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Tonight - money money money.

Yes, the election campaign's

off and running! This will

deliver tax cuts for every

Australian taxpayer. The

premier caves in on Royal North

Shore inquiry. Damning

revelations on the road

collapse that killed a family.

And home-grown terror. Police in New Zealand arrest 17.

Good evening. You're

watching ABC News. A fistful of

dollars, $34 billion of them in

fact. That's how much John

Howard has splashed out on tax

cuts on day 1 of the election

campaign. The Prime Minister

denies that his big spending

will boost inflation and put

more pressure on interest

rates. Labor won't rule out

matching the cuts but says it

first wants to be sure they're

economically responsible . John

Howard and Peter Costello may

look confused ... Is that it

there? But to win back voters

from Kevin Rudd there's no uncertainty in their minds

about the way to recapture the

initiative. The tax cuts cost

$34 billion. Armed with a

fistful of dollars with the

campaign barely 24 hours old,

the government announced new

tax cuts for all. From next

July, the threshold at which

the 30 cent rate cuts in about

rise to $34,000, at a cost to

the budget of $7.1 billion. For

a worker on $55,000, it would

mean an extra $15 a week in the

pocket. Here is additional tax

relief particularly for low-income people. The

government's also promising

further tax relief down the

track. In 2009, lifting the 30

cent threshold by another

$1,000, and in 2010 by a

further 2,000. There would also

be cuts in the two top tax

rates. It won't come cheap. The

total cost, $3 4 billion. This

is part of our go for growth

strategy. Labor was caught on

the hop. We'll take our time to

study the detail. That's the

only responsible thing to do.

To bolster their economic

credentials the Prime Minister

and the treasurer rushed out

revised figures boosting the

surplus to $14.8 billion but

also predicting higher

inflation nudging closer to the 3% ceiling of the Reserve Bank's comfort

Bank's comfort zone. Mr Howard

denies he is risking an

inflation break-out and more

interest rate rises. We have an

industrial relations system

that in fact contains wage

pressure. $34 billion on top

of $16 billion John Howard's already spent since the budget,

and the campaign's barely

begun. But if the Prime

Minister's to come from so far

behind, he has little choice. behind, he has little choice.

Now, voters will have to decide

whether he's going for growth

or going for broke. Business groups have

welcomed the tax restructure

plan, but as we heard, there

are questions about its

potential impact on interest

rates. Tax cuts will give

consumers more money to spend,

and some analysts say that

could be a worry for the

Reserve Bank. The Reserve Bank. The government's

announcement had them gasping

in the trading rooms. Whoa!

Whoa! But out on the street,

not everyone was equally

impressed. It wouldn't swing my

vote. Amazing how they can get

it when there is an election

around. That would influence my

vote. Some sections of business

also welcomed the move, saying

it as an important stick it as an important stick

stimulus. Our pre-election

survey showed that 71% of

respondents said that personal

income tax was the issue they

wanted address. When you ask

the majority of Australians

what they prefer, they do say

they'd prefer greater

investment in services like education and health care

rather than tax cuts. Tax specialist Michael Durkis says

the cuts will benefit a broad

range of taxpayers range of taxpayers and

encourage only low-income

workers back to work. If they

are looking at skilled people silting at home caring for

families, these measures won't

deliver that. Economists say

the decision may play on the

Reserve Bank's mind as it

considers interest rates next

month. It adds to the pressure

on the Reserve Bank. Our

economy at the moment just has

no spare capacity. Although next week's next week's inflation number

will be more crucial.

While the Prime Minister was

wooing voters with tax cuts,

Kevin Rudd chose industrial

relations as the focus of his

first day's campaigning. The

Labor Leader has raised the

prospect of another wave of

industrial relations changes if

the coalition is re-elected. Mr

Rudd also remains at odds with

John Howard over their televised debate

televised debate this weekend.

