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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) A Costello comeback - did the former Treasurer attempt to

re-enter politics? This Program is Captioned


Speeding trucks - contractor

s blame supermarket pressure for increasing road

accidents. What the union is saying very clearly to Coles

and the major retailers that

your practices have to change:

You are literally killing people on our roads. President

Obama comes out in support of

gay marriage. And Olympic

lights - Athens prepare for the

torch relay. It is my last

Olympics so it's something

unique for me and I'm shaking


Good morning, it's Thursday,

10 May I'm Michael Rowland And

I'm Karina Carvalho. The top

story - the Liberal Party is in

damage control this morning after revelations Peter

Costello was rebuffed in a bid

former Federal Treasurer is to return to politics. The

denying the reports which

originate ed with senior party

figure Michael Kroger. The

ABC's '7:30' program has

reported Mr Costello demanded a

young MP to step aside to accommodate him. It's

understood Mr Kroger told

several Liberal MPs that Peter

Costello had his eyes on the

seat of Kooyong, held by Josh

Frydenberg , many, can you

explain these revelations? What

we have is allegations that

stem from a number of Federal

MPs in the Liberal Party who

have told the '7:30' program that Michael Kroger, who is a

power broker within the

Victorian Liberal Party, had approached primarily Josh Frydenberg, a new young MP who

which neighbours Peter holds the see seat of Kooyong

Costello's old electorate, to

see if he would be willing to

stand aside to apparently allow

for Costello to make a comeback

to Federal politics. No to Federal politics. No it's

understood that Michael Kroger

also canvassed the idea of

#30esh8ly putting Peter

Costello - - putting Peter

Costello back into the seat of

Aston, held by another young

member or Wannon out in western

Victoria. Now we understand

that all of those MPs were none

too impressed at the idea of

being asked to step aside for Peter Costello, particularly

given that others hadn't been

canvassed such as Kelly O'Dwyer

his former staffer who holds

his former seat of Higgins and

stony Smith, another former

staffer of Peter Costello, who

holds a nearby seat of Casey.

So what we have is Peter

Costello saying this is not the

case. He says it's not true,

that he is not interested in a

political comeback, that he's

well removed from political

life for now. Michael Kroger,

who the ABC hasn't been able to

get an interview with at this

stage but there are numerous

Federal MPs saying this has

been going on in the background

and it seems it's been causing

quite a few waves and noses out

of joint. How does this fit in

with what is happening in the

party and Senator Helen

Kroger. This is the curious

case. For a few weeks now

there's been quite a battle

going over the Victorian

Liberal Senate ticket. This is

the ordering of the ticket. If

you're the number one person on

the Liberal ticket or number

two you are pretty much guaranteed of getting into

Parliament. However, if you

hold the number three spot,

that is the spot that even

Labor, depending on the waivers between Liberal and

political fortunes and the

political current of the

time. Now there's been a lot of

machinations going on and it's

ended up that Senator Helen

Kroger has ended up with that

tenuous third Senate spot on the ticket. There have been

suggestions that dumping of

Helen Kroger down to that lower

position has been some form of payback for this apparent

attempt to try to get pique a spot back in Parliament. spot back in Parliament. -

Peter Costello a spot back in

Parliament. So I shows that

tensions are deep in the

Victorian Liberal Party at the

moment and there's also a lot

of manoeuvring going on as to

Senate oral positionings within

the parliamentary party - who

is whip and who holds those

sorts positions. Things are not

all well behind the scenes in

the Victorian Liberal Party. It

is not the only mess the

Coalition found itself in

yesterday. There was some

wrangling over the Budget? It

hasn't been a good 24 hours for

the Liberal Party. The

Coalition has found itself in a

rather awkward position.

Yesterday, they they opposed the Government's School Kids

Bonus idea from the Budget.

Nonetheless passed the lower

House with the support of the

cross benches but they really

struggled to explain why it

opposed this, that parents

aren't compelled to spend it on

education expenses, there's no

mechanism to ensure that they

do. And both the Opposition

Leader Tony Abbott and the

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey

stumbled when trying to say how

that's different from the baby

bonus which is merely a cash handout as

handout as well. And there's

also some questions now about

their ideological position

because they are not going to

oppose other measures in that

package, that is increases to

the family tax benefit A

payments and the supplementary

allowance, even though that

would be funded by the mineral

resources rent tax which the

Coalition has promise ed to

wind back so that would cause a

hole in their own Budget they say they will put forward before the next election. And

Tony Abbott's Budget reply

speech is tonight. What can we

expect tonight? We won't find

out that question of how they

will pay for those extra

payments without the mineral

resource rent tax because we

understand Tony Abbott will

keep his attack on the Budget

quite broad. We Committee expect him to attack Wayne

Swan's surplus and suggest it

won't be delivered when we get

to this point in 123 months

time. We are - 12 months time.

