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(generated from captions) CC Tonight, a former Minister guilty of child sex

and drugs charges. Thanks for

the young men that are involved

for standing up and coming

forward. Trucky shame.

Aboriginal girls used as child

prostitutes. The other side.

Shelly Kovco takes the witness

stand. And let the games begin,

rugby league's big 100. Good

evening, Juanita Phillips with

evening, Juanita Phillips with

ABC News. The prosecution

called him a sordid genius for

the way he used cash and drugs

to lure young boys into having

sex but today all that caught

up with the former Minister for

Aboriginal affairs. Milton

Orkopoulos was found guilty of

almost 30 child sex and drugs

charges. During his trial, the

married father of three spoke

of the double life he led while

he was in State Parliament.

He'll be sentenced next

He'll be sentenced next week,

with the most serious offence

carrying a 14-year jail term.

Once a law-maker, Milton

Orkopoulos has now been found

guilty of breaking the law.

After a 4-week trial, the jury

took just over a day to deliver

its verdict. Thanks to my

investigators and thanks to the

young men involved for standing

up and coming forward. The

jury found Orkopoulos guilty of

28 charges of sexually abusing

28 charges of sexually abusing and supplying drugs to three

teenage boys over a 10-year

period. Orkopoulos met his

first victim in 1995. He

introduced the 15-year-old to

heroin and also gave him

cannabis at various locations

around Newcastle in exchange

for sex. Two years later, he

started abusing a second boy, taking him to Parliament House

and giving him thousands of

office. During dollars from his electorate

office. During the trial, the Crown described the cash as

hush money. Orkopoulos had

claimed the teenager was an

adult when their relationship adult when their relationship began. The court heard Orkopoulos preyed on the

political aspirations of a

third boy, taking him to a

Labor Party conference and

indecently assaulting him. At

the start of his trial, the

former Swansea MP pleaded

guilty to sharing a joint with

House a school student at Parliament

House while Orkopoulos was

still an MP. He also admitted

possessing child pornography at

a time when the Government was

strengthening laws against it.

The married father of three

told the court he'd lived a

double life, one of drug-taking

and gay sex and when exposed it

led to a suicide attempt in

2006. As the guilty verdicts

were read out, Milton

looked Orkopoulos shook his head and

looked distressed. He's now

been remanded in custody for

sentencing, the most serious

charge could see him jailed for

up to 14 years. The trial may

be over but the State

Government is still facing

questions about who knew what

about Milton Orkopoulos. At

issue is whether anyone in the

Labor Party knew about the

crimes before the former

Minister was arrested.

Minister was arrested. Our

State political reporter Emma

Griffiths joins us now. How

damaging has this case been for

the Government? It's been one

of, if not the worst crisis to

hit the State Government in

years since Milton Orkopoulos

was arrested in 2006, it's been

a deeply troubling issue for

the Government, despite the

fact Morris Iemma acted almost

immediately to sack Milton

sacked him Orkopoulos from the minvy, he

sacked him from the parliament

and was also kicked out of the

Labor Party. Today in response

to the verdict, the Premier has

described the crimes as

sickening but it's prompted the

State Opposition to revive its

questions over who knew what

and when about the former Minister's activities. Morris

Iemma has to come clean about

members of his own Cabinet,

members of his own party who

knew about concerns raised in

knew about concerns raised in

rltsz to Mr Orkopoulos and

whether or not they acted

appropriately. And it's come

out in the trial that some of

Orkopoulos's former colleagues

did know about the

allegations. That's right. Two

MPs - two former MPs sorry, did

give evidence at the trial that

they had confronted Milton

Orkopoulos with child sex

allegations at least six months

before he was arrested and they

of them then left the matter there. One

of them is former matter for

Newcastle Bryce Gaudrie, a

long-time friend of Milton

Orkopoulos and he's defended

his response again today. I

raised the issues with him. He

gave me a very clear assurance

he had been to the police and

in this particular instance, I

thought it had been done. And Morris Iemma has told

parliament several times that

neither he nor any of his

neither he nor any of his staff

were told of any investigation into Milton Orkopoulos before

the police alerted them to this

one, Juanita. Emma Griffiths ,

thank you. And the State

Government is facing more alarming clamtion of child

sexual abuse, this time

involving underaged Aboriginal

girls in northern NSW. The

ABC's Lateline program has

revealed truck drivers passing

through the towns of Moree and

children as Bogabilla have been using

children as young as 8 for paid

sex. The Federal Opposition says it's more evidence that

Indigenous intervention should

be extended beyond the Northern

Territory. Social workers say

that paid for or not, sex with

children is a crime. They need

to realise they're committing a

criminal offence that's punishable by I think over 20

years in jail if they're

Lateline, it was caught. On last night's

Lateline, it was reported in

some cases truck drivers are

drugging and raping Indigenous

women and girls. One night I

jumped in with one - there was

actually two of them there so I

couldn't really get away that

easy. To I think anybody would

be concerned about these sorts

of reports. The Federal

Opposition is demanding urgent

action from Federal and State

Governments. The Northern action from Federal and State

Territory intervention, and

that style of intervention,

needs to be extend under to

other parts of Aboriginal

Australia. Aboriginal community

leaders say the child prosecution has been rife for

up to 15 years. The trucking

industry says it's horrified by

the allegations. People who

are involved in child

prostitution need to be behind

wheel bars in jail, not behind the

wheel of a truck. Police in the

area are urging members of the

Aboriginal community with

information about child assault

to come forward We have significant information in

relation to it but the problem has always been the

underreporting and the

reluctance of victims and

witnesses to give us information that can result in

evidence. In a statement today,

the NSW Aboriginal affairs

Minister said the Government is aware of the claims

aware of the claims and has

been trying to stamp out the

child prostitution for two

years. Its staff are

demoralised, its doctors in

permanent battle mode. That's

the view of Royal North Shore

Hospital from the inside. In

evidence before the acute care

inquiry today, eminent staff

specialists have described a

hospital in decay and

management that's

management that's unaccountable. Decayed and

decaying, it's a sad image of

what was once a place of

excellence and though top

specialests continue to defend

the excellence, they say

they're on a knife edge, ready

to run. It gets that bad

because it's been going on too

long. The inquiry was compared

to the last petrol stop before

the highway. In a sense it is

the last chance for a long time to

to come. Morale is low because

we're always battling for what

we want for patients. Sadly,

there's also been an erosion of

the tremendous level of

commitment and loyalty. The

specialists talked of falling

bricks, blocked toilets,

expensive equipment that lay in

a loading dock for a year.

Ruled by email and edict of

mindless cuts to spending, administrative Alzheimer's,

administrative Alzheimer's,

secrecy, of an area health

service that has a $1.5 billion Budget but no board of

directors and no accountability

and a CEO who would have to be

an 'ubermensch', a Superman, to

run the 16 hospitals and health

care institutions under his

control. Not for the first

time, there have been

complaints the inquiry wasn't advertised

advertised adequately. The head

of oncology says he heard about

it this morning on radio, too

late to reschedule a busy day.

I heard it on the news. I've

got patients booked so there's

no way I can attend. There are

hopes for a new research

buildings and some hope for a

new hospital that will take

five or six years to build on

this site. The potential of

this hospital is fantastic, like

like a Phoenix rising out of

the ashes it will again become

one of the gems in the public health service of this

country. On the evidence today,

that looks like pure myth. The

wife of Private Jake Kovco has

admitted she once took his gun

away from him when he was

drunk, fearing he might hurt

himself or others but her

concern was that he was

impaired not that he had violent

violent intentions. Shelly

Kovco took the stand for the

first time today at the NSW

Coroner's inquest into her

husband's death in Iraq in

2006. She said she'd never considered Private Jake Kovco

suicidal but agreed he was

troubled about sexual abuse

he'd suffered as a child. Mrs

Coffs Harbour Hotel said the

pair had a happy marriage,

although yesterday another

woman testified she'd had a brief affair

brief affair with Private Jake

Kovco just before his posting

to Iraq. Shelly Kovco wasn't

asked about that testimony. A

bombing in the Iraqi capital

has killed at least 18 people.

