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Live. The ALP split on gay marriage, as the party marriage, as the party prepares

to debate the issue. This is

just one of a number. It's by

It is to some. Hillary Clinton no means the most important.

welcomes progress in Burma, but

says there's still a long way

to go. We're not at the point

yet that we can yet that we can consider lifting sanctions

lifting sanctions that we have

in place. More pressure on

President Assad, as

labels the situation in Syria a President Assad, as the UN

civil war. Fair Work Australia suspend talks between

Victoria's nurses and the State

Government. And Rugby League

pays tribute to the great

Arthur Beetson, who died

yesterday. Great talent, great

comedian, but as a bloke, I

don't think they came any better than Arthur

Beetson. Good morning. Beetson. Good morning. You're

watching ABC News. I'm Michael

Rowland. Labor leaders are

searching for a compromise on same-sex marriage ahead of party's national conference same-sex marriage ahead of the

today. The national right

convener David Feeney says his

faction has a conscience vote

on the issue. Rainbow on the issue. Rainbow Labor

delegate Andrew Barr says many

are still undecided. ABC 24's political editor Lyndal are still undecided. ABC News

Curtis spoke to Jason Clare at

the conference centre in Sydney. Jason Clare, thanks Sydney. Jason Clare, thanks for

your time. When the conference

gets under way, what's the process? What will people watching be seeing? watching be seeing? They'll

see the Prime Minister open the conference. Then they'll see a

series of big series of big debates today,

debate on the economy, there

will be a debate on education,

on clean energy and a on clean energy and a debate

later this afternoon on

industrial relations. Over the

course of three days this is about 25 hours of policy

debates. The debates are debates. The debates are tied

into what's in the platform and

what people want to change when people want to put up a vote

changing the platform, what do

they do? Amendments usually they do? Amendments

are lodged the day before. I

amendments to the draft think there will be hundreds of

platform over the course of the

next three days. next three days. Amendments

are normally put up the day before, but if there's before, but if there's an

urgent amendment, if two-thirds

of the conference support it, that amendment can be moved on

the spot. Debate is not constrained? 400 members from

right across Australia will be

here. Every single member of

the conference or delegate can

move an amendment - a little

different to, say, the Green

Party or the Liberal Party,

they have 100 delegates and it

goes for a day. This is 400

delegates across three days,

all live There was a lot of talk that it was very anodyne,

stage-managed. The Prime

Minister has said she wants Minister has said she wants a

noisy and passionate debate at

this conference. How much is

that a response and rejection

of what happened last conference? Last conference

was an objection to the rule. Whether it's uranium, getting rid of the white Australia policy, privatisation, remember

and the Commonwealth Bank, or the big debates about Qantas

go right back to the first

conference here in Sydney at

the turn of the last century

where there was a debate about

trade and a decision was made

to give Labor Party members a

free vote on trade, con

description. Labor Party

conferences are always fiery

affairs. This one will be no

different. There is a danger,

though, isn't there that a

party very low in the polls,

that having debates at a conference like this could be

seen as splits and seen as splits and divisions?

I think it's a sign of

strength that a party can come together, have a real debate

about the issues, talk about

the ideas and then go forward

with a platform. You wouldn't see that with the Greens see that with the Greens Party,

because they hold their

conference in secret. It's all

done behind closed doors. You wouldn't see that with wouldn't see that with the Liberal Party either because, to be policies. Tony Abbott would

turn up, say no. The members

of the conference would say

yes. Tony Abbott would say no.

