping yourself,

try one of our meat pies. You're meant to be the experts. You know, sometimes the experts let you down. Me family. Me wife and me daughter, they've been taken and Graham Bathurst, you have to free him from prison, or Bea and Stella die this afternoon, at 4:30. Don't give up on them. Find me family. The police must put right their mistake. Graham Bathurst did not kill Charley Witham. Release him from jail by tomorrow, or Lamb's wife and daughter will be killed. Guv, talk to me. Blimey, you're burning up. I don't know whether to talk to you, or fry me breakfast on you. It refers to an old case from a year ago, a teenage girl was murdered. Are these the old case files? Chris!

Guv? Charley Witham case files, why didn't you tell me they'd come up from the collator's office? I didn't know. Case files? More like a safari park for dust mites. Don't comment with those. We hadn't been home all night, we're eating out of cartons! Ray, that's your life.

I haven't been to the pub for 36 hours. Shit.

Hmm. Well, I don't know what you were doing at the crack of dawn,

but I know where I was. Alright? (Snores) HEARTBEAT Tyler, my office! OK, I'm just.... I'm sorry, it's mine. What? Go on, take a peak, it's Bond girls. Ursula, Connor, even Jane Seymour. Boss? Enough! TELEPHONE RINGS Sorry. Here. That note was left at the phone box where Bea and Stella Lamb were taken. Stencilled over in carbon paper, makes it doubly hard to trace. So, who's Charley Witham and who's Graham Bathurst? Charley Witham was a beautiful 14-year-old. She was attacked and murdered in cold blood one year ago. Her boyfriend Graham Bathurst confessed. He's evil. And now he's in prison being evil. I need more detail, Guv. What's the connection to Simon Lamb? Simon Lamb coached an athletics team Charley was in. So, did he finger Bathurst for the killing? Nope. Didn't know him. This isn't a grudge crime. Well, someone thinks he's innocent. Don't start! I've come at this from more angles than Linda Lovelace. He's not innocent, he confessed, worse he gloated about it. Well, obviously someone wants him out. How about Graham's family? Oh, quick thinking Van Der Valk. While you've been laid up with your Vicks Sinex, I've been leading a kidnap enquiry. You didn't see us yesterday. Graham Bathurst... From the moment Simon Lamb walked into the station, I knew we had our work cut out. ..release him from prison right now! Righty ho, Sir, anyone else? Ronnie Kray, the Hillbury road Axe Man? Release Graham Bathurst, or they're gonna die! Get your DCI. Now, just hold on. Get him!

And as if by magic, the DCI appeared. Well, they'd been shopping, Stella, me daughter, she called for a lift. Then I heard them, they started screaming and shouting down the line. Bea tried to stop him... Him? ..or them, I don't know. I could hear them struggling and crying out.

There was nothing I could do, I just wanted the screaming to stop. Hey, Mr Lamb, we'll find them. Well, we need to get statements from anyone in the area.