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(generated from captions) The 4.30 News with David Johnston. This program is LIVE captioned. Good afternoon. In this bulletin - AFL fans jam Melbourne's CBD. A huge budget surplus

no more over high petrol prices. but the government says it can do And a mass exodus Hurricane Rita. as America's south braces for have lined the streets of Melbourne But first, an estimated 150,000 fans ahead of tomorrow's AFL grand final. for a glimpse of their team

a 72-year hoodoo The Swans are hoping to break three wins in their 19-year history. while the Eagles are keen to make it sports presenter Basil Zempilas. For more, I'm joined by Seven

Hello, Basil. the traditional grand final parade? What was the atmosphere like during

Yes, good afternoon no you. The

simple answer is as enthusiastic

and as colourful as ever. There

were some who wonder Wood no

grand final Melbourne-based team whether the

grand final parade would suffer. As

you can see, there was no shortage

of enthusiasm. I think it is fair

to say the West Coast Eagles fans

outnumbered the Swans supporters

but a good cross section of fans on

the streets to say hello to their

by their heroes. They were very relaxed led

by their captains and coaches. Fair

to say, yes, both teams pretty

relaxed as they made their way

through the streets of Melbourne.

We mentioned the fans, lots of them,

very noisy, very enthusiastic.

had to say. Here is a little bit of what they

Go the Eagles! Absolutely beside ourselves.

I'm going to die before they win. I'm 61 and I'm thinking I don't care about the others. I only have eyes for the Swans, I don't care about the others. I only have eyes for the Swans, their final paces this afternoon. The Eagles were put through What's the feeling in both camps?

Very interesting feeling. Both very

relaxed as a mentioned. Sydney have

taken something of a different

approach. Just a walk in the park

near the hotel. At the

near the hotel. At the MCG behind

me a very important training

session for the West Coast Eagles.

Not so much in the routine but

really all eyes on one man and that

is the fitness of Phil Matera. He

played against the Sydney Swans in

the qualifying final three weeks

ago. He didn't play in the

preliminary final. He looked preliminary final. He looked okay,

moved a little gingerly but I get

the feeling the West Coast Eagles

are going to go with him in tomorrow's grand final. will take home the Cup? And Basil, who are you predicting

It is not

possible. I wouldn't be West

Australian if I didn't say the West

Coast Eagles can win. I think they

will and usher in a new era

- it is the end of a great end of

an era. I hope it all goes well.

For me it is a bit of a grand final. the Pacific Highway Truck drivers have blockaded in northern New South Wales over petrol prices, out of business. saying the hikes are forcing them out of business.

announced It comes as the Federal Government

of nearly $14 billion, a budget surplus higher than expected. more than $4 billion For more, Gemma Haines in Canberra. I'm joined now by Seven News reporter What are the truck drivers saying?

Like the rest of us, truck the

drivers are fed up with rising fuel

prices. They are angry at the

soring cost and government inax

over the issue. They are calling over the issue. They are calling

for the fuel surcharge to be passed

on to drivers instead of the

trucking companies. Petrol is a

red-hot issue and the Prime

Minister found himself in a firing

line of angry most p motorists who

rang up and had a bit of a go at

him. Let's listen to what caller

had to say. out of my pocket. It's coming straight

and I've got a mortgage Mate, I've got four kids and you're just paying lip service. You're saying you understand. none of you do. You don't understand, If we were were on camera, I could show you graphs price of crude oil has gone up that clearly indicate as the at the bowser. so has the price of petrol I'm not just paying lip service Mate, I do understand and solution to this. but there is no easy, immediate its hands are tied The government claims fuel excise cuts. because it can't afford

to sell that message How hard is it going to be

surplus. with a multibillion-dollar budget

It sure is. The treasurer Peter

Costello came out today announcing

that the Federal Budget surplus is

$4 billion higher than expected.

The government says that The government says that extra

money will not be used to cut the

38 cent a litre skies. To cut that

skies by 1 cent would cost $380

million. Instead treasurer Costello

says they should be dipping into the

the Queensland GST windfall like that offered by

the Queensland government. The

premier had something to say about

passing continues. that. The toing and froing and buck

record profits. The oil companies have been posting that's been made If there is a bonanza and windfall can be directed to motorists. then certainly, some relief Gemma Haines in Canberra, thank you. how a six-year-old girl died A Sydney court has heard instead of cough medicine. after being given the drug methadone Rose Villanueva-Austin Toxicology tests revealed enough to kill an adult. ingested 0.7mg of the drug, are facing Blacktown local court The child's mother and stepfather this afternoon charged with murder. other children from the same house The court has also been told two after ingesting the drug. were admitted to hospital last week