Duty and ritual. The

Governor-General's man has done

his ... Acting under section 5

of the constitution, prorogue

the Parliament from 12 noon.

The early days of campaigning

bring rituals all round. My

challenge to Mr Howard is: come

on, let's be fair dinkum. Let's

have three debates over six

weeks. I would rather debate

the Prime Minister one-on-one.

The debate over the debate is

back. I'm happy to debate him.

It's up to him whether he

responds. I look forward to

debating on three occasions.

John Howard wants one, this Sunday in Parliament's Great

Hall, in front of an audience

even ly dwifded between Labor

and Liberal supporters. But the

the worm doesn't have a worm is not invited. I'm glad

the worm doesn't have a vote!

The ABC has promised to

broadcast the debate, even

though the major parties

haven't agreed to T We can work

out the details, the two party

directors. Kevin Rudd's taken

to issuing daily challenges to

his opponent and today, there

were two. Come clean and tell

the Australian people what your

future plans are for

WorkChoices, if you're re-elected as Prime Minister of

Australia. It's a challenge he

has been issuing for months, has been issuing for months,

but Kevin Rudd revived it on

day 1, convinced WorkChoices is

a winner for Labor. John

Howard's response did nothing

to alter his view. We don't

have any secret further changes

to WorkChoices in a drawer or

in our pocket or on a computer

or anywhere. We think we've got

he won't be drawn into. the balance right. One debate

After weeks of After weeks of relentless

pressure and public embarrassment, the State

Government has agreed to set up

a joint parliamentary inquiry

into Sydney's Royal North Shore

Hospital. It will be chaired by

the Christian Democrats MP Fred

Nile. Our reporter is at

Macquarie Street. This seems

like a big back down by the

premier? The premier has

steadfastly refused to hold a

major investigation into Royal

North Shore Hospital, insisting

that the inquiries into the

motley of complaints against

the hospital were well in hand,

internal inquiries were

sufficient. But with the numbers stacked against it here

in Parliament, the premier's

moved to have at least a

parliamentary inquiry, as much

as possible on the government's

own terms. The chair of the

inquiry, the Reverend friend

Nile counters this is a public

inquiry, it will have

representatives from both the upper and the Lower House and

he also points out that this

inquiry will look into the

entire workings of the

hospital. About the quality of

care, the operation of the

Emergency Department, the administration, provision of

staff, and so on. And also make

recommendations for the future

and I hope those recommendations may be valuable

for other public hospitals in

New South Wales. So is the

opposition likely to back off now? Not just

now? Not just yet. They're concerned that this inquiry

only has until the middle of

December to report back.

They're haggling to extend it

into next year. And there's

also quiet concern that the

Reverend Fred Nile has been

selected by the government

because in the past he is

perceived to have been soft on

the government. The premier

also had some news about the State governor Marie

Bashir? She has been governor

since the year 200 1 she is 76 but she is enjoying but she is enjoying the job so

much and she's so widely

admired, she's going to stay as

governor for another four years

until she is 80. She said she

has been invigorated by the job

and in particular, she singled

out drought stricken farmers.

That incredible Australian

spirit rises above adversity.

They're still helping various

initiatives in their country

towns. So it certainly is a towns. So it certainly is a

great privilege to serve our

people, and I will continue to

give all the energy that I

possibly can to the role.

David Spicer there at State

Parliament. It was one of the

most shocking road accidents in

recent years. A family of five

all killed when a road

collapsed in torrential rain on

the Central Coast. Now the ABC the Central Coast. Now the ABC

has obtained damning new

information on the tragedy,

documents which show that the council responsible for the

road knew it was sinking. Four

months on, and this gaping hole

in the Old Pacific Highway at

Somersby has been left

unrepaired, so a report can be

compiled for the coroner. The

road collapse claimed the lives

of Roslyn Bragg, Adam Holt,

their two young daughters and

9-year-old nephew. The tragedy 9-year-old nephew. The tragedy

continues to stir emotions in

the community. Anger. Just flat

out anger that people died

because of obvious failure.

