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(generated from captions) to bat but the did a's play was
marred by umpiring raising more questions about the game's Decision Review System. All eyes are on the economy ahead of the Federal the economy ahead of Federal Government's impending economic statement. The Treasurer, Chris Bowen, has already flagged a tax increase on cigarettes and a special bank levy to help fund a return to surplus but Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the Government's economic mismanagement means it will always look to increase taxes to raise revenue. Here's political correspondent Greg Jennett. These are tough times to be in Treasury. Forecast revenue falls so forecast again. The cycle has wiped more than $170 billion out of the Budget papers over 5 years. The last Budget was less than three months ago and this financial year is barely five weeks old yet the cycle goes on. Revenue is thought to have fallen by up to $6 billion since the May Budget. Put that on this year' deficit of $18 billion and the number bhos out to 24 then add in some extra spending on things like upgrading the asylum-seeker camp on Manus Island or more aid for Papua New Guinea possibly some extra help for the car industry and the hole could blow out even wider but avoiding that kind of damage to the bottom line is what today is all about. So the Treasurer's getting out the Budget repair kit. More taxes and more savings. On the revenue side, we know about the $5 billion tobacco excise hike and there's a $700 million banking levy. Savings, well, they're harder to find especially after scraping up they're harder around $4 billion worth last month to pay for the early end to the carbon tax but the month to pay for the politics, they are clear. Limit the red politics, they the red ink, try to deflect politics, they are clear. Limit the red ink, try to deflect the
attacks over debt the red ink, try to deflect attacks over debt and deficit, and hope attacks and hope it all works out in time for the next Budget update that's due in around 10 days after the campaign begins. Just to let you know we're waiting for the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott todries address a school in south-eastern Melbourne. We'll bring that to you shortly. He's expected to comment on the Government's economic statement that is due out later today which we will also bring you live with analysis throughout the afternoon. O-Victorian Coroner has agreed to consider taking into account more evidence that she's considering in the case of a Volkswagen driver who died when her car was hit on the monish freeway in 2011. A smtion from the family of Melbourne woman Melissa Ryan has asked the Coroner to consider fresh evidence detailing cases of 300 drivers who say their Volkswagons lost power. Amy Bainbridge joins us now. This was a high-profile case that sparked the 300 people coming forward. What happened was in January 2011 Melissa Ryan, to-year-old Melbourne woman, was travelling east on the Monash freeway in Melbourne, thrars one of Melbourne's big freeways heading east out of the city. She was travelling in the right-hand lane and her car, according to the truck driver who was driving behind her, appeared to suddenly lose power and he didn't see any brake lights at all and then he hit her car from behind. Her car spun 180 degrees and she was killed. That was January 20 11. The inquest hearing wasn't until May this year and the truck driver gave the details of what happened, saying it appeared that the car just almost stopped in front of him and since then, since that hearing came to light and was made public, scores of Volkswagen drivers from around the country have come forward saying that their cars too have lost power. In light of all that, there's been problems in Asia with Volkswagen cars as well. There's been recalls issued in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. A recall was issued in Australia in June and that recall is currently in process at the moment but that's just for the direct shift gear box or automatic cars and certain models of those. The Coroner was expected to hand down her find ningedz to Ms Ryan'sing death on Wednesday. How significant is the latest development that she's going to accept more evidence? It is significant because what essentially has been asked of the Coroner - so, yes, you're right, shoo was to hand down her the death of militia Ryan on
Wednesday. hand down her find nothing to
the death of Wednesday. The family has a submission to the Wednesday. The family a submission to the Coroner
a Wednesday. The family has made
a submission to asking evidence. We haven't been able to asking her to consider further to see that submission, that in evidence. We haven't to see that submission, the hands of the Coroner, but
what we the hands of the what we do know is she has theyed what we do know is she theyed making her findings
while she considers whether or not she can include this document in not document in the overall document evidence of the case and document in the evidence of the case and she
has also evidence of the case has also told the family's lawyer that she's going to lawyer that she's going to be contacting Volkswagen or she's written to Volkswagen and the Department of Infrastructure and transport seeking more information about the problems surrounding Volkswagen cars and now we don't know when the Coroner will hand down her finding but both the Coroner and the family is hoping won't have to go to another open hearing where there will be - they'll be sitting in the Coroners court having to listen to more submissions. I'm told it is a weighty submission the Coroner has in her possession and it will take some time to consider it.What happens after this whole process? I guess it's a very forensic process from here on. Volkswagen for its part says it can't comment while the Coroner is looking at this extra submission and while the inquest continues so they're not saying anything. It's been difficult to get anything out of the Department of Infrastructure and transport as well. When these claims came to light