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Ten Early News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Ron

Wilson. And I'm Frank Coletta.

Welcome to Ten's Early News.

Today, Treasurer Wayne Swan: This

Budget is forged in the fire of the

most challenging global economic

Depression. conditions since the Great

The Treasurer outlines his historic

$58 billion deficit - so just who

are the winners, and who'll feel

debt? the pain of the nation's record

Australians will be forced to work

longer and pay more under the

biggest Budget deficit in the

country's history. Pensions will

also rise, but so will unemployment,

which is predicted to hit 1 million

in two years' time.

No Australian treasurer alive today

has faced an economic turnaround as massive as this. has faced an economic turnaround as

massive as this. The global

recession will push the Budget into

the red by a record $57.6 billion

next year, and it's not forecast to

return to the black for at least

six more years. Over the next four

years alone, $220 billion will have

credit been racked up on the nation's

been racked up on the nation's

credit card. It will be a long,

slow road to recovery. The economy

is forecast to shrink by 0.5% next

year, and unemployment to rise for

two more years. By the time it

peaks at 8.5%, 1 million people

will be jobless. We know this

global recession brings adversity,

but it brings opportunity as well.

That opportunity is introducing

paid parental leave from 2011, and paid parental leave from 2011, and

giving a boost to pensioners. The

single-aged pension rises $32.49 a single-aged pension rises $32.49 a

week, while couples get a $10 boost.

Disability pensioners, veterans and

carers also benefit, but not sole

parents. Carers will also get a

$600 annual bonus. But, there's a

cost. For the first time in 100

years, the pension age will rise

from 65 to 67. Phased in from 2017. from 65 to 67. Phased in from 2

The first home buyers' boost will

be extended, but only for another three months, and then halved,

before it cuts out at the end of

the year. The balancing act for

a third stimulus package: future spending has been framed as

This Budget was hyped by the

Government as tough for all, but

for most, there'll be little, if

any, immediate pain. And there's

still last year's tax cuts to come

in July. Wayne Swan says we're much

better off than the world's most

advanced economies. Australians are

too strong, too resilient, and too

united to be overwhelmed. Ghosts of

budgets past may well agree.

The Government has also made major

changes to the superannuation

scheme. Let's go live to superannuation expert Noel

Whittaker, who's in Brisbane this

morning. The Government will halve

the limits on tax-deductible

contributions for both middle- and

high-income earners, and also

reduce their contributions for low- reduce their contributions for low-

income earners. How will that

affect the various groups? Well,

the first thing is that the limits

that they're comes down to are

still more than adequate. And they

don't take effect until after June

30. So people have still got time

to make the big contributions. As

far as low-income earners go, the

reduction in the co-contribution is

only temporary. So in four years,

it will be back to normal. So I

think people have just got to keep

putting it in -- into super as much

as they can. Should we restructure,

or contribute -- continue to

contribute as we are now? If you

can't put as much into super, you can't put as much into super, you

won't have as much in the end won't have as much in the end

unless you work for longer period

or get a higher return on your

assets. People should be looking to

get their best return on their

assets possible, which means

sticking with gold good old shares.

Has the Budget done anything to

discourage people from contributing

to their super? People say they

make too many changes to super.

People still think there'll be

change, but I guess change is part

of life. Everything changes. What

about as a cost-saving measure for

the Government - is it targeting

the right area by, in a way,

pricking on superannuation? Well, I pricking on superannuation? Well, I

think our superannuation system is

a great system. I think it's still

a great system. What's also great

news for older people is that now

that they are not going to treat

lump-sum withdrawals from super on

the Commonwealth seniors health

care - great news for retirees.

Thank you, Noel Whittaker, for

talking with us this morning. The

Treasurer has denied he's being

overly optimistic by forecasting

Australian Australia will escape

the global economic crisis with the global economic crisis with

only a minor recession. He spoke

with Ten's Paul Bongiorno. Thanks

for being with us, Mr Swan. Good to for being with us, Mr Swan. Good to

be with you. I know you do your

best surfing off the Sunshine Coast.

Is your Budget a bit like waiting

for the dream wave to carry you to

the shore - waiting for growth,

waiting for the recession to end?

No. What we had was the wave of the

global recession which delivered a

revenue downgrade of $210 billion

over the forward estimates, which

has made this Budget a very complex

one to put in place. We've been

able to find the room in the Budget

to put in place the nation-building

investments for recovery. The road,

thill the rail, the port, the

investments and the unis - all very

important. And also, importantly,

to continue that first-home owners' to continue that first-home owners'

boost for a while. How heroic are

some of your assumptions of zero

growth this year coming back within

four years to around 4.5%? I think

they're very conservative

assumptions. The Treasury goes to

some lengths in the documentation

to say why that is the case. I

think they're extremely realistic.

You see, recessions do end. And You see, recessions do end. And

that's an important - always - to

remember that in these

circumstances. I mean, we've seen

so many rescissions in the past 12

months about what's happening. The

revisions going out would have to

be on the downside, wouldn't they?

