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ABC News (Sydney) -

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is Captioned Live.Are

Tonight - an electric shock

for home owners - power bills

set to rise dramatically. There

is no doubt these are difficult

times. Cancer calamity -

thousand denied life-saving

treatment. Wild weather hits

Queensland - guess who's next?

And out in the cold - Andrew

Symonds misses the Ashes tour. This time there hasn't

been room in that 16-man squad

for him.

Good evening. Juanita

Phillips with ABC News. Prepare

for more belt tightening. From

July, NSW households can expect

to pay around 20% more for

electricity. That's a rise of

up to $200 a year for the

average customer. The

independent price tribunal

approved the rise which is

State Government says is needed

to avoid more blackouts.

Pensioners are being offered

some assistance but those who are already struggling to pay

the bills say it's not

enough. In July, the power

bill will be 20% bigger. This

man and his wife must find a

way to stretch the Budget

further: I just bought her a

car after the Rudd stimulus

package. Maybe she won't get a

card this Christmas. For Energy

Australia, prices will jump

21%. For Integral and Country

energy country, it's $21%,

adding $3.90 a week to the

average bill. After the draft

ruling in March, the Energy

Minister and Premier vowed to

lobby the independent tribunal

to lessen the impact. I think

in the face of the global financial crisis in the face of

many families around NSW

already struggling to make ends

meet that's inappropriate

>>u. But it's fallen on deaf

ears. There is no doubt these

are difficult time s but we

have to make sure the system

can survive into the

future. The Opposition blames

the Government. It says given

this year's series of blackouts

the tribunal was left with no

option. They have taken $11

billion out of this sector.

They have failed to invest in infrastructure. The Government

has promised $270 million in

assistance packages, including

a boost to the pensioner

rebate. But it will only go up

by $18 a year, when power

prices will jump a few dollars

each week. $18 per annum is

scandalous. The Energy Minister

doesn't see a case to increase

the rebate further. Pensioners

bills tend to be much lower and

the increase there will ensure

that they get a large

rebate. That wouldn't even

cover if it was $18 a

quarter. Les Elkins has called

on the Premier and the

Treasurer to use the next four

weeks to put something extra

into their Budget for

pensioners. 8,000 cancer

patients have died prematurely

in the past decade, and their

deaths were possibly

preventable. That's the disturb

ing diagnosis from the Cancer

Council which says more than

50,000 patients have missed out

on potentially life saving

radio therapy. The problem is a

shortage of radiation machines

an the Government is under

increasing pressure to provide

them. Angela Bain is now in

remission from breast cancer

but with no public radio therapy services on the central

coast last year the mother of

four had to travel two hours to

Sydney each day for crucial

treatment. I was feeling

extremely stressed. The travel

was getting to me. There were a

number of times during the six

weeks of my treatment that I

did want to stop did want to stop treatment. A

new report from the NSW Cancer

Council says one-third of patients who need radiation

treatment have missed out

because of a shortage of

services. Over 50,000 people

actually did not receive radio

therapy during 1996 to 2006.

We're saying that 16% of those

which is over 8,000 have had

their - have died prematurely their - have died prematurely

because they didn't have radio

therapy. Areas the worst access

to radiation treatment include

Bankstown, Blacktown and

Nepean. Outside Sydney, its

central coast, Port Macquarie

and Armidale. To fix the

problem the doctors say it

would cost the Government $200

million to buy 12 addition al

machines. A small dent in the

health Budget. Health Minister John Della Bosca says the

auditor general is reviewing

radiation service s in NSW. He

says he's confident the

situation will improve. I

expect access to radio therapy

will significantly expand again

over the next coming months and

years. But for those parents

needing treatment now, any

changes can't come soon enough.

The Federal Government's

been asked to step in to help

asbestos victims after news

that James Hardie has had to

suspend payments into the

victim es compensation fund.

