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Live.

Tonight - look back in anger,

Peter Garrett gets the

Opposition blowtorch. This

minister is in electrocution

denial. Seven boss Kerry Stokes

goes mining for media gold. A

rego slug to pay for the

Premier's transport plan, and

crying glory, a film about a

tormented shock jock wins

Tropfest. Four words I never

thought I'd say - thank you,

Kyle Sandilands.

Good evening, Juanita Phillips

with ABC News. Peter Garrett

came under sustained and

ferocious attack in Parliament today as the Opposition called

for his resignation and an

apology over the now axed Home

Insulation Scheme. The trigger

revelation that the Environment for the latest barrage was the

Minister only saw a report

warning about the risks of the

scheme 11 days ago. But

tonight Mr Garrett was still

doggedly hanging onto his job. Here's chief political

correspondent, Mark Simkin.

This program is a disgrace.

It's an embarrassment. If looks

could kill, there'd be more

than four deaths linked to the

insulation program. The

minister didn't kill them, but

he didn't take the action that

would have kept them alive. I

will continue to exercise my

responsibilitiesle diligently

as the Minister for the Environment. The Prime Minister

didn't defend Peter Garrett,

the Leader of the House

did. But this is a classic

example of the Abbott habit,

talk first, think later. The

Opposition wanted Peter Garrett

to apologise for the insulation

scheme - he didn't. It is the

case that there have been

regrettably these fatalities

and the association with this

program has been identified,

and I very, very much regret

that. These are people's lives

at stake and you show no

remorse, you show no concern

and you show no urgency about

anything except saving your own

hide. A Senate committee hauled

in the the secretary of the

Environment Department. 93

fires have been linked to the

insulation program. The

bureaucrat confirmed her

department received this risk assessment last April. It

warned of fires, fraud and poor

insulation, but Peter Garrett

took 10 months to read it. I

did not receive or read the

Minter Ellision report until

this year. The consultants also

gave the department a so-called

risk register which the ABC

obtained a short time ago. It

highlights a range of potential

problems with the scheme,

categorises some of the

Government responses as weak

and suggests delaying the

roll-out to reduce the risks.

Peter Garrett shut the program

down on Friday, throwing the insulation industry into

turmoil. This company started

morning. We've had one its lay-offs this

gentleman who, you know, has

been with the company for three

or four years. We've had to

retrench them this morning.

He's got a 3-week-old baby. As

a mother I find that the worst thing I've ever had to do. There will be work for

safety inspectors. The

Government plans to check an

extra 150,000 homes. In a

developing story tonight, the

Afghan Government says a NATO

air strike has killed 21 civilians including women and

children. The attack happened

in southern Uruzgan Province

where Australian and Dutch

forces are based. NATO says

the civilians were mistaken for

insurgents as they approached a

unit of international and

Afghan troops. Seven Network

owner Kerry Stokes has

announced an ambitious plan for

the mining industry. He's also

come out swinging in defence of

the Government's TV licence

rebates. From media

heavyweight to heavy lifter,

Kerry Stokes says the merger of

the Seven TV network with the

heavy equipment maker WesTrac

is the perfect fit. We're

excited about the growth that

WesTrac has in store and how

this can help Seven transform

its business. Mr Stokes has

been mining media industry

growth opportunities without

success. He now believes a lot

more money's to be made from the booming resources sector. The combined balance

sheet and the strength will

enable us to do anything that we actually feel is appropriate

for the company. But Mr

Stokes's life as a media mogul

is still of great interest,

particularly his recent meeting with Communications Minister

Stephen Conroy on the ski

slopes of Colorado days before

the Federal Government slashed

commercial TV licence

fees. It's really difficult to

have in-depth conversations

while you're skiing and he's a

boarder which makes it more difficult. The Federal Opposition's not laughing and now key Independent senators are voicing their concern over

the fee cut. Obviously there

are questions in relation to

the $250 million deal about

value for money for

taxpayers. The minister is

unswayed. We make no apology

for moving to protect

Australian content in this

environment. As the TV stations

enjoy their windfall, the

Fairfax Media group has shown

there is also money to be made

from newspapers and commercial

radio stations. The Government

has posted a profit of nearly

$150 million for the last six

months of 2009, and it's

cautiously optimistic about the

year ahead . Drivers will be

helping pay for the Premier's new transport plan long before

they benefit from it. A new

weight tax will be introduced

in July. It'll cost up to $30

a year extra to register cars

over 975 kilograms. Motoring

groups say many small vehicles

fall within that range, along

with eco-friendly hybrid cars. If the Premier thought her

transport policy would be an

easy sell in Parramatta today,

she was mistaken. Go back to

America! Hello, how are you? A

rego increase of between $5 and

$30 is just as popular. We

shouldn't be getting extra

taxes to do it. Another excuse

to get more money off it. It'll

raise after a billion dollars

over the next

decade. Encouraging people to

buy lighter vehicles from an

environmental standpoint,

that's a better

outcome. According to the

website Drive, the top five

selling cars are:

