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Former Labor power broker
Eddie Obeid vows to clear his name in the wake of a damning corruption name in the corruption inquiry.This is nothing short of a political nothing short of which hunt against myself and MacDonald and it's backed up by the O'Farrell Government.

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Smokers to Live. Smokers to be slugged to raise more than $5 billion.The single most important thing that any Government can do to reduce smoking that reduce smoking is to put the price up significantly.A former Essendon manager takes aim at James Hird over the controversial supplements program.His action, the way he has handled himself, I've got no respect for guy anymore. If he was honourable he would stand down.And sacked coach Mickey Arthur strikes a deal with Cricket Australia. Good morning, welcome back to ABC News Breakfast, I'm Michael RowlandAnd I'm Virginia Trioli. Leading our bulletin this hour - former NSW power broker Eddie Obeid has spoken for the first time about the findsings of the State's corruption inquiry. The inquiry has recommended that Mr Obeid and fellow Minister Ian MacDonald face criminal charges over corruption.But Mr Obeid claims the whole affair was a political witch hunt and he wants the case taken to the Supreme Court. Here is some of what he had to say to reportersIt was a sham inquiry.The conclusion was expected from their opening statement by the assistant counsel. We look forward that the DPP picks this up and takes to it the Supreme Court.That is the only way we will be able to bring on the evidence and the truth of what's behind this. This is Ngo nothing short of a political witch hunt against myself and MacDonald and it's backed up by the O'Farrell government.We will pursue this through every court of the land to prove that we're innocent, we've done nothing wrong and this has been just a political witch hunt to Labor ex-Ministers in the public eye being scandalised and victim iz ood and vilified by - I don't blame the media, you're doing your job and you have to report what is being said. But ICAC is a disgrace. If the DPP don't take to it court, we will. I am not going to have this hanging over my head. I've given 20 years of service to the NSW Parliament. And I am a very respected person by all those that dealt with me.And I am ashamed of some of my colleagues in the Labor Party who become like a Lynching mob just to protect themselves, hoping that they can look clean in all this. There is nothing in this, there is nothing in this inquiry that puts - that finds a smoking gun against anyone.Eddie Obeid, who is roundly defending himself and says further in that interview this morning I am not corrupt - so the comments coming from him in defiance and in defence of
himself himself after that ICAC finding.Health experts have welcomed plans to welcomed plans to make smoke pay more to light up. The Federal Government wants to raise more than $5 billion by raising the tax on cigarettes. The tax will rise by 12.5% over four years.It will add more than $5 to a packet of cigarettes by 2016. As expected more smokers are expected to quit the has been.The single most important thing that the Government can to to help reduce smoking numbers is to put the price up. This year data showed there had an an 11% fall in total cigarette s being brought in. Pricing elasticity is pleasing these days an we predict over the next four years something like 220,000 people will quit smoking and about 40,000 people won't take it up as a result of the price.Updating story we reported a few minutes ago, an infant boy found wrapped in a blank blanket outside a ambulance station last night is now in a stable condition. There will be more news over the course of the morning.To Canberra ed on Melissa Clarke joins us now there Parliament House to discuss that news tabs rise in the tobacco and alcohol excise. So the Government clearly feels that it can comfortably sell this tax increase?This is one that a) little more politic ly palable. If you have to raise taxes, then and one that they can then tobacco is a usual and one that they can probably
get Away with without alienating too many voters.For two reasons - one, not as many people smoke anymore and secondly the flow-on effect benefits of having a reduced number of people either by quitting or by not taking up smoke has great economic benefits in terms of health costs on the Government later on. So this move by the Treasurer Chris Bowen to increase the tobacco excise, by 12.5% each year for four years in an effort to raise more than $5 billion, will be one that while there might be a lit of grumbling about how it disproportionately affects low income earners who are more likely to smoke, it is likely to be one that the Government and the Leader of the Opposition be likely to accept to get those savings.It does provide the Government and the Opposition to wedge the opposition when it comes to accepting money from tobacco companies?And that is something that politically Labor is using this announcement to attack the Coalition on because just as we have the government making this announcement the Labor Party is releasing an online advertisement which increasingly both sides are doing, pointing to the fact