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Live. Tonight - the mining tax

gets across the line but a

legal challenge lies in

Also ahead - a powerful storm

rips through Townsville. We

just woke up and it was sort just woke up and it was sort of

so still and then all of a

sudden bang, it just hit. A

Brazilian student revealed as

the Taser victim, as the

investigation widens. And later on 'Grandstand' with

Peter Wilkins, tributes for AFL

great Jim Stynes, dead at 45.

Live across Australia, this

is ABC News 24. Hello, I'm

Scott Bevan. The Federal

Government has been celebrating

the passage of its mining tax

through the Senate. From July

miners will start paying the

$10 billion charge on their

super profits. Tony Abbott

calls it one of Labor's evil

twins of tax. Here's chif political correspondent Mark

billion things to smile billion Simkin. They have $10.6

about. I think I am entitle

today go scoreboard and at the moment it is running more in moment it is running more in my favour

favour than yours. Julia

Gillard will end a difficult

sitting fortnight with a new

colleague in the Senate and a

up new tax out of it. I have put

up with months of scoffing about the carbon price. Guess about

what it is the law of Australia

today. I have put up with

months and months of months and months of scoffing about the minerals resource

rent tax. Guess what it went

through the Senate last night. Late last night after

hours of acrimonious

debate. What a gutless wonder

he is. What a gutless wonder. Kevin Rudd first wonder. Kevin Rudd

proposed a super profits tax in 2010. Julia Gillard's delivered

a watered down one, two years

resolved in the and one PM later. The matter is

affirmative. There's

absolutely nothing to be proud

of, there is absolutely nothing

to celebrate. The mining tax

will help Labor fund

infrastructure projects, lower company tax and increase

superannuation. Although

business largely pays for the

super and the tax cuts are yet

to pass the parliament. We are

absolutely 100% committed to

repealing the carbon tax repealing the carbon tax and

the mining tax. The more immediate challenge will be a

legal one. Twiggy Forest's

company is already preparing

its case . If there is a High Court challenge the State

Government will intervene in

that and present the State's point

point of view which is to

oppose the mining

oppose the mining tax. That

other major miner, Clive Palmer

is backing away from his tax

attacks saying he won't be

involved in any legal

challenge. Instead, he's

advancing a bizarre conspiracy theory involving the Greens,

the CIA and an America plot to

destroy Australia's coal

industry. All the candidates

should resign because they're

being funded by an offshore

political power T is tantamount

to treason. The Government will

have a field day with that

one. The mining billionaires Mr Speaker. The Deputy PM got so

worked up he got the boot. The

Treasurer will remove himself

from the chamber under the

provisions of standing order

94A. It is an all too

familiar story. A QLD community

devastated by natural disaster. Today, it

Today, it was the residents of

Townsville who bore the brunt

of a sudden violent storm. At

least nine people were hurt and

dozens of homes destroyed. It

hit without warning, hit without warning, lashing

homes with gale force winds and

torrential rain. The whole

house started shaking. We all

got into the bathroom and you

could hear the trees coming

down. I got hit by a bit of a

cyclone tornado sort of

not much left of it. The thing. The remnants of my car,

ferocious storm tore a

destructive path 1km wide

through inner Townsville. Roofs

were ripped from houses and cars crushed by falling cars

At least 40 homes were damaged. We have no place. damaged. We have no place. No

roof and full of everything we own is wet but roof and full of water,

the kids are OK. That is good. Terrified residents were forced

they could. Absolutely forced to take shelter wherever

terrifying. Can I say that, absolutely terrifying. The

storm hit so fast and with such

force, it caught residents off guard. Nine people injured, two are in guard. Nine people were

hospital. This morning,

to residents emerged dazed, trying

to come to terms with the storm's catastrophic force. I

don't know. I was pretty

scared. I am still getting over

it now. You just sort of think to yourself this stuff doesn't

happen. It is absolutely

amazing, yeah, this is worse

than what Townsville saw when

Yasi came along. Some will be

able to clean up and return to

their homes, others won't be as

the toll wasn't fortunate. But they're grateful

higher. Everything can be

replaced, lives can't, so main thing nobody's hurt thanks replaced, lives can't, so the

is a good thing. The army has

now been called in to help with

the clean-up. A young

student from Brazil has been identified as the man who died after being hit by a police Taser on Sunday morning.

