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(generated from captions) this weekend, to extend a ridge over our region bringing fine, wintery conditions temperatures later next week. with a gradual return to average Virginia. of our top story tonight. Before we go, a brief recap in the Solomon Islands Australian security forces for further violence are tonight bracing after the secret swearing-in new prime minister. of the country's controversial And that's ABC's News. for the '7:30 Report' Stay with us now coming up next. Enjoy your evening. Goodnight. International Pty Ltd Captioning and Subtitling Closed Captions provided by

It is unlikely that these fishermen

or their families could have gotten

levels up to those levels that have

been seen to be associated with

health affects. Tonight - what a

difference a day makes. The

political backflip after last

night's revelation that Sydney

fishing families have been poisoned

by toxic chemicals. We will test

44 fishermen and their immediate by toxic chemicals. We will test the

family. The NSW Government pledges

free blood tests, but has its

response gone far enough? And long

to reign over us. A special report

on the eve of the Queen's 80th

birthday. I feel that Queen

Elizabeth does command a particular

degree of affection and respect

through her being herself. She's

still working hard and I do not

believe that she will give up until she absolutely has to. This program is captioned live. Welcome to the program. to action in the space of 24 hours Well, political indifference turned revelation last night after the 7. 30 Report's of high dioxin levels in Sydney. among commercial fishing families Reversing an earlier decision, the NSW Government now says will be available that free blood testing and their families to those commercial fishermen who want them. commissioned by the 7.30 Report Environmentalists say the tests been saying - confirm what they've long of those affected is needed that comprehensive testing contaminated seafood. because of years spent eating So, what happens from here? most famous waterways And will one of Australia's for fishing to resume? ever be clean enough Jonathan Harley reports.

Peak hour an Sydney Harbour and the

water traffic is busier than usual.

The ferries and water cats must

compete with what's left of

now idle commercial fishing fleet. compete with what's left of Sydney's

They lost their businesses in

January, and the NSW Government

down fishing in the harbour after January, and the NSW Government shut

announcing the fish were too toxic

to eat. The value of Sydney Harbour

to the general Sydney community and

to the people of Australia, it's a

national treasure. You can't put a

price on Sydney Harbour. Today,

these fishermen are not just angry

they're about their loss of livelihood, but

they're also concerned for their

future health. Concern sparked by

the 7.30 Report's revelations of

high dioxin levels among fishermen

and their families. First I lost my

job. Three weeks before Christmas

I'd been out of work, now I'm being

poisoned. So the Government's got

lot of explaining to do. Short of poisoned. So the Government's got a

splang, these fishermen did get one lot of explaining to do. Short of an

key Government promise that they'd

been seeking. And they got it

before their protest was even over.

We understand the concerns of the

fishermen and of their families.

we will test the 44 fishermen and fishermen and of their families. So

their immediate family to provide

happen as soon as them with the tests. That will

happen as soon as possible. The

Government's sudden announcement

followed last night's 7.30 Report,

which revealed high dioxin levels

among Sydney fishermen and their

family members. Compared to the

of Sydney and to the Australian family members. Compared to the rest

population this is a group of high

exposure, not just to dioxins but

very importantly to dioxins. And

that's a matter for concern?

That's a huge matter for concern.

We commissioned blood tests by an

independent laboratory for two

fishermen 74-year-old Tony Ianni

40-year-old tests for his partner fishermen 74-year-old Tony Ianni and

Elaine Pensabene and their son.

Luca is 6 years old. The reason we

chose Luca and not my older son

Santo is that Luca eats more

than Santo, likes it more, eats it Santo is that Luca eats more seafood

more. I thought if it comes back

with a low reading for him Santo

will be in the clear. Four of them

have eaten Sydney Harbour seafood

for years, seafood which State

health authorities now advise is

toxic to eat, even in small amounts. health authorities now advise is too

We, you know, bring two or three

kilos of prawns home and boil them

up to have with the family. We all

eat boiled prawns. The results were

startling. Andrew Crisafi had

levels more than 10 times the

Australian average. This couple

relatively high levels although Australian average. This couple had

their main concern is for their

f-year-old son whose dioxin levels

were above average adult levels.

Mostly when you see dioxins in

beings, you get a spread of the Mostly when you see dioxins in human

various chlorinated forms. But in

these people you're getting high

levels of the most toxic form.