We are however expecting him to

renew his pitch for the Liberal

Party towards families and

towards small business in

particular, so that will be his

formal speech in Budget reply

to Parliament tonight. Melissa

Clarke in Canberra, we will come back to you later in the

morning. Now here is mike well

the rest of the news Good

morning. Supermarket chains are

this morning denying any

responsibility for an increase in truckies driving

dangerously. The Transport

Workers Union says the pressure

to meet tight deadlines is

contributing to more accidents

and it says the pressure is coming from the big

supermarkets but Coles says it

outsource s its transport

business to reputable providers who don't force drivers into

unsafe or illegal

practices. Bob Carr says

Vanuatu should think tben about

its threat to expel Federal

Police. It's demanded the

Federal Police close its Office

of Police Integrity in Port

Vila. Mr Carr says Vanuatu

would lose a valuable source of

aid, if Australian police are

forced to leave. In some

developing news now, the US

President Barack Obama has come

out in support of same-sex marriage. In marriage. In an interview with

ABC America, Mr Obama said it's

his personal view that same-sex

couples should be able to get

married but in the end it was a

stated issue. Political

analysts - analysts say his

comments are likely to please

his base but upset Conservatives, including Mitt Romney. Indonesian authorities

say a research will resume at

first light for a missing

plane. The Sukhoi superjet was on a demonstration flight.

Industry represents say five business people and five

journalists are on board the

missing plane. And Greece's far

left leader has abandoned

efforts to form a government after talks with mainstream

parties failed. Alexis Tsipras

had sought to form a government

based on tearing up the terms

of the EU bail-out deal. The

leader of the pro bail-out deal

party, Pasok, will now try to

form a coalition but if he fails Greece could face more

elections within weeks. And the

markets were down on the back of that instability in Greece.

As we just heard the United

States President Barack Obama

says same-sex couples should be

allowed to get married. In an

American television interview,

Mr Obama says he no long er

thinks civil unions are enough

for gay couples. I have to tell

you that, over the course of

several years, as I talk to

friends and family and

neighbours, when I think about

members of my own staff who are

incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex

relationships who are raising

kids together. When I think

about those soldiers or airmen

or Marines or sailors who are

out there fighting on my behalf

and yet feel constrained, even

now that don't ask, don't tell has gone because they're not

able to commit themselves in a

marriage, at a certain point

I've just concluded that for me

personally it is important for

me to go ahead and affirm that

I think same-sex couples should

be able to get married. Very,

very significant news indeed

from America. We will be

following that up short ly with

Jane Cowan. President Obama's

comments in that ABC America

interview follow an interview earlier this week by

Vice-President Joe Biden where

he also indicated he was

supportive of same-sex

marriage. It's a big turnaround

for Barack Obama who not too

long ago in his political long ago in his political rear strongly opposed the concept of

same-sex marriage. Now as we're

reporting it is obviously going

to tremendously please his

democratic political base, but

also potentially make it harder

for the President to win voters

in traditionally Conservative

States come November at the


election. Particularly given

that North Dhakota has just had

a vote - sorry North car Lynagh

has just had a - Carolina just

had a vote banning gay

marriage. North Carolina is

where the Democrats have chosen

to hold their convention later

this year. The Foreign Affairs

Minister Bob Carr is trying to

defuse a diplomatic row with

Vanuatu. The country's

Government wants to expel Australian Federal Police. Mr

Carr told the ABC's Newsline

program Vanuatu would be losing

a valuable source of aid if Poo

police are forced to

leave We're spending by the way

897 million train ing police

officers across the Pacific,

it's very, very valuable aid.

If Vanuatu has a grievance with

what happened, a law enforcement incident at Sydney

Airport, I would be happy to

facilitiate ways of them expressing that grievance to

save them from any self-inflicted damage that

expreled - expelling our

Federal Police personnel might

render them. Have you conveyed

that offer to the government of

Vanuatu? No, I haven't. I would

prefer to seek further advice

and perhaps let the dust settle

before I do that. But I am

disappoint and I hope we disappoint and I hope we can

salvage it. I am very proud

that across the paiffect's Australian aid that is giving

professional police services to

these peoples. And I wouldn't

like Vanuatu to be without that

assistance because I know how

deeply valued it is. Do you

know why the Prime Minister of

Vanuatu was required to fill in immigration and Customs forms

in Sydney at Sydney Airport,

even though he was Aboriginal

in transit between Vanuatu and

a third country - - he was only

in transit between Vanuatu and

a third country. There was a

law enforcement incident that

affect add member of his party

beyond that and I am not sure

how the issues are separated.

But the key question is it

would be very disappointing if

the people of Vanuatu and the

government of Vanuatu lost some

valuable Australian aid quite unnecessarily as a result of

this. That is Foreign Minister

Bob Carr there. Will let's go to the frievenltion major

nurms. The 'Sydney Morning

Herald' reports the first payments from the Gillard

Government's Budget will be

handed to families with school

children as early as next movement The 'Herald Sun' says

the average single worker is

paying more than $5,000 a year

to pay for country's growing

welfare Budget. Business

leaders have blasted Labor for

welching on its reform promise,

reports the the

'Australian'. The 'Financial Review' says the Federal Government has been condemned

for doubling the withholding

tax for foreigners investing in

managed investment trusts. The

'Canberra Times' says the ACT

Government will try to stave

local economy by running Budget

deficits for the next three

years. The the 'Age' says the

Prime Minister's precarious

numbers in Parliament run der

renewed challenge. Highlighting what was a day of drama on the floor

of the House of Representatives. The Labor

Party has helped fund Craig

Thomson's fight against those

slease allegation an he slease allegation an he hasn't disclosed the assistance to the Parliament. The 'Courier Mail'

says students are allowed to

carry knives in some schools despite educators being told to

ban them. The 'Advertiser'

reports Jay Weatherill wantings

a new brand for SA. The 'West

Australian' says local

electricity prices are likely to rise

to rise almost 15% in next

week's State Budget. Tasmania's

financial situation is nowhere

near as dire as widely believed. That is according to

the Premier and that's in the

'Mercury'. And the 'Northern

Territory News' says Darwin

racing identities Terry and

Trish Sullivan have died in a

car accident. If you would like to join the conversation on

breakfast this morning, as

always we'd love to hear from


Let's take quick look at

the weather around the country.

These are the top stories -

the former Federal Treasurer

Peter Costello is denying

reports he tried to make a

political comeback late last

year. The ABC's '7:30' program

has reported Mr Costello demand

add young MP step aside to accommodate him. Supermarket

chains reject claims they're responsible for an increase in

truckies driving dangerous. The

transport workers union says

the pressure to meet deadlines

is causing if problem but Coles

says it use outsource this to

reputable trucking

companies. In 2 UK, the

extremist appreciator Abu

Qatada has lost his case

extradition hearing. His lawyers could still mount legal

challenges in Britain. June

Kelly reports. He is one of the

country's most notorious

terrorist suspects describes as

a danger to national security.

For a debade, Abu Qatada has

been battling with the British

authorities as they've tried authorities as they've tried to

book him on a oneway ticket out

of the UK. Now to the relief of Ministers Europe has blocked

his latest attempt at an

appeal. In his native Jordan,

Abu Qatada is due to stand

trial. The Jordanians have

given a guarantee that evidence

obtained through torture won't

be use ed in his case. He tried

to appeal on the grounds that

he could be tortured but now

Europe has ruled against

him. In a statement, if home secretary said: When it began the

deportation process a few weeks

ago, there was a dispute over

deadlines. In January he had

three months to appeal. That

was January 17th. The

Government said this meant the

deadline for the appeal expired

at midnight on April 16. But

today the panel of European

judge s said the UK had got its

dates wrong. Abu Qatada's

lawyers were right when they

worked to a deadline of midnight April 17. It's

worrying the home secretary got

the date wrong, made a major mistake that could have created

a loop hole for Abu Qatada to

get through. I think the home

secretary needs to apologise. She got it wrong and lessons

need to be learned. And Abu

Qatada won't be boarding a

plane for a while. His lawyers

could now return to court to

challenge the Jordanian

guarantees. And human rights

groups are querying Jordan's record. The question about whether Jordan will use evidence that's been obtained

through torture and whether its

guarantees on that can be

trusted. Secondly, he is likely

to be tried in a state security

court which really, really

fails the tests of

international fair trial

standards. Abu Qatada is

currently being held in a top

security jail. But tonight came

news he will be freed on bail

while he remains in the

UK. That was the ABC's June

Kelly reporting. The head of

the UN monitoring team in Syria

says a bomb blast that hit troops es sorting his convoy

won't deter him from his

work. Six Syrian soldiers escorting

escorting the monitors were wounded by the roadside

bomb. As I was travelling to

Tehran today in a convoy with

my vehicles, with journalists,

and with security personnel,

there was a bomb explosion in

the vicinity of the convoy.

This is exactly the graphic

example of the kind of violence

that is challenging the life of

the Syrian population every day

in many cities around the

country. Let's go to Russia now

where that country has marked victory in the Second World War

with a huge military parade in

Moscow's Red Square. Victory

Day is the country's most

important holiday and is a much

loved ritual for many. This is

the spectacular parade on Red

Square. Every year, flawless

and Moscow residents know

why. Spring here means heavy

weapons in the streets. Leading

up to Victory Day it's run

through after run through with military precision and there

are plenty of fabs for the

annual procession of tanks, armoured vehicles and missile launchers.

TRANSLATION: One immediately

starts feeling patriotic, it's

exciting! Standing by this stationery parade waiting to

happen becomes a big

attraction. There's noend to

the photo opportunities, and

it's not just military hardware

enthusiast. For families this

is a time to teach children

about Russia's about Russia's enormous sacrifices in war and about patriotism.

TRANSLATION: Pride, pride,

certainly the position of our

country, respect for our

country that we've got such

military strength. After

weeks of preparations and

rehearsals it's time to put

practice into action and roll

through Red Square to commemorate Victory Day.

These images are seen by

millions in Russia and around

the world. But only several

thousand spectators are allowed

in Red Square itself. Most of the public make do on the

streets. In more than six

decades, the Victory Day parade

has become a loved ritual.

Russia shows its strength and

the crowds, young and old, love

it. Let's look at the

markets. The Dow has closed 97

points down.

Time for the sport. Some

tough penalties handed

out? Yes, one bad one and Paul

gallin got off. It was Matt

Pryor who got the five-week

suspension for striking

Jonathan Thurston. He said it

was about right. Prior was sent

off for this nasty elbow to

Thurston's head. He was the

first player referred to the judiciary without a charge. That is the gallian

incident. He pleaded his

innocence and it worked. Now he

only has to get over that knee

injury before he will be OK to

play in the match against the

Storm on the weekend. Let's

hear now from Matt Prior and

Paul Gallan. It was un

intentional but it was still

hit him high and I'm regret ing

it now. Just glad he is alright

and I'm looking forward to

getting on with my life and my football. Just one wanted a

chance to prove I'm innocent. I

always thought I was innocent

of the charge. It was a total

accident, something that

happens in rugby league. To be

chargerd was disappointing but

I'm glad to have a good hearing

and it's passed me now and I move on to this weekend. A light training session today. I

am doing everything I can to

play and you guys know me for a

while now and Shane will give

me up until game day. I've been

fortunate not to miss many

games over the year, it's a

massive game for myself around

the club. Let's go to tennis,

Samantha Stosur's French Open

preparations remain on track.