The company has had a huge dive

in profits and says it can't

afford to pay the next

instalment. At the same time,

compensation claims are rising,

and James Hardie says it might

come up short in the next few

years as well. The

dysfunctional US housing market

accounts for 75% of James

Hardie's earnings and the good

news was not that great. We're

getting near to bottom. But

then that doesn't mean we're at

the bottom. It did mean

Hardies' operating profit which

excludes asbestos payments fell

44% below $126 million. Cash

flow was negative, and that

means the company does haven't

to contribute to the

compensation fund this year,

and it won't. A new report by

accountants KPMG has pushed the

estimate for future

compensation payments to almost

$1.8 billion. The compensation

fund has just $143 million and

paid claims of $91 million this

year. Suggesting it will be out

of money within two years. And

after this year's non-payment,

James Hardie signaled future

payments could come up

short. It is unfortunate that,

you know, our contributions are

not, you know, not meeting the

projections of KPMG over the

next two or three-year

period. But it is not something

that we have a solution

to. Angry asbestos victims have

a solution - involving the

Federal Government. They

shouldn't be able to lend

parties the money until such

times as the profits pick

up. And some want the company

to lend the compensation fund

the money. It's still a strong

company. It is still in profit

and they themselves see this as

short-term problem. But after

years of tort use compensation

negotiations, James Hardie is

not keen to improvise. Swine

flu is back in the headlines

with four new confirmed cases

in Australia and a fifth being

investigated. Three boys from

one family in Victoria and a

NSW woman contracted the

illness while travelling in the

United States. Two of the boys

attend this Melbourne school

where students have been given

anti-viral medication. An old

er brother at a Melbourne high school has been diagnosed

too. It's likely that other

family member s may also test positive to swine flu, although

those tests have not yet been

final ides. The NSW patient was

treated in the US. One of her

travelling compenons also had

symptoms and is being tested.

Ambulance officers say a child

who was alleged ly starved to

death by her parents appeared

mummified when they found

her. A Hunter Valley couple

have pleaded not guilty to

murdering their 7-year-old

daughter through neglect. The

court's been told that the

girl's body was 14 runken and

much - shrunken and much

smaller than other children of

her age. When the girl's father

called for an ambulance, it was

with distressing news My

naughter has died. I can't think at the moment. What

caused her to die? My wife got

her up this morning. And she

found her dead and she was in

there for three hours trying to

resuscitate her. The court was

told the 46-year-old, who can't

be identified for legal reason,

waited three hours before

calling an ambulance. Asked why

it's alleged he replied, State Government Mark

Lawson was among the first

officers who arrived at the house.

Inside the room he saw a

small object covered by a

blanket. He said

The officer told the court as

he went into the house to

examine the little girl's body

he walked past her two sisters

play osk the computer. He asked

one of them later if she was

OK. She replied, yes, I'm fine.

I had a cry earlier, I'm over

it now. An ambulance officer

with 10 years experience told

jurors the 7-year-old's body

was like nothing he had ever

seen.

Another witness who went

rented the house to the family

said she'd never said she'd never seen the dead

child during her four visits

there. The couple deny

murdering their daughter, who

the Crown says died from

starvation and neglect.

An Indonesian military plane

has crashed on the island of

snaf Java, reportedly killing

78 people. The Hercules

transport went down near

Maddington. More - Madegu nurkz

n. The plane smashed into some

houses and rolled into a paddy

field. There's two people on

the ground were killed. The

cause is still unknown. The

crash happened as the pilot was

prepare ing to land. The

diefrths an Australian woman

facing jail in Thailand have

made an emotion al appeal for

help to bring their mother

home. But but the Foreign

Affairs Minister says there's

only so much he can do. These

little girls don't understand

why their mother has been away

so long. We love our much so

much - our mum so much and we

want her home. The girls aged

between six and 12 were

initially told their mother's

passport had been stole glen

Thailand. But two days ago

extended family broke the news

she had in fact been

arrested. When I got in the car

and heard the radio I was

crying to school. And I got out

of the car but I couldn't

handle it and I couldn't stop

crying. Feeling a world a way,

Annice Smoel is strand in a

Phuket hotel. Not real well,

not real well. I am tired and

exhausted and scared. The

Montrose woman spent four days

in prison earlier this month

after being charged with

stealing a bar ma. Her passport

is being with held while she

wiets for her case to be herd

in court. The Foreign Affairs

Minister admits is t process a

difficult one. When ever an

Australian comes into contact

with the judicial or the

criminal system of another

country, then there's a limit

to what the Australian

Government can do. Mr Smith's

been informed Ms Smoel will

have a bail hearing next week.

Thai police have told the ABC

they have prepared their brief

for the prosecutors and have no

evidence to suggest she is

innocent. In news just in it

looks like Annice Smoel's

ordeal is over. She's been

fined $30 after being found

guilty in a Phuket court. It's

believed she's now picking up

her passport. Wild storms have ripped across South-East

Queensland, dumping hundreds of

mill meeters of rain in the

past 24 hours. A man was killed

on the Gold Coast, as wind

gusts got up to 100km/h. Creeks

and rivers are flooding,

cutting off major roads. And

fore casters say there's more

wet weather on the way. It's

been one of the wettest days in

South-East Queensland's

history. High winds with

gusts of up to 100km/h are

being blamed for the death of a

man on the Gold Coast. He was

hit by a falling pane of glass

from a high rise building. More

than 300mm of rain has fallen

across the region with some

spots soaked by fouls of 428mm.

