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: 9am News (Sat) -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This Program is Captioned

issued for several towns in Live. Fresh flood

Victoria's north. Also today, a man Also today, a man drowns

after a series of freak waves

hit a Beach on the NSW south coast. Former British prime minister Tony Blair admits he disregarded a warning from his

top legal adviser before the

Iraq invasion. And Australia

makes it 2-0 in the one-day morning, you're watching ABC series against England. Good

News 24, I'm Jane Hutcheon. A

quick look at the

north-west Victoria are waiting Several towns

and watching this morning and watching this morning as

rising rivers move towards

them. In the north-west the

Wimmera River at Jeparit is expected to peak some time today, potentially flooding today, potentially flooding 20

homes. Impacts are also expected along the Loddon River

as flood Waters make their way

from the isolated Kerang Swan Hill. Residents in Lake from the isolated Kerang to

Charm, Mystic Park and Fairley

have been urged to leave. Floods are expected communities in Victoria's Floods are expected to threaten

days. And I spoke to SES and communities in Victoria's Noth

spokesman Lachlan Quick a short

time ago for an update. Tlncht

are some concerns that If the Loddon River makes its way around

around Kerang it will impact on

a number of small communities

before reaching Swan Hill some

time Sunday and it will pact

from then until Tuesday. Any

other areas of potential

danger? I think you mentioned

Jeparit. We have to keep a

close eye There are resources in the town

and extensive sandbagging has

been undertaken. We have army

resource there's with a vehicle

that provides better access that provides better access if

those roads do get cut but

after reaching je - Jeparit it

the flow into Lake Hindmarsh. What about for Hindmarsh. What about for the

weekend as a whole and into

next week as of next week as of course there's

the Australia Day holiday mid

week? We've got week? We've got concerns

obviously remaining around

Kerang where those levees

town. It's important to

remember that a peak of flood

water is not necessarily when

the danger subsides. Kerang saw

a peak some 3 days ago and the

water has only dropped 10 cm water has only dropped

since then. The levee

also solid at this stage but we protecting the power system is protecting the power system is

do ohave some close monitoring

to do there. We expect Swan

Hill to be impacted probably

trying to around Australia Day so we're

trying to do

the community as we can before that holiday because we realise

people's patterns of behaviour

are different when they get there. Well the flood crisis is

estimated to have already cost

the State of Victoria $2 billion. Tourism is billion. Tourism is suffering

and business in rural towns has ground to a halt. There are

fears some retailers will be so financially crippled they won't

reopen, even when the

floodwaters recede. Apart from

about 6 shops Kerang is closed

to business. In these difficult

times no news is not good news

for the town's newsagency but it has been promised pile of it has been promised that a

next plane in. The supermarket is well stocked, delivery

trucks have managed to get through. But with most trucks have managed to get

through. But with most locals

evacuated there are no queues from Mildura have come down alternate checkout. Our staff

because all our staff from here

are out with their farms or

evacuated the town. The only

reason Gary McClusky has kept his business open is to provide reason Gary McClusky has kept

fuel to farmers. All his staff

are out sandbagging or are out

on their farms trying to save

machinery and livestock. I'm

moment so everybody's doing the only person here at

their bit to save the town and

every business is the same. The

economic impact of these floods

is already being felt right

across Victoria. In houseboats sit idle. Holiday

makers have been put off by the

reports of flooding. Some tourism operators say business is down by at least third. That's significant. That is down by at least a

Then you add the costs flows on then into employment. flows on then into employment.

Then you add the costs of

supply infrastructure, all of the

supply chain impacts, housing

and so on, we're probably

looking at an overall cost so

far of around $2 billion plus. Tourism Minister has been So it's very significant. The So

surveying the damage at Halls

Gap in the Grampians which was ravaged by floods. We have substantial long-term problems

here in making sure nah the grampians are safe again. grampians are safe again. We're

going to look at festivals in try to keep the the short

the short term, coming. The Loddon River try to keep the tourist flow

coming. The Loddon River here

in Kerang is dropping rapidly. We were here 24 hours ago in Kerang is

We were here 24 hours ago and

covered with water. Now you

could almost drive across who have suffered the most all this beautiful rain and

end up like it's never been better and to


But we'll survive. There's More water than an enormous amount of water.

an in this area. Locals won't

forget this flood for a

time. A man is dead and other people are in a serious

condition after being swept off coast. They're among more nan a

dozen people who had pulled from the series of freak waves hit the pulled from the water after a

tragedy struck. The condition of the water just changed.

There was a sandbar there and

it was bit rough and the sea just change and then a lot of lot of people apparently got into difficulties. A man in his 60s drowned after swept the group of to sea. swept the group of swimmers out

rushed to the beach but

paramedics were unable to save the man who died at the from Perth. He's here from Perth. He's here on

holidays with his wife and

has been treated for shock breathing difficulties from

swallowing water. A 20-year-old

man is in a critical condition

after having a heart attack and

a 15-year-old girl was taken to hospital problems. Life savers at the

between the flags. Most people got out of the water

the life savers had his rescue

board, he had 4 to that at one stage, hospital people, but most of them people, but most of them got themselves out of themselves out of the water. It's not common in the area. I don't swim very often but I won't

swim here because it's got a bad name for the beach for efforts of the saying their quick action drowning. Former British prime minister Tony Blair has minister Tony Blair has been

questioned for a second time questioned for a second time at the Iraq inquiry. the Iraq inquiry. Mr Blair

kept in the dark discussions in 2002 about whether to invade Iraq to

topple Saddam Hussein. But topple Saddam Hussein. But he dhit demited disregarding a

warning from his top legal adviser that adviser that attacking Iraq would be illegal without further UN backing. Arriving

hours early, the former British leader knew he was in for a long day in the chair. up to the war he ignored his own

own attorney-general's legal advice and told parliament in January 2003 that was legal without a second UN resolution. I was making basically a political point, however I accept entirely there was an inconsistency between what he was saying and

what I was saying there lawyer but what of his private letters to barred from publishing. Tony

Blair was happy to discuss the basic message. So what I was

saying to him is I'm going to

be with you in handling it be with you in handling it this

way, right? I'm not push you down this path and then back out hot politically because it is

going to get hot

going to get hot politically, for me for me very, very much so. For

Tony Blair this wasn't all about the past. He used this

forum to warn the West that Iran had to be appeased. It is negative, destabilising, of terrorist groups, it is doing everything it can to impede progress in

East peace process and to facilitate a that region cannot embark on the process of modern

ooitionisation it urgently

needs. Outside a small group of

protestors said the former

British leader should be facing

not an inquiry but a war crimes

trial. I think the man is a

criminal and he's on the run. I

think he should be sent to The

because I think he knew

perfectly well that the war was

illegal. Tony Blair did what he said he'd wished he'd done

during his

With the family of soldiers who

died in Iraq listening

intently, he spoke about those

killed in the conflict. Of course, I regret deeply and

profoundly the loss of life,

whether from our own armed

force, those of other force, the civilians who helped the civilians who helped people in Iraq or the Iraqis

themselves and I just wanted to

say that because I think it is feel. Quiet please. Off camera angry relatives shouted "It's

too late" and walked out. What

he'd done was an act of treason in my book because he lied to

Parliament, he manufactured the

lies to send us to an illegal

war. Tony Blair left as he arrived, admitting mistakes had

been made but utterly convinced

the war was legal and morally just. When the report just. When the report is finally made public lit no

doubt spark lot a lot of debate. Passions always run

deeply when the name Tony Blair

is mentioned. Meanwhile the current British Prime Minister's communications chief Andy Coulson Andy Coulson has resigned after new details emerged in faced pressure after faced pressure after claims about phone hacking while he was editor of the tabloid. quit the newspaper quit the newspaper in 2007 saying he took ultimate responsibility for the scandal but he denied but he denied knowing phone hacking was taking widening scandal has made it difficult to continue in

current job. The Prime Minister David Cameron praised him brilliant member of his team. Chai neen President Hu

Jintao is wrapping up state visit to state visit to the United

States. Earlier he came face to face with US politicians face

have criticised his country's human rights record and President Hu has President Hu has meanwhile called economic and and he's restate ed that China

has no interest in pursuing an arms race or senior army commander in the Democratic Republic of Congo

has been arrested over has been arrested over a mass rape on new year's rape on new year's day. Lieutenant

mass rape. These are the faces of the 50 women who say of the 50 women who say they

were gang raped on new year's

village. They started raping women women and looting everywhere in the didn't stopment honestly many

the people of Fizi in rebel-infested province traumatised. It began when a

mob lynched a soldier who had

shot a civilian. A group of soldiers then the people. Now authorities promising justice. soldiers committed the crimes. As

