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Tonight - high alert as

bushfires flair across the

State. Consensus eludes climate

talks as protests rage outside.

It's not cricket as tempers

flair at the WACA. And a religious experience that's

sparking outrage. Good evening,

Jeremy Fernandez with ABC

Jeremy Fernandez with ABC

News. Bushfires are wreaking

havoc across NSW. Firefighters are facing extreme conditions

on the ground with temperatures

in some areas hitting the low

40s. The flames are being

whipped up by gusty

north-westerly whined, large

blazes have destroyed homes and

cars in Londonderry in Sydney's

north-west residents have been

told to act rate bushfire

survival plans as 200

firefighters work to save

homes, the township of

Gerogery, north of Albury is

under threat. A grass fire has

destroyed two homes near

Tooma. ABC reporter Karl Hoerr joins us from the headquarters

of the Rural Fire Service,

there's been several bushfire

related injury across the

State. What can you tell

us. That's right. I can tell

you a 60-year-old man has

suffered burns to around 36% of

defend his property in the his body. He was trying to

Gerogery area. This is the area

north of Albury. Now, he's been

taken to the Albury Base

Hospital, and we are yet to

find out further details of his

condition, there were two

afternoon with injuries to people taken to the kopt this

burns, they were injured in the

Michelago, which is in the

a number of Cooma area, so there have been

a number of injuries from the

flaer up in the fire situation

this afternoon. What about the

Faiz themselves are are they

posing a threat. - fires

themselves, are they posing a

threat. They are posing a

threat, there's three fires the subject of emergency warnings

in NSW this evening , to find

out more we are joined by Rural

Fire Service Shane

us about the Fitzsimmons. What can you tell

us about the current fire

situation. The fair situation

is difficult. Weather

conditions are problematic for

fire behaviour and therefore

fire suppression. The fire west

of the Sydney at Londonderry is

in the order of 300

firefighters working across

that fire ground and have been

doing so for many hours. They

have good cooperation with the

local community and are

supported with aircraft.

There's a long night ahead yet before we can come close to

saying the fire is contained

and safe. Gerogery, as you

mentioned south, north of

Albury, that's been a difficult

fire situation. We have reports

ever a home lost in that area,

we are waiting to confirm that.

As you indicate the fellow

injured in the firefighting

out there, effort, a lot of firefighters

out there, 50-60 firefighting

appliances working across

Gerogery, and West Gerogery,

and to the east, east of

Michelago, we have a fire

burning there and also we have

issued emergency warningsment again, it's difficult

conditions, and the one near

Michelago access terrain is

difficult for firefighters to

operate. Shane, there's emergency warnings issued by

text and phone. That's right.

We have done two of those, the

first in the Gerogery, where we

provided ab emergency a an

emergency alert to Gerogery,

and West Gerogery, and the east

of Michelago, we issued

emergency alert warnings to

small communities to the east

of Michelago advising them of

impending danger of fire

impacting their

Shane Fitzsimmons, thank you community. Rural Fire Service

for bringing us up to date. The

current situation is still

serious with those three

warning areas, the good news is

that there is some hope of

improving conditions over the

coming days, but firefighters

will have their work cut out

this evening getting on top of

the blazes. We'll keep on eye

on it. ABC reporter Karl Hoerr,

thanks for joining us. Officials and negotiators have almost talked themselves

to a standstill in Copenhagen,

now they are handing over to

world leaders. With two days to

go at the UN Climate Change Summit frustrations are boiling

over inside and outside the

concert hall. Chief Political

Correspondent Mark Simkin is in

Copenhagen. There's chaos in

Copenhagen. 1,500 protesters Copenhagen. There's chaos in

tried to break into the

conference. The police used

tear gas and batons to stop

them. There were hundreds of

arrests. I was just beaten by

hands and sticks, and had

pepper spray in my mouth and my

eyes. It's brutal, violent,

but unfortunately not uncommon.

