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


More flexibility, but

what's the cost? The Federal

Government revamps aged care.

There are great people working

in age care, but there are huge

problems too. Also facing the

Budget microscope,

superconcessions for

high-income earners. A bird

strike on a US passenger jet,

but the pilot proves

unflappable. Delta 1063, are

you just going to go in

visually? Yes, Delta 1063

that would be great. And, the

Russian punk band that's

provoking Putin and they don't


Hello and welcome to ABC News

across Australia, I'm Nicole

Chettle. On the local

sharemarket, some of the heavyweights are struggling

today, miners, banks and

industrial stocks are down.

The All Ords off 3 points.

Stocks in the Japan and the US

are down. more finance later in

the bulletin. More inhome care

and a boost to the number of

aged care workers. That's just

part of a new package just

announced by the Prime

Minister. Julia Gillard's

restructuring the support

system for older Australians

and putting an extra half a

billion dollars towards it. In

total the overhaul's worth $3.7

billion over 5 years. Nadia

Gilmore reports from Canberra.

Living longer... living better

- that's what they're calling

it, spending up big to pull the

aged care sector out of aged care sector out of what

her own minister calls a

crisis. The Government says

it's a landmark overhaul of the

aged care system. Its response

to last year's report from the

Productivity Commission. It's

worth $3.7 billion over 5

years. The highlights Dr :

And the initial response has

been response. Most of us

want to age well and we want to

do it in our own home. The

chances of that will be boosted

with an extra 40,000 home care

packages to be made available

over the next 5 years. The way

people pay for aged care places

is also being overhauled.

Rather than an upfront bond

costing more than $200,000 on

average, the Government will

provide a choice of periodic

payments, a lump sum or a

combination of both. So this

hopefully will enable people to

understand where the payment is

required, how they'll get to

it. And avoid emergency fire

sales of the family home. From

2014, aged care fees will be

means tested. There'll be an

across the board basic fee,

17.5% of a single pension then

an additional care fee. It's

another move welcomed by the

sector, but it's also fired a

warning. What we do not want

to see today, though, is any

cuts in care subsidies to

partially fund some of these

reforms. As always, the devil

is in the detail. While it's

touted as being a $3.7 billion

package, much of the funding

has been redirected with just

over half a billion of new

money. The changes will start

taking effect from 1 July. The million Australians already

receiving age care won't be

affected. And the Prime

Minister has just announced

that package in Canberra.

Julia Gillard says the

restructure will make it a

better system with more choice

for elderly Australians. The

system that we announced today

is fairer and simpler. It will

give older Australians and

their families greater choice

and greater control than

they've had in the past. It

will mean that if you want a

nursing home place, we will

make it easier for you to get

one. If you want care in the

home, we will make it easier

for you to get that care. More

people will get to keep their

home and more people will get

to stay in their home. Tony

conservationist. The Abbott is calling himself a

Opposition Leader's launched a

policy to speed up environmental approvals for

developments by handing powers over to the States and Territories. Mr Abbott says

it's part of his view that the

environment needs protecting.

Approvals have to be final

subject to an equally clear and

consistent formal review

mechanism. They can't be at

the mercy of last-minute

lobbying by campaigners, lest

Australia start to lose the

investment, the jobs and the

wealth upon which lasting and

sustainable environmental

outcomes depend. Ladies and

gentlemen, too often public

debate assumes that generating

wealth is incompatible with

preserving the environment.

The lawyer for the WikiLeaks

founder Julian Assange still

wants to know why she was held

up from boarding her flight to

Australia yesterday. Jennifer

Robinson was told by a Heathrow

security guard he'd have to

call Australia House before she

could leave. The Australian

lawyer said she appeared to be

on some sort of restricted

travel list. I'd like to know

what that list is, why I have

ended up on it and certainly in

what circumstances is it that

an Australian citizen requires

the approval of Australia House

or the airline staff would be required to call Australia House before an Australian

citizen can get on a plane and

come home? Ms Robinson is here for a legal conference in

Sydney, attending the same

event today is the

Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon.