All are 4 cyclinders and

subject to the weight tax. The

Prius will be taxed at the same

level as a V 8 falcon. I would

have thought the Government

would be subsidising the car because people would be doing

less pollution. Minister seemed

to think the Getz would get off

scott-free. A Hyundai Getz

weighs up to 975 kilograms.

There's no increase. But not

according to the Hyundai

website, which lists the weight

as more than a tonne. The

Premier also struggled with the

figures. She couldn't say how

much taxpayer dollars have been

spent on the CBD me tro

project, officially scrapped

yesterday. I'll give you that

figure, I don't have that

figure with me right now. It's

estimated to be more than $250

million. Also scrapped was the

west me tro, $90 million in

Federal funding may have to be

returned but the Premier will

ask for more for the new

Western Express. We've had a

number of good discussions with

the Commonwealth. But does the

local member think it's a vote

winner? Let's see, let's see.

But I think it is. The Premier

has 13 months to convince more

than her caucus. Even those

set to gain from the transport

scheme aren't buying it. Most

of the projects won't get off

the ground until the election

after next and weary commuters

say they've heard it all

before. It was the same old

story for commuters heading to

work this morning, and

convincing them there will be a

happy ending won't be easy. I

don't believe them. Eventually

yes, but not in my lifetime,

that's for sure. Work on key projects promised in the

blueprint won't start for five

years. Everyone seems to have a

go at doing something to fix it

and nothing ever happens. Public transport

workers have had enough. We cop it from the commuters out there. Despite their frustration, they're backing

most of the plan, but they want

work on the North-West Rail

Line to start now. The money

was always obviously there.

They could find it for the me

tro, they should be able to

find it for the North-West Rail

Line. Transport experts say the

me tro had to go with heavy

rail the better option, but

they still haven't got it

right. Putting a link between

Parramatta and Epping is

crucial for the city as a whole

and that's not in there. Sydney's light rail

system will be expanded to

Circular Quay and end at

Dulwich Hill with planning to

begin striegt away. The mayor

of Marrickville believes it's

one project that will be delivered. I understand that

the Government, they are very

keen to deliver that as soon as

possible and we all very

hopeful that it's going to

happen very soon. Commuters

will just have to wait and see.

Police are investigating

whether road rage was the

motive behind a stabbing murder

in Sydney's inner west A

43-year-old man was attacked by

two men after he got out of his

car at his home in liechd around midnight. Police

believe the victim may have

been involved in a collision

with his attackers. The man

worked for the Malaysian Consul-General. We were shocked

that we heard this tragic news

over last night and we've lost

a very dear colleague. Police

have praised a female passer-by

who tried to stop the attack.

Two Sydney hospitals have

apologised for discharging an

8-year-old boy who later died

from meningitis. A coronial inquest heard that Isaraelu Pele wasn't diagnosed with the

disease until after his death

more than two years ago.

Lawyers for the Bankstown and

Westmead Hospitals today apologised to the boy's family.

The inquest continues. A court

has heard the skipper of a boat

that crashed killing six young people had been drinking and

taking drugs when he handed the

wheel over to an unlicenced

passenger. It's alleged that

Matthew Reynolds allowed Percy

Small to steer the overloaded

boat during a late night joy

ride on Sydney Harbour in 2008.

Both men are facing trial over

the deaths of their six

friends. This is the man who

was at the wheel of the boat

when it crashed killing six of

his friends, but this is the

man the prosecution alleges is ultimately responsible.

Matthew Reynolds has pleaded

not guilty to six counts of

manslaughter. Mr Reynolds was

drinking and had taken cocaine

when he allowed someone else to

drive the boat. The Crown

Prosecutor Mark Hobart SC told

the court he was the skipper

and master of the boat.

The court heard that on 1

May, 2008 in the early hours of

the morning, Percy Small was

driving the boat when it

crashed into a trawler. Mr

Small had also taken cocaine

and cannabis. He was

unlicenced to drive the

overloaded boat. The court

heard when the two boats

collided, five people were

killed instantly. Another

person died later. Percy Small

faces six charges of dangerous

navigation occasioning death.