These are very conservative

assumptions. It could be that it is

higher, as we come out of the

recession with a lot of spare

cuscapacity, if growth picks up

globally and here. It could even be

higher. But they are very

conservative projections from the

Treasury. And realistic, I believe.

It seems there might be a bit of

political intent in the Budget -

most of the pain comes in the later

years, beyond the next election.

Not at all. Because of the global

recession, we have to support jobs

now. That's what the infrastructure

spending is about. That's what the

first home owners' boost is about.

We withdraw that gradually. We

withdraw that gradually as global growth returns. Treasurer, thanks withdraw that gradually as global

for being with us. Thank you.

So, as we've heard, unemployment is

predicted to hit 1 million in two

years' time as the global recession years' time as the global recession

sends economic growth into reverse.

And for more on this, I'm joined by

CommSec's chief economist, Craig

James. Good morning, Craig. Has the

Budget gone far enough in helping

the economy out of resnegz It

certainly has, Frank. If you look

at the measures that were done in

December of last year, February of

this year, and also the latest May

Budget, the stimulus being applied

to the economy is the second-

highest in the industrial world,

behind the United States. So it's

certainly throwing plenty of

dollars at the situation - makes

sure that we're in recession for

the shortest period of time, and

come out the fastest and strongest

of any developed nation. A plus

there, but what impact will the

Budget have on interest rates and Budget have on interest rates and

business conditions? What is the

outlook there? In terms of interest

rates, the Government has

stimulated the economy quite

significantly. The Reserve Bank can

stay on the sidelines. If there was

further problems in the global

economy, the Reserve Bank has the

ammunition to cut interest rates.

In terms of business conditions,

this Budget is very much pro-growth.

Almost everyone emerges as a winner,

whether you're a pensioner, small

business, or ordinary individual

earning an income. Certainly

everyone seems to be winning.

Finally, how do you expect the

market will react to the Budget

measures? It should be very

positive. Certainly we had the US

market already close higher. That's

certainly positive for our markets.

But it's particularly beneficial on

the share market for industrial stocks because of the stocks because of the

infrastructure spending. Craig

James from CommSec, thank you very

much. Thank you.

The focus on Wall Street turned to

General Motors early on, with

shares at a 76-year low, stock

plunging more than 22%. A rise in

energy shares offset a sell-off in financials.

Checking today's newspapers - the

'Daily Telegraph' leads with the

Government's plan to raise the

pension age from 65 to 67 to pay

off the record debt burden.

The 'Financial Review' says central

banks in China, the USA and Europe

are optimistic about the recovery

of the world economy.

'The Age' reports Crown Casino has

been given permission to increase

its number of gaming tables by more

than 40% to 500.

And business dey has more on

Coalition and Green senators'

efforts to sink the legislation

required to set up the so-called Rudd Bank. We'll have more Budget coverage

after the break, as well as the

rest of today's top stories,

including claims Matthew Johns will

be stood down over that group-sex

scandal. Stay with us.

This program is captioned live.

Headlines every 15 minutes on Ten's

Early News - the Budget we had to

have - We have seen a downturn in

global economic conditions

unprecedented in our lifetimes.

Australians to work longer and pay

more under the biggest Budget

deficit in the nation's history.

And under pressure - Matthew Johns

flies home for crisis talks with

Channel Nine bosses - his future at

the network hanging in the balance.

Headlining Ten's Early News -

pensioners are the big winners from

Wayne Swan's second Budget, despite

a record $58 billion deficit. The

Treasurer is forecasting $220

billion in deficits over the next

four years, with 1 million people

unemployed and the economy only

returning to growth in 2010.

The global recession has been

unleashed on Australia with a

brutal, uncompromising force. This

is the biggest Budget deficit in

modern Australian history. It is

the biggest debt in modern

Australian history. Despite the

debt, the single-, aged, carers and

veterans' pensions will rise by

more than $32 a week, and $10 for couples.

couples. Australians will have to

work longer to pay off the record

deficit, with the pension age to

rise from 65 to 67, starting in

2017. While pensioners are cheering,

the Budget has been criticised for

ignoring sole parents and the

unemployed. Industry and business

groups remain concerned about the record debt levels.

Pensioners remain the biggest and

happiest winners. The Government

has not only listened to the

concerns of older Australians and

particularly the most vulinternal, but it's actually delivered

substantial reform. But sole

parents and the unemployed miss out.

This is the budget of the biggest

loser. Those who were demonised in

the past have emerged as the

forgotten people again. Industry

more positive, believing the Budget

will support jobs and it's

applauded the pension increases and

infrastructure spending. It remains,

though, concerned about the way

forward. Look, I think everyone

should be worried about the debt

levels, because they are very high.

But they're not high relative to

many of our trading partners.

Unions are optimistic. There's no

doubt that it sets us up for jobs

now, in the medium term. Doctors

hope changes to the health

insurance rebate won't pressure the

public system. It actually means

that all Australians earning over

$74,000 a year will either pay more

for private health insurance, or

pay more for Medicare levy

surcharge. But budgets live or die

in the Senate. In the coming days,

be running a Green tape measure

over this Budget. We'll also be

looking at some of the unfairness

that's built into it, and trying to

remedy those faults. No matter how

hard you try, some are always going

to be hard to please. $300 billion of debt!

