Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
ABC News (Sydney) -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This Program is Captioned

Live. Tonight, interest rates go

up, leaving homeowners fed

up. I'm just worried about

living, just keeping the house. Turning point for

Turnbull, as he puts politics

behind him. Guilty verdicts

over a harbour crash that

killed six. And, putting

family first gets Tiger Woods

in the swing. It feels fun

again, you know. That's

something that's been missing.

Good evening, Juanita Phillips

with ABC News. The only way is

up. The Reserve Bank has

raised interest rates again,

this time by another 25 basis

points. It's the fifth

increase in seven months, with

the Reserve governor signalling

there are more to come, and the

big home lenders have wasted no

time passing on the latest rise. Here's finance

correspondent, Phillip Lasker.

The screen told the story, five

rate hikes in almost as many

months. That's hardly what I

would call a gradual move. The

official cash rate was raised

by 25 basis points. The big

banks wasted no time in following, leaving most

variable rates above 7%. So a

$300,000 variable home loan has

gone up around $48 a month and

$270 since rates started rising

in October. But Treasurer

Wayne Swan says rates are still

below normal levels. Now I know

that's cold comfort for a lot

of families and a lot of people

in business, but that's the

reality of a strengthening

economy. And there's another

reality. I think they made it

very clear that they haven't

finished raising rates. The

acting Shadow Treasurer pointed

to a different reality. The

fact is that this massive

increase in repayments by the

average mortgage holder is a

direct result of the Rudd Government's reckless

spending. The RBA says with

it's appropriate for interest economic growth bouncing back,

rates to be...

It sees an improving global

economy, a resources boom and a

housing sector showing

considerable buoyancy. Job ad

numbers today pointed to more

strength ahead. Ads in

newspapers and on the Internet

rose nearly 2% in March to be

8% higher for the year. The

rate increase won't be welcomed

in mortgage belt communities

like this, where houses are

new, homeowners are young, and

almost every spare cent goes towards paying the mortgage. Just worried about

just living, keeping the

house. Business owner Karen

Beaton worries about the impact

on her customers. They're less

likely to come out and sit and

have a coffee, sit and have a

cake. And the Reserve Bank

governor has signalled it won't

get any easier. He got within

one year and one election of

reaching the highest office in

the land, but Malcolm Turnbull's extraordinary

political career is almost

over. The former Liberal

leader has announced he's

quitting. On the way out he

took a swipe at Tony Abbott over the Emissions Trading

Scheme, but in return, he received only praise from the

man who toppled him. Chief

political correspondent, Mark

Simkin reports. Four months

after losing the leadership by

a single vote, Malcolm

Turnbull's kissing politics goodbye. That's enough,

alright. It's been a relatively

short and occasionally

brilliant political career. A

Cabinet minister in his first

term, leader in his second, but

gone before his third. The

decision we've taken is that

this is the right time to move

on. He insists he isn't bitter

but couldn't resist a parting

shot. We have a major

difference of opinion on the

Emissions Trading Scheme and

that is a given. Over the

years we've been pretty good

friends. We haven't always

agreed, but I think we've always respected each other. Tony Abbott didn't say

if he tried to convince Malcolm

Turnbull to stay, but chose to

praise rather than bury hi. I

think Malcolm is probably the

nearest thing to a renaissance

man that the Parliament has

seen in recent times. You

don't get to be the leader of a major political party without

having great political skills.

What you see with Malcolm is

someone who stood up for his

principles on the question of

policy on the environment and

climate change rather than

simply running after opinion

polls. Two weeks ago, Malcolm

Turnbull told Tony Abbott he'd

be willing to serve on the

frontbench, but Mr Abbott

rejected and overture, citing

the former leader's support for

an ETS. I think realistically

it would be hard for me to be

on the frontbench of Tony's

team given that that would be,

that's going to be a key

election issue. One Liberal MP

described Malcolm Turnbull's

political career as predictably

unpredictable, but today's

announcement wasn't a shock.

Mr Turnbull wanted to be Prime

Minister, and he told his

colleagues he was too old to

wait for another opportunity.

Instead, he'll return to the

business world, prompting what

will almost certainly be a

fierce preselection battle for

Wentworth. The winner will

face an equally tough fight to

keep the seat from Labor. Two men have been found guilty of

causing the deaths of their six

Sydney Harbour almost two years friends in a boat crash on

ago. Skipper Matthew Reynolds

and his unlicenced passenger

Percy Small are in custody

tonight. Reynold's father says

the law has let his son down.