He had another win last night

in the Madrid Masters. She

dispatched her opponent Petra

set cough sca, that's a new one

for me! And talking about the

tennis on the blue clay at the

moment, Rafael Nadal beat

Nikolay Davydenko 6-2, 6-2, and

added his voice somewhat after

the match to the criticisms of

the blue clay. Apparent lit's

been a little bit too slippery

but Nadal said he didn't really

like it. But he's coping with it. That is about as much

criticism you will get from

Rafael Nadal. Not one to do

much whinging. Let's stay overseas because the people of

Greece have taken a break from

domestic political turmoil to

watch the final rehearsal to

light the Olympic flame. Priestesses in pleaded

robes suede under the scorching

sun to watch the rehearsal. Once officially lit the frame

will travel across Greece

before it's flown to Britain

for the tour before the

Olympics start on July 27. The

first torch bear er Greek

swimmer Spiros din at os says

it's an important day for

him. It's a really important

day for me and my whole career,

it's something that I feel it's

my last Olympics and I am half

English so it's something

unique for me. I am shaking now

I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. I am waiting

for torges it will be very,

very important for me and my

whole career. And so I look

forward to the lighting of the

flame and the touring and all

the rest that goes along with

it. It's good to see one it. It's good to see one bit of

bright news for the people of

Greece at the moment. There's

something to be happy

about. I've been looking for

some common ground, I feel bad

about Collingwood beating up on

Bulldog s recently - Hardly

beating up! Scrapping to a

narrow victory. But go on. I've

been looking for some common

ground where we can maybe

barrack for the same team and

you love bar Yi haul. Yes. I

do. And one of my favourite

teams is the Wangaratta Rove

ers and Barry bawl will play

some matches there. The club

needed something to celebrate and they said we've got the

man. He's open to offers, he's

been offer to opens - open to

offers and the Rovers have

asked him to play a bit. That's

the same club as Brendon

Fevola. Because of Fevola's

other comments I am not sure if

he is still in Dancing with the

stars, he said he would only

play the home matches. I think

Yarra plays the Rovers at the

Rovers home ground. So maybe

not. They might take some more juice. How would you feel

hearing that Barry Hall would

be marking you soon. You would

be hoping he's put on weight or

lost condition. He wanted to

re-enter the ring but he's kept

up his training regime. We can

barrack for the Wangaratta

Rovers. Now ABC News Breakfast

can be watched live on the

web. Just visit the main ABC News website, and you will find

a link to News 24 which is

streamed live every day. Time

for a look at the weather now. Good morning. Vanessa

O'Hanlon. We have patchy cloud

that is still drifting over the

south-east, also through WA and

thick cloud is swirling around

a tropical low up in the north.

There is a slight dance it

could develop into a cyclone

and if so it could be very

care. The only cyclone to ever

affect the mainland was in May,

and that was Herbie back in

1988. We still have a high resting over the north eastern

parts of NSW. As the cold front

has moved across Tasmania and

extends to a trough over

southern NSW. Within the southern NSW. Within the next 24 hours the high will weaken

and this will allow a stronger cold front to move across the

south-east. An associated low

will deepen south of Tasmania,

and that will bring us very

cold west to south-westerly

winds. For Queensland today -

You're watch ing ABC News Breakfast. Good morning.

Still to come we will speak to our North America correspondent Jane Cowan about President

Obama's big announcement

overnight that he supports

same-sex marriage. Also ahead,

we will have a review of some

of the newspapers, to help us

do that this morning we're joined by Barrie Cassidy. Leading the news - the former Federal Treasurer

Speaker denying reports he

tried to make a political

comeback late last year. The

ABC's '7:30' program has

reported Mr Costello demand add

young MP step aside to

accommodate him. It's understood Liberal Michael Kroger told several Federal

Liberal MPs that Mr Costello

asked him to find out if

Kooyong MP Josh Frydenberg

would step aside for

him. Sydney police have

arrested two teenage boys with

a links to the hels hels over a

spate of shootings - Hells

Angel s over a spate of shootings last movement The

teenagers will face Parramatta Children's Court Children's Court today. The US President Barack Obama has come

out in support of same-sex

couples getting married. Mr Obama has said on American

television it's his personal

view that same-sex couples

should be able to get married,

but that it's a state issue. Indonesian authorities

say a search will resume at first light for a first light for a missing Russian-built plane with at

least 44 people on board. The

Sukhoi superjet 100 was demonstration flight when it

disappeared over mount Nance

country in Jakarta. The The

Foreign Affairs Minister Bob

Carr says Vanuatu should think

about about its threat to expel

o& contingent of Federal Police. It says the Prime

Minister was treated

disrespectfully on a trip to

Australia earlier this

month. The unions are saying that truckies are being

encouraged to drive

dangerously. The Transport Workers Union says the pressure

to meet very tight deadline s

is contributing to more accidents. Massive supermarket discontribution

centres pepper our landscape,

but it's truckers and

contracting firms who feed this trans continent at supply

chain. But are they a weak

link? Unions say they're being

squeezed by tight contracts and un reasonable deadlines. Your

practices have to change. You

are literally killing people on

our roads because the economic

pressure you & I apply. The TWU

says trauk driver fatality s

alone are 10 times higher than the average for other

industries. One in three

drivers say they work more than

72 hours a week. The

Transport Workers Union says

that the influence of the

supermarket chains is now so

great they're responsible for a

full third of all truck movements spanning out across

our landscape. And they say

that more trucks trying to meet

tight deadlines is resulting in

more accidents. When the two

big gorillas make a decision,

it mean that it's a knock-on

effect occurs right across the

market. Peter Frances gave up

trying to make half hour

delivery windows for what he

calls little return. He quit

trucking after 10 years contracting contracting for supermarkets. It affects their