The Shadow Treasurer has labelled

the Budget a failure because it's

done nothing to tackle our

ballooning debt. Joe Hockey spoke

to Paul Bongiorno. Mr Hockey,

thanks for being with us. My

pleasure. Well, what do you give

this Budget out of 10? 3. And I'll

tell you why. Because Wayne Swan

didn't level with the Australian

people. That this Budget is the

biggest deficit in modern

Australian history. It's the

biggest debt in modern Australian

history. $9,000 for every man,

every woman and every child in

Australia. And there are going to

be 1 million Australians unemployed.

There was no courage in this Budget.

There was no decision that was

going to have a direct impact on

Australia's economic recovery. Mr

Hockey, isn't "no courage" a

political codeword for saying that

they didn't cut hard enough? Well,

you know what, Paul? The most

important thing you do during tough

times is lay down a plan to grow

the pie. That's what the Liberals

do - we create a larger pie, more

jobs, no deficit, no debt. $22

billion worth of stimulus out there

for infrastructure! The interesting

thing - the cash splashes hand out

by this Government totalled the

same, if not more, than the total

amount they're spending on

infrastructure. For all the money

the Government's spent, two-thirds

of the money the Government is now

borrowing is paying for Kevin

Rudd's spending since the last

election, and what have we got to

show for it? Nothing. The most

important thing here is jobs. Jobs,

jobs, jobs. There is no plan for

recovery. They're using casino

economics as a justification for

getting the Budget into surplus.

The problem is that all Australians

are going to pay a heavy debt for

this. Mr Hockey, thank you. Thank you, Paul.

Other news this morning - former

rugby league star Matthew Johns is

expected to be stood down

indefinitely by Channel Nine over a

group-sex scandal. The embattled

star of the network's 'Footy Show'

will hold talks with Nine bosses this morning.

Matthew Johns the Channel Nine football commentator has arrived

back in Sydney after laying low at

a resort in Broome for the past few

days. He's at the centre of the

rugby league group-sex scandal

involving a New Zealand woman whose

story was told on television. I if

I had a gun, I'd shoot them right

now. I hate them. They disgust me.

I want them dead. I hate them so

much. Do you regret what happened?

I've got no comment at this stage,

mate. Thank you. Do you apologise

to the young woman concerned? Mow

no comment, mate. Do you apologise?

No colt at this stage, mate. Surely

an apology - surely it's time for an apology!

No charges were laid, but the woman

says six members of the Cronulla

Sharks, including Johns, had sex

with her in a Christchurch hotel

room in 2002. She's since been

suicidal and under the care of a

psychiatrist. NRL boss David Gallop

could not hide his disgust as the

game plunged to new depths. I again

offer my apology on behalf of the

game for the pain those women

experienced. Former sex discrimination commissioner Pru

Goward said rugby league needs to

do more to change the attitudes of

its players. That means no more

pay-offs, no more so-called

confidential settlements with women

who make these accusations because

the clubs can't afford the publicity. Matthew Johns is now

expected to meet with the network's

management to discuss his future.

The royal commission into the

Victorian bushfires has heard the

towns weren't warned in time about

the threat threat of fire. Day two

of the inquiry revealed while the

fire's movement was predicted by

specialists, those leading the

firefighting effort were not

informed. This is predictions, as

you say, what you work off a lot is

the intelligence, what you're

seeing and hearing from the ground.

The town of Strathewen, where 27

residents died, received no warning at all.

The sons of a Gold Coast

millionaire will be sentenced this

morning or the shooting death of a

23-year-old man two years ago.

Dionne Lacey was last week found

guilty of manslaughter and aspiring

rap star Jade Lacey guilty of

unlawful wounding. The court heard

the sons of former milk magnate Ken

Lacey became fixated with the guns

after a trip to the United States.

The brothers shot and killed

landscaper Kevin Palmer in 2007.

They argued it was self-defence.

The Palmer family has rejected an

apology from Dionne Lacey.

Heading sport this morning -

Collingwood remains sick and sorry

after suffering its biggest-ever

loss to St Kilda. Not only were the

Magpies humiliated, their casualty

list continues to grow.

There's not much to get excited

about on the field at Collingwood,

and very little off it - the Pies'

injury crisis has got even worse,

the Monday-night game against the

Saints compounded by a rare

occurrence of Josh Fraser's knee

injury. It's the knee he's had problems with. There certainly

wasn't an incident, but I think he

might have stretchered in a contest

on the ground. Like Fraser, Dane

Swan is also a doubtful starter in Swan is also a doubtful starter in

Sunday's blockbuster against the Blues.

A 6-day break not helping their

cause. Medhurst, Davis, should be

OK. Didak - touch and go.

Fremantle's Byron Schammer was last

night cleared of a striking charge

by the AFL Tribunal.