(Chanting. Inside the venue

lobby youps and delegates held

their own demonstration

underscoring the divisions and

frustrations. Today has been a

very difficult day of

negotiations at this Copenhagen

Conference on climate

change. Today very little

progress has been made. The

negotiations are moving at a

snail's pace, according to the

Prime Minister. He met leader

after leader desperately trying

to broker a break through. I'm

very worried... These fellows

are listening to us. I'm

worried too. The leaders agreed

to spend more than $3 billion

fighting deforestation,

Australia will kick in there

120 million of that. But the

latest negotiating document

reveals more than 90 other

matters are

matters are unresolved. Large

international conferences like

this are full of more argy

bargy than your average ALP

national conference on

steroids. Dozen more leaders

are arriving and the Prime

Minister hopes their presence

will change the dynamic. Early contributions continued the

finger pointing. It is we,

lesser mortals of the

developing sphere who starve,

sink and die. If the climate

was a big capitalist bank you

would have saved it, you the

rich Governments. There's been

some progress today, but the

countries are yet to agree on

key issues, world leaders have

two days to do what Ministers

and bureaucrats haven't been

able to achieve in two years. As the Copenhagen Conference lurches to a

conclusion, the divide between

rich and poor nations has

deepened. With the last minute

search for a compromise came a

plea for help from nations

whose futures are at stake.

From Copenhagen Environment

Reporter Sarah Clarke. (Chanting). Outside and inside

the message is one of anger and frustration. That protest made

its way to the plenary

floor. (Shouting

out). Delivering confusion and

chaos. Then a surprise

resignation by the conference

chair. With so many heads of

State and Government having

arrived, it is appropriate that

the Prime Minister of Denmark

presides. The frustration at

this conference surrounds two

draft texts, with no sign of

moving forward. Australia,

Japan and the United States

delivered their position, they

want emissions halved by 2050,

and gave this ultimatum. In

these next three days we must

seal the deal. We must agree on

action to 2012, and beyond. But

Australia's plan allows

temperatures to rise by 2

degrees by the turn of the

century, that's too much for

the low-lying nations who say

their future is at stake. I

have the feeling of dread that

we are on the 'Titanic' and

sinking fast. Thank you

Tuvalu. Island nations lined up

to issue a desperate plea. For

us this is more than just

another meeting. This is a

matter of life and death. The

only potential breakthrough has

been on finance. Ethiopia says

$100 billion by 2020 will

satisfy the poor, and

recognises the demands of the

rich. Africa is a green field

that can and wants to chart a

different course of development. The United Kingdom

and France embraced the offer

as a means to break the

deadlock. I do see a bay

forward, but it does depend on

- see a way forward but it

depends on each continent

accepting responsibilities. Not everyone is happy with the

money on the table. Money is

not enough, you know. You can

always want ma more. The - key

issue is unresolved. All eyes

will be an China and the United

States to see who comes up with

what first. There could be

traffic chaos with bus drivers

set to walk off the job for 24

hours, pay negotiations with

the Government have stalled so

drivers say they'll bring the

entire fleet to a halt. The

Transport Minister is hopeful

the situation can be resolved before peak hour tomorrow morning. This is not the message commuters were hoping

to get this Christmas, but the

union says it has no

choice. It's never a good day

to go on strike, I guess. The

feeling was written over their

feeling was written over their faces. Hopefully they won't

strike so I can go out tomorrow night. We have visitors

overseas, we've been using the

buses quite a bit. It will be a

drama There'll be unhappy shop

owners and shoppers, really,

won't there? Particularly

where I live, there's - the bus

service is marginal, without

that it will be a struggle. The

union says despite posting a

$45 million profit State

Transit won't increase wages by

2.5%, numbers there are

productivity gains or cuts to

services. The members are not

prepared to trade-off their

award for a pay rise.

