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: Afternoon Live -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) the end of an era. I will miss

Margaret greatly.

You're watching afternoon

here are the news headlines live on ABC News 24. And now

with Richard Davies. The stories we're following this with Richard Davies. The top

afternoon - Union has decide ed to refer afternoon - the Health Services

allegations Labor MP Craig Thomson to allegations involving Federal

police. Mr Thomson has credit card to pay credit card to pay for

prostitutes when he was its national secretary. national secretary. After meeting in Sydney, the union has decided to refer the allegations to among police. Young children are allegations to NSW

among 11 people who have died

in a horrific house fire

outside of Brisbane. The fire outside of Brisbane. The fire

started in the early hours of the morning destroying the morning destroying the

building that was home to two

Pacific Islander families.

Relatives and friends of the victims have held a prayer service at the scene. The

Australian soldier kill ed in honoured by his fellow soldiers

in Townsville. 26-year-old Private Matthew Lambert died after a

after a bomb detonate ed while he was on patrol in

Afghanistan. He was

Australian soldier to die in the conflict. And there are

concerns that the outbreak of Hendra virus should concerns that the latest

spread across

spread across Queensland's Gold Coast hinterlands. A horse died

from Hendra Valley in the Currumbin Valley late been placed into quarantine and yesterday. The property has

two people and two people and 22 other horses are concerned because of the

area's high horse population. The Health Services Union says it decided to says it decided to refer allegations against Federal

Labor MP Craig Thomson to the NSW Police after uncovering new

material. Mr Thomson denies he

used his union credit card to

pay for prostitutes pay for prostitutes while serve ing as the union's national

secretary. He says the card was secretary. He says the card was

used by someone else who forged

his signature. The union's

Jackson national secretary Cathy

discussed at today's meeting the union's national discussed at today's meeting of

executive. This is a statement

to HSU members from the HSU

national executive - the Ali gaetions against Craig Thomson, the former national secretary

have been a matter of intense

and growing media scrutiny in

recent weeks. Firstly I want to ae re assure members of recent weeks. Firstly I want to

ae re assure members of the

union that the HSU has been

scrupulous in follow ing due

process in relation to the allegations against Mr Thomson.

The union's concerns at all

times have first and foremost within been with interest of its members and the

proper Goance of the union. The

HSU first became aware of the questionable transaction s questionable transaction s in

1988 - 2008. As a result an audit followed audit followed conducting his departure, after further investigations the

investigations the union

engaged Slater and Gordan and BDO Kendalls a respectable

accounting firm to conduct an investigation into the financial affairs of the

national office of the union from 2002 to investigation report s provided

from the national executive in June 2009

June 2009 and established a

basis for suspecting there may have been misuse or mispressing on of union funds The national executive result immediately to

refer those matters to Fair Work Australia in its capacity

as a responsible statutory regulator. Let regulator. Let me emphasise

that the HSU referred the

matter to the regulator with a relative relative statutory responsibility. Fair Work

Australia is a statutory body

matters relating to the finance charged with the

and administration of trade unions and have statutory

powers which enables it to make

are not available to either the inquiries and take action that

union or other authorities. The

HSU has quite properly been

awaiting the outcome of Fair Work Australia's

deliberations. The HSU is fully deliberations. The HSU is fully cooperating with fair work

Australia investigation, with several officer s giving

evidence and the evidence and the union providing all the relevant documents in our Work Australia's appropriate continue to believe that Fair

investigatery body and we will

continue to fully cooperate

with this investigation, we

are currently assessing recognise that the NSW Police

are currently assessing whether the

the criminal offences may have occurred. In these the criminal offences may have

circumstances, and based on the

new material that has come to

light in recent weeks, and to remove any suggestion

impediment of thevation investigation of the NSW Police the national executive has

today resolve ed to refer the matter to the NSW police cooperate with any subsequent

investigation. And that was the national secretary of national secretary of the

Jackson speaking Health Services Union, Cathy

Jackson speaking there a short

pursue of Craig time ago. The prl Opposition's

pursue of Craig Thomson has caused tempers

caused tempers to flare in Parliament. Here is political report er Melissa

Clarke. Enough of the shadow

boxing, the Opposition wants boxing, the Opposition wants

Craig Thomson to enter the

for Dobell motion to require the member

for Dobell to make a statement

to the House. We should not sit

here as a star chamber. The Opposition wan won the vote but not Craig Thomson's

presence. Order! The result of

the division is ayes 73, the division is ayes 73, noes

71. The question is not carriedibly an absolute

majority of hebs as require. It was

was parliamentary brinkmanship.