Then they'd all agree and just

go home. You mentioned the

There's a debate at this issue of a conscience vote.

conference on same-sex

marriage. The left says it's marriage. The left says

quite bizarre to lock in votes

on the issue of a conscience

vote. Do you have some

sympathy with that? I'm a

conscience vote. I think strong supporter of a

conscience vote. I think the

more conscience votes. They'd community would want to see

want to see members looking at

issues and judging them on

their merits. Is it odd for a

faction to lock in votes for a conscience vote? conscience vote? Oh, well,

look, both factions are locking

in on both sides. That's

really a matter for the really a matter for the faction

conveners. The matter of conveners. The matter

principle here which I think important is that members principle here which I think is

should exercise their best

judgment on these issues. There's plenty of precedent for

that. There's been conscience

votes, as I said, going votes, as I said, going back

100 years ago. Last year we

saw the NSW Parliament have a

conscience vote on the issue of

gay adoption. Plenty of

precedent for it. I think the precedent for it. I think

community will welcome it. They'll want to see members parliament go into They'll want to see members of

parliament go into parliament

and make a decision based on knowledge, their own judgment. Finally, the

conference will kick off, as

you said, this morning with you said, this morning with a

debate about the economy. How

important is it to have that

economic debate, make it a

strong economic debate, to show that the party can debate the policy as well as what some might see as more sectional

issues like same-sex marriage?

It's very important. The It's very important. The job

of Federal Government is to

keep the country secure, so

national security and economic

management are the top two

responsibilities of responsibilities of government.

Very good job in both. I work in one of those areas in one of those areas in

defence, but in the area of the economy, we stopped Australia

going into recession and

created 750,000 new jobs over

the last four years when

millions of jobs have been lost

in places like America and Europe. So this is an area

where the Government is on very

strong ground and it's an area where we should be proud of the

work we're doing. We're also

conscious, Lyndal, that we have

to be doing the work right now

to create the jobs of the

future. That's what the Prime Minister will be talking

about But conscious, too, that

the party is at a low ebb

electorally in terms of

electoral support as measured

in the polls and you really

need to do things that will

boost that support and boost your own party's membership. I

guess it's no secret we're

going through tough times. going through tough times. Conferences like this allow us

to refresh our policy, improve

our structures, so the party is more relevant to the people

that we want to represent. The

Labor Party is all about

improving the lives of improving the lives of working

people. That's always been the

case. But as things change,

policies change and structures

have to change to make sure

that we k continue to do the

things that are needed things that are needed to improve the standard of living

of ordinary working people.

That's what this conference is

ultimately about - developing policies that will improve

Australia, improve the lives of working people. Jason working people. Jason Clare, thank you very much for your time Thanks, Lyndal. That was the defence Materiel the defence Materiel Minister

Jason Clare. ABC News 24 will provide comprehensive coverage

of the Labor Party conference today and over the course of

the weekend, including the weekend, including live coverage of the opening speech by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, which should happen

some time around 10 o'clock

eastern daylight time. Overseas now, and the US

Secretary of State, Hillary

Clinton, has welcomed political

reform in Burma during her two-day visit to that two-day visit to that nation,

but there are still concerns

that such a quick trip has not

given Mrs Clinton enough time

to really understand Burma and

its entrenched poverty. Zoe

Daniel reports. Hillary Clinton

has only just arrived, yet

she'll leave today after she

meets with Aung San Suu Kyi in

Rangoon. She spent time in

Naypyidaw and she will meet with non-government

organisations before she

leaves. I guess the key

concern about a trip like this

is just how much has she

managed to learn about the

country and the needs of its

people? We've been told by

people in the city that they

now have hope, but they've yet

to see any changes in their own lives as a result of these baby

steps towards progress that are

being made. Out here in the countryside there's very countryside there's very little

sense of politics at all, just

a bleak acceptance that poverty

is a way of life. Hillary Clinton and Aung San Suu Kyi

are expected to discuss

sanctions. Both say they

shouldn't be lifted until

there's a bigger improvement in

human rights and the rest of the political prisoners are

released. The next key test

for western governments, like the United States and

Australia, will be when to lift sanctions, because at the

moment they're an incentive to progress

progress and taking them away may take away may take away that incentive. That's our