The Opposition says a strike is

the wrong tactic. This is an

act of bastardry, they are the

Christmas grinches, by the bus

unions, the stroo strike must

not be allowed to

proceed. State Transit went tole Industrial Relations

Commission to prevent the

action, but filed. The offer

was upped to 3%. We need

someone in charge to make a decision. The Transport

Minister says it's up to State

Transit to negotiate a deal and

hopes a meeting tonight will

avert the action. Just a short

time ago the Premier Kristina

Keneally released a statement

saying she confirms the

official Government offer of a

6% pay rise. The head of the

2007 inquiry into Sydney

Ferries says the service hasn't

improved in the last two years, among Bret Walker SC's

recommendation s was that a

private operator take control.

That hasn't happened and he

says some of his other advice

has been ignored. The State

Government pledged to make a

decision on the future of the

ferries by the end of the year,

and the clock is ticking. Here

is Transport Reporter Kylie

Simmonds. After a comprehensive

inquiry Bret Walker SC made 17

recommendation toss improve

Sydney Ferries, two years on he

says the service hasn't

changed. Patronage figures are,

in effect, static, revenue from

fare is, in effect,

static. Customers disagree. The

customer satisfaction is up for

the third year in a row. Customer complaints have

dropped by 29%. Still, Sydney

Ferries is now deeper in debt,

sick leave is up and the rate

of injuries suffered by employees is extraordinarily

high. They are Sydney Ferries'

statistics, and they are

bad. In 2007 Bret Walker SC

recommended finding a private

operator to run the service as

soon as possible. He pointed to

Brisbane Ferries as a

successful model, run by

transport company Transdev TSL.

That company, along with Veolia

is vying for the Sydney Ferries

tender. Bret Walker SC says he

believes the unions are

standing in the way. I would

say, taking all in all, they

have been obstructive. We

supported the reform processes

every step of the way. We

expansion of Sydney continue to support an

Ferries. Sydney Ferries says it

met six recommendation,

including axing the Manly

JetCats and negotiating a new

enterprise agreement, but the

ageing fleet still hasn't been

replaced. We need a modern

fleet, a vessel addressing the

issues of tides. The State

Government gave Sydney Ferries

12 months to lift its game,

promising to make a decision by

the end of the year, with no

indication yet the Maritime

Union is seeking an urgent

meeting with the Premier

tomorrow. The activities of the

murdered Sydney businessman

Michael McGurk have again come

under the spotlight, this time

in connection with the State's

biggest fraud investigation.

260 people are wanted for questioning over the alleged

150 million scam. Police say

former Bank of Queensland manager Hiba Cornell played a

significant role. It's alleged

the 43-year-old tried to help a

client defraud another bank to

the tune of $4 million. False

documentation was prepared and

presented to banks, to

facilitate the raising of

mortgages. My client

understands police are

suspicious of a lot of things,

sadly they don't always get it

right. Sydney businessman

Michael McGurk, who was

murdered in March, was also

alleged to be a key player. I

can say we have been assisting

the Homicide Squad in relation

to the investigations of

certain matters. Police say the

operated in several ways, other

potential home owners presented

false documents or bank workers

worked with them. Up to four

bank staff are currently

defended intk suspended. In

other cases identities were stolen. The proceeds of the

frauds were never intended to

be paid back, the victims were

the banks, all the banks were

involved. One example is the

apartment block in Sydney's

east. The garage was pass the

off as a unit and a loan of

half a million was obtained.

Investigations date back to

2002, and involve more than 200

Sydney properties. Police say

these arrests are the tip of

the iceberg and they want to

speak to 260 people in

connection with this situation.

