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Live.

Tonight - heaven for Kevin -

credit for positive the Prime Minister claims

news. Without cash stimulus payments Australian growth today would now be in recession. Negative thought force the Premier,, though as

the State is marked down. This

is the Rhys session we didn't

have to have. Welcome to the

digital revolution. And

Australia's last World War I

veteran finally at peace.

Good evening. Juanita

Phillips with ABC News. Feels

like a recession, hurts like a

recession, but on paper at

least Australia has avoided the

dreaded R word. Today's

national accounts show the

economy actually grew in the

March quarter. Avoiding a

second quarter of decline and

one technical definition of

recession. The Government says

it's a sign the stimulus plan

is working. The Opposition,

though, sees it very

differently. Political editor

Chris Uhlmann reports.

Economic news is hard to read

these days, but perhaps today's

means this is the recession we

didn't have to have. Just been

hand add note, um, that reveals

that the Australian economy

grew in the March

quarter. That means the

nation's dodged a

definition. What we've done

today is avoid a technical

recession. The figure sphee,

itself. But any growth is

remarkable in a world in

decline Australia is the only

advanced economy as of today

not in recession. It clearly

defied the Prime Minister's

recent expectation s. This

global economic recession is

the worst in 75 years and it

has also dragged Australia into

recession. The Government knows

it's too early for irrationale

exuberance. We're not out of

the woods yet But - sh - But

it's barely disguises its

glee. Business, small business,

trady, worker, unions. The Government's claiming a fair

chunk of the credit. Today's

figures demonstrate that the Government's economic stim slus

working. The Coalition says the

growth numbers are pumped up by

things beyond government

influence. Net export s is the big contributor. Everything

else is negative except for a

modest increase in consumer

spending. It rose by 0.6.

That's what happened to consumption. Why does the Leader of the Opposition think

that that happened? Did it

happen because there were

Pixies at the bottom of the

garden? No, it was Ken Henry

who coined the motto on which

the Government built the first

phase of its response to the

slump. Go hard, go early, go households. That meant billions

in cash payments and they clear

ly propd up consumer spending.

But when research showed that

that was bemusing the

electorate Labor fell over

itself to ensure that stimulus

was associated with hard hats.

Not handouts Today's growth

figure means two words can

re-enter the Government's

lexicon. Cash payment. Cash payments. Something else that

is not negative today.

Financial markets were

boosted by the return to

growth. But it could be short

lived. Economists are not

expect ing a repeat performance

with some analystings saying

the numbers hide some deepening problems. Sheer finance

correspondent Phillip Lasker. A

positive number is in negative

world looks mighty good and it

cure ed the Treasurer's in some

ni ya. I can go to bed at night

and sleep now know ing that we

have made a very significant

difference here. Also coming to Australia's rescue was the

biggest trade surplus on record

after im ports collapsed and ex

ports held up. Resilient

household spending helped too. Certainly the combination

of cash from the Government and

the China factor has been a

support to the economy. U b But

the overall number on domestic

activist saw a shrinking

economy droged Bown by

collapsing investment which

doesn't auger well for jobs and

surveys suggest it isn't going

to improve. The next two to three quarters the next business investment will be

under considerable pressure. Right now most parts

of Australia are under pressure

with SA the only State to grow

during the quarter. While

demand and spending in NSW and

Queensland went backwards for

two quarters in a row. Some

analysts expect the national

economy to follow, as weaker

commodity prices work their way

into future numbers. So what we

can see there in ex ports is

that that strong picture will

start to deteriorate quite

rapidly. We have maybe another

couple obviously quarters of

negative growth before we can

actually put this recession

well and truly behind us. Financial markets didn't

get hung up on any gloomy

details that positive GDP

number gave both the share

market and the Australian

dollar a hell ni boost.-

healthy boost. So many facts

and figure, so many ways to

interpret them, in State Parliament today it all

prompted heated debate about

whether NSW is technically in

recession. State political

reporter Matt Wordsworth joins

us now from Macquarie Street.

Are we or are we not in

recession here? Good evening,

the Opposition was certain ly

crying recession from the roof

tops. The go. Was doing what

governments do and trying to

find a silver lining to these

dark economic storm clouds. The

Treasurer was saying these

figures are not like the

national ones because they

don't include export data. So

present an over ly bleak

assessment and the Premier was

trying to points out how badly

other States fared. NSW has a

performance better thanfully

other State except SA. In terms

of demand for goods and

services tax, in NSW State

final demand decreased by only

0.2% in comparison Victoria's

demand fell by 2.1% and

Queensland's demand fell by

3.1%. This This is the Rees

session we didn't have to have.

