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Live. Tonight - with levees

under threat, thousands told to

abandon their homes in North

Victoria. Rockhampton gets

another drenching, with more

torrential rain. Tough talk on

currency expected, as China's

Premier visits Washington. And

a Titanic fight, but Lleyton

Hewitt is out of the Australian

Open. Good evening. Craig

Floodwaters are continuing Allen with ABC News.

advance through North East

Victoria. The focal point of the crisis has shifted to

Kerang, where residents were told

told to leave early this

morning. SES engineers have

given the all-clear to the

levees protecting the town, but there are concerns for an

electricity substation

provides power to large parts

of northern Victoria. More

than 1,000 Kerang residents

have registered at an

evacuation centre at Barham, over the NSW border of the

levees are being breached further downstream at

Warracknabeal, where residents

were evacuated last night as floodwaters isolated some

homes. The 1,800 people in

Dimboola have also been told to

leave their homes, as the

Wimmera Weir is in danger of failure. As the floodwaters

inched higher throughout the

day, residents continued to do

everything possible to save

their homes and businesses.

The Victorian Premier was

briefed on the devastation is briefed on the devastation and is forecasting a tough road to

recovery. Sandbagging took on a

frantic pace this morning as floodwaters

floodwaters began rising out of

Victorian town of the drains in the western

Warracknabeal. Residents

rushed to plug breaches in the

make-shift levees. You can see

pumping out, the levee is

leaking. Certainly they're

working on it. They have

vigilant people going up and

down there, it's a patch job as

it goes. All morning the

Yarriambiack Creek had crept

higher. Still coming up, yeah.

It's 70mm here this position

since 7 o'clock this

morning. There were initial

fears up to 140 homes could be

inundated. So far the levees

have withstood the flood peak,

but waters won't begin to recede until tomorrow

lunchtime. In the State's north, the Loddon River has

swollen to unprecedented levels, swamping properties

just outside Kerang. These

levees are all that protect the

seeped through the walls, town. This morning

sparking a mass evacuation

order. I drove around the

town, there was a lot of people

in there. They should be

panicking. Yeah, just take

potluck, I think. I don't

think we want to panic too

much, yes. Whatever happens,

we can't do too much about

it. Authorities say the Loddon

has now peaked and the levee is

holding up well. They're also keeping a watchful eye on Kerang's substation that supplies power to the region.

If that in fact did go under

water and had to be shut down,

that would have major implications for pretty well implications

the north-west of Victoria and

quarter of the State. In could in fact be up to a

Horsham authorities briefed

Victoria's Premier and federal

Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott,

on the mounting damage. There

is going to be a long recovery and

and reconstruction process, and

that's where we will need

Aussie true grit. He got to see

some of the destruction at Dadswells Bridge, home of the

Big Koala and now a big mess.

Just need help when all these

kind people have gone home. But

before the rebuild, many towns

are still under threat, as

floodwaters flow downstream. Some of the victims of

Queensland's floods may not be

allowed to rebuild their damaged homes if they're in

high-risk areas. The Premier

has announced that a new reconstruction authority will

have the power to decide.

Angry residents are demanding

to know why low-lying Riverside

suburbs were developed in the

first place. And there's been

more heavy rain further north. Rockhampton

Rockhampton has again been

swamped by flash flooding. The

rain came suddenly ... filling

Rockhampton's CBD again.

Pretty unreal, the water came

don't expect it. Many risen, like so many people up so quick, like it's just

businesses have had sandbags on

their doorstep since flooding

over the new year. Came up in

about 10 minutes, just absolutely pelted down. Fire

crews were diverted from the

city's clean-up operation. The

rain has disrupted our work

because we've actually brought

them back into the staging area here. Wild storms held up the

recovery effort in the south

east as well. Last night trees in sodden ground were uprooted,

crashing into houses and

cutting power to another 24,000

homes. I just saw the roof was open and everything around me

and I couldn't get up because

unpredictable, but there are my wrist was broken. Storms are

now questions about better

flood proofing for Brisbane.