They say if Michael McGurk was

still alive, he'd be number

261. The ball is in Lex

reverse's court. The

58-year-old former tennis star

won Liberal Party pre-selection

for the Sydney seat of

Bennelong, John Alexander faces

a tougher battle to ace Labor's Maxine McKew who knocked John

Howard out of court at the next

election. Geoff Sims

report. Selection take II. With

moves to Bennelong, John Bradfield gone, Centre Court

Alexander with it. I'm a

competitor, if I'm beaten I'll

get back on the court and try

again. The game plan - to put

the electorate in what he sees

as its rightful hands. I will

make every effort to win back

the sacred ground for our

Liberal Party. Sacred

ground. You know the only thing

sacred in this part of the

Sydney at the moment is the

lovely spot in Mount Street North Sydney, Mary McKillop

Place. For 33 years John

Winston Howard was the member

for Bennelong, until Maxine

McKew swept him away, some resident Conservatives can't

believe he's gone. He was the

best Prime Minister we

had. This electorate is shaping

as a battle between two Prime

Ministers, one gone, not

forgotten and one whose sitting

member sounds remarkably like

him. Because you know what,

nobody owns anything. John

Howard is not surprisingly

backing John Alexander. Good

joys, it was a good field, but

it's tough, it's a marginal

seat. In politics there's

always somebody looking over

your shoulder. The Liberals

pecking order changed soon after Tony Abbott appeared in

his budgie smugglers, but the

new leader has nothing to fear

from the latest candidate.

He'll be a hardworking local

member. No, you might see me

in tennis shorts, with a shirt

on, no budgie smugglers. It's

hard enough just to say it.

British scientists have

cracked a crucial cancer gene

code. For the first time they

have genetically mapped two

common forms of cancers and

common forms of cancers and

could transform diagnosis of

the disease. 27-year-old Mandi

Chonowitz doesn't fit the

picture of the average bowel

cancer patient, but she says

she's proof that the disease

can strike anyone. I was 24

when I was diagnosed with Stage

3 cancer, I had minimal symptoms, but I went for

colonoscopy, which ended up in

having six months of

chemotherapy, and quite a few

operations. Here I am today,

three years later. Today she

was at the launch. A new

campaign designed to shock

Australians out of complacency

of bowel cancer. If 12

Australians were killed by

terrorists, it would be front

page news, yet 12 Australian

men and women die from bowel

cancer every day. 35 people are

diagnosed with bowel cancer

every day, most are preventable. While there's a perception that it's a male

disease, almost as many women

die from bowel cancer as breast cancer, despite a National Bowel Screening Program, ond a

third of people eligible have

taken it up. Doctors say

screening works. If you do it

every two years you reduce

mortality by 15%, if you do it

every year you reduce mortality

by 30%. While bowel cancer

grabbed headlines, in Britain

scientists had a breakthrough

in understanding two other

common cancers of the lungs and

skin. Researchers mapped the

genome or DNA of both

cancers. This is a fundamental

moment in cancer research. From

here on in, we will think about

cancers in a very different

way. The discovery could lead

to more effective and better

targeted treatments. The

corporate watchdog says it will

appeal against a decision

dismissing the case against

former One.Tel executives. Last

month One.Tel's former Managing

Director Jodee Rich, and former

finance director successfully

defended a civil lawsuit

alleges that they mislead

company directors about its

financial position, the

National Australia Bank joined

the bidding for the French controlled wealth company AXA

the Australian share market Asia Pacific, helping to push

higher, here is Alan

Kohler. NAB has trumped AMP's

bid for AXA with a $4.6 billion

for its Australian assets. And

won the not of the target's

board of directors. AMP has

thinking to do - turn it into

an auction or stick to the

statement that its first bid

was top price. Investors like

the fact that AMP may be out of

the came pushing it up, but

cutting NAB by 4.7. AXA went up

13%, and the two bidders will

get carried the way in the

excitement of an auction. AXA's

rise was responsible for the

modest rise in the All Ords,

boosted by record of interview,

Qantas and News Corporation.

Other banks were weaker,

Westpac and CBA down 1%. US

share market was steady, ahead of a decision by the Federal Reserve board on interest

rates, coming after the close

of trading. The Fed left rates

where they are at 0 to quarter

of a percent and the statement

identical to last month saying

they'll be left where they are

for an extended period which

most think is next year.

