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(generated from captions) It's... Oh, no! Drats! Don's got the $50! Making it $500 for Don! to stump up the cash. Girls, time for you of wander over there and have a beer And as for us, Joe, we'll just sort experience, I think. and forget about this whole Joe, here's your dollar, mate. Let's see the money. Now... a $1 scratchie on the way home ..I think I'd just go buy a little better. and hope that works out I hope the dairy farmers of Australia And in the meantime, in the next couple of months. are milking overtime paid for at some point soon, Joe. I hope that you get that holiday Good on you, mate. Thanks for being with us.

Thanks for being with us. Thanks, girls! for your company. Lovely having it. And thank you as always to seeing you next time. 'Bye. I look forward This program is captioned live. Tonight - starved their daughter to death. A court hears how two parents slowly The Howard and Costello team try to hose down Kevin Rudd's final pitch to voters.

new leadership. I stand ready to offer this country breakthrough The incredible scientific into replacement body parts. that turns human skin being built in Sydney's back-yard. And the $100 million Arabian oasis VOICEOVER: This is Seven News with Ian Ross.

Good evening.

The story of the little girl in her Hawks Nest home who allegedly starved to death

just gets worse, a slow and torturous death. with evidence that she suffered their case against her parents, Prosecutors have presented departments knew she was in trouble. revealing three Government

The allegations are horrendous, describing how Blakely and Sharyn Ward

neglected, malnourished, imprisoned their little daughter to death. and slowly tortured we can't name the 7-year-old. For legal reasons, Police say, when found

at the Wards' Hawks Nest home, and covered in filth. the girl's body was skeletal She weighed 9 kilos, a pathologist noting: Some of the allegations

police found the little girl of the state in which for us to broadcast. are simply too horrifying with homicide detectives, But in interviews

both the accused allegedly said no health problems they could foresee

to the child's death. which could have led that the night before: Blakely Ward allegedly told police And that the next morning, with the racing form guide: as Sharyn Ward was preoccupied

the couple dodged attempts from DoCS Police also allege and Education and the Departments of Housing to see the girl and her sisters. On one visit in March: a handyman allegedly saw: In September,

the Wards didn't ask for bail. Today, Kevin Rudd has made his final big pitch before Saturday's election,

to government bureaucracy. promising to take a meat-axe But John Howard is warning voters would mean changing the country. changing from the Coalition to Labor

of going up in smoke, With their government at risk they're trying desperately to put Labor's fire out. the next two or three days. I'm still focused on a vintage fire engine. But they might need more than Kevin Rudd is a red-hot favourite The polls say

in his final campaign pitch but hosing down expectations to the National Press Club.

Whoever wins this election on Saturday will win by a nose. the government hadn't done. He highlighted things the meat-axe ..has not systematically applied for the better part of a decade. to its own administrative bloating Dr Peter Shergold - That made lunch for the head of Mr Howard's department - a little harder to digest as Mr Rudd laid out what he would like to achieve by 2010. for students in secondary schools, New computers being rolled out and health services, improved hospital WorkChoices abolished. And... Kyoto ratified. Declaring... responsibilities of government. I stand ready for the APPLAUSE pasted Health Minister Tony Abbott His deputy, Julia Gillard, for being late to a televised debate earlier in the campaign. to her own with the Treasurer. Today, she was 15 minutes late the weather, all the rest of it, the traffic is chockered up. by debating myself. So I began the debate You'll be pleased to know I won narrowly on points.