He's been a man of few words.

Matthew Reynolds chose not to

give evidence throughout the

6-week trial. His father says

he's unfairly shouldering the

blame for the tragedy. There

was no coroner's inquest, no

court of inquiry. The whole

system has fallen down. Matthew

Reynolds has been found guilty

of six counts of manslaughter.

Almost two years ago he was

among a group of 14 people who

took a small boat on an early

morning joy ride across Sydney

Harbour. The 32-year-old was

the skipper of the overcrowded

runabout which crashed into a

fishing trawler killing six

people on board. His guilty

verdict is welcome news to the

victims' families. How are you

feeling? Top of the world, bro Mr Reynolds has been

drinking and smoking cocaine

when he allowed passenger Percy

Small to steer the boat. He

was unlicenced and had been

drinking and taking drugs.

Percy Small told the court he was directed by Matthew

Reynolds to take the wheel.

The 26-year-old has been

found guilty of dangerous

navigation occasioning death.

Both defence teams tried to

blame the fishing trawler for

the crash. One person has been

held responsible. Both men

stayed silent and motionless in

the dock. They've been taken

into custody as they await

sentencing. The Prime Minister

flew to the Great Barrier Reef

today to inspect the damage

caused by an oil spill from a

Chinese coal ship. Salvage experts are moving closer to

reploting the stranded ship,

but the big question tonight is

how did it get there in the

first place? Kevin Rudd says

it's outrageous that such a

ship could simply stray

offcourse into such a sensitive

area. The Chinese coal carrier

has been languishing on the

Great Barrier Reef for three

days while a painstaking

salvage is planned. From where

I sit, it is outrageous that

any vessel could find itself 12 kilometres offcourse it seems

in the Great Barrier Reef. The

Prime Minister surveyed the

scene from the air. The

practical challenge is to deal

with this situation now. The

practical challenge then is to

bring to account those who are

responsible. The Greens' leader

wants tougher action, calling

for a royal commission. This impending tragedy on the Great

Barrier Reef gets worse and

worse. Now with news that

large ships like this Chinese carrier have been taking short cuts through the Great Barrier

Reef for a long time. Maritime Safety Queensland says while

the boat wasn't acting in a

best practice manner, its set

course was legal, but something

went wrong. Navigating a ship

through these waters is not

rocket science. Any competent

crew should be able to do that.

We're totally gob smacked on

Saturday night to find out

where she'd gone aground and

that will be the subject of the

investigation. Locals say it's

taken a potential disaster to

highlight a practice that needs

better management. If you're

going to be within a matter of

a mile or two away from shoals

that are going to catch a coal

boat, you need pilots. I would

like to see monitoring come

further south. I think this

incident shows the benefits

that could be gained from much

closer real-time monitoring of

these ships. Specialist

equipment, including a boat, is

going to be used in the salvage

operations. Authorities hope

that may start as soon as

tomorrow. The plan is to pump

the remaining oil to another boat. We're detailing every

dollar, because this was the

risk put on our lap. We didn't

create this risk and we intend

to get every dollar back from the responsibility

parties. It's a massive

undertaking. Three cargo

planes with specialist gears to

assist in the salvage will

arrive in the next 24 hours.

Once the oil's been removed,

authorities will then determine

if the coal also needs to be

taken off, and all without

causing further damage to the

reef. How many Australians are

too many? What started as a fight over asylum seeker policy

has become a full-blown debate

on immigration. The Federal

Opposition is taking a hardline

on population growth and says

the total yearly intake of

migrants is " out of control".

The Government says that's a

sign the Coalition is planning

big cuts. Here's political

correspondent, Greg Jennett.

