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Tonight - passing the buck,

the strong Aussie dollar pit hits the Budget bottom line. emotional Joel Monaghan hits the Budget bottom line. An

questions the Raiders for sake

of the club. I like to thank my team-mates, coaching

loyal fans. No beating around

the bush, George Bush defends

his presidency. The reason

these techniques save lives. My

job is to protect America and I

did. And still pulling a crowd,

an Opera House tribute

Joan Sutherland. We say one

last time, thank you, goodbye,

you will never be forgotten. Good evening. And

welcome to ABC News. I'm

Virginia Haussegger. The strong

Aussie dollar is a bonus for

those travelling overseas but it's playing havoc with the Federal Government's finances.

It's wiped $10 billion from the Treasury's books but the

Government says it can still

return the Budget to surplus by

2012-13 and that's due to

faster economic growth and a

report card on the Budget's lower jobless rate. The

economic position is a document

the Government's proud of. With

the Treasurer declaring the Australian

of the world. These numbers Australian economy is the envy

demonstrate the fastest most

positive turn around in the

Government finances in 40

year will years. The deficit for this

year will rise to $41.5 billion, but the Government's

on track to produce a on track to produce a surplus

on $3.1 billion in the financial year. Slightly on $3.1 billion in the 2012-13

smaller than the election

forecast. We are in very good

nick. And that's despite the

fragilities in the global economy and of course the high Australian dollar. That high

Australian dollar has hit

Government receipts hard,

wiping $10 billion over the

next four years from the Budget's bottom line. But on

the upside, the Government's

coffers will receive a boost

with unemployment tipped to from falling welfare payments

fall to 4.5% next year, while fall

the economy will grow at 3.75%.

The Government's new spending includes $800 million for the

regional infrastructure program

pledged to the Independents.

The extra spending's been

offset in part by a $300

million special dividend

payment from Medibank Private payment from

and an extra $1 # 0 million

from rising passport fees.

Danchts the Government has delivered a recipe for higher

interest rates. The Government lacks ticker. It lacks courage. Lacks the courage courage. Lacks the courage to

slash spending.. The fact that the Government is still the

spending money as if we were in recession even though the

strongly economy is now growing quite

strongly shows that they just

don't know how to manage

money. And there's criticism

the the Government hasn't tackled

the bigger picture. There's no evidence at all of the

Government taking decisions

designed to address the

structural budget books with a flakkating dollar deficit. Balancing the budget

is a real challenge for the Government. These latest

figures are based on an

Australian dollar estimate of

$9 #.5 US cents. The dollar is

currently trading around 2.5 cents higher, cutting even further into revenue. Around

20,000 people have fled from

Burma into Thailand to escape

fighting between the army and anti-Government rebels. The

violence erupted after Burma's

junta claimed a landslide

victory in last weekend's leaks. South-East Asia

correspondent Zoe Daniel

reports from the Thai border

the 'Australian' of Mae Sod

with thousands of refuses are

taking shelter. This Thai army

intas where people are

gathering just a few kilometres

away from the fighting has been

taking place. Numbers are

difficult to guess but authority estimate that around 20,000 people are here. These

people carrying their meagre

belongings and their children

fled shooting and shelling

yesterday when fighting broke

out in earnest. What seems to

have happened is that Karen

rebels began fighting the Burmese military when they were apparently trying to force people to vote for people to vote for the junta's

political party on election

day. That fighting then

escalated and caused these

people to flee in fear. The

fighting has eased today, which

is good news. But they've

authorities are already talking about making these people cross

back over the border into Burma. There's also been

fighting further south from

here, where at least 5,000 people are believed to have

crossed over. An emotional Joel

Monaghan quit the Canberra Raiders thatch before the club

could sack him.

a photo of him in a lewd pose

with a dog was posted ompb

Twitter last week. He hopes to continue his career in the English Super League. He's

always been the life of the party, but that larrikin nature

has cost Joel Monaghan his NRL career. Sorry. His immediate football future collapsed last