LAUGHTER beginning tonight With the advertising blackout about to launch, but the recorded phone message blitz his final pitch John Howard's preparing with a line about the past. warning about the future you do change the country. If you change the government, in the 1996 election It's a line first used that brought him to power - but not by him. the country changes. When the government changes, It didn't work then. He hopes it does this time. And later, Chris Bath continues our in-depth analysis of both sides' policies, the hot topic of the workplace. tonight looking at Despite having just days to live, court hearing in Concord Hospital. Bernie Banton has faced a bed-side

the asbestos campaigner say Lawyers for that's keeping him going it's his will to survive in his final fight for compensation. to go to court Bernie Banton is too ill so today the court came to him. three weeks ago. He made his last public appearance is targeting Now, the tireless campaigner James Hardie subsidiary Amoco for a second round of compensation.

he was able to give his evidence, I think it meant a lot to him that he was able to answer them, that he was asked questions, and that he was able to talk a little bit has done to him. about what this disease in damages in 2000 Mr Banton was awarded $800,000 after successfully claiming of working for James Hardie. his asbestosis was the result

he said he was angry that: In a sworn affidavit, Judge John O'Meally Today, lawyers for both sides joined at Concord Hospital for this latest chapter. Mr Banton is now claiming exemplary damages, arguing that James Hardie should also be held accountable for the mesothelioma he's suffering in addition to the asbestosis. It's a race against time - exemplary damages can only be paid to those who are alive. His oncologist, Professor Stephen Clarke, told the tribunal Mr Banton had made a pact with his wife to die at home. I think it's his will that's keeping him going and that he wants to see this case finished in his lifetime. Former Olympic Kayaker Nathan Baggaley has been arrested following a series of drug raids in the State's far north. Detectives searched homes and factories in Byron Bay and Ballina, arresting 31-year-old Baggaley and his 25-year-old brother Dru. They expect to charge the pair with the manufacture and supply of a chemical used to make ecstasy. A party hire venue in western Sydney has been shut down after police were assaulted during a brawl last Friday night. Officers were attacked by revellers who had been drinking at the Rydalmere hall. Parramatta Council claims the hire company was operating illegally. In our opinion, it was a complete firetrap that put people's lives at risk and we've no tolerance of that. The venue's owner Badawi Abboud has also been fined. Australian scientists and medical ethics campaigners

have welcomed an overseas breakthrough turning human skin into stem cells. It could mean revolutionary treatments sooner for patients, but researchers here say they need more funding now to make further advances. His mind is razor-sharp but his body is wasting away.

Motor-neurone disease sufferer Paul Brock reason to smile following today's stem cell breakthrough. This is absolutely fantastic. I mean, I heard one of the scientists this morning say it's almost like the Wright brothers - you know, the first flight.

A flight of fancy, now a reality. Using adult skin, scientists in Japan and the United States have successfully created embryonic stem cells. The techniques that have reported today use genetic engineering

to transform these cells. They injected the skin cells with a virus to reprogram them into an embryonic state. From there, they can be grown into cells for any human organ like these heart cells. It's great news for people

with diseases like diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Human trials are still years away but now embryos won't have to be destroyed. Most people are uneasy about creating human lives and destroying them for science. has been cleared, Now that a major ethical hurdle

the main concerns for stem cell researchers here in Australia are financial.

Clearly, more funding would be of value in order for researchers in Australia to attempt to match what's being done. The more minds working towards cures, the better. Aborigines have used a traditional smoking ceremony to help an Arab sheikh launch a 6-star resort just over the Blue Mountains. Work started today on the Oasis, where millionaires will enjoy a level of luxury most of us will never know. Dropping down into the Wolgan Valley, it could be just another shearing shed. But no farmer ever had a shed like this. Flight attendants on the steps.

Good morning. How are you? ORCHESTRAL MUSIC An orchestra. Waiters everywhere. What are these? Sashimi tuna slices on an olive tapenade. Very nice. Oh, it's beautiful. Airconditioning and silver service inside and out back, even the portable toilets had real flowers and fluffy towels. A pretty flash marquee as Emirates start to build their $100 million resort in the valley. The boss of Emirates is royalty - Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Your Highness - we don't often call people Your Highness in the bush. "Call me Ahmed", he said. They'll build 40 luxury suites on the old farm land. The locals approve. But it'll cost a bit to stay there. Initially we'll look at probably about $1,500 to $1,700 a night. But that for two, with meals. It is a beautiful place and they'll do up the old buildings. If only they could do something about the flies. The flies is - usually you cannot control the weather and may be the flies, you know. Still, they might just work on that. It'll take a couple of years to build. Ahead in Seven News, our special election report on workplace laws.