The bomber blew up his car in a

crowded shopping area of

Baghdad just outside the

heavily fortified Green Zone.

At least 64 people were

injured. It's the latest attack

in a new wave of violence the

in a new wave of violence the

US have blamed on Al Qaeda. US

legislators have observed a

minute of silence to honour

soldiers a week before the

anniversary of the Iraq war.

The selflessness of our heroes

continues to make us proud. War

extracts a terrible price. Just

in the past three days, 12 more

of our heroes have fallen in Iraq. US and

Iraq. US and Iraqi officials

have begun talks on the future

of the military Coalition in

Iraq. And the most comp

comprehensive report yet on the link between Saddam Hussein and

Al Qaeda has concluded there

was none. The study conducted

by the Pentagon reviewed more

than 600,000 Iraqi documents

and in the end debunked the Bush Administration's

justification for the Iraq war.

The US media have criticised the Pentagon's decision

the Pentagon's decision not to

publish the report online as an

attempt to bury the

information. The Pentagon says

it's providing copies on request. The Prime Minister

isn't saying how much extra a

week he thinks low-paid workers

should be getting. The

Government has decided not to

nominate a specific figure in

its submission to the Fair Pay

Commission, although it does

say it wants a fair and

reasonable outcome. The Federal

reasonable outcome. The Federal

Opposition says the Government

is being gutless. It's the pay

rise the Government argues the

nation's worst-paid workers

deserve. Kevin Rudd just won't

say how much it should be. We

want to make sure that working families get a decent outcome

from this. He's gutless when

it comes to standing up frathe

lowest paid and vulnerable in

the country. Unions are

pushing for a $26 a week

pushing for a $26 a week pay

rise for the nation's 1.5

million lowest paid workers.

Business wants an increase of

half that, arguing anything

more will fuel inflation and

for all its demands that the

Government declare its hand,

the Opposition won't name a

figure either. Whatever that

pay rise is, it should be as

large as it possibly can be

without pushing up inflation or

having other Australians lose

their jobs. The

their jobs. The Coalition's

convinced the Treasury has

recommended an $18 a week rise,

false says the department's

boss Ken Henry. The Treasury

recommended an increase in

minimum wages without

recommending a specific quantum

of minimum wage increase. And

to further back its case, the

Government's released

previously confidential advice

which states: Recommending a

specific quantum is highly

specific quantum is highly

problematic. This is very

fishy. Malcolm Turnbull is in

fantasy land. Not only are both

sides claiming the high moral

ground in support of low paid

workers, they're accusing each

other of lying. While the

Treasury document appears to

refute the Opposition's

allegations, Turnbull won't be

silenced. I assure you the $18

was the subject of

was the subject of advice from

the Treasury prior to 25

February. It's unlikely either

side has let had their final

word. The Government is leaving

open the option of revising its

submission to the Fair Pay

Commission after the May

Budget. It won't say cl whether

it will then start talking

dollars. The former Whitlam

Government Minister and Labor

Party hard man Clyde Cameron has died in

has died in SA. He was 95. Mr

Cameron was born in Murray

Bridge in 1913 and grew up to

be a shearer. He went on to

campaign for workers' rights

through the union movement and

then in parliament. Mr Cameron

helped Gough Whitlam win the

1972 election and was appointed

to the ministry but he had many

enemies, especially in the

public service. The public servants

servants always had their

councils of war after every

Cabinet meeting and we - not we

but Mr Whitlam - stupidly in my

opinion - allowed public

servants to sit in on Cabinet meetings. Clyde Cameron retired

from parliament in 1980 and

spent his remaining years as a

political historian. One of

Australia's leading experts on

water has died after collapsing

in his Canberra home

in his Canberra home last week.