Dioxins are a group of long-lasting

organic chemicals. They accumulate

in the body . The most toxic forms

are known to be harmful in the

tiniest amounts and there's

concern for the effect on children. tiniest amounts and there's mounting

They mess up subtle development.

That can lead to problems like

learning disabilities, nerve

learning disabilities, nervous

disorders and attention deficit.

NSW health authorities were

by their long-held advice that NSW health authorities were standing

dioxin blood tests for Sydney's

commercial fishermen and their

families will hold limited medical

value. What we can say is that

on the level of dioxin found in value. What we can say is that based

seafood in is Sydney Harbour, it is

unlikely that these fishermen or their families could have got

up to those elevels that have been their families could have got levels

seen to have been associated with

health effects. But that advice now

appears to be politically

unpalatable. Would this

announcement have been made today

the NSW Government if not for the announcement have been made today by

revelations of the last 24 hours?

I think it's fair to say that the

Government is responding to the

concerns which have been ventilated

by the fishermen and their families.

And notwithstanding the advice

we have had from people whose And notwithstanding the advice that

opinions we respect who are professional people with high

integrity and high levels of

expertise in the area. I think a

government is elected by people and

it has to respond to their concern.

I believe the Government has a fear

of its legal responsibility. I'm

saying the Government should have

more of a responsibility to these

fishermen. NSW Unity Party Upper

House MP and medical Dr Peter Wong

has been calling for such dioxin

tests for months and he believes

this may be just the start of the

State Government's new-found

responsibility for the welfare of

these families. Who is going to

these families. Who is going to give them insurance cover? Not just the

health cover, perhaps even life

insurance. I think it is up to the

NSW Government to give them a firm

guarantee that their welfare, their

health care is at the hand of the

NSW Government. Sydney's fishing

families have clearly welcomed

today's announcement. But as

they've learned there are

they've learned there are inscapable complexities to the toxic legacy

which has poisoned Sydney's seafood

and those complexities are not

likely to disappear with dioxin

blood tests. Either for the

fishermen, or for the Government.

The advice that has been provided

The advice that has been provided by those individuals is that these

levels of exposure are not levels

levels of exposure are not levels at which it would be expected that

there would be adverse consequences.

Which raises the question, how do

you know what the levels are until

you test them? Why is the testing

only happening now, and it appears,

under considerable pressure?

Because the point to remember is

that there is no evidence of

that there is no evidence of adverse outcome, even at the levels that

have been identified. That's the

expert advice. But no-one had

identified any levels until we

commissioned some tests? Let's be

clear on this. What follows from

these tests? You get a figure.

these tests? You get a figure. What does it mean and what is the

difference that it creates in terms

of the management of these people's

health into the future? What

health into the future? What happens to these fishermen and their

families is just part ofrt story.

The much deeper question is the

health of the harbour itself and

whether these harbours will ever be

clean enough to fish in again.

clean enough to fish in again. Just a pier away from the fishermen's

protests and Sydney's long

protests and Sydney's long tradition of recreational fishing is alive

of recreational fishing is alive and well. Here, there's either

ignorance or disregard for the

health advice that people should

health advice that people should eat no more than a tiny 150 grams of

Sydney seafood a month. How long

have you been fishing here? 20

years, you could say. I'm 27 so

I've been fishing here since I was

I've been fishing here since I was a young fella. How often, how

frequently? Ah, a couple of times a

month. And, even since you were a

kid, have you been eating what

you've been catching? Catch a

you've been catching? Catch a decent size bream, we'll take it home and

eat it. Do you think people are

eating more than 150 grams of

eating more than 150 grams of Sydney Harbour seafood a month? I'm not.

This family is digesting what their

dioxin results might mean and are

considering whether to take up the

State Government's offer to get

their other son tested. For these

fishermen a long tradition a way of

life, has ended. 'What The...?' Do

you think the future holds? Nothing,

no future. No. I wish there was,

but no. Our future is fishing, you

know. It's finished, so, unless

know. It's finished, so, unless the toxin does anything to me, keep my

fingers crossed. That report from Jonathan Harley. Well, it's a measure of how volatile the situation remains in the Solomon Islands that newly-elected prime minister Snyder Rini

was sworn in today without fanfare and surrounded by a substantial protective force. But his political future is in doubt, with opponents insisting that even Mr Rini's backers will desert him

if a motion of no-confidence is moved against him in the parliament. The violence of the past few days is said to be linked to concern over the extent to which the new government is beholden to Chinese business interests. But it's a charge dismissed by government spokesman Johnson Honimae. I spoke with him by phone from Honiara a short time ago.

Johnson Honimae, thank you very

Johnson Honimae, thank you very much for joining us tonight and first up,

I wonder if you can start by

bringing us up-to-date on the

situation in Honiara, certainly in

terms of the general level of law

and order tonight? Yes.On the

streets it was pretty calm, on the

streets of Honiara, all day today.

People are now moving out of the

centre of town to their houses in the suburb

the suburbs. Curfew is coming on

the suburbs. Curfew is coming on at 6 o'clock this evening. Up to 6am

tomorrow, and so it's really calm

today compared to yesterday. On a

political front, the PM-elect

political front, the PM-elect Snyder Rini has been sworn in by the

country's Attorney-General at a

low-key ceremony at Government

House. This is basically for

security reasons. Soon after that,

he has been meeting this afternoon

with the members of his coalition

group to work out the ministerial

portfolio allocations, which will

portfolio allocations, which will be expected to be announced tomorrow

some time. I gather, though, the PM

had to be sworn in today surrounded

by a wall of protection. Now

by a wall of protection. Now that's not a good start, is it? It is not

not a good start, is it? It is not a very good start, but what do you do

in this case when unruly people

in this case when unruly people want to get you? So this is, I mean, not

a very good start, but I think you

know, the election was done in a

democratic process according to the

constitution. And ah, basically

like any other PM around the world

has gone into problems, he needs

people to look after him. And is

there going to have to be

there going to have to be protection for members of the Cabinet once

they're sworn in? If there is a

they're sworn in? If there is a need for that, I know the commissioner

for that, I know the commissioner of police will be in a position to

provide protection for whoever the

force thinks that they need

security, yes. How stable, though,

is Mr Rini's position? There's

already talk by some of his

opponents of a move in the

Parliament against him, a

no-confidence motion? Yes.This is

politics, you know, and it's very

fluid at the moment. So anything

could happen. But according to a

statement issued from the office of

the PM this afternoon, it's a solid

group that we have. According to

him he has the numbers and if

anything such as a motion of

no-confidence, obviously the place

for it will be on the floors of

Parliament and so we cannot assume

at this stage or speculate about

what could possibly happen on the

floor of Parliament. What about the

increased RAMSI force that's now in

the Solomons? Do you have any sense

of how long they might have to stay?

I mean, we can't be talking about

how long when they just arrived

yesterday. They have to restore

yesterday. They have to restore law and order on the ground, to be sure

that the political government can

continue to work in the environment.

As the PM of Australia has said,

they will be here as long as the

government of the Solomons needs

them to ensure that law and order

and security returns to this

country. I ask that question

country. I ask that question because there's something of an irony here.

The new PM, Mr Rini has been a

critic of the RAMSI forces. He's

the one saying there should be a

timetable set for the RAMSI force's

withdrawal? All I can say is that

the situation has changed. Can you

quantify the damage at this stage?

How much of Chinatown has been

destroyed? A good 90, 95% of

Chinatown is basically in ruins.

Well that's a tragedy for the

Solomons, isn't it? It is a tragedy.

It's a very sad two days that has

gone by and no law-abiding citizen

in this country would like to see

what has happened and I must assure

you there is a lot of law-abiding

citizens in this country and I've

been saddened about what has

happened in the light of what has

happened since RAMSI came here in

2003. The country was slowly

rebuilding itself. Law and order

was there. Investors who were

basically starting to come back in

and then this has happened. It's a

real tranldy, it's really sad.

So if you had to pinpoint what's at

the core of the revival of these

tensions, particularly as you say

after a period where it appeared to

be that things were coming good

again, what's it been about do you

think? Well, as you know, a lot of

people don't agree with what people

are doing. They have some

grievances. You cannot satisfy

everybody at the same time. You

will always have people who

will always have people who disagree with what the government's doing

with what the government's doing and all that. So the government just

has to sit down and see what it can

do to address these grievances that

come up every now and then. Johnson

Honimae, for joining us tonight,

thank you very much indeed. OK,

thank you, goodbye. Four years after marking her 50th year on the throne, the Queen will pass a personal milestone tomorrow when she turns 80. She's due to celebrate at her castle in Windsor with a walkabout in the town, followed by a dinner hosted by her son, Prince Charles. Interestingly, the celebrations come as Britain debates lifting the retirement age. But, of course, for one of the world's hardest working public figures, the job just seems to go on and on. While polls show up to 80% of Britons support the monarchy, others are asking how long the Queen could or should continue, and who should succeed her. Europe correspondent Jane Hutcheon reports. On the eve of her 80th birthday and still going strong, the Queen's capacity to draw the crowds hasn't diminished. In two years' time she'll reach another milestone - Britain's oldest serving monarch. This is my Silver Jubilee room except for this corner, which is the Golden Jubilee. Margaret Tyler is probably Britain's most passionate monarchist. A tour of her home is like a walk through more than five decades of the Queen's reign. Her collection is a tribute to the entire Royal Family.