Gold Coast Titans forward Anthony

Laffranchi will front the NRL

judiciary tonight tonight to face a

striking charge. And Brett Finch

has made an early guilty plea to a dangerous-contact charge. This

attempt to save a try recently

outlawed by the game's rule-makers.

Yeah, the new rule - as soon as I

did it, I thought, "You know, I

can't be doing that anymore." Finch

is now free to play against

Canberra on Monday night.

Let's go back to the Budget review.

Among the headlines is is a $22 billion nation-building drive,

aimed at getting more people into

jobs and helping our economy out of

recession. And for analysis, I'm

joined now by Juliana Roadley from

CommSec. Good morning, Juliana. Do

you think the measures will go far

enough? Yes, I think they will in

this environment. This is as long

as superannuation funds and private as superannuation funds and private

business can help get behind and

get this cash out into the

industries and into business. $22

billion nation-building - it's good

to see where the cash is going to to see where the cash is going

to see where the cash is going to

be going. I think it's going boost

the building sector, local

government growth, engineering

stocks and transport firms, and as

long as we get the cash out very

quickly, it is going to boost our quickly, it is going to boost our

economy. The first test comes early

this morning. How do you expect the this morning. How do you expect the

market will react today to Budget

proposals? I think it will be very

positive. Good to see the deficit

came into the low end of the

forecast. Moodies and S&P already

said they're happy with this Budget.

That will help our markets and

currency along a bit this morning.

We'll see a boost to industrial and

transport stocks. Medical-sector

stocks can be could be hit hard.

When you're playing with rebates,

we could see an increase to the

amount of health insurance costs.

That could play around with some of

the stocks. The tax cuts - one

thing to be wary of is tax cuts

could lead the RBA to decide not to

cut rates in the next few months

that are going to be coming up

around the corner. Juliana Roadley

from CommSec, thank you. Thank you.

Stay with us - we'll talk to Garry

Brack from employers group right

after this break on the Budget. (QUIRKY MUSIC) Looking for a home loan takes so much time it's exhausting. Mortgage Choice does the legwork for you and our service is free.

This program is captioned live.

Today - Treasurer Wayne Swan

outlines his historic $58 billion

deficit. So just who are the

winners and who'll feel the pain of

the nation's record debt?

Australians will be forced to work

longer and pay more under the

biggest Budget deficit in the

country's history. Pensions will

rise, but so will unemployment,

which is expected to hit 1 million

in two years' time. Joining me now

for analysis is Ten political report Murray McCloskey from

Canberra. At the end of the day, Canberra. At the end of the day,

were there any surprises in this

document? No, there were very few

surprises - most of the detail had

already been leak. In fact, the Treasurer prior to the Budget

speech was asked was it even worth

the journalists turning up! It was

hardly the horror Budget that we

were led to expect. Of course, the were led to expect. Of course, the

big winners, as we now know, were

aged pensioners, first-home buyers,

and carers. But there was nothing

in the Budget for sole parents or

the unemployed. As we learned in

the Budget, the jobless rate is

expected to hit 8.5% by mid-2011.

That's 1 million Australians out of

work. The Government says it's nation-building for recovery and

aims to protect more than 200,000

jobs through $22 billion worth of infrastructure spending. And the

Treasurer hopes to return the

Budget toot surplus in a few short

years, and there were some very

optimistic growth forecasts. For

more, Brad Hodson filed this report.

No Australian Treasurer alive today

has faced an economic turnaround as

massive as this.

Over the next four years alone,

$220 billion will have been racked

up on the nation's credit card.

It will be a long, slow road to

recovery. The economy is forecast

to shrink by 0.5% next year, and

unemployment to rise for two more

years. By the time it peaks at 8.5%,

1 million people will be jobless.

We know this global recession

brings adversity, but it brings

opportunity as well. That

opportunity is introducing paid

parental leave from 2011, and

giving a boost to pensioners. The

single-aged pension rises $32.49 a

week, while couples get a $10 boost.

Disability pensioners, veterans and

carers also benefit, but not sole

parents. Carers will also get a

$600 annual bonus. But, there's a

cost. For the first time in 100

years, the pension age will rise

from 65 to 67. Phased in from 2017.

The first home buyers' boost will

be extended, but only for another

three months, then halved before it

cuts out at the end of the year.

This Budget was hyped by the

Government as tough for all, but

for most, there'll be little, if

any, immediate pain. And there's

still last year's tax cuts to come in July.

Wayne Swan says we're much better

off than the world's most advanced

economies. Australians are too

strong, too resilient, and too united

united to be overwhelmed. Ghosts of

budgets past may well agree.

Pensioners appear to be the most

pleased by last night's Budget, but

business has expressed concern

about the record deficit. Welfare

groups are upset the $32-a-week

rise in the single aged pension

wasn't passed on to sole parents or the unemployed. Seniors

organisations are delighted at the

long-overdue move. Thfrplgts

Government has not only listened to

the concerns of older Australians,

and particularly the most

vulnerable, but it's actually

delivered substantial reform.