Peter Cullen was a founding

member of the wn went, the

prominent scientists who

advised Governments on how to address dwindling water

supplies in the on going

drought. In 2001 he received

the Prime Minister's prize as

environmentalist of the year

for his work on the national

action plan on salinity. He was

well regarded by the scientific

communted as a fresh-water

ecologist and respected by both

ecologist and respected by both

sides of politics. He recently

held a position with the

National Water Commission. Peter Cullen was 65. You're

watching ABC News. Tonight's

top story - the former

Government Minister Milton Orkopoulos has been found

guilty of child sex and drug

charges. Still to come, the

Blues to start favourites in

the interstate final. Gold fever is

fever is gripping world

commodity markets. For the

first time, the precious metal

has touched US $1,000 an ounce

and as with the rocketing oil

price, it's the ailing American

dollar driving the gold rush.

The once all conquering

greenback sank below 100 yen

for the first time in a decade

and hit another record low

against the Euro. Traders keep

selling and Americans are nervous.

nervous. I think it's sad

because it means people who are

older like I am, our money's

not going to go as far as it

once did. You can't afford to

eat, you can't drive, you can't

buy gas, you can't have

electricity or your utilities

at home because the dollar's

losing its power. You can't

go to Europe anymore. The

sell-off is sending shock waves

through stock and commodity

through stock and commodity

markets. Over night the price

of an ounce of gold hit

$1,000. I'm shocked. I'm

shockled. I was in the business

when gold was $35 an ounce and

now at this price it seems

astronomical. Americans are

emptying their jewellery boxes

and trying to cash in. Everything from my mother-in-law's closet to

mine. The falling dollar is

driving up the price of black gold. Oil hit

gold. Oil hit another record

high, trading above $111 a

barrel, the 12th record in 13

trading sessions. It's flowing

low to the pump and eroding

consumer confidence. You need

three jobs for gas. The latest

figures show retail sales fell

much more than expected last

month, the latest scien the

world's biggest economy could already be

already be in recession. The

White House acknowledges times

are tough but it's avoiding the

R word. You can try to put

labels on what the economy is.

It's low growth and much slower

than we would certainly tyke to

see. Borrowers are defaulting

in record numbers and a big ratings company predicts banks

will have to write down their

assets by $300 billion. The

good news is

good news is it thinks the

credit crisis is nearly over.

Another Australian mining

company has become a takeover

target in China's quest to

secure its iron ore supplies.

