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(generated from captions) This Program is

Captioned Live Tonight - more

and more Queenslanders pack up

and go as towns keep going

under. We have never had a

disaster on the scale of this

one. The nation's economic toll rises with the floodwaters. We'll probably

looking at an impact equivalent

to.5 per cent of GDP which is

about $6 billion. 2010 the

wettest year in a decade that

was Australia's hottest. And

double trouble, twin tonnes England in control. Good

evening, and welcome to ABC News, I'm Virginia Haussegger.

It's a disaster like no other.

That's the assessment of Queensland's premier. Anna

Bligh says the State's floods

are ane lent without precedent

in their size and scale. The

recovery effort will be without

parallel. To that end, she set

up a flood recovery taskforce

to be modelled on the unit set

up after Cyclone Larry in 2006.

It will be headed by Major General Mick Slater and here's

a look at the task ahead.

a look at the task ahead. So

far in this crisis 10 people

have died and thousands have been evacuated from their

homes. A total of 23 towns and

cities are inundated or cut off

altogether. The southern bush

town of St George is facing its

biggest flood on record and

residents there are being evacuated. In Fitzroy River is expected to

peak later tonight. If the

predicted peak of 9.4 metres is reached, the airport could be closed for weeks. From

Rockhampton here's the ABC's

Kerri Ritchie. This is the

biggest attraction in town.

Lots of locals have been coming down to see the Kerr. It is sitting at 9.2

metres. The river did not

reach the predicted 9.4 metres.

authorities here believe it is With thunderstorms on the way

only a matter of time: 10 days

into Rockhampton's flood

disaster homes have been lost

and nerves are frayed. On Quay

Street, right next to the

river, the water keeps rising.

Tony Higgins is used to serving

liquid not living in it. He

only took over the lease a

month ago. I feel like the

conductor in a dance band on

the Titanic at the moment. It

is last man standing. His only

company is Boofhead, a friend's dog, rescued from floodwaters

last night by water police. area around the clock. Everyone

getting around. has been good. A few boats

getting around. We're making

sure they maintain proper

speeds and we're doing 24 hours

a day at the moment, so

everyone house will be safe

keep the looters out. More than

in the worst affected part of 20 families have stayed on here

Rockhampton. Not many

residents wanted to speak to us

today. They say they're fed up with the watt tarn journalists.

We're sploting down Jane treat

at the moment and the water

under the boat is a metre and a half deep. It is hard to

comprehend the middle of

Rockhampton is bone dry, the

devastation is only fully

grasped from the air. To the

best of my understanding, we

have the equivalent of one or

two Sydney Harbours of water

flowing past Rockhampton on a

daily basis. The recovery centre at the showgrounds is

filling up. Locals can receive

a cheque instantly and can sit

troubles. We've got half a down and talk about their

suitcase, if that. It's pretty

hectic. You run out of stock

and stuff like that. You need a lot of help. Supplies of canned food canned food and long life milk

are running low, but the major

super markets say their trucks

are on the way. People got

confidence that supplies would

come in, particularly bread and

milk, things have calmed down

quite considerably. The bad

news is that a lot more rain is

on the way. The Weather Bureau

has issued a severe weather

warning for parts of Central

Queensland and fears that there

will be flash flooding.

Rockhampton could get rain

right up until Saturday which

means that the river would rise

more, meaning it is not looking

good for dozens of homes and the Fitzroy hotel. Kerri

Ritchie there. Further to the

south-west, the town of St

George is on high alert as the

Balonne River continues to

rise. It is set to peak at staggering 14 metres some time

next week. And if that's not

bad enough, it's raining again.

ABC reporter Kirrin McKechnie

is there. The residents of St

George have spent another

frantic day trying to beat the

floodwaters. The race is on as

authorities try to build a authorities try to

levee around the town before

the flood peaks at 14 metres or

even higher on Monday. The local nursing home was evacuated this morning and

residents were flown to

Brisbane for the duration.

Speaking to them before they

set off was just remarkable.

They're taking it all in their

stride. Of course they've been

through this all before. Last

year they were forced to get

out of here as floodwaters hit

the down in March. For others

who were forced flee their

homes an evacuation centre has

been set up at the local

primary school. Tonight it's

the Red Cross housing nine people. However,

120 people. It is not sure how

many will take them up on that.

Everyone essentially is just

watching and waiting to see how this crisis unfolds. The

natural disaster is still

unfolding, but the eventual

cost to the cost to the nation's bottomline

is already cause for concern.

