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(generated from captions) trough is West Australian coast. Most of New South Wales was rain today and it should stay like that for a few at least until after the

weekend. To the capitals now: Raisz raze Dry and sunny and 26 Wednesday, 28 on nearly 30 on Friday. So, Virginia, top continues and it will do that for a while, so get out enjoy it, and I will leave it there. Glad you will. I'm worried about those biscuits you're eating tea. Tea, talk of naked ladies you're eating for afternoon

and naked nymphs and the garden - goodness me. Top and naked nymphs and romps in

stories couple and their baby killed as their car was struck couple and their baby were

by a stolen vehicle ran a red light. The by a stolen vehicle after it

that vehicle that's ABC News. Stay with that vehicle also died. And

for the '7:30 Report' coming up next. Enjoy your Goodnight. P- Closed Captions by CSI. And then

the green grass and pasture

growth from that just brings

everybody hope. Tonight on the

7.30 Report - water, water

everywhere. The outback deluge

breaking the grip of

drought. There's nothing like a

flood to re-invigorate the

flood plain, put in the deep

subsoil moisture that even rain

can't do, so we're looking

forward to at least a couple of really good years after this. This Program is Captioned


Great pictures representing

great hope, welcome to the

program. Two Labor premiers

bruised and battered, one down

for the count. That appears to

be the wash-up from the weekend

State elections where voters

turned on two long-term

incumbents. In Tasmania, the

Liberals polled strongest, but it's The Greens who were the

big winners and will no doubt

now hold the balance of power,

possibly in some form of

coalition with the Liberal

Party and its leader Will

Hodgman. South Australia's

Mike Rann, once Australia's

most popular Premier, was in

his own words " given a real hiding" but is likely to cling

to power. The uncertainty will

slow the progress of the Prime

Minister's health reform

package. Already, a proposed

meeting with State Premiers has

been postponed for a week and

health is also the hot topic in

Canberra with a debate between

the Prime Minister and the

Opposition Leader scheduled for

tomorrow. Political Editor

Chris Uhlmann. The electorate

has sent Labor a message. This

is a result for the new believers. And we would expect

to be given the opportunity to

form the next government of

Tasmania. We have to listen to

the message of the people of

this State. We're not in a

position where we're going to

concede victory and nor do I

think the Government can claim victory. Saturday's polls in

Tasmania and South Australia

delivered stern rebuffs to the

long-standing Labor

Governments. One lost its

majority. You know, you've got

to love Tasmanian politics. The

other, a lot of skin. We have

suffered some big swings. But

neither has been knocked out

and it looks line that the Rann

Government will hold on in

South Australia. There,

despite a swing of 7.4% against

it, Labor's likely to win 25

seats, enough to govern in its

own right. Even if it doesn't,

the spread of Independents

means it's likely to form the

next government. I'm hopeful

that we'll be able to form a government in our own right,

but that remains to be seen.

It's a historic result for The

Greens. Only one thing is

certain in Tasmania - The

Greens will be kingmakers,

holding the balance of

power. We've consistently said

that we'd seek to negotiate

with one or the other of the

other two parties. The Greens

picked up a stunning 21% of the

vote, as the Labor Government

suffered a 12% swing against

it. Despite that the two major

parties look likely to end

locked together on 10 seats

each. On election night, the

Liberals believed their greater

primary vote should have been

read as a mandate. If the

result turns out as it appears

it will from tonight, then we

would expect to be given the

opportunity to form the next

government of Tasmania. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

But there's a long way to go

and probably a lot of heartache

before Tasmania's government is

settled. In a balance of power Parliament, Premier David

Bartlett would have first

choice, first option to form a minority government, but he's

made clear if the Liberals have

more seats than Labor, or if

the seats are equal and the

Liberals have more votes than

Labor - which they do - then he

recommend that Will Hodgman be will resign his commission and

appointed Premier. He's made

it absolutely clear at this

stage he's not going to deal

with the Greens to hang onto

government. We have seen in

the past particularly when Ray

Groom lost his Liberal majority

in 1996 he resigned and another Liberal leader formed a

Labor Party will do that but coalition. I don't think the

it's an option that can't be

ruled out. Despite the big

swing to it in South Australia,

the short story for the Liberal

Party is it's at least four

years away from government.