Gina Rinehart has failed in

the latest round in her

long-running court battle. The

mining magnate has lost an

appeal trying to stop three of

her children pursuing her in

open court instead of by

confidential mediation. That

means many details of

Australia's richest person

wants to keep private will be

anything but. Jamelle Wells is

at the Court of Appeal in

Sydney. Today, an appeals

court ruled this bitter dispute Gina Rinehart is having with

three of her children over the

family finances doesn't fall

under what was called the Hope

Downs Deed. That's a deed Gina Rinehart says she signed with

the children a few years ago

and she says that meant any

multi-billion dollar dollar dispute they have over this

family trust would be settled

in private arbitration or

mediation. The judges threw

that out today and that now

means that the matter is heard

in open court. Has there been

any response from Gina

Rinehart? For once, no. This

very long-running case that's

been going since last year

usually provoks written

statements and responses from

Gina Rinehart and her children.

They've been very nasty to and

about each other in these

statements. But today they're

all very quiet. We haven't

heard from any of them and

they're all represented in

court by their legal teams, but

they weren't present. Of course, this doesn't mean that

the case is over. What happens

next? Next, a hearing date

will be set in the Supreme

Court. A judge will be

allocated to the case and the

hearing about the dispute will

get under way. Lawyers for the

children are hoping that will

happen in the next few months,

but a date for that case hasn't

yet been confirmed. What are

the children seeking? They

want Gina Rinehart removed as

head of the trust, because they

allege that she changed the

vesting date of the trust.

That is, when they could access

their money and they allege

that she put that date forward

by 50 years without telling

them and that money would have

made them very wealthy,

wealthier than they are and

they say that she did that in

secret and by doing that in

secret, she engaged in a wrongdoing, it was inappropriate conduct for

someone in charge of a trust.

So they hope to remove her as

head of the trust and they want

to set up a new trust and to

run it themselves. It also has

wider ramifications, because

Gina Rinehart is on the board

of several companies, so if she

is found guilty of any

wrongdoing, that could have an

effect on that. Tributes are

being paid to the former Men at

Work musician Greg Ham whose

body was discovered at his

Melbourne home yesterday.

Homicide detectives who were investigating the death of the

58-year-old now say it's not

suspicious. In recent years,

Ham had been deeply troubled by

a court decision ruling that

his flute solo in the hit song

'Down Under' breached

copyright. The frontman of Men

at Work has released a statement marking his

friendship with Hay and others

in the music industry have sung

his pradzs. We'll remember

him as a great musician. He

was multi talented, he was

really integral to the sound of

Men at Work and he was, like I

said, just a good Aussie bloke.

I mean, in the end that's the

greatest compliment I think.

An autopsy is being conducted

today. Nearly 70 years after

his Spitfire was shot down over northern France, Australian

pilot William Smith has finally

been buried with full military

honours. His body was found

last year by a film crew giving the family an opportunity to

farewell a loved one they

thought was lost forever.

Philip Williams reports from

Cassel. This is the funeral Sergeant William Smith

deserved, but for 70 years was

denied. His family waited

generations for this moment,

none more so than William

Smith's brother, berth, now 84,

but just 14 when the man he

described as his hero vanished

without trace. We shall never

forget. As Sergeant Smith's

remains entered that French

soil, there was a palpable

sense of relief, but also

sadness that his mother never

found the peace of a proper

burial with full military

honours. How sad that his

mother who lived for another 40

years after he was killed, was

never able to hear those words

that would have told her that

her beloved son was found.

This ceremony was only possible

because of a chance discovery.

A documentary film crew was

looking for another plane and

found William Smith's Spitfire

buried deep below this field

where it crashed. We were

looking for an aeroplane that

was meant to have a man bailed

out and to find the pilot still

there is actually quite

emotional. (The 'Last Post'

plays) No-one - family,

friends, the French, the

Australians - were left

untouched by this remarkable

story. A family reunited in

grief, but also a joy that the

waiting is over. Finally, the

family has what they've waited

seven decades for, an

explanation of what happened, a

grave and a place for them to

come and grieve. Passengers

on a commercial flight in New

York have had a close shave

with disaster. This Delta

Airlines plane had just taken

off when it was hit by a flock

of birds knocking out an

engine. The aircraft

shuddered, the cabin filled

with smoke and terrified

passengers feared the worst.