Labor's incompetence and its

failed mini Budget has brought

us to this point. Find a

commentator that says that is

not a recession, you don't find

them. What are the ex ports

saying? Unfortunately Commsec, Access Economics even the

Australian Bureau of -

statistics all say you cannot

use these figures to judge if

NSW is in recession because of

that elf port depat ya. These figures are still poor because

they show the State is spending

less. As ash - dr add to the

fact that there are only two

States in the country that have

recorded two quarters like this

- NSW and Queensland. So

fitting given tonight's Origin

match and at an economic level

at least it shows they're

battling for the bottom. The

Prime Minister has forgiven his

Defence Minister for a second

breach of parliamentary rules.

Joel Fitzgibbon has admitted he

should have declared a hotel

bill paid for by his brother's

company. The Opposition says he

should be dismissed for incompetence. But Kevin Rudd says there's been an apology

and that's tend of it.

Political correspondent Greg

Jennett. Was it just a

mistake, or a habit? I

apologise to the House for this

oversight. He didn't have a

choice. Joel Fitzgibbon had

been forced to say sorry first

to a furious Prime Minister,

then to Parliament for a night

a year ago he had forgotten. Try for

Queensland! That was the night

he went to Brisbane to watch

NSW get walloped when his

brother Mark, who runs NIB

Health Funds didn't show up,

the Minister footed the $4 50

hotel bill. Later, to discover

- NIB had contacted the hotel

and cancelled my payment and

substituted it with their

own. It should have been

declared. And might not have

come light at all if the

Opposition had not set off alarms with the Prime Minister

on Monday: At what point will

be Prime Minister reach the

same conclusion that everybody

else has, which is that the

quence Minister is an

inincompetent. I am un happy

about it. The Minister has done

the right thing and made a statement and apologised to the

House. The Prime Minister is

proving a forgiving oboss

indeed. He calls this a modest

breach, and there's no suggestion that Joel

Fitzgibbon's second strike

brings him any closer to

dismissal than his first.

There's no threat either from

alleged spies in defence,

according to a second

investigation into the

claim. I will quote this

section - "The allegation against the Minister could have

been formulated without there

having been unauthorised access

to the Minister's computing

facilities." Malice need not be

secretive. Hundreds of

children from NSW will have to

take a week off school if they attend tonight's State of

Origin match in Melbourne. The

order by NSW Health comes after

Victoria moved to the next

stage of swine flu alert.

Victorian authorities have

given up on containing the

virus and they will now

concentrate on protecting the

most vulinerable. Any children

returning from Melbourne will

be treated the same as overseas

travellers who have visited

flu-affected countries. We know

this is a big imposton parent

an children to miss out on

school for a week but we are

trying to balance that against

the risk of introducing human

swine flu into schools. Across

Australia there are now more

than 600 confirmed case, with

more than 80% of those in

Victoria. They found the where

but not the why. Brazil says

there's no doubt that wreckage

spotted in the Atlantic Ocean

is from the missing Air France

plane. 228 people were on board

when it dis appeared but

there's still no clue about why

it went down. Europe correspondent Phillip

Williams. It was a Brazilian

air force plane that spotted

the debris, aircraft soots and

oil slick, other items but

crucially no survivors, no

bodies. On both sides of the

Atlantic and beyond families

are mourning loved ones

presumed lost in the Atlantic

Ocean. Amongst thez them three

Irish doctors returning from a

holiday in Brazil, including

Eithne Walls. Everybody is just

absolutely demented, nobody

knows what's happening and it's

frightening to be honest. It

really is. In France, relatives

are being offered

counseling. Most of the

families are very badly

affected, very shocked, and we

are trying to offer them some psychological support. The

plane went down more than 600km

from Brazil in an area where

ocean depths mean any attempt

to recover vital lefd be

extremely difficult. The key

point today is to find the

aircraft, to be able to find

the recorders inside the

aircraft. We do not have any

information, any details about

this accident. We need and we need to find this recorders. It's known the plane

flew into a turbulent storm but

extensive testing by aircraft

manufacturers should mean the

plane could withstand violent

conditions but there are too

many unanswered questions.