Queensland's Premier will set

up a reconstruction authority

to get the State back on its

feet. This authority will be

established by an Act of

Parliament. It will be given

powers necessary to cut through

red tape and to get the job

done. That will include

determining if are to be bulldozed, rebuilt or

remodelled and it will have the power to overrule local

councils. They may need to

build their home on a higher

level, put it on stilts. We

all get old. It's no good

going up and down stairs and

falling down stairs, low-set houses are the way to go. Already building manufacturers are churning out

more material to start the

reconstruction effort, but some

builders are warning home

owners not to rush things.

We've seen examples, though, of people keen to strip out

houses, they've stripped out

the plasterboard, but they've

also removed the ply bracing walls. We could have real

problems. The Prime Minister

was in Brisbane inspecting the

work of 2,000 defence force

personnel who are helping to

rebuild Queensland. Many of

them are directly out there

making a difference to the

filth and the muck and the

garbage. The city's main

evacuation centre has closed

its doors. Most people have

found shelter with family and

to their homes. In Toowoomba, friends. If they can't return

hundreds of people have

attended the funerals of the first victims of last week's

flash flood. Donna Rice and

her 13-year-old son Jordan died when the torrent swept them

from the roof of their car. Another Another son was rescued before

the car itself was washed away.

A family in utter sorrow,

placing the coffin of a child

on top of his mother's. on top of his mother's. SONG:

# How can I try to explain,

when I do ... 10-year-old Blake

Rice, who survived the tragedy,

acted as pal bearer. Rescuers

managed to reach the car where

he, Jordan and his mother Donna

were perched in the raging

waters. He insisted his

brother be taken first, then

the rescue rope snapped and

they were lost. But he

remembered by the hundreds here as a they were lost. But he will be remembered by

as a hero, especially by his

older brother. You were so

shy, always hanging off mum.

You were petrified of water,

heights and even the dark. How

wrong was I? If Jordan was

quiet and determined, then Donna was full of life and love

for her children. Friend

Debbie Anderson read a poem in

her honour. This isn't

goodbye, this is "I'll see you

later." John Tyson tried to

make sense of the loss of a son

and his partner of more than 25 years in one cruel moment. All

I can do is thank you both and

tell anyone who will listen how

much I loved you both and how

special you are. Godspeed, my

little angels. It's the

beginning of a long period of

mourning for this city, with a funeral

victim later this week. The

whole of the community in

Toowoomba is right behind this

family and any other families

who suffered grief. It's a very tragic time for this community. There's still the unknown of the people still missing. The cost of

Queensland's flood has been

estimated to be more than $3

billion, but thousands of

people are being left to foot

the bill as insurance companies

dispute the policy dispute the policy cover. The

flood spared no-one in this ip

spich street. Every house went

under water, Bill and Maria

Gilbert took out flood cover.

Now they're being told this

wasn't a flood. To me that was

a flood. I mean, you're not

going to say the river rising

up 2011, are you You hear on

the radio they were talking

about the flood, we just had a

river rising, ring they'll tell you it was a river rising, ring up they'll tell you it was a river rising, not a flood. The

dispute is in the insurance

policy wording. Some companies

don't cover riverine or inland

flooding and rivers or dams brang

brang their banks. In this

case, the Gilberts will get

nothing. We're all in the same

boat. It's all different companies, people think they're

insured, they ring up and

they're not The river rises it

comes out of the sky, it's

still a flood. Fine

print. Arthur sog den thought

he had 100% flood cover for

home and contents, he did, but

he says the maximum payout is

only $15,000. Had I known that

to start with, I would never

have changed insurance

companies. So far, 12,000

people in Queensland have made

claims. Those who do have

insurance are being told to photograph items and get

documentation. That's impossible for some. I simply

- I'm lost when it comes that. I have no idea. The

insurance industry will come

under intense scrutiny when the

royal commission investigates

its conduct. But long term

there are calls for changes in the way companies handle themselves, as well as pressure