Concerns remain about the record

$58 billion deficit.

Small businesses are among the

winners from the Budget - they're

set to receive some tax relief to

help them cope with the financial

downturn. The small business and

general business tax break will

increase from 30% to 50%. Chief

executive of the Australian

federation of employers and

industries is Garry Brack is

talking with us live this morning.

Has the Budget gone far enough, is

the basic question. The hope has been the infrastructure spending

dash they've got $22 billion in the

Budget for that. Of course, it

doesn't kick in for a year or a

year and a half. The expenditure

will start then. So if you look at

the underlying assumptions in the

Budget, big expectations about a

very significant turnaround in a

very short period of time - you'd

have to say they're overoptimistic.

Whether or not $22 billion will be

enough to drag us out of the hole

remains to be seen. Of course, with

the size of the overall deficit

that they've got, they're competing

in the marketplace against business

for the same borrowed funds. That's

going to be a big worry, because it

will force interest rates up. I

know you're worried about a lot of

the assumptions made in the Budget

document. Absolutely. They expect a

short period before we have a

turnaround, then big levels of

growth which would seem to be nice

assumptions when you're sitting at

this point, but possibly

unsustainable. And of course, that

benefit for small business where

they get to be able to get a tax

deduction for buying an asset - up

to 50% instead of 30% - they've

still got to be confident enough to

make the expenditure in the first

place. That's going to be a real

question mark. Paid maternity leave

- does business need compensation

to help administer that? Well,

we've always had the problem and

the cost associated with maternity

leave - they are an issue for

business, especially small business.

But on the other hand, a Government-funded scheme - it's

coming out of taxation - it will be

part of the deficit package, even

though it's coming in in 2011, so

therefore business is saying "If

you had to go down that path, it

had to be a Government-funded

scheme." And that's the way they're

going, so we're not complaining about that proposition. Confidence

is a key element for business. Has

this document delivered confidence?

No, it's delivered assumptions. It

assumes that confidence is going to

have a resurgence. We hope that's

going to be the case. But

confidence is really going to be

dependent on whether you, me and

everybody else out there walks into

a shop and buys something, buys a

new car, builds a new house, all

those sorts of things. If the

community is confident and spends,

then business will be making and

selling stuff. That's what will determine whether business

acactually reacts. And the assump

sumptions look pretty generous.

Over all, tick of approval? Some

hope, but a lot of expectation mat

that may not be realised. Thank you

for talking with us. Garry Brack

from the Australian federation of employers and industries. Thank you.

The Treasurer has denied he's being

overly optimistic by forecasting

Australia will escape the global

economic crisis with only a minor

recession. Wayne Swan spoke with

Paul Bongiorno. Thanks for being

with us, Mr Swan. Good to be with

you. I know you do your best

surfing off the Sunshine Coast. Is

your Budget a bit like waiting for

the dream wave to carry you to the

shore - waiting for growth, waiting

for the recession to end? No. What

we had was the wave of the global

recession which delivered a revenue

downgrade of $210 billion over the

forward estimates, which has made

this Budget at very complex one to

put in place. But we've been able

to find the room in the Budget toot

put in place the nation-building

investments for recovery. The road,

the rail, the port, investments and

unis - all very important. And also,

importantly, to continue that

first-home owners' boost for a

while. How heroic are some of your

assumptions of zero growth this

year coming back within four years

to around 4.5%? I think they're

very conservative assumptions. The

Treasury going to some lengths in

the documentation to say why that

is the case. I think they're

extremely realistic. You see,

recessions do end. And that's an

important -- that's important,

always, to remember in these

circumstances. We've seen so many

revisions in the past 12 months

about what's happening. The

revisions going out would have to

be on the downside, wouldn't they?

Well, these are very conservative

assumptions. It could be that it is

higher as we come out of the

esession with a lot of spare

capacity, if growth picks up

globally, growth picks up here. It

could even be higher. They are very

conservative projections from the

Treasury. And realistic, I believe.

It seems that there might be a bit

of political intent in the Budget -

most of the pain comes in the later

years, beyond the next election? No,

not at all. What we have to do at

the moment, because of the global

recession, is to support jobs now.

That's what the infrastructure

spending is about, that's what the

first home owners' boost is about.

We withdraw that gradually. We withdraw that gradually as global

growth returns. Treasurer, thanks

for being with us. Thank you.

Finance market reaction to the

Budget - let's get the latest with

Frank Coletta. Thank you very much

for that, Ron. As we've heard, the

Budget is firmly back in the red,

with a record $58 billion deficit

tipped for the next financial year.

That's thanks to a $22 billion nation-building drive aimed at

getting more people into jobs and also boosting the economy.

Economists say the stimulus could

prompt the Reserve Bank to take a back seat.

back seat.

Well, in terms of interest rates,

the Government is stimulated the

economy quite significantly. The

Reserve Bank can stay on the

sidelines. If there was further

problems in the global economy, the

Reserve Bank certainly has got the

ammunition to cut interest rates.