that the Liberal Party does accept donation s from tobacco companies, something the Labor Party stopped doing several years ago, and are using that to put a bit of pressure on the Liberal Party because it is something that is a conessential issue and there are a range of views on whether or not the Liberal Party should continue to take donations from tobacco companies. While we are not in an official election campaign, everything has an election benefit to it.Now to the PNG policy reevenltly say news onned by the Government, that's formally taken effect vr effect today because we now have some people travelling to Papua New Guinea.We have is the first cohort of asylum seekers who arrived by boat being transferred to Manus Island to be processed under this new system.So they have actually arrived in Manus Island now. They flew off Christmas Island late last night after a bit of a stalled depart tur because of bad weather, it's group of around from
40 single men are WHO are all from either Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iran.They will have their claims for asylum processed in Papua New Guinea and then regardless of the outcome they won't have the opportunity to be in Australia.Good to talk to you this morning, thanks so much.The Shadow Treasurer Lance Hockridge is being interviewed by John feign on ABC local Radio in Melbourne. .Now it's not as if there aren't issues to deal with at the Federal sphere. Lance Hockridge, available to you now 1300 222774. Do you support the 1300 222774. announcement to increase taxes
on cigarettes announcement to on cigarettes and alcohol?I don't like it, I want to the detail of it.Why don't you like it?Because it is not motivate vaetd about better health policies, it is solely about fixing the budget crisis.What better way to do that?Well, spend less. That is a good way to start.But Kevin Rudd is not capable of that. So therefore I was look at it this morning on the numbers that have been published because they haven't announced any numbers yet, they briefed it out to the media, roughly a third - a pensioner who smokes, a third of their pension increase is going to pay for what could be their - the increased tax on cigarettes.Not what we support tax dodging with this would be the easier tax to dodge, you give up smoking?For some people this is not that easy.But this might push them towards that?Maybe it will. Kevin Rudd said last time when he was last PM, he said every dollar would go into national health schemes. I didn't.It didn't. It went out on a whole range of different things. Now he says yesterday this is about health but it's really about fixing the
Budget. We know health but his Treasurer says
it's Budget. We know it's about fixing their Budget problems. But ultimately who is going to pay? It is going to But ultimately who is going pay? It is going to increase
the cost of living for smokers.But smokers could be pensioners, low income people, it could be smokes and beers might be the thing that is important to them.So governments all through the ages, smokes beers up was the standard Danner headline after every budget going back forever.Don't tar us with this brush.Your party collects when it can donations from cigarette companies.Kevin Rudd took a donation from a cigarette machine manufacture er to go to Germany on a couple of year s ago on this. He is a hypocrite on this. We will not be hypocrites. From my perspective, everything has a consequence. And I want to know what the impact is on lower income people of just increasing their cost of living. You can have all the moral indignation that non-smokers have, but for pensioners, for low income people this tax increase is going to have a far bigger impact on their every day budget.So you're going to question an increase to our taxes on the bases they your concern is for pensioner? my concern is about cost of living rises, cost of living rises. Do you know what's next? I suspect the Government will go and hit the banks an say the banks are the big bars ards that need to be hit now. As sure as night follow s day. This is the Labor way. They turn around and create some great moral outrage and then they increase the cost of living with their taxes, 40 which they have had to date, and then they say cost of living is the big issue, we will try and cut back on the carbon tax and we will increase your pension slap us on the back, but the fact is they increase the cost of living by increasing these taxes, every tax increase has a consequence.What about the Business Council's proposal which we discussed on the program yesterday to cut corporate tax from 30 to 25% and increase the GST and extend it to food?We have said that if you have tax reform it's got to be part of an entire package and you have to take to it the electorate.So this announcement for example on tobacco today takes effect from today and they're still in Government. So it becomes a law.Is there something wrong with that?No, but I am I saying they're not take to it the Australian people. Of course they should because we're in election mode, it's like FBT. The FBT started a few weeks ago. The im Pat of it started a few weeks ago. Weir seeing everywhere. This is because seeing car dealers lose they're still in everywhere. This is They're not seeking they're still for these They're not for these things.That puts you at odds with Dr Napolitano who minutes ago - Napthine who minutes ago said he will sign a contract for billions of dollars of infrastructure just before next year's State election and there's nothing wrong with doing that?He is in Government.Kevin Rudd is in that is what