they put out a public call telling people that if they had concerns or issues to get in touch with the department and let them know. We don't know how many people have got in touch with the department. They won't tell us. Basically, now it is hoped that the will be a finding into Melissa Ryan's death by the end of the year but we don't know, Richard, how long this might take and I'm told by the family's lawyer it's been a very traumatic and lengthy process gathering some 300 pieces of evidence together from other Volkswagen drivers who've experienced power loss and presumably it will take some time for the Coroner to look through that and see whether she can accept part of her overall view as to what happened in this accident. That's Consumer Affairs reporter Amy Bainbridge. Oversea now and the American man who kidnapped, raped and imprisoned three women in his home over a decade will spend the rest of his life in jail. A judge has sentenced Ariel Castro to life without parole on more than 900 charges. In a rambling defence of his action, Castro told the court he wasn't a monster. One of his victims, Michelle Knight, delivered an emotional statement to the court. She told her captor he will face hell for eternity for what he has done. Ariel hell remember times you came home talking about what everybody else did wrong and act like you wasn't doing the same thing. You said, "At least I didn't kill you." You took 11 years of my life away and I have got it back. I spent 11 years in hell and now your hell is just beginning. I will overcome all this that happened but you will face hell for eternity. From this moment on, I will not let you define me or affect who I am. You will live - I will live on, you will die a little every day as you think about the 11 years and atrocities you have inflicted on us. What does God think of you hypocritically going to church every Sunday, coming home to torture us? The death penalty would be so much easier. You don't deserve that. You deserve to spend life in prison.Russia has granted temporary asylum to the US intelligence leaker, Edward Snowden. Mr Snowden has been living at a Moscow airport for more than month. US Federal prosecutors have charged him with espionage and stealing Government information. Mr Snowden has been given one year's temporary asylum in Russia and is staying in a secret location. The White House says it's extremely disappointed by the decision and may cancel an upcoming presidential summit between the two countries. We are extremely dis appointed that the Russian Government would take this step despite our very clear and lawful requests in public and in private to have Mr Snowden expelled to the United States to face the charges against him. Mr Snowden is not a whistle-blower, he is accused of leaking classified information and has been charged with three felony counts and he should be returned to the United States as soon as possible where he will be accorded full due process and move by the Russian process and protections. This undermines a move by the undermines move by the Russian Government
undermines a record of law undermines a long-standing cooperation.Italy's Supreme record of law enforcement Court has upheld the prison sentence given to ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi for tax fraud tax fraud because of his age Mr Berlusconi will not face four years in prison, will face house arrest or community service instead. In the early evage, a crowd waited outside Italy's Supreme Court. At stake, the future of the man who has dominated Italian politics for 20 years, Silvio Berlusconi. Inside, five judges file under to court to deliver their verdict. They upheld the prison sentence which is lower court had given Silvio Berlusconi for tax fraud. The former Prime Minister is unlikely to go to jail because of his age but he faces one year of house arrest or community service. Outside the court, a small crowd celebrated. (All sing) TRANSLATION:We're going to cross right now to Melbourne where the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is speaking at a news conference.

I want to thank Katrina, the staff and students and parents for making Christopher Pyne, the Shadow Minister for Education, Alan Tudge, the local member, so welcome. We all know that because Labor has all know been using schools funding been using schools funding as a political wedge that there has been great uncertainty about political wedge that what the outcome for schools next year is going to be. As next year far as I am concerned, as far as Christopher Pyne is concerned, as far as the Coalition is concerned, we want to end the uncertainty by guaranteeing that no school will be worse off over the forward estimates period. So we will honour the agreements that Labor has entered into. We will match the offers that Labor has made. We will make sure that no school is worse off. We think that money is important. It's very important to educational outcomes that schools are properly funded but money is not all that matters. What matters at least as much is good teachers, good teaching, strong principals, strong parental and community engagement and strong curricula. This what counts if we are going to have the better schools that our students deserve and that our country needs. The essential difference between Labor and the Coalition going into the coming election is not over funding, it's over the amount of control that the Commonwealth Government should have. Under the Coalition, you'll get the funding but you won't get the strings attached so what I want to say today is that as far as school funding is concerned, Kevin Rudd and I are on a unity ticket. There is no difference between Kevin Rudd and myself when it comes to school funding. The differences, if any, is over how schools should be run, how that funding should be utilised and I want to work constructively with the states. I want to work as an adult Government should work with the states to ensure that as far as is possible in the years to come we have better better teaching, more autonomous principals, more parental and community engagement stronger curricula.