Both defence teams blame the

fishing vessel for the crash.

The barrister for Matthew

Reynolds told the court the

consumption of alcohol and

drugs may have had nothing to

do with why the two boats collided. The court heard that

the fishing vessel had defects

and was travelling on the wrong

side of the channel. Both the

prosecution and defence agreed

it's an emotive case. A happy

party night turned into an

unfortunate tragedy for these

people. The barrister for

Percy Small told the jury

"Nothing can bring these young

people back to life". The trial

is expected to run for five

weeks. A murder investigation

is under way after the body of

an 8-year-old girl was found at

Bundaberg north of Brisbane.

The girl's parents discovered

her missing early this morning

when they realised there'd been

a suspected break-in at the

family home. Police

immediately began a search of

the nearby area and found the

child's body in a drain. Our hearts go out to the family of

this little girl and this is a

very, very sad incident. Police

admit they have no suspects at

this stage. Still in

Queensland - another toddler

has drowned on a rural

property, the third in the past

week. The 22-month-old boy

wandered from his home on the

Sunshine Coast late yesterday

afternoon. Rescuers resumed

their search at first light and

found the toddler's body in a

dam on the family's property at

around 7:30 this morning. Also

on the Sunshine Coast, a third

man has died after falling from

a cliff at the weekend. He and

a mate fell while trying to

rescue a friend who'd plunged

22 metres at Point Cartwright.

The local council will now

review safety measures at the

site. It's a 6-week crash

course designed to turn

graduates into teachers.

Queensland is the latest State

to consider a controversial

program to fast track staff

into disadvantaged schools.

Teachers' unions say the idea

is an insult both to them and

the students. It sounds like a

late-night infomercial. In

just six weeks, you, too, could

be a teacher. We want to look

at every option there is for

getting the best and brightest teachers into our classrooms. The Queensland Government is studying a

controversial proposal to get

more teachers into

disadvantaged areas. Under the

scheme, anyone with a

Batchelor's degree would be

eligible for a 6-week crash

course. They'd then get

straight to work, but would

continue studying

part-time. This is another way

of getting those people who

have a passion for teaching

coming into the teaching workforce. Teachers are having

none of it. It's insulting to

teachers and to those who are

working very hard to get

through their current degrees

and turn out to be teachers.

But I think more importantly,

it's an insult to the students

of Australia. One education

expert insists six weeks'

training is not enough to

prepare for the challenges of

the classroom. Sending

inexperienced people, even if

they're highly motivated and

they want to make a difference,

I think they actually need

skills and strategies and they

need more than six weeks in

preparation for that. But

proponents say new teachers

would be guided by a mentor and

an adviser. The program has

already been introduced in

Victoria and the Queensland

Government intends to watch its success there closely before

making any decisions, but the

Teachers' Union intends to

fight the proposal and won't

rule out industrial action. Students deserve

better, they deserve qualified

teachers. Six weeks, teachers

say, doesn't come close.

There's new hope that the

7-year conflict in Darfur could

be coming to an end thanks to a

ceasefire deal. The Sudanese

Government and Darfur's most

powerful rebel group signed a framework agreement at the

weekend which includes a truce.

It followed talks between the

two sides hosted by the President of neighbouring Chad

who's been trying to improve strained ties with

Khartoum. The Sudanese people

in the community, the people of

Darfur and all of us must be

happy that the peace and

happiness is coming back. At a

rally of supporters, Sudan's

president announced he was

commuting death sentences for

100 rebels. The latest deal

paves the way for talks on

security and refugees in Qatar

later this week. Portugal has

declared three days of national

mourning for victim of Madeira's devastating floods

and mud slides. The island's

death toll stands at 42, but

officials say that's likely to

rise. Heavy rain's unleashed muddy torrents which swamped

the streets of the capital.

Hundreds are homeless. They're

being looked after by the

military at temporary shelters.

Rescue workers are still

searching through pile of mud

and debris in the hope of

finding more survivors. The

airport has reopened, allowing

tourists caught up in the

disaster to leave. It sounded

like the ground was shaking,

sounded like thunder, couldn't

work out why and then realised

it was the force of the water coming through the

culvert. More emergency teams

are on the way to help with the

relief effort. Housing feasibility in Australia

crashed in the final three

months of 2009 according to the Housing Industry Association.

