Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
ABC News 24: 7am News (Sat) -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This Program Is Captioned

Live. This morning, six people arrested on suspicion of plotting

Also today, Kevin Rudd and

Hillary Clinton promise to strengthen trans-Pacific relations. Security forces in Afghanistan on high alert

before votic begins in today's election. And exacts finals revenge on election. And Collingwood

Geelong, booking a place in AFL's Grand Final. Good

morning. You're watching ABC

News 24 this Saturday. I'm Jane

Hutcheon. A cool day in with cloud increasing later, Hutcheon. A cool day in Sydney

sunny in Canberra and a shower

or two in Melbourne. Cool and

mainly fine in Hobart, increasing later in Adelaide, mainly fine in Hobart, cloud

sunny and warm in Perth and a

hot day for Darwin with

thunderstorms possible in the thunderstorms possible in

afternoon. Six men are being

held by British police over a potential terror threat during the men were cleaners working for a

central London council and were

arrested by counterterrorist officers. On the second day of

his visit to the UK, the his visit to the

pontiff has criticised the

the world as Emma Alberici marginalisation of religion in

reports. First it was a reports. First it was a visit with Catholic school leaders in

an apparent reference to the

child abuse scandal engulf the church, Pope child abuse scandal engulf ing thanked them for protecting Britain's particular word of appreciation for those whose task it is to

ensure that our schools provide

a safe environment for children

and young people. Our responsibility to ourselves

interested to us - entrusted

for us demands nothing else. At

an assembly of 4,000 schoolchildren, he warned against the pursuit of celebrity and fame. People came

out in their thousands to greet

the leader of the world's wn

billion Catholics as he made billion Catholics as

his way into the history The first time a Pope has

residence of the Archbishop of visited Lambeth palace, the

Canterbury. We do not, as churches, seek political power

or control or the dominance of

Christian faith in the public

sphere but the opportunity to

testify, to argue, sometimes to protest, sometimes to affirm,

to play our part in the to play our part in the public

debates of our societies and we shall of course be effective not not when we have mustered

enough political leverage to

get our way but when we have

persuaded our neighbours that

the life of faith is a life well lived well lived and joyfully

lived. Then for another first,

female priest. Security was the Pope shook hands with a

tight after Scotland Yard arrested six arrested six men in connection with an alleged plan to

assassinate the Pope. Police

say the men, most of whom are Algerian nationals, were

working here at Westminster as contractors for a supposed to involve keeping

for the Pope's this area clean in preparation

for the Pope's arrival. Pope Benedict's keynote speech in

London was delivered to

audience which included the

deputy prime minister and four living former British Prime

Ministers. He blamed the

financial crisis on the lack of ethics in business, ethics in business, religion

had become marginalised, he

said, even in societies said, even in societies that

pretened to promote tolerance. The leader of the world's Catholics and the head of the Church of England led joint prayers at Westminster Abbey, calling for the two faiths to form a friendship. Back home, a man

has drowned after falling

overboard from a yacht near

Hobart overnight. The man, aged

in his 50s, was a crew member of a yacht competing in a race

in had channel area south of

the city. His body was found on

a beach on Brunie island shortly after midnight. The officers say

swells up to 1.5m. Security

forces are on alert across

Afghanistan in preparation for voting in today's parliamentary elections. The Taliban have

abducted up to 20 people

including two candidates and

several election officials and

campaign workers. Taliban

leaders are warning of further attacks and the Afghan Government admits the poll may

be tainted by vote-rigging but

voters to turn out in large

numbers. Sally Sara reports

from Kabul. Afghan security forces have set across the capital across the capital amid fears

to of attacks by the Taliban. Up

to 20 people including candidates have been to 20 people including two

candidates have been abducted

in had lead-up to the parliamentary poll. parliamentary poll. The Taliban

say they will target anyone who participates in the election. President Hamid Karzai is

urging voters to turn out large numbers despite the urging voters to turn out in

vote-rigging. We must possibility of violence and

that there will be irregularities, there will

irregularities, there will be problems and there will

allegations as well but we must

try to do our best under the current

circumstances. President Karzai

was returned to power in last

year's presidential election which was tainted by widespread electoral fraud. The confidence in the vote-rigging undermined vote-rigging

and the international community was ability to deliver democracy in Afghanistan.

says the only way to achieve stability is for foreign forces

to end the war and pull out.