on the Queensland Government to

put in place a better plan of attack. The Chinese President,

Hu Jintao, has arrived in

Washington for crucial talks

with President Obama. There

will be difficult discussions

on issues like human rights,

economics and the currency disputes dividing the two global superpowers. North

America correspondent Lisa Millar reports. High

expectations greeted Hu Jintao

as he touched down in Washington. This visit is

being described as the most

important by a Chinese leader

in 30 years. As well as private meetings

private meetings with Barack

Obama and his cabinet,

lavish State dinner, something

missing when he was last here

five years ago. There will be

difficult discussions, though,

on human right s, China's

refusal to release Noble peace

prize winner and its approach

to North Korea and Taiwan, but it's the value of China's currency and the trade-in balance between the two

countries that continues to

cause the greatest tension. cause the greatest tension. We

believe that more must be done.

That is an opinion that is held

not just by this country, but

by many countries around the

world. With an eye on China's

growing international clout,

the White House sees this

relationship as cooperative but

competitive. It's absolutely

critical for the two sides to

be setting a tone that says, "Hang on a second, we are

committed to an effective, positive relationship." America and China at a critical juncture, a time

when the choices we make, both

big and small, will shape the trajectory of this

relationship. But there's no

denying the relationship has

been strained, and while both sides

sides might be looking sides might be looking for cooperation, the US President

is likely to take a tougher

approach as he tackles the

areas of disagreement. Police

in Haiti have charged former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier with corruption and

misappropriation of funds. The

charges come just 48 hours

after his surprise return to

Haiti after 25 years in exile.

The man, known as 'Baby Doc',

was escorted by police from his

hotel shortly after meeting judicial officers. He's

accused of widespread human rights abuses and siphoning hundreds of from the impoverished Caribbean

country during his 15-year

rule. It's not yet clear

whether he'll be gaoled or placed under house arrest. The British Government has refused

to release confidential

messages sent by Tony Blair to

George Bush in the lead-up

the Iraq war. The refusal has

disappointed the chairman of Britain's Iraq inquiry, who says the documents are central

to understanding when and how

Tony Blair committed UK troops

to an invasion. Europe correspondent Philip

Williams. Their close

relationship was never in

question, but what exactly was

recorded in the letters recorded in the letters and conversations between Tony

Blair and George W Bush in the

lead-up to the Iraq War will

remain a secret, for now at

least. Not for the want of

trying. The head of the Iraqi

inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, asked the Government to release the the documents, which he and his the documents, fellow panellists have the documents, which fellow panellists have seen but still cannot report. The inquiry is disappointed that

the cabinet secretary was not

willing to accede to its

question. This means that in a

narrow but important area the

inquiry may not always be able

to publish as fully as it would

wish the evidential some of its comments and

conclusions. The man in the middle, cabinet office

secretary, used his powers of

veto to block the release,

saying the information was

privileged and it was not in

the public interest to allow

publication. The former

Foreign Minister, Jack Straw,

was clearly not at ease when he

was questioned about the

exchanges between his Prime

Minister and the President at

an earlier hearing. If - this

will be easier, I think, if there are private sessions. The

Attorney-General in the lead-up to

to the war, Lord Gold Smith, has told the uncomfortable with Tony Blair's

statements that an invasion of

Iraq was possibly legal, even

without a second UN resolution.

Those issues will no doubt be

directly put to the former

Prime Minister, Tony Blair,

when he reappears before the

inquiry this Friday. Whether he's any more forthcoming is anyone's guess. As South Sudan

heads towards nationhood, one

of the many issues it's facing

is what to do with its guerilla

army. Both the north and south have

have agreed to demobilise tens

of thousands of bush fighters,

but very few have laid down

their weapons. At the heart of

the matter is the problem of

finding a new career for men

who've lived by the gun for so

long. Africa correspondent Ginny Stein reports. For

decades Sudan's biggest

employer has been its military.

Hundreds of thousands of soldiers have fought one another, some growing up on battlefield. Laying down their

weapons is no easy matter.