In terms of business conditions,

this Budget is very much pro-growth.

Almost everyone emerges as a winner,

whether you're a pensioner, small

business or ordinary individual

earning an income. Certainly

everyone seems to be winning. Craig

James from CommSec there.

More on the local reaction in a

moment. The focus on Wall Street

turned to General Motors early,

with shares in that company at a

76-year low. The stock plunging

more than 22%. A rise in energy

shares offset a sell-off in financials as well. Forecast.

Checking news websites from around

the world this morning - the

'Moscow Times' says a helicopter

that crashed in southern Russia

killing four people received - was

cleared, rather, for flight three

days before crash. 'The Guardian'

reports the widening scandal

involving British MPs' use of

taxpayer-funded ecpence claims

And Indonesian police have arrested

a group of illegal Afghani

immigrants bound for Australia.

We'll have more Budget coverage

after the break, as well as the

rest of today's top stories,

including claims Matthew Johns will

be stood down indefinitely from his

television job over that group-sex scandal. Stay with us. GOOD MORNING, I'M FIONA NELSON

FIRST, AN A-C-T CORONER SAYS, SUSAN WINBURN, WAS CLEARLY MURDERED IN HER HOME FIVE YEARS AGO, BUT THERE'S NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO PRESS CHARGES, AGAINST THE FOUR MAIN SUSPECTS. THE 45 YEAR OLD, WAS KILLED IN HER HOME AT GORDON. THE CORONER SAYS, NEIL KELLY, IAN KELLY, AND LEANNE MADDEN, WERE INVOLVED IN THE MURDER ... AND JOEL ROSS WAS AWARE OF THE KILLING. BUT THERE'S NO EVIDENCE TO FIND ANY OF THEM GUILTY. LIBERAL LEADER, ZED SESELJA SAYS, LAWS HAVE TO BE CHANGED, TO STOP POLITICAL PARTIES, USING PUBLIC SPACE FOR ADS. HE SAYS, THE LABOR PARTY, USED THE CANBERRA HOSPITAL, TO POST ITS POLITICAL MESSAGES, IN THE LEAD UP TO LAST YEAR'S ELECTION. AND SESELJA SAYS, THE A-L-P HAD POLITICISED PUBLIC MONEY, TO PROMOTE ITSELF... AND IT'S TIME THAT THE RULES WERE CHANGED. THE GLOBAL RECESSION, CAN BE PUT DOWN TO CREDIT CARDS, AND COMPUTERS... IF YOU BELIEVE MEMBERS, AT THE COOMA SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB. CLUB MEMBERS, TOLD THE COOMA MONARO EXPRESS, THAT LENDING CREDIT, HAS CAUSED THE GLOBAL MARKETS TO

CRASH. BUT THEY SAY, PEOPLE WILL GET THROUGH IT, BECAUSE IT'S NOTHING, COMPARED WITH THE GREAT DEPRESSION OF THE 19-30'S AND 40'S. AND THE BRUMBIES HAVE ARRIVED IN AUCKLAND, AHEAD OF THIS WEEKEND'S CLASH WITH THE CHIEFS.

IT'S THE LAST SUPER 14 CLASH OF THE REGULAR SEASON, AND IT'S A MUST WIN FOR THE BRUMBIES, IF THEY'RE HAVE ANY HOPE OF MAKING THE FINALS SERIES. THIS WEEKEND'S TEAM WILL BE ANNOUNCED TODAY, AHEAD OF FRIDAY NIGHT'S GAME. NOW HAVING A LOOK AT TODAY'S WEATHER... FINE AND MOSTLY SUNNY CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TODAY - A BROAD RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE A-C-T IS EXPECTED TO WEAKEN TOMORROW. LOOKING ACROSS THE NATION NOW - A FINE AND SUNNY DAY AHEAD FOR BOTH CANBERRA AND SYDNEY - A SHOWER OR TWO FOR MELBOURNE AND ADELAIDE CHECKING WHAT TO EXPECTED ACROSS SOUTHERN NEW SOUTH WALES TODAY - MOSTLY SUNNY FOR DUBBO 21 THE TOP - SUNNY FOR DUBBO 21 THE TOP - FROST THEN SUNNY AND 14 FOR ORANGE

MOSTLY SUNNY FOR BOWRAL 16 THE TOP - CLOUD INCREASING

WITH A HIGH OF SIX FOR PERISHER MOSTLY CLEAR SKIES FOR MUDGEE 19 - 20 THE TOP FOR PARKES - JUST THREE DEGREES FOR THREDBO TODAY

FOR MUDGEE 19 - 20 THE TOP FOR PARKES - JUST THREE DEGREES FOR THREDBO TODAY LOOKING AHEAD - TOMORROW - WILL BE WINDY, WITH A POSSIBLE LATE SHOWER SATURDAY .

This program is captioned live.

This is Ten's Early News. Today,

the Budget we had to have. We have

seen a downturn in global economic conditions unprecedented in our lifetimes.

Australians to work longer and pay

more under the biggest Budget

deficit in the nation's history.