Water levels rose quickly

overnight, flooding creeks and

cutting roads. By morning it was chaos. The Bruce Highway

from Brisbane to the State's

North was cut. With commuters

told to stay at home. Other

major arterial roads were

impassable, despite motorist s

best efforts. Homes were

flooded as drains struggled to

koe. Fortunately everything is

in plastic storage boxes but we

don't know what damage it's

doing to the house. The State

Emergency Service had more than

350 calls for help, most from

drivers trying to cross flooded

roads. Definite ly slow down

and take a little care. Huge

waves whipped up by 90km/h winds tbaertd south-east coast

line. All Gold Coast beaches

were closed this morning due to

the conditions. And the weather

bureau says there's more rain

to ko. We will see heavy

rainfall through the south-east

on Friday and Saturday

again. But there is a silver

lining. The dams are getting to

a level where we can say with

confidence the drought is

over. After years of water restrictions dam levels are now

at 66% although that doesn't

mean a hosing free for all just

yet. A war hero, a true

gentleman, an Australian legend

- the tributes came thick and

fast today at the state funeral

in Melbourne for veteran actor

Charles 'Bud' Tingwell. Stars

of stage and screen joirned

hundreds of other mourners to

pay their respects. To the

very end, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell entertained and

touched the hearts of famous

and ordsnary Australians alike.

Today, they gathered to

celebrate an extraordinary

life. There isn't a person here

today who hasn't been touched

by this gentleman who loved

life, loved his work and most

of all loved people. His son,

Christopher, explained how it

was his father's courage as

World War II pilot and not his

stardom that most filled him

with pride. To a young boy

looking for a patternal hero

figure, a spitfire pilot father

pretty much fitted the bill. I

remember well the Australian

Government airman who spoke

with the very convincing

American accent, giving the

impression that he was a yank

in the RAAF. Fellow veterans

said fame never altered him

despite starring roles in Hollywood, London and

Australia. But Tingwell's

career as an actor, writer and

director spand more than six

decades, and he was always keen

to mentor youngtal yevenlt His all-time favourite was 'Sex and

the City'! That sense of humour

and with it wit never left the

86-year-old even in the final

stienchs prostate cancer. Dad

died as he lived - talk and

listening, laughing and crying,

loving and being loved.

Surrounded by the family and

friends he adored. One

final standing ovation to

honour a true gentleman.

Federal politicians will

have to wait another three months at least before they get

a pay rise. MPs and senators

wor due for a review next month

after a year-long wage freeze.

But the tribunal which

determines their salaries have

put off any decision until

September. Last month, the

tribunal came in for stinging

criticism for awarding a $4,000

increase in electoral

allowances. Kevin Rudd imposed

wage restraint last year but

won't be drawn on whether he

will accept an increase if it's recommended. I understand recommended. I understand from

the determineation of the remuneration tribunal that they've deferred their next set

of recommendations until

September and we will review

that then. Judges and senior public servants are all

affected by the temporary

freeze in politicians' pay. The

mother of Parliaments hasn't

seen anything like it in 300

years. The Speke over the House

of Commons has been forced to

stand down over the MP expenses scandal. Michael Martin is on

his way out after nine years

running the Commons. On order

that unity can be maintained, I

have decided they will

relinquish the office of

Speaker on Sunday, 21 June. The

Speaker was seen as an obstacle

to reformling the system, which

allows MPs to claim for

everything from mortgage repayments to cleaning a repayments to cleaning a moat.

The British Prime Minister says

a new independent body will now

oversee expenses. To move from

self- regulation to statutory

independent regulation is in my

view the only way forward

now. The speenger's fall from

grace won't last long, though.

He is moving to a seat in the

House of Lords. On to finance

now and the Australian dollar

jumped to nearly 78 US cents but but the local share market

managed only a small rise. Here

is Alan Kohler. The Aussie

dollar reached a high of 77.85

US cents overnight before

settling back a bit today,

still above 77. Currency

markets were reacted to

yesterday's up beat speeches

from the governor of the Reserve Bank around the

secretary of the Treasury, which encouraged the view that

interest rates here may be on

hold for some time. They were also also relatively optimistic

about China and therefore

commodity prices, but currency

traders generally tend to form

their own view of those things.

The share market didn't do much

today, rising a quarter of one

per cent. Woolies and BHP both

went up 1%, while Westpac fell

2% and Leighton 4%. A) few

companies were added to the

corporate sick list today.