In the short-term, there'll be

a hike in food prices, but it

is the possible impact on the

mining industry that may hold

the greatest economic threat. Political reporter Hayden

Cooper. Even in a state well

accustomed to nature's worst,

this is a flood of truly epic

proportions. This disaster is

unlike any other that we've had

to rebuild from and our normal

may not be enough. Instead, it disaster relief arrangements

is a job for the army. Timor

veteran Major General Mick

Slater will coordinate the right from the start and that recovery

will take some time. Federal

minister Joe Ludwig will assist, specially appointed by

the Prime Minister. We want to

get this done right for the

Queensland. Queensland's tale people of

of woe will stretch far of woe will stretch far beyond wits own borders.

ahead will reveal how damaging

this event was really been.

For consumer nationwide the

answer will be found at the

check out. When you get an

entire region wiped out that

supplies a certain fruit of

vegetable you get a price

spike. If Queensland's farming

losses hit shoppers, the state's waterlogged mines will

hit Treasury coffers. Damaged

rail lines and roads have

already brought work to

standstill. Queensland exports

about $2.5 billion worth of

coal a month and that's

equivalent to point 2 per cent

of GDP alone. The longer that's disrupted the bigger the impact

total to the economy of half a

per cent send of X DP or $6

billion worth. Until the

waters recede none of us know what the

what the price tag S we know it

is a large one. Much of the

bill will come back to Canberra. The Federal

Government is chippinging Government is chippinging more relief funding to cover the

human cost of the deluge. Dealing with the economic

currents will come later.

After the dry land reappears.

Hayden Cooper, ABC News, Canberra. The official stats

are now in and it will come as

no surprise to Queenslanders

that 2010 was Australia's

wettest year in a decade. The

third wettest on record. But

despite the deluge, the figures

also show the past decade was Australia's hottest. It's been

a year of weather extremes,

from crippling drought in the west to fierce hail storms Melbourne and Perth. And record breaking floods in

Queensland. 2010 certainly

main story was one of rain. We

saw very heavy rain through

Central Australia, northern Australia and eastern

Australian Col minnating in major flood in Queensland. The Bureau of Meteorology's annual climate statement

wet in the nation's east was

caused by the warmest sea serve

fuss temperatures on record and

rape pid change from dry El Nino conditions at the

beginning of the year to beginning of the year to an La

Nina system in autumn. High humidity, very warm night-time

temperatures around Australia.

A large La Nina signature

there. The downpour was enough

to end years of drought in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria

Victoria and South Australia.

But several regions

experiencing major flooding.

There was also unusually heavy rainfall in the Northern

Territory. There couldn't be a

greater contrast than the south-west of WA where it was

the driest year on record. Across the nation, it was the

coolest year since 2001 with a

mean temperature of 22 degrees.

Overall, the past decade has been Australia's hottest. Really, the whole issue of climate variability is

one which we've always had to

deal with and which we're

likely to have to deal with

more with the advent of climate change. Despite the recent snow

storms and chilly temperatures

in Europe and the US,

preliminary global data

suggests the last year was one

of the warmest on record. 2010

was also a year of extreme rain in

in the ACT. The Territory

recorded its wettest year since

1974. Just under 960mm of rain

was forwarded at Canberra

Airport over the year, well

above average and the fourth

highest total on record. The single wettest day was 3

December with 87mm. The highest daily total since 1995.

Canberra's hottest day last

year was 12 January when 39.8

degrees was recorded. That was

significantly cooler than the

hottest days of 2009. A high-profile moderate politician in Pakistan has been

killed by one of his own bodyguards. The Governor of Punjab Province, Salman Taseer,

was an outspoken opponent of the death penalty for

blasphemy. South Asia correspondent Sally Sara

reports. The killing has

shocked the Pakistani

government. The Governor of

Punjab Province, Salman Taseer,

was shot and killed by one of

his own bodyguards. The

assassination took place in a

leafy district of the capital

Islamabad. Up to nine shots

were fired at the Governor.

TRANSLATION: My house is near

here. First I heard a gunshot.

I came out and saw guards were

moving moving the Governor to a

vehicle. The bodyguard accused

of killing the Governor was

arrested and is now being questioned by police. The Pakistani Government is

promising a full

investigation. He was martyred

by his own guard, but we have to investigate whether it was

an individual act or whether someone else was behind it. Salman Taseer was one of Pakistan's

Pakistan's best known

politicians. He was a member

of the ruling Pakistan people's

party and was a close ally of

the President. Mr Taseer

angered some Muslim leaders for his opposition to the death

penalty for the crime of

blasphemy. His support of a

young Christian woman facing

blasphemy charge engage

enraged his critics. The

assassination is the most

high-profile in Pakistan since

the killing of former Prime

Minister in December 2007. The government

government has condemned the

latest blood shed and three days of national mourning

to honour Salman Taseer. Sally Sara, ABC News. Sedan's

President has made a rare visit

to the country's south just

days before a referendum which

could split the country in two. Omar El-Beshir is trying to convince southerners the country should country should remain United, but the appetite for

independence is clear. Africa correspondent Ginny Stein

reports from Juba in southern

Sudan. Juba was in lockdown

mode ahead of the President he

visit. One time foes and bush are Warriors were preparing to

welcome him. Their choice of

weapons has changed. They're

hoping the pen is mightier than

the sword. I think people

will come. People will come.

