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Tonight - fighting words -

the battle of the Budget bottom

line. We will be declaring war

on this tax. Tonight is the big

test for Tony Abbott. Tonight

is put up or shut up time. Accused war criminal

facing extradition. Join the

queue - the class action over

bank fees. And the new 'Robin

Hood' stealing the limelight.

Good evening. Juanita

Phillips with ABC News. Tony

Abbott is tonight set to take

on Kevin Rudd in a contest over

thrift and economic discipline.

The Opposition Leader will use

his Budget reply to try to beat

the PM in a race to get the

books back into surplus. But

the Government has seen it

coming and spent most of the

day launching pre-emptive

strikes on Mr Abbott's economic credibility. Here's Mark Simkin. Shadow Treasurer will

keep hounding the resource

tax. What's her

name? Pixie. Isn't that what

they called Kevin Rudd! Tonight

Tony Abbott will unleash his

own attack. I'm pretty keyed

up. There is no doubt about

this. This is a very big moment

for me. The Budget reply could

be the most important speech of

his political career. We will

be declaring war on this

tax. This is a tax that will

snuff out Australia's

prosperity. It's got that smell

of farm produce. In a

fertiliser shop he gave a taste

of what's to come. I am all

that stands between you and

this tax. Arguing the tax will hit fertilisers and inflate the

cost of food. I don't think

people understand how ramifying

it will be. Tony Abbott's also

expected to announce savings measures. A Coalition

Government would under any

circumstances bring the Budget

back into surplus well before a

Labor Government. The Government's demanding Tony

Abbott show how and when,

especially given that since the

Coalition has dug a $16 billion

black hole. Tony Abbott's

approach to Budget policy is

like the dodgy American

evangelists who preach chastity during the daytime. Government

carried the personal attack and

imagery into Question Time. You

will squeeze the life out of

you and expect you to thank him

for it in the morning. They

will reveal themselves as what

they are - risky for the

country's future. Put up or

shut up time for the Leader of

the Opposition. Labor wants the

election to be about economic

management and Tony Abbott is

hoping tonight is a turning

point. He wants the speech to

transform the Coalition from an

alternative Government. Opposition to a credible

A suspected war criminal from

the Balkans has been arrested

in northern NSW after more than

40 days on the run. Dragan

Vasiljkovic, also known as

Daniel Snedden, gave

authorities the slip back in

March when the High Court

reimposed an order to extradite

him. The Federal authorities needed help from Dutch

authorities to find him. Dragan

Vasiljkovic, known locally as

Daniel Snedden, has steadfastly

denied war crime allegations

linking him to the murder, rape

and torture of prisoners in the

Balkans during the early 1990s.

I would not tolerate any

ill-treatment of prisoners. I

would not tolerate any

ill-treatment of civilians. For

five years he's fought an

extradition request from

Croatia. In March the High

Court ruled that he was

eligible for surrender. He

fled. On the run for 43 days,

Federal Police finally tracked

him down last night in NSW. The AFP got special help from

police in Holland which a war

crime expert says is home to a large, sympathetic Serbian

community. I think it is quite

logical that there would be

chatter, phone and email chatter, between Serbs in

Australia and Serbs in Holland,

perhaps even Draggian

himself. Croatian and Serbian

communities in Australia remain

as divided as they were during

the Balkan war. We're pleased

as Australian citizens that he

has been captured or

re-captured. We are hoping

that he is extradited and that

he is brought to justice.

This is the classic trial by media. That's what's happening

at the moment. In Australia we

presume that a person is

presumed innocent. The Minister

for Home Affairs, Brendan

O'Connor, now has to decide

whether the extradition should

go ahead. But any decision is

subject to appeal. It could go

on very easily for a year or

even longer than a year. In the meantime, Daniel Snedden will

be kept in jail.

A bureaucratic mess could end

up costing taxpayers a small

fortune. The parents of a

disabled student wanted to send

their son to the local high

school which would have had to

spent a million dollars to

build special ramps. Instead

the parents saved the school

the money by enrolling him in a

private school. As a result,

they've lost a $25,000 a year

subsidy which means they can't

afford the fees and the state

school is still up for a million dollars in

ramps. Daniel Clarke is a model

student, a pre-effect in

primary school and an

ambassador for children with

disabilities. He was the face

of a campaign with Morris

Iemma, has been snapped with

Kristina Keneally and featured

on the Government booklet

'Stronger Together'. How do I

feel about that? Not a lot of

stronger together. Rodney and

penny Clark say they didn't

want to cost their local school

a million dollars in ramps.

They sent their son to Northern Beaches Christian School. They

were stripped of a $25,000

subsity. It pays for a

teacher's aid, vital to take

part in class. Now the clerks

are struggling to find the

money. It's very hard on the

family, especially when we are

constantly trying to find the

money to help Daniel be

educated. Daniel Clarke issued

his own plea to the Premier. I

really want her help. The

Opposition took up the issue in

Parliament. How do you justify

slashing teacher's aide funding

for my constituent Daniel

Clarke in the minister

today. They deflected the

question. Address it to the

Minister for Education. Clarks left Parliament disenchanted

and angry. They read out the

same crap letter. Leader of the

Opposition says it's not good

enough. $100,000 cost to the

Clark family or a million

dollars to taxpayers. The

minister wouldn't give them an

answer. So taxpayers are you

prepared for a million dollars

worth of cost? The Government

defended funding levels but has

no solution for the clerks.

Year 10 students could be

sitting a different type of

school certificate next year.

Education officials consider

the current one outdated and

are pushing for a more relevant

assessments of students.

Changes could include work

experience and community

service. Once a key education

milestone, today the school

serkate is largely considered

old-fashioned. Once you go into

senior school it is rendered

irrelevant by the HSC. I didn't

do it. I was on a student

exchange at the time. I didn't

find it relevant to me. I

didn't need to do it. School

serk was introduced in 1965, a

time when people could leave at

15 and many did. Today the

leaving age is 17. Many

students undertake a range of

other experiences at school

that we do want an end of

school credential to be able to recognise. That could include

community service, a second

language or work experience.

The current serkate is made up

of five tests. The teacher's

union is calling for it to be

scrapped. That won't happen but

it will be reviewed. We've been

ahead in this state in terms of

our credential and this will

maintain us ahead of the pack. High school principals

will discuss the plan with the

board of studies next week. If

there is change, it will be

embraced by principals as a

good thing. We've waited for a

long time for this dialogue to occur. For Julie Bedford and

her son Jack who will be in

year 10, it's a welcome move. An overhaul is long

overdue. I will be interested

to see what they have

planned. While education

officials won't say when

changes will be made, they say

this year's certificate won't

change. In one day more than

32,000 disgruntled bank

customers have signed on for a multibillion-dollar class

action over fees and charges.

The response has asphonished

lawyers and say 1,000 people an

hour are joining up. The

Finance Sector Union is worried

that it is bank workers that

could ultimately pay the price. Student Matthew Burgess

is one of thousands of

customers who have been stung

by bank late payment fees and

now he's fighting back. The

banks are predatory behaviour

and the impact it is having on

people's lives. He's joined

what is shaping up as the

biggest class action Australia

has seen. Lawyers estimate over

the past six years customers

could have been unfairly

slugged $5 billion. Most

people get hit at some point.

Maybe a direct debit you

haven't put money in the

account for, or a couple of

days late with the minimum

payment on credit card, they

make a lot of money out of the

fees. They argue 12 banks,

including the big four, have

charged too much for these

so-called exception fees

because they are not legally

allowed to charge a penalty,

only a genuine estimate of what

it costs the bank to fix the

mistake. Someone pays the

minimum payment a couple of

days late. The bank charges you

interest. They recover the

cost. They want to charge you

how much? $25 to $60 for

that? Customers won't have to

pay to join the law suit.

Litigation funders are stumping

up the cost and will bear the financial risk if they lose.

But if the case is successful,

they will get a 25% cut of the

damages. Unions say while they

support any action that puts

the spotlight on dishonour and

late fees, they would prefer to

see stronger Government

regulation. Does anybody

seriously think whatever money

the banks have to pay out in

the law suit they won't recoup

by extra fees and charges

elsewhere or sacking of

staff? There was no comment

from the banks. Lawyers say

they have to sift through huge

amounts of material and it will

take them at least a month to

prepare their case.

Whether it's a marriage of

convenience or a shotgun

wedding, Britain's new

political partners are looking

cosy together. The leaders of

the Conservative and Liberal

Democrat parties held their

first media conference today.