Every minute of every day a new

Australian comes along. By

birth, or by visa, we've

climbed well above 22 million,

and if both continue at current

rates, demographic destiny puts

Australia at almost 36 million

people in 2050. The Prime

Minister seemed to like the

idea. I actually believe in a

big Australia. I make no

apology for that. These days,

the Government has a Population

Minister to put a big Australia

into perspective. That's not a

Government decision, a

Government ambition, a

Government target, nothing like

that. Even so, the politics of

populating are suddenly more

complex. We need to take a

breather. We need to make sure

that our intake is not adding

to an unsustainable

problem. Scott Morrison has

bundled all immigration

categories visas and short-term

visas included to declare the

annual intake out of control at

an estimated 300,000. 300,000

is well above what's

sustainable. He has supporters

on the Labor side. Unless we

take action to reduce the

skilled migration, we will

remain with this addiction

forever. But the Government

says large-scale cuts to

immigration will only starve

industry of workers. The Prime


So far, it's calm and civil,

but history shows that sharp

departures on policy can make

for volatile politics, and both

sides say they're keen to avoid

that. There's no moderation on

boat arrivals, though, another

carrying 22 people has been

intercepted near Ashmore Reef,

soon after authorities shuffled

this load of failed asylum

seekers off to Villawood for

deportation. At least 25

miners have been killed in an underground explosion in the

United States. The blast happened at the Upper Big

Branch Coal Mine south of

Charleston in West Virginia.

At least four other miners are

still missing. Another 20 are reported injured. It's

believed the blast caused a

roof to collapse at the end of

the day shift. Families of the

miners have gathered at the

site where a massive rescue

effort is now under way. It's

my dad man. I don't know if he's alright, I don't know

what's going on, they won't

tell us nothing. Authorities

say there are air-tight

emergency chambers inside the

complex with four days worth of

oxygen. A video leaked on the

Internet appears to show a

dozen civilians being killed by

American forces in Iraq. Two

children and two journalists

were reported to be among those

who died in the attack in

Baghdad three years ago. The

video apparently shows a helicopter gunship opening fire

after a discussion about

whether the group below is


What follows is too graphic

to show. After the attack,

several bodies are seen lying

on the ground. The US military

says it regrets the loss of

innocent life and insists the

matter has been investigated.

The Taliban has claimed

responsibility for a daring

raid on an American target in

Pakistan. Several car bombs

and grenades were detonated

outside the heavily-fortified

US consulate in the

north-western city of Peshawar.

Four attackers and at least

three Pakistani security guards

were killed in fierce gun

battles. It was the first

attack on a US facility in more

than five years. The attacks

today are part of a wave of

violence perpetrated by brutal

extremist who is seek to

oundermine Pakistan's democracy

and sew fear and discord. The

Taliban says it was in

retaliation for CIA drone

strikes against its forces. As

we go to air tonight, the

British Prime Minister is

preparing to call a general

election, probably for 6 May.

Gordon Brown is now travelling

to the Buckingham Palace to ask

the Queen to dissolve

Parliament. It'll trigger one

of Britain's tightest political

contests in recent memory. ABC

correspondent, Philip Williams. The announcement is a

formality, but the result is

anything but. The polls have

shifted over recent months,

turning a certain Conservative

Party win into a contest few

are brave enough to call. At

the heart of it all is the

economy. The Prime Minister

Gordon Brown says his

management of the global

financial crisis gives his

party the credentials to

continue in government and he

warns the Conservative Party's

plans to slash the massive

deficit more quickly will mean

savage cut s that will plunge the country back into

recession. Not surprisingly,

Conservative Party leader and

aspiring Prime Minister David

Cameron says Labour's plans to

raise national insurance rates

make no economic sense. We

think that the Government is tackling the deficit with too

much in the way of taxes. We

think there ought to be a

better balance with more work

being done on cutting wasteful

spending. But Labour Government

candidates are telling anyone

who'll listen that the

Conservative policy not to increase national insurance means even deeper cuts

ahead. If the Tories aren't

going ahead with a national

insurance rise it's going to be

paid for by children's

education, by teachers'

redundancies, by larger class

sizes and council school

buildings and it's important to

wake up to that choice as we prepare for the general

election. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats unveiled

their election battle bus,

their opinions likely to carry

much more weight than their

numbers suggest, as the

election may produce a hung Parliament, leaving leader Nick

Clegg a possible kingmaker and

breaker. The result may even

hang on something the British

have never seen before -

television debates between the

leaders of the three major

parties, two of them hoping to

break Labour's 13-year hold on

power, and one Prime Minister

determined to stay put. And

Philip Williams joins us now

live from London. Set the

scene for us. Well, the Prime

Minister Gordon Brown has just

made his way from No.10. He's

just left No.10 and made the

way down the Mall to Buckingham

Palace where he's asking the

Queen as we speak to dissolve

Parliament. He will then

return to No.10 to announce to

the assembled media that 6 May

will be the date of the

election. It will be an

extremely tight election,

extremely difficult to predict and the economy will

dominate. What are the latest

polls saying? The latest polls

are very confusing. If you

look in the 'Sun' newspaper

today, for example, they have

Labour 10 points behind and yet

if you look in the 'Guardian'

they have Labour just 4 points

behind. So I think what that

tells you is there's great

confusion in the community. People haven't yet settled on

who they're going to vote for.