These pictures taken several

weeks after the collapse showed

the stormwater steel pipes

distorted and decayed. The

images were captured by

concerned local Edward

James. Everything that you look

at, even an untrained eye, at, even an untrained eye,

everything that a person would

look at there screams neglect.

Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act

reveal the road was in need of

repair years before it gave

way. In 2004, a letter in the Gosford City Council requested

a quote for paper maintenance.

It said the bottom panel has

rusted out, water is getting

under the apron and washing

soil from around the pipes,

causing the road to causing the road to sink. One

company costed the repairs at

more than quarter of a million

dollars, but inquiries reveal

the job was not carried out.

It's a revelation that has

horrified the families of those

who died. We're pretty angry,

because the fact that if they

knew the road was sinking,

obviously a problem with the

pipes. If they knew that was happening, why didn't they fix

them? The local council

expressed funding concerns a expressed funding concerns a

decade ago, when it was handed

responsibility for the road

from the State Government. If

you don't have the money to

spend on maintenance and rehabilitation, then it's going

to be a long-term problem.

Whether the tragedy could've

been prevented or was simply an

accident are matters for the

Deputy State Coroner. He will

examine all of the evidence at

an inquest to begin in February next year. Police in New Zealand Police in New Zealand say

they've discovered

guerilla-style training camps

in a series of anti-terrorism

raids across the country. 17

people have been arrested,

among them, a Maori activist.

Just before dawn, armed police

swooped on this house in

Wellington. It's a known

hang-out for environmental

campaigners. The property was

searched for firearms and other searched for firearms and other weapons. Later, police

converged on a remote community

in the Bay of Plenty. It's

alleged people were training

there with military-style

weapons. The number of people

involves in the camps has

numbered in the tens, and those

individuals have been on varying ethnicity. The area

was cordoned off while locals

and visitors were searched. Our

bus was stoped this morning,

our school bus with young kids on board. It's

on board. It's a frightening

thing to have guns in your face. Officers also targetted

a home in Auckland. About three

of them at once, came in, and

told me to go over here and

where's Jamie Lockett? Among

those arrested in today's raids

was Maori activist Tame Iti. He

is accused of possessing semiautomatic semiautomatic wep bonce and

petrol bombs. The raids were

the first under New Zealand's

tough new anti-terrorism

laws. We'll assess all the

available evidence before

deciding whether to seek the Solicitor-General's consent to

bring in charges under the

terrorism suppression act. So

far, 13 people have appeared in

court. The Afghan President

has acknowledged that foreign

troops may be needed to support

his government for up to his government for up to 10

years. Har rid Karzai says he

would welcome any increase in

troops sent to his country,

something the Opposition Leader

Kevin Rudd says he'd consider

if Labor wins government.

President Karzai told tonight's

'Lateline' program he can't yet

say when hes country will be

able to support itself. If I

tell you now that we will be

ready in five years' time, I

may prove wrong. What I can say is

is that let's make all-out

effort to train ach gan

institution and to get it done

as soon as possible, perhaps as soon as poss I within a

within a time span of 5 to 10

years --

Afghan. Chinese President Hu

Hu has opened the Communist

Party's Congress in Beijing,

promising reform, but at the

same time trying to tighten his

grip on power. It's China's

biggest political meeting in

five years, and it will help to map out the map out the country's course

for the future. As China

correspondent Stephen McDonnell

report, the Congress will also

introduce a new generation of

leaders. Every five years at

the Communist Party Congress,

China reshuffles its leaders.

So this week, President Hu Hu

has his only chance has his only chance to seize

power in his own right and run

the country the way he wants.

the country the way he wants.