and eight people injured A man has been killed in Melbourne overnight. in a fiery four-vehicle crash in the collision, One car became wedged under a truck which also involved two other sedans. on the Westgate Freeway at Spotswood The accident happened just after midnight. is not yet known. The cause of the crash Rain has begun falling in New Orleans on the Unites States' Gulf Coast. as Hurricane Rita bears down are fleeing the region, Millions of residents due to hit land in the next 24 hours. with the Category 4 monster is virtually at a standstill. Interstate 45 lead north from the Texas coast. As of late this afternoon all roads

the governor has reversed traffic For the first time ever, on the southbound lanes of I-45 express lane out of danger. to try to create a big one-way to all those individuals I want to say something that are stuck in traffic right now - stay calm, stay patient. You've done the right thing. But many drivers have run out of gas waiting to move. The state has dispatched gas tankers, but they have to ride these highway too, and the mayor of Houston says he's looking for a plan B. We have requested for quite some time some military air-lift capability so we can get fuel closer to the spot so it can be delivered. There's gridlock at Houston's George Bush International Airport where 100 screeners didn't show up for their shifts today.

The aeroplanes headed out are all full. But the evacuation plan is working on Galveston Island, its historic town centre and beaches largely abandoned, even the jail evacuated. I am getting the hell out.

Alice Molly and Michael Gee have little money and no car, but want to leave. REPORTER: Did you call the police? The police are coming. They are going to take us, I believe, to the bus. And minutes later a city employee does arrive

island community centre to drive both to the island community centre where buses stand ready to evacuate those with no other means of escape. Many with Katrina on their minds. Ooh, it was scary. City officials say if you haven't left by now, you have got a problem. If you don't leave by now on a bus, you are going to be stuck on a highway in hurricane winds.

The last bus left without 79-year-old Helena Avery.

I am going to stay right here and go down with Rita.

Others feared they would never find a hotel room even if they get through traffic. So they decided to ride it out here. Officials in Galveston are encouraged that Rita's changing path may spare them a direct hit. Still, FEMA is telling everyone to leave

and don't look back until the coast is clear. Next in Seven's 4.30 News - Kate Moss apologises over claims she snorted cocaine. And a passenger's terrifying account of an emergency landing.

Get the home you want with the National's Home Loan Triple Saver. You'll save on a home loan with no application fee or monthly fees, a credit card with no annual fee, and a bank account with no transaction fees. Get moving. Call 13 13 12 today.

This is the 4.30 News. The Federal Government says it will raise concerns about a possible bird flu pandemic at the upcoming APEC summit.

The deadly strain of flu is already on Australia's door step,

with four Indonesians dying in just eight weeks. Prime Minister John Howard has committed $4 million to help Indonesia contain the disease that has killed 64 people since 2003. A passenger involved in yesterday's emergency landing in Los Angeles has given a first-hand account of the horror flight. Pictures taken with his video camera inside the jet show

how the drama unfolded for everyone on board. Shortly after Flight 292 took off, the pilot informed the passengers he had a mechanical problem. A malfunctioning nose wheel on the Airbus A320 was turned sideways and couldn't be straightened out or retracted. The first unusual thing was I woke up and the guy next to me said, "They're having a problem with the landing gear."

On board, Dave Reinitz took out his camcorder and taped a farewell message to his girlfriend just in case. I love you and everything is going to be groovy but if anything happens, you know, take care of everything. As the pilot circled southern California for those three hours, burning off excess fuel,

the whole nation watched on television. So did the passengers, Once we saw that we'd made the national news on the little television screens provided by jetBlue, things got a little bit more tense in the cabin. Some passengers held hands while others cried.

Most of the people, according to those on the plane, remained calm. at Los Angeles International As the plane approached the runway at Los Angeles International on board the passengers were ordered to brace. AIR STEWARD: Brace, brace, brace! As the broken nose wheel touched the runway, a huge cloud of smoke and a shower of sparks shot up from all the friction. But the plane did not catch fire and the pilot was able to keep it straight down the middle of the runway as it skidded to a safe stop. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE And then, for Flight 292 the long ordeal was over. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Passenger Alexandra Jacobs, 6.5 months pregnant, was overjoyed to be back with her husband. My first thought was about my husband and I was concerned, that he would just - I mean, what a horrible thing for him if, you know, you lost your baby and me. But it all ended happily with no-one injured. A fourth man has been charged

over the series of unsuccessful London bombings on 21 July. Hussein Osman was extradicted from Italy to England overnight. Within hours of his arrival, the 27-year-old was charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to murder and explosives offences. Three other men have also been charged over the failed attacks. All four are due to face court in November. An Islamic militant says he will appeal after being sentenced to 10 years jail

in last year's Australian Embassy bombing in Jakarta. Syaiful Bahri was found guilty of helping to prepare the bomb

which killed 10 people as well as the suicide bomber. Judges also found he provided assistance to the attack's alleged masterminds. The Federal Government has welcomed the sentence. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has held talks with rival Angela Merkel in a bid to break the country's political deadlock. Merkel's Christian Democrats won Sunday's election, but the margin was too slim for them to govern alone. The party will hold further talks with the Social Democrats even though both sides acknowledge they have clear differences. The rival leaders both insist on leading any future coalition. Kate Moss has broken her silence about claims she snorted cocaine saying she's sorry she's let people down.