The Coalition

offer pairs to balance The Coalition refer refused to

absent Labor MPs compel ing the

Government to muster everyone

it could to the chamber. It meant the Arts Minister

couldn't attend Margaret Olley's funeral. Neither Olley's funeral. Neither would Malcolm are above politics and memorial service services are service services are above politics We should have been politics We should have been at that service today. It is not appropriate fors & a funeral to take precedence take precedence over votes take precedence over votes in if the Parliament about the integrity of the

Government. This is just Government. This is just a prelude. Tony Abbott has told colleagues he will

the carbon tax. I think that is

rather childish. If someone is

sick or they have issue s with family members I think the

decent and right thing to do is

to give people a pair on that occasion. This is a very tight Parliament and Parliament and there serious issues that need to be

address and we need to be available for that. Whether

it'sry fusing to pair absent

Labor plps or apply the blow

torch to Craig Thomson, the

Opposition has one motivation

dwsh to upset the finally - -

to upset the finely balance adds every turn its slender one-note majority. Tensions rise with every division. What Australia

is having to sit through is the is having to sit through is the

longest dummy spit in Australian political history

because Tony Abbott is because Tony Abbott is so frustrated and angry that frustrated and angry that he's not Prime Minister. But still

able to mess with the plans able to mess with the plans of the woman who is. the woman who is. Three generations of the one family

are believed to have been killed in the fire that Slacks Creek, south of brides overnight. 11 overnight. 11 people have

feared dead, eight of them

children. The young est victim is thought to have just been

three years old. Police are working with three survivors of

the blaze to try to establish how the tragedy occurred.

Grieving relatives and friends

have hild a player service at

the scene today. Unimaginable, a tragedy beyond all proportions. Some of the words

being used today to describe the fire

the fire that's claimed the lives of 11 people among them as many as teenagers. What is unfolding here is a significant tragedy in terms of loss of human life. And it will affect the

community as a whole in so ways. Neighbours who spotted

the house ablaze and raised the

alarm knew immediately the

human cost would be a terrible

one. I knew there was lots of people that lived in people that lived in there. And it's really sad. It's very

sad. When firefighters arrived

they were confronted with an inferno, fed by exploding gas

tanks. They were faced with a

total engulfment of the build

ing in flame which sin cluesive

of two vehicles parked ex

personal the to building and

also four 45 kilo LPG cylinders also four 45 kilo LPG cylinders

that were went venting quite badly. Police have confirmed

three people were able to

escape the flames. One jumping from a first from a first floor window. My

nephew is alright. He's really

upset. Really sad. But we're still looking for his daughters. But as the

blackened shell of the home

demonstrated today the fire had

been so intense most of those

inside had no chance of escape. This is a very emotional event. I've spoken to

one man this morning whose wife

and five unaccounted and five children are

unaccounted for. I don't think anybody can imagine the pain

that that would involve. In a

year already marked by tragedies in the State of

Queensland, the Premier Anna

Bligh was on the scene again to

offer support to grieving relatives and friends. There are two families who are think people

think people know that the

people of Samoa and Tonga have

a great of family and are very,

very connected to each other.

As you can imagine, this is a serious and devastating trauma.

To a very close knit community. The children attended local schools and counseling teams are available

to help those grieving. We

still don't believe it still don't believe it really happened. They were my cousin and watched them. I couldn't

believe the news I was hoping

it's not true but when I look

at news at the house I knew it was their house. I know the

spirit of God is helping us to

cope with this, but it's really hards. Prayer services were

held at the scene today, local authorities are planning more authorities are planning more

in the days a head to help the community come to terms with

their loss. I admit I am still in

in shock from hering this in shock from hering this and seeing the outpouring of

emotion on site is heart have been working to stabilityise what remains stabilityise what remains of

the structure so specialist an forensic scientists forensic scientists can begin

their investigation. It could take their establish the cause of the fire

and pos ly identify and pos ly identify the victims . This is . This is another community that will remember 2011 as a

year of heart break, a year of

tragedy and wh & year when we

had to reach it and look after

each other. It's Queensland's each other. It's Queensland's worst fire disaster since the blaze at the Childers

backpacker hostel 11 years ago that killed 15 backpackers: And Queensland Police have

been giving the media an update Date on the fatal house Date on the fatal house fire.