He wasted no time pointing out

China's enormous problems of

pollution and income

distribution. Our economic

growth is realised at a very

high cost of resource and the

environment. There remains an

imbalance of development among

regions and between the economy

and the party. (APPLAUSE) Hu

Jintao's predecessor, Jiang

Zemin, still looms large. And

sat next to him today. For

President Hu to make changes to

policy, he needs to alter the

balance of allegiances in his

favour, especially within the

Politburo Standing

Committee. The question will be

how many of his people will be

he be able to put on the

standing committee and one standing committee and one

assumes in general that just

about everybody on the standing

committee will be his people.

The secrecy surrounding this week's Congress makes it impossible to see if Hu Jintao

will be successful in promoting

enough of his are soers. If he

does get the numbers there's

also no way of knowing how he

intends to fix China's

problems. The world today is undergoing extensive changes

and contemporary China is going

through a wide-ranging and deep through a wide-ranging and deep

transformation. This brings us

unprecedented opportunities as

well as unprecedented challenges. They're challenges

he wants the Communist Party to

give him the power to tackle.

A woman has told of her

dramatic fight for survival

fending off a great white shark

at Byron Bay. The attack

happened at the popular tourist happened at the popular tourist beach this morning. Linda

Whitehurst says a shark about

3m long knocked her off her

surfski just metres from the

beach. The 52-year-old received

deep cuts to her arm, as she

fought off the shark, then she

climbed back onto her ski and

paddled to shore. My leg's

gone, my ankle's gone.

That's what I thought. When you

went under the second time I thought it thought it took her down

under. It all happened so fast,

I can't really remember. It's

the second shark attack in

Australian waters in recent

days. You're watching ABC

News. Tonight's top story -

John Howard and Peter Costello

have announced a $34 billion

tax cut plan on the first full

day of official campaigning.

And still to come - the passing

of a life dedicated to


It's been described as a secretive religious sect and

now it's been accused of

transferring money between

Australia and the US to fund

political campaigns. Tonight's

'Four Corners' program reveals

that members of the Exclusive

Brethren Church carry the money

in envelopes in a process

called the Brethren Express.

The church has denied any

wrongdoing. It says it's wrongdoing. It says it's being

persecuted. It has a

membership of 13,000, and is

widely considered to be one of

the most secretive religious

sects in Australia. The

Exclusive Brethren won't let

its members vote in elections,

but the organisation tries to

influence the political process

here and in the US according to

former member done Monday. He

has told the ABC's 'Four

Corners' program he and other

members would carry money members would carry money in

envelopes for the sect's leader

brus Hails to fund political campaigns. Well the brethren

would normally on a monthly

basis give gifts to Mr Hails as well as other people in

responsible positions, and that

money would be carried by what

we jokingly would've called the

brethren express. Mr Monday

says he brought up to says he brought up to $10,000

in cash into Australia. But the

Exclusive Brethren says not a

cent has been used for

political purposes. And

envelopes of cash,

considerations of churn giving,

was set on by the apostle Paul

in 2 Corinne theeans. It's

money to be spent in furthering

the work of the Lord. The

Prime Minister and senior government members have government members have made no

secret of meeting with

Exclusive Brethren. Why not? They're Australian citizens.

It's a lawful organisation.

The opposition has a different

view. I believe this is an

extremist cult and sect. And

the Greens say the Exclusive

Brethren's political influence

is extremely disproportionate

to its small membership

base. The Exclusive Brethren

are a real factor in changing votes and

votes and therefore potentially

changing members of Parliament

and potentially even changing

governments. The church says

it has no record of how much

money it collects or distributes.

Finance now. And the Australian dollar surged again

today, while the share market

eased back.

90.75 The dollar got as high as

90.75 US cents today which was

at that time a full cent above

Friday's close and there seems

to be every reason to think

it's on the move again after a

few days of marking time.