Government.Well, yeah, but that is what I'm saying. If you're going to have these tax increases out of the blue now, and we know we're in an election campaign because Kevin Rudd's advertising, the the Labor Party on TV, you should do it. But we're committed 1.5 billion dollars to east west, right. We have already said that. You know our position, I know your position too.But we have committed 1.5 billion dollars, that is the project the Victorian Government has raised with us and there is a cost benefit analysis, therefore, you know, we're a fair wait out from the State election and the announcement has been made. Not on the eve of election, not two days before the election, but it's fair way out.Just for the record I don't think you do know my position, I don't think I have discussed it on radio:I was in a debate with you and I said I am not an engineer that - do you remember that information conversation.We discussed traffic impacts in particular whether there would be an impact but I never yet disclose ed what my personal views are and they're irrelevant.Sorry to verbal you.That is OK. Are we getting to depoliticise ing? InNo, you won't get that.No point trying?What we have said receivery project that we spend more than $100 million on has to have a cost benefit analysis so you don't end up withing in like the NBN where Kevin Rudd did it on the back of an envelope flying over the Indian Ocean. There needs to be a cost benefit analysis for any infrastructure project over $100 million and it needs to be a transparent process.Should that all be disclosed publicly? Because we're not allowed to see the infrastructure proposal for the east west tunnel?I understand the Victorian Government has released the first part of that.They have released a summary but we are not allowed to see - and they've provided it to Infrastructure Australia.We're not allowed to see the costings and the way the form lass and calculations have been done?I would imagine because of competitive tendser. I know they have troid provided it to Infrastructure Australia, they've actually one once and they have release ed the executive Psalm summary as well. There is no cost benefitage sis on the NBN which is the biggest infrastructure project in Australian history.I think we've got a fair way further than anyone else.We've got meant write of them just pop their head phones on.That is where we will leave Hockridge as he prepares to take talkback calls with John faen.It's not a case where you're - where you're talking about services way in excess of what's available to the rest of the community in Papua New Guinea or anything like. That but where you have some families who may have an experience of torture and trauma there are some very specific mental health services I want to make sure are available, I want to make sure we have some very appropriate processes in place for children and complaint s mechanisms where if there's conduct that people believe is going on that they want to make sure they can report, that the lines of communication reporting and action are very clear.The new configuration at the sites I believes delivers. That I won't be long. That's why anyone be that politician, journalist, commune ator, anyone, would hold out some hope that there might be a treasurer incentive for - fresh incentive for women and children to risk their lives on me.Do
the high seas is quite beyond me.Do you think the Coalition people's lives
is starting to gamble with people's lives with their latest position? Is that what you are say ing?They're using language that I would never use if I was in the same position. Never.Everybody I think now understands the direct connection between views that rex pressed in Australia and
expectations that rex pressed in Australia expectations that are held
throughout rex pressed in Australia and
expectations that throughout the pipeline here. I

(PROBLEM WITH SOUND) think everybody We seem to have lost the audio We audio there on the Minister Tony audio there on

S for that.He was addressing the S for that.He was the media. If we get the audio back we should take you back to that. We take these press conference s live.It's proof Essendon's
they're if nothing else. Essendon's high performance manager Dean Robinson has codes coach James Hird of the Dai being the driving force in the controversial supplements program. In a paid interview with Channel 7 he called on Hird to stands down as coach. He said David Zaharakis was the only player to refuse the the injections. Essendon says Robinson is a disgrauntleed employee.Sacked cricket coach Arthur Hart has reached a confident ial settlement with Cricket Australia. It the deal has been truck after a marathon 14 hours of negotiation over two days. The settlement is believed to be significantly lower than the $4 million that he Origin nalgly asked for.Former nurse con victed of killing 11 residents in a Sydney nursing home fire will be sentenced today. Roger Dean set fire to the Quaker's Hill nursing home in 2011 to try to hide his theft of pain killers. He's pleaded guilty to 11 count of murder and 8 count of grievous bodily harm. Understand vrCounting is under way in Zimbabwe where fleece been a high turnout for the ballot marks the end of four years of an un easy truce between Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai. Africa's oldest leader cost hisser cast his ballot along side his wife grace. At 89 years of age, Robert Mugabe is hoping to extend his 33-year rule one more time. With his vote, PM Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's long-time brides maid, came the hope that this time was his time.While uncertainty and anxiety surrounded the lead-up to voting day, it has produced one absolute. An end to four years of un easy power sharing between long-tile rivals.The forced marriage was arranged by the international community to avoid further violence following the bloody 2008 poll.Only a handful of foreign observers were allow ed to poll.Only a handful of monitor this election.While Robert Mugabe has promised to stand down if he loses, not so Morgan Tsvangirai.He says he will only accept the outcome of a free and fair election which he and his party say this ballot is not.First results are expected to soon start trickling in. But the official result won't be known for some days yet.The first stage of the Government's aged care re forms come into effect today. I means the aged air commissioner will get increased powers to deal with complaints about patient care.Earlier Senator Jacinta Collins told News Breakfast that there's also a change in the way that older people can access home support.We're trying to encourage people to think about accessing aged care before they reach crisis.So this is the single entry point that the productivity commission called for.That is right. It's a website which is mi aged care but it's also an 1800 phone number which is 1800 200 422.And again we stress for people please make contact sooner ran when you reach crisis. People's care is from their family and from their own end better served if they're making contact sooner rather than waiting until some critical stage.After we got the Productivity Commission's report on just what needed to change in terms of provision of services for those who are elderly, there are a couple of key elements that many people agreed on that had to happen. One was the idea that care and a,ication had to be separated.- accommodation had to be separated?Has that been done?Yes, we've separated high air and low care. This is part of a broader range of changes in how people can invest in their accommodation so the LNGer term investment from both Government and consumers themselves ensure that the residential rare care that people need in the longer term will be available.But they don't have to sell their own homes to go into resident care?That was one of the recommendation of the Productivity Commission that we did not pick up. We felt that that was one step too far. People did not want to consider their residential home in part of their ongoing arrangements.Do you believe most Australians have confidence in our aged care system? We have those poor allegations on 'Lateline' about abuse, shocking abuse in a few Are
nursing homes around the place. Are you confident there is that think there
confidence in the system?I think there is that confidence in the system with respect to how it once was. When I first trained as a social worker I was part of an informal network to monitor the standard of nursing homes. At that stage we had no system to track and monitor the quality of the services in homes as profession ally as social workers we did that. Today we have a strong accreditation system and a complaints system that's been improving. We recrewed it - reviewed it a couple of years ago and it's on track and improving. This is not to say we can't im elements of the system. The Productivity Commission made some recommendation about consolidating some of these produces. I think in the future Committee can im the advocacy particularly Committee can im particularly for people who
don't Committee can im the advocacy particularly don't have connections to family or friends to ensure that their clinical care that their clinical care is better managed. In that their clinical better managed. In the longer
term we can that their clinical care is
better managed. term we can make some changes about improving access to clinical care for clinical care for people including residential care as well.Let's go to sport now. Good morning pau.Take a look at what 457ing with the Essendon Football Club. The former high performance manager Dean Robinson has accused James Hird of driving the club's CSR ial supplements program. In a paid interview with Channel 7 he called on James Hird to stand down as coach. James Hird has spoken this morning about the allegations made against him. He has said some of the things that Robinson claimed were not true.Morning, guys.Do we trust Dean Robinson? Who knows(Inaudible)I have never spoken to a New York doctor. The club's made a statement and I would prefer if you look at that statement, thank you.(Inaudible)No.Has the AFP raided your home in relation to your with Shane chaerter?Definitely not. Thank house.