As a politician, I can't say

publicly what will be decision to this problem but I promise to you promise to you that justice

will be done. The victims gave their witness to Congolese military officials who have now arrested the senior arrested the senior army commander Kibibi Mutware. There have been numerous

mass rape in the region but

this is believed to be the largest single incident 3 people have been 3 people have been killed during a violent anti-government protest in Albania. 20,000 people Albania. 20,000 people have rallied outside rallied outside the Prime Minister's Minister's office in the

capital Tirana calling for early elections.

Minister Sali Berisha has tied up in a scandal alleged corruption. Witnesses

say a section of the crowd

threw rocks at the police who responded with tear gas and water

in political deadlock since the of the 2009 elections. In a show joined with protestors in joined with protestors in the Tunisian capital Tunis.

officers said they had oppressed under President Ben Ali and Ali and were forced to crush their brothers. Protests have

dominated by cronies of the ousted ousted President. The interim government says 78 people have

been killed since the been killed since the start of

the uprising. The UN toll slightly higher at 100. three days of national

mourning The Italian Prime under intense pressure over allegations he paid for sex

with underaged prostitutes. Pope Benedict has weighed in on

the controversy saying public officials should to prostitutes, no wonder pressure. Facing the most damaging accusations of his premiership. And premiership. And this is the girl Facebook name Ruby the Heart Stealer. Prosecutors say Stealer. Prosecutors say the Prime

Prime Minister paid to have sex

with the 17-year-old at his

home near Milan. Ruby has told interviewers she never told interviewers she never had sex with Mr Berlusconi or pays for sex. She said the ?6,000 he gave her was because she needed

help. Mr Berlusconi himself

has twice been on television

this week to deny the claims. "I didn't at the end of the

day prostitutes and didn't have

sex with Ruby", he says. It was a luried line by from the 74-year-old leader.

But phone conversations

secretly taped by prosecutors

and published in the Italian

press reveal a different saying she would receive as

much money as you want if she kept quiet. One girl

kept quiet. One girl was

ordered to dress up for Mr

Berlusconi, put on a stethoscope, a

she was told "You know how much

he likes that sort of thing, playing the patient." Today

Pope Benedict appeared to Pope Benedict appeared to make reference to reference to the scandal during an audience in the Vatican. The Pope spoke of

Italian society losing its soul

and its spiritual roots. Other figures in the Catholic Church have gone even

further with bishop s calling

the scandal a devastating tornado whilst political

opponents of the Prime Minister say he must now resign. But

even in the face of such

pressure, Mr Berlusconi says pressure, Mr Berlusconi says he

won't meet prosecutors to

answer their questions. The Burmese prodemocracy leader

Aung San Suu Kyi has been given Internet access 2 months after

she was freed from 7 years she was freed from 7 years of house arrest. chief says it's been authorised by Burma's military Government.

Suu Kyi was confined to her

home in Rangoon

telephone or the Internet until November last year. The Nobel

Peace laureate says she wants

to use social networking to use social networking and microbloging to contact young

people in Burma and all over

the world. And time now the world. And time now for

sport and Tulsen tolet joins me

in the studio. Let's chat about

cricket first. Australia is pretty much on top one-day match, why the one-day around? It's amazing, you score runs you win matches and their fielding has become their fielding has become so much better. Marsh in there as well yesterday. He was brilliant. They have injury yesterday. He was brilliant. They have injury concerns though because Shaun Tait got dislocated his shoulder, you throw

mix with his finger injury

Mike Hussey in doubt with Mike Hussey in doubt with a hamstring injury. Shaun Marsh isn't hamstring injury. isn't in the World isn't in the World Cup 15-man squad. The way things are going with injury they're with injury they're going to have problem. They play England tomorrow in the third match in

Sydney. At this stage 2 Hoff Sydney. At this stage 2 Hoff 0 in the series they're looking Are these one-dayers you can

concert your efforts more than

a 5-day Test? I a 5-day Test? I think it a 5-day Test? I think it means

that they have to really concentrate

concentrate more. They have concentrate more. They have the world champions in

of the of the game. They've won the last 3 World Cups. Sri Lanka who won the last one back in 1996 before Australia won all

these tournament, Sri Lanka is

the only one who won it cohosting in

to do it again when around next month. The

Australian Open has lost a real star player with Venus

happened? She injured herself

in her last match. At the tie

break point she let out a big yelp and she injured her yelp and she injured her groin. The same problem reoccurred Petra Kvitova. Now only 7 poipt - points gone down in pain. She gone down in pain. She had to call for the trainer and said Kvitova actually plays Kvitova actually plays Samantha Stosur this evening. So she will go into it quite because she didn't play because she didn't play much last

tournament Wawrinka had a good victory last night over

he's going to be one of the

possibilities of win ing this tournament without - outside that big 2 of Federer Nadal. He over overcame tip Janko Tipsarevic. He won the

fourth set and the fifth and

he's gong from strength sto

strens since strens since then. Aussies are doing pretty well in doing pretty well in the Tour Down Under? Cameron Meyer won today with the lead but we look at the Australian fourth place, he's off the pace heading into today's 5th stage, of course finishes tomorrow. So finishes tomorrow. So he's Armstrong who of course is the He's almost 4 minutes off the but Robbie McEwen is part but Robbie McEwen is part of his team. Cameron Meyer won yesterday's kilometre, the fifth stage from Adelaide from the McLaren Adelaide from the McLaren Vale

to Willunga. That's going to be a tough

think Robbie McEwen even think Robbie McEwen even though he's in fourth is well placed to win course the pulling power of someone like Lance Armstrong in huge? It's not just huge? It's not just the fact that he's that he's there performing, last weekend he raised money

for the Queensland flood relief outside of the sport while he's

over here. We know he over here. We know he raises

money for cancer and for good causes but he put $50,000 from his own pocket into it his own pocket into it last

weekend and had other

come along it and there's also talk of ride as well up there because that's possible Queensland that's from. There's talk possibly happening so from. There's possibly happening so they can

raise more money

isn't it? Absolutely. The Socceroos are in action in Socceroos are in action in Doha tonight, how the tourn snment They can win

it but they're playing against

their nemesis. Iraq beat them

3-1 in the team stages and went

on to win it. Brett on to win it. Brett Emerton doesn't play tonight because he's spnded with two yellow

cards. Tim Cahill is the major

play. This player has to

play. This player has to be playing this tournament. There is no

doubt in my mind whatsoever. He's suffering from a dead leg

at the moment. If he plays

tonight at 70 or 80% he will be

almost as good if not better than some players who are

playing with two leg and are absolutely fine. He's that big

a loss to the team if he doesn't

doesn't play. Mark Schwarzer doesn't play. Mark Schwarzer helped them out in helped them out in the last

match with some brilliant match with some brilliant saves

but I think Tim Cahill has to

play tonight and if they win tonight they will I think they can go on and win

it. We'll have to wait and see

and just very finally and quickly, Adelaide United thrashed North Queensland last

night s that a Yeah, it is. 8-1. Hat-trick s to Sergio Van Dijk and to Sergio Van Dijk and Marcos

Flores. In the

the first one came and from

there it continues on. Poor old north r North north r North Queensland

they've now conceded 12 goals

in their last 2 games. Their defence last

and was roughshod over as we can see by those picture there's. Adelaide just too

good. They're in second place

on the ladder now trailing the Brisbane Roar who are the run away away leaders. Tulsen, thanks so

much. And time now for what's

making news in the arts and

entertainment. Australian bands Powderfinger, Midnight Oil and

Crowded House are lending their music in the name of charity. a CD to raise money for the

Queensland flood appeal. Kings

Queensland flood appeal. Kings of Leon, Bob Dylan and Bon of Leon, Bob Dylan and Bon Jovi

will also feature on the 3 disk

compilation. Each artist is

offering their music for free. Australia's

museum has opened its doors in a small Hobart suburb on the

banks of the River Derwent. banks of the River Derwent. The Museum of Old and New Art Berriedale houses $100 million of works and is owned by proxal

gambler David Walsh. Mr Walsh has described the museum as a

subversive adult Disney land.

Some of the displays Some of the displays include Sidney Nolan's 45 metre wide

Snake master piece, the body of

a suicide bomber sculpted in

chocolate. And some of the

world's top opera stars will honour Spanish tenor Placido Domingo for his 70th Domingo for his 70th birthday.

The show at the Teatro The show at the Teatro Real Opera House in Madrid will just one of many tributes for

the performer well known the performer well known for

his 3 tenner performance with

Jose ka raria and the late Luciano Paverotti. A young

Canberra trio believe they've

come up with an ideal tool for getting

getting nor people to use

public transport. The ANU

students have designed an

application for smart phones

aimed at making bus travel

around the capital hassle

free They thought they'd never

wait for hours at a bus wait for hours at a bus stop again. What

application it's really

limitless, it really is. Give

us a suggestion, give us what

we want to do and we can we want to do and we can do

it. These final year IT and computer programming students spent the number

developing a smart phone

application for system. application for Canberra's bus

system. A tool that would allow

travellers to find their nearest bus

nearest bus stop and check the

bus timetable all from their mobile phone. Once they've

selected the point, I selected the point, I select

the next button and lit tell me

the next bus along with how to

get there. If it was available

I'd download it and I'd use it.

I would use it myself because I don't drive. And could be expanded to allow

people to track how far away

the next bus really is. You can

already see the benefits of

having that. You wouldn't have

to wait. You'd know whether you missed missed it or not so

whether to catch another bus or

walk. I think Canberra could use those given that buss are

late. You don't know why buss are

are late and you don't know why

or they're real early. The

students offered students offered the ap to Action Buses. They didn't ask

for payment just the computer hard ware needed to develop the

app for other s. We need your data and help. But Action

knocked them back. Those in

charge say that data, full

timetables, routes timetables, routes an GPS

locations of bus stops is not

yet complete or even correct and they say their first

priority is an online journey

planner they've already started

work on. But that won't be

ready for up to 6 months. The

next stage is to roll out the

more exciting applications, one

of which is the type of thing

that the guys are talking about. For now bus travellers like the broken hearted will

just have to hope that another

one will be along in a minute.

Patchy cloud in a Patchy cloud in a trough is

bringing stormy weather to

inland and south-east NSW and

to eastern parts of Victoria.

Low cloud is causing Low

showers over eastern

Queensland. An active Queensland. An active monsoon

across the tropics is

triggering showers and storms.

Taking a closer look at the

States - just the odd shower

over the east coast of

moving to the northern tropic. Isolated showers and

thunderstorms over the western interior, fine over interior, fine over the southern interior. A showers and storms over

north and south-east NSW.

Expect a weakening cool change

through the south. Victoria can

expect a shower in the expect a shower in the east, dry elsewhere, becoming clear and warmer throughout. Fine

across most of as the apart

from isolated shower about Flinders

Flinders Island. It will be mostly

South Australia. In WA, late

afternoon showers developing

south-west and extending north

to Perth and to the Top End monsoonal showers across the tropics are easing. Hot tropics are easing. Hot over

the south, humid throughout. This Program is Captioned Live. THEME MUSIC On Landline Extra today, for the inevitable invasion of Varroa mites. that a lot of people use for pollinating different crops, will still be able to have bees but it's just going to cost to keep Varroa from destroying the hives. Within the space of three years, they've literally gone from zero oyster production in the north that's about 50% of NSW's current production. It's fair to say that the humble honey bee is our most important insect. Not for its honey, that's a bonus, but for its pollination of our major food crops. But these prolific pollinators are threatened by a foreign pest, In this Science Week special, Tim Lee looks at the joint task force to smite the mite. The bee is truly one of nature's wonders. They're just mad, crazy, they just work themselves to death. It's a lot, lot bigger, of course, than the honey production and the products that the bee produces directly. Their biggest contribution to Australia is their pollination. It's late winter but the blossom on the almond trees reveals this spring is almost here. I find at this time of year to watch the bees work and understanding the importance, the important role that they play in our industry. They've tried to accomplish the pollination by artificial means, you know, everything from air fan sprayers that blow pollen and really there's nothing that can duplicate what a bee can do and they'll just work their way across an orchard and it's an amazing process, really. There's just no substitute for it. The fascinating part of this So that flower's fertilised there's a flower there with still quite a bit of pollen on it still to be collected. It's like here again, see, another the petals are actually starting to fall off of that so the little nut will come out of this very soon. Bees enjoy almond blossom because of the quality of the pollen, helping the hive emerge from its winter hibernation. For Australia's almond industry, bees are of critical importance. Without them, there would be no industry. For a commercial orchard, it's absolutely essential because the trees are not self-pollinating so we're required here to have different varieties of almonds to each and every bloom to pollinate them. but it would be very minimal. We couldn't be successful on a commercial basis without bees. Almonds for as long as we've grown in Australia brought into the orchards. They're such a huge monocrop with blossom over a very short time, And the bees just need to be there wouldn't work at all. So the answer is managed bees, hives brought in from elsewhere. Apiarist Trevor Monson runs a pollination service and like his bees, he's feverishly busy. Those three truck trucks that were going to make it this afternoon are not going to be here until the morning. This year we've put together over 100,000 hives of bees, the furtherest are 1,800km away just over the Queensland border and we have in South Australia, Victoria and nearly all over NSW as well. Almost half of all the commercial hives from Victoria and NSW have been trucked here. So you can imagine pulling in 100,000 hives from all over Australia just getting them here, spreading them out evenly across the orchard and then having them be the kind of quality hives It's a huge undertaking. Jonathan, yeah, we're just leaving Happy Valley, we're on our way out. I'm going to ring Terry Brown and see where that truck is. The apiarists get paid for putting their bees into the pollination process. They won't harvest much honey, almonds yield poorly We've got a big population of native bees but they play little or no role in our food consumption production, because the food we have in Australia that we need the bees for is pretty much all European imported foods. We don't live much on any native foods. It's not surprising our native bee population plays a very small role in our food production. We know too well because we pollinate a lot of fruit and vegetable crops and of course with almonds you've no bees, there's no almonds at all. I don't think the general public realise the expanse of the need

that we've now relied on bees. A staggering two thirds of agricultural production relies on the delicate work of the honey bee. Like almonds and other nuts, are also almost totally dependent. The European honey bee first came

and it's thought that today than there are commercial hives. These abundant wild bees in their vital unheralded work have perhaps made us complacent. Make no mistake, taking them out of the equation would compromise the nation's horticultural and agricultural sectors. But a vampire-like mite, the size of a pin head, has the power to do just that.

In recent years the Varroa parasite has cut a swathe through the world's honey bee populations. I compare Varroa to something like a flea that bites an animal. This Varroa drills a hole in the bee and that allows other viruses and bacteria then to get into it as well as the fact that the Varroa sucks goodness out of it as well. I've seen colonies in America where they have been quite healthy hives of bees with a fairly high count of Varroa in them and I've been told within three weeks those hives and the only country with a population of wild honey bees. Everywhere else, Varroa has wiped them out. Varroa destructor is entrenched in New Zealand free from Varroa and other foreign pests so far. But a recent discovery of imported bees in the northern Queensland port is a timely warning of our vulnerability.

There is now a battle plan in place. A new report "Pollination Aware" which for the first time brings a coordinated approach and puts a value on pollination services for 35 commodity groups including fruits, vegetables and pastures. The report is a joint effort between the Rural Industry's Research Horticulture Australia, the Federal Government and the Honey Bee industry. Pollination Australia really has produced this report to try and look at what the big picture is with bees, the movement and the pollination problem. Let's say we have an outbreak on the east coast somewhere. Where we draw the lines that we start to look at quarantining the area that has the infestation, where the bees can come out of that area, where they can go in again, whether they have to be destroyed when they're in there, depends on what time of the year depends on what part of Australia we get it, We know that Varroa will come, it's not an if, it's a when. and so to be prepared how we're going to deal with it, you know, gives us as growers more confidence and a better handle on what the future looks like once it arrives here. Should that occur, Trevor Monson's role as Chief Field Marshal for the bee industry will be even more crucial. It will be later on, it will be an hour and a half. Fruit grower Peter O'Brien is busy pruning his plum trees before budburst. He uses Trevor Monson's bees to pollinate his crops so he's only too aware of the insect's value. It would be disastrous if suddenly the wild ones disappeared because it is sometimes that we can't get on to Trevor's stuff for different crops because I grow a lot of different crops and the timing's all different and Trevor might be away in Queensland or something like that. But if there's no wild ones we'd be even more reliant on the beekeepers. These are a sun variety of plum. Every 7 or 8 trees there's a different variety for pollination and without the bees we just wouldn't have a crop. Horticulturist Barry Avery also welcomes the Pollination Report. He has a grove of avocados, his most valuable crop, With the bees, as you know, it's not easy to get good pollination up here because it gets a bit cold so everything we can do to assist always helps. So if we can have one or two extra hives this year that would be a help. Well, we've got plenty of bees, I just don't like spending people's money if it's not necessary but I know some of the recommendations are eight to the hectare. Realistically, you know, for another, if it's $1,000 the set over the whole patch, the dollars, you know, it's definitely worthwhile. For the almond industry, there is even more riding on the work of the honey bee. The growth of the industry has been staggering. A little over a decade ago there were 4,000 hectares of almonds nationally. Today there are 27,000 hectares, most of it just south of the Murray River. Global demand for almonds has doubled in the past decade. Within three years when the younger trees mature, Australia will become the world's second largest almond producer. California's obviously way out in front but we'll be somewhere between 6 and 8% of the world almond industry. Australia's significant player in the almond industry worldwide but here, you know, really it's come on in the last 10 years. There are trees that are 25 to 30 but the biggest percentage of almonds have been planted in the last, you know, 10 to 12 years. The future estimate is that we will need 200,000 hives of bees 6 billion bees that are needed for the almond industry. This new processing plant where thousands of tonnes of nuts are shelled and dried gives some sense of the scale. Good quality here. Good Aussie almonds, beautiful. Little is wasted, even the almond husks, high in protein, go into stock feed. It's incredible, just half a phone call and we've got already got two missed calls. As Australia's bee industry braces itself for the arrival of the Varroa mite some time in the future, Trevor Monson is philosophical. I think Australian beekeepers at the end of the day will cope, will learn from all the other countries that have got it, especially countries like New Zealand that are the last sort of one that had it and we'll move forward from there and hopefully that we'll know how to manage it, that are showing some sort of tolerance or resistance to Varroa. Whatever the future holds for Australia's honey bees, at the very least their vital and tireless work has at last been recognised and safeguarded. Bees don't need us, we need bees. Some of Australia's leading aquaculture experts are helping fast track the fledgling oyster industry in Vietnam. until recently, oysters had been largely overlooked. But that's all changed in the north of the country where the shellfish is giving struggling farmers a more secure future.

Kerry Staight recently travelled to Vietnam for a series of stories on Australian agricultural aid projects starting in one of the most stunning World Heritage sites Ha Long Bay. As the sun rises over Vietnam's north-east coast it's easy to see why tourists are drawn to this region. But for the locals, the million dollar views and imposing limestone islands scarcely warrant a second glance. For them, it's the catch that counts and around here that catch is rather than the wild. the past-time they are, we call boat families, they have small boat,

that they are struggling for living costs and people moving into mollusc hunter so they earn from this. in and around Ha Long Bay. And beneath the rafts is something of a seafood basket. Kobia, Red Drum, Groper, among the most popular species being cultured. Now a growing number of farmers are also pulling up Pacific oysters.

It's been absolutely phenomenal. Within the space of three years they've virtually gone from zero oyster production in the north through to about 2,000 tonnes now and to put that in perspective that's about 50% of NSW's current production. It's owned by BIM, a private investment company A few years ago it diversified into oysters. and we only sold a small amount but we picked up quite quickly from 2008. In one year production increased four times Most farmers here grow their oysters on culch, recycled shells that are tied to a line and slung beneath rafts. Locals say the filter feeders thrive in these warm nutrient-rich waters, growing from a spat to a commercially acceptable mollusc in less than 12 months. But despite the formidable natural barriers around many of the bays the farms are still vulnerable to the elements especially during the monsoon season. TRANSLATION: Even though the mountains and the islands protect our farm by reducing the strength of the storms,

the bad weather often causes some damage. Wild weather isn't the only challenge. One of the most pressing issues facing farmers is getting enough spat to grow in the first place. And that's where the Australian connection comes in.

On Cap La Island, not far from Ha Long Bay, is one of Vietnam's most advanced oyster hatcheries. In the space of 3 years annual production has increased from 10 million to 100 million juveniles under the guidance of some of Australia's leading oyster researchers

In comparison to hatcheries in Australia