Recovering remains and

establishing what went so

terribly wrong, that will test

the patience of all involved

for a long time to come. A

man accused of starving his

daughter to death today told

his side of the story. A court

heard that the father of four

only saw his daughter twice in

the months before she died. The

girl's emaciated body was

discovered in her bed room at

Hawke's Nest. The father said

he was worried when his wife

asked him to dispose of the

body. On trial for starving his

daughter to death, the father

made a public appeal after 2

her body was discovered: He

told jurors he didn't know why

her daughter diend wanted

answers. He said it was their

wife who cared for their

autistic daughter. I

He says he lieed to police

about when he last saw the girl

to protect his wife. Giving

evidence for the first time he

says he rarely saw his daughter

in the last few months.

Earlier, a hospital

technician gave evidence the

girl weighed only 9 kilogram s

when an autopsy was kuctsd. The

47-year-old told the court

that, while he recognises his

dairthd had lost weight, in -

daughter had lost weight in the

month s before her death, he

was not of the view that she

needed medical attention.

The father will continue his

evidence tomorrow 689

Three days ago, he was shot

during a gun fight in a hostage

siege in Sydney's south. Now,

Sergeant Stephen De Lorenzo has

taken up a fight with the State

Government. The injured officer

is fronting a campaign by

police for better pace and

conditions. Stephen De Lorenzo

doesn't consider himself a hero

but his colleagues. Do I can't

sleep at night. I am in

absolute agony. I've been shot

through the front here. Through

the back there. After surviving

his en counter with an armed

robber on Sunday, the officer

has become the human face and

embodiment of an industrial

battle over sick pay. We do a

job. We do a job and we do it

very, very well. But we want

fair treatment and that's

whey'm asking forand requesting

a fair go. The Police

Association claims under a new wage offer injured police will

be forced on to reduced pay if

they can't get back on the job

within six months. The

trade-off would be a 4% pay

rise. The Government's offer is

disgraceful for a start. It's a

non-event. I never got a

start. It was rub frish the

beginning. The association has

drawn up its own plan to save

$200 million a year, it says

would more than cover a pay

rise without have to trade off

entitlements. The plan includes

disbaif giving tasers to all

front-line officers and stream

lining forensic procedures. If

anyone could find $200 million

of fat in the police force I

would be happy to talk to them

because I don't believe that's

there. The Police Commissioner

might not be popular with

officers but he is looking to

improve his position with the

Aboriginal community. Increasing their numbers to 4%

of the force. Australia's last

World War I veteran has died at

the age of 110. Jack Ross

passioned away at his Bendigo

nursing home early - passed

away at his bendo nursing home

early this morning: It's a been

90 years since tend of the

First World War. We remain grateful to those like Jack

Ross who volunteered to serve

our country. We will continue

to remember and honour their

legacy. Mr Ross signed up for the Australian Imperial Forces

but never made to it the front.

He served Australia again in

World War II as member of the

Volunteer Defence Corps. Some

see it as the future of cancer

medicine - genetic testing that

not only provides precise

information about particular

tumour bus also the best way to

treat them. And it's already

proving a life saver. More from

national medical reporter

Sophie Scott. Buried deep

inside cancer tumours are a

number of genetic minks or

flaws. If we can figure out for

each individual tumour what

that flaw is, that will allows

to match the tumour to

effective drugs. Making the

treatment fit the patient is

the goal of personalised

medicine and looking for genes in cancer plays an important

role. Sometimes it can turn up

un expected findings. A test on

this patient with bowel cancer

found the genetic markings for

skin cancer, giving doctors an alternative treatment to try. In Australia for instance

in bowel cancer now some

septers are using againatic

screens to accept or to reject

particular chemotherapies in

bowel cancer treatments so they

that not all bowel cancers are

being treated the same. Genetic

screening saved the life of

Lenea Duff. She never smoked

but at 48 had advanced lung

cancer. I was basically prepare

ing for the end of my

life. Three rounds of

chemotherapy failed to stop the

tumour growing but genetic

testing uncovered a rare

mutation which could be treated

by a new trial drug. In the

matter of months her tumour was

gone. It was the most

unbelievable amaze thing. It was beyond my wildest

dreams. While this approach is

still nits in fancy doctors

believe it will be wildly used

in the - widely used in the

future. The French dare devil

known as Spiderman has been

fiernds scailg one of Sydney'

tallest buildings. Climber

Alain Roberts brought traffic

to a stand still yesterday as

bemused workers watched him

scale a 4 1-storey sky scrairp.