They want to see him one last time. A one time child soldier

and now and now Australian citizen

hopes President Beshir seizes

his moment. He had the ultimate

chance to go down in history as

someone who has achieved peace.

He was in war and has achieved

peace. We want him to summon

that peace on. These drums that peace on. These drums once

delivered messages of war. Now

they're beating the message of

independence. First to arrive

at Juba international airport

was the one time Emma Rebellato

bell leader. His job is to

build the country from the

ground up. On table for

discussion, sharing the

nation's oil reserves, border issues and citizenship. Think

the message both have sompbt

the New Year once again shows

the common desire to see

through the referencedom on time. Almost 4 million people

have registered to vote in a

poll almost certain to come

down on the side of suss session. then begins. Not so much in

reconstructing a nation, but

building one from the ground

up. While oil and who owns it

remains a key sticking point,

precious river water from the

Nile remains an untested claim

for the future. Ginny

ABC News, Juba, Sudan. The

personal doctor of the late pop

star Michael Jackson has

appeared in a Los Angeles court on charges of involuntary

manslaughter. Prosecutors say

Dr Conrad Murray administered a

powerful dose of sleeping drugs

to Michael Jackson, then failed

to call paramedics quickly

enough when he discovered the

singer wasn't breathing.

Murray has pleaded not guilty.

His defence team is expected to

argue that Jackson injected

himself with the fatal dose.

The court will decide if

there's enough evidence for

Murray to face a full trial. Gerry Rafferty, the singer-songwriter best known for the hits "Stuck in the Middle With You" and Baker

Street has died. The Scottish

performer played in several

bandses but hit the big time with the soft rock group

stealers wheel in 1972. A few years later Gerry Rafferty embarked object a solo career

when he released the classic

Baker Street. (Sings) # You're

crying now, you're crying

now Royalty figures show that

song has been played more than

5 million times worldwide.

Gerry Rafferty released his

last album in 2000. In recent

times, he battled a drinking

problem and suffered liver

failure. Gerry Rafferty was

63. To finance and there's

still no New Year joy for share

investors. downward trend, which started

before Christmas, continues. Some

Some currency analysts say the

Australian dollar is falling

out of favour. Here's Phillip Lasker. The Australian

sharemarket didn't have much

going for it today. The floods

are one thing but then came falling commodity prices. The

Reuters Jefferies index of 19

commodities it was at a two

year high before the sharp fall

overnight. It has as much to

do with simple profit taking as

it does with a chain reaction

which starts with encouraging economic

economic news out of the US,

leading to a stronger American

dollar which triggered a

commodities sell off. We had

the miners down, not much joy

for the banks, or the online

challenged retailers. Even Qantas fell despite news its

A380 planes will resume flights

to Los Angeles in two weeks.

The shares that did okay with the

the retailers landlords like

Westfield, thanks

its US exposure and insurance

companies that got hit yesterday because of the

floods. The falling New York

oil price is one of those

weaker commodities influencing

global markets. That includes

the currency markets. The Australian dollar has been

unmined by the general move in commodities. The hit commodities. The hit to

Australia's earning power

because of the floods, and as I

mentioned, the stronger US

dollar. The next interest rate

decision is less than a month

away, and this is how the

Reserve Bank sees one of the

major interest rate pressures,

rising commodity prices. The Queensland floods will only

make this graph steeper, but on

the other hand, the devastation

is good reason to hold off is good reason to hold off on

rate rises. But once the

floods pass and our commodities

fetch even higher prices as we rebuild, the interest rate

pressures may be even more acute. That's finance. Last collapse has prompted the ACT Government to take a more

rigorous approach to construction projects. An

initial investigation found poor form work was partly to

blame for the structure giving

way last August. A new report

has found while correct

procedures were followed, the rules for monitoring building

projects could be improved. The

The Government says it accepts

the recommendations and

projects will now face tougher

scrutiny. Increased auditing of

safety checks and ensuring that

there's an independence in the

checking, most particularly by independent engineers. The

government will also act on

recommendations of a third investigation by WorkCover

which is still underway.