Here's Phillip Lasker. If

you're into heavy motile today

was your day. The All

Ordinaries ended the week 73

points higher as another battle

over iron ore broke out. China's

China's second biggest iron ore

trader, sin sin, which has 20%

of Perth based Midwest Corp has

launched a $1.2 billion bid for

the iron ore minor. Midwest

Corp's shares surged but it's

below the offer price. The

first hostile Chinese takeover

bid for an Australian company

has foreign investment review

board approval and did wonders

board approval and did wonders

for other steel and iron ore

stocks. Murray Bridge benefit

ed from speculation it could be

next. Property group City

Pacific fell as it responded to

reports it was stringing out

investors waiting for their

interest payments. It said its

distribution to investors in

two funds would be paid today

in accordance with the

in accordance with the fund's

constitutions. It's been a good

day for home borrowers. The

bank's funding costs have been

falling since Tuesday, they've

dropped about a quarter of a

per cent , giving lenders less

of an excuse to increase rates

independently of the Reserve

Bank. Whether it lasts is

another matter. The gold price

says it won't. A rising bullion

price points to uncertainty,

fears about inflation and a

fears about inflation and a

falling US dollar. Gold futures

traded above US $1,000 an

ounce. On currency markets, the

Australian dollar was generally

weaker except against the

besieged US currency, one

Australian dollar will buy

almost 94.4 US cents. Pilots

have accused the Civil Aviation

Safety Authority of

overreacting by grounding 3,000

light plans over safety concerns. The problem is

concerns. The problem is a

defective fuel pump which could

cause an engine to shut down

but paylets and now the Civil Aviation Safety Authority agree

the defect is easy to find and

fix. A $4 gasket Owen a plug on

the most common fuel injection

system in Australian light

aircraft - if it's faulty the part can loosen and shut down

the engine. It is a serious

problem from a small component

but if it fails the outcome can

be serious. In the US, there

have been 18 incidents where

the fuel pump faltered but none

caused a crash. Pilots are

saying the grounding goes too

far. Most people in the

general aviation business in

Australia are trying to make a

living. To blanketly shut down their livelihood is

their livelihood is an over reaction. Colin Rodgers says

the safety of the engines could

be preserved without the

massive inconvenience of a

total shut-down. It needs a

check that can easily be

performed by a pi in a remote

area and can be flown to a

regional area to be checked.

It is not hugely expensive, but

an important one for

an important one for safety.

The commonly affected aircrafts

are Pipers that have had their

fuel pumps replaced or

overhauled since 2006. Late

this afternoon the Civil

Aviation Safety Authority

relented, remote area pilots

will now be allowed to check

the part themselves before

flying the plane to a licensed

engineer. NSW goes into to the

cricket final against Victoria

tomorrow as favourite, thanks

to a team stacked

to a team stacked with

international players. Even so,

the Blues aren't taking

anything for granted and

they're not about to

underestimate the Bushrangers.

Here's Duncan Huntsdale. Eight

of the NSW team have played for

Australia but even with all the

stars returning, 19-year-old

opening batsman Phillip Hughes

has held his spot. About three

months ago now I debuted at the

myself SCG against Tasmania and to see

myself in a Pura Cup final in

the same year is very

exciting. The left-hander has

made six half centuries from as

many matches. He's got a great

temperament. We're hoping he

turns one of the 50inise to a

big hundred in the final. Some

of the Bushrangers will be an unknown quantity for the Blues

and an ambush may be on the

cards. Possibly. With the

bowling especially I think

which is probably our strength.

strength. And is this the one

that got away for Australian

cricket? In just his second

Test for England, Tim Ambrose

scored a century against New

Zealand. The wicketkeeper grew

up in Australia and played

under 17s for NSW but moved to

England eight years ago with a

dual passport and worked his

way into the Test team. As one

case closes, another AFL club

has come under scrutiny from

the league. No stranger

the league. No stranger to AFL

sanks for cheating a salary

cap, Carlton find itself having

to defend accusations of

deliberately losing games to

get the top draft pick. Former

assistant coach Tony Liberatore

says the Blues weren't doing everything possible to win

matches at the end of last

season. It's not the be all,

end all. It's not important if

we win. You're a

we win. You're a smart man, is

that tanking? Personally, I'd

say yes. The AFL will meet

Liberatore next week. Carlton

denies the claims. The West

Coast Eagles were today cleared

of bringing the game into disrepute after an

investigation into the team's

culture. The AFL ordered the

report after the drug

admissions of sacked star Ben

Cousins and other off-field

problems. In scorching conditions,

conditions, Australian Mark

Webber was almost as hot.

During the afternoon practice

session ahead of Sunday's

Formula One Grand Prix in

Melbourne, Webber had the

fastest lap through most of the

90-minute session before

England's Lewis Hamilton

unleashed the only lap below

the 1 minute 27 mark. The

reigning world champion Kimi

Raikkonen was the quickest in

the morning practice. Cadel

the morning practice. Cadel

Evans has won the fourth stage

of the Paris to Nice cycling

race. His team-mate, Yaroslav

Popovych dropped off, leaving

Evans to outsprints Dutch rider

Robert Gesink. Gesink's second

place was enough to take the

yellow jersey, with Evans 16th overall. Rugby

overall. Rugby league's

centenary season has had a big

build-up but tonight it's down

to business and fittingly, two

clubs who were there at the

start will kick off the 100th

competition. Foundation clubs

with their roots in Sydney's

inner south and the eastern

corridor to Bondi resume their

century-long battle in the

centenary year's first game.