Elders issued a profit forecast

downgrade and the shares fell

16%. Retailer Billabong has

been in a four-day trading halt

while it downgraded profit

forecast and made a share

issue, and its shares came back

on today 16% lower. And AWB

announced an actual profit fall

of 62% and its shares dropped

11%. Speaking of capital

raisings, if you think there

seem to have been an awful lot

of them lately, you're right.

Here is a graph of total rights

issues over the past five years and

and the current month is twice

at the peak level seen during

the boom. So desperation

obviously trumps opportunism. Today's economic

news in Australia was consumer sentiment, down this month probably because of the big

Budget deficit last week, and

the wages index from the ABS

which was up less than it was

the month before. Here is a

graph of consumer sentiment.

We're down in the dumps, but

not as badly as in 1990, about

not as badly as in 1990, about

the same as 1982. Our Japanese

friends, however, have much to

be glum about. Japan's March

quarter GDP came out today and

as I indicated last night's the

worst of the big economies.

Output shrank 4%. In the

quarter. That's finance. America's love affair

with the car is about to be

tested. And environmentalists

here are green with envy. They

say tough new rules on

say tough new rules on fuel

efficiency and emissions put

Australia's voluntary targets

to shame. President Obama says

he's seizing a historic

opportunity to tackle one of

the big sauces of climate

change. North America

correspondent Michael

Rowland. It's the end of the

road for the big American gas

guzzler. For the first time in

history, we have set in motion

a national policy aimed at

a national policy aimed at both

increasing gas mileage and decreasing greenhouse gas

pollution for all new trucks

and cars sold in the United

States of America. By 2016, all

cars and light trucks will have

to average 15km her litre, that

is a 40% improve competent on current fuel efficiency

standards. This is the land of

the automobile and eventual ly

we will be able to change our

love of the car. There wills

will be much tight er

restrictions on vehicle

emissions. This is the

projected equivalent of taking

58 million cars off the road

for an entire year. The new

measures are winning bipartisan

support. This is exactly what

it's all about, all of us

working together, showing great

leadership and reducing the

consumption of oil, reduce our

greenhouse gases and fighting

together global warming. The

new car standards come as the

US Congress debates ambitious

climate change legislation.

Democrats want to introduce a

sweeping cap and trade system

aimed at cutting greenhouse gas

emissions by the big polluters.