It sounded like a Volkswagen

Beetle being grinded through

the engine. I thought we were

going to go down and the next

thing that happened was a smell

came through the cabin. I've

just come from Delta 1063.

That was the scariest thing I

have ever done. The pilot

remained calm, turning the

plane around on one engine and

making a successful emergency

landing to end the drama for

the nearly 180 people on board.

The number crunchers are

putting final details on this

year's Federal Budget and it

seems superannuation is in

their sights. Reports out

today suggest $30 billion worth

of tax breaks for super are

under scrutiny and while the

Government's keen to balance

the books, it's renewed debate

about tax breaks for super

could discourage people from

saving for retirement. Pauline Vamos is the chief executive of

the Australian Super Funds

Association. We're feeling

very concerned, because if the

Government tinkers again with

the superannuation system, we think this will be a

short-sighted and a decision

not good for the future. Most

people do not have enough in

retirement and they will not

have enough in retirement.

They have not had a chance to

save for retirement. The

system has not been in that

long. People live a lot longer

and what this could mean is

we'll have a lot of retirees

who will be very poor and

surviving on the aged pension.

Should high-income earners be

paying more tax? Because at the

moment they pay 15% on super

contributions compared to 45%

they'd be paying on other

income that isn't put away for

their retirement? The

perception that high-income

earners get most of the tax

concessions is just wrong. 90%

of the tax concessions go to

people below the top marginal

rate. This, with the fact that

you can't put in a great deal

into super anyway means that

many high-income earners are

not being able to get those tax

concessions that people say

they are saying. The system at

the moment is relatively fair.

Clearly the Government wants

to make savings where it can,

where do you see the areas

where there could be some

reform? They've already made

a number of changes that have

provided substantial savings.

The lowering of the

contribution caps alone gave

them $12 billion. We've seen a

reduction in the

co-contributions and we've seen

a freezing on the increase in

the contributions cap. As far

as you're concerned, that's

enough. That's right. The

system has already been hit.

It's time to leave the system

alone so that people can start

thinking about saving for

retirement with confidence and

with security. The system is

not going to be continually with. Pauline Vamos in

Melbourne, thanks for joining

us. Thank you. An

Australian Internet provider

has won a major court battle

against the might of some of

the biggest Hollywood movie

studios. Perth-based iiNet had

been dragged through the courts

by 34 multinational entertainment companies,

including 20th Century Fox,

Sony Pictures and Universal

Studios. They accused iiNet of

allowing its customers to watch

and distribute pirated TV shows

and movies. Lower courts

dismissed the case and today so too did five junls in the High

Court. They unanimously ruled

that the Internet provider's

not liable for copyright

infringements by its users. Mining ventures are going

gangbusters, but not all

investments in the pipeline are

coming through. There are

concerns that rising costs and

competition for resources could

put the brakes on the boom.

For years, Australia's business

and economic leaders have been

talking up the mining

investment boom. We are

continuing to push ahead with

all of our large capital

projects. We've approved over 10 billion over the past year .

The mining industry is

planning to invest a record $76

billion in 2011-12.

Around Australia, that's

translating into some

eye-popping potential investments. Rio Tinto and BHP

Billiton are planning to spend

$28 billion in their Pilbara

iron ore expansions over

several years, a full-scale

development at BHP's Olympic

Dam could cost $30 billion and

Woodside's Brouse gas field

comes in at $30 million.

Europe's troubles are

lingering, China's troubles

engineering a slowdown and costs like labour, energy and

tax rising. We're seeing

mining cost pressures globally

10-15% range, and that's a

fairly substantial impost in

terms of year in-year out cost

increases you've got to claw

back. The project causing

most concern is Olympic Dam.

It's been given the go-ahead by

the State and Federal

Governments, but BHP's board is

still mulling its options, even

though it was given just a year

before the State approval

lapses. Many fear they may

well decide to scale back the

project. And despite the

recent rush to LNG and coal

seam gas that investment

pipeline is also by no means

assured. A recent report by

Citigroup identifies 18

projects either proposed or

under construction worth $330

billion. But City warns that

$150 billion of that work may

not proceed. In a sign of the

uncertain environment, Woodside

has already delayed a decision

on its $40 billion project.