That's what the school educational battleground should be over. How do we actually get better educational outcomes by using a generous level of funding as effectively as possible? I'm going to ask Christopher to speak to this announcement and then I might have a few observations on other subjects and then we'll take some questions. Christopher? Thank you, Tony. The two key elements we're announcing today in the education we will education funding area are same funding envelope as Labor over the we will adopt complykted the
same funding envelope as Labor over the forward estimates so that school principals and parents, school systems, states parents, school systems, and Territories can plan from 2014 and Territories can 2014 onwards knowing that will attract exactly the same funds whether they are in the funds whether they are in new model or out of the new model that Labor would have given them if the school system had gone ahead as planned. So Labor should have been doing this last year. They should have been planning a new model in 2012. They've left it all far too late but in August it is time for there to be certainty of school funding going forward from 2014 and the Coalition is giving that certainty today so you can vote Liberal or you can vote Labor and you'll get precisely the same funding envelope regardless. The real difference is going to be that the Coalition recognises that we don't own any schools, we don't run any schools, whether they're non-Government or Government. Schooling is uniquely a responsibility of the states and Territories and rather than trying to control every aspect of the operations of scooz from Canberra, we will dismantle in the Australian education act those sections that would give the Commonwealth over-aching control of school systems whether they're Government or non-Government around Australia so the states and Territories, the non-Government schools can do what they do best which is teach students, run their schools, manage their own budgets and funds. We will get the Commonwealth out of trying to have the central control and command features from Canberra that the Labor Party's model envisages so I think this is very welcome news for the schools sector. I think principals and parents will be delighted that we can now move the debate on from funding to things like local decision-making, principal autonomy, a robust curriculum and parental engagement and good teacher quality.OK, just before we go to questions, the Government has confirmed that later today an economic statement will be released. The Coalition will have more to say about this statement later in the day after it's been released but it is pretty obvious now what you get from the Labor Party, whether Julia Gillard is the Prime Minister, whether Kevin Rudd is the Prime Minister, what youigate from Labor is more spending, more deficits and more boats. That's what you get from Labor. Kevin Rudd has now been the Prime Minister for just over a month. What we've got in that time - three new taxes and more than 4,000 illegal arrivals by boat. The boats keep coming, the deficit keeps mounting and the faceless men are still in charge of the Labor Party so there couldn't be a clearer choice now confronting the Australian people and if you want our country to be safe, secure and solvent, you've got to have the adults in charge and that means voting for the Coalition, for your Coalition candidate, whenever this election is called and held. Any questions? (Inaudible question)I'm not on about the politics of this. I'm on about giving schools certainty. It's August, an election is yet to be called and yet to be fought but schools need to let their parents know what will the fees be for next year. They need to plan for their staffing for next year. The only way they can do that is if, as far as is humanly possible, the Coalition adds to the certainty rather than do as this Government has been doing which is add to the uncertainty. (Inaudible question)What we don't need are new levels of intrusive are new levels bureaucracy from Canberra. I mean, under the Gillard-Rudd plan for schools, the Education Minister in Canberra will be able to issue management plans, very detailed management plans, for schools and for school systems. Schools are already very heavily regulated, they're already enormous amounts of paperwork and bureaucracy that schools have got to comply with. We trust teachers, we trust schools. We trust principals and school communities and why does Labor not trust them? Why does Labor always think that Canberra knows best? And Christopher might like to add to that. The only thing I'd out to that is Labor wants to put school inspectors into schools from the Commonwealth Government. They not only want to have another new institute, an Australian school performance institute to add to all the other plethora of research groups and other councils that exist in the education space, they want - in the act there are specific sections which allow the Commonwealth Minister to decide operational matters in schools, to remove funds if the Catholic system, for example,ments to vary between their schools different amounts of money because they opralt as a system, they have to get approval from the Federal Minister and they have school inspectors who can go into every school ensure the school is doing what the Commonwealth wants including counting students in classrooms. We don't run any schools, the states run schools and the non-Government system runs schools. Decisions should be made as locally as possible by schools and school systems. There is no necessity to establish another new layer of bureaucracy in Canberra, in fact it's the worst thing we could. Do so we aren't copying Labor's policy, we're saying on school funding there will be certainty, in the funding envelope it will be precisely the same but we're going one step further and removing the brother, looking