Nine years is enough for Nine years is enough for you

people, you are 42 people, you are 42 superpower

countries, now you are coming here in Afghanistan, here in Afghanistan, no

advance. Why do you force them

- more than this, why do you

kill? Why are you bringing

more destruction to this poor

country? More than 2500

candidates will compete for 249

seats in the lower Afghan parliament. 68 seats

have been reserved

stations have already been but more than 1,000 polling

cancelled because of security concerns. This election is a concerns.

really important test for the

international community, for

the Taliban and also for the Afghan Government. The

Government is determined to

show that it has legitimacy and

credibility but the Taliban are

urging people to stay away from

inpolls and not to take part in

this election. Young journalist Nafisa is hoping the

will deliver more freedom and

security. But she says she's

not optimistic about her future

and is unable to continue her education education because of poor security. The new Afghan

parliament will have a long

list of issues to address when

the MPs are sworn in. The final result of the election result of the election is expected to take more than expected to take more than a month.And NATO's top civilian representative in Afghanistan, Mark seddual, gave

on the election. This is about

the Afghan people the Afghan people themselves.

They want a Democratic They want a Democratic and inclusive society. We're build thath with

thath with them from scratch.

You all know the history of this country. What we saw last

year was millions of Afghans

turning out despite the

intimidationyism think we'll see the same this year. It see the same this year. It is

better to have a process better to have a process with its flaws and difficulties but

in the end is an in the end is an elected parliament than parliament than any alternative. This is about them and them building their future step by step. This is probably

the toughest country in the

world in which to

world in which to hold election

when you have to get ballot

materials by donkey into remote

areas and so on and of course you're holding an election here

in war time in large parts

the country so the challenges

are immense but I believe we'll see millions of voters turn

out. There will No Doubt be

violence and fraud but I think

we'll see this year's election

as an improvement on last

year's and forward. In the end, what we've forward. In the end, what we've got to remember are the Taliban

are not attacking us. They like

to claim their campaign is

about foreign troops. They're not. They're not. They're attacking the

Afghans and they're here with

power to turn the clock back.

The Afghan people don't The Afghan people don't want that and they must make the judgment, judgment, is the election

credible in their eyes? Do

they look to the new parliament

that's elected as a result of

this and believe it's this and believe it's a genuinely inclusive outcome genuinely inclusive outcome so

every tribe and ethnic group

can represent their views? They understand there are flaws and challenges, they understand

this is one of the poorest and

most difficult countries in most difficult countries in the world, as your report just

showed, but in the end, if showed, but in the end, if they believe there's a credible

process and inclusive outcome then I think they

then I think they will believe this election has been a success and the rest of us success and the rest of us need

to get behind them. That's Mark

Sedwill, NATO's special

representative in Kabul. Back home and the Government's plan

to expand immigration centres has come under intense centres has come under intense

scrutiny. The scrutiny. The new Immigration

Minister will double the number of asylum seekers in of asylum seekers in the Curtin

detention centre in WA. The Opposition Opposition says it will send

the wrong message. The

Government will up the capacity of the Curtin detention centre

in WA to 1200. It will also

house up to 300 asylum seekers at an Air Force base in Far

North Queensland. It says the measures are needed measures are needed to deal with an influx of with an influx of boat arrivals. We have an

unusualsuchuation where we have a high number of a high number of people who've been unsuccessful in their claims, waiting for legal processes to conclude. But the

