Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
ABC News (Sydney) -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Tonight - get used to it says the PM. Under the prices pump - of a married couple. Sydney police investigate the murder get their just deserts The kingpins of the AFL fans in Tiger-town splash out. and paint it black and gold - than food, fuel and health care - Few things are more fundamental

Felicity Davey with ABC News. Good evening. The economy is on inflation alert a price increase with high fuel costs leading to commodities - milk. in one of life's most basic Australians And the Prime Minister has warned higher health care costs, to get used to after a government report found are outstripping inflation. that medical expenses consequence of an ageing population. John Howard says it's one than food, fuel and health care - Few things are more fundamental is starting to spiral. now, the cost of all According to an official report, have soared by 6% - out-of-pocket medical expenses best health system came for free. No-one ever said that the world's more than twice the inflation rate.

was John Howard's message, "Get used to it" of an ageing population. arguing it's the consequence We shouldn't see it as a bad thing.

and the new procedures available Don't we want the new drugs for all Australians? Nick Minchin's warning But Finance Minister

to ensure taxes don't have to rise, costs will have to be contained of dithering on health reform. and Labor's accusing the Government that could be saved There's more than a billion dollars with the State premiers if Mr Howard started working for a better health system. the story's the same - From health to food, high fuel prices Dairy Farmers is blaming of up to 8% for its milk for a price increase to cover rising transport costs. pressure on interest rates, Kim Beazley says that will put immediate tax cuts nevertheless. but he's demanding to carry a substantial burden. Australian families are starting The Government must act. The PM took aim at Labor's claim

could cut petrol prices. that government action go back to 80 cents per litre I don't think it is going to in a hurry the Government can do about that. and there's nothing the $1-per-litre barrier When petrol prices burst through five years ago, the Howard Government to its knees. it nearly brought There's no sign of that now, fuels interest rate rises, but if renewed inflation it might prove a different story. Jim Middleton, ABC News, Canberra. Around the country,

to contemplate price hikes small businesses are beginning or cutbacks higher petrol costs. because of suggest But the latest economic figures and borrowing regardless - consumers are buying of higher inflation. adding to fears has already been hit Shop owner Samar Assaf for dairy products. with a range of price hikes It's really annoying me just to decrease my margins. because that's forced me

Now Dairy Farmers says increased cost of milk deliveries. it can no longer carry the From next week, States supplied by Dairy Farmers - milk prices will rise 8% in

the inflation rate. more than three times the retail food industry But those dominating won't be charged the extra. Nursing Service Victoria's Royal District to about 7,000 clients by car. provides charity services will become an issue Whether we can maintain that level at the level they are. if fuel prices remain helped by tax cuts, Certainly consumers,

rising petrol prices last month. seemed unfazed by Retail sales jumped in August a better-than-expected 0.6% and credit expanded by 1.3% loans and business borrowing. reflecting a bounce-back in personal inflationary pressures. It all adds to that next interest rate rise It may well be that has come a bit closer. Thankfully for the Reserve Bank, continued to slow home-lending growth

by the business sector. with the slack taken up

Phillip Lasker, ABC News.

a double murder Homicide police are investigating north-west of Sydney. one 57, the other 60, The bodies of a married couple, home last night. were found in their south Maroota established. The cause of death has not been his parents bodies The couple's adult son discovered in separate rooms at their home 10 o'clock last night. when he visited them at around from them for about a week He's told police he hadn't heard for their welfare. and was concerned I'm not discussing injuries. At this stage fairly decomposed The bodies are also a post-mortem examination and we'll require for us to determine that. of a break-in Detectives found no signs had been stolen. but refused to say if anything 15-hectare property for evidence. They're scouring the had retired two years ago Neighbours say the couple a substantial inheritance. and was living off a motive for the attack. But police are yet to find for around 30 years. The couple had lived in the area and her husband was a businessman. The woman had been a teacher and that When I found out I was shocked with their kids. because my kids went to school to establish Police are now trying seen alive. when the couple were last choreograph their last movements, You try and catalogue and they may have had to the home, sightings, etc, visitors that telephone records fingerprints, DNA etc. as well as any forensic evidence, to anyone Detectives are keen to speak in the area. who saw any unusual activity South Maroota. Jayne Margetts, ABC News, has recommended charges be laid The Police Integrity Commission detective who allegedly stole, against a former New South Wales used and suppled illegal drugs. The PIC found

that Detective Sergeant Sam Foster robbed suspected drug dealers while on secondment to the Australian Crime Commission. Foster was dismissed from the police service in 2004 after a 20-year career. The PIC investigation, known as Operation Abelia, also found that other officers used heroin, cannabis and ectasy. Most said they took the drugs socially

and didn't believe it affected the way they did their job. The Police Commissioner says only a handful of officers were involved in illegal activity. Customs officers in Sydney have made one of their biggest weapons seizures. The illegal weapons, which included pistol lighters and stun-guns, were uncovered in raids on five properties in the city's southern suburbs. Investigators say the weapons were intended for sale and some may already have reached the public. These are prohibited items. Unfortunately some people purchase them for criminal activity, some people purchase them for personal protection but either way the goods are illegal. A number of people are being questioned over the seizure. A series of car bomb blasts has killed at least 99 people in a town north of Baghdad. The explosions ripped through a busy street and marketplace

in Balad, in central Iraq, wounding 124 people.

Apparently aimed at Shi'ite civilians, the blasts left the open-air market and nearby streets strewn with body parts and the wounded. Three suicide bombers detonated their explosives within minutes of each other. Sunni insurgents have vowed to wreck the October 15 referendum on Iraq's constitution. US military commanders have told Congress they hope Iraq will be secure enough to begin withdrawing troops next year. Condition-based reductions of coalition forces is a critical element of our strategy. And we certainly do look to do that over the course of the next year. General Casey said the next two months would be crucial in deciding America's future in Iraq. He's a conservative Catholic who'll help shape American life for decades to come. John Roberts was sworn in today as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the United States, the youngest jurist to fill this powerful position in 200 years. MASTER OF CEREMONIES: Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States. John Roberts is now one of the most powerful men in the United States. I, John G Roberts Jr, do solemnly swear... He's just the 17th chief justice in American history and the youngest in 200 years. ...and defend the Constitution of the United States. When a president chooses a supreme court justice, he is placing in human hands

the full authority and majesty of the law. It's a job with enormous power. The Supreme Court has the ability to overturn laws,

rule on issues such as abortion and gay rights, and sometimes even decide who can be president. I view the vote this morning as confirmation of what is, for me, a bedrock principle - that judging is different from politics. But choosing a judge is political. The confirmation is a big win for the President. John Roberts is conservative but even half the Democrats crossed the floor to support him. The nomination of John G. Roberts Jr, of Maryland, to be chief justice of the United States is confirmed. The appointment process is far removed from what happens in Australia. It's very personal. The candidate is grilled on his or her beliefs. Lobby groups line up to try and influence the outcome. VOICEOVER: Our children will best be served by judges who appreciate America's godly heritage. John Roberts is just 50 years old. It's a lifetime appointment,

so he could be shaping the court - and the country - for decades. George W. Bush now has to fill the vacancy left by Sandra Day O'Connor. She was a swinging voter, so if she's replaced with a conservative, the balance on the bench could be profoundly affected. Mark Simkin, ABC News, Washington. There are calls for the culling of saltwater crocodiles in Northern Territory waters after the second fatal attack in a week. The Territory's crocodile population has grown to 70,000 and tour operators say if the predators aren't controlled, more deaths are inevitable. An experienced diver, 55-year-old Russell Butel was collecting live fish for the aquarium export trade in just 4m of water when he was killed by the saltwater crocodile. The 4m reptile dragged Mr Butel's body 2km before leaving it at a beach in Trepang Bay on the Cobourg Peninsula, 200km east of Darwin. His dive partner alerted rangers to the site of the attack by setting off an emergency beacon. They were in an area that was rocky reef.

It wasn't in a mangrove creek or anything like that. It was just, unfortunately, I think, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Rescuers say the surviving diver had told them he thought it would be safe. I think he was actually in a bit of shock. He wasn't saying a whole lot, it was things like, you know, it was a 50/50 chance - they were both in the water. He couldn't believe it, he didn't think there'd be crocs in that particular area. Sash Muller runs dive tours throughout the Top End. He's calling for the culling of crocodiles to prevent any further deaths. I really think we could start culling crocodiles and introduce to them a fear of mankind which they've obviously started to lose. A friend of Mr Butel hopes the latest death forces the NT Government into action. Absolutely devastated. Why the Government doesn't do anything about the crocs,

I just don't understand. Rangers won't be searching for the crocodile because the area is well known for large numbers of salties. The Department of Environment says it would be too difficult to identify the reptile responsible. Michelle Fraser, ABC News, Darwin. It's all about protecting one of Sydney's most important assets. After extensive public consultation, a State Government plan to safeguard the harbour has become law. Frank Sartor can't find anything wrong with Sydney Harbour. As the Planning Minister, he argues it's his job to keep the city's number-one attraction in mint condition. On a beautiful day like today we are protecting Sydney Harbour, a beautiful day like today. New laws now promise to safeguard the harbour proper and its catchments. Councils will have clear powers to block the approval of eyesores planned for near the foreshore and there will be greater provision for public access to the water's edge. And the Opera House is to be given a buffer zone

as the Government prepares the way for eventual World Heritage listing. Sydney's greatest man-made icon - I mean, basically, it's a fantastic building. People recognise Sydney by the Opera House. At the other end of the harbour, near Manly, the colony of fairy penguins will receive further protection from the impact of humans on their habitat. From tomorrow, there will also be new rules enforcing stronger environmental measures in the construction of 6-storey and more residential buildings. Water savings of up to 40% will become mandatory, but the target for cutting power usage and therefore greenhouse gas emissions has been wound back slightly to 20%. This is a very important next step in making Sydney sustainable. Developers have applauded the compromise, saying it will make apartments more affordable for buyers.

Some of these projects were modelling out at a $30,000 increase per apartment and that's $260 extra on your loan every month. The Property Council says that will now shrink by two-thirds to less than $10,000 per unit. Simon Santow, ABC News, Sydney. The cricketers have had one, so too rugby's Wallabies, now the Sydney Swans have joined their illustrious ranks. The AFL champions were the stars today in a ticker-tape parade that brought the city centre to a standstill. Sydney's not considered to be AFL heartland, but no-one told these people. Tens of thousands have proudly jumped on board the Swans' burgeoning bandwagon. It's been a long time. The club's been starved of success for a long time, so to see everyone turning up here, it's amazing, you know. It's been a whirlwind week, actually, after the Grand Final was... The support we've had and the functions have been amazing and it's good to see how many people have come out to support us today.

This is what they all came to see - the Premiership Cup in Sydney for the first time. It's been a big couple of weeks, to say the least. Today's parade was the culimination of a week of celebrations that's left the Swans overwhelmed by their new-found popularity. It might be rugby league Grand Final week here, but this strong show of support for the Swans

is a clear sign that after more than 20 years AFL finally has a firm foothold in Sydney. To see the number of people out here in front of the Town Hall, I'm just flabbergasted. I'm speechless. I'm forever indebted to you people for coming out today. It's made what has been a fantastic week even more special. The Swans were presented with the key to the city, a final aknowledgement the the team has made it in a city that once didn't seem to care. Mark Douglass, ABC News, Sydney. You're watching ABC News. Now a reminder of our top story. Commodity price rises and higher health care costs have the economy on inflation alert. And still to come - doctors sound off about some ultrasound services Last night we brought you the story of the disappearing Arctic ice cap.

Tonight, we look at how the big thaw is impacting on life in Russia's frozen north. There, rising temperatures are affecting fish stocks

and threatening the permafrost which literally underpins thousands of towns and villages. Moscow correspondent Emma Griffiths reports from northern Siberia.

This is Siberia's northern frontier during the short arctic summer. It's a precious time for the indigenous people who survive by hunting and fishing. But this year the river is higher than usual and the fish are scarce. For the Suzdalova family, it's another sign the weather is changing. The fishing just isn't what it was years ago. There were lots of fish then and the meat was fatty. There's nothing like that anymore. Probably the ecological situation has changed and the animals felt it first. At the local weather station, Galina Fries gets the latest figures. In her 15 years as the weatherwoman here, she's noticed some changes. Winters are colder, challenging the record low of -57, and the summers are hotter. (Speaks Russian) It's bizarre when we have a heat wave. Everybody asks, "How long it will last?" They want cooler weather to get rid of the annoying mosquitoes. But there are bigger worries. Hotter temperatures are slowly turning the frozen ground,

or permafrost, into swamp. Far away in Moscow, scientists are predicting trouble. If the permafrost melts,

the buildings are going to crack and fall down. It's dangerous. But some Russians are looking forward to more warmth. It will save the country billions of dollars in winter heating, for a start. Warmer temperatures here would melt the icebergs every summer, opening up new trade routes and economic opportunities

through the Arctic Ocean. Emma Griffiths, ABC News, Northern Siberia. Australian doctors are warning against the trend toward non-medical ultrasound services offering parents images of their unborn babies.

The doctors say ultrasounds are intended to be a diagnostic tool, and unskilled operators could give parents a false impression of their baby's health. Having an ultrasound can be one of the most rewarding experiences of pregnancy. So much so that some women want more than the usual 12- and 18-week scans. In the United States, many women are visiting non-medical ultrasound studios for additional pictures of their unborn children. And the practice is catching on in Australia. We're really not happy with trivialisiation of what's really a medical procedure and a very complex medical procedure and turning it into a form of entertainment. The Australian Society for Ultrasound Medicine is concerned

that while women may be offered the latest technology, in some cases, the operators may not be trained correctly

and may not pick up any abnormalities. The patient might be reassured that the baby's growing normally but there is actually a significant problem with the way the pregnancy is going and again that could lead to medical misadvanture

or even a disaster for the mother and/or the baby. Rose Asimakopoulos runs a studio in Adelaide called Fetal Photos. She has worked as an ultrasound expert for more than 20 years. The women that come here find the experience so overwhelming, they find it's a huge bonding process. They are so emotional - they just can't believe they have actually seen a sneak peek

of their baby. She says if any abnormalities were detected, women would be referred for medical follow-up. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has warned women against going to the non-medical ultrasound centres. Australian authorities are yet to issue any guidelines. Sophie Scott, ABC News. To finance now, and global sugar prices are at a 5-year high, as more countries turn to sugar-based ethanol as an alternative fuel. Here's Alan Kohler. Well it had to happen, I guess. If you use sugar as a fuel, it will be priced as a fuel. The biggest producer of export sugar is Brazil and it's also the biggest user of ethanol as a substitute for petrol. Now with Brazilian currency, the real, at a 4-year high, the Brazilians are also pushing the global sugar price to record highs. Last night, on the New York Board of Trade, the price was steady above 11 cents a pound after several days of big rises. But basically these days, the sugar price is going up and down with the oil price - because it's not just a fuel for the body, but for the car as well. The oil price was also fairly steady today - up 0.75% in New York

and down about the same percentage in Singapore. Elsewhere on commodity markets, the gold price is on the move again - up a couple of dollars overnight and up $10 in the past four trading days. And by the way, in Tokyo, gold futures are trading at a 14-year high, but Australia's formula-one share market pulled in and had a pit stop today.

Some very happy Macquarie Bank investors took some of their profits and paid for January's skiing trip to Austria, presumably. Resource stocks and banks stocks all fell, led by BHP Billiton and NAB, while AMP shares went against the trend with a 2% rise. Wall Street was up quite strongly last night, but Asian markets generally drifted today.

And the Australian dollar edged higher against all of the major currencies. I'll be back at 9:45am on Sunday with 'Inside Business'. Till then - that's finance. The success-starved Wests Tigers fans are splashing out to ensure the lead-up to the club's first grand final appearance is one to remember. Townsville has been passionate in its support of the Cowboys but the Tigers faithful have answered the challenge. Some Wests Tigers fans are going to extraordinary lengths to show their colours. Go the mighty Tigers! Justin Hill and his brother Daniel have turned their house into a shrine to the Tigers and their front lawn into a football field - to scale no less. It took about 15 of us probably about 8 hours on Tuesday night. (All) Go Tigers!

Wilma Brincat's Annandale house has everything any discerning Tigers follower could want. GROWLING NOISE After 55 years of support, there's plenty to put on display.

It's fair to say you don't mind the Tigers? I love the Tigers. I love 'em - with a passion. In Townsville, there's a Tiger with an identity crisis - yellow and blue sausages are number one, and Cowboys gear is selling fast.

Pretty much every time we get stock in, about two hours later it's all gone again. It's a similar tale at Balmain Leagues Club. Staff are struggling to keep up with demand. I bought a jersey, two T-shirts, two caps, and I'm not sure whether we'll get a few other things. Let's just say that the budgets for the last four years have all been met in the last one month. Just wanted to buy one of those oversized North Queensland Cowboys hats. Security to the Tigers shop immediately, please. There's an air of confidence on the streets of Balmain. North Queensland's really bad and we won against them 50-6, or something, last time so I think we're gonna do really well, and Benji Marshall's gonna take us home. They might not be called the Magpies anymore

but supporters in Campbelltown have embraced the merged club. The Tigers will attack and they will finish them for good. Beautiful. Go Tiger! Even the Bank of Queensland has bowed to Wests fever. For many years a premiership for the Tigers appeared nothing more than an illusion. But on Sunday night it could become a reality. Duncan Huntsdale, ABC News, Sydney. Cricket's most imposing figure has arrived to again torment the Australians. But, English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff

is playing down his new-found status, saying he's just looking forward to having a bat and a bowl in the Super Series against Australia. Here's Peter Wilkins. It's unrelenting - just a few weeks after his Ashes-winning performance, Andrew Flintoff will be used by World XI one-day captain Shaun Pollock

as the game-breaker in the Super Series beginning next Wednesday.

The Aussies will want to come back hard after what happened a few weeks ago and then we want to put a good account of ourselves. It's gonna be quite strange walking into a dressing room with people you know of but not necessarily know. But I'm sure we'll get over that after a couple of days and then once the cricket starts, we'll be all firing for it. As his team-mates whirred away in their first training session, Flintoff was allowed to settle in feeling no pressure to repeat his man-of-the-series efforts in England. I won't be putting pressure on myself. I'll just go out there and try and do what I do. While West Indies batting star Brian Lara expects changes to the Australian line-up in the near future, he doesn't see the landing being as hard as the one which hit his team after it's long run of success. One thing that they do have in their favour that West Indies didn't have is the technology and the academies I mean, we never put anything into place to ensure that there was some sort of longevity with their success. Australia's still got infrastructure to play good cricket. It's a mouth-watering prospect and might be enough to tempt Roger Federer. Australia and Switzerland have been drawn to play in the first round of next year's Davis Cup and while wild horses couldn't keep Lleyton Hewitt away, Federer is yet to confirm he'll saddle up for the February tie. another meeting, The pair appear headed for

this time at the Thailand Open, although Hewitt's Bangkok title bid almost derailed in the second round. Hewitt saved four match points against American Justin Gimelstob

before winning 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 in more than two hours. The second-seed now plays local favourite Paradorn Srichaphan in the quarterfinals. With the world surfing title on the line, 3-time champion Andy Irons squeezed out a heat win in France over New Zealand wildcard Maz Quinn to keep the battle with 6-time champion Kelly Slater alive. Irons will now meet veteran Australian Mark Occhilupo. Jake Patterson is one of seven Australians into the fourth round courtesy of his superb last wave. It's really tough, you know. Some of the heats can really go your way and other times, when it's like this, it can go against you. So I've just gotta make sure I get out on the right side of the bed. Patterson will meet another Australian Nathan Hedge,

while Taj Burrow just survived a scare from Miky Picon, the talented French wildcard. The curtain's fallen on Sydney's last speciality cinema. With the failure of community attempts to stop the closure of the Chauvel Cinema, supporters gathered to watch its final screening. It's been showing art-house and documentary films inside the Paddington Town Hall for 10 years. But falling attendances and a lack of public funding have forced it to close. It's actually quite a sad day because if you don't encourage difference

then you don't have, I think, as diverse possible environment to actually develop your film-makers. Sydney's other great independent,the Valhalla, was forced to close its doors two months ago. Time for the weather now. Mike Bailey, no pressure but what does the weather hold for along weekend,

including an NRL Grand Final? Sydney's looking fine, Felicity. Good evening - only the far north-east of NSW seems likely to score any rain to begin the holiday weekend. A combination of lighter winds and clear skies over Sydney took the minimum a couple of degrees below average this morning. And the maximum was 1 down for the range of 11-20. Average temperature at the moment - 16.9 Winds reasonably fresh SE corner of NSW.

Warming up for the weekend. Perth - wetest with 2mm. Change ahead in the SW corner. Isolated shower associated with a weak trough in southern districts. Not a lot of rain though. NSW - showers in northern regions. Skies mostly clear inland. Thanks, Mike. Before we go, a recap of our top stories. Australians are being warned to expect a jump in the cost of living, with health costs rising and petrol prices forcing up the cost of dairy products. A baffling double murder in Sydney's north-west - a married couple has been found dead by their son in their home. And a swan song in Sydney - the city today honoured its victorious AFL team with a ticker-tape parade. And that's ABC News this Friday night. I'm Felicity Davey. 'Stateline' with Quentin Dempster is next. Enjoy your weekend.

Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International.