behaviour on the roads, behaviour on the roads, when

you need to get to a place to

complete a delivery a lot faster. That's backed up by

academics who say that while

training and guideline vims

proved in recent years, tight

supermarket policies can take a

toll. Drivers, companies may

have to cut corners to actually

fulfil their contracts. Both

supermarket chains declined invitations to be interviewed.

A spokesman for the Australian

logistics Council, which

represent s companies in the retail supply chain, says

retail trucking is regulated.

And he says st TWU should take

any allegations of illegal practices to the authorities.

And in a statement, Coles

says the union's claims are

unsubstantiated. The company

says its outcourses its

transport business to reputable providers that don't force their drivers into unsafe or

illegal practices Back to the

top story - the US President

Barack Obama has announced his

support support same-sex

marriage. North America

correspondent Jane Cowan joins

us now from Washington . What

exactly has the President

said? Well, this is historic,

this is the first time a US

President sitting in the White

House has said something like

this. He is saying that he

believes it should be legal for

gay couples to get married. And

in explaining how he's come to

this decision, he talked about

his family and friends, people

he knows, people who work for

him who are in committed

monogamous relationship s. He

also mentioned US soldiers who

put their lives on the line for

the country but then are unable

not, not allowed by that not, not allowed by that same

country to marry the person

they love. He also mentioned his

his daughters Maliyah and

sacha, - sash ya, saying they

have parents who are same-sex

couples and that his daughters

can't get their heads around while those parents of their

friends should be treated any

differently. So he is

hifntzingal the generational shift that is under way here.

Let's look at the key part of

the interview. At a certain

point I've just concluded that

for me personally it is

important for me to go ahead

and affirm that I think

same-sex couples should be able to get married. That's the

President Barack Obama. Jane,

why now and why is the

President doing this all of a

sudden in This This is a

position you have to say that

the expectation was Barack

Obama would come to from the safety of a second term. But

this week he had come under new

fresh pressure after the

Vice-President Joe Biden went

on television over the weekend and unexpectedly said that he was absolutely comfortable with men marrying men, women

marrying women and that kind of

put the administration much

further out than it had been. Up until now Up until now of course Barack

Obama has said that his views

on this topic are evolving,

that he does support civil unions an equal rights for

same-sex couples but he's

stopped there. And he admitted

in this interview too, that he

had hesitated at the word marriage because he was

sensitive to all the import

that word carries for a lot of

people about it being between a

man and a woman, a special

relationship. He said he had thought for a long time that

civil unions maybe would be sufficient. It's also worth noting that he had a series of

events already in the diary for

next week where he was going to

appear on the same stage as

some sort lesbian and gay

donors, this is an important constituency for Barack Obama,

a big part of his support base.

And that would have been

extremely awkward. He would

have been harangued end ly by the White House press pack and

by handpicking a US network, sitting down in a controlled

environment, he really gets to

kind of take the lead back. And

so how is this likely to play

politically, given that it's an

election year? It is

complicated. This is a big risk

for Barack Obama. National

opinion polls do though sha -

show that opinion is wait weighting slightly in favour

now of gay marriage, that the

American public has shifted on

this. But a gay marriage,

marriage is something that is

governed by state laws. And

only a handful of American

States and the district of

Columbia here in DC so have far

approved gay marriage. A series

of others including North

Carolina just yesterday, which

is a potential swing state,

have moved to strengthen bans

on gay marriage. So it is still

very much a contested issue and

you can say that this will

certainly energise Barack

Obama's base and perhaps send

out gay and lesbian voters who

might otherwise have stayed at

home, so it will be good for

turnout. On the flipside it

energises the base of Barack

Obama's opponent, Mitt Romney,

the Republican contender, who is anti-gay marriage,

anti-civil unions, and perhaps evangelical Christian voters

who have until now been perhaps

doubtful of how Conservative

Mitt Romney was will now be siege him as the clear choice

on this issue. So it's a risky

choice and Barack Obama is

receiving some credit now for

having gone out on a limb. having gone out on a limb. In

the bigger picture it's the New

York mayor Michael Bloomberg

who has said that any time a

President throw z hiss weight

behind a civil rights cause it

ultimately succeeds. So it's a

very powerful symbol that he's

sending, a signal even though

he is not actually proposing

any over arching Federal law to override the States or any

change to the

constitution. Jane Cowan in

Washington, we will keep across

the story over the course of

the morning. Mitt Romney, the

likely Republican presidential

candidate has been speaking in

Oklahoma City and he's

responded to Barack Obama and

said, 'I have the same view on

marriage I had when I was governor. I believe marriage is a relationship between a man