Opposition says the move Opposition says the move won't do anything do anything to deter people

smugglers. Those arrivals will

continue and they'll continue

at the rate that we've at the rate that we've become used to under used to under this Government. Mr Morrison also

says the reason so many people

are caught up in detention at the moment asylum processing freeze that was introduced in April. was introduced in April. I think it should be lifted. I

don't think it's right that

people from one particular nationality should be denied nationality should be denied an assessment assessment and that's what's been taking place and that's

why the system is clogging up as much as it as much as it is. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen won't say

it if the Government will lift the freeze on processing claims from Afghan asylum from Afghan asylum seekers when

it expires next month even

though he has conceded it a

though he has conceded it a major contributor to the over crowding. We're not going to

actually start putting people

on planes

orders to not do so. Refugee

advocate have weighed in on the plan, saying both centres too remote to house asylum plan, saying both centres are

seekers in humane Greens Senator Sarah seekers in humane conditions.

Hanson-Young seconds that, saying the Government should be

reducing its reliance on remote detention centres not

increasing it. We are seeing looming mental health crisis increasing it. We are seeing a

because we're not treating

people in the appropriate manner. The Immigration

Minister says he'll be

deal with the long-term need

for more accommodation option

but for now the first of the

new beds will be ready within

weeks. And live now to

political correspondent Andrew Green in Canberra. Good

morning. The Prime Minister has

suggested that the Government promises made before promises made before the

elections may not necessarily

apply. What's prompted those

comments? Jane, these comments

were made by the Prime Minister

in an interview with the 'Sydney Morning Herald' and Minister, is basically beginning to manage expectations for this expectations for this impending

hung parliament that we're

about to enter and the Prime

Minister says that this parliament is really a new

environment and she's environment and she's preparing voters for

voters for the fact that all

the promises made during the

election may not necessarily be

met in the life of this new

parliament. She says that the new environment means that

legislation - well, items that may require substantial legislation

can expect that these will be

big-ticket items such as

climate change and already this

week we did see the Prime

Minister start to shift her language on climate

particularly on the question of

a carbon tax. Julia Gillard is

now leaving that possibility open so what we're hearing from the Prime Minister is suggestions that in this new environment we may be seeing a

number of election promises

broken and already Opposition is hammering this broken and already the

point. It says that yesterday's announcement on the detention centres was already election promise by Labor. OK and we're just seeing pictures

of the Prime Minister dressed

as a footy fan of course. She's

going to be giving a key speech

expect from tonight, Andrew. What can we

expect from that? It's

interesting that you mentioned

those footy pictures because

Julia Gillard will in fact be

missing the Western Bulldogs

final tonight when she delivers

the Labor the Labor annual tradition of

the light on the hill speech.

Julia Gillard will be going to

Bathurst to make that speech

and already we're hearing that that speech

for a that speech will concentrate

broadband network, this is of course one of Julia course one of Julia Gillard's

favoured policies and she says

that - we hear she'll be making some comparisons with Ben

some comparisons with Ben Chifley's Snowy Hydro scheme,

the nation-building scheme back

in the 1950s. So Julia Gillard

will be using her speech

tonight, which will be one of

since the election, to make her first big key speeches

some comparisons with the

national broadband network and to hammer home the importance of on that project. Many thanks for joining us this hour,

Prime Minister isn't too Andrew Green and let's hope the

disappointed about the footy. Thank you, Jane. Cheers. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton s says she looks forward to working with Kevin