South-East Asia correspondent

Zoe Daniel reporting from Burma. Fair Work Australia has

suspended the conciliation

talks between the nurses union and Victorian Government. The parties were told to begin parties were told to begin 90

days of negotiations two weeks

ago in the row over pay and

conditions, after conditions, after nurses were

ordered to stop closing

hospital beds. The Nursing Federation's Lisa Fitzpatrick says her members will discuss

the latest development at a

mass meeting later today. Convicted murderer Jeffrey

Gilham is likely to be granted a retrial and released from

prison today. Gilham was found guilty of stabbing his mother

and father to death in 2008,

but judges on the but judges on the criminal appeals court have described the case against him as seriously flawed. Gilham has

always claimed his brother,

also killed in the attack, was

responsible for his parents'

deaths. Let's head overseas

now, where the European Union's

foreign policy chief says the

recent attacks on the recent attacks on the British embassy in Tehran are a

violation of the Geneva Convention. Convention. EU foreign ministers

ministers meeting in Brussels have also agreed to tighten

sanctions on Iran because of

serious concerns about that country's nuclear program. The

council is outraged by the

attack on the British embassy

in Tehran and utterly condemns

it. It is a violation of the

Vienna convention. It also

deplores the decision to deplores the decision to expel the British ambassador from

Tehran. The council considers

these actions against the UK as actions against the European

Union as a whole. This is part of our ongoing of our ongoing concern as a

result of the report from the

IAEA we discussed last time and

the desire for us to see the desire for us to see Iran take seriously the

international community's call for it to respect its

obligations and move away from

the pursuit of nuclear the pursuit of nuclear weapon technology. The EU's foreign

policy chief, Catherine Ashton.

Pressure is increasing on the

Syrian Government after the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests pro-democracy protests that

began back in March. The United United Nations high commissioner for human rights

Navi Pillay says the death toll

from the conflict is now more than 4,000 and those

responsible must be responsible must be prosecuted.

My view, based on our own monitoring of the situation,

that there is need for

prosecution of perpetrators at

the highest level for crimes against humanity. We are placing the figure at

but really the but really the information

coming to us is that it's much

more than that. I have more than that. I have said that as soon as there are more

and more defectors threatening

to take up arms, I said this in August, before the Security Council,

Council, that there's going to

be a civil war. At the moment

that's how I am characterising this. UN human rights chief

Navi Pillay. Indonesian

police, backed by the military, have clashed with independence

protesters in West Papua.

Local TV stations have Local TV stations have shown

footage of police firing shots

into the air of violently

wrestling wrestling protesters and confiscating the independents'

flag. The rally coincides flag. The rally coincides with

the 50th anniversary of West Papua's claim for independence,

which Indonesia does not

recognise. Time is running out

for the Eurozone to for the Eurozone to address its problems and stave off a possible worldwide recession.

The warning has come from the

heads of the bank of England

and the chief of the European

central bank. In Britain,

banks are being asked to

increase their capital and

prepare for what's prepare for what's being

described as a systemic crisis which might include which might include the breaking up of the Eurozone. Our Europe correspondent Emma Alberici reports. In Brussels,

there's now recognition that

the 17 countries that use the

single currency are already in the midst of another credit

crunch. The new head of the

European central bank has

warned that time is running out

to stop it spreading like a

virus around the world. Companies, markets and the

citizens of Europe citizens of Europe expect

policy makers to act decisively

to resolve the crisis. It is

time to adopt the Euro area

design with a set of institutions, rules and

processes that is commensurate with the requirements of

monetary union. British banks are

are being told to create are being told to create a

financial buffer to protect

themselves against the economic

storm clouds coming in from storm clouds coming in from the Eurozone. The Prime Eurozone. The Prime Minister

said the situation had gone

from bad to worse. If the Euro

fell apart, what you would see

is a very steep decline in the

economic and GDP and economic

growth of all countries in Europe, including Britain. The

Governor of the bank of England

has ordered the banks to limit

bonus, stop paying dividends

and to increase the capital

they keep in reserve. He wants

them to do all that without

putting the brakes on lending. Contingency plans are now being drawn up. No-one who looks at the current position could surely deny that it is extraordinarily serious and threatening and therefore those with responsibilities to deal with it really need to take action. Figures make for grim reading. Britain's being growth represents the longest period of stagnation since records began in 1961. Let's go to India now, go to India now, where Rio Tinto is battling environmentalists and the environmentalists and the law with its plan for a world-class diamond mine. Activists say the proposed mine will destroy pristine forest vital to endangered tigers. The endangered tigers. The company has also been forced to respond to a High Court challenge and allegations of illegal mining. India correspondent India correspondent Richard Lindell reports. The five