Today he took the lift to court

where he was fined $750.. He

apologised for any

inconvenience. I can understand

that of course to ask a lot of

policemen to come to block the

road, so I sincerely apologise

for that. The magistrate did

not have the power to order him

to pay for the cost to

police. On to finance now and the All Ordinaries Index has

surged to more than 4,000

points, for the first time in

seven months on the back of

today's growth figures. Here t

Australian dollar also jumped

sharply to more than 82 US cent

s. Alan Kohler has details. In

the past five trading a-Days

the All Ords has soared 7.5%

and it went back above 4,000

today with barely a look over

its shoulder. Basically it

Wendt up in a straight line

from the opening and finished

at its peak for the day. Wall

Street rose very slightly last

night so this was all our own

work. And the best gains were

trusts and - gopers -

developers. Telstra rose 4.5%

and the banks were slightly

more subdued. And the dollar

had a very big day as well. It

was up nearly two cents to

about 82.33 US cents as well as 65.4 on the Trade-Weighted

Index which is close to a

9-month high. As this morning

dawned it was line ball where

whether Australia would be

shown to have had a so-called

technical recession with another contraction in the March quarter but the

economists were completely gob

smacked by 0.4% growth. As this

list of components shows

consumers and the Government

both did their bit while

dwelling investment was a drag.

But the big surprise was net ex

ports which made the second

biggest contribution to growth

since World War II. Explaining

that is hard, considering that

export prices are falling and

every other major economy is in

recession, as this table

shows. The US, UK and Europe

are clustered between 1.5 and

2% contraction in the March

quarter and when you move to

aish yait's much worse .

Japan's GDP fell 3.8% and Hong

Kong's 4%. Here is a graph of

ourquarterly GDP and our

economy has been basically

stagnant for a year and a

quarter as you can see. Which

is not enough to stop

unemployment rising, but a lot

better than what's going on in

Europe and Japan. That's finance. The Cronulla Sharks

have suffered another blow. The

long serving chairman Barry

Pierce has stepped down, just a

week after being re-elected for

a new term. He denies his

departure has anything to do

with last month's 'Four

Corners' program which

questioned how the club handle

add sex scandal in 2002. There

was more pressure on Pierce

last week when the Cronulla

captain Paul Gallen was fined

$10,000 for racially abusing a St George player. The Sharks

are bottom of the NRL ladder

with only two wins this season.

The new captain hopes the

team's prospects are

improving. If we can win again

this week that will ease the

burden on the football club and

get people talking about some

positive things about the

Sharks and believe it or not

there are good things that

happen here. Barrett says he

will continue as captain for as

long as he is needed.

Queensland begins its quest

tonight for a record fourth

State of Origin series win.

With only two changes to the

team that won game three last year, the maroons are

favourites to win in Melbourne.

But coach ing staff say there's

no complacency in the

Queensland camp. They know they

have a big job a head it will

be a difficult game tonight to

get on top of NSW with a number

of new players which will add

ot & lot of enthusiasm to their

squad. The Blue also have seven

debutantes in their squad as

they try to put an end to the

maroons dominance. The game im

expected to attract a crowd of

more than 80,000. Samantha

Stosur will take on another

opponent tonight and Robin

Soderling kept up up his giant

killing run and Fernando

Gonzalez upset Andy Murray.

Maria Sharapova was thrashed,

and top seed Dinara Safina

almost became another high pro

file casualty. It's rare day

when the temperament al Safina

serve outplaid on big sofs

emotion but she found her match

in Victoria Azarenka from Belarus. Safina could do

nothing to contain a first set

onslight. An upset looked

likely but as Safina found her

rhythm her opponent a theatrical demonstration of

anxiety and frustration. But

this wasn't an audition. Centre

stage when the going got tough

was the number one seed. That's

well done. Safina will meet the

Slovak republic's Dominika

Cibulkova, who was one point

away from embarrassing the

returning Maria Sharapova 6-0,

6-0. Sharapova saved five match

points to be slightly less red

faced against an opponent

possessing a cheeky upper cut

for the ill informed: I think

more surprising for people who

don't know me. Andy Murray was

another high-profile exit. At

least he had good reason.

