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

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This Program Is Captioned

Live. Where next? Wagga Wagga

keeps the Murrumbidgee River at

bay. Other towns prepare for

the peak. They're describing

inland sea surrounding Griffith. In Victoria, it's all

hands on deck as the water

rises quickly. We put some

sandbags across. They've been

used in flood levees there

around houses and we'll have

time to clean up. Maybe super

for one, a defining moment in

the Republican presidential

contest. It's a farce. I think

Supercalifragilisticexbealidocious A it just helps the Democrats.

Supercalifragilisticexbealidocious

the man who wrote a string of

Disney hit songs remembered.

Hello and welcome to ABC News

across Australia. I'm Ros

Childs. On the local share

market, doubts about the Greek

bail-out are driving stocks

down. The All Ordinaries is off

46 points, the Nikkei is lower,

steep falls on the Dow and the

Aussie dollar just above 105 US

cents and falling. It's another

day of watch and wait for many

people in flood affected

southeast Australia but others

are breathing a sigh of relief

as water levels slowly recede.

The city of Wagga Wagga escaped

major flooding overnight when

the Murrumbidgee River peaked

below estimates and the levee

there held up. The SES says

communs downstream will need to

prepare as the massive stretch

of water heads west. Hundreds

of people are being revacuated

from Griffith and major

flooding is expected at Narrandera, Darlington Point

and Hay in coming days. And to

the north, a swollen Lachlan

River is expected to peak twice

at major flood levels. That

high water mark will be felt

tomorrow at Forbes where many

residents are refusing to leave

their homes. Returning to Wagga

Wagga where people are

returning to the CBD and

reporter Laetitia Lemke joins

me now. Leticia, are things

starting to get back to

normal? Yes, traffic has

certainly picked up over the

last couple of hours, people

starting to come back into the

Wagga Wagga CBD. The army was

out in force this morning re

moving sandbags from the fronts

of stores and trying to prepare

the CBD for shops to reopen,

the electricity is back on and

a number of people have come

down to the river. The main

damage in Wagga Wagga has been

at the caravan park where there

was serious flooding as the

river rose overnight. For

residents of east Wagga,

they're expecting they may be

able to go back some time this

afternoon if waters there drop

but for north Wagga Wagga and

Gumly Gumly where the flooding

was the worst, it's going to be

at least a couple of days

before people can go back. Over

there, the water was at roof

level. We have massive damage

and I think residents are eager

to get home and assess the

damage. It's now becoming

clearer how much damage has

been done? Yes, the Federal

member is today estimating over

a billion dollars worth of

damage. This is a big farming area right throughout the

Riverina district and he's

expecting to see huge damages

to crops, there have been

cattle losses, sheep losses as

well. As that river starts - as

that flooding starts to drop

and we're able to go in and see

what kind of damage has been

done, we're going to see the

bill figures more exactly. At

the moment they're saying at

least $500 million just for

roads. So the crisis moves

downstream but the towns of

griffe lth and Forbes now

bracing themselves? There are

real concerns as the water

moves downstream and it's not

just for the communities

Narrandera and Darlington Point

that are along the river, but

also overland flooding. There's

a massive irrigation system

that runs and certainly for the

community of Griffith, there

it's looking like an inland sea

at the moment. In the last

couple of hours we've heard rail has been cut off and this

is a little bit about what the SES Deputy Commissioner had to

say today. Had people flying

that area this morning and they

describe an inland sea

surrounding Griffith. 600

people we had to move last

night as a result of those

rapidly rising overland flows.

Of more concern to us though is

the longer term resupply

issues. If Griffith is going to

be isolated for some time, it's

another substantial inland city

and will require quite a deal

of goods and services to be

provided, perhaps by air or

other methods. That's still being worked out at the

moment. Dieter Gescke there of

the SES. Before that, reporter

Laetitia Lemke. Let's go now to

Victoria, several towns

including Numurkah and Walwa

have already been flooded and

water levels are expected to

remain high there for some

time. The main concern now is

Nathalia on the Broken Creek

where heavy flooding is

expected as early as tonight.