and a woman.' Lots of Twitter

action on this already - Peter

has is saying one more reason

I'd vote for him, if I could,

if only Julia Gillard could

wise up here to the real mood of the electorate. The Prime

Minister maintains her

opposition to same-sex marriage in Australia. Federal MP Craig

Thomson has agreed to make a

statement to Parliament later this month about those

allegations he misused union

funds including to pay for

prostitutes. Amy bane -

Bainbridge has visited his

electorate to finds out what the voters think. The region

that makes up the seat of

Dobell is rich in beaut beauty

it but it's the ugly

allegations that is linking

Thomson Tom to the misuse of union funds has the locals

talking. I want to see him

gone. When I think about it my

blood pressure goes up, so I

try not to think about it. I

think the whole thing is a sham and something should be done

about it. It is not very good

at all. The electorate of

Dobell faces many issues on the

ground including a high rate of

youth unemployment. Many people

we spoke to are frustrated at

their local member, but others

insist that Craig Thomson has

been doing a good job. He's

provided a couple of surf

clubs, yeah I think he's generally done well for the

area. Until he is proven guilty

I believe everyone should be

innocent until proven guilty.

Like I said, we all make

mistakes but I think he is

doing alright. Craig Thomson is

accused of spending $270,000 of

union money from his time at

the helm of the Health Services

Union to help him win Dobell in

2007 . The now Independent MP

is also accused of using HSU

money to pay for prostitutes. Quite frankly

we're getting enormous support

in the electorate and, you

know, while the media and

myself spending a lot of time

talking about did he or didn't

he, quite frankly the people in

the electorate are focusing

the electorate are focusing on

what I am doing for the

electorate. But the local Business Council says the

sector is now under-represented

by its Federal member. Craig

was very visible in iz first

term and this term he's almost

been inindividualsible except

when there's publicity

promotions about. Against a

general trend in 2010, the seat

of Dobell swung to Labor, with

Craig Thomson clearing a margin

of 5.1%. With 5.1% you would

normally call it a comfortable

seat for Labor but given the

current state of polling and

the circumstance s surrounding Craig Thomson it should be

extremely difficult for Labor

to hold at a by-election or a

general election. Some don't

want to wait until next year's

election to get rid of Craig

Thomson. Independent

councillors Greg Best and Doug

Eaton moved a motion against

him, calling for him to resign from Federal Parliament. The

motion was ruled out of order

but they say it sends a

message. The two councillor

are also gathering a petition

to circulate within the community, calling for Mr

Thomson to go. We are already

getting calls from businesses and the

and the like to say, yep, give

me one in my job, or my

customers so a annoyed about

this they will sign it. So we

will be juicing every possible

man tore get that petition out

to the public and I believe we

will get thousands around

thousands of people to sign

that petition. With these two

everything they do is about a

political stunt. They change

their minds weekly on particular issues. The

Parliament and the people of

Dobell await Mr Thomson's

comprehensive statement to

Parliament, later this month. WA's Tourism Minister denies

the Government rush add decision to sponsor a Kimberley

marathon that was ravaged by

bushfire leaving two women

badly burnt. The Tourism

Council admits it might damage their

their reputation. As & tz parliamentary inquiry continues

into the Kimberley ultra

marathon, tourism officials

defended their decision to

spend $105,000 sponsoring the

event. I think the logic behind

I would have been to enhance

and im the event so that it continued so it was a quality

event that should showcase WA

in the best way. Two runners suffered life threatening burns

after they became trapped bay

bushfire during the event.

Organised by Reyesing the

Planet. Tourism WA has conceded

its sponsorship may harm its reputation. I don't think it

has harmed the reputation of

the tourism in WA. I do think that potentially it's harmed

the reputation of Tourism

WA. The agency says it only saw

a risk management plan a day

before the event started. But

changes are now under way to

ensure organisers get their

plans independent ly verified

first. The Tourism Minister Kim Haines also fronted the

inquiry, denying claims the

sponsorship was rushed

. Submissions that were made by

the executive to the board of

Tourism WA were accurate in accurate. The information you

provided is also in accurate. I

does appear that everything was

being rushed to spend the

money. It was for that

financial year starting union

June, we had a whole year to

spend the money. He also told

the quairn he doubts the

tragedy would have been

prevented had a local manage event manager been hired: The Opposition has called on the

Government to financially

assist the two women seriously

burned, something the Premier

has ruled out. You're watching ABC News Breakfast these are the top stories - the former Federal Treasurer Peter Costello is denying

reports he tried to make a political comeback late last

year. The ABC's '7:30' program

has reported prominent Liberal Michael Kroger told several

Liberal MPs that Mr Costello

asked him to find out if Kooyong MP Josh Frydenberg

would step aside for

him. Truckies are holding

nation-wide protests today

claiming the two big

supermarket chains are encouraging truckers to drive dangerously. The Transport

Workers Union says the pressure

to meet tight deadline s is

contributing to more accidents.

Coles has denied the

claims. The US President Barack

Obama has said in an American TV interview that same-sex couples should be allowed to

get married. Mr Obama says he

no longer thinks civil unions

are enough for gay couples.