Chilean Fernando Gonzalez gave

him a taste of power and

finesse. But it was the heavy

hitting which left the lasting

impression. He was hitting the

ball so hard. No-one has hit a

ball that big. Gonzalez will

meet Rafael Nadal's nemesis

Robin Soderling, who

demoralised Russian Nikolay

Davydenko in three sets. Just

brilliant. Neegd only one point

from their remaining three

games to qualify for the World

Cup, the Socceroos are even

starting to look ahead and think about which teams might

be in their group, with Scott McDonald hoping for

England. Just for the rive

Amery that we've got with them,

the history in all sports. But

whoever it is as long as we're

there I don't care who sells in

our group. A prolific scorer

for Scottish club Celtic,

McDonald will be looking for

his first goal for the

Socceroos when they meet Qatar

in Doha on Sunday. It keeps

haunteding me. Harry Kewell

isn't underestimated ing kart

ar even though the Middle East

nation has had only one win in

the qualifying phase. Everyone

is talk about we're there, it's

only one point against Qatar,

we're not it ease going to be very difficult. If the

Socceroos don't secure the

point they heed knead, there

will be other chances against

Bahrain and Japan in Australia

this month. Television did it

10 years ago, now it's radio's

turn to go digital. The new

technology means there will be

more radio stations to choose

from, with better reception and

CD quality sound. Reporter

Adrian Raschella has been look

at how it works. This is the

ABC bruking - Early last

century the wireless

revolutionised communication. I

became the radio, portable and

u bik which us to. Hold on to

your - ubiquitous. Sydney fols

Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide

and Perth in switching on

digital radio broadcasting over

the coming days. Digital could

be akin from the change from AM

to FM. The reason I say that is

first and foremost sound

quality and good

coverage. Listener also need

new radios to hear it. Existing

radio stations should sound

crystal clear on digital

station and the FM stations

that already launched new

station. Ausstaro is for

unsigned artists. Ka fee is

DMG's new chill-out nation and

Novanation its new dance

network. With more stations

coming the risk of further

fragmenting the audience. I

take the view that if we offer

unique services we will bring

new listeners to radio and

enhance the experience that radio listening currently

offers, therefore that should

attract more advertisers. ABC

Radio goes digital from July.

The public broadcaster will

start with eight digital

station which including the

five existing networks in each

capital In addition we will

aunch three new music service -

DIG music which is for those

beyond the Triple J age

grourntion ABC Country and ABC

Jazz. Soon they will come with

memory so you can rewind the

radio, and colour screen s to

show pictures of artist and

advertising. Time for the

weather now and still a day or

two of showers ahead,

Graham? Yes, unfortunately. We

Saturday for a clear, sunny will have to wait until

forecast. But the falls over

the next two days will be

getting slighter and become

more isolated with lengthening

sunny breaks. We saw a few

showers in Sydney. They were

mostly light today and

temperatures remained around 18

to 21 degrees. Only a couple of

suburbs record add couple of

mill meeters of rain.. We're

look at fog developing about

the western suburbs. It's been

a most ly cloudy day around NSW

today with plenty of showers

and rain periods over the

eastern half. Rainful with the inland trough over the last

three days has resulted in much

of the western half of the

State receiving their monthly

rainfall already.

As the surface and up per

trough weaken cloud will start

to break-up and shower also

become patchy and more

isolated. On Friday will will

be extensive sunny brakes clou

will redevelop over the inland

later in the day and ten

throughout the weekend with

light - rain spreading through

NSW on Saturday. The falls

tomorrow will become patchy

with the only total above 5mm

expected aLNG if coastal fringe

- along the coastal fringe

thatling. anywhere from north ofs

- of Newcastle.

The long weekend should end

with some snow on the Alps. The

top stories - Australia has ae

void a recession posting better

than expected growth. But

spending in NSW has gone

backwards for the second

consecondive quarter. NSW

Health says children who visit Melbourne for the State of Origin match tonight will have

to stay home for a week. It

comes after Victoria moved to

the next stage of swine flu

alert. And investigations

continue into the Air France

crash. 5km of floating debris

has been spotted in Brazilian

waters. And this's ABC News for this Wednesday. The '7:30

Report' is up next andly be

back with updates during the

evening. Goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI This Program is Captioned

Live.

Welcome to the program.

Recession? What recession? The governor of the Reserve Bank

has said we are already there,

and the Treasurer said as much

back in April. There are plenty

of business and jobless people

out there who certainly feel

like they are in recession, but

technically after today's national account figures for

the March quarter we're not.

The economy actually grew by

0.4%, and the Government says

the figures are proof its big

cash stimulus packages have

worked. The Opposition says the

turnaround has more to do with

the boost in ex ports and

there's certainly plenty of

politics left in the argument.

We will be talking with the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, in a

moment but first this reporter

from - this report from

political editor Michael