The Rabbitohs say there's no

greater league rivalry than theirs

theirs with the Roosters and

south's capture of a recent

easts favourite should spice it

up. The hate should be

reserved for the fans. I'm

looking forward to getting out

there and after five minutes

that stuff wears off and it's

about the game plan. They're

doing a good job selling

tickets this week. It was

always an important game.

Mystery surrounds whether

Jonathan Thurston will play

tonight against Gold Coast. The

tonight against Gold Coast. The

hopes of North Queensland may

demand on when their halfback

and play-maker makes his way

into infray. After a double

shoulder reconstruction, the

24-year-old 2-time Dally M

Medallist was listed to come

back in round 5. The Titans

suspect he hasn't flown south

for the scenery at their new

home. Thredzrapher not much we

We can do. We prepare ourselves.

We probably won't find out

until an hour before the game.

After his shoulder operation, a

heavier and more toned Benji

Marshall is ready for anything

the Dragons can throw at him.

If they want to chase him, fair

enough. We've got all the

confidence in the world in

Benji. Sunday's game is at the

Sydney football stadium, scene

of a memorable Tigers win over

the dringens en route to the

the dringens en route to the

2005 premiership. The raiders

have been bolstered on the eve

of their clash with the Knights

in Newcastle. Troubled halfback

Todd Carney has rejected offers

from Penrith and Manly to stay

in Canberra until the end of

the 2010 season. And Sydney is

now home to some of the world's

oldest creatures. The first

permanent exhibition of

dinosaurs has opened at the

Australian Museum and visitors

could be forgiven for thinks

they've come back to life. This

baby dinosaur body puppet was

the big hit with 100 primary

schoolchildren. The

muttaburrasaurus is modelled on

the real thing, dinosaurs that

walked the planet 100 million

years ago. A shoulder bone

also in found in Lightning Ridge is

also in the exhibition. A

series of animations give

visitors some idea of the

perils of life back then. Let's

see if this week's summerier weather is going to last

through the weekend. Here's

Graham. It certainly is,

Juanita, but it does look as

though this good weather is

going to come to a homent just

as Easter gets under way. I've

got more on that for you in a

moment -- come to a

moment -- come to a halt.

High-level cloud has become

more extensive through the

centre of the continent but it's not expected to bring any rain. Some of

rain. Some of it will move our

way tomorrow thof. The high in

the Tasman will strengthen over

the weekend, meaning a stronger

onshore wind flow, meaning

temperatures drop a degree or

two in the east, with a

slightly cooling trend reaching

the eastern inland from Monday.

The best of the falls will be

confined to the far northern tropics.

Thanks, Graham. Tonight's

top stories again, the former State Minister Milton

Orkopoulos will be sentenced

next week after being found

guilty of child sex and drugs

charges. And the Federal

Opposition is calling for

urgent Government intervention

in the State's Indigenous communities after claims that

truck drivers are paying for

sex with under aged girls. That

is ABC News for this Friday.

Stay with us now for Stateline with Quentin Dempster.


Closed Captions by CSI

This week, a spanner in the

privatisation works. I agreed

subject to, I can't say that

too many times. Also, can young

binge boozers be shocked into

responsible drinking by Government-sponsored TV

campaigns? And a new high-tech

tribute to the armed forces men

and women who have served in

the small and not soy small

wars of the modern era. Welcome

to Stateline NSW, I'm Quentin Dempster. Premier Morris Iemma

and Treasurer Michael Costa

believe they have won a big

tick to privatise electricity

in NSW with a declaration from

the Government-appointed

Unsworth Review that their plan