Commonwealth from being big brother, looking over the shoulders of school systems in staths and Territories and allowing the job they should be the job they should be doing. (Inaudible question)What (Inaudible said to all of my State said to all colleagues is that they should act in the best act in the best interests of their states and the objection that all of my State colleagues have had is to the additional level of Commonwealth control over schools. Now, under the Coalition there will be the same funding without the extra strings attached. There will be the same funding without the extra strings attached. I would encourage Premier Napthine to do what's in the best interests of Victoria but I've got to say that it would be in the best interests of Victoria to have a Coalition Government in Canberra which wants to sit down and talk to Victoria and the other states like one adult Government to another adult Government rather than negotiate on a take it or leave it basis at the barrel of a gun. (Inaudible question)It's yet another tax. Just over a month, three new taxes. You buy a company car, you pay the company car tax. You put your money in the bank, you pay the bank tax. You light up, you pay the cigarette tax. A little over three weeks, three new taxes. Now this is typical of a Labor Government ture just can't help itself. It can't control its own expenditure which is why whenever it gets into trouble it hits you in the hip pocket. Well, it's just not good enough and if they do this to you before an election - three new taxes before an election, just thing how bad it will be after an election if this mob get re-elected. (Inaudible question) (Inaudible problem do our banks have that requires this new impost upon them? I mean, Kevin Rudd ought to come clean. What problem is there with our banking system that requires this new tax? And I think what we will discover is that the banks don't have a problem, the Rudd Government has a problem, because the Rudd Government can't control its own spending. See this for what it is. It's just another smash and grab raid on the Australian public from a Government which is desperate for money. (Inaudible question)I'm not going to speculate on what anyone's chances might be. I'm just going to say that as far as I am concerned the Coalition is more than ready to for an election. As far as I judge the Australian people, they are more than ready to take control of their Government, to take control of their country because, frankly, for too long our country has been in the hands of the faceless men. The Prime Ministership has been the plaything of the faceless men of the Labor Party. We've seen, courtesy of the NSW anti- corruption commission, the real nature of the Labor Party exposed in the last few Sam Dastyari, at the heart of exposed in the last few days. Sam Dastyari, the NSW Sam Dastyari, at the heart of the NSW Labor machine, is Kevin Rudd's the NSW Labor machine, Rudd's numbers man. Sam Dastyari was wearing out the Dastyari was wearing out carpet to Eddie Obeid's office for carpet to Eddie Rudd for years. Basically, Kevin
Rudd is part of a giant self-help network. That's what self-help he is. That's what the Labor Party has he is. Party has become, a network of self-help and nepotism. Well, the only way to reform the Labor Party is to send them to Opposition so that they can work out again who they stand for, who they represent and what their real values are. (Inaudible question)Well, I'm very happy to see Mr Rudd's popularity, my own popularity, the standing of our respective parties tested in the only way that matters, at an election. What people will be getting from the Coalition is clear plans, real solution s. For the last three years the Coalition's had the same strong team and the same clear plans. By contrast, from harb you've had an absolute cavalcade of division and dysfunction. We've had in a little over three years six small business Ministers, five assistant Treasurers, four Immigration Ministers, we've had two changes of Prime Minister and all of the things that Mr Rudd has pretended to do since returning to the Prime Ministership prove that everything that the Coalition has been saying about this Government is true. They've it wrong over boats, they've got it wrong over internal party management. They've it wrong party management. it wrong on economic management. They've got it wrong when it comes tacost of living and the damage the carbon tax is doing to job security and family budgets. This a Government which has got it wrong at every turn on their own admission so why on earth would anyone reward them with three more years like six?Thank you.