For a look at the national

newspapers this morning we're

joined by the host of ers Barrie joined by the host of Inside ers Barrie Cassidy. Good morning. Good morning. We're

going to start with the front

page of the 'Age'? I think

rarely in a single day do rarely in a single day do you

see political fortunes

potentially tilt one way or the

other so dramatically as they

might have done yesterday. It

was that kind of day on both sides of politics. We will

start with the situation where

the Government was really the Government was really under the hammer. If Craig Thomson

had refused to explain himself

or at least offer to explain

himself further down the track,

the Government would have been

not only acutely embarrassed but Craig Thomson would have

been at least temporarily

suspend and the government

would have relied on the

Speaker. So that was a crisis

averted the day after the

Budget which would have been

just so damaging to the

Government. As it turns out,

probably the most sensible

bloke in the Parliament, the Independent Tony Windsor I

think stepped in and resolved

the problem on behalf of both the Government and the

Parliament. It wasn't quite as

dramatic as it's portrayed in

the papers today in the sense

that the papers give the sense

that that this was all averted

at the last second and these

critical talk s were going on

while the debate was being

held. Tony Windsor, though,

told 'P.M.' he had spoken with

Craig Thomson in the morning

and he told him he was really concerned about the Fair Work

Australia report. It bothered him and he thought he ought to

explain himself not only to the

part tbou the people of

Australia at some point. To

quote Tony Windsor in in that

'P.M.' interview he said so I

knew what he intended to do

prior to question time. So

certainly in Tony Windsor's miernd Craig Thomson intended

to do this and this would have averted the ricis. Rob

Oakeshott was probably more

concerned than Tony Windsor. Do

you think he hadn't had that

conversation with Craig Thomson? Yes. And only Tony

Windsor knew what Craig Thomson

intended to do. So people intended to do. So people were

buzzing around while the debate

was happening. But people on both sides were trying to in-Clunes these

Independents. The 'Financial

Review' has on its front page the tramatic photographs of the

deals. We normally see deals -

don't normally see deals happen

but this is playing out in full

view of the public and press

galleries yesterday. At one

stage it was so obvious they

were pressuring Rob Oakeshott

that Tony Abbott lent across

the table and said to Julia Gillard just let him make up

his own mind, he was getting

aggravate ed that this kind of

pressure was being put on. But

it was averted but then of

course as it happened I think

the Oppositionnded up having

one of its worst days in a long

time . Yesterday was not a good

one. It was because as is 'Sydney Morning Herald'

headline sulthd they allowed

themselves to be wedged on this

cash for school kids

initiative. I don't know who in the Opposition thought it was a

good idea to oppose this. In

fact there was confusion

through the day because Tony

Abbott didn't initially say he

was going to oppose it. It was an open question and Kevin

Andrews said yes we will and

then they voted against it without a party room

discussion. So it was all a bit

messy in terms of tactics. This

is money that people are entitled to anyway. They're

just finding a new way to pay

it. So it gave the impression that the Opposition was

actually opposed to people

being recompensed for money

spend spentd on education

expenses and that is not their

position. And there was no

credible repostto the claim,

the question that was obviously

put to various Opposition

figures about the baby bonus, why did the Howard Government

come out with the baby bonus

but you oppose this? That was

the second element where it was

a really bad look for Tony

Abbott. He said when he was asked what was different about

it and he said it just is. I

think one minute told me last

night he's already prepared his

advertisement and the other

element was where Tony Abbott

was doing this pick fact with a

family and said this money

could potentially go to pokie s

too and so on, but that is

never a good look. Tying it in initially to the fact that the

Opposition labelled it as

carbon tax compensation, carbon tax compensation, that argument now has fallen

away? Yeah, that is what - they

try to link everything to the

carbon tax and they were trying

to do this as well. That had some potential. It was a

strange day for a day after the

Budget because the politics was

running so hard and fast and

there was so much at stake and

it wasn't so much about the

Budget except for this

initiative. For that you can

thank the Coalition. A very big

day and then at '7:30' last

night came the next big twist

in the day of political

drama. This is what made it a

shockiner the end for the

Opposition and particular ly

again today. Because this is

Tony Abbott's Budget in reply speech and there will be a lote of chatter about what Peter

Costello was really up to.

Thirt thirt reported - '7:30'

reported he had a conversation with Michael Kroger in December

and expressed an interest

getting back into the

Parliament and he was bored and

needed this in his

life. Whether or not - just how

firm he was in terms of his conversation with Michael

Kroger is not really the point

now. What this story

illustrates is the level of

animosity that is going on now between factions in Victoria

and that there are MPs who are

swearing that in fact Michael

Kroger is saying this and that

Michael Kroger had this

conversation with Peter

Costello. That is the key

point. They're saying this and

it's quite damaging because it

goes back to Helen rogue croeg,

Michael Kroger's former wife

being denied the winnable

position on the Senate

ticket. And an unsuccessful

move to drop her as the party

whip in the Senate as

well That is another element.

For Peter Costello it gives this image he is constantly

brooding about jobs denied. He

didn't get the leadership or

the chairmanship of the Future

Fund and now he is being denied

this return to the Parliament.

You see you have to work for

these things. The Red Sea

doesn't part. This idea that -

there would be more chance of

the Red Sea parting than Josh

Frydenberg living his seat. I

makes no sense. This is a guy

who is on the way up. He's got

ambitions and he is h next generation. Why would Peter Costello suggest that Josh

Frydenberg would stand aside?