adults and six cubs of adults and six cubs of the tiger reserve are vulnerable. Poaching is a constant threat, as is the loss of surrounding forests to agriculture and mining. To survive, they'll need forest corridors to need forest corridors to move between reserves and mate with genetically different partners. You cannot see the conservation of these conservation of these areas of tiger populations in isolation, otherwise there will be a large safari, glorified safari parks, we don't want these. One of the forest corridors runs through

this area, where Rio Tinto is

looking to spend half a billion dollars developing a diamond

mine. The diamond deposit has around 27 million carats of diamond Tiger conservationist

says this is no place for a mine, given thousands of square

kilometres of forest have

already been lost. In already been lost. In non-forest habitat we have no problem. In fact, they will

bring some kind of economic

benefit to the area, which is

one of the most backward areas,

but not in but not in tiger habitat. Initially Rio Tinto

gave us permission to tour gave us permission to tour the

mine and to talk to them about

the issues raised by environmentalists and by the

local community. But at the last moment

last moment they pulled the interview. In a interview. In a written response, Rio Tinto says it's been working hard with the

community to protect the

tigers.

The mine is also subject to a

High Court challenge, where Rio

Tinto is fighting allegations of illegal mining.

TRANSLATION: There's a

system and they should follow

that system. I would welcome

them if they followed the

proper processes and abided by

Indian law. Many locals are

wary and suspicious and there

have been small

against Rio Tinto. It will be at least five

at least five years before Rio

can start mining. It's still

working through an approvals process, complicated by environmental concerns and the High Court challenge. The top stories on ABC News this

morning: Labor Party leaders

are searching for a compromise on same-sex marriage ahead of the party's national conference, which kicks off this morning. The ACT deputy

Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, says says the party is divided says the party is divided right

down the middle on the issue.

He says there's still He says there's still no

guarantee members will back the Prime Minister's call for a

conscience vote on the issue.

US Secretary of State Hillary

Clinton has welcomed progress in Burma but says it's still way too early to lift sanctions

on the country. She's called

for the release of all political prisoners as well as

for free and fair elections.

The UN is now describing the

situation in Syria as a civil war. war. Pressure is mounting on

President Bashar al-Assad, as

the country's Opposition has

joined forces with army rebels.

European leaders have agreed to

ramp up sanctions. The UN

estimates more than 4,000 have

now died in the government

crackdown on protesters. Taking you back to the Labor Party national conference in

Sydney, where the Treasurer Wayne Swan is speaking Wayne Swan is speaking to

reporters. Wait for the

conference to debate the issue.

We're a party of reform. We're a party of reform. We're

also a party of ideas, and we

are a party full of people who

have very strong views and

deeply held beliefs. We'll see

that right through the debate

over the next couple of days.

I think the most important

thing about this conference thing about this conference is

that there are people coming

here who care deeply here who care deeply about their country, they their country, they care deeply

about putting in place changes which benefit working families

in our community. Let's go

through the debate and not come

up with a conclusion well

before it happens. Hasn't the conclusion been marriage is the

focus, rather than things like

jobs Jobs are the focus here.

were We are the Labor Party. We

were formed to support people

who work hard to make our

country strong. We'll have a signature debate about the signature debate about the

economy this morning. 750,000

jobs created in Australia over

the last four years. Look at

Unemployment in the Eurozone the Eurozone yesterday.

hit 10.3%. Here in hit 10.3%. Here in Australia,

unemployment is 5.2%. Why is

that the case? Because our

Labor Government put in place

the policies that were required

to support our economy during a

time of economic threat and

spread now, as we go forward, to

spread the opportunities of the

mining boom, jobs and mining boom, jobs and good

to supporting our economy for budget management are the key

the future. What if the Labor Party decides to hand back some

of the power back - I'm of the power back - I'm a

supporter of reforms to the supporter of reforms to

party's structure and we'll

have a vigorous debate about party structures, but you have to remember what's really

important at the ends of the

day. It's not so much the

structures, it's the ideas and

the policies. We have to have

a sensible discussion about

structure as well, but never

lose sight of the fact about

why we are here. We're the

Labor Party, we're all Labor Party, we're all about

jobs, all about working

conditions, we're about a

standard of living for average

Australians. That's what we're here for this weekend.