Rudd in his new role as Foreign Affairs Minister. She's also

now - sheal she's also

announced she'll come to

Australia. I spoke to Michael

Brissenden for more on this and

started by asking what Mr Rudd

He's been here in Washington has been doing on

and we understand he's had

lunch with Kim Beazley, the

ambassador, and he's met Hillary Clinton which was Hillary Clinton which

always going to be - he was

always going to be probably the

first key official on his list.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, both of

them seemed to say - they

reacted very warmly to each

other and Kevin Rudd said he

was glad to be back among friends which, given what's

happened in Australia in the last couple of months, perhaps

it is a bit of a relief for him

to be

down to talk about things and Hillary Clinton has down to talk about serious

announced that she and announced that she and the

Defence Secretary Gates will be

attending the aus min Ministerial

and she'll go to the east Asia

sum. In Hawaii and can the two of course discussed that

perennial issue, Afghanistan at some length and the usual

platitudes were given by Kevin

Rudd to Hillary Clinton in that

regard, among the lines of, "Our commitment to the war strong and robust and that it's

not an easy conflict to resolve

but we remain committed to but we remain committed to it." That's really the substance of the discussions with Hillary

Clinton today. OK, now there's been a report out this week in

the US saying one in seven

Americans are living below the poverty line. What's been the reaction to that report? President Obama has obviously

said that it's of great concern

but he said that if the

stimulus measures hadn't been put in place have been much worse than that.

I think it's not reezy

surprising that the US poverty

report has come out with figures, given that report has come out with these

unemployment is unemployment is still sitting around 9.6% and has been

hovering around the 10% mark

now for at least a now for at least a year,

perhaps even longer. But what

is a growing problem for the

Obama administration, and given

the election's coming up now

and obviously very soon we're

going to get into the whole presidential 2012 election presidential

fever, is that unemployment seems resolutely stuck at

around 10% and while it

continues to be like that this

figure - this poverty figure in

the US will continue as well

and basically what that figure

is - to be determined to be

living in poverty is in the US

is a family of four living is a family of four living on

$22,000 a year. One in seven

Americans are living under those conditions and it hasn't

been like this since 1994 and

the only time before that was

in the serious situation. Michael,

there have been primaries this

week ahead of November's Congressional elections. What

are they pointing to at this stage? Well, this is really an interesting development and perhaps, again, not surprising

but certainly the Democrats are looking at this ironically, they're looking at this as

perhaps some sort of slivation

for them because the Tea Party,

which has been on a role here

for quite a long time ark couple of very significant

successes over the weekend, one of them in particular was Christine O'Donnell in Deleware

who beat out Mike Castle who's considered to be a fairly

moderate Republican, but even Republic rns saying that they don't believe Christine

O'Donnell is going to be able

to win the fairly moderate State of Delaware that her

policies are far too right-wing

and far too extreme and that's

certainly the way the Democrats

are going to paint her and

other Tea Party candidates. It did look certain that the Republicans were going Republicans were going to win

back control of the Senate and

that now doesn't look

certain so even people like political adviser Karl Rove,

who was an adviser to President

Bush, says he doesn't think this Tea Party-backed candidate is eluctable and he doesn't think the Republicans will been

that seat. There are a couple of others as well where it seems that the Tea Party,

although they are on a roll,

they are motivating Republican

voters, there are real question

marks about how much of the

centre ground those people can

attract and it seems in a

couple of key seats Republicans are now thinking that they probably won't which means that, for them, they won't win

won't win back Senate control

as they'd hoped. Our north America America correspondent Michael Brissenden. Thanks, Jane. Let's have a look now at the stories making news on the

front pages of Australia's

Saturday papers. As we've been hearing from Canberra, jilted

says pre-election promises may

not stand, given the new political environment created

by the hung parliament. She

might be revised to take into account

account her Coalition members' views. Brisbane's

'Courier-Mail' reports that an

Afghan man was shot by Australian troops Australian troops on Thursday. The troops were burning rubbish

outside their compound and came

up against angry locals who thought they were burning the

Koran. Tasmanian Liberal leader

Will Hodgman told he wants to bring his party Will Hodgman told the 'Mercury'

back to the middle of the road,

fearing ultra conservatives

irrelevancy. And high speed will lead it into oblivion

rail that will take Melbourne to Sydney in three rail that will take you from

agenda. That story in 'The hours is back on the political

ever before are millionaires Age'. More Australians than

due to our thriving economy

according to the 'Daily Telegraph'. Melbourne's 'Herald Sun' features the semifinals. Collingwood win Sun' features the AFL semifinals. Collingwood

over Geelong. The 'Advertiser' reports that Ben over Geelong. The Adelaide

Cousins's documentary about had

his drug addiction was partly

aimed at punishing the AFL for

choosing him to take choosing him to take the fall.