Nevertheless the US dollar

continues to move higher

leaving the Australian dollar

down at a bit less than 89 US

cent. Solid gains on

commodities. Gold and oil up,

and on the metals exchange zinc

jumped 4.2%, copper 2%. Data

out today showed credit cards

are going out of fashion in

favour of debit cards. The

number of purchases using

EFTPOS has been growing at a double digit rate for three

years. That's finance. The NSW

Government is stumping up with

extra cash for the arts, one of

the winner s is Sydney's

western suburbs with $2.3

million extra. The country's

elite dancers from the

Australian Ballet are used to

showing their form at the

Sydney Opera House, but next

year they'll be but putting

their best foot forward in

Penrith, Blacktown and Campbelltown. The dance is like

the new black, everyone wants

to dance at the moment. It's fantastic. An explosion of

interest has seen a growing

demand to see the professionals

at work. The Government came to

the party funding more

performances and workshops for

schools as part of an overall

arts Budget the more than $40

million I think the creative industry should be in the

driving seat of the economy,

not as a passenger in the

back. Judge has taken over the

arts portfolio following the

demise of former Premier Nathan

Rees, but has to spread the

arts dollar far and wide. Opera

Australia will receive $3

million, with $60,000 to take

opera to primary schools. Sydney Writer's Festival will

get $280,000 to stage all

things literary. Still up in

the air is funding for the

Sydney Film Festival, plagued by financial

difficulties. There's no doubt

the tumultuous political

exchanges in NSW impact on the

flow of arts funding. With two

weeks to go before the new

money is due to kick in, it

came in time for arts organisations to organisations to plan their

futures. Australia's dominating

the third Test but the West

Indies have shown fight on day

two at the WACA. A fiery

altercation between spinners

Suliemann Benn, and Brad Haddin

added spice, the Australian

century is elusive, but the

home team is in a powerful

position after amassing more

than 500 runs, here is Peter Wilkins. The

Wilkins. The gentlemen's game

turned scruffy, the catalyst

saw the ruckman and rover for

position and pointing bats and

words at each other. It went

on. And on. With an accidental

elbow not helping the cause.

Early on the signs were

different, instead of being

pointed in the right direction Michael Hussey was hustled

out. The injured captain looked

better but didn't enter the

fray and Marcus North was a

chance to be the first

Australian century maker of the

series. Beautifully played. But

he played a schoolboy shot on

68. Full toss, can you believe

that. Would it be Brad Haddin,

whose opening blows met with

approval. That's gone square.

Whistling to the boundary. He

played lusty blows en route to

the fifth Australian half

century of the innings. Either

side of the incident Brad Haddin played with punishing

certainty. Into the stands. And Mitchell Johnson took the

lead. He's gone. But the poison

chalice seemed to be 100 runs. Keep running those

eyes. When Brad Haddin closed in...

..he became another to miss

out, catching Johnson Suliemann

Benn triggered the declaration and Chris Gayle took up the challenge. Well played.

Beautiful shot. He welcomed

Clint McKay to the Test arena,

racing to 50 with ease. That is

a brilliant 50. Australia could

receive a more stern challenge

from its next opponent,

Pakistan believes it has the

weapons to win the three Test

series. The team batting and

bowling wise, I think we have

potential in the side. We can

get Australia out twice. We are confident. Pakistan will take

on Tasmania in a 3-day game

which starts in Hobart

Saturday. World surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore's

home from adding to her trophy

Cabinet in Hawaii, the 21-year-old triple World

Champion is determined to close

in on Layne Beachley's seven

record couns, but there's

pressure. There's so much room

for improvement with my surfing

performance, I know that with

the young girls coming through,

they are hot on my

heels. Stephanie Gilmore will

rest with family in Victoria

before preparing for next

year's campaign. It wasn't the

kind of message many New

Zealanders expected from their

church at Christmas time a

risque billboard showing the

Virgin Mary and Joseph in bed

sparked a debate across the Tasman. More from New Zealand

correspondent Kerri Ritchie. This progressive

Christian church in central

Auckland likes to push the

boundaries, its new billboard

featuring a biblical bed scene

with unsatisfied Mary looking

to the hefians. We are trying

to lampoon the idea of a

literal male god who somehow it's assumed impregnated

Mary. The dad who counts

himself among New Zealand's 1.5

million atheists wasn't

fussed. Mary - I think yeah.