However the Pilbara iron ore

expansions by BHP and Rio seem

far more assured given the

price of iron ore is well above

the cost of extraction. Let's take a check of the markets

with Sue Lannin. Woolworths is

looking cautious about the

future? Yes. Sales rose in the

first few months of the year,

but it is worried about the

impact of the carbon tax and

interest rates, so total sales

increased nearly 4% to just

over $14 billion. That's for

the 13 weeks to April and that

comes despite bad weather in

the price war between Coles and

Woolies. Woolworths says it's

in talks with a number of

parties over the sale of the

Dick Smith electronics chain,

shares down 0.5% today, and

Wesfarmers, the owner of Coles

up nearly 1%. Has there been

any market reaction to that

court decision about illegal

movie downloads? The Internet

firm iiNet has welcomed that

High Court judgment you heard

about earlier, which dismissed

an appeal by the film and

television industry. The

industry had accused iiNet of

allowing illegal downloads of

movie and TV shows, but iiNet

says the unanimous decision

proves the claims were

unfounded. IiNet shares up

about 1.5%. We had a weak

lead from overseas markets,

how's the local market faring

today? Pretty flat today.

Weak leads from overseas,

worries about the US economy in

Spain. We are seeing energy

stocks, though, doing the best.

Santos up 0.5%. The All

Ordinaries Index down 1 point

to 4,440, the ASX200 down 1

point to 4,362 and in other

news, Ireland's O'Reilly family

have ended their connection

with APN News and Media. Gavin

Reilly has resigned as chairman

of the company. APN shares

down about 1%. Let's check the

market's other big movers in

the ASX top 100.

Wall Street fell for a

second day. Jobless claims

ticked up.

Rumours about a French ratings downgrade rattled

European markets.

The practice claims up to

150 lives every year in

Pakistan. Yet, many women

maimed in acid attacks usually

inflicted by their husbands or

inlaws are still being denied

justice. And despite the

introduction of tougher

penalties, human rights groups

say the level of violence is on

the issue and a warning - this

report contains some disturbing

images. Her name is Sh a,m a

meaning 'candle'. She says her

husband doused her in acid.

She was too proud of her

beauty, he said.

TRANSLATION: I feel pain at

what I was and what I've

become. I feel like I'm a

living corpse. Sharm a is one

of the newest arrivals in the

burns unit of this dilapidated

hospital in Maltan.

TRANSLATION: I have to work to

build a future for my kids. If

I can't, I'll do what one or

two other girls have done -

they killed themselves. This

woman was one of those girls.

Here's how she looked 13 years

ago before acid was flung in

her face. Her former husband

from a powerful family was

acquitted of the crime. This

was her before the attack. She

endured almost 40 operations

before committing suicide last

month. The laws here have been

tightened. Offenders can be

sentenced to between 14 years

and life imprisonment, but

campaigners say most of these

women never get justice. Back

in the burns unit, another victim has

victim has just arrived.

Maksood said her son-in-law did

this after a small family

dispute. A few beds away,

Sharm a's children come to

visit. "Be good" she says "

pray mummy gets well soon. "

For their sake, she'll try to

keep going. Her husband is

still at large. In Russia,

three members of an all-woman

punk band remain behind bars

after a court delayed the start

of their trial on charges of

hoolgianism. They were

arrested after their band Pussy

Riot performed an anti-Vladimir

Putin song in a Russian orthodox cathedral in February . Up to 30 of their supporters

were arrested outside the court. court. The case has brought new criticism to the church

from those who say it's too

close to the Kremlin. Moscow

correspondent Norman Hermant

reports. Outside a Moscow

courthouse, this was just one

indication those appearing

inside were not your ordinary

punk rock band. Supporters of

Pussy Riot were steadily

arrested, even standing

silently holding a sign silently holding a sign was

apparently too much for the

police on hand. In February,

the all-woman group caused a

sensation with this flash

performance in a Russian

orthodox cathedral. They sang

that the Virgin Mary should

chase Putin out. Not long after they were arrested and

jailed. They've been at the

centre of a national debate

ever since. It really touches ever since. It really touches upon many very sensitive

issues. Feminism is one.