And under pressure - Matthew Johns

flies home for crisis talks with

Channel Nine bosses, his future at

the network hanging in the balance

over a group-sex scandal. over a group-sex scandal.

Heading Ten's Early News -

pensioners are the big winners from

Wayne Swan's second Budget, despite

a record $58 billion deficit. The

Treasurer is forecasting $220

billion in deficits over the next

four years, with 1 million people

unemployed and the economy only

returning to growth in 2010. The

global recession has been unleashed

on Australia with a brutal,

uncompromising force. This is the

biggest Budget deficit in modern

Australian history. It is the

biggest debt in modern Australian

history. Despite the debt, the

single, aged, carers, deisabled and

veterans' pensions will rise by

more than $32 a week, and $10 for

couples. But Australians will have

to work longer to pay off the

record deficit, with the pension

age to rise from 65 to 67 starting in 2017.

While pensioners are cheering, the

Budget has been criticised for

ignoring sole parents and the

unemployed. Industry and business unemployed. Industry and business

groups remain concerned about the

record debt levels. Pensioners

remain the biggest and happiest

winners. The Government has not

only listened to the concerns of

older Australians and particularly

the most vulnerable, but it's

actually delivered substantial

reform. But sole parents and the

unemployed miss out. This is the

Budget of the biggest loser. Those

who were demonised in the past have

emerged as the forgotten people

again. Industry is more positive,

believing the Budget will support

jobs and it's applauded the pension

increases and infrastructure

spending. It remains, though,

concerned about the way forward.

Look, I think everyone should be

worried about the debt levels,

because they are very high. They're

not high relative to many of our

trading partners. Unions are trading partners. Unions are

optimistic. There's no doubt that

it sets us up for jobs now, jobs in

the medium-term. Doctors hope

changes to the health-insurance

rebate won't pressure the public

system. It actually means that all

Australians earning over $74,000 a

year will either pay more for

private health insurance or they'll

pay more for their Medicare levy

surcharge. Budgets live or die in

the Senate. In the coming days, be

running a Green tape measure over

this Budget. We'll also be looking

at some of the unfairness that's

built into it, and trying to remedy

those faults. No matter how hard

you try, some are always going to

debt! be hard to please. $300 billion of

Let's get reaction now from the

President of the ACTU, Sharon

Burrows, talking with us live. The

Government promised to protect jobs.

You must be pleased with the $14.5

billion public works program? Look,

no question. When you look at that no question. When you look at that

infrastructure spend - $22 billion

in all - roads, rail, port, clean

energy, schools, hospitals - that's

the biggest injection we've seen

for well over 15-20 years. It's

about jobs. In the short term, it

will protect jobs, set us up for

medium-term growth, and the

infrastructure will actually make

sure that competitive recovery is

what we're all about. So that what we're all about. So that

capacity, that productive capacity

in recovery, to allow us to compete,

particularly in regard to a low-

carbon future. On the jobs front,

you couldn't ask for more, and

we've now got to get on with the

job. One of the biggest concerns,

of course, is the predicted 1

million people out of work in the

next two years. How do we prepare

for 8.5% unemployment? Well, we've

been there before, sadly. It's

devastating. We don't believe, to

be honest, that we have to lose

that many. There are measures by

which we can work with employers

where production is downsized -

we've seen New Zealand with a 9-day

fortnight, Germany, the Scandinavian countries with flex

security or flex insurance. We do

need to look at restructuring our

social base to keep a cohesive

labour force, to keep them labour force, to keep them

reskilled and retooled. The skills

architecture is there. We have to

work with business to see what we

can do. Devastating. What's really

optimistic and goes back to that

investment is the Treasury forecast

540,000 jobs growth. That's pretty

It terrific, where we are right now.

It will be tough, and we need to

make sure there's some compassion make sure there's some compassion

along the way. But I'm confident

that last night was absolutely the

investment we need. You mention

there working with business - one

of the key elements is to get

business to take on more workers.

Has the Budget done enough to

encourage them to do that? Well,

small business certainly should be

happy. They've got a doubling of

the investment allowance. That's a

remarkably generous piece. And

should give them the capacity to

retool. In that environment, we

would hope, with growth picking up,

that they would be in a much better

position, and of course even big

business retains the investment

allowance to half of that. The

investment in the infrastructure investment in the infrastructure

piece, of course, will spin off in piece, of course, will spin off in

jobs, and terms of services and manufacturing

they'll find themselves wanting to business generally. So I think jobs, and that's got to be good for

concerned? No comment, mate. Do you apologise to the young woman this stage, mate. Thank you. Do you happened? I've got no comment at Matthew, do you regret what want them dead. I hate them so much. I hate them. They disgust me. I had a gun, I'd shoot them right now. story was told on television. If I story was told on television. If I involving a New Zealand woman whose we'll certainly be working hang onto skilled workers, and

apologise? No comment at this stage,

mate. Surely an apology is worth -

surely it's time for an apology!!