Peter is a 20-year veteran.

He joined up when he was just

12. Now this former child

soldier builds bridges like the

ones he used to blow up. It's

been profitable, so much so he

contributed almost a million dollars in support of the

referendum. We have many, when

you are a second-class citizen,

you can do nothing He's one of

a very few to have successfully

made the transition. Both

north and south agreed to

demobilise tens of thousands of

soldiers, but the reality is that very few have returned to

civilian life. It leaves both

governments with a wage bill neither can afford. For now, governments with a wage bill neither neither can afford. For now, the demobilisation program the demobilisation program has

ground to a halt. The army

chief is saying his men need

options before they are simply

let go. For a new nation, it's

a very real problem. It does make the financial burden of maintaining the large armed

forces very real. That's a

real problem here in southern

Sudan because a lot of their

resources are spent on salaries

for the army. In a country

recovering from civil war,

finding work for its legion of

bush warriors will be one of

its biggest challenges. To

finance now, and a big fall in consumer sentiment hasn't

rattled share investors. Sentiment on global equity

markets moved in the opposite

direction, sending the Australian market higher for a

second day running. Here's

Phillip Lasker. It's hardly surprising that the floods have

hit consumer confidence hard.

The consumer sentiment index

fell 5.7% in January, take out

Queensland and it was still

down. The floods will pass,

but what's not so great is expectations of economic conditions over the next 12 months months fell sharply, down

nearly 16%. There has at times been a close correlation

between consumer sentiment and

shares, but they're going in different directions now. Financial

Financial markets are starting

to look beyond the floods until

we get some hard numbers.

They're plugging into the

global mood, which is more

upbeat about a US recovery and

a robust Chinese economy. The

Australian market was helped by

companies like Apple and IBM,

which reported better than

expected earnings overnight in

the US. Companies here were still reporting flood damage,

with Wesfarmers saying the hit

to its Queensland March significant. But right now the

prevailing view of the US and

China drove a pick-up in most

commodity prices. Markets are

not focusing on this, the rate at which some debt-laden

European countries' interest

payments are eating up the tax

which their citizens pay. In

Greece, for example, 33% of tax collected goes towards paying

interest and some experts say

the bailouts will simply make

the situation worse as the debt snowballs because of the

interest. But that's a problem

for another day. Today,

they're buying the Euro, which

het a one-month high against

the US currency. The

Australian dollar road commodity prices higher ahead

of tomorrow's Chinese economic

growth numbers, which are

expected to show the economy is

still going very well. And

that's finance. They're boot

scooting and line dancing.

Australia's premiere country

music festival is in full as thousands of music lovers

converge on Tamworth. Adrian Raschella reports. If country

music is your thing, Tamworth

in summer is the place to be.

There are the country

balanceods, music heroes, and

the latest trends, line dancing

urban style. We dance

everything now, there's dances

to Nickleback, Celine

Dion, There are poetry

readings. Here's an ode to

Steve Irwin. When he arrived

up there, I think they said we're waiting for you, because

you're needed up here to run the heavenly zoo. And

eye-catching street art. Do

you think this may be one of

your more popular pieces? This

one? Probably. It's one show

that's tough to top for this busker.

busker. Quite a lot of competition in front of you.

Oh, absolutely. It's almost

like sitting in the loo singing to yourself. There's like sitting in the loo just singing to yourself. There's a

lot of competition for your

attention. Every 20 metres or

so there's a busker. Not only

do they have to compete with

each other, they have to compete with the near-deafening sound of

sound of the cicadas. Numbers

are down on last of the flood crisis. You're

game camping by the river,

don't you think? Very, very

game. We got here and we were

going we'll have to leave, it's

getting bigger and bigger. If

it's action you're after, what

about 10-year-old cowboys

risking their lives before your

very eyes. Is it scary out

there Depends what kind of calf

you get. That was just a push-in. These push-in. These country kids don't mince their words. Well,

he went down fighting, but

Lleyton Hewitt's 15th Australian ended at the first hurdle. In

the standout match of the

tournament so far, Hewitt lost

to David Nalbandian in a

gruelling marathon. Nalbandian

saved two match points, taking

out the match 9-7 in the fifth

set. Today, most of the big

names had easy wins once again.