With ecan play that for you now. Good afternoon, ladies and

gentlemen. This morning, at Kingston

Kingston in Brisbane, there Kingston in Brisbane, there was

a terrible tragedy. A house fire which resulted, we believe, there the deaths of 11

people. The people who perished

ranged in age from 3 to 47 years years of years of age. We also believe

at this stage that there are

two main groups of deceased who

belong to individual families and there is one further and there is one further person who is also related to one of those families. I wish to place on

on record the condolences and sympathies of the Queensland police service to police service to the extended

families of all of those who perished. And certainly also

the local community. I believe

the community is in shock in

the Kingston area where this tragedy has occurred: There is a significant support structure

being put in place to address

the issues community issues

community issues at Kingston in

terms of the outpouring of

terms of the outpouring of grief that is occurring grief that is occurring down there. There are a large number

of church organisations and

police chaplains have been dis

this morning to assist in that

process. There is also significant support from the

Salvation Army and a support centre has been opened at a Salvation Army facility in Bardon Road

Bardon Road at Slacks

Creek. I'd like to acknowledge

the great work of both the Queensland fire and rescue service and Queensland Police in dealing with this tragedy. Many of our front-line

officers have been confronted with the that's occurred. Certainly there are large numbers of support staff support staff now support staff now working towards the investigation which will report ultimately to the State

State coroner on the State coroner on the out come

of that investigation. Again, I would also like to highlight

the fact that there is a need for privacy, for the

and the community in that area and the community in that area at

at this time and our investigation team will be in place for a significant number

of days while this investigation is undertaken. A investigation is undertaken. A

major incident room has been set up at local police station

and there is a full command

post near the scene of the

tragedy. We will be guarding

the scene, continuously, until

the investigation the investigation is

completed. We are happy to take any questions that you may have. could hand to Mr McKenzie in

relation to that. In relation to the cause it is very, very

early days. I was on scene early days. I was on scene this morning and morning and the crews there

described to me what they described to me what they were faced with. It was a very

intense fire even when intense fire even when they arrived. So working with police investigators the scenes of

crime it will be quite

painstaking process to try to

get the the exact cause and get the the exact cause and it

won't be something that

won't be something that is achieved in the short term. (Inaudible) Queensland fire and rescue service urban search and rescue

teams have been working on site throughout the day, making the floor safe for the

investigators to go in. All I can

can say is it will be as soon

as possible to try to bring some closure to some closure to the families and the community. But obviously safety is the pressing. Are you still treat

treeting it as un

suspicious? Yes, we are at this

point in time. Will you be releasing foet yoets of

Victoria ills? - Victims. I

doubt whether any photo s will

be released in the near future

because those photos become the

property of

of the ongoing investigation.

So so it will be a matter for

the coroner at some stage. (Inaudible) Certainly at

this stage I know that some

ages have been released: I am

simply telling you today at

this time the ageing range between 3 and 47. (Inaudible)

There were 13 people there at

the time. Do we know at the time. Do we know at this early stage whether the early stage whether the people were asleep in the house at the

time? We do understand that

everyone was asleep except one

everyone was asleep except one person. (Inaudible) It's

fairly early at this point of time but that is our understanding. Is there any

indication of how they managed

to get out? Two got out

through windows and one person

was already was already outside.

(Inaudible) One got out from

a bindo at the front of the

premises and another got out from a window at the side. Were there other people

behind them trying to escape,

do they know? I think ultimately the investigation will look into all of will look into all of those facts. This facts. This is facts. This is very, very early

days. You can Majumder how traumatised those three

survivors are. Whilst there has

been some preliminary quishs

made with them, obviously full investigation will be required. Given the ex tent (inaudible) Certainly the intensity of the fire did cause

some superficial damage some superficial damage to neighbours property properly. That was the focus of cruise. Once they realised the rescue was not an option to

protect the properties on each

side. That's what they did about doing. (Inaudible). Certainly at the side of the premises there were four large

domestic gas cylinders all

connected to the house and all

of them were involved in fire and that added to the

problems. There were also two

weeks in the front and the side

all of which posed problems all of which posed problems and risking to the firefighters: You

there were 13 people in the

House and three people SIEV survived. (Inaudible) Sorry, it

wo would be 14, yes.