While it might have won the popular vote it didn't pick up

the swings in the seats that

mattered. Our job is to get on,

hopefully the former

government, but even if we

don't, to keep up the fight,

because we will provide the

best government for this State

at some time in the future,

whether it's next week or the

next election. The South

Australia result looks like a

repeat of the late 1980s that

Labor Governments in Western

Australia and South Australia,

in Victoria, and federally in

1990 all managed to get

re-elected with a minority of

the vote with carefully crafted

marginal seat campaigns and that's exactly what happened in

South Australia. In the long

run the real Labor casualty

from Saturday is likely to be

the once wildly popular

Premier. The bruising Mike Rann's personal life took

before and during the campaign

Christalised a wider unease

about his Government. There is

manoeuvring to unseat his

deputy and the expectation that

he will depart gracefully

within 24 months. Mike Rann's

been leader of the Labor Party

for 16 years in South Australia, he's been around for

a long time, Premier for 8.

The election is giving clear

signs the electorate is tired

of him and it seems unlikely with his history and background

in the Labor Party, he would

well understand he's become a

bit of a negative for his own

government. The strongest

feeling in Labor's Federal

ranks is relief, given many

senior people were fretting late last week that South

Australia would fall. Whether

you draw Federal implications

from the State elections

depends on whether it suits you

to do so. These elections were

fought exclusively on local

issues. A very clear message

to Mr Rudd here - get on with

the job of making a difference. I'm not sure there

are many electoral implications

apart from a warning to the

Liberal Party that if they hope

to win the next election

they've got to worry more about

marginal seats than the overall

votes - that would be the

lesson from South Australia.

Tasmania, I don't think there's

a lesson in terms of votes because you've got such a high

vote for The Greens, but the

fact there's instability in the

formation of a new government will put a spoke in the Federal

Government's attempts to reform

health arrangements with the States. The Prime Minister has

signalled he'll delay the

Premier's meeting until 19

April to allow results to shake

out. I welcome the opportunity

to work with any Premier of any

State - Labor or Liberal - to

deliver much-needed health and

hospital reform for working families. Tomorrow at the

National Press Club, the two

leaders go head-to-head in a

debate over the future of the

hospital system. Mr Abbott had

12 years in government, five

years as Health Minister and

nearly three years ago promised

to deliver a new health plan

for Australia's future. Well,

Mr Abbott, we're still waiting. That plan wasn't delivered because Labor

successfully scared the Howard

Government off big spending in

the last weeks of the last

campaign with Kevin Rudd's

demand that it cease its reckless spending. But the

failure to deliver on that

promise is now one of a number

of lines of attack on Tony Abbott's record as Health

Minister. We all know that the

Prime Minister will want to

blag ard me and he'll want to

besmirch our record, but

without being in any way over

the top in our response, I

think we've got to calmly

counter lie with fact. The fact

is the debate will probably

throw little new light on

hospital reform, but it should

generate more than a little

heat. Political Editor Chris

Uhlmann. We may not know the

result in Tasmania for at least

another week. The formal

result that is, although the

most likely scenario still

seems to be 10 seats to each of

the major parties and 5 to the

Greens. There is some chance

that the Greens could actually

win a sixth. This is not the

first time Tasmanian voters

have given The Greens the balance of power. It happened

in 1989 and again in 1996 and

both times the Parliament

failed to run its full term.

This time neither Labor or

Liberal leader is in a hurry to

speak with the Greens. I spoke

with Nick McKim late today. He

was in our Hobart studio. Nick

McKim, have you yet had a conversation with either Liberal or Labor leader

today? No, I haven't. They've

both got my phone number and my

phone's been on since Sunday

number, but it hasn't rung with

David or Will giving me a

call. When would you anticipate

they might? I'm not sure. The

ball's in their court. The

Tasmanian people clearly made a

deliberate decision on Saturday

to elect a Parliament that has

no single party in absolute

power and that was as I said, a

deliberate decision. Now that

gives no single party a mandate

to get all of its policies

through the Parliament, but

what I think it is a mandate

for is for all three parties to be constructive and

co-operative and work together

to deliver the kind of

governance and the kind of good

decision making that the

Tasmanian people want from

their government and from their

Parliament. Now really, we've

said consistently right through

the campaign and before the

campaign that we'd like to

enter into negotiations with

either or both of the Labor and

Liberal parties. That remains

our view and ultimately now the

ball's in their court. What are

your minimum requirements to

enter into a formal alliance

with either party? Well, what we've consistently said, and

this remains our view, is that

a negotiation, a good faith

negotiation is not about

issuing demands or issuing

ultimatums to the people you're

negotiating with. So what

we've said is that we want to

stay flexible, because primary

in our mind is delivering the

stability and the

accountability of government

that's been so lacking over the

last four years of majority government in Tasmania. So we

want to leave ourselves

flexibility and ultimately as I

said, no party has a mandate to

get all of its policies through

the Parliament, because the

people have very clearly and

deliberately chosen not to

elect one party into absolute

power. Now you talk about a

message from the electorate

about power sharing.

Presumably that doesn't suggest

a power sharing amongst the

three parties, because that

would stretch belief, wouldn't

it? Well, look Switzerland has

a model, in fact it's written

into Switzerland's constitution

that all parties represented in their Parliament should have

Cabinet positions for example,

and ultimately if you look at

the policy positions of the

three parties in Tasmania, the

natural allies are the Labor

and Liberal Party. Now whether

they'll talk to each other I'm

not sure and ultimately, you

can't make people negotiate.

Negotiations should be done in

good faith and they have to be

entered into willingly and what

we've said is we've got our

hand extended in good faith to

both David Bartlett and Will

Hodgman and the two parties

they represent and we'd like to

sit down, work it through with

them, respect the will of the

people as delivered through the

ballot box on Saturday and

deliver good governance for Tasmania. That's what we're

focusing on. At the moment,

neither David nor Will has

shown the maturity necessary to

pick up the phone or say they'd

like to negotiate, but our

offer remains open. So already

you're suggesting they don't

have maturity, that doesn't

exactly sound like it's

augering well for a nice unity

government between you and

either party? Oh no, look

ultimately as I said, the one

mandate out of this election is

undoubtedly a mandate to all

three parties to work together

constructively and

cooperatively and I'm sure that

will happen, but it might just

take a little bit of time. I

expect there might be some movement on this after the

polls are declared in about a

week and a half. Compromise is

very much a part of democratic government, how much capacity

are The Greens going to have to

compromise on what you might

regard as matters of principle?

For instance, The Greens have

been implaquably opposed to the

Gunns' pulp mill in the Tamar

Valley and presumably would

remain so. Now is that not

going to be a potential

impediment? Well look firstly,

you're right in general terms,

compromise is an important part

of government and what I said

before about no party getting a

mandate for all of its policies

applies to us as equally as the

other two parties, so I

certainly accept that and

that's part of our thinking and

will be part of our thinking as

we enter into any negotiations.

Now in relation to Gunns'

proposed pulp mill, look that's

been on the books for a number

of years and it still hasn't

begun construction yet because

they can't get finance and

ultimately, our view on the

mill for reasons that are probably quite well-known to

you and people watching the

show are that we don't support

that mill and that will remain

our view. But ultimately as I

said, no-one's got a mandate

for all of their policies and

there's a bigger picture here,

which is the future of Tasmania and stability and

accountability and good

governance in Tasmania and

we're very, very focussed on

those things. Is your first

preference to be in formal

coalition where you share

everything including ministries, or are you equally happy to have something like

the accord you had in the past

with Labor where you don't

necessarily have access to

ministries? Well, I note that

Will Hodgman the Liberal leader

in Tasmania yesterday didn't

rule out offering ministries to

the Greens in the future and I

think that's very wise of Will,

because ultimately he's only

got 10 members and there will

be 8 or 9 members, or Cabinet

ministers in any ministry so

the maths simply doesn't stack

up. That's ironic because, of

course, they cut the number of

MPs in the House of Assembly to

get rid of the Greens just over

a decade ago and here we are

back bigger than ever and

ironically it's the cut in

numbers which is going to make

it very hard for one or other

of the major parties to form a

ministry. Look, in terms of

models of government, it's

impossible to hi Pottsize about

what course any negotiation

might take, but we would

consider any model that delivers stability,

accountability, good governance

and good policy outcomes for

the Tasmanian people. Nick

McKim, thanks for talking with

us. Thanks, Kerry. In the

shadow of midnight last night,

Washington time, the US

Congress finally passed President Barack Obama's heavily-amended bill to reform

the American health system. It

was at the centre of President

Obama's election platform and

his credibility rested heavily

on it. Within minutes of the

historic vote, the President

emerged at the White House to

put his stamp on it. Tonight,

after nearly 100 years of talk

and frustration, after decades

of trying and a year of

sustained effort and debate,

the United States' Congress

finally declared that America's

workers and America's families

and America's small businesses

deserve the security of knowing

that here in this country

neither illness nor accident should endanger the dreams

they've worked a lifetime to

achieve. Tonight, at a time

when the pundits said it was no

longer possible, we rose above

the weight of our politics. At

the last-minute before the

vote, the President was forced

to issue a personal pledge that

no public money under the

scheme would be spent on

abortion procedures as a result

of his legislation. But

politically, he could not

afford this bill to fail. To

discuss the political

ramifications I spoke late

today with the ABC's Washington

correspondent, Michael Brissenden. Michael Brissenden, this has

been a long time coming with a lot of forced compromise along

the way. How much of a victory

is left in this for Barack

Obama? Well, Barack Obama came

out after this vote tonight

late tonight and says this is

what change looks like Kerry,

so clearly Barack Obama wants

to use this to reenergise his

presidency. It has been a very

long time coming as you say and

he is going to use it to try

and rebuild his presidency

after really what's been a year

of very, very divisive debate

and debate that's actually fed

to a certain perception about

his presidency and his

leadership that doesn't done

him very well, so clearly he's

coming out fighting now and

he's going to use this to try

to rebuild faith in his

leadership and rebuild his

presidency. Presumably it'll

take time for the positives of

the bill to negate the effects

of the scare campaign that's

been waged over the past year

or more. Is there time enough

now for President Obama and the

Democrats to regain support

before the congressional

election in November? Well,

that's really the big question.

I mean the campaigning for the

congressional elections really

starts now. There really isn't

very much time at all and a lot

of the aspects of this bill

will roll out, will be phased

in over a period of time, so

there will be some immediate

benefits for people, but

whether it's long enough to

actually give... well, to give

it back some of the gloss that

I think the Democrats hope that

the voters can take from it,

remains to be seen. So what are

the positive elements of this

bill that will kick in quickly

with the electorate? Any

children with pre-existing

conditions will not be able to

be denied insurance. Parents

will be able to keep their

children on their own insurance

policies until they're 26 and

some people who at this stage

don't have insurance will start

getting insurance. Now that

will be phased in until 2014,

so it'll be 2014 before the 32

million people who are not

covered who will be covered by

this bill will be fully

covered. A significant number

of States are opposed to the

health bill and there's talk of

a constitutional challenge. Is

that really likely to

materialise and what is the

scope to yet derail this health

bill via the courts? Well, I

guess that depends on the

public opinion really, and how

vocal the public is about this

and how contentious this bill

continues to be. Certainly

there are quite a few States

who said they will launch

constitutional challenges to

this, because it does impinge

on their States' rights they

believe. How many go through

with that remains to be seen,

as well. There's a lot to come

and certainly a lot of

politicking to come over the

next few months and years. If

we talk about the gloss that

has come off the Obama image,

how effective was he when he

finally did get out on the

hustings to get the bill across

the line in the last week or

so? How pivotal was that in

getting the bill through? Well,

it was very pivotal. Only a

couple of manages after Scott

Brown won the election in

Massachusetts and took Ted

Kennedy's seat there was a lot

of despondency and depair in

the Democratic Party. Nobody

thought they could get the

health bill back up again. It

was the last week or so of

personal engagement by

President Obama talking to

wavering Democrats and

basically putting the point to

them that it was really about his presidency as much as

anything else, that if he

didn't get this bill up then

the presidency, the Democratic presidency would be seriously

affected. That had a lot of

impact. But also what had a

big impact certainly late in

the stage this afternoon was

his decision to offer a

presidential executive order to

reinforce those parts of the

bill that would basically

disallow the use of any Federal

money for abortion. So there

was a very strong anti-abortion

faction within the Democratic

Party that needed to be won

over and Barack Obama certainly

pulled out everything he could

this afternoon without also

disaffecting those on the left

of his party and won them over.

So that was very important and

his involvement was obviously

very, very

significant. Michael, thanks for talking with us. Thanks,

Kerry. Michael Brissenden in

Washington. Such is the nature

of the Australian climate that

in parts of eastern Australia

that have been locked in

drought for a decade, they're

now praying for the rain to

stop. The wet season in the

tropical north has delivered

deluge after deluge with yet

another cyclone sweeping into

Queensland over the weekend,

and recent rain in the

south-east of the continent has

finally brought relief to some of the worst drought areas in the country. Many rivers are

now running strongly out of

Queensland into NSW and will

deliver desperately-needed

flows all the way to the bottom

of the Murray River in South

Australia. Some areas of

drought remain, but there's widespread jubilation at the

change in fortunes. Paul

Lockyer reports.

As Cyclone Ului tore across

Queensland's Central Coast, it

wasn't just the destruction

from the 200km/h winds that

landholders feared, but the

downpour that would be

delivered to a State already

awash from a drenching summer.

There was much concern in St

George and other communities

across southern Queensland just

starting to recover from record

flooding. Of course, it would

be a concern. If it starts to

rain here, people would have

that in the back of their minds

"Here we go again". But for the

moment, clear skies are holding

over the huge flood area which

grows bigger every day as the

water stretches across the

irrigation properties of

southern Queensland into NSW.

The Narran River is just one of

many waterways delivering the

flow across the border. It has

peaked at near record levels at

the village of Angeldool and

will stay just as high for 2-3

weeks. This is going to be an

extraordinarily big one in one

long peak. Right out to the far

west of NSW, the rivers are

rising. Debbie Kaluder is constantly checking to see how

much more of her property north

of Bourke has been covered by

the Cuttaburra Creek. It flows

on to form an enormous basin

which is already full. This

volume of water that we're

going to need with all these

rivers running as they are to

be able to start to set things

right again. The Cuttaburra

Basin was first fed by heavy

rains at Christmas time. Now,

the water stretches up to 20

kilometres long and more than

10 kilometres wide. It's a

magnificent site, especially

for Debbie Kaluder, who is both

a grazier and a

conservationist. She's the secretary of the Australian

Floodplains Association. Relief

environmentally for the

wetlands that haven't been able

to get a drink and the little

billabongs along the way and

the bird life and the plant

life that have been hanging on

for so many years. But it comes

at a cost. Some properties

have been swamped. Others have

been isolated since the

beginning of the year, relying

on food drops or ferrying in

supplies in everything from

tinnies to kayaks. The McGrath

family now has to paddle five

kilometres to a vehicle they've

left parked on the other side

of the floodwaters. Kayaks are

so light - there's one there -

there they go. The kayaks were

a Christmas gift for the

children. Now they're a

crucial part of the flood

relief effort and will be for

weeks to come. I'll have to get

a 4-seater so Sandy can row. I

can sit in the back having a

beer! A sense of humour is

essentially out here,

especially for those who find

themselves deep in floodwaters

trying to rescue stranded

sheep. We've actually got water

to the knees and mud to the

ankles. Not ideal conditions, so it's hard yakka. Phillip

Ridge had to call for a

helicopter shuttle to lift

hundreds of sheep to high

ground on his property. We

don't like to see our animals

suffer at all, so we're keen to

get them out. Every load that

goes you think "You little

beauty" , it's a few less

you're going to lose. We're

lucky here, we got most of ours out. Stock losses from the

flood are already big and

climbing by the day, and

there'll be a huge damages bill

from the flood. Long-term

optimism with the water in the

system, but some people are

under extreme duress in the

immediate term, of course. Ben

Fargher of the National

Farmers' Federation believes

rural Australia is poised to

swiftly bounce back. It's

positive. People are

optimistic about it. It gives

farmers and regional

communities an opportunity to

produce and that's what we've

been lacking. Rory Treweeke

agrees, as he happily takes in

the sight of the Narran River

steadily spreading across his

property. Well, there's nothing

like a flood to reinvigorate

the flood plain, put in the

deep subsoil moisture that even

rain can't do, so we're looking

forward to at least a couple of

really good years after

this. Much of the water flowing

from Queensland is heading for

the Darling River at Bourke.

It won't reach there until the

middle of next month and it'll

be mid year before it gets all

the way down the Darling to the

Murray River and onto South

Australia. A gift from

Queensland, according to the

mayor in St George. Brace

themselves for what's coming

and maybe get ready to celebrate, because obviously

there's been really, really big

problems down there and

hopefully Queensland can help

them overcome those. Week by

week since the beginning of the year, spreading rain has brought relief to many drought

areas. Some parts of the

country are still in trouble,

but the flowing rivers are

bringing a dramatic mood change

in rural Australia. It can

rain, there's water in our systems, we're good at

producing food and fibre in

this country when it does rain

and, of course, that is a big

input into our national

accounts. Water's huge. The

calming effect that it has, the

hope that it gives you when you

see it coming down, or even

just flowing across your land

and then the green grass and

pasture growth from that just

brings everybody hope. Paul

Lockyer with that report, and

that's the program for tonight.

Join us at the same time

tomorrow, when we'll have

detailed analysis of the health

debate between Kevin Rudd and

Tony Abbott - the first of three pre-election debates

between the two leaders. Until

then, goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

This Program is Captioned Live THEME MUSIC from The Gruen Transfer. Hi, I'm Todd Sampson Outside of advertising, and the environment. I'm very passionate about wildlife is about a very driven man Tonight's Australian Story

with a tale of rags-to-riches. He is Kenton Campbell with Steve Irwin's father, Bob, and he's formed an unlikely pairing in his adopted country. to help protect wildlife amazing story. This is Kenton Campbell's Kenton came to Australia with the backside out of his pants and has worked really, really hard to become successful. And so he now wants to put something back to Australia. 'He met Steve Irwin many years ago the Australian wildlife need help. and Steve mentioned how much Since Steve has now passed, for a little while, that was kind of put on hold till Kenton met Bob Irwin. Bob has, I guess, mentored Kenton

about the Australian wildlife in a way of understanding and how much help they need.

he was put to a challenge So Kenton being Kenton, and he's taken it up. Hey? There we go, Kenton. Just up there, there's a koala. 'I don't want to be just another rich prick.' How good's that? Oh, my God.

'I think that the very easy thing to do would be to buy carbon credits as a company and just write the cheque and say, "Well, I've done my part."' Looks quite healthy, hey? Yeah, yeah, it's got a clean bottom. 'I've never been a cheque writer and I saw it as a challenge that I would take on a bit bigger role. And I started asking myself the question, just how and what that role was going to be.

'He's like a bulldog when he gets his teeth into something

and he thinks, "well, I can fix this."' Well, that was pretty good, Kenton. We just saw a koala. 'But the absolute mess that we're making of our environment has come over a long period of time. So what we've got to get through to Kenton is that you've got to be in there for the long haul. These are things that can't be done quickly, so... But I think I'll just keep working on him. It's the first time I've seen a koala in the wild at night. It's good, isn't it? Alright, Kenton, now this is what we're gonna do. 'Kenton's been to Camp Chilli on a number of occasions and I always test him out when he comes here.