week after an offensive photo

was posted on the Internet. I

don't want to damage this great

club, my family, players or sponsors anymore because of my

stupid prank.Ly have to handle

the jokes and taunts which is

understandable but the players shouldn't have to put up with

the pressure of my ongoing

presence will bring. The

Raiders board was due to meet

today to decide Monaghan's fate

but he fell on his sword hours

before they met ending his

two-year contract with the club. There are no hard

feelings or gudges towards

anyone else. I am sole you

caused so much responsible for the prank that

no excuse and I should have

thought before I acted and I'd

love more than anything to take

it back but I can't. He's had

to pay a very high price for a party prank at somebody's house Surrounded by his

team-mates the born and bred

local junior struggled to

contain his emotion. I'd like contain his

to thank my team-mates,

coaching staff, loyal fans, one special thanks to

Campo Monaghan will now look to

secure a playing contract in the UK Super League but the

club's management hasn't ruled out the 28-year-old returning

to the Raiders to pull on the

green jersey once more. Joel is

welcome back at the club and I

hope he does come back one

day. We House just hope that

this starts the process of Joel being remembered in the right

light and not in this last

one The mrl says lit take no

further action against Monaghan and praised the way he's handled the matter in the past

few days. Police are searching

the South Australian town of

Kapunda for a knife believed to

be used in the murder of a

teenage girl and her parents.

Last night officers removed the bodies of Andrew, Rose and 16-year-old Chantelle from the home where they were home where they were murdered.

The bodies were discovered after

after a friend raised the alarm

yesterday morning. More than 100 police and volunteers have

been searching the town for

clues markers were placed on

what are believed to be blood

stains leading from the house..

If anyone saw anyone with

injuries to themselves, or any blood stained cloetding please contact police immediately. Police haven't

ruled tout possibility of more

than one killer and say the

search for evidence could last

days. Police have charged a

Victorian man with the shooting

murder of a prostitute in

western Sydney 15 years ago.

The naked body of Donna Ann Hicks was found in a roadside at Minchinbury in 1995. Today 57-year-old bon

Bandala Michael Debs faced gold

burn local court. A statement

of court alleges debs had sex

with the woman before shooting

her in the head. It also says Debs is serving three life sentences in Victoria for

murdering a prostitute and two

policeman. Debs is yet to enter a plea. He'll appear again

later this month. With the

President of way way and the US

mid term elections done and

dusted, George Bush has

reemerged into the political

spotlight for the release of

his memoir, 'Decision Points'. Like

Like his comrades in arms, Tony

Blair and John Howard, Mr Bush

says he was shocked when no weapons of mass destruction

were found in Iraq and he

defends his handling of Hurricane Katrina. He describes

himself as a content man but as

ig Craig krig reports George Bush remains Bush remains a polarising figure. After being almost

invisible for two years, George

Bush is back in public view,

but not ready to say if he was

a success or failure. I want to

be dead, when they finally

figure it out and I'm comfortable knowing that

it my all. In his memoir the former

former President writes about

his if he hadn't given up

alcohol when he was 40 he might

not have been President. You

never fell off the wagon? Not a

sip I haven't had a sip of

alcohol since 1986. He says the

September 11 attacks redefined

his job and the two wars

Guantanamo Bay, even Guantanamo Bay, even water boarding were necessary decisions. Using those tech

neeks saved lives. My job was

to protect America and I

did. He says he was shocked and angry when weapons of mass

destruction weren't found in

Iraq, it still sickens lowest point was the horrific

aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,

he writes about Dick Cheney offering to quit as vice-president saying he was

seen as the dart vader figure

of the Administration. And on

the financial crisis he says hi

approved the deeply unpopular bank bailout bank bailout to avoid a depression. A recent poll asked

people who created TARP, 50% of

people said Barack Obama. 50%

of the people were wrong, they

haven't done that. The book is

being released one week after

the US mid-term elections, Bush

is still a polarising figure

and senior Republicans made no

secret of their concerns about

what his reemergence could do

to their election hopes. The 'Washington Post' book critic

says it isn't a mea culpa book

calling it competent, readable

and flat. The former President

refuses to citizen his successor. President Obama has

got plenty of critics and I'm just

just not going to be one. He says he has zoro desire for politics anymore. The US