It that part of it does nlts

make any sense. Where do you

see this going next? Now it's

out in the open, it will add to

the bitterness within the party

in Victoria and Tony Abbott is

going to have to get on top of

it. Further to the chances of Josh Frydenberg vacating

Kooyong, what are the chances if Costello did come back the

Liberals backing him as leader,

given the fairly unassailable

position the Coalition enjoys

at the moment? Peter Costello

would feel the same frustration

that munl now feels, that you

would think in other

circumstances you would be a

red hot chance of perhaps leading the

leading the party one day. Tony

Abbott 59-41 in the opinion

polls - it is not even an

issue. Let's turn to that extraordinary announce 789 just

hours ago by Barack Obama ing

out in support of gay marriage. This San absolute

cracker. Just thinking about the

the implication s here in

Australia, I think that what

might occur to some people might occur to some people who

support gay marriages in Australia and particularly a

lot of Labor supporter s will be saying where is Julia Gillard,

Gillard, why is she so behind?

You've lived in the United

States as I have Michael and

you know how socially

Conservative that country is

yet the lead er - d leadership

in the United States is saying

they more gay marriage while Julia Gillard is still opposed.

That will have a lot of heads

shaking here. We are getting an extraordinary response on

Twitter and whether in fact the Australian Government needs to

move on this. I guess the

really interesting point is we

have a socially progressive government yet Julia Gillard

remains so officially opposed

to gay marriage. Yeah, and if

Barack Obama is - I can't see

how there are a lot of votes in

this for him. Perhaps the

opposite is true for him and he

is prepared to take it on. The

question is why doesn't a socially progressive Government

take on the electorate and try

to win the argument. Thanks,

Barry. Let's go to the sport

headlines now and we're joined

by Paul Kennedy. Some tough

love being meted out by the NRL

judiciary? As expected Prior

prayer from St George Illawarra

had a five- match suspension.

He seemed fairly happy with it

in the end or satisfied that

he's copped his fair punish. We

will hear from him in a moment.

Good new force Cronulla fans.

Paul Gallen has been cleared of

this one. He mounted a defence

that it was an accident. He was

innocent and he didn't want to

plead guilty. Let's hear from

Matt Prior and Paul Gallen. I

think that is about right. It

was un intentional but in

saying that I still hit him

high and I regret. That I am

glad he is alright. I just

wanted a chance to get prove

I'm innocent. I always thought

I was innocent of the charge.

It was a total accident accident, something that just happened in rugby league. It

was unfortunate. Just really

glad to be able to have a good

hearing and it's passed me now

and I move on to this weekend.

A light straining session today

and I am doing everything can

to play. You guys have known me

for a while now, Shane will

give me until game day. I have

been fortunate not to miss too

many games over the year,its a

massive game for myself and the

club. And it Samantha Stosur

has won another match at the

Madrid Masters. She'sed through

to the quarterfinals and Rafael

Nadal has won over Nikolay

Davydenko on the blue clay

which is continuing to cop a bad wrap from the players. They

say it's a bit slippery. They

will be at Roland Garros on the

traditional clay soon enough. I

just wanted to do my newspaper

review as well, if you don't

mind. The front page of the

'Herald Sun', the footy

coverage so far this year is

officially at this time of year it jumps the shark it jumps the shark in

Melbourne. Because they're

starting to talk about bringing

back the State of Origin. Of

course there's not much to talk

about a few matches in. The big

controversy this week is head

high tackles. There's nothing

in that either. West Coast

Eagles go harder at the ball at

the moment and get tackled

around the head a lot. I think

if AFL people who don't get into the rugby league probably

feel like they have some sort

of relevance to at the

moment. The dreaded AFL news vacuum because the State of

Origin will be great with the

rugby league. Thanks. Vanessa O'Hanlon joins with us the weather now. Today's satellite image, patchy cloud is drifting

over the south-east and also in

WA. And we have thick cloud up

over the tropics that is

swirling around a tropical low.

There is a slight chance it could develop into a cyclone.

We still have a high over the north eastern parts of NSW, a

cold front has moved through

Tasmania and is extending

towards a trough over southern NSW. Within the next 24 hours

the high will weaken. This will

allow a stronger cold front to

cross over the south-east. An

associated low will deepen

south of Tasmania, bringing

very cold west to south-westerly winds. In

Queensland today -

Now still ahead on ABC

News Breakfast - we will be

talking to Tony Sheldon from

the Transport Workers Union

about his claims pressure from

supermarkets is partly to blame

for truck accidents. And we

will be bringing you many of

your thoughts on Barack Obama's

change of heart and support for

gay marriage. Ellen deagain res

in the United States has said,

'Thank you Barack Obama for

your beautiful and brave words.

I'm overwhelm. ' And we will

have more news about the potential political

ramification force Julia

Gillard from Barack Obama's

announcement. All that and a

whole lot more after this short break.

A Costello comeback - did

the former Treasurer attempt to

re-enter politics? President Obama comes out

in support of gay marriage.

It is important for me to go

ahead and affirm that I think

same-sex couples should be able to get married. Speeding

trucks - contractors blame

supermarket pressure for

increasing road accidents. What

the union is saying very

clearly to Coles and the major

retailers that your practices

have to change. You are

literally killing people on our

roads. And Olympic lights,

Athens prepare s for the torch relay. It

relay. It is my last Olympics an'm half English. It's

something unique for me and I'm

shaking now.

Good morning. You're watching

ABC News Breakfast on Thursday,

10 May. I'm Karina Carvalho.

Coming up on the program this

morning, we will be joined morning, we will be joined by the Independent MP Rob Oakeshott, he will be talking

about the decision by backbench

MP Craig Thomson spo respond in

Parliament to allegations he

misused union funcedz. And

saved by a celebrity - I heard

about it through a friend when

I was in the ambulance. And I

thought it was a joke at

first. He said, 'A famous