Mrs Tyler can't imagine life without the Queen and, to a greater or lesser degree, four out of five Britons share similar sentiments. Yes, I do like the institution of the monarchy. I think it's very good and I think it's very strong. I think other countries are actually very envious of us. She's 80. She's still working hard, she's still doing overseases tours and I do not believe that she will give up until she absolutely has to. She wasn't born to be Queen, but was groomed from the moment she became heir, following the 1936 abdication of her uncle King Edward VIII. Even before she was crowned, in Cape Town, Princess Elizabeth made a solemn promise. I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong. Her coronation dazzled a world recovering from brutal war. She and Prince Philip wasted no time embarking on their first Commonwealth tour. They visited 14 nations over six months, including a comphehensive stint in Australia. NEWSREEL: In Canberra, when the Queen was there, an umbrella was standard equipment. They travelled from the capital to the cities, the humid northern coast, far-flung Aboriginal communities in a then remote centre. No-one will be able to suggest to me that Central Australia is a dead heart. From now on, I shall always look upon it as a living heart, beating with confident energy. In the early days of her reign,

she presided over the end of Empire and the birth of the Commonwealth, which, more than 50 years on, she still heads - more than 120 million people in more than 50 countries.

But those prepared to criticise the Queen - and there aren't many - say her shortcomings have been at a more personal level. Even diehard monarchists acknowledge the problems within the Queen's own family. I don't blame the Queen at all, no. I mean, it must have been very hard for her. Obviously you are upset when your children's marriage isn't going right. Obviously you always want the best for your children.

But I don't blame the Queen at all, no. A long-time Royal watcher, Charles Moseley, disagrees. He believes the Queen could have exercised greater influence within her own realm. The things that she has omitted to do are to call her family to order. She is Queen and she is head of the Royal Family and I would have thought that would have been sufficient to call someone to order. The death of Princess Diana in 1997 and the initial lack of public sympathy shown by the Royal Family has been the only significant event to cause a dip in the Queen's popularity rating. There was this anger and a very strong sense of association with Diana as being a figure who perhaps had been hounded or mistreated or even used, effectively, by the Royal Family. That was a very, very difficult period for them.

Author and Tory commentator Joanne Nadler recalls the resentment. But nearly a decade after Princess Diana's death, believes the Royal Family has been rehabilitated. That was becoming apparent during the Golden Jubilee when hundreds of thousands took part in celebrations marking 50 years of the Queen's reign. It sort of made us feel that there are still some symbols that are universal in terms of British identity. We're all struggling at the moment. Politicians are struggling, particularly to explain what being British is. Well, there's nothing more British, really, than having some sort of allegiance - or perhaps 'affection' is a better word - for the British Royal Family. No other monarch has been so widely covered by the media. Yet for all the attention, there's little intimate knowledge about her. The Queen has never given an interview, and apart from the glimpse of the palace life by an intruder in 1982, the public doesn't know her views on issues such as the war in Iraq, stem cell research or even the latest Royal portrait. APPLAUSE

While the Queen's opinions remain a closely guarded secret, those of her son and heir are anything but. From pesky Royal correspondencence to the environment, Charles's views are aired high and low. I feel that Queen Elizabeth does command a particular degree of affection and respect through her being herself. I have a few more problems with Prince Charles, who I think is a more flawed public figure than his mother. And if Charles's is ranked down in the public's regard, his wife, Camilla, is marked even lower. Few commentators dare to question whether the ageing Queen should consider abdicating and if so, when? Those who know her, doubt she will, but could she be Australia's last monarch? I don't believe Australia will become a republic while the Queen is on the throne. Beyond that, I don't know. And in that veiled Royal language, there was a response of a kind. But I hope you will allow me with a certain sense of perspective that I approach my 80th birthday, and on my 15th visit here, to express my conviction that Australia, in the course of my lifetime, has firmly established itself amongst the most respected nations of the world. Was this tacit acceptance that Australia may in the future become a republic, or was it just a statement of goodwill? British Republicans took heed. She has said before

that the Australians will decide their own future.

It would be nice if she said the same thing about the British people. I've got about four teasets from the Jubilee.

Monachist Margaret Tyler is in no doubt that if Australia removed the Queen as head of state there would be Royal disappointment. I know you get dissenting voices. You get dissenting voices everywhere, don't you? I think that's a strong warmth and love for her and I don't think that would happen. But this isn't the time to ponder what could be. In the eyes of her many adoring subjects, it's a time to celebrate the stability and longevity of her reign.

Happy birthday from all of us.

That report from Jane Hutcheon in London. And now, John Clarke and Brian Dawe and a case of classroom frolics. Sit down Alexander, sit up straight. Come on, come on. Are you eating? No. OK, this assignment, you haven't done it? My assignment, I nearly did my assignment,

I haven't quite done. It's nearly done. No, you haven't done it. Why not? It says why I haven't done it. It says here - it says you haven't done the reading. Yeah. Can't answer the questions, can I, if I haven't read the stuff?

I haven't seen the reading. I haven't done the reading. Alexander, is this your handwriting here? Yeah.

Alexander, it says you haven't done the reading because you were too busy doing the reading? That's right. I can't do the reading if I'm too busy doing the reading to do the reading, can I? I haven't got time. Why didn't you have time? I was too busy reading. Alexander, this is a reading course. It's no wonder you haven't got time to do any reading then if you're reading all the time. What a stupid idea, a reading course. Listen, you know Vaile, you know Vaile? I know Vaile. He says he knows why you haven't done the reading? Oh yeah, why. He can't remember. I can tell you why he can't remember.

Oh, yeah. Why? He hasn't done the reading. Listen, I had John in here a few days ago.

No, he won't have done the reading either. No, he hasn't. Do you know why he hasn't done the reading?

Why? Come on. He's got a sick ferret, his ferret's sick. He's got a ferret who's sick? He's got a sick ferret, yeah. He's got sore eyes. Why? Too much reading. Has Cole spoken to you yet? Coley. Yeah, I saw Coley the other day down the back of the bike - Did he ask you whether you'd done the reading? No. He didn't? No. I asked him to have a word with you? He did, but he didn't ask you about any reading. What did he ask you about? He wanted to know the name of the idiot who'd done the writing. I've really had enough of you a boys. Now, get out! I'm not going out there. They'll kill me. Get out! I'm not going out there. Give me a job. I'm really good at banging the dusters together. Give me some dusters and I'll bang them together. Please.

The a case of too much reading

The a case of too much reading makes Alex a dull boy. That's the program for tonight and the week. Don't forget 'Stateline' at this time tomorrow with Quentin Dempster. We'll be back with the 7.30 Report on Monday, but for now, goodnight. Closed Captions produced by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd

This program is not subtitled Tonight on Catalyst - on the front line with the virus busters, a potential cure for modern-day plagues. Can we learn to control our perception of time? And a fish that's survived since the days of the dinosaur, but is its time running out? THEME MUSIC Hello, I'm Maryanne Demasi, and thanks for joining us. One of the great battles for 21st century medicine is the fight against viruses. It seems that every time an anti-viral drug is introduced, the virus mutates and becomes resistant. Now a group of scientists are developing a therapy

with potential to stop these killers dead in their tracks. Mark Horstman joins them on the front line. Last century, viruses killed more people than both world wars combined. They've always been a challenge for medicine, and this century is starting out to be no different. The HIV virus infects 40 million people. Just last year, three million died from AIDS. Hepatitis C also has the proportions of a global epidemic. Nearly one person out of every 20 in the world carries the virus. Right now, we feel powerless against viral outbreaks like the bird flu pandemic because we have no cure. The good news? We might have finally found a way to fight back. There's an absolutely amazing system that's just come to light in the last three or four years. The system is called RNA interference, or RNAi for short. It's the most important breakthrough in science since the discovery of the structure of DNA, really.

RNA interference is a way that cells can switch off the genes that cause disease. It's happening right now inside just about every cell in our bodies. The aim is to harness this natural defence system

to target the genes of viruses like HIV and Hepatitis C with pinpoint accuracy, and shut them down.