you.They have never raided my house. Not in meltion to anything.(Inaudible)I watched some of it.What did you think?It did go for a long time. St Kilda player armed Said faces a ban for up to two year s for taking a banned substance on the day of a match and the club hierarchy says it's not been told that Said can't play this weekend. He is waiting the result of his B General manager
sample. Cronulla has promoted General manager Steve Noyce to the role of interim chief executive after the resignation of Cullen this week. He will continue to oversee and manage all football related issue at the club. A-adwill begin interviewing 30 players an support staff from the today n colluding some interviews support staff from the NRL
today interviews with Cronulla people and today n colluding some and NRL official will sit in on all the interviews and NRL official will all the interviews there. Dave all Smith is the chief executive of the NRL and he had to this say.I just want to get it done. The allegations were serious so if there is something to be proven, eat let's get the interviews done and on. We need to do that as quickly as possible. The statutory poddy has responsibility for construct conducting this investigation and they're under way. The interview s are Booged and that's been very well organised lee.s get it done. Some of the players turn up, let's respect everybody's rights to tell the truth and move on.Now the third Test will begin at Old Trafford tonight in the Ashes. Let's look at who is wearing the shine ing. Gaifd Warner back in the seam vrm team and expected to bat at number six. Steve Smith has had a sore back and maybe he won't play in that case. Phil Hugh also stay in and Warner will come in. Committee vine Petersen is trying to overcome a calf injury. He looked to be moving OK at training so he is likely to play.It's been suggested that Mitchell Starc will be the fast bowl they're replaced James Pattinson. So the young spin er has been judged on his spinner and not those runs he can make at the bottom of the order.Play begins at 8 o'clock and you can catch every ball on ABC Grandstand.Paul is here with the weather.Good morning. Another clear day across Northern Australia. Great for taking a dip lo Ngo problem finding a space for a swim in Australia so spare a thought for these people in China trying to esicate a July heat wave. Any opportunity to cool off is worth it even if it means sharing the water with 15,000 other in this wave pool. Shanghai recorded 41 degrees recently, during their hottest July in 104 years.It's amazing. Back home, weak cold front is pushing past the south-west coast bringing showers there. That front will bring raiven and alpine snow upper trough
into the area tomorrow.An upper trough will kick off a shower or two and that high should keep things fine in the east.

That sit for ABC News Breakfast. But remember the coverage continues on ABC News 24. There's the Midday Report and ABC News early edition at 5:30.You have a great weekend.Thank you.And see 5:30.You have a weekend.Thank you.And see you
Monday.See weekend.Thank you.And Monday.See you Monday. News Breakfast returns tomorrow Monday.See you Closed Captions by CSI am. Closed Captions by CSI This program is not captioned. This program is not captioned. This program is not captioned.

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Good morning. Welcome to Business Today for Australia Network. I'm Whitney Fitzsimmons. Coming up on the program - no change. The Fed keeps the money taps open, saying the US economy still needs support. Downward trend - the Australian dollar sinks to a three-year low as traders digest the latest economic data from the US. And commercial risk - the serious fallout when business deals go bad in China. Those stories shortly but first let's take a quick look at the markets -

The US Federal Reserve says