Claire aired with the sport Still to come on ABC News

plus a royal prince gets wings in the royal Air Force. plus a royal prince gets his

These are today's top stories - police in London have

arrested six people suspected of plotting a terrorist attack

linked to the visit of Pope Benedict. In a joint news

Minister Kevin Rudd, conference with Foreign Affairs

Clinton has confirmed she'll

travel to Australia in November. And the Taliban have

anyone who takes part in renewed threats to attack

today's Afghan parliamentary

elections. Police and soldiers

are on alert amid fears of violence. And around the country today:

A construction company tat

dug a pit toilet on sacred Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory has been fined $500

in court. The authority protecting Aboriginal lands blames the Federal Intervention

for desecrations of Aboriginal

sites. The community of Numbulwar sits on the western coast of the Gulf of

Carpentaria and has a

population of around 1,000

of people. Just on the outskirts

of the town, a sign clearly

marks a sacred site used by the

local men for ceremonies but in 2007 traditional owners were Intervention workers dug a pit outraged when Federal

toilet on the site. We practice our ceremony in this

area now. We keep this one well

away from people. The Aboriginal areas protection authority advised Government that authority advised the Federal Government that their

obligations in relation to the

Federal protection of sacred sites, the

ignore that advice. Three years

later, the company S&R Building and Construction has and Construction has pleaded

guilty in the Darwin

Magistrates Court to carrying

out work on a sacred site. The company's lawyer said workers company's

dug the metre-deep toilet

because they were locked out of

one at the community and had to

use their own initiative. The company apologised to the

community when it realised the toilet had not been taken away

by its contractor. Traditional

owners told the court, "They have shown no respect for our

law and culture. This makes our done by an Aboriginal person in law look week. If this had been

the old says they would be put

to death." The court heard the toilet cannot be removed from

the site as traditional

see this as a further

desecration of the land. The

maximum penalty for the offence

is more than a quarter of a

million dollars. The company

was fined $500 without a

conviction. The court heard the

Federal Government gave the

community two vehicles will over community two vehicles in good

In business, the mining giant

Xstrata says legal action involving health-related concerns in Mount Isa in north-west Queensland have

dragged on for too long. The

mining company, the Queensland Government and local council

are being sued by 5 families

over alleged lead contamination. Lawyers representing the representing the families in a

class action say a new study proves children have proves children have suffered

brain damage from lead poisoning but the member for Mount Isa, Betty

there is no new information in

the report. Regional airline

REX says it is no longer at risk of losing flight path with the Australian Competition and

Consumer Commission rejecting

Sydney Airport's attempt to

increase charges. The airport

wanted to increase fees for services including bag screening, passenger security

and check-in by almost 3% for

regional airlines travelling within NSW. And a record number of everyday Australians have become to new wealth figures by

Merrill Lynch. More than 180,000 Australians can now

count seven figures in their personal fortunes.

Now to sport with Claire

aired and Claire, Collingwood were unstoppable last night? They absolutely were, Jane. Jane. The Pierise the first