Pussy Riot has gained a

reputation for guerrilla-style

concerts. Last winter they

also crashed Red Square.

Amnesty International calls the

three jailed band members "

prisoners of conscience" , but

their detention has divided the

Russian public. "You should

respect the feeling of orthodox

believers" , this man says.

Pussy Riot didn't stage their

impromptu concert just

anywhere, they did it at the

cathedral of Christ the Saviour

in central Moscow. When

Vladimir Putin goes to church,

he comes here. The performance

has been called " the work of

the devil". Any orthodox believers believers agree.

TRANSLATION: For me, it was an

insult. Their act upset me

very much, because no-one is

even allowed to go on the

altar, to say nothing about

filthy dancing. Band members

face up to 7 years sentences in

a trial now delayed until late

June. Pussy Riot and their

supporters, for them the

controversy goes on. Let's look at look at another story from

around the world, and locals in

Baghdad are calling it one of

the worst sand storms in

memory. The choking dust

stopped traffic and sent many

gasping for breath to hospital.

The sandstorm engulfed the city

on the same day as a series of

bombs in Iraq killed at least

30 people. The Second Test

between the West Indies and

Australia has finished in a

draw after rain prevented any

chance of a result. The home

team needed a further 162 runs

for victory when wet weather

washed out the rest of the

day's play. Ricky Ponting top

scored with 41 and Man of the Match Kemar Roach finished with

10 wickets. Another bold

declaration from Michael Clarke

left the West Indies needing

215 runs off 61 overs. They

chased the target with vigour and were

and were 2/53 when rain set in.

Australia leads the series

1-nil, with one Test left to

play. Ahead of this weekend's

first round presidential

elections in France, the most

extreme candidates are

garnering plenty of support and

while all signs point towards

victory for the Socialist

candidate Francois Hollande,

the far left and far right

nominees have enough momentum

to play a key role in the

outcome. In France, the far

right and the far left are

performing strongly. This is

the far right - thousands of

flag-waving supporters packing

a Paris convention hall to hear

their leader, Marine Le Pen.

She is currently attracting up

to 17% in the polls, with a

message attacking immigration

and what she calls " stupid and what she calls " stupid EU


TRANSLATION: We now see the

reality of the European dream.

Disillusionment, wrecked lives,

their European dream has become

a nightmare. She says she has

cleaned up the party's racist

image, distancing herself from

her father who questioned the

holocaust. She calls on her supporters to

supporters to shout their rage,

and say yes to France. On a

beach, 100,000 people gather to

hear the leader of the far

left. There have been calls for a citizen for a citizen uprising. He has

seen his poll ratings go up to

15 per. He too rejects the

culture of austerity embraced

by Brussels. "We are writing a

new page of the history of the

left" he tells the crowd. In

the first round of the election

on Sunday, the far left and the

far right could get more than

30% of the vote. What they

have both done is to tap into have both done is to tap into the anger with the economic


Let's take a look at the

weather now, and the satellite shows thick cloud clearing

eastern NSW and Victoria as a

trough moves away from the

coast. Cloud over central

Victoria and Tasmania with

another trough and cloud over

southern WA with a front. A

deepening low over the Bight

should direct cool and showery

winds into the south and

south-west. Warm northerlies should filter should filter into

south-eastern Australia ahead

of a trough and a broad area of

low pressure over the northern

tropics should trigger

scattered showers and storms.

A final check of the markets:

That's the news for now on

a day when the Federal

Government announced a

wide-ranging overhaul of the

age care sector and a long-lost

Australian Spitfire pilot was

honoured in northern France.

There's continuous news on ABC

News 24 and there's also News 24 and there's also news

on-line and our next full

bulletin on ABC1 is at 7

o'clock. I'm Nicole Chettle,

have a great weekend.

Closed Captions by CSI.


APPLAUSE Hello, and welcome to this special, a moveable feast, if you will,