21-year-old Roberto Laudisio

was running away from six

police officers in Sydney's CBD after an alleged theft. after an alleged theft. Police officers breached the are investigating whether

guidelines on the use of

Tasers. The ombudsman will

concerns oversee the inquiry amid

concerns about the police investigating themselves. The

young man whose final moments were captured on camera now has a name and face. a name and face. He's Roberto Laudisio, a 21-year-old

Brazilian who had been studying

in Sydney. His identity wasn't

revealed by NSW police but by

the media in Brazil. His

family is flying to Sydney. His

friends at his Bondi language school are shattered and

everyone wants answered. A

young male on Saturday night

and that happened to him. The

family cannot understand at all, they're desperate for information. Little is forthcoming. While the

investigation into the death continues. Today the ombudsman

was appointed to oversee the

police inquiry. I think the community and the police,

rightly expected there is transparency in the use of

Tasers. We welcome the ombudsman's role. The police

have outlined their have outlined their Taser policy in the four situations in which officers can use

them. The first is to protect

human life. The second is to

protect police officers and

others in relation to a violent

confrontation. The third is to

protect officers who are

protect officers who are in

danger of being overpowered or

resistance is occurring resistance is occurring or imminent. The final method is protection from animals. The legal fraternity isn't convinced this incident fits any of those categories. In

these circumstances the use of

OC spray is questionable OC spray is questionable let

alone the use of a Taser. It should

should be the catalyst for a national inquiry and the reason

for saying that is because we

have now had a number of deaths

that have been associated with

the use of Taser guns by

police, not just in NSW but in QLD and in the Northern

Territory. The footage might be

black and white, the story it

tells is anything but. Remaining in NSW. A man has

been charged over the shooting death of a police officer in

the city of Tamworth earlier

this month. Senior this month. Senior constable

David Rixon was fatally David Rixon was fatally shot

when he stopped a driver for a

random breath test. 48-year-old Michael Allan Jacobs, who was also shot during the incident,

has now been charged with murder. Detectives from the strike

strike force are alleging that

the male acted alone during the

incident and that the incident

arose after an attempt by

senior constable Rixon to

engage the male in a random

breath test. Jacobs was refused

bail and remains under police

guard in hospital. A former

volunteer firefighter has been convicted of deliberately lighting one of Victoria's

devastating Black Saturday

bushfires. 10 people died and more

more than 150 homes were burnt

to the ground when the fire

raced through the town raced through the town of

Churchill three years ago.

Today, 42-year-old Brendan

Sokaluk was found guilty of 10

counts of arson causing counts of arson causing death.

Five days after the inferno

tore through Churchill, police

took Brendan Sokaluk back to

where it started. He told them

he may have caused the fire. Part of my cigarette fell Part of my cigarette fell on

the floor, so I got a bit of

paper out to grab it and stuff

and as far as I thought it was

dead and I chucked it out the

window but I didn't know it lit

up. But the former CFA

volunteer denied it was a

malicious act. I put it to

you that you lit the fire

Did you mean to light Did you mean to light the

fire but not mean to hurt

people? I didn't mean any of this to happen. I thought it

was out when I threw the paper

out the window. I had no intention for this to all

happen. Now I have to put up

with it for the rest of my life. It makes me sad. Sokaluk's interview sad. Sokaluk's interview with

police has been central to what

was largely a circumstantial

case. The crown argued he was a

cunning liar who created a web

of deceit as to why he was in

the area when the fire started

and why his car was and why his car was found

burnt-out. His story also

didn't fit the testimony didn't fit the testimony of fire experts, that the blaze was started in two different

places. But according to his lawyers, Sokaluk is a simple

man with Autism and a mild

intellectual disability, who,

due to his problems, ended up believing he was

responsible. In the end, the

jury decided Sokaluk was an arsonist intent on wreaking

havoc on one of the worst havoc on one of the worst days

in Victoria's history. The

verdict means Sokaluk is

responsible for the deaths of

10 people, more than any other

convicted killer in the

State. It is likely be State. It is likely there will

be an appeal. How is Brandon

feeling? Shattered of

course. He will be sentenced

before any formal appeal can

before any formal appeal can be lodged. A massive manhunt is under way in France for the gunman

who killed three children and a

teacher at a Jewish school. The attacker is believed to be

linked to the murders of linked to the murders of three

French paratroopers last week. President Nicolas Sarkozy has put the country's southern