team through to the AFL Grand

Final after thrashing Geelong

in their preliminary final at

the MCG. 12 'Pies kicked majors

in their 41-point win over the

reigning Premiers. 95,000 fans

packed the MCG hoping for a blockbuster but it was never

really a contest. really a contest. A Powerhouse

first half set up the win for Collingwood as they slotted 13

goals to 3. The Cats kicked a

few late goals to make the

scoreline a little more

respectable. To NRL now and the

Wests Tigers have downed a

defiant Canberra Raiders outfit

26-24 in their semifinal. In

front of a record rugby league

crowd at Canberra stadium, typical Benji Marshall magic

put Chris hineten in for the first try. first try. The 27,000 mostly

green machine fans didn't have

to wait long for the rely which

came through former Tiger

Bronson Harrison. The Tigers

opened up a lead with two straight tries but Joel Monaghan inensured the Raiders

only trailed by six after half

time. Terry Campesi's night was

ended by injury. Alan Tongue

got the game back to within two

and Jarred Crocker missed the chance to sent the chance to sent the game...the

Tigers will now play Saint

George Illawarra for a spot in the Grand Final. I could feel

it a couple of months group is a great group.

Everyone probably wrote us off

after last week. I don't know

how we lost last week, it was probably the best 65 minutes

we've played. We've bounced

back and I can't wait for next week. In the A-League, the

Newcastle Jets have upset the second-placed Perth Glory in Newcastle. The financially embattled

embattled Jets didn't have to

wait long to go ahead thanks to

captain Michael Bridges. The

home side had plenty more chances to extend its lead in the first half but Haliti

finally put the icing on the

sweet victory in the 89th

minute. Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen expects Brisbane will be vulnerable in tonight's A-League match at Lang Park. The Roar will be missing four

players because of Olyroos duties duties and will be down confidence after a 3-0 loss confidence after a 3-0 loss to Melbourne victory. Coolen says

there will be a hunger among

the players coming in.

Sometimes it helps you as a coach to coach to bring new players in but to be honest, normally you

won't be stronger when you miss

your players. The Reds' Sergio

van Dyk is looking forward van Dyk is looking forward to playing against his former team

with the Roar missing the fire

power, having scored just twice

in five games. It one rubber

all heading into today's

doubles in the Davis Cup world group play-off between

Australia and Belgium in Cairns. Lleyton Hewitt and Paul

Hanely will play for Australia

in today's crucial doubles

rubber. Hewitt gave Australia a 1-0 lead yesterday with a

hard-fought win in the opening

singles match and collected a

slice of history with a

record-equalling 43rd Davis Cup win for Australia but Olivier

Rochus levelled the tie for Belgium

second singles rubber. He was just too good for Carsten just too good for Carsten Ball.

France leads Argentina 2-0 after

after its opening singles

rubber. Michael load rudefeated

Juan Monaco and France are on

the verge of their first Davis Cup final since 2001, Jane,

andular be back with the details of that game next hour.

Thank you. And time now for a

check of the weather. Cloud streaming across the

country's interior is causing

rain and scattered storms. Low cloud over Tasmania is

combining with strong cold southwesterly southwesterly winds, bringing

snow to the Alps. Cloud over

the southern coast the southern coast is causing

the odd shower. It will be cool and cloudy over southern

For more details on the stories we're and pictures, you can log on to

our website. The address is abc.net.au/news. You're watching ABC News This Program Is Captioned

Live. The top stories from ABC

News - six men are being held

by British police over a

potential terror threat during

Pope Benedict's visit. Five of the men were cleaners working

for a central London council and were arrested by counterterrorist officers. counterterrorist officers. The

police say security arrangements for Pope

Benedict's visit won't change despite the arrests. Security

forces are on high alert across

Afghanistan in preparation for voting in today's parliamentary elections. Taliban warning of attacks on polling

stations and the Afghan Government admits the poll Government admits the poll may boo tainted by vote-rigging but

President Hamid Karzai is urging voters to turn out in large numbers. US Secretary of

State Hillary Clinton State Hillary Clinton has announced she'll visit Australia in November to hold high-level talks with forn affairs Minister Kevin

The US Defence Secretary will

also attend the meetings which

are expected to focus on the

war in Afghanistan as well as regional issues. And the

Magpies are the first team through to the AFL Grand Final after thrashing defending

Premiers Geelong in their Premiers Geelong in their

preliminary final at the MCG.