PM David Cameron and his

deputy, Nick Clegg,

acknowledged there will be

difficulties ahead, but say the

alliance is for keeps. Philip

Williams reports. This was Nick

Clegg and David Cameron the

last time they shared a

stage. Is that right, yes or

no? We have... They certainly

didn't imagine this, a joint

press conference in the

backyard at number 10. PM David

Cameron and his deputy, Nick

Clegg. Today, we are not just

announcing a new Government,

and new ministers, we are

announcing a new politics. A

new politics where the national

interest is more important than

the party interest. This is a

Government that will last. Much

depends on the goodwill and

spirit of compromise that

appears to exist now. And the

personal chemistry between men

of a new political generation.

But past insults can't be

undone. PM, do you regret when

once asked what your favourite

was you replied Nick

Clegg. Deputy PM, what do you

think of that? I'm afraid I did

once... Oh! (Laughter) Come

back! We're all going to have things that we said thrown things that we said thrown back

at us. The Opposition too has adjustments ahead with Gordon

Brown's departure, the race on

for the Labor leadership. The outgoing Foreign Secretary was

the first to declare. I'm standing for the leadership

because I believe I can lead

Labor to rebuild itself as the

great reforming

champion. Opposition will be a

rude awakening for the Labor

Party after 13 years, but this is politics

is politics and it happens.

This has been a strange week

indeed. So a great big hairy

pig outside the Parliament

didn't seem so extraordinary.

Stranger things have happened

around the corner at number 10.

A young boy who was the sole

survivor of the Libyan plane

crash should make a full

recovery according to doctors.

The boy is believed to be about

ten years old. He's being

treated for broken bones and

head injuries. Authorities in

the Netherlands say they are

seeking confirmation that the

boy is a Dutch citizen. The 103

other people on board all died.

According to the passenger

list, 61 of them were Dutch.

Witnesses say the plane crashed

as it was coming in to land

after a flight from South

Africa. Reading tea leaves has

become the latest weapon

against the global drug trade.

Using advanced technology,

scientists are now able to

trace the origin of tea, a kind

of fingerprinting. They believe

the same technique could be

applied to heroin and cocaine

to pinpoint the place of origin. Doctor John Watling has

a simple answer for the question why tea and not

something stronger? Because we

can't really import heroin and

cocaine from all over the

world, it is illegal. Dr

Watling and his team of

scientists at the university of

WA are bringing 21st century

technology to the art of tea

tasting. They can tell not just

that a tea leaf is darjeeling

from India, but exactly where

it is grown. We have several

hundred different plantations

around the world. We can tell which plantation that comes

from. It's called geographical

provenancing and Barry Dawson

is one person backing the value

of the research. His customers

pay nearly $50 for 100 grams of

top quality darjeeling tea.

Making sure it is the real deal

is important. We have a lot of

dedicated customers that enjoy

darjeeling. But the research is

much more than tea. It has been

used to help WA police identify

a marijuana crop. We

fingerprinted cannabis and

related it back to sites of

interest and where it was

grown. Plan is to refine the

technique to track chemical

based drugs like heroin and

cocaine. It will be invaluable

in prosecuting drug dealers. It

could be traced to the region

which will prove they've

imported it. Dr Watling says

his research is being closely watched by agencies around the

world and he's worked with

Scotland Yard, Interpol and the


Tonight's top story - the

Rudd Government has attacked

Tony Abbott's economic

credentials as the Opposition

leer prepares to deliver his

strategy to balance the book.

Still to come - Australian star

power lighting up the red

carpet at Cannes.

Rising interest rates are yet

to make a dent on the jobs

market. The latest numbers show

that enough jobs were created

last month to keep the

unemployment rate steady at 5.4%. The Reserve Bank says the result underscores the

economy's strength but it has

warned of the increasing global

risk posed by the European debt

crisis. Latest strong job

numbers surprised the financial

markets but not the Reserve

Bank. The economy both

internationally and here has

bounced back. Employment in

Australia is one part of

that. Another 37,500 full-time

jobs were created in April. The

second successive monthly increase. So Australia's

unemployment rate stayed at the

relatively low level of

5.4%. But behind the figures,

the overall number of hours

worked fell. It looks like the

newer full-time jobs aren't at

the same number of hours as

some of the previous ones. But analysts say the numbers show

Australia is moving closer to

full capacity and stronger

inflationary pressures. Something the

Reserve Bank warned must be

kept in check. Low and stable

inflation has clearly been one

of the critical elements in

Australia's good economic

performance. We need to make

sure this continues. But while

one eye is on inflation, the

other is on the risk that

Europe's debt concerns could

flare up again. If they did,

this would weigh on prospects

for the country's directly

concerned and also weighing on

prospects in Asia. It's one reason analysts predict a cautious approach to interest

rates. We suspect now there

will be a little bit of an

assessment period and probably another rate rise August-September. Despite the

heightened threat from Europe,

the RBA points out that it is

still contained to Europe.

Shares here rose strongly

today in line with big gains

around the world. And the main

talking point is the surging

price of gold. Here's Alan

Kohler. The gold price got to

$1243 an ounce in New York, but

it's come back a bit today.

It's gone up 70% since Lehman

Brothers collapsed in 2008,

sparking a global credit crisis

and a massive monetary response which rescued the world economy, but made investors

less trusting of money created by governments on the grounds

they are creating too much.

That applies in spades to

Europe where a trillion dollars

will be borrowed by many

countries to lend to sick ones and the European Central Bank

is planning to buy some Greek

bonds at bank garage sales

using newly printed Euros.

Confirming the views of those

who no longer struft money as a

store of wealth and would rather have something they can

polish. As a result the gold

price in Euros has shot above

the gold price in US dollars as

shown by the graph. European

share markets gained ground

after GDP growth for the region

came in at a

stronger-than-expected 0.2%.

Investors were encouraged by

Spain's announcement that

public service salaries would

be cut by 5%. The public

servants weren't too chuffed


The market has gone up 3le 8%

in four sessions in Australia,

but down about 3% this month

and 4% this year. The

Australian dollar has gone back

above 90 US cents and 71 Euro

cents. Consumer confidence has

buckled under the rate of rate

hikes, new taxes on the miners

and the fall in the share

market last week according to

roi Morgan data. It's fallen to roi Morgan data. It's fallen to

its lowest level in nine

months. That's finance. In

Super 14 the finals chances of

the Brumbies and the Waratahs

will be on the line tomorrow

night when they play their

final round fixtures. The

Brumbies play the Crusaders in

New Zealand and NSW has a home

ground advantage against the

Hurricanes. Jennifer Browning

reports. The make-up of the

Super 14 top four won't be

known until early Sunday

morning. But the Brumbies and

the Waratahs can control one

variable - if they win their

matches on Friday night, they will guarantee themselves a

spot in the finals. We knew it would come down to this

game. There is one side

guaranteed of play-offs in the

last round which shows how hard

it is. The Bulls are in. The

last time the Brumbies beat the Crusaders on their home turf

was in 2000. The statistics don't

don't get any better for the

ACT side. Their opponents have

lost only two of the last 28

games in Christchurch. It's

anywhere you go is a hard place

to win. No, it hasn't been

mentioned until then. I won't

tell the group. Waratahs will

be without prop Ben Robinson

for their must-win clash but

have the advantage of playing

the Hurricanes in Sydney. One

of the things you learn about of the things you learn about

teams as you spend time with

them is if they have the

ability to step up in the big

games. This is a team that has

the mental ability to handle

the challenges and perform on

Friday night. The Hurricanes

were given a boost with Peri

Weepu cleared to play, despite

an ankle injury. The Bulls have

made 14 changes. One player

remains in the starting side from the team that defeated from the team that defeated the

Crusaders on the weekend. They

face the Stormers on Sunday

morning. The result of that

match will finalise the venues for the semifinals. It's possible both Australian teams

will be packing their bags for

South Africa if they win

tomorrow night.

The Socceroos most senior

player has had a major

disappointment with the World

Cup in sight. Mark Schwarzer was in goal as was in goal as his Premiership

League side Fulham suffered an

agonising defeat in the Europa

Cup final. Pim Verbeek thinks

Schwarzer's long flight home

will give him plenty of time to

get focussed on the job ahead.

Here's Peter Wilkins. The

coach was hoping Mark

Schwarzer's skills would save

Fulham in their Europa Cup

final. He thinks he will final. He thinks he will recover from the extra time

disappointment. It's good he's leaving England as soon as

possible and coming here and

taking a few days off. He will

be ready. Atletico Madrid's

Diego Forlan proved the

nemesis. When Schwarzer would

have been thinking penalty

shoot-out. Verbeek reinforced

his desire to select the best

squad for the match against New

Zealand in 11 days with player fitness his immediate fitness his immediate focus. I'm not going to take

risks with injured players. An

extra time goal sank Adelaide

United in the Asian Champions

League of 16. The Brazilian

playmaker scored in both halves

to give the South Korean

champions the lead. His efforts

were cancelled by Robbie

Cornthwaite's header. And a dramatic equaliser deep dramatic equaliser deep in

stoppage time. The winner came

in the 116th minute. Most of

our boys started to cramp and

their boys did as well. It was

a massive effort. Unfortunately

we fell short. The world number

one's golfing troubles have

deepened. Scans have revealed

the ailment which forced a premature end to Tiger Woods

Players Championship is an

inflamed neck joint. Woods has

announced he will have announced he will have another

indefinite absence from the

game to undergo intensive

treatment and says the injury

causes headaches and prevents proper side to side

movement. At 84 former motor

racing champion Jack Brabham

isn't in the limelight these

days, but making a rare

appearance, he claimed Mark

Webber is on track to emulate

him. He's been a battler and

has struggled and hasn't really

had the luck of having the

right car. But he's got one

now. Cadel Evans will be

praying his new team's

performance in the Tour de

France is in stark contrast to

what is unfolding in the Giro

d'Italia. Stage four of the

event, a time trial on an

undulating 33km course was a

horror for the Australian. His

team lost two members early and

never recovered. Finishing a

minute and 21 seconds behind

the stage winners. The result

leaves Evans two minutes behind

the race leader, the Vincenco

Nibali. Matthew Goss and Richie

Porte lie 4th and 8th respectively. Even though it is

in the south of France, the

Cannes Film Festival has a distinctly Australian flavour.

The event opened with the movie 'Robin Hood' 'Robin Hood' starring Russell

Crowe and Cate Blanchett and

will close with an Australian

film 'The Tree'. In between

there will be more than a few

reminders that the film

industry Down Under is well and

truly alive. Cannes is exuding

a heady blend of glamour and

money. As the stars strut their

stuff and deal makers do

business in the world's leading

film marketplace. Images of the opening

opening movie, Ridley Scott's

'Robin Hood' pervade the resort

and so does Russell Crowe,

giving his own take on the folk

hero. My theory would be if

'Robin Hood' was alive today he

would be looking at the

monopolisation of media as the

greatest enemy. The

40-something lead actors have

an understated onscreen romance

they played for laughs at their media

media conference. I know it's

the whole getting to kiss Kate

thing. Oh, yes, I forgot to say

that line too. Like her

character, Cate Blanchett is no

shrinking violent, fully aware

of the impact of the festival. This particular festival with Tim Burton

heading the jury, it's really

interesting, diverse and interesting, diverse and

eclectic European and Asian

pantheon of films. 5,000 media

and throngs of celebrity

watchers have thrilled the

meka. Australia has a strong

movie presence but two short

films have made it into the

competition. Two features,

'Beneath Hill 60' and 'Animal

Kingdom' will have market

premiers upping their chances premiers upping their chances

internationally. And a new

Australian-French co-production

shot in Queensland 'The Tree',

has been selected as the closing film for the festival.

Let's check the weather and

it's been another dry week for

the dams Mel? None of the

catchment areas recorded rain

and as a result storage levels

have fallen by half a per cent.

There is still rain forecast for next week for next week and should be decent falls over the

catchments. In Sydney today it

reached 22 degrees in the city.

Three above average.

A low pressure trough and

cold front over southern WA are

causing showers and storms.

They should reach NSW by Sunday

evening. But until then, that

high will continue to bring

cold, frosty mornings and fog

to the south-east as the

western trough

western trough draws Indian

Ocean moisture across WA

triggering patchy rain and

isolated storms. An even low

will bring scattered showers to

the ACT's western ranges and

maintain strong showery winds

in Victoria.

Thanks, Mel. Tonight's top

story again - Tony Abbott is

about to outline his economic

strategy to put the Budget in

the black. He'll use his Budget

in reply speech to declare war

on the Government's mining

tax. That is ABC News for this

Thursday. Coming up next, the

Opposition's Budget Reply.


Closed Captions by CSI.


Abbott is about to start so

let's cross to the House of


The question is that this

bill be now read a second

time. The Leader of the

Opposition. Mr Speaker, of

the three budgets delivered

by the Rudd Government this