The embattle supermodel and mother-of-one

was forced into a public apology faced with a career that's threatening to self-destruct. This is the first time the supermodel has spoken publicly

since the scandal broke last weekend, but with the loss of lucrative multimillon-ound contracts from H&M, Burberry, Chanel and Rimmel,

Kate Moss has decided it's time for an apology. In a short statement, the 31-year-old said: The model is one of the most photographed women in the world and she's shown amazing resilience in a notoriously fickle business. But it's a business, say insiders, that needs to clean up its act. I think this has been a kind of wake-up call for the fashion industry in general. There have been so many reports this week on the drug abuse that's going on at Fashion Week.

I think a lot of it is widely exaggerated, but I definitely think for new younger models coming into the industry, I think that there'll be a lot more - you know, I think model bookers, modelling agencies, they'll take a lot more care with their young girls and make sure that they're not pushed into this kind of world. According to friends, Kate Moss is said to be devastated, but it won't just be the loss of work that's worrying her. The Metropolitan Police have said they'll also be investigating the drug-taking allegations

that are threatening to destroy one of the most glamorous careers in the world. Time to check the financial markets

with Westpac global chief economist Bill Evans. Hello, Bill. What happened today?

put that in context the total tax

cut that's we have received this

year only cost $3 billion. Small

fall nz the oil price. Retail was

downgraded to a class four. Gold

price down half a per cent. Our

market was pretty much flat today.

The good performance were The good performance were those companies with substantial off

shore business because they are

going to benefit from the Aussie

dollar. Insurance companies did

well and the financial sector have

had another negative day but they

had a solid run recently.

The drop is 95 cents and that I

estimate is the number of year

that's David Johnston has worked in

the industry. They will be watching

the progress of Hurricane Rita and

if it hits the mainland and the

impact it will have on the country.

Now let's take a look at what the weather has in store for tomorrow. David Brown has the details. David. Thanks, David, and good afternoon. Well from the satellite, things are fairly quiet weather-wise around the country.

The tail end of the trough

is producing some showers over the south-west coast. Elsewhere, the sky is generally clear. Tomorrow this belt of high pressure will bring fine weather to eastern Australia while this trough will trigger some thundery showers.

We can see a high starting to push

in towards the Perth region

tomorrow. Let's have a look at the

forecast for the weekend.

That's the latest weather. We'll have more at 6.00. And DJ, That's

it's been an absolute pleasure working with you over the years. Good luck in retirement. Thanks, David. I'll be back right after this short break.

You're watching Seven's 4.30 News. Today we're breaking with the usual format of the bulletin because this is the last time I will sit in this chair.

I have decided after 46 years it's time to retire. And over all those years, even though we've seen some wonderful advances in many fields,

I remember the very first radio bulletin I read in 1959 starting with the words "More trouble in the Middle East tonight." Unfortunately, it seems some things never change. But change in all our lives is inevitable,

so thank you to all those viewers I've met and all those I haven't, especially the thousands who tune in every day at 4.30, including Joan and the tapestry ladies at Barraba in the middle of New South Wales. It's been a privilege to serve behind this desk for so long. Rebecca Maddern will be with you from Monday, but from me, it's goodbye.

For over four decades David Johnston's name has been synonymous with news.

ANNOUNCER: And now here's the Herald Sun Late Night News with David Johnston. Good evening. The assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 was the biggest news event since television began. It was also his first night reading a prime-time bulletin. He quickly earned a name for himself,

covering everything

from the disappearance of Prime Minister Harold Holt and the Westgate Bridge collapse to rock stars. There is a story going round that you, ah, someone, tried to some smuggle pot into the country.

In 1977 he shocked colleagues, quitting to run a newsagency but three years later returned to read news at Channel 10 taking it to No.1 in Melbourne. Good evening, I'm David Johnston. And I'm Jana Wendt.

Seven News lured him back in 1996. He was there for the biggest events of our time,

including the Port Arthur massacre and the funeral of Princess Diana. Good evening. David Johnston from London today. A city subdued after the emotional and physically exhausting funeral and burial of Diana, Princess of Wales. But he could also see the lighter side of life. She's from Queensland and she... urghh!

---- all over me! When the Iraq War began, he was brought in to read a new national afternoon bulletin, which became a permanent fixture. Good afternoon and welcome to this Seven News special report on the strike on Iraq. A witness to history, a leader in his field, but to his friends he will always be known affectionately as DJ.

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