Toulouse region on the highest

terror alert level. Here's

Europe correspondent Philip

Williams. These are the Williams. These are the faces of fear, terrorised in their own school. A teacher Jonathan

Sandler and two of his young

children were killed. A third

child also died. A teenager was

seriously wounded when the seriously wounded when the loan

gunman fired from his scooter outside the school, then chased

more children into the

school. When his first pistol

jammed, he fired from another. TRANSLATION: At first he shot a bullet into the air.

He hit the tree. After that he

shot the father in front of him

then the two children. I didn't

even turn around. I even turn around. I ran

straight into the school but he

followed us and then followed us and then opened

fire again. When he left he

started shooting

again. TRANSLATION: I had just

arrived when we heard shooting. We were all very frightened and

shocked. The horror of shocked. The horror of the

attack spread nation-wide. The President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered extra security at all

Jewish schools. He raced to the scene to offer his condolences.

TRANSLATION: This

assassination does not concern

just the Jewish community but

the whole of France. The the whole of France. The whole

nation has been touched and has

been hurt, I can assure you of this. You must believe

it. Police say the gun used it. Police say the gun used in

this attack was the same one

used in the murder of three

soldiers and the maiming of another

another in two separate attacks in

in the Toulouse region in the last

last few days. In all last few days. In all cases, the gunman escaped on the gunman escaped on a scooter. Investigators scooter. Investigators don't

know if they're dealing with a

loan killer or exactly what the motive might be. What they know motive might be. What they do

know is the pressure is on for

a quick arrest before he kills again.

again. Until then the fear

remains. The conflict that has engulfed large parts of

Syria for a year has now

reached the capital with a

vengeance. Rebel forces battled for several hours with

government troops in the suburb

of Dam Damascus. Meantime Russia has joined growing

international calls for a daily

humanitarian cease fire to deal

with the wounded. Peter cave

reports from the Syria Turkey

border. A warning, his story

contains images that may be

distressing to some viewers.

Residents in affluent suburbs of

of Damascus were woken by the

sounds of explosions as battles

between government and rebel

forces spread around the

capital. They destroyed the

home of a top army officer in a

campaign to try to bring the

fighting closer to President Bashar al-Assad's heartland. TRANSLATION: They went on a rampage in went on a rampage in the

building and tried to enter all

the apartments and shot at the apartments and shot at the security forces and members of

the army. In other parts of

the country, there was renewed shelling

shelling in several cities, including Homs which has

including Homs which has been under relentless bombardment

for more than a month. With

each passing day, civilian casualties continue to casualties continue to mount. Pictures of these children

being treated in a field

hospital were posted on hospital were posted on the

Internet. In Moscow the Internet. In Moscow the Russian government joined the Red Cross

in calling for daily cease

fires to allow humanitarian aid

to get to the worst affected

areas. TRANSLATION: It is very

important to share our opinions on

on the further steps that can

be taken by the international

committee of the Red Cross and the Russian federation.

Regarding the solution of the most acute humanitarian problems in Syria that is.

Meanwhile the exodus to Syria's neighbours continues to

grow. More than 16,000 have now

fled to Turkey. TRANSLATION: fled to Turkey. TRANSLATION: If the Syrian people are faced

with such a humanitarian

tragedy and are seeking refuge

in our country while fleeing

from a massacre in theirs it is

ur our duty to support them. The Turkish government is

now looking at replacing the

tent cities with more permanent

accommodation and it is also

considering setting up a buffer

zone within Syrian territory.

In Britain the Duchess of Cambridge has chosen the

opening of a children's opening of a children's hospice to deliver her first public

speech. She used the occasion

to praise the work of families

and carers of young people with life-threatening conditions as inspirational. With every

engagement the Dutchees a seems

to be gaining in confidence. There are always smiling

faces waiting to greet her. As

the Duchess took to the lectern

for her maiden speech her hands were shaking and the were shaking and the nerves could be heard in could be heard in her

voice. Thank you for not only

accepting me as a patron but thank you also for inviting me

here today. You have all made

me feel so welcome and I feel

hugely honoured to be here hugely honoured to be here to

see this wonderful centre. I am only

only sorry that William can't

be here today. He would love

it here. A view of his that I

share is that through team

work, so much can be achieved.