Relatively speaking. The only

economic news of any note today

apart from the start of the

election campaign of course was

lending data for August. It was

very strong for businesses

after a big fall in July,

although housing and personal

loans were flat. The local share market closed share market closed slightly

lower this afternoon. It was

kicked in the leg by AGL

Energy, down $2.60 or 16% after

the company lowered its 2008

profit forecast by up to 17%

because of higher costs and

tighter margins in a very

competitive energy market but obviously investors didn't see

that coming. Origin Energy

shares also fell 3% as

next in that investors worried about who's

next in that industry. And CBA

led most of the banks lower as

well. On the plus side was Rio

Tinto, up 1.4%. Tonight's graph

shows how the market has

performed after each of the

last four elections. First,

here's 1996. The last time

there was a change of

government. The market fell

sharply for six days and then

recovered. Here's 1998, when it

took 12 days for the market to

election day. get back to where it was on

election day. But that was just

after the collapse of hedge

fund LTCM. And in 2001 and

2004, and in each of those

years the market was already

rising and just kept doing it.

The pattern - that's right,

there isn't one. And here's the

average performance of the All

Ordinaries index for each year

since 1946 for each of the

coalition and Labor

Governments. And this shows the Governments. And this shows the

a neck. Liberals and Nationals ahead by

There's to be a crackdown on

wealthy Sydney residents using

drinking water on their

gardens. The State Government

says it's reacting to reports

that people are abusing water

restrictions in rich eastern

suburbs like Bellevue Hill. The

minister will close the

loophole. People have been

taping into water mains supplies, filling up tankers

and going off and watering

their gardens.

their gardens. And the

government stuck with the

environmental theme today

announcing it will use wind

farms to power Sydney's desalination plant. The

successful tenderer will be

announced early next year.

South Africa is through to the

Rugby World Cup final after

swamping Argentina in Paris.

And with a huge 36-13 margin, the Springboks are now

confident they'll take out the confident they'll take out the

England in the final this tournament. They'll play


South Africa's win was

characterised by fleeting

touches of brilliance on the

back of Argentinian error.

Three first half tries, two

directly from opposition

mistakes, provided a lead which

was rarely threatened. Percy

Montgomery kicked flawlessly Montgomery kicked flawlessly

with 7/7, and after a forward

pass denied Brian Habana the

try to equal Jonah Lomu's Cup try-scoring record he claimed

his place in history. Former

Wallaby coach Eddie Jones will

make consecutive final appearances against an opponent

thrashed by the Springboks in

the pool round. The fact that

we beat them in the pool games,

I think, is irrelevant. South

Africa is ready to party again, Africa is ready to party again,

12 years since its last Cup

triumph. The majority of Indian

supporters appear good natured

enough, but the Australians are

unhappy with a malicious

minority which allegedly

continues to taunt Andrew

Symonds. It's not affecting the

quality of Australia's play. Sachin Tendulkar succumbed to a

gem of a stumping, and Brad

Hogg chimed in with four

wickets when India wickets when India looked

threatening. While MS Dhoni was

there, India stood a chance of

reaching the 318 needed. But

in the clutch, Mitchell Johnson

delivered, even without the

assistance of Brett Lee. India

fell 18 runs short to allow

Australia a series-winning 4-1

lead. Casey Stoner's playing

the numbers game. On the eve of

first his 22nd birthday, after his

first Australian Grand Prix

win, Australia's newest world

champion is contemplating a

number change for next year, as

is his right. Befitting his

new-found status, Stoner wants

to replace his successful 27

with No. 1. There's only been

two riders in the past to not

take the No. 1 plate. One was

Barry Sheen and the other was Barry Sheen and the other was Valentino Rossi. Ernie Els

took out the World Matchplay

Title over US Open champion

Angel Cabrera. Els has had a

lean trot but believes his

career can be kick-started by a

record seventh matchplay title. I wouldn't have thought

in my wildest dreams I could

win this tournament seven

times. Els' short game helped

him to a 6 and 4 victory before

jetting off to watch the Rugby

World Cup semifinal World Cup semifinal in Paris.