A perfect storm of high

interest rates, rising home

prices and the withdrawal of

the Government's stimulus measures saw feasibility tank

in the December quarter. The

peak housing body says it's

unlikely to get better. Affordability will

decline back to low time Wes

had in 2008 and the reason for this, of course, is that interest rates will be higher

and house prices will only be

pushing higher over 2010. Affordability

deteriorated in all capital

cities, and regional areas.

The biggest falls were in

Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart and

Canberra. To other finance

news now, and there were gains on the Australian sharemarket

and around Asia with buyers out

in force. As Alan Kohler

reports, the Australian dollar

jumped sharply as well. With

today's 1.6% gain, the All Ords

is now 5.5% higher than the low

of a fortnight ago and has now

recovered exactly 50% of the

January correction. So I'm

calling it. The Greek

sharemarket tragedy is over, although Greece's problems are

not. Standby now for the

Spanish flu, or maybe it'll be American psycho. Tonight's graphs are a couple of

perspectives on why the US

Government is running such huge

deficits and having trouble

seeing how it can ever balance

the books again. This one

shows the growth in government

spending in America since 1970

compared to the growth in

household income. 221% versus

32%, something is out of whack

there. And this shows taxes

paid by households and benefits

received by them. As you can

see, there's always been a big

gap, with more coming in than

going out in benefits. Now the

American people are effectively

getting their government for

free. They're getting more

back than they're paying out.

Wall Street provided no hint on

Friday that sharemarkets would

start the week with a roar, but that's what happened in Asia

today. Share prices in Japan,

Hong Kong and Korea were all up

by more than 2% and the oil

price in Asia has jumped more

than 2% as well. Here are some

of the highlights from the

local sharemarket today.

Wesfarmers shares continued to

surge after last week's strong

profit result. Resources and

banks all up between 2-3% and

Fairfax shares rose after the company reported a better than

expected half-yearly profit. The Australian dollar has

bounced back above US 90 cents,

more than a cent higher than

Friday night. That's finance.

Another woman who worked at the

ABC in Brisbane has been

diagnosed with breast cancer.

44-year-old Amarita Kinnoo was

employed at the old Toowong

studios as a TV news and

current affairs journalist.

She is the 18th woman who

worked there between 1996 and

2006 to be diagnosed with

breast cancer. The site was abandoned three years ago after

a scientific report concluded

there was a cancer cluster.

There's renewed uncertainty

over next month's IPL Twenty20

cricket tournament. A security

report has apparently advised

cricketers not to play in India

because of a terrorist group.

It's up to independent

cricketers to weigh up the

risks and decide whether or not

to travel there. The

Australian Commonwealth Games'

Association remains determined

to send a team to New Delhi in October. This is Peter Wilkins. This is the state of

play in India, heavy security

before a 1-day match. It's a

cloud which will hoefr over

major events. TRANSLATION:

District police are alert, we

are vigilant and ready to

tackle incidents. Shaun Tait

was at the top of his form in

Australia's win over the West

Indies last night after blazing

efforts by David Warner and

Shane Watson, but he's uncertain about the status of

the IPL. The thing is I'm not

sure who's decision it is at

the moment. We'll find out

more tomorrow in this

meeting. The Australian

Players' Association is

considering a security report which apparently advises

players not to tour. It will

make a statement tomorrow. The International Association

acknowledges the threats. They

are credible. Threats are

threats. There are various

security procedures and

arrangements or whatever that

may be able to dilute to an

acceptable level those sort of

threats. Australia's Commonwealth Games' team is all

systems go, believing the Games

will be more easily secured

than the multicity IPL. Look,

if there was a situation where

we could not have an acceptable level of security we certainly

wouldn't be going, but that's

not the case and we don't envisage that's going to be the

case. Athletes will be able to

make their own decision to tour

what will be a very different

Commonwealth Games'

landscape. That's probably what

concerns me in the back of my

mind, if it is a very

high-level of security whether they're going to be able to

have the full experience is

that athletes have in the

past. There was no gold medal

at stake, but plenty of national pride between the

United States and Canada in

winter Olympic ice hockey. The

huge home crowd was silenced

early on, but Canada soon

levelled the scores. Team USA

surged ahead by 2 goals and

kept the Canadians at bay

thanks to the heroics of goalie

Ryan Miller. A late goal gave

the Americans a 5-3 win and a

place in the quarterfinals.

Just a few months ago, Bode

Miller was considering

retirement. Today he's

celebrating a gold medal

performance after bombing out

in Turin four years ago, the

American skier finally broke

through with a blistering slal

om run in the super combined.