There will be television

debates for the first time in

this battle and that may be

very crucial as to how people

ultimately vote, because they

haven't seen this type of

conflict before on television,

and that may be what solidifies

people's opinions, but you'd be

a very brave person right now

to predict the outcome of what

is an extremely tight election. Philip Williams in

London, thank's been

revealed that planning

officials knew last October

that the CBD Metro could cost

up to $7 billion. The Budget

blow-out is contained in a

Government document, one of

thousands on the now cancelled

underground rail project. Only

half the documents are

available to the public. The

other half have been classified

top secret. The Transport

Minister was out selling the

new My Zone ticketing scheme,

but it's an old project that's

a bigger ticket item than

previously thought. What are

people saying this morning? The

Upper House has forced and

Government to lift the lid on

the CBD Metro. The project was

announced in 2008 without a

costing - an outcry prompted an

estimate of $4 billion. That

rose to 5.3 and officially

that's where it stayed. But

planning officially secretly

conceded months ago it could go

up to $7 billion. This is a

total be debacle and shows the

Government not doing its

homework and again expecting

taxpayers and commuters to pick

up the pieces. Kristina

Keneally was the Planning

Minister at the time. Yet it

took her weeks and weeks and

weeks of more wasting of money

before she finally made the decision to axe the project. There's plenty more

information in the 91 boxes,

but 46 of them have been

declared privileged. The only

people who have access are

Upper House MPs, but they are

sworn to secrecy. In fact, if

any information is divulged,

MPs could face jail. The

project's over, it's finished,

the Government's said they're

not proceeding. There's not

one reason for any of those

documents to remain secret.

It's scandalous. The Greens

will now appeal for the clerk

to get an independent legal assessment, which could force

the release of the privileged

documents. Tonight, the

Transport Minister says the

Department of Planning's figure

is wrong and it was never

involved in costing the

project. Onto finance now, and

the sharemarket jumped 1%, with

big takeovers offsetting the

dampening effect of today's

rate hike. With the details,

here's Alan Kohler. There have

actually been two rate hikes

over the past 12 months, not

just one. Most economists say

petrol prices are as important

as interest rates in boost

organise holding back the

economy. In 12 months mortgage

rates have gone from about 5.8

to 7% a rise of 22% but petrol

has gone up from $1.03 to $1.24

a litre, which is a rise of

25%. There are two reasons -

the rise in the oil price, of

course, which has gone up 70%

in the past 12 months and

there's been a widening of

retail profit margins,

especially in the past couple

of months. Up from 4 cents a

litre to nearly 10 cents.

These two dampners on consumer

demand are not troubling the

sharemarket right now. Today's

rise of 1% was helped by

interest around a couple of big

mining takeovers. Peabody Coal

of the United States lifted its

bid for MacArthur Coal from $13

a share to $14 today or $3.5

billion and stepped up its

efforts to stymie MacArthur

Coal's efforts for Peabody


The heat came out of the

situation today, with Lihir

down 6%, but Newcrest was up

3%. The Australian dollar is

back above US 92 cents in line

with the rise in the

sharemarket and the increase in

the local cash rate. Tiger

Woods has presented himself as

a changed man as he tries to

resurrect his public image and

career. In his first full news

conference ahead of the US

Masters, the world number one

says he's been blown away by

the response of fans. North America correspondent, Craig

McMurtrie. There were hugs as

he walked in, and a ready

official endorsement. Tiger,

we're delighted to have you

here with us. Hundreds have

followed every swing on the

practice rounds at Augusta, the

14-time Major winner says he

was nervous at the first

tee. The encouragement I got,

it was just, it blew me away to

be honest with you, it really

did. Tiger Woods is promising

to keep his emotions under

check, to be more respectful of

the game and appreciate his

fans more. Welcome back,

Tiger. I haven't done that in

the past few years and, um,

that was wrong of me. It was

his first full press conference

since a car crash and a

spectacular fall from grace.