It was sweet revenge for the

men from Collingwood who were

humbled by the Cats at the same

stage last season. Back to our top story and six top story and six people have

been arrested in London in

connection with an alleged plot

against the Pope. The police

say security arrange wants for

Pope Benedict's visit won't

change despite the arrests. In

a street sweeper

two miles from where the Pope

is this evening, specialist

police officers in face masks

searching through dust carts.

It was here that armed police

and counterterrorism detectives swooped before 6 this morning

as the cleaners arriveded for

work. The police were acting on

a tip-off that five of the

cleaners were planning to attack the Pope during his

visit to London. The people

arrested and now being

questioned before five men of

north African origin including at least at least one Algerian. Their

ages range from 26 to 50 and

they were all employed by

Veolia environmental services who have the contract to sweep Westminster's Yard says the information about

the alleged plot came in late last night and as they were

unable to disprove it, detectives felt they had to

move in and arrest the men

first thing this morning. The security policy for the Pope's

visit to Britain has involved a difficult balance between

protecting an international

figure and making a religious crowds. This afternoon the

Pope's spokesman seemed Pope's spokesman seemed unfazed

by the arrests. What we know

is not much more than what you

know but we can say that we are

totally confident in the work

of the police of Scotland Yard and we have no particular

preoccupation. But everyone in

the Vatican is very aware of

how close the attempted

assassination of Pope John Paul II came to was shot four times and rushed

to hospital with massive blood

loss and had five hours loss and had five hours of emergency surgery to save his life.. It's the question - how much space do

you give, how much vision do

you give? How relaxed do you

get and how close do you

get and how close do you allow

the public to get? Interestingly enough, in Scotland the other day for a

brief period the Pope got face

to face with some people who

wanted to meet him but there were an awful lot of security personnel very close. Scotland Yard said security arrange

frment the Pope's visit did not change because of this morning's arrests detectives have not found

anything suspicious but this even the five street sweepers are still in cust dy. And we'll bring you any further

developments on that through

the morning. Back home,

bushfires came within metres of destroying homes in Darwin's

rural area this week. The huge

response by fire crews in the air and on the ground saved houses and possibly lives. Fire authorities say it's a wake-up

call for people who live call for people who live on the fringe of the city. David Cody

reports. Yeah, it was reports. Yeah, it was big. It

was a big fire. Fire and panic

swept through Darwin's rural

area on Monday afternoon.

Strong winds fanned the flames

and pushed the firefront

towards homes. We've got a big laneway that runs just near us

and it's just been burnt off so

hopefully it might have done

the trick and we might the trick and we might be OK. Emergency alerts went out and Howard Springs residents Howard Springs residents left

work and rushed home, not

knowing if their houses would

still be standing. It's been

pretty scary. I didn't know if

my partner was still alive or

what was going on but the

police wouldn't let me through

or tell me anything. I finally

got hold of him. He house, just. I think if you

say worst foorz in a decade

it's got to be in context. I

think what we had on Monday is

nothing like Victoria had last

year but certainly in the Northern Territory rural context it was a significant

fire. Had-T had a number of complexities to it. Greg

Nettleten is the Northern Territory's chief fire Territory's chief fire officer. He was in the emergency

operations room as the

seriousness of the situation started to become clear. A

then pushed through further to Satella Road and into the Whitewood Road area down here. Firefighters in the field started calling for

When the fire commander in the field requested the use of

water bombers, that signifies he's got a fairly significant event starting to occur and

that switches on the alarm bells for us. About bells for us. About 100 people were involved in the response

as flames jumped the containment containment line at Hicks Road and started to burn and started to burn rural

blocks. The ffs switched modes,

folk - the firefighters switched modes, focussing solely on saving property. Some

locals were friserated locals were friserated they

weren't allowed in to help. But

fire authorities defend the

policy. Yes, it's frustrating

for them, they want to get to

their house, but as the Royal

Commission has pointed out,

life is paramount. The less people we've got in a fire

affected area the better it

old and a fulltime volunteer

with Bushfires NT. He was here

with other volunteer crews on Monday. We can't help them unless they unless they try and help us. He's frustrated a lot of properties didn't have proper