(Inaudible) How hard will (Inaudible) How hard will it

be to fine out what caused this

fire? The vetting process fire? The vetting process will be a the police investigate

Organisation and the Organisation and the fire

investigators. They do look for

certain trailts and things that point to where the point to where the fire start

and then look into that area

been likely to cause it been likely to cause it and statements from the survivor s will be all-important.

will be all-important. Nl (Inaudible) At this stage

we're no longer to that. I am sure that will form part of the police and coronial

investigation and that will come to light. come to light. Obviously the stiefrs are dealing with a lot

of trauma. How do you manage

that? It is my my understanding that one of those has been

interview but as I said the degree of trauxa's been season dufr

dufr ed suffered 2, hurt and

pain: There will probably need

to be a follow-up investigation

and statements before we can be definitive. (Inaudible) I

understand that one person suffered probably a fractured shoulder shoulder and I think the others

got out OK without any

injuries. (Inaudible) He is

at the moment, yes . How long did it take for emergency

services to arrive? The first

fire crews were on seen in

under seven minutes and the first call first call we received just

after 712:07. There were many triple-0 calls. (Inaudible) For all the emergency service workers on

scene, certainly ail all the

emergency service teams who

offer vied ants to our offer vied ants to our crews,

we try to do that as quick as

possible if they like and that hr happened today and that

support will be ongoing.

(Inaudible) Obviously until the investigation identified

the actual cause cause, we have to treat this as but, at this stage, we haven't got got anything that is deeming got anything that is deeming it to be suspension. The major

ince didn't room is set up as we do with every major

investigation to ensure the

investigation is absolutely thorough and rigorous. Unless would like to ask

would like to ask us. That is where we will leave the media conference being held in

Brisbane by police and fire

authorities. That was about

that horrific fire at Logan City south of Brisbane overnight. 11 people overnight. 11 people are believed dead in that blaze,

including three generations of

the one family. Police saying the victims the victims are aged between 3

and 47. They are treating the

fire as suspicious at the

moment but they say that is

simply because they don't know

what the cause of the blaze is

yet. So they will

treat it as suspicious until

they can determine the cause.

Fire investigation team is

currently trying to make sure

that the floor is stable in

that home to allow people to go

in to restrove those in to restrove those bodies. They're working on that as

quickly as they can and quickly as they can and hope to bring

bring those bod yous out as

soon as they can but they have to make sure the to make sure the structure is safe first of safe first of all. New Zealand apples went on sale in Australia this week but there doesn't appeartor any appetite

for them . After near lay

century, Kiwi export ers have

managed to get through quarantine but getting

them on to supermarket shelves should a greater should a greater struggle. It'sbourne 90 years in It'sbourne 90 years in the making. Send ing apple s to

Australia for us is like

winning the World Cup and the

next World Cup Richie this is

for you. But winning the rugby

World Cup might be easier World Cup might be easier for

New Zealand than Australians to eat Kiwi apples. We don't want them.

We've got plenty of Australian

apples. That's what we apples. That's what we want. Local grown Local grown ams. Hawks producer exporter Apollo Apples

with testing the waters take a crate of its finest to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. It will

be on the tarmac with the fruit

being loaded, a wonderful

experience. Biosecurity

Australia may have given the green light to New Zealand

apples but Australia's big

retailers as yet have not. Both Coles and have no plans or

have no plans or desire to sell

Kiwi apples. At the Kiwi apples. At the Sydney produce market the first New

Zealand im port s are bhairly

get ing a bite. The interest

have been very limit limited to

date.Itis a new I tem and politically sensitive. But exporters believe that over five years their different

varieties will entwice

Australians to eat more apple Australians to eat more apple s. A Australians only s. A Australians only eat

abhalf the number of apples we always the ex-pats. There's a

lot of Kiwiings who live in

Australia and I am sure they're looking forward to eating a

crunch y juicy apple like. This They're tasty. What about the fact that Australians the fact that Australians are patriotic? That's interesting

but I think the taste will win over. How many over. How many people in Australia thought you would drink New Zealand wine and no

it one of the most popular wines in Australia. New Zealand

growers hope ap ms the follow the same sales trajectory in Australia

Australia as Kiwi Business reporter Elise

Morgan joins us now. The share market has been on another roller-coaster

roller-coaster ride today. It has. It's has. It's been really been a

choppy day of trade. Rose 1.a

#3b8g9 off the back of a strong

close on Wall Street. But that

rally was cut short around

midday with traders telling

with some gains under their belt. It's since #3ikd up again and the All and the All Ords is up around -

it's now up around seven points

so it's lost those gains

shortly before the close. To shortly before the close. To look at some stocks now.