Thank you. APPLAUSE It was a

heartfelt speech and it was

obviously well rehearsed but afterwards the Duchess described the experience as

nerve-wracking. The hard

work over it was back to doing what the Duchess does best,

meeting people and in this case

children with severe illnesses

or disabilities. What are you

Symbol. Fantastic. It is making a lot of noise. It is

very noisy. She was so nice and

interested in the children and

the work of the hospice. She

will be a fantastic patron. With her first speech under her belt and a few busy

weeks behind her, the weeks behind her, the Duchess will be eagerly awaiting Prince William's return from the

Falklands. Just to let you

know, we will go live to London tonight

tonight where Queen Elizabeth

will be addressing both houses of parliament as part of the celebrations marking her of Diamond Jubilee. That is The Queen's address to parliament

live from London right here on ABC News 24 from 9.55 eastern

tonight.

With just days to go before

QLD votes, the wild weather and

the devastation in Townsville

have interrupted the Premier's

plan to campaign in 10 seats a

day. Our reporter Chris O'Brien has been travelling with Anna Bligh and here's his report.

Things weren't going very well

for Anna Bligh in this election campaign, all the polls

indicate she's heading for a

loss on Saturday. She's admitted today that pales admitted today that pales into

insignificance compared to what

people in this street and in

this wider part of Townsville have gone through today have gone through today after this enormous storm this enormous storm came through early through early this morning. These quiet suburban streets of Townsville streets of Townsville have suffered a shocking suffered a shocking and

devastating event. This devastating event. This event

has come through here at about

5 o'clock this morning and just

torn a strip through these

quiet streets of this Townsville suburb. Yasi did

nothing like this in

Townsville. There will be a lot

of heart break here. To that extent it means that the Premier

Premier has put her campaigning

on hold for much of today. She

was planning to continue what

she calls her Bligh blitz but

she says all that doesn't

matter as much as what's

happened to people here. This

comes first right now. We won't

leave Townsville until we know

people are safe and we're they

have what they need T might put

a dent through the Bligh blitz

through QLD but this comes

first. Last night she went to Cairns Cairns and she was there briefly and campaigned there for a short time this morning. As soon as she heard the news,

a trip to Townsville, which was planned anyway, has planned anyway, has been diverted into checking out what's

what's happened here and making

sure that people are OK. What

do you need mate? A roof would

be handy. It is a good thing

you were renovating. It has

been another dwift, an

unexpected one. You can't predict things in campaigns and this

this is proof of that. The

LNP's campaign was knocked off course

course by the wild weather course by the wild weather as well. Campbell Newman visited the disaster zone in Townsville

after making another pitch for

votes further north in Cairns.

If the polls are right, If the polls are right, it

will soon be the LNP's job to manage natural disasters. How

did you go through that? How

did you get through at all?

Just, yeah, when it started to

go we put everybody in the toilet. Leader Campbell toilet. Leader Campbell Newman inspected the defr station in Townsville. I am quite shocked

and horrified at the extent of

the damage. And offered bipartisan support for the clean-up. The Premier has our 100% support to do what she

needs to do. Mr PM is promising

to look after the north if he

becomes premier and he signed a pledge to that affect in Cairns. If elected we will put this

this on the wall in our office

to remind us every single day

of the things we must achieve

for people in this part of the State. There are plenty of Labor seats up for grabs in

this part of the State. The LNP

hopes to pick up electorates like

like Cairns and Cook and today

pledged extra funding for specialist services at the Cairns Base Hospital. We're

today committing $15 million

over the next four years to see the engagement of specialists to actually take that hospital

on the pathway to tier one

status. In a pitch status. In a pitch to indigenous voters Mr Newman is

promising to boost home

ownership through 99-year leases. Why don't people leases. Why don't people have jobs? Why don't they own their