Also, the Navy rescues boat people off Australia's coast. And who is Australia's Man of the Year? We must be careful. Now's not the time to hand control of our economy to fanatics, They will stuff our economy. The Navy has rescued 16 people from a sinking boat off Australia's north-west coast.

The over-crowded vessel was discovered in the Timor Sea 650 kilometres west of Darwin. 10 children and six adults were aboard. Some fell into the water during the rescue. The good news is they were quickly recovered, no-one was hurt and they are safe and secure on an Australian naval vessel. The Indonesians are being sent to the Christmas Island detention centre. Returning to our election coverage now, and the key issue of workplace relations. Kevin Rudd says if he's elected, he'll dump WorkChoices. But many voters are unclear on what the Labor alternative might be. The Australian workplace. A hive of industry and a nest of hornets. No issue in this campaign is more divisive. To me, WorkChoices is just plain wrong. The Coalition doesn't call it WorkChoices any more but John Howard reckons he knows what drives economic security. And that's work.

His blueprint? Stick with: A single national IR system. A Fair Pay Commission to decide minimum wages. Australian Workplace Agreements. And exemptions from unfair dismissal laws. Don't risk this.

Business agrees, saying Australia can't afford to retreat. We don't wanna see either the Liberal or the Labor parties

rolling back on WorkChoices. The Chamber of Commerce has crunched the numbers, and claims But Kevin Rudd swears he'll tear it up. If elected, we will abolish WorkChoices. Well, some of it, anyway. In fact, Labor would effectively keep many aspects of WorkChoices, including a central authority, and retain its anti-strike provisions like secret ballots.

And AWAs will continue for years, at least until they expire. Labor's plan is to: Encourage collective agreements.

Create a new office called Fair Work Australia. It'd be two years away. Its work would include and conditions, deciding minimum wages

resolving unfair dismissal claims,

and special assistance for young workers.

The left wing says that's not what it expects from Labor.

We're campaigning for an end to all of WorkChoices and Labor's policy goes a long way short.

The workers' battle, he says, is far from over. Regardless of who wins the election, we will still need to come out onto the streets to defend our rights. And a reminder - to see election night done right, watch Seven's live coverage from 5:30 on Saturday night. People in wheelchairs are showing Sydney that, despite their challenges, some are pretty tough. They're putting their bodies on the line to make the Beijing Paralympics in the sport they call 'murder ball'. It's skilful, violent, fast-paced and...did I mention violent? But it's straight back up again for the next big hit.

Just part of the rush, noise and excitement of wheelchair rugby. Steelers! against arch-rivals New Zealand. This is the Oceania Championships

The game's been around about 30 years now. There's even a pro competition in the US. It's officially the most violent game on wheels and it makes it all the more special when it's against the Kiwis! They're ranked 2 in the world. We're 6th. 18-year old Ryley Batt is rated the world's best player. What's the best thing about it, do you reckon? Contact! Course it is. Any contact sports, mate. When they fall over, that scares me. Australia won by 3 points. Every player and coach has his own story to tell. I've got no legs, only three fingers on one side and two on the other. When I was 15, broke my neck playing rugby so I'm a C5 tetraplegic. I broke my neck in a surfing accident. And all agree on one thing. What's the best thing about this game? The people, the friendships you make just like any other sport. It's the people, and experiences that no-one can take away from you. The winner of Saturday's final is bound for Beijing. It was the land of beautiful people at Fox Studios last night for 'GQ Magazine's Man of the Year Awards. Where good-looking men go, women are sure to follow, with the mini dress proving popular. Seven's Tom Williams took out Most Stylish Man of the Year. This is, this is very, very kind and I'm totally stoked. This is fantastic. was a presenter at the ceremony Our own Sara Groen

which gives out awards in 13 categories. Time for sport with Matthew White and it's crunch time for Australian soccer. The Olyroos are fighting for a place in the Olympics.