President is backing India's campaign for a permanent seat

on the United Nations Security

Council. Barack Obama declared

his support during an address

to the Indian parliament, the climax of his 3-day visit. The

gesture was just what India's

leaders has been hoping for in

their long campaign to gain a permanent squurt council

seat. In the years ahead I look forward

forward to a reformed United

Nations Security Council that

includes India as a permanent member. The President and his

wife have now depared for Indonesia where President Obama

lived for several years as a

child. She came, sheage is she

conquered. Thosewards were once

written about Dame Joan Sutherland. A-a month after her

death the bomb described as one

of the greatest singers of the

last century has done it again, thousands of people packed the Opera House today to Opera House today to farewell

la stupenda and give her one

last standing ovation . In

death as in life, Dame Joan

Sutherland pulled a crowd. The country's leaders passed and

present joined a full Opera House to pay

better to say goodbye to the

greatest singer of the 20th

century than in the greatest building of the 20th century. Dame Joan's voice

ignited memories and I

motions. When we first heard

her sing, jaws dropped. As we

marvelled. Her husband and

artistic partner bob Richard

Bonynge couldn't be there,

leaving her son to reveal his

mother's humanity. She loved to

laugh. The simple things in

life were a joy. And she made

the best scones in the

universe. During the mid 90s Republican debate, remained loyal to the crown but raised hackles when she

complained about being

interviewed by an Indianor Chinese

Chinese when applying for an

Australian passport. Performer

Kamahl recalls how he'd asked

Dame Joan to launch his biography just after biography just after those comments. And she said comments. And she said say my

dear boy, I've just put my foot

in my mouth and I continue want to be

to be in public ever again. But the diva finally agreed to do

it. I feel awfully lucky and

blessed that I knew an angel

like her. What emerged from the State memorial was the enduring

love and admiration for Dame

Joan, speculation that

Australia may never see her

likes again and a gratitude for

her legacy. Generations of opera Australia singers paid their tribute in

their tribute in music,

fittingly the diva had the last words. Her moving farwell performed here 20 years

ago. And still the come on ABC

News backing Australia after a

year he'd rather forget.

Journalists in Russia say press

freedom is again under threat

after a savage after a savage assault on a well known media personality.

It's the latest in a string of

killings and attacks targeting

reporters but this time the

beating was caught on camera

and it's been played over and again on Russian

television. The latest assault

on Russian journalism was

captured on a video surveillance camera. Two men

pound on their victim, then

severely beat him for more than

a minute and a half. Two days

later, their target well known

journalist Oleg Kashin, remains

in a coma. His colleagues say

there's no doubt someone wanted him silenced.

TRANSLATION: Oleg Kashin had

his jaws fractured, fingers and

legs broken and someone has

obviously warned him that he

wouldn't walk type or speak. This is further speak. This is further proof a

high profile provides little protection. Oleg Kashin writes

for the prestigious

'Kommersant' newspaper and

appears regularly on television. President Dmitry

Medvedev who speak often apt

Russia's need to modernise say

the attackers must be exposed a

ed but journalists here say

they've heard that before. We

have only words and no action. Demonstrations over

this latest attack are not welcome, instead, protesters are permitted only one at a

time outside the interior ministry to complain about the growing dangers journalists face in face in Russia. This beating

bears striking similarities to

the assault two years ago on

journalist Mikhail Beketov, in

that attack, he lost three

fingers and his right leg was

later amputated. So far, there

are no suspects in this latest

attack. Despite the number of murders and violent assaults on Russian journalists, almost no-one has no-one has been caught. In north-eastern Poland two

freight trains have collided

triggering a massive explosion.

33 tanks of I oil being

transported in one of the

trains ignited resulting in a

fireball seen for kilometres. Firefighters were sent from

surrounding areas to stop the

blaze spreading to nearby buildings. The two train

drivers escaped with minor

injuries. The ACT Government

will ask for community help to

stamp out illegal boarding houses. Earlier this Government shut down several suburban properties where

dozens of tenants were living

in overcrowded conditions. The

landlord involved has not been

charged at this stage. The Chief Minister has released a

discussion paper canvassing

tough new laws. We're looking for feedback on whether or there should be specific

offences for unscrupulous

landlords who breach all of the planning and health regulations

for purpose of profit. The

community has until the middle

of next month to comment. The Chief Minister expecting new

laws to come before laws to come before the

assembly next year. With the Christmas holidays just weeks

away, Queensland authorities

fear some of the Queensland's

most pop already beaches won't

stand up to the predicted

savage summer storm season.

From the Gold Coast, to

northern NSW, councils are

working to put sand back before

the tourists arrive. When

storms hit the Gold Coast, sand

is often the last line of

weather there's not much left.