No charges were laid, but the woman

says six members of the Cronulla

Sharks, including Johns, had sex

with her in a Christchurch hotel

room in 2002. She's since been

suicidal and under the care of a

psychiatrist. NRL boss David Gallop

psychiatrist. NRL boss David Gallop

could not hide his disgust as the

game plunged to new depths. I again

offer my apology on behalf of the

game for the pain those women

experienced. Former sex discrimination commissioner

proGoward says rugby league needs

to do more to change the attitudes

of its players. That means no more

pay-offs, no more so-called

confidential settlements with women

confidential settlements with women

who make these accusations because

the clubs can't afford the

publicity. Matthew Johns is now

expected to meet with the network's

management to discuss his future.

The royal commission into the

Victorian bushfires has heard that

towns weren't warned in time about

the threat of fire. Day two of the

inquiry revealed that, while the

fire's movement was predicted by

the firefighting specialists, those leave leading

the firefighting effort were not the firefighting effort were n

informed. This is predictions, as

you say - what you work off a lot

is the intelligence, what you're

seeing and hearing from the ground.

The town of Strathewen wrrbgts 27

residents died, received no warning

at all.

The Government is providing

consular assistance to an

Australian doctor facing child sex

abuse charges in the Philippines.

car in Manila The 47-year-old was arrested in his

car in Manila on Friday night with

an alleged pimp and a young boy. If

he's found guilty, the doctor,

who's been working for the World

Health Organization, could be

jailed for life.

And memorial services have been

held across south-western China to

remember the thousands of people

killed in a massive earthquake a

year ago. A crowd marked a minute's

silence at a ceremony in front of a

destroyed school. Wreaths were laid

destroyed school. Wreaths were laid

to honour the 90,000 people killed

in the quake. Nearly 18,000 people

are still listed as missing.

Collingwood remains sick and sorry

after suffering its biggest-ever

loss to St Kilda. Not only were the

Magpies humiliated - their casualty

list continues to grow.

There's not much to get excited

about on the field at Collingwood, and very little off

and very little off it - the Pies' injury

injury crisis has got even worse,

the Monday-night game against the

Saints compounded by a rare

occurrence of Josh Fraser's knee

injury. It's the knee he's had some

problems with - his posteerier cruciate ligament. There certainly

was an incident, but he might have

stretched it in a contest on the

stkpwroupd. Like Fraser, Dane Swan

is also a doubtful

is also a doubtful starter in

Sunday's blockbuster against the

Blues. The injury list has blown out to epidemic proportions.

A 6-day break not helping their

cause. Medhurst, Davis, should be

OK. Didak - touch-and-go.

Fremantle's Byron Schammer was last

night cleared of a

night cleared of a striking charge by the AFL Tribunal.

Gold Coast Titans forward Anthony

Laffranchi will front the NRL judiciary tonight to fight a

striking charge. Meantime, Melbourne five-eighth Brett Finch

has made an early guilty plea to a dangerous-contact charge. This

attempt to save a try recently

outlawed by the game's rule-makers.

Yeah, the new rule - as soon as I

did it, I

did it, I thought "I can't be doing

that anymore." Finch is now free to

play against Canberra on Monday

night.

Among the Budget headlines is a $22

billion nation-building drive aimed

at getting more people into jobs

and helping our economy out of

recession. For analysis, I'm joined

live by Juliana Roadley from

CommSec. Do you think it all goes

far enough, though? I think it is enough in

enough in this environment. We've

already seen two stimulus packages

being released. This is as long as

the super funds and private

business can get in behind these

measures. The $22 billion nation- building

building plan should be able to

help create a bit of a boost in the building sector, in local

government, and also in engineer

asking transport firms. We should

see a gain coming along. How do you

expect the market will react today

to the Budget proposals? I think it will be

will be very positive. The fact

that the deficit came in at the low

end of the forecast, also the fact

that you've got the big rating

agency s around the world coming

out very early and saying they were

very positive on the Budget, should

help us keep our AAA reteing, which

will help our markets today.

Unfortunately, the changes to the

rebate in the Medicare sector could

actually affect some of the medical stock today. Even though

stock today. Even though we're now

talking about the possibility of an

increase in the private health

insurance costs could react in that

sector as well. Long term, the fact

that we've seen tax cuts ask

there's more stimulus out there in

the markets coulded mean the RBA

could sit on its hands and not cut

rates in the next few months, so

that might be a bit of a negative. Thank you. Thanks.

Obviously all eyes on the market

post-Budget today. Thank you, Frank.

Recapping our main story this

Recapping our main story this

morning - This Budget is forged in

the fire of the most challenging global economic conditions since

the great depression. Treasurer

Wayne Swan outlines his historic

$58 billion deficit. Aged

pensioners among the big winners,

despite having to work an skpru two

years before being eligible.

That's all we have in Ten's Early

News for this morning. I'm Ron

Wilson. Seeia again at 6:00

Wilson. Seeia again at 6:00

tomorrow morning. And I'm Frank

Coletta. Enjoy your day.

Supertext Captions by Red Bee Media Australia - www.redbeemedia.com.au.