Even then he had to wait for

the last competitor to finish.

Former downhill skier Scott

Kneller was Australia's best

performer of the day, finishing

seventh in the free-style ski

cross. All square, one to

play. Australia's Diamonds

bounced back from Friday's

shock defeat in Liverpool to

beat England 53-48 in the

Second Test. Kate Beveridge

led the Australian shooters

with 31, Natalie Medhurst shot

22. The series decider will be

held in London tomorrow. NSW

is still in with a chance of

making the Sheffield Shield

final after an outright win

over South Australia. Medium

pacer Trent Copeland took

second innings wicket s when

the Blues completed their

biggest win since 1923. I just

would like to dedicate this to never abandoning the need to

find a resolution for

peace. Kathryn Bigelow's

ex-husband James Hopes only won

two technical awards for

'Avatar'. The sci-fi epic won

the major gongs at the Golden

Globes. Colin Firth took out

best actor for his role in 'A

Single Man'. Persistence has

paid off for a young moviemaker

in Sydney after 10 attempts,

Abe Forsythe has taken the top

prize at this year's Tropfest

short film festival. His

winning entry was inspired by

the real-life radio dramas of

Kyle Sandilands. Abe Forsythe

was just 16 when he got the

Tropfest bug and started making

zany 7-minute films. 12 years

on and he hit the jackpot for

'Shock'. Four words I never

thought I would say "Thank you,

Kyle Sandilands". The film is

about a breakfast radio host

inspired by shock Jock Kyle Sandilands. Earlier in the

night the 16 finalists were afforded Hollywood treatment on

the red carpet and honoured

with some of the best. I guess originality, authenticity,

believing the acting. Tens of

thousands gathered in Sydney's

Domain and at live sites around

the country. Picnicking film

lovers and celebrities alike

made up the biggest audiences

any up and coming filmmaker

could hope for. It's huge.

Nothing bigger anywhere in

Australia and there's no other

opportunity to have your film

screened. Tropfest is a

phenomenon that embraces all

new technologies and encourages

just about anybody to make a

movie. This film 'Missing You'

won a new category for films

made on a mobile phone. It was

a perfect moon lit evening and

there was money and prizes

galore. I think women need to

get out there and make great

stories and so totally

accessible. After ten short films, Abe Forsythe is not planning to return. Definitely

the last. Once you've reached

the top, no-one wants to go the

other way. Checking the

weather now, and another hot

night in store after another

hot day, Graham.

Only six days of summer left

and that heat is making up for

wet and cloudy conditions of

the first half of the month.

Temperatures ranged from 35-36

across Sydney, thanks to hot

and dry north-west winds. But

they did help to keep the

humidity low.

The cloud band in southern

NSW is a pre-front-line trough

with the cloud along the

southern coast of Victoria a

front-line system. Both the

front and the trough will cross

the State tomorrow and then a

high-pressure cell will develop

in behind it and the air

associated with the high is dry

and the absence of cold air

with the front will lead to

another warm week ahead.

Accumulated rainfall across NSW

will be less than 5 millimetres

and much of the State will

actually remain dry. Showers tomorrow

very light, very isolated, no guarantee we'll even see them.

just the chance there'll be

enough moisture to produce low

cloud along the coast.

We'll be waiting for that cool

change. Tonight's top stories

again - the Opposition has

stepped up its attack on Peter

Garrett over the scrapped Home

Insulation Scheme, but the

Environment Minister is still

hanging onto his job. Seven

Network owner Kerry Stokes is

merging his media group with heavy equipment company,

WesTrac. And drivers face

higher registration fees to

help pay for the Premier's transport plan. That is ABC

for this Monday. The '7.30

Report' is up next. We'll leave you, though, with the

spectacular scenes at last

night's Chinese new year parade

in Sydney, ushering in the Year

of the Tiger. Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI This Program is Captioned

Live.

Welcome to the program. For

Environment Minister Peter

Garrett, today was a

white-knuckle ride amid

mounting calls for his scalp as

turmoil over his suspended Home

Insulation Program shows no

sign of abating. A

parliamentary inquiry heard today that the Environment

Department did not have the

regulatory framework within which to police safety

requirements and that up to a

quarter of a million homes

either have a sub-standard

insulation or are downright

dangerous. More questions

remain about what happens to

more than 6,000 businesses that rely on the Home Insulation

Program and up to 14,000 people

employed by them. Mr Garrett

toughed out a censure motion in

Parliament, but despite a public backing from the Prime