No matter when he

Lleyton Hewitt will have more memories of Rod Laver Arena

than most, and last night's five-setter against David

Nalbandian is one first-round

encounter the 29-year-old is

likely to remember for some

time. In a seesawing battle,

Hewitt managed to keep his nose

in front for much of the night,

claiming the first set and then

the third. He looked to be

headed for a four-set victory

when in possession of three

break points to take a 4-1

lead, but Nalbandian was far

from finished, saving the game

and then taking the set in the

lopsided tie-break. An early

break in the fifth to the Argentine looked to have

finished off Hewitt's hopes, but once again the 2005 finalist created something out

of nothing. That was awesome

from Hewitt. Down a match

point, Nalbandian backed

himself with breath-taking

results. Moments later, he did

it again. Oh, my gosh! It

would be Hewitt's last chance

for victory, Nalbandian

claiming the fifth nine games

to seven. It was one of the

matches that nobody can forget.

Disappointing to come so close

and fight for so long and, you

know, not be able to quite get

the win today. Fans watching

today's show courts would have

been envius of the value for

money counterports enjoyed last

night. Two of the favourites

for the women's title Caroline Wozniacki and Justine Henin

spent just an hour on court for

their wins, while on the their wins, while on the men's side of the draw Rod Laver Arena was also a straight-sets

winner. Zb the Socceroos are

through to the knock-out phase

of the Asian Cup in Qatar after

defeating Bahrain 1-0. The win

ensured Australia finished on

top of its group. Duncan huts Dale Dale reports. The Socceroos had

the better of the first half,

but may pay the price in the

knockout games if they don't

make the most of their chances.

One player hitting the target

is Mile Jedinak, after taking

20 games to score his first

international goal, he now has

two from as many matches.

COMMENTATOR: Goal scoring

hero again for Australia. What

a strike. You know the old

saying when it rains, it pours Bahrain would have poured

in a few second-half goals, had

it not been for the heroics of

Mark Schwartzer. The Socceroos

will find out their quarterfinal opponent tonight.

Shaun Tait has defended selectors' decision to pick a pace heavy squad for next month's World Cup on the

subcontinent. You put pace up

against any pace in the world

it comes out number one England

has placed more emphasis on

spin, choosing two specialists. It will be very It will be very important in

the subcontinent, no doubt about that Matt about that Matt Prior has been

recalled to the English team

for Friday's game in Hobart for Friday's game in Hobart and

included in the World Cup squad

after a short stint with

Victoria. WA bats man Shaun

Marsh will also be at the World

Cup if Mike Hussey doesn't

recover from a serious hamstring injury. Unfortunate

for us, but it gives me an

opportunity in the next three

games to put some performances

on the board. I'm looking forward to the challenge. Pakistan has beaten New Zealand

New Zealand 1-0, to win a test

series for the first time in

four years. A draw in the

second Test secured the

victory. Stage 2 of the Tour

Down Under proved treacherous, with several cyclists, including Mark Cavendish and Matt

crashed with 4km to go. More

riders went down in the sprint

for the line. Englishman Ben

Swift won the stage ahead of

Australian veteran Robbie

McEwen, the new overall leader.

Victorian Alex Pullen is Australia's latest world champion. The 23-year-old

qualified fourth fastest for

the snowboard cross final in

Spain before holding off strong

American competition to become Australia's first gold

medallist in the event. A

treasure trove of Indigenous

artworks and artifacts has been

unearthed from a dusty Canberra garage. This rare 1960s

painting by Aboriginal artist

Simon Nganbe from wodair is

among the works discovered in

the home of a former private

secretary to the late Governor-General, Paul Hasluck.

They have been donated to the

Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies. The

institute says the artworks were covered in dust, but relatively

very pleased to get them and very pleased to be relatively undamaged. We're very pleased to be able to, as I

I say, display them to the

public and, as far as we're

able to, tell their story. AIATSIS says the

paintings will require some

conservation work before they

can be exhibited. 16 budding

artists from across Australia

are in Canberra this week to

gain an insight into the art

world. Two year 11 students

were chosen from each State and

territory to take part in a

week of workshops, tours and discussions hosted by the National Gallery. From across

the country, they've come for the country, they've come for a special look into the heart of

the Australian art industry.

The art would is mysterious,

being on the outside 16 stud

grents from chosen from 400

applicants based on artistic

and written responses to a work the stags, by well-known

Australian artist Jayden Pitt.

They got to meet her in the

flesh to discuss the work and

quiz her about life as professional artist.

professional artist. It's like

meeting a celebrity really.

It's really good to hear her

view on the artwork, I've

always been thinking about always been thinking about what

I thought about it. To hear

what the artist thought is interesting as well. I'd like

them to go away knowing art is

made by quite normal people and

that they can do it too and

that it is an exciting world. Many of the students

come from remote and regional Australia, and the scholarship

is designed to open their eyes

to a range of possible careers

as artists or in galleries and

museums. It's amazing. I just

get shivers sometimes being in

the gallery. The week also includes practical workshops,

like this one in Mt Stromlo's abandoned observe try,

referencing a new acquisition

by American art James Turrell.

With the imagery, we're trying

to bring life to the

observatory, because in the Canberra fires a few it was burnt down. And the week is

is already bringing sparks of

creativity to life. I'm a bit

of a competitive person, so

being around all these really talented and passionate people,

I'm just going to jump in and start start making some work. Something for art lovers

to look forward to. To the

weather now, and it was a

mostly sunny and warm day

around Canberra. We had a top

of 27 degrees at the airport,

28 down in Tuggeranong. 28 down in Tuggeranong. A

cooler day along the coast,

though, with the mercury

limited to between 20 and 22

degrees. Cooma was warmer,

with 26, Yass 28 and Wagga 30.

There were some more storms in South East Queensland, with

Brisbane reaching 31, Sydney

had 25, Melbourne 22 and

Adelaide 29. The cloud chart

shows the heavy band of cloud

stretching right across

Northern Australia following a

line of low pressure. trough through central NSW is trough line of low pressure. Another trough through central NSW is trough through producing some unsettled weather with some more showers

and storms about tonight.

Tomorrow there will be more

storms in Brisbane, just what

they don't need. Sydney should have showers as well with 26

degrees, Melbourne sunny and 29

and Adelaide 36. The rainfall

will be quite widespread up the east coast tomorrow and again

over the tropics. The south

coast will see some showers

during the day tomorrow and

they might stretch as far west

as the ACT during the afternoon

or evening. Temperatures will

be up around 25 or 26 degrees

on the coast. Goulburn is

heading for 24, Cooma 26 and

Yass 29. In the ACT, it will

be a partly cloudy day tomorrow

with isolated showers during

the afternoon, light easterly

winds, a top expected of 26.

Sunrise will be at 9 minutes

past 6, the sunset at 8.19. We can expect some more storms into into the weekend and possible showers continuing

into the weekend and showers continuing right

through until the middle of

next week. That's ABC News.

Stay with us for the '7.30 Report'. You can keep up with

the latest news at ABC Online.

Thanks for your company. Good night. Closed Captions by CSI This Program is Captioned


Welcome to the program. I'm

Scott Bevan. 6-2 towns have

now been inundated by

floodwaters in regional

Victoria as walls of water, some kilometres wide,

communities are cleaning up,

others are bunkering down

waiting for rising rivers to

reach them an evacuation

warning has been issued for warning has been issued for the

wheatbelt town of Dimboola. A

sandbag levee is holding the

surge at the nearby town of

Warracknabeal. In Kerang in the north-west floodwaters are testing the dirt levee but

restdens have fled to the

nearby town of Barham where our reporter Mary Gearin has spent the

the day. They stayed until the