Australia appears to be heading

for a disappointing defeat in the Fifth Ashes Test after today's commanding batting

display by England at the SCG. An outstanding partnership between Alastair Cook and Ian Bell handed the tourist a

massive fir innings advantage

with two place to day. A bright

start in aid of breast cancer

awareness at the SCG was

matched by an improved early performance from bowlers. That's what happens

when he puts it up. With the

night watchmen out of the way the Australians turned their

attention to cook cook. The

inform coper survived another

close call on 99 before recording his 16th test

century. The struggling Paul Collingwood

Collingwood couldn't handle

Beer. His wicket allowed the

celebration to flow for the

rookie spinner. Cook added to his avalanche of Ashes runs as

England closed in on Australia's total. After

lunch, Cook and Ian Bell seized pummel the bowling, Bell was

just as punishing on the

Australian attack. Shane Watson finally provided Watson finally provided the

breakthrough , removing Cook for 189. There it is. Watson

looked to have claimed looked to have claimed Bell's wicket as well but he wicket as well but he survived on referral. Bell was given

another life on 84. He turned

the good fortune into three figures. Mitchell Johnson

ended Bell's innings on 115.

But not the pain for Australia.

England's lower order pushed

the lead past 200, turning an

otherwise colourful day into

another dark one for the hosts.

As England and Australia

battle it out, one of the favourite sons has been I'm

mortal liesed in bronze.

Former test captain Stephen

Waugh chose what's regarded as

the defining moment of his

career for the sculptor's

inspiration. It was his

inspiration. It was his century

in the 2003 test against

England reached with a four off

the final ball of the day in Sydney. Waugh was Sydney. Waugh was battling speculation about his playing

future at the time. Instead of

an action pose, a subject

wanted the sculpture to be

based on his celebration of

that moment. It really sums

up I guess what I was all

about, hard work, making the

most of my opportunities and really enjoying playing for New South Wales and

Australia. Waugh is the last of

of 10 sportsmen to be honoured

in bronze at the SC ge. And

Sydney Football Stadium. In

tennis Australia's chances of

winning the Hopman Cup are over

after Serbia defeated the host

nation. Alicia Molik and Lleyton Hewitt

Lleyton Hewitt were out played by their

and failed to win a set in both

singles matches. It was always

going to be a tough task for

the world's 129th ranked

player, Alicia Molik, meeting

world number 3 Ana Ivanovic.

Although the Australian showed promising signs early.

Another one on the paint. But Molik failed Molik failed to capitalise and

Ana Ivanovic broke serve taking

the first set 6-4. The serve

up to the tempo in the second

set thrashing Molik 6 games to

love. Australia's hopes lay with Lleyton Hewitt and he

looked up for the challenge

against Novak Djokovic. Mute

Lleyton Hewitt made plenty of

unforced errors Novak Djokovic

was impressive despite Lleyton Hewitt trademark fighting

spirit, he lost the tie 62, 64.

He's one of the best playsers

going around moment. If he

plays that kind of tennis he's

going to be very hard to beat in Melbourne. Lleyton Hewitt and Alicia

and Alicia Molik lost to the

Serbian pair rounding out a disappointing night for the Australians. At the Brisbane

International it was an All-Australian affair with Jamilla Groth surprising Samantha Stosur. The world

number 6 was on the back foot

with growth taking a four-nil

lead in the first set and going

on to win the set 62. Growth

clawed back the set taking 64

to win the match I beat the top-seed. If I can play the

way I've been playing my last

two matches in this tournament

who knows where it can get me. Australian teenager Sally

Peers and Jelena Dokic were both eliminated from the

tournament. American Andy

Roddick advanced to the quarterfinals. The Australian

netball team has assembled in

Canberra to begin its campaign for the world championships in

July. The Diamonds are still

smarting from a last gasp loss

to New Zealand in the final

gold medal final at the Delhi

Commonwealth Games. They hope

to get back on track in a test series against Jamaica

beginning next week. It was a

moment that many Australian

netball fans would like to

forget. A Commonwealth Games

gold medal snatched from their

grasp by New Zealand in extra

time. Has she delivered a gold medal for Australia? She

has. Australia is not used to losing. It was to date the

Damien Hardwick des game I've

played in. I was's been in in team for 14 years. There has

been a silver lining to the

silver medal. It's given

coaches and players ideas on

how they can improve. Probably

a little bit more tactical and identifying change when it presents itself on court. They've got to pick it up a bit quicker. We'll have a look back

at the Commonwealth Games and

where we went wrong and just

make those adjustments and improvements where we need

to. The Australian camp at the Australian Institute of Sport

in Canberra is providing an opportunity for younger players to put their best foot forward.