At high tide Miami Beach is

swallowed by the sea. I don't

know what they can do. Rocks,

woulders, I think they tried

that. They've tried car

bodies. The Gold Coast City

Council is spending $5.4 million this year reflenishing

beaches and it's a similar

story in northern NSW. When the

storms come, it washes the sand

off the beach, you get the

scarping you you get up in the

his rise and you can see it

goes off if bars off the coast and of course we have to get it

back again. Hundreds of

thousands will be spent pumping

sand from creek mouths back on

to popular beaches. Palm Beach

has been a bit of a worry for

some time Some residents are

worried about the threat of a

busy Stadiumer storm

season Certainly in the early

50s, I think we had about six

cyclones in the first three

months of the year But at Kirra Beach on the southern Gold Coast, there's too much long-term sand pumping project has dumped so much sand that

the popular surf break has all

but disappeared. Now the

Queensland Government spending

$1.5 million to fix the

problem. Earth moving equipment

is shifting 120,000 cubicm of sand from the high

the back of the beach. While

the sand clogged beach may not

suit the surfers not everyone

is complaining. To finance now

and Woodside's share price

slumped today after Shell sold

part of its stake in the

company. That helped drag down

the entire market, and as Alan

Kohler reports, the Australian

dollar went backwards as well. The problem is that Shell

sold a third of its 30% stake

in Woodside of 42.23 a share.

Anle #8% discount to the

previous sale. Invests figured

they must know something and

cut the price so not that. Even though there's talk of a possible takeover offer.

That helped produce a 0.7% fall

in the All Ordinaries index

today although BHP and the

banks all did their bit as

well. And that followed a generally soft session on

global markets last night. US

and UK both traded a bit lower, the volatile European

Greece and Spain were volatile.

And the Chinese market was also

down a bit today. The main

action on commodity marks last

night was a 2.6% rise in the

silver prize, not matched by

gold or oil. And the base

metals in London fell. So metals in London fell. So silver's performance was Stirling. The Australian dollar

was down a bit but still bav

part y. That's been above

#14u7b US crepts for five days

in a row and is also holding

above 7 5 on the trade

weighting index. Today's economic morsel as NAB's monthly business survey where

it asks for man 400 people how

is business? The answer not too

good. Quite a bit worse than last

last monthar they're less

confident about the future. this graph explaps why we this graph explaps why we care.

Because GDP tends to rise and

fall with business spirit, not

too surprising I guess since businesses actually make the Gross Domestic Product that GDP

stands for. NAB is reporting

sharp falls in trading and profitability as well as

confidence about the The survey has done last month

by the way and the Reserve Bank

put up interest rates this month. And that's

finance. Tiger Woods has flown

into Melbourne to defend his

Australian Masters title. Woods

is yet to see the Victoria golf

club where he'll be playing and

that gives a decent head start

to local stars Robert Allenby

and Pragyan Ojha. Tiger's back

in town. And looks happy to be

back in the city of his last

tournament victory. But there

was no sign of Woods at Victoria golf club and that

gives the locals a slight advantage. Probably the golf

course I've played more any other in the world. Geoff Ogilvy played pennant for

Victoria as a teenager and is

enjoying being home. I don't think Victoria golf club has

ever looked better. I love

Australian courses, they look

like they fit into the terrain

and everything, you know, I

love the bunkering,

of the greens. Robert Allenby

says it's been decades since an

Australian Masters field has looked this

looked this good. I don't think

we've had a field for the

Masters this strong since, you know, the Normans and O'Mearas

and Langers were plays g back

in the 80s and early 90s. What

a different a year makes. Last

year's event sold out months in

advance. This year you can

still get tickets at the gate

and players admit some of the

Tiger Novemberity has worn

off. It's easier to hype up someone who hasn't been here

for ten years and he was last year and his life in the last 12 months

but I think if there is any

lack of hysteria it's probably

the fact that he was here last

year rather than anything

else But post players think

he'll soon return to his brilliant best. We're all kind

of Tiger Woods fans in a way

because he's fun to watch play

when he plays well And that's

reason enough to hope he place well this weekend. Selection

chairman Andrew hill ditch

admits's Australia's moral is

down f aifts recent defeats in

India. He says lit take a big

effort to regain the Ashes

especially since in his opinion

the English touring side is

stronger than the team which

won last year's series. He has

named an in form Australia A

team to play England next week

and says Test places are up for

grabs. 16 days out from the

first Ashes Test but just six

days before the Australian

the players aren't the only

ones under pressure. I think

they're stronger than when they're stronger than when they

beat us in England last time so it's going to be a real challenge Australia had opened its Tests against India would

provide the ideal Ashes

prelude. The plan may have

backfired. We've come off some Test losses Test losses so it's going to

impact on morale to a certainly

extent. Test players might extent. Test players might also

uponter make-up of the

Australia A side to play

England in Hobart next week.

