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

Live. This morning on News 24, the grant plan to save the the grant plan to save the Murray-Darling Basin. To plan a

proposed is really a world basin in the way that is being

first. The plan that's been released today would be a dagger to the heart of regional

Australia.

Also today - Hungary's toxic

sludge claims another three

lives. Australian athletes

continue to dominate the

And getting even - how to take Commonwealth Games in

advantage of the strong Aussie

dollar.

Good morning, you're ABC News 24 this Saturday, I'm

Jane Hutcheon. It should be

fine in Melbourne and Adelaide

today, showers in Sydney and Hobart, rain easing in and a Hobart, rain easing in Brisbane

and a top of 33 in Darwin. It could be the plan that re stores the health of the rivers and wetlands of the Murray-Darling Basin, but the big win for the comes at a huge cost to irrigators. The highly anticipated first volume of the Murray-Darling Basin plan cuts

the water allocations of some farmers

farmers by almost a half. Its at thers admit their plan will

wipe at least $1 billion off farm production. It is the

river system that feeds the Australia's agriculture relies nation.

on the rivers of the

Murray-Darling Basin. It is also home to

also home to 30,000 wetlands.

But years of drought and irrigation farming has irrigation farming has changed

the landscape. Now, the first

steps are being taken to turn

it around. It this is

extraordinary, so let's be very

clear. First of all, to plan a

basin in the way that is being

proposed is really a world

first. The report pits the

environment against agriculture and it is the environment

wins. It recommends returning

between 3000 and 4,000 gigalitres of water to the

between rivers of the basin. That's

between 6 and 8 times the volume of Sydney Harbour. I've identified that social economic impacts are going to identified that social and

be very significant already at

the 3000 level. We think they are just beyond management for

4,000 plus. We've not to do beyond that in the 4,000 plus. We've not chosen

proposals we put forward. The

biggest impact will be felt by farmers. The plan that's dagger to the heart of regional

Australia. It would cost

thousands of jobs. It could

force food prices up and it

would threaten the viability of many communities in the Murray-Darling average, water allocations will

be slashed by about a third.

But it's much worse in catchments. Farmers in the But it's much worse in some

Goulburn, Broken Lodden, moon Sri Lanka, Murrumbidgee you have haven't and Warrego

regions could lose 45 per cent of the their water. If you

take 45 per cent from the area for all intents and

purposes is decimated. We

were fearing the worst. The information that's come out this guideline is even worse information that's come out of

than we expected. The proposals

contained in this act of

Parliament when implemented

will make major and significant

negative impacts on many of

these rural and regional communities The report makes it

clear just how significant. It

estimates 800 jobs will be lost

and 17 per cent, or more than

$1 billion a year will be wiped off agricultural that's a conservative The basin authority admits

prediction. To say you can take out 30 per cent of the main input to irrigated

in the basin and cost just 800

jobs or 1 per cent, does not

pass the laugh test. That is a pass the laugh test. That is a

joke. At the lower end of

this this will cost 17,000 jobs in New South Wales alone, with

an annual hit to an annual hit to the economy of

2.4 billion. The Water Minister

give up their says no-one will be forced to

entitlement. Absolutely not. If you

water you don't sell your water. But the environment was

given priority over the economy. We take out far economy. We take out far too

much water from the basin and

as a consequence, the entire

Murray-Darling Basin is collapsing. We've lost 