Reporter Guy Stayner is in Nathalia. Many people at the

moment are simply waiting

because so much of the work has

already been done, with the slow-moving floodwaters here they've had several days to

prepare. They've had a chance

to erect this massive temporary

flood levee, this aluminium

wall that's holding water back

from 1 72 homes in the heart of

Nathalia but of course too much

work is never enough. You can

never have enough sandbags and

what we've seen overnight is

people continuing to sandbag

and there have been thousands

of sandbags shipped in from

further upstream where towns no

longer need them and this is

what a couple of those workers

had to say last night about the

ongoing work here in

Nathalia. We've brought some

sandbags across which have been

used in flood levees around

houses. It's been a good

worthwhile exercise to see the

sandbags reused. I live inside

the levee banks and I'm

thinking if it goes under,

well, good-bye Nathalia. We're

all here to help. One in all in

really. Guy, how high is the

levee and what's the predicted

flood peak? The water level at

the moment is around 2.5m but

the expected flood peak is up

to 3.15m so you're looking at

about another 60cm on top of

where the water level is at the

moment and that just won't be

the end of it. While the

expected flood peak is supposed

to hit later tonight or

tomorrow, the floodwater is

expected to remain at up to 3m

until at least Sunday so that

Sunday water level is still

about half a meter higher than where the water is at the

moment so the water around

Nathalia is going to remain

very high for a long time to

come. There are other towns

further down the Murray system

under threat? There certainly

are. There's a community

meeting in Barma taking place

right about now so wherever the

floodwaters go from one town,

they then mosey on down to

another and it's a slow creep

for a lot of places in northern

Victoria. Guy, thank you. As

floodwaters recede in some

places, farmers can start to

count the economic cost but the

big wet has coincide would the

latest quarterly report from

ABARE predicting the best year

for farmers in three decades so

what's going on? Courtney

Burger is from the national

industry group, AusVeg. Ther

reports that-S have come

through of damaged crops are

such as potatoes, pears and

some stone fruits but we're yet

to see the full extent of the

damage. How does the timing of

the flood coincide with the

farming cycle, the growing

season is harvests and the

like? I guess at this point

with the growing season,

different crops are at

different stages. I know with

potatoes they've been a crop

that is in the ground at the

moment so waiting to see if

they are going to germinate or

have been permanently damaged.

What's this mean for consumers

price-wise in the short-term some Currently at the moment

there is a glut, an over-supply

of produce in the market. This should help supply the demand

in the immediate short-term.

Courtney, ABARE has released

this report predicting a bumper

year for farmers in 2012, does

this take into account the very

heavy falls of rain and the

flooding that we've seen over

the last week? No, the report

does not take in the current

floods so this means a report

does not predict what can happen as a result of these floods. We're hoping this is

going to be a positive for

growers but we're yet to see

the extent. Sydney has been

chosen as the place to house

the Federal Government's $10

billion clean energy finance

corporation. It's part of the Government's carbon tax

package. The corporation will

channel investment in clean

energy and try to speed up commercialisation of new

technologies. It will be based

in Sydney's financial hub and

create 40 new jobs. This is a

city that can offer the benefit

of financial and professional

networks to the clean energy finance corporation. Second,

this is a city in which many

investment businesses make

their home and so the clean energy finance corporation can

reach out to them. Julia

Gillard has also announced that

NSW has signed an agreement to

tighten environmental and

licensing controls on future

coal seam gas projects. A

Brisbane judge will decide

whether Katter's Australian

Party application for ballot

papers to be shredded and

reprinted could delay the State

election. Lawyers for the party

say its full name should be on

ballot papers not the abbreviation, the Australian

Party. The Supreme Court

earlier this week heard the

shorter name didn't identify

Federal MP Bob Katter who

established the party. More

than 7.1 million ballot papers

have been printed to cover all

89 State electoral districts.

Katter's Australian Party has

candidates in 76 of those seats

and the courts will give a full

decision on whether ballot

papers will be shredded after

lawyers flagged inconsistencies

between Commonwealth and State

electoral laws. Overseas now

and it's Super Tuesday in the

United States, the biggest

singling day of the campaign to

choose the Republican

presidential candidate. Front runner Mitt Romney hopes to

inflict a decisive blow to

challenger Aaron Sandilands. 10

states are going to the polls

but the key battleground is

Ohio, a must-win for both men.

North America correspondent

Craig McMurtrie joins me now

from Washington. Any clues yet

about who's ahead? So far no

real surprises. We know some of

the outcomes at least based on

US network projections. They

still have only accounts adfew

per cent of the votes in the

State. 7 states have closed in

these primaries. Mitt Romney,

the frontrunner, has won

Vermont, Virginia and

Massachusetts according to the

US network projections. Newt

Gingrich, the former Speaker,

has claimed Georgia, a home

State t was really a do-or-die

contest for him and Rick

Santorum according to Fox news

has won oak lu homa, again not

too much of a surprise. He was

expected to win Oklahoma.

Tennessee and Ohio still too

close to call. Mitt Romney

campaigned in Ohio today before

going to Boston where he's

expected to speak shortly. He

was certainly expressing some

quiet confidence. His campaign

staff were suggest thaing were

going to do well tonight. They

know if they can pick up half a

dozen, maybe seven, of these

states that that will really

solidify his claim for the

nomination but anyway e, here's

Mitt Romney speaking in Ohio to

supporters earlier in the

day. Get out there and vote

as many times as they let

you. (LAUGHTER) Not that way.

Get your friends to go with

you. Get people to go with

you. Craig, why is Ohio such an

important State? It's

important because it's a

battleground State. It's almost

impossible for Republican

strategists to map out a path

to the White House in November

without the nominee doing well

in Ohio. There's really only a

very small per cent of the

vote, the primary vote, being

counted so far but according to

exit polls it is turning into a

2-man contest there as

expected. According to exit

polls, Mitt Romney, 40%

support, Santorum, 36% of

support. Voters are saying the

two key things, the economy

helps Romney and they are

looking for the best candidate

who can go up against Barack

Obama potentially that helps

Romney as well though

Conservatives still strong for

Santorum and sure, the

Republicans there are torn over

their choice as you can hear.

The economy is very important

and Rick's from around here too

so he's - he knows the ins and

outs of this and Mitt Romney is

a good guy but he's too rich.

How are we supposed to survive

when you have everything taken

away from us. We've got to

bring the community back

together. They're going back

and forth with one another and

Romney is for the big rich

people and the other one, he

just seems like he's out of it

watch the common people. Craig,

who would Barack Obama fear

most, come November? Of course

he would say he doesn't really

fear any of them but it's been

clear all along the White House

has considered that Mitt Romney

was the man most likely to

emerge from this bruising

process with the Republican

party's nomination and certainly he consistently

out-polls his Republican rivals

in a general election context

in a direct match-up with

Barack Obama. The other thing

Mitt Romney can point to is he

won Florida some weeks back,

he's won Virginia tonight.

According to the exit polls, he

stands at least a good chance

oaf winning Ohio. These are

three crucial battleground

states in November. He would certainly argue that pots him

in good stead to be competitive

against Barack Obama. So we've

got a ways to go tonight but it

is possible after tonight if

the Romney campaign does as

well as they expect that they

could really solidify his front

runner status and make it very,

very difficult for any of the

other three to seriously

challenge for the nomination.

Thank you. Barack Obama has

stolen some of the limelight for the Republican Super

Tuesday by staging his first

White House press conference in

five months. The President's

main focus was Iran, warning he

won't tolerate it developing

nuclear weapons. He slammed

Republican calls for Because the sanctions are

going to be even tougher in the

coming months and because we're

now seeing noises about them

returning to the negotiating

table, it is deeply in

everybody's interests to see if

this can be resolved in a peaceful fashion. President

Obama also suggested the

downfall of Syrian President

Bashar al-Assad is only a

matter of time and reiterated

his commitments to end the US

combat role in Afghanistan in

2014. Cricket entrepreneur and

one-time billionaire Alan

Stanford has been convicted of

conspiracy and fraud on a

massive scale. Once one of

America's richest men, Stanford

operated one of the largest

pyramid schemes in US history.

A Texas Court heard how he

defrauded 37,000 investors out

of $30 billion to fund his life

style. Australia's toy business

is worth over $2.5 billion a

year to the local economy but

even it has been hit by global

economic jitters. This week is

the industry's equivalent of

Grand Final week with over

7,000 retailer checking out the

latest gismos at the Australian

toy fair in Melbourne. We sent

along our biggest kid, Neal

Woolrich, to take a look.

Thanks to the global economic

downturn, toy makers and

retailers have had a case of

the wobbles in receipt years

but here at the Australian toy

fair they're hoping 2012 is the

year that bucks the trend and

put a spring back in the toy

industry's step. There's no

question the toy industry has

gone through tough times. The

last quarter of 2008 was

diabolical, '09 was a tough

year for the toy industry but

we've seen growth in the years

2010 and 2011 and last year was

a positive year for the toy

industry. With 7,000 retailers looking over a million

products, the annual toy fair

is the industry's most

important event of the year.

It's one time of the year where

we can actually put the trade

that's all the little toy

shops, they can come together

and see the offering from

everyone. All the buying for

toys for the whole year is done

here. The toys you see in-store

here or in the trade fair at

the moment are the toys our

kids will be playing with come

Christmas time. But Paul

Hodgson from the Australian toy

association says the biggest

threat to the toy industry is

online retail. The local

retailers here can't compete

with those online retailers due

to the fact there's no GST on

those and toys predominantly

are small products and under

the $1,000 price point to

attract GST. Despite those

challenges, industry players remain optimistic and early

signs are 2012 is looking like

a better year. If you've got

the hottest toy in the

business, no downturn will stop

you because the kids have the

whinge power and of course that

drives the industry and drives

the parents crazy. But it may

not be until Christmas when

these eager spruikers know

where they've got the latest

craze on their hands or one of

the thousands of products that

simply gathers dust on the

shelves. Indonesia has put a

3-month hold on new import

regulations which Australian

food producers say will cut

into their business. The plan

will push fresh fruit and

vegetable shipments through

just four ports all far away

from the main consumer market

of Jakarta. Indonesia says the

postponement will give business

time to reorganise.

Indonesia says the strictser

regulations will ensure greater

quarantine safety. Figures are

just out on Australia's

economic growth and they're not

as robust as economists

expected. In the three months

to December, the economy grew

0.4%, 2.5% for the year. The

drom in home and business

investment a-D tracted from the

numbers. The Reserve Bank still

expects growth of more than 3%

this year when resources

projects kick in. To some other

stories making news in

business, the Reserve Bank's

deputy governor says

manufacturers must start

producing high value and

complex goods or face going out

of business. Dr Phillip Lowe

says the high exchange rate means the manufacturing

industry has little choice but

to move up the value-add chain

in order to compete. A new

survey shows the construction

industry shrinking for 21

months now. The Australian

Industry Group says signs of

recovery that emerged with last

year's interest rate cuts

appear to have faded. And Rio

Tinto says there are no plans

to close Tasmania's Bell Bay

aluminium smelter despite the high Australian Dollar and low metals prices. Workers have

been told the company will be

developing a business plan to

reduce costs. Let's take a

check of the markets with

Juliette Saly from Commsec.

Solid falls in Europe and the

US this morning. How's the

local market holding up? Not

well as you would expect. We're

down by around 1%, not quite if

1.5% fall that was predicted

and that's mainly due to the

fact we also fell so heavily

into the red yesterday but

these ongoing concerns that

Greece may not meet its private

sector sign-off ahead of Thursday's deadline to secure

its debt restructure deal

weighing on investor sentiment.

Our financial sector is down by

around 1% today. Telstra doing

well after it sealed the $11

billion NBN agreement with the Government. The miners fared

badly yesterday. How are they

doing today? The weakest pool

on the over all share market,

we saw big tumbles coming

through on the London met lsz

exchange overnight in response

to the sell-off in equities and

oil and gold lower. Nothing to

support the material sector,

down by more than 1%. BHP

Billiton also weaker by 1%. One

strong performer is regional

pay TV operator, Austar? Yes,

we've heard this morning Foxtel

is going to basically do all it

can to really secure ACCC

approval for its $1.9 billion

takeover offer for Austar which

is of course the regional pay

TV operator. This decision by

the ACCC is set to come down on

March 29 but it seems the

market thinks Austar will be

taken over by Foxtel, its share

price is up 5.5% to 1.43.

Amcor also in the spoltlight? Yes, another stock doing well

today. Amcor shares up 2%,

trading at 6.94. The packaging

company trying to push and

expand into the Asia Pacific

region. It's acquired a

business called apairio group

and they have manufacturing plants in Australia, New

Zealand and Thailand. Thank

you. To the dive on Wall

Street, the biggest drop of the

year. Traders fear despite all

efforts to bail out Greece, it

could still default so the Dow lost more than 200 points.

Robert Sherman, one of

Hollywood's most successful

song writers, has died. With

his brother Richard, he formed

one of cinema's most prolific

musical partnerships. #

Supercalifragilisticexbealidocious #

Their golden era was the 1960s

as staff writers at Disney when

they won two Oscars for Mary

Poppins. That

Dad was a tremendous

kite-maker and he'd make

marvellous kites that would fly

forever. Their credits include

more than 1,000 songs. Robert

Sherman was 86. Whatever it

takes by fair means or foul,

that seemed to be Prince

Harry's motto as he stole a march against the world's fastest man during his

Caribbean trip marking the

Queen's diamond jubilee but

Usain Bolt took it all in his

stride. A casual British prince

meets a Jamaican prince of the

track. Usain Bolt, the world's

fastest man. The talk was of a

showdown, however unequal, but

first a pre-race chat with a

27-year-old royal. I was in my

prime at 25. (LAUGHTER) Harry

was properly equipped, sporting

Jamaican colours, but with the

cards stacked against him -

usane's a triple Olympic champ

- Harry, well, he, er,

bolted. (LAUGHTER) The

world's number one beaten on

his home track, introduced

Harry to the way he normally

celebrates when he's first.

Time now to show how it's done properly. There were two

performers on the blocks. Go!

He cheated. I understand.

When you're slow... I didn't

cheat. I'll get him back

though one day. A rematch.

That's what I'm saying. London

2012. Me and you. I might be

busy. Harry didn't leave

empty-handed. He told his host

he's named a horse he part owns

usane Colt. Like its namesake,

it's a winner. Other stories

making news - Greenpeace says

it's worried about possible oil

pollution for a supply ship

that sank outside the Greek

port of Elefsina. It's thought

the ship hit another shipwreck

before going down. Argentina

has announced plans for new museum dedicated to the Falkland islands as tensions

with Britain over the disputed

islands increase. The country's President says she hopes the project will be finished by

August next year. Australian captain Michael Clarke has been

ruled out of tomorrow's

deciding game of the one-day

final series against Sri Lanka

with a hamstring injury. Sri

Lanka kept the series alive

with a convincing 8-wicket

victory in Adelaide last night. Tillekeratne Dilshan dill

top-score would 106. The

tourists rych reached the

target of 2 72 with more than

five overs to spare. There it

is. Sri Lanka, what a mighty

win. The lion has roared at the

Adelaide Oval. We go to the

third. The deciding game will

also be in Adelaide. At the

time the Sydney Olympics were

widely acknowledged as the best

ever. As London prepares for

its turn later this year. It's

seeking to benefit from

Sydney's lessons of hosting the

games. Here's the BBC's

assessment of how we went in

2000. Wherever you look in this

sports-mad country, you'll find

someone playing something

somewhere. Many of these

schoolchildren weren't even

born when the Sydney Olympics

were on but they'll know all

about the legends created by

the Games 12 years ago. I

think lot of people probably

stood on the sun deck of

content ment and waved and

said, "We've done the job,"

when really the job was just

beginning. A few miles west of

Sydney's iconic landmarks is

the city's answer to Stratford.

Today, the Olympic Park is

thriving but for years there

was no master plan for the site

and it looked like many of

these venues might end up as

white elephants. That's

certainly not the case now at

the aquatic centre. There's

still plenty of competition in

the main pool with the

facilities, once graced by the

elite, shared by the local

community. This venue covers

its costs but the park over all

needs a big public subsidy to

stay afloat. At the Olympic

stadium, crowds still come in

their thousands to watch the

world's best. This time to see

Australia play India in the first international cricket

match to be played here. The

privately run venue hosts five

different sports and up to 50

events a year. Sydney also

assumed the Games would attract

a wave of visitors to its

best-loved deingsinations. In

fact, the tourism boom never

materialised. And what about

the problem of using the

Olympics to create a nation of

fitness fanatics? It's not that easy for an Olympic Games

to do that. You have to get the

Government and all the sports authorities working together.

It's almost something larger

than the Olympic Games and

unless that is done it doesn't

happen. To the weather now and

the satellite shows cloud

forming over eastern NSW and

Victoria due to a developing

low. Patches of cloud over

eastern Queensland with a

coastal trough. A low should

deepen in a coastal trough in

the east generating heavy rain

and storms in eastern NSW,

Victoria and Tasmania. Easterly

winds should filter into the

west. A low and trough in the

north should cause showers and

storms to continue across the

tropics.

Back to the stock exchange

for a final check of the

markets: That's the news for

now. Our next full bulletin on

ABC 1 is at 7:00 this evening.

I'm Ros Childs. Thanks for

joining us and have a great

afternoon. Closed Captions by CSI This Program Is Captioned Live. At the National Press Club

today, Professor Glynis Rogers.

Professor Davis has had a long

academic and public service

career. He was Queensland's

top public service under Peter

Beattie and is the vice-chancellor of the

University of Melbourne.

Here's Professor Glynis Rogers

at the National Press Club.

(Bell rings) Welcome to the

National Press Club for today's National Australia Bank

address. Our guest today is

Glynis Rogers, vice chancellor

and of the Universities

Australia. He's speaking in

his role as chair of

Universities Australia which is