Treasurer Wayne Swan speaking here for this weekend. Federal

to reporters as he heads into

the Labor Party national

watch the Prime Minister, Julia conference. A reminder you can

Gillard's, opening address to that conference live on ABC

News 24. That's scheduled News 24. That's scheduled to

take place in about 40 or so

minutes from now. Let's go to

finance now, where the markets

have closed for the day and

there weren't the gyrations we

saw this time yesterday. The

Dow has ended trade down 38 Dow has ended trade down 38

points. The Nazdaq finished five points higher, meanwhile finished virtually five points higher, the S&P 500

flat. In London the FTSE shed

16 points. Let's check

commodity prices. West Texas

crude:

Let's go to sport headlines

now. It's good morning again

to Paul Kennedy. Paul, the

tributes are still flowing in

for the late and great Artie

Beetson. They are. People are

still trying to comprehend the loss of one of the loss of one of the great

players and coaches of rugby

League. Ian Heads is an author and Rugby

and Rugby League historian and

co-wrote the auto biography for

Arthur Beetson just a few years

ago. You've been able to last

night and this morning work out

Arthur Beetson's place in the

list of all-time greats, Ian?

Yes, good morning, Paul. I'd

probably done that a while ago,

actually. I always had the

impression I was lucky enough

to cover virtually all of Arthur's career, Arthur's career, certainly in

Sydney and test football and so

forth. At the end of that, he

didn't finish until 1981. He

played until he was about 36

years of age. But at the end

of that the idea was pretty

much imprinted by then that much imprinted by then

this was one of the truly

greats, certainly the greatest

ball -handling forward the game

had ever had and a monumental

figure in more ways than one.

His influence permeated the His influence permeated the game. Can you tell me more

about that ball handling that

you mentioned, people yesterday

were saying he was more a

five-eighth wrapped in the body

of a prop. Can you tell just why he was so good and so of a prop. Can you tell us

talented in that area? I think he had great hand-eye

coordination, Paul. He was a remarkable athlete really.

People think of the Arthur knew in more recent People think of the Arthur we

where he fought a battle with

weight and was such a big man,

but he was a tremendous athlete

and had real speed off the

mark. He was a big fellow. mark. He was a big fellow. He

played his football about 17

stone, 110 kilos, somewhere

around there. He'd get to the line quickly, but he had subtle

scilsz of being able to pop a

pass up to a support. He had pass up to a support. He had very delicate hands skills. very delicate hands skills. A

good golfer, good squash

player, just a great

athlete. Something that I

haven't heard too many people haven't heard too many

talk about is the battle,

whether there was a battle or

not - I'd be interested for not - I'd be interested for you

to talk it about - him moving from Roma to play in

predominantly the Sydney predominantly the

competition for most of his

career. Even today we talk

about how upsetting it can about how upsetting it can be for indigenous players to come

from smaller towns into the cities, but he did it such a

long time ago. Was that a

struggle for him? I think it

was, Paul, yes. In 1966 he

came down as a young centre, but

but it was an opportunity for

him. I think by then he

probably saw that he had a

chance at least in rugby

League, a chance of making

fact grew to something of himself. So he in

fact grew to love Sydney. He

loved living here. It became

pretty much his favourite city.

It took time. As you said, he

came down at a time - you know,

there had been other indigenous

players play here. The rugby

League has a long link with

Aboriginal players, but Arthur

built on that, of course, and

grew to become the greatest of

all of them and a role model certainly certainly for young indigenous

sports people, boys and girls,

I would imagine. The fact of him being the first Aborigine

to captain his country in any

major sport put him on a

pedestal, I think. He was a

great leader. To get back to

your question, yes, I think it

was tough in the early days

down here and he was tested

out. He was a tough young

bloke and it was a bloke and it was a very tough

game then. But he came through

that with flying colours and in

fact played a test match in that first year, 1966. Ian,

thanks. We've run out of thanks. We've run out of time.

I could talk all day about it

and find out more, but and find out more, but we have

to leave it there. I get the

feeling that you feel very

pleased that you're able to

watch him so closely and watch him so closely and talk

to him and know him well. Thank you very much. Thank

you, Paul. I certainly you, Paul. I certainly feel

that. Ian Heads, thanks very much. Thank you. He co-wrote

the auto biography. Maybe I

need to do more reading about

big Artie. I think you'll be

doing a fair bit of reading on

him over the weekend. Truly a

great figure. Patchy cloud over

the north and in WA, the north and in WA, both

associated with low-pressure troughs. Most of the storms are occurring closer to are occurring closer to the

lows and cloud is making its

way away from the NSW coast. A high, though, is high, though, is still

extending a ridge along the

east coast, along with moist

south to south -easterly winds. This high is moving further south and strengthening, south and strengthening, still

directing to WA, another

frontal system will pass the south-east. Tomorrow the low-pressure trough in the low-pressure trough in the west will deepen, generating rain

and storms from the Pilbara to

the far north. The trough the far north. The trough in

Queensland will make its way

inland and combine with moist

easterly winds, causing showers and storms mainly over the

northern half of the State.

The peak of the hot weather will hit Perth tomorrow, will hit Perth tomorrow, as

temperatures drop on Sunday.

The outlook for Sunday, a The outlook for Sunday, a few

showers along the east coast,

warmer easterly winds will

develop over SA. The rain will increase over increase over Queensland's north and west. But it will be

dry in the south for the

cricket. Let's look around the

country. A fire warning still

for the channel country for the channel country in

Queensland. Showers and storms

about the tropics and eastern

districts. Moderate falls are

likely today for the likely today for the central

highlands and coalfields and stronger southerly wind along

parts of the coast. NSW, fine

and moistly sunny. South to

south-easterly winds. A fine day for

day for Victoria, apart from

showers over East Gippsland,

but they'll clear by but they'll clear by the

afternoon. 21 in Melbourne.

Isolated showers for Tasmania's

south-west, cool at first, then a mild day with a mild day with moderate

westerly winds. SA - partly

cloudy day along the south

coast, otherwise mostly sunny

for the rest of the State.

Temperatures rising. 25 for Adelaide. WA, severe to

extreme fire warning for the central

central west. Isolated showers and storms through the central

areas. Afternoon showers about

the Kimberley and gusty storms

for the Top End and gusty winds continuing across Alice

Springs, with a top of 30

degrees, Michael. Thank you

very much, Vanessa. Looking

great for the weekend. That's

a round-up of the morning news. Up

Up next on ABC News 24 we'll

bring you the opening addresses

at the ALP National conference in

in Sydney, including that by

the Prime Minister, very

well-anticipated address by Julia Gillard. For viewers on

ABC 1, you'll be able to watch

'Business Today', at the usual

time this morning. Have a great weekend. 'News Breakfast' back on Breakfast' back on Monday

morning. See you then. Closed Captions by CSI

. This Program is Captioned Live Good morning, you're

watching ABC News 24. I'm Michael Rowland. Labor Michael Rowland. Labor leaders have searching for have searching for a compromise

on seam sex marriage ahead of

the party's National Conference

today. The national right convenor David Feeney says his

faction decided to vote as a

bloc in favour of a conscience

vote on the issue. vote on the issue. But Right

faction member and rainbow

Labor delegate Andrew Barr says

many members are still under

decided. Political correspondent Melissa Clark

joins us from Canberra. Good

morning with. Conference about to get underway to get underway any to get underway any minute

those numbers are finally

poised Fan Di'an pending on who

you talk to this morning.

There's nor than one Elle

metropolitan we're talking

about the number as well.

Those in support of changing

the ALP's policy when it the ALP's policy when it comes

to same-sex marriage are confident they have the

numbers. That seems to have been conceded the left combined