So that was the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, there announcing what they're going to do with education, saying that they will now honour Labor's school funding commitments for four years. Well, for reaction on Tony Abbott's comments, we're going to cross live now to our political reporter Melissa Clarke in Canberra. This is quite a back-down, isn't it? This is a very significant back-down from the Coalition. What we have had in the past is the Coalition say that when it comes to this proposed Gonski school funding reforms that would see the Federal Government inject a lot of extra cash on the proviso that the State Governments chip in more and agree to various conditions, is we've had initially the Coalition said that they would only keep the funding reforms if all the jurisdictions, all the states and Territories signed up to it. Then we saw them walking away for a bit saying if the overwhelming majority of jurisdictions signed up to it. Now what the Coalition is saying is it doesn't matter who's signed up and who hasn't, for the next four years over the forward estimates, the schools will get the funding that Labor would have allocated to them so they've backed down on that front. It also a big change on another front because in the past the Coalition has accused the Government of cutting funding to schools in the first couple of years of its program because the gonesky school funding reforms are laid out over six years and the Coalition in the past said the schools will get funding cuts from what they otherwise would have received in the first years because the spending is back-loaded towards the later years. With Christopher Pyne, the Opposition education spokesman say thraring going to keep the same envelope of fund as Labor over the forward estimates, so just the first couple of years of the school fundling reforms, that's means the Coalition is now saying would also adopt what they described as cuts to education funding so it is a very big turn-around for the Coalition to now, on the eve of an election, back down on its very vociferous fight against these school funding reforms and say it's willing to adopt them. It is a big call. Tony Abbott said there's no difference now between Kevin Rudd and him on school funding. He said he and Kevin Rudd are on a unity ticket when it comes to the funding which goes against what the campaign is that been the campaign is that they have
been running on They've run a very - as much as been running on this matter. he is They've run a very - he is saying there are still he differences when it comes to the strings attached and what controls State Governments remain to have over schools which has been a key issue for some states like Victoria, they have been very outspoken saying that in the past the likes of the NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell was conned when it comes to the amount of money that his State was going to get or not going to get as they put it. They had run a very loud campaign saying that a number of schools would be worse off and that by having their original proposal, which was to maintain the current formula for another 12 months and then have another review, that most schools or many schools would end up being better off than under Labor's system so we have not only a capitulation on the policy front, we have a turn-around in the fight as well that's going on so this is clearly a political calculation that they have made on the eve of an election that evidently it wasn't winning with the public and certainly that accords with what we've heard in the past from the Labor Party and Labor insiders I have often heard say that this is an issue on which the public rates them very well, that discussion about the Gonski school funding reforms generates lot of positive reactions towards Labor and one can only presume that the Coalition is feeling political pressure on this front and want to neutralise the issue. We're expected to hear more from the Coalition later today after that economic statement is announced and he did comment though on the banking levy. That's right. This is something where the Coalition has been quick to criticise this idea of having a levy on deposits that would act as an insurance premium should a bank scplaps depositors need to be paid out. At the moment the guarantees deposits up to 250,000 but if a bank were to collapse they would have to find the money in the Budget and appropriate it to pay out and on that guarantee. They say that the Reserve Bank and ASIC and APRA, the prudential regulation authority, have been urging them to set up this system where the money is slowly put a aside to account for this contingerancy. That doesn't mean it is going to be popular with depositors who are going to get a cost passed on to them by banks. The is criticism from some, the Coalition included, about the way in which the money would be collected and whether or not it would count towards the Government's Budget bottom line, would it go into general revenue? Chris Bowen in speaking this morning ahead of the economic statement was quick to try and shut down any concern on that front.We'll be hearing more about that throughout the morning and into the afternoon that. Statement is due at 1:00 eastern time, that's in about two hours. That's political reporter Melissa Clarke in Canberra. Another 39 men have been flown to Manus Island under in-Federal Government's new asylum-seeker agreement. It's the second planeload of asylum seekers in as many days. 40 people arrived at the processing centre in Papua New Guinea yesterday. Under the Government's new arrangement, they will be settled in PNG if they're found to be refugees. The American man who kidnapped, raped and imprisoned three women in his home over a decade will spend the rest of his life in jail. A judge has sentenced