own homes? Why don't they have

hope and opportunity like other

QLDers? The LNP is hoping to unseat Labor members in

Townsville too, in a State-wide

sweep to power. Mr Newman says residents don't need him here

right now. Although he says the

election campaign show must go

on. That can still continue. I

think we need to be mindful of what

what people are going through

here. He's getting out of the

way of the clean-up and heading

to water-logged Mackay. Victoria's vast brown coal reserves are

reserves are set to be opened up up for export. The State Government hopes the move will create jobs and boost the

economy but environmental

groups say it is a backwards

step. There's enough brown coal

in the Latrobe Valley to power

Victoria for around 400 years

and the Government's hoping

some of it can be used to power

the economy. We have got the economy. We have got more

energy in our brown coal than

exists on the entire north-west

shelf of Australia. At the

moment, Victoria only uses brown

brown coal for domestic energy production but a government

tender will unlock an unspecified amount of coal after interest from countries

including Japan, China and

India. We want to see the jobs and see the opportunities flow

to this to this State. Environment

groups say the Government is

putting the cart before the horse because the technology that

that would allow the coal to be safely exported by safely exported by removing

moisture is still years away. The clean coal

technologies don't exist. There

are also fears the Government

will set its sights on other

coal deposits closer to major ports. Bass Coast, Bacchus Marsh and areas south of

Geelong and in the Otways could

be opened up and we will see farmlands and precious water

supplies destroyed. Labor is

not opposed to exporting brown

coal but says it won't be the quick economic fix 9 government

is hoping for. The

infrastructure has to be there for a whole for a whole scale commercial exploitation of this product. The Government says product. The Government says it will assess the infrastructure needs needs as part of the tender

process. Drivers will have to

dig even deeper to fill the

car's fuel tank in the car's fuel tank in the weeks

ahead. Petrol prices in some

capital cities were close to

$1.60 a litre today and it

seems there is little relief in

sight. It is getting more

painful to purchase petrol, at

almost $1.60 a litre in some

places it is nudging the record

set before the global financial

crisis. People will see $1.59 a

litre at the top of the weekly price cycle. It could be worse. If

worse. If we didn't have the buffer of the strong Australian

dollar we would be very close

to that record high of July

2008. We're already seeing the

impact of higher international prices and that will flow through over the next days. One international oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate has risen markedly

over the past year. Asian

Tapis, which directly influences Australian prices, is

is trending even higher. We

will be watching and that we

would be concerned if we see

retail margins also creeping

up. A richer developing world

has pushed demand and on the

supply side, speck you larts

have been spooked by potential

conflict with Iran over that country's nuclear program. The

situation regarding Iran will

probably get a bit worse before it

it gets better. That is because

European sanctions kick in

mid--year. The bottom line is

Australians should get used to

pay more for petrol. That is

bad news for inflation

economic growth. To economic growth. To finance

and the Australian dollar slipped back after a BHP

Billiton executive said Chinese demand

demand for iron ore was

flattening out. The local share

market also eased in line with falls elsewhere in the region. Here's Alan Kohler. When the

head of BHP's iron ore

sdifrtion says China's demand

for his product is flattening,

that gets some attention. The currency took an immediate hit

after the words came out of after the words came out of his

mouth falling. It is roughly

where it stayed for the rest of

the day. The Australian dollar

is many things all at once. It

is a proxy for China and

especially China's demand for bulk commodities which is what

we saw today. It is also just another risk asset for global

trading funds, it is just like

shares. This chart overlace the dollar and global share index

and it is a very close match.

The Australian dollar is a

reflection of the difference in interest rates between here interest rates between here and

the rest of the world. Speaking

of which the Reserve Bank issued the minutes of its issued the minutes of its last

meeting today at which it meeting today at which it left rates on hold. It is always

hard to sum up a long

discussion in a couple of lines. Here goes

The money market thinks

another rate cut is becoming

less and less likely, as shown

by the 90-day bill rate. It

fell consistently in the second

half of last year, anticipating

the rate cuts that happened in November

November and December. Since

January, it has been rising as

confident grows about the

economy. The local share market

didn't do much today.