And just like the cap and trade

debate in Australia, the

divisions are sharp. The bill

we are considering today is a

strong bill. It will break our

dependence on foreign oil, make

our nation the world leader in

clean energy jobs and

technology and protect our

children from dangerous carbon

pollution. No matter what

number you use, you're going to

put a significance cost on the

American economy. Unlike

Australia, the US is hoping to

move towards an emissions

trading scheme by the end of the

the year. There's more bad

news for the beleaguered NRL

club, the Cronulla Sharks. Back rower Reni Maitua has been

stood down indefinitely after

testing positive ly for a

muscle building drug. Andrew Symonds's Test career could be

over now he's been left out of

the Australian squad for the the Australian squad for the

Ashes series. The all-rounder

was edged out by the injury

returns from injury. Nathan prone Shane Watson. Brett Lee

Hauritz is the only specialist

spinner and Graham Manou was

name gamed as backup

wicketkeeper. With 50 days

until the Ash, Shane Watson has

plenty of time to get over a

minor groin strain to press his

claim force top 11. Watson

admitted his selection at the

expense of Andrew Symonds was

bittersweet. Of course you feel

for one of your mate fts he

doesn't get picked. But I'm

going to make the most of

it. He gives us quality pace

bowling and is capable of

batting anywhere in the top

six. Runs in the shorter form games were not enough for

Symonds. He will keep working

hard and give himself every

opportunity to make his way

back into the team in the

future. Tin collusion of Brett Lee after his recent return

from injury is a slight

gamble: We probably would have

liked him to play a bit more

cricket than he has. With

Mitchell Johnson leading the

attack, Lee, Hilfenhaus, Peter

Siddle and Stuart Clark will

spar for the other spots It's

going to be competitive and we

will all be firing comthat

first Test It's great to have

Brett and Stuart back. I think

it's definitely something that

intimidates other teams. Super

rugby has confirmid it's under

going a face lift extending the

season from 91 to 120 matches

by adding a 15th team. That

team will almost certainly be

Australian, leaving five team

conferences in New Zealand,

South Africa and

Australia. Melbourne, Gold Coast, Western Sydney are some

of the con tenters for that

15th team. Exploit ing the cash

cow of local deperbys will be a

key. Conference team also play

each other on a home and away

bases, with a further eight

matches against other Sanzar

teams and a six-team final

series. The Gold Coast is

favourite for a new franchise

which will need private

equities. You don't want to to

be risking the capital on

professional sporting team. In

a further assault on the rival

football codes there will be

set dates for the Bledisloe

Cup, the first in early

September in Australia. He may

but Western Australian Taj have lost the final in ta ta,

Burrow has given himself a shot

at the world title with his

consistent form this year. The

30-year-old xed at Teahupoo

only to suck - succumb to

former champion Bobby Martinez,

whose two high scoring rides

were flawless. On his forehnd,

the American was unstop yanl,

eliminating Slater's conquer

Aritz Aranburu in the semifinal

before defeating the

Australian. I am keen to lock

in a couple of wins to try to

get on a role for the next

couple of events. Australians

dominate the standings. Joel

Parkinson leads Burrow and Mick

Fanning. Now to news of what

could be a distant relative. A

fossil find in Germany is

fuelling fierce debate about

the evolution of the human

race. Unveiled in New York, and

nick named Ida, this 47 million

dollar skeleton looks to be a

relative of the lemur. But

scientist also believe it has a

lot in common with human-like

primate, including opposable

tums and fingers - thumbs and

fingers instead of clause. What

we are dealing with in the case

of Ida is not our grand, grand,

grand, grand mother but maybe

our grand, grand, grand, grand

aunt. The fossil was uncovered

in an ancient vol cannic lake

bed in Germany but it stayed

hidden in a private collection

for more than 20 years. We've seen the pictures of that

severe weather in Queensland

and now it is heading south? It

is. This footage from

Queensland is what could be in

store for the North-east. Flood

warnings have been issued for

the Tweed and Brunswick rivers

after falls of 50 to 130mm in

the last 36 hours. The flood

watch continues for all coastal

rivers north from Kempsey. The

region is looking at damaging

wind and surf. In Sydney,

showers an storms produced up

to 20mm in half an hour, that

was during the evening peak.

And temperatures today ranged

from 19 to 21 degrees. There

will be more showers and

possible thunderstorms

overnight and we expect to see

some further heavy falls at

times. A low low developed off

the south-east coast of

Queensland this morning and

that combined with a high to

the south to drive the moist

easterly winds across the State

with the southern tablelands

and the south-west slopes the

only dry districts.

Temperatures remained low.

The areas between Wal gong

and Sydney had the hefriest

falls today. Areas north of

Lismore have record between 25

and 90mm since 3 o'clock this

afternoon .

A series of surface lows in

the State is generating that

deep moist onshore wind flow.

This pattern won't change until

probably later Saturday. This

means the heavy rain, storm to

gale force winds and damaging

surf will continue about the

north-east of NSW. Heavy fall s

are capable of producing flood

b about the north-east. We're

look at showers elsewhere but

they will contract to the coast

tomorrow. Brisbane and Perth

will remain under severe

weather warnings with Sydney

the only other wet capital.

Strong to form force wind

warnings about the northern

half of the coast, with

damaging surf conditions as

well. Rain and thunderstorms

about the north-east with heavy

funls the east and ranges

anywhere North from Kempsey.

Showers over the remainder of

the coast will be heavy at

times on the coast. With only

isolated showers over the

eastern inland and they will

clear but it will be a partly

cloudy by dry day further

inland.

Showers will be heavy at

times in Sydney. A strong wind

warning continues along the

coast of Sydney. Those winds up

to around 25 to 30 knots. We

will see dangerous surf developing along the

coast. Along with the

north-east not seeing a change

in weather that is pretty much

the story for Sydney over the

coming days. By Saturday we

should see the showers becoming

more isolate and we should have

lost the heaviest of the fall

bus the easterly winds will

remain strong. We will have to

wait until around Tuesday to

see a return of clear sunny

weather. Tonight's top story

again - the average electricity

bill in NSW will rise by up to

$200 a year from July. The

State Government says the price

hike is needed to avoid more

blackouts. And that's ABC News

for this Wednesday. The '7:30

Report' is next I will be back

with updates during the

evening. Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

No jobs. We can't beat the

rent. We've got kids and

families. Where do we get the

jobs from? Tonight on the 7:30

Report - couth counting the

cost as the axe falls on the biggest agricultural investment

schemes. It was a disaster

waiting to happen. I have to

decided that I will relinquish

the office of Speaker. And the

House of rort s - the expenses

scandal rocking Britain's

Parliament. I don't think

there's been any time since the

18th century that the British

political class has been held

in such con tempt. This Program is Captioned

Live. Welcome to the program. The

collapse of managed investment

scheme corporations Timbercorp

and Great Southern have sent