Qantas airlines chief

executive believes the airline

is undervalued and investors

would be better off putting

their money in the bank. His

comments came as

released a 123% jump in full

year net profit. Totally 250

million dollars. The airline's million dollars. The airline's

underlying profit which sits

preferred maeshure came in at

$552 million. Mr Joyce says the

company's current share price

is frankly is frankly disappointeding. To

put it in context e, we're a $15 billion business, we're making $550. I know that's a

lot of money in a lot of people's book bus for a $15

million business that represent

less than a 4% return so shareholders and other

investors would be better

putting the money in the bank

tb. We're now halfway through

the Australian company

reporting season. Seven Westmeada has reported Westmeada has reported 115

million dollars maiden profit

and Suncorp methway released a 42% fall down to 453348 dollars because of costs from disasters this year. Martin Lakos says the results are representative representative of the mixed bag

it's been so far. Very much

becoming a period of thes have and the have nots in

perm terms of the corps perm terms of the corps raetd

world. The industrial sector is

the weaker. We will now the weaker. We will now come

through the fourth consecutive year of negative earnings

growth. Clearly the growth. Clearly the brother market is being supported by the some the some services but it's very much if industrials are doing it

tough. They're shed ing jobs as

a part of that cost cut ing process. Certainly some science

of a dividends being lift and

we've seen good we've seen good performances out of companies like out of companies like Telstra,s

we farmers and coca-cola where

share Bryces carried their diffends after they've gone

ex-. Very much a mixed season

at this stage. Toyota Australia has unveiled its new Camry

model after months of any the car industry manufacturing industry. Toyota

hopes it the mostly sun car

will help to security 16,000

jobs around the country. The

skills and knowledge that our people have are a vital and integral part of integral part of Toyota in this

country we will do anything we can to sustain their employment. Toyota employment. Toyota halved production and reduced er workers hours at the Altona plant when the destroy fltd the tsunami in

Japan. I will be back next hour

with a look at how the market

finished. Le's hope it's finished. Le's hope it's up. A judge has dismissed all charges against the former IMF chief Dominique chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Bringing down the curtain on the sensational sexual the sensational sexual assault case that destroyed his career

and provoke ed scandal on both

sides of the Atlantic. The case

lapsed fee Three months after a

house teerp - three months house teerp - three months

after a housekeeper claimed she

was attacked . Dominique

Strauss-Kahn is now free of all charges of sexual assault. Unless you have been

falsely accused of a very

serious crime that you did not

commit, it is impossible for

you to understand or grasp the

full measure of relief that

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Dominique Strauss-Kahn feels

today. Prosecutors gave a

scathing assessment of his she had repeatedly lied to them

to the point where they

couldn't trust her version of

events. The com plinant was untruthful with us in untruthful with us in virtually

if ry substance of interview

despite our repeat and

encouraged her to be truthful. Particularly devastating to the Stace Case devastating to the Stace Case a fabricated account of fabricated account of the woman

gave of being raped in her home country but spores say power

and influence has trumped justice. If Strauss-Kahn was a bus driver from the South

bronchs, do you really think -

Bronx, do you think really the the Manhattan district attorney

would care about what was in

his assume ideal application? Dfs dramatic to Dfs dramatic to tend. An earthquake striking as New York

ice district attorney spoke ice district attorney spoke to reporters: Pounded by an

international media international media pack.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn thanks

his family and said he'd

planned to go back to France. Fund chief still faces a civil

suit but gets his passport back

tomorrow. The headlines might

take longer to fizzle.

take longer to fizzle.

You're watch ing afternoon

live on ABC News 24. Stay with

us. A reminder us. A reminder there's news

sport and weather when you want

it on our website.