Did you get an invite? No, you're too suave.

More on that next. Also tonight - Brett Lee reveals the inspiration behind his comeback. And why the Panthers are ready to fire back to the top of the NRL. VOICEOVER: Your vote is a valuable thing, so, on election day, it's important you make it count by voting correctly. You'll receive two ballot papers - a green one for the House of Representatives, and a large white one for the Senate. For the green ballot paper, you put a '1' in the box beside the you put a 1' in the box beside the candidate who is your first choice, '2' in the box beside your second choice, and so on till you've numbered every box. For the white ballot paper, you can just mark '1' above the line for the party or group of your choice. Or you can choose to fill in O y u can choose to fill in every square below the line in the order of your preference.

If you get it wrong, don't worry - just ask for another ballot paper. Your vote is a valuable thing. Make it count. Fresh from winning Man of the Series honours against Sri Lanka, speed machine Brett Lee says he wants to play on for another four years and spearhead Australia's World Cup defence. In an exclusive interview with Seven News, Lee also revealed how doctors feared for his career due to injury. Up close and personal with the fastest bowler in the world. Man of the Series against Sri Lanka - the man of the moment in Australian cricket. COMMENTATOR: Got him! But Brett Lee's success has defied the odds, according to medical experts. His last injury setback earlier this year

cost him a spot at the World Cup and again raised concerns his career may have been finished. It was familiar territory for Lee. It happened when I was 17 when I first got diagnosed with stress fractures in my lower back. You know, I've had doctors telling me that I won't be able to run again or bowl fast or whatever. My aim as a 9-year-old child was to play for Australia and be the world's fastest bowler. From World Cup disappointment to spearheading Australia's attack to a 2-0 win against Sri Lanka. No Glenn McGrath or Shane Warne, and stepped up to the plate. but Lee responded

What was the thing that drove you the most to get back as part of a successful combination? Um, the baggy green cap.

When you've got that little bit of felt on your head and you are walking out knowing that, you know, the history behind it, the past players, you think of Don Bradman, Steve Waugh, Rod Marsh, you know, the greats of Australian cricket that have been there. 398 Test cricketers have only ever worn that baggy green cap. Ashes success, a World Cup in 2003. So what's left for the blond speedster? I do want the make the next World Cup. I think I have at least another four years left in me. But before all that Brett is going to embark on a TV career and we're pleased to announce he's going to do it right here on Seven. He'll be involved in a variety of projects and the fast bowler is looking forward to getting in front of the camera. Look, it's the number one choice. Seven has gone from strength to strength and you always want to associate yourself with the best.

Brett will be all over the summer's cricket action here on Seven News. Fullback Rhys Wesser has tipped his Panthers to be the big movers in next year's National Rugby League competition. No real bullets today and the boys from Penrith fired blanks on their way to the wooden spoon last year. However, Wesser is finally over a foot problem and says the side cannot wait to make amends. Yeah, no, it was a terrible year. One I'd like to forget and, you know - bring on next year. The bonding doesn't end at paintball with the Panthers embarking on a 2-day hike in the Blue Mountains tomorrow. The summer of golf starts tomorrow and Australia's best are queuing up for a shot at the famous gold jacket - the Australian Masters. While Kiwi Michael Campbell took some tips from Shane Warne, world number 38 Stuart Appleby says there's no doubt over the Masters' prestige. This is such a premium tournament that when I look at it there's no reason why I can't be fired up. There's such a history here. The tradition continues here on Seven from 11:30 tomorrow. The Olyroos have made a disastrous start

to their crucial Olympic qualifier in North Korea. The hosts went ahead within 10 minutes and lead 1-0 into the second half. The Olyroos lost captain and Sydney FC defender Mark Milligan with a knee injury. The North Koreans pounced shortly after his departure. COMMENTATOR: Vukovic has been beaten. Disaster for the Olyroos. A draw would guarantee Australia qualifies for Beijing.