fire breaks. In some cases, long grass was growing right

next to people's homes. They

weren't really prepared. Some

of them, they had pumps there,

even one I know of over here, the pump and everything sitting there and no fuel. It

was just hopeless. It was sitting there and we couldn't use

use it. It's tough selless work

for volunteers like Ray and

with conditions so extreme, all available volunteers available volunteers were

called in. The noise of the actual roaring fire, the noise

is horrendous. You'll never

hear anything like it. You talk about cyclones and that, it's

very similar, especially in

Gamba grass, thick grass,

before you see the fire. You

can see down here the fire's

got quite intense. Steve sutson

the director of the director of Bushfires NT. He's been surveying the

damage. There is by and large

too much fuel in and around

where people live. More where people live. More people are encroach ing on the bush as

Darwin continues to grow. Steve

Sutton says this tree Sutton says this tree change

phenomenon is putting more

people on nature's doorstep at risk complacency is the problem. In

the northern it has the northern it has a particular flavour, particular flavour, complacency

is, "We always have fires. is, "We always have fires. It's a part of the environment," and

the result is that nextic

weekend comes and it's a bad

fire day and the whole lot burns to the ground. This

street didn't exist a year ago.

Cameron Holt lives here Cameron Holt lives here with

his wife Natalie and children

Reilly and Emily. Got a worried on Monday. They

cleared a fire break and burn

off the bush at the back of their property after they moved

in but the house next door

didn't and the flames burnt

right up to the back door. right up to the back door. We

got worried when we saw the

fire come down the back there and

and took about 10 minutes and took about 10 minutes to

get from our back corner over

here to there and the wind just

blew it away. Text messages alerting people of the danger

were sent on Monday afternoon

but only to people with mobile

registered in the area. Nobody

in this family received a message. I think we didn't

really need to get a really need to get a text message to know to get out. Common sense prevails. We're

fairly happy with the way that

went. We got to 5,500 people

through fixed-line and by mobile phone. There was no way

we could have got that message to that number of people

lives lost, no serious injuries and no homes destroyed by and no homes destroyed by the fires. For the residents

affected there's a lot of

singed grass to care for as

they count the cost and their blessings. Can you believe how close

close it got to your place?

Scary, isn't it? Considering

all this was green like that

before we - when I left home

this morning. Yie. Yeah y was

freaking out. Thought the house was gone. Pretty scary stuff.

Prince William has Prince William has graduated as an RAF search and rescue as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot. The

28-year-old prince will now become participate of one of the UK's busiest search and

rescue bases. He's spent the

past 19 months progressing through the RAF's training

program for such and rescue

pilots. There have been simulated

kind of operations he will soon

do for real. Flights over the

Irish sea and Atlantic where

ships and yachts can run into

trouble and in the mountains of Snowdonia where every year William's squadron is William's squadron is called

out to rescue scores of walkers

in difficulty. Today the

training came to an end and William

William was given William was given the badges which signify he's now part of

an operational rescue squadron

and the RAF says he's done it on merit.

least the minimum standards, if

not better than that, and he's

here in his own

right. Initially, William will be the co-pilot of helicopter, then if all goes

well he'll be in command. Those

who know him say he's determined to make a success of

it so for at least the next 18

months the domestic side of his

life will have to fit in around

it. While he's on duty, it. While he's on duty, William

will live on the base, ready to

respond when the calls for help

respond when the calls for help are received. Every hundreds of people find themselves in possibly mortal

danger and very soon now flight lieutenant William Wales will

be one of the people coming be one of the people coming to

their rescue. But time wasters

beware, the RAF says anyone

making bogus distress calls in

the hope of seeing the future

king coming to their rescue

could be charged for the cost

of the operation. And I'll be back back with more of the day's

news at the top of the hour.