That's finance. As arts jobs

go, this is one of the biggest

in the country. Michael Brand

is about to take up his post as

the director of the NSW the director of the NSW art gallery. The job held for several decades by Edmund

Capon. Dr Brand talked to our

arts reporter about his vision

for the gallery's future. When

Michael Brand first visited the

gallery after his appointment he noticed immediately. It may seem trite

to say so but people genuinely seem very happy in seem very happy in this

gallery. Brand's mission is not

just to make people smile. He's fresh from working for two fresh from working for two of the world's richest private galleries, the Getty in California

California and the Aga Khan in

Toronto and that could pay dividends here. One can't really judge anything against

the Getty. There is wealth being created out there and one

of my roles is to present of my roles is to present a vision or an argument that

vision or an argument that a public art museum like public Gallery of NSW is a Gallery of NSW is a worthy

target for very serious and

major support. He's following

the 33-year reign of the

flamboyant Edmund Capon, whose

legacy inclunds bringing the

much lorded Picasso much lorded Picasso exhibition

here from Paris, that has

broken all attendance records

at the gallery. Like Capon,

Brand's an Asian art expert. He

sees it as vital to engage with

the region and boost Australian

artists' profiles. I am very

keen on building, or continuing

to build very strong relationships with the field of Australian art. Also with critics and artists and historians.

historians. If you do that well, you

well, you almost automatically play an important role in

giving access to Australian giving access to Australian art to non-Australian audiences. There has audiences. There has always

been rivalry between the gallery and Museum of Contemporary Art that is about

to open a major new extension.

Brand believes there is plenty

of room for both. I think of room for both. I think great

modern cities should have more

than one institution that looks

at contemporary art. If you

look at New York and London, look at New York and London, it

would be preposterous to suggest that only one art museum

museum should look at

that. Michael Brand will start

putting his exhibitions into play in late June.

A severe weather warning for

heavy rainfall and the potential for damaging winds still covers many parts of QLD, apart

apart from the south-east, the

south-west. The Gulf country

and the far northern parts of the peninsula. Elsewhere, we

are looking at the prospect of

further heavy rainfall over the

next 24-48 hour period. The heaviest band of rain is actually starting to actually starting to shift

further south. This cloud is in

association with the weakening

trough and cold front. It will trigger rainfall through trigger

Victoria and Tasmania. It will be

be the far western parts of

Tasmania likely to see the

heaviest of the falls. We're expecting to see mostly dry conditions elsewhere including most of NSW and WA. Showers and storms across the tropics.

Heavy falls in QLD. Rain easing to isolated showers about the south-eastern

capitals. The top stories from

ABC News - the PM is savouring victory after her victory after her mining

profits tax passed into law. From July miners will start paying paying the $10 billion charge

on their super profits but

there are already threats of a

legal challenge. The Opposition

says there is nothing to celebrate. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott calls it one of

Labor's evil twins of tax.

The clean-up is continuing in

Townsville after a freak storm ripped through the city. Residents described terrifying

ordinary yeels of being forced

to huddle in hall ways and

bathrooms as the storm tore open

open their homes early this

morning. 60 properties were

badly damaged. Much of the devastation centred around devastation centred around the

suburb of Vincent. The NSW

ombudsman will oversee the

vecht gation into the death of

a man Tasered by police in

Sydney. 21-year-old Brazilian

student Roberto Laudisio died

on Sunday after being sprayed with capsicum spray with capsicum spray and Tasered. An internal

investigation is looking at whether police breached their

guidelines. A former volunteer

firefighter has been found guilty of arson causing death

in one of Victoria's Black

Saturday bushfires three years ago. 42-year-old Brendan Sokaluk was accused of

deliberately lighting the

Churchill blaze that killed 10

people and destroyed more than

150 homes. A jury found 150 homes. A jury found him guilty of 10 counts of arson

causing death making him Victoria's worst convicted

killer. Now it is time for all

the day's sports news the day's sports news with

Peter Wilkins. What have you

got coming up Wilko? Tonight

the AFL mourns the loss of a modern day legend. Former Brownlow Medallist Jim Stynes

has died after a two and a half year

year battle with cancer. When

people think of Jim Stynes,

they will think fondly and think of how much they have admired his courage. How he's inspired so many people. Also

tonight - magnificent tonight - magnificent Magnussen sounds a warning to his rivals. What

sounds a warning to his Olympic rivals. What do you say to the rivals. What

boys who are watching this around the world. What is your messages to the boys? Brace

yourselves. The tackle that

could see Manly's Tony Williams suspended for 10 matches.