We'll keep you posted. It's great to

have braoet Lee. If he have braoet Lee. If he wants to sit

here, I could take his spot on here, I could take his spot on the

Boxing Day test. Be careful what you wish wish for. Had wish for. Had nice things to say.

He's off to a good

He's off to a good start. Bowling, Brett. Checking finance now. And a mixed day on the share market

with banking stocks hit again by the US credit crisis. But resource companies were up as oil hit $99 US a barrel. Sara's next with the weather

and we've got some storms on the horizon. And they're headed for Sydney, Ian. I'll tell you where and when after the break. For more chances to win, ask for a Powerball Megapick. You could: Go back to teacher's strikes, airline strikes, petrol strikes, bus strikes, train strikes, wharf strikes?

Tell them to (BLEEP) off.

Our spell of warm, sunny weather has finally come to an end. Showers and storms on the way tonight and tomorrow. In town today, the city hit a top of 25 degrees. It's now 23. Heavy hail and rain pounded Katoomba this afternoon, but those thunderstorms didn't quite make it to the city although some cloud drifted across from the west a few hours ago. Temperatures stayed in the mid 20s along the coast warming up to 30 around Paramatta, Liverpool, and Campbelltown. The mountains hit 27 before the storms kicked in. From the satellite you can see the dense showery cloud pushing up from Victoria with this active trough.

Parts of western Victoria

had their best rain in more than 6 months from that system. And eastern NSW should also fare quite well with moderate to heavy rainfall totals expected over the next few days. Brisbane, a late storm 28. A rainy day for Canberra 21. Showers clearing from Melbourne, also 21. Fine in Hobart and Adelaide. Perth, sunny and 33.

So there'll be some isolated showers and thunderstorms in the west tonight, extending to the coast with fresh winds. Continuing wet tomorrow. Much cooler, especially up in the mountains where it's going to reach just 17. Low 20s for the city and coast. A touch warmer westwards - 23 to 24. Looking ahead, and onshore winds are going to maintain showers. Good news for our catchments - they should get 10 to 25mm tomorrow. Friday, 22 degrees.

Mid 20s over the weekend. And the cooler weather should bring some welcome relief to hayfever and asthma sufferers over the next few days. Before I go, today we launched our new weather blog on the Seven News website, so if you have any weather questions I'd love to hear from you. I'll be posting answers each Wednesday, Roscoe.

And that's Seven News to now. Don't forget, if you have a story for us to investigate I'm Ian Ross. Thanks for your company. Goodnight. What does this 5-cent piece buy?

Not much - unless you want a holiday. Hello. I'm Anna Coren. At last, the air fare war hits its lowest point -

5-cent flights, with more bargains on the way. A doctor and his dark past - drug use and jail for rape. Now he's back in a family practice. Passion and conviction as Australia's celebrities argue the election. The happiest day of their lives - your wedding, because they'll overcharge every step of the way. Budget airline Jetstar will offer our lowest-ever domestic air fares this evening - one-way at 5 cents, including tax and charges. It's trying to get a head start on the Singapore Airlines-owned Tiger Airways, which launches from Melbourne on Friday. The only catch - you need to be registered, and it won't go everywhere you want to go. David Richardson reports on a battle for the skies which you'll win. It's the smallest coin in our currency, but 5 cents doesn't buy you much these days. In your average lolly shop it's impossible to get the old 5-cent mixed bag of sweets.

Even one lone ripe raspberry costs 11 cents. But believe it or not, from tonight, can buy you an airline ticket. the humble 5-cent piece

We decided to offer the lowest ever airfare in Australian history at 5 cents. Australia's low-cost airline Jetstar has fired the first shot in the latest battle for a slice of the lucrative aviation market. With Singapore Airlines' cheap carrier Tiger just days from entering the scene with its planned $10 fares, Jetstar is getting in first. We're targeting these airfares at travel periods when it's traditionally hard to get people to travel