It's all I could say. The billboard offended the Catholic

Church and it wasn't long

before someone took to it with

point. Weing man Simon Fisher

embarked on a campaign of his own

own with the help of atheist

mates, he plans to plaster

buses with the poster, "There's

probably no god, now stop

worrying and enjoy your life", as a result Simon Fisher

received nasty emails. Such as,

"You are going to hell", but,

of course it's difficult for me

to reply to that. I don't

believe in he'll. The vicar at

St Matthew-In-The-City was

worried, saying the church worried, saying the church was

trying to stimulate discussion

and hoped people had a sense of

humour, for one cross Kiwi

religion is no laughing

matter. To the weather now, and

hot weather fanned bushfires,

some parts of the state experienced severe

thunderstorms. They did, we

are seeing them still

widespread, that severe

thunderstorm warning for

damaging winds is current for much of the much of the State extending

from the north-west corner to

Albury and up to Dubbo, looking

at the radar, you can see a bit

of activity developing across

the State. As the main band

moves through and storms

further north. From Wollongong

to Armidale, including the

Central Tablelands there's a

warning current. Sydney's water

catchments could get an

isolated fall of up to 25mm

that, will do nothing to that, will do nothing to

replace this week's falls of

0.6%. In Sydney north-west to

north-east winds pushed

temperatures to 42.5 at

Badgery's Creek and 42.3 at

Penrith. Isolated storms

crossed parts of Sydney, 4mm

was the heaviest fall at Seven

Hills, hot across the State. 43

recorded at Camden, Condobolin, recorded at Camden, Condobolin, Forks, Ivanhoe, Lake

Cargelligo, Moruya Heads, and

Nowra. Raised dust about the

southern inlands. Gale-force

winds and patchy rain with the

cool change. Northern Tablelands and north west

slopes the only districts to

report rain with isolated

storms across a large extent of

the State. Totals light. The

cool change was responsible for

30mm of rain in Hobart 30mm of rain in Hobart and 9mm

in Melbourne. Cyclone Laurence is weakening over Western

Australia after crossing the

Kimberley coast last night.

Moving on a mix of rain and

isolated thunderstorms crossing

most of NSW by tomorrow

afternoon, before that weakens

into a trough over the

north-east. For most of the

state up to 10mm with isolated

heavier falls about some

parts. The only dry capitals

will be Perth, Brisbane and

will be Perth, Brisbane and

Adelaide. To NSW - strong wind

warning is current anywhere

south from the Mid North Coast.

Rain bands with isolated storms

spreading across the state

reaching the north-eastern

districts later in the day

ahead of strong and cooler

southerly changes bringing the rain. Early thunderstorms in

Sydney, rain periods easing,

temperatures 23-26.

temperatures 23-26. That gusty southerly pushing through

around 1am producing a cooler

day Friday, Saturday and

Sunday, the chance of evening and then morning

showers. That's ABC News for

now, we'll leave you with four

emu chicks found wandering the

streets of Brisbane, the RSPCA

is trying to find them a new

home. From us, goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

We have a real fear that

Telstra will simply cut a

sweetheart deal with the Government. Tonight on the

'7.30 Report', telco wars - is

the Government going soft on

its threat to split Telstra. It

would destroy value for the 1.4 million shareholders who own

Telstra shares. The

legislation itself has huge

holes in it giving Telstra

considerable wriggle room.

SONG: # So much more thsh SONG: # So much more thsh than

Cody Simpson. The kid from

Queensland who has become an

overnight interstate star. I

think he's the next Justin

Timberlake. This Program is Live Captioned.

Welcome to the program. First

tonight - the sword that

mansion over Australia's

telecommunications giant Telstra. Any day the Federal