Australia Taj Burrow has kept

his hopes of a world title

alive with a runner-up finish

in Mundaka. Only three surfers

can win this year's world title

with two events remaining,

Fanning, Burrow and eight-time

world champion Kelly Slater. In domestic cricket, New South world champion Kelly Slater.

Wales is in control of the

four-day match against Western

Australia in Perth. The Blues

scored 267. WA was then

skittled for a paltry 99. A

short time ago the Blues were

0/92 in their second innings.

He was known as The Pelican

Man. Lance Ferris was an

ex-policeman who dedicated his

life to saving thousands of seabirds. Some had swallowed seabirds. Some had swallowed et

netting or plastic bags, others

were caught by fish hooks.

Whatever their plight, the The

Pelican Man tried to save them.

Now he's died, leaving behind a

powerful legacy. When Lance

Ferris took the plunge, it

might have looked comical, but

his was a life and death

struggle. It was to save

seabirds and other animals,

though at first people thought

they he was an oddball. I'm sure

they did, but that's mainly

probably because they didn't

understand the depth of his

compassion and his

understanding of the issues

involved. Long before many wildlife authorities even

accepted there was a problem,

Lance Ferris was stunned to

find 37 of 108 birds on Pelican

Island were suffering. I

might've been in the police

force, but that doesn't mean to

say you don't get cut up when

you see so much damage. Some you see so much damage. Some

with amputated wings and

gangrene in their leg s. He

saved thousands of birds that

were caught in nets and other

equipment. He educated, he was

passionate. He formed Seabird Rescue. He saved people as Rescue. He saved people as

well. If it wasn't for Lance

I'd probably be in a

behavioural class. Lance

Ferris clamsed from a stroke at

Ballina on 60 - on Saturday.

He was 60, fit, but driving

himself hard as his partner

recognised long ago. I have

grave concerns about his

emotional and physical health.

There is so little balance in his his life. He doesn't take the

time to rescue himself, I

suppose. It was in Marney Bonner's arms that Lance Ferris

died yesterday. Leaving the

seabirds' most powerful voice


Time to check the weather

now. We're back into dangerous

bushfire territory, Graham? We

certainly are. In certainly are. In fact,

tomorrow we won't only see

strong and gusty winds but

we'll also see the relative

humidities drop very low. That

leads to total fire bans

through the Hunter, Sydney

metropolitan, Illawarra and the central west.

Cloud over Tasmania has

produced over 200 millimetre of

rain along the west coast.

Unfortunately, it's not the

story for the rest of

Australia. A trough is moving into New South Wales tomorrow.

That's inactive, so that means it won't it won't produce anything in

the way of rainfall. It's basically just a cool change.

But the high in the bight is drawing very cold southerly air

up from southern parts of the

ocean that will lead to some

cool temperatures. In fact,

some snow about in Hobart.

We're also looking at the

chance of a few showers up

around Darwin.

Thanks for that. Tonight's

top stories again - on the

first day of campaigning, the

coalition has announced tax

cuts totalling $34 billion. And

ABC News has uncovered damning

new information that shows

Gosford Council knew a road was

sinking before it collapsed,

killing five people. And that's ABC News for this

Monday. The 7.30 Report is up

next with John Howard and Kevin Rudd. Goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI


Welcome to the program, and

the Prime Minister has sought

to take the running on the

first full day of the 2007

election campaign reaching deep

into Australia's future

prosperity to pay for the three

years of tax cuts starting next

year worth $34 billion. The

plan will progressive reduce

the top two tax rates and lift

the thresholds for lower income earners for the next five

years. It has ensured and

focus of the front end of this

contest is squarely on the economic argument, increasing

the pressure on Labor to

release its own tax response.

But the Labor leadership team

is showing no signs of haste.

Wayne Swan says he'll need to

study the Government's plan.

And for his part, Kevin Rudd

has kicked off his first week

with a warning that the

Government's WorkChoices