The Test incumbents will be playing Sheffield Shield matches while Australia's

future, five of whom have already tasted Test cricket get a further chance to

impress. Looking forward to

playing in Australia A and

hopefully doing well down there

and maybe staking my claims for

Adelaide and Sydney. There's

obviously players still playing

for spot and I think it's very competitive. I'm feeling really

comfortable a about my game at the moment. The selection

chairman continues to support Ponting's understudy and

rejects suggests of a team rift. I've heard the media

thinks there's some disquiet,

so I don't think there's

anything to it whatsoever. All

we're trying to do is give

ourself the best chance for the Ashes, that's what it's all about Edge claims to have all

but settled on its Gabba 11..

One of our priorities is not to give everyone a go, it's not

about trying to be fair to everyone, we are trying to

prepare our Test

side. England's next aye

signment is a 3 day game against South Australia. Looking ahead to January's

Asian cup in Qatar, Asian cup in Qatar, captain Lucas Neill and Brett Holman

have returned to the Socceroos

for next week's friendly

against the top ranked African

nation Egypt in Cairo. They

join uncapped goalkeeper Nathan

Coe and debutant defender Sasa

Ognenovski. Believe me , we

don't believe a stone

unturned Neil and Holman were injured for Australia's last friendly time Tour de France runner up

Cadel Evans is glad proceedings

over Alberto Contador's

positive drugs test will soon

some to a head. The Spanish

cycling federation is expected

to make decision before the end

of the year on whether to ban

Alberto Contador after his

positive test for the weight

lessor mussil billing drug

clenbuterol during this year's

tour.. If someone's done

something wrong I hope that they're caught f someone's

innocent I hope that they're cleared. The 27-year-old 3-time

tour winner Alberto Contador

claimed the banned substance

was in his system because he'd eaten con-Tomated meat. Extravagant cost tums

designed by some of the

greatest artist of the early 20th century includinging Matisse and Picasso will be on

show at the nationalal ger over

the summer. The travelling

company known as the Ballet

Russes wowed early 20th century

audiences projecting a

refinement of traditional

ballet in favour of modernest

set and say the company's tours of

Australia in the 30s and 40s

gave birth to ballet in this

country. The gallery has more

than 100 costumes in its

collection and they've been

painstakingly restored. In the most

most fragile items owned by the

gallery and conservators have

spent 26 years restoring the luxurious Germanients to

luxurious Germanients to their

current state. 24 carat gold

thread, we also have ermine

tail that line velvet coat,

silk velvet The show opens next

month. And now here he is with all our weather news.

Mark. Thank you. And good

evening. It was overcast and

threatening again today but so

far there hasn't been far there hasn't been any showers in town, but there

could be some later tonight.

There was spots on the ranges but they were on the only just that,

that, spots. Itgate to

lows of # and 10, the winds were northerlies and they freshened this afternoon.

We can see three cloud bands

over Australia, one down the

Queensland coast, one over

central NSW, and the other is crossing into WA. With a slow

moving high in the Tasman and a

weakening trough over weakening trough over central

NSW, these overcast day also continue along with continue along with showers and possible thunderstorms. Around

Australia tomorrow -

And Virginia, this flower is

from the water eye, commonly

called the golden chain tree,

which looks really spectacular

growing over an arch or a pe

goala in spring. Thank you,

Mark. That's beautiful. Looks

like it's creeping down your

lapel. Before we go a brief

recap of our top story tonight

- the Raiders fallen star Joel Monaghan has pre-empted the

club's board and resigned over the Londonline photograph scandal. He'll head for the

English Super League and that's

ABC News. The '7:30 Report' is

next and you can camp all the

latest news at ABC online and

obz ABC News 24. And I'll back with news update at 8:30. Until then, good night. Captions by CSI.? This Program Is Captioned


Welcome to the program. There's further confirmation

today that Australia is on the

verge of a so-called gas rush. The Queensland Government has given the green given the green light to a

third massive project to pipe

coal seam gas hundreds of

kilometres from inland wells to

the port of Gladstone on the

central Queensland coast.

There's growing world demand

for gas which is cleaner than coal

coal and cheaper than oil. But

the sudden of expansion of coal

seam gas extraction in Queensland

communities which are concerned

about the impact this mining

activity could have on

underground aquifers. There's

been similar concerns in the US which were recently documented in the prize-winning film

'Gasland' shown for the first