For others it is the first step towards redemption. Obviously,

I want to go out on a good

note. Before they attempt to

conquer the netball world the

Diamonds will head to Jamaica

for a three-test series beginning next week. Jamaica

throw up different and interesting challenge force us.

All of these players are

vying for a position of world

champs. This selection process

and how they perform over there

all counts. The final team for

the tour will be selected

tomorrow. Die the diamonds

hope to kick start their campaign for back championships. It's that time

of year again when rev heads from across the country converge on the nation's

capital for the annual fess tal

of hot cars. Preparations are

well underway for the 24th

Summernats which kicks off

tomorrow. Up to 90,000 people

are expected to pass through the gates. Organisers police hope it will be incident

free, but say they're well

prepared. We spent a lot of

money on guard, and on March

shalts, a lot of money on

training and to make a really safe and happy environment here. Displmpblingts we have

been policing Summernats for a

long time. We do know what to expect. We do have sufficient

resources on hand to deal with

any issues. The carnival of

street machines ends on Sunday.

Now very excited about that is

Mark Carmody with our weather. Thanks, Virginia and

good evening. I'll see you

there during the weekend. We are starting to get some normal

summer temperatures, 28 and 29

today and the developing sun

showers, sun flowers would have

loved our mostly sunny day.

They would have enjoyed the light winds that were coming from all directions. Doonas

were required last night as the minimums were just in double

figures. The storms that were forecast haven't event waited

in town yet, but there has been

some to our south around

Tharwa, Michelago and Jerangle,

but currently there is a storm

cell moving through southern

Canberra and it's raining very

heavily. The testimonyier is also dropping as an easterly

has arrived. It is now 21.

Locally today, the coast was a

little overcast with onshore

winds but just warm enough to

have a swim. 23 at Long Beach, Tuross and Pamela Beach. There

was some rain on the central and north-west slopes with

Woolbrook, which is north-east

of Tamworth, getting 46mm,

resulting in minor flooding

around that area. Around

Australia today, it was

overcast at first with the

cricket with the sun poking

through after lunch. It was

coolish though, 23. Brisbane

was cloudy as well, but warm,

29. It was windy for the last

day of the bay cycling classic

in Melbourne, rain fell this

morning in Perth. Cloud covers the majority of Central Queensland and unfortunately

it's generating more rain for

them as we have seen. Cloud

offer the tropics is also

producing rain. There's a high

in the bight that will direct

easterlies into a upper level

trough currently moving through

New South Wales which may

result in showers and possible storms around

storms around our region in the

next 24 hours. Nationally tomorrow, thunderstorms and possible heavy rain for

Brisbane, showers may save our bacon at the cricket, sunny,

dry and hot in Melbourne, 36 in Adelaide, 25 with clearing

showers in Perth. Outside the

ACT tomorrow, those onshore

winds and that trough will

bring possible showers to the

coastal strip and they might

even track into Goulburn Yass

and koomer. Cootamundra, young and Forbes will be mostly sunny. South-easterly to

north-easterly winds and tops around

around 31. For Canberra

tomorrow, there's a 50 per cent

chance of morning showers but

there'll only be a millimetre

in them. We might not see the

sun first thing, but the

getting up at just before six,

setting around 8.20. Then

Friday will be partly cloudy

but dry, Saturday terrific,

sunny with light winds 29. Virginia, those conditions

really suit those beautiful

sunflowers that are flowering don't mind it either. I

received a beautiful sun flou

today. More heavy rain in Queensland is threatening to

delay recovery efforts in flood

ravaged area. England is in

control of the fifth and final

Ashes test. The visitors

finished day three at 7 for 4

88, leading by 2 08 runs.

That's ABC News. We'll leave

you tonight with Melbourne see's latest primate

attraction, a sue an Orangutan

getting her first taste of the great out doors. Closed Captions by CSI. Tonight on the '7:30

Report', Australian retail

giants declaring war on online shoppers. They

encouraged to send their money

offshore and stimulate overseas

economies rather than our own -

it doesn't make sense. But are consumers entitled to search out the best deal? Our big

retailers have fairly

second-rate online offerings

which again have driven people

to offshore sites that are far

more user friendly. This Program is Captioned

Live. Welcome to the program.

I'm Tracy Bowden. That story

shortly, but first to Rockhampton remain on high alert tonight.

The Fitzroy River has

stabilised at 9.2m, slightly

lower than the expected peak.

However, severe weather is now