Reporters didn't seek more

details about his private life,

though he did have to explain

why he sought treatment from a

sports doctor, now under

investigation for giving

athletes human growth hormone. I've never taken that

in my entire life, never taken

any illegal drug ever. The

34-year-old said he needed

treatment for his troublesome

knee injury. Television

networks expect bumper rates

for his return. His wife won't

be at Augusta to watch him, but

many fans are in a forgiving

mood. It's really none of our

business. He's an athlete.

Everybody makes mistakes. Extra

security's been laid on to

protect the return of golf's

number one drawcard, who's

already enjoying himself. It feels fun again, you know, that's something that's been

missing. Tiger Woods says how

he lives his life is more

important than winning

championships, but he's aiming

to win his fifth Masters jacket

just the same. Outside of the

family dynamic, Tiger Woods

biggest test will come on the

course and the locker room. At

Augusta he has to handle being

face-to-face with his peers,

many of whom may not be as

forgiving as the fans. Here's

Peter Wilkins. The golf club

locker room is a place where

there's nowhere to hide. Tiger

Woods might find life behind

doors a little frosty but his

contemporaries simply say they

want the attention back on the

game. Everyone is excited about

having him back and having the

focus being on golf. It's the

most protected place you could play. Knowledgeable golf

followers are here to watch him

play golf and that's generally

what you get here. There was a feeling Woods could have

returned sooner. It's something

that he should have done ages

go, a few months ago and I also

think now he'll realise it

wasn't as hard as he thought it

was going to be. The

reception, it was awesome and

that's really the way it should

be, he knows he made a blunder.

He's back here to play golf and

make up for it. It could be a

prophetic combination - the

first filly produced by 3-time

Melbourne Cup winner Makybe

Diva brought by the trainer of

the most recent winner, Mark

Kavanagh. She's very well put

together, charming individual

here. The price $1.2 million,

was almost fully

subscribed. Just a little piece

left, but a couple of phone

calls and hopefully we'll have

it done in the next 24 hours. A

Redoute's Choice colt fetched

$1.875 million on day one of a cautiously anticipated Easter

sale. It's a good solid sale,

but I'd be surprised if there

were a lot of $2-3 million

colts here. With wet conditions

predicted in Sydney there were

some nerves before the AJC

Derby Barrier Draw. John

O'Shea's favourite Zabrasive

drew closer than Desired in the

Barrier 3. The Bart Cummings-trained Rock Classic

seven and Shootout Barrier,

nine. Chris Davidson edged out

fellow Australian Jay Thompson

by 300ths of a point. Rising

star Owen Wright squeaked

through in the day's final

heat, while young Brazilian

Gabriel Medina unleashed

trickery to upset veteran

American, CJ Hobgood. Darren

Lockyer fans can rest easy.

The Australian and Queensland

Rugby League captain will play

one final season of

representative football. After

50 Tests and 30 State of Origin

games, Lockyer says he has

plenty to offer. He's keen to

turn out alongside fellow

veteran Maroons Steve Price and

Petro Civonieceva. They've signalled this is their last

year and we've been through a

lot together as players and as

mates. And Easter couldn't have

finished on a brighter note for

the Rabbitohs. Souths leapt

into the top eight scoring 7-3

in a 38-16 win over the

Bulldogs. Time to check the

weather now and we're in for an

overnight storm, Melissa. Showers should increase

overnight and a gusty storm is

forecast for Sydney. It's

expected to hit around midnight

and could generate strong winds

and fairly heavy rain. It was

quite mild in Sydney today.

A trough moving east bringing

widespread rain to inland parts

of NSW. Humid north-easterly

winds feeding in ahead of that

trough generating scattered

showers in the far north. In

the next couple of days a cool

southerly change will push

through the south-east,

spreading fresh winds and

briefly clearing showers. But

by Friday night another trough

and low currently over Western Australia will begin to

generate heavy rain and storms

across most parts of the State.

Recapping tonight's top

stories - most of the major

banks are passing on the

Reserve Bank's interest rate

rise of 25 basis points. Two

men have been found guilty over

the deaths of their six friends

in a boat crash on Sydney

Harbour in 2008. And, former

Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull

has announced he's quitting

politics at the next election.

That's ABC News for now. I'll

be back with updates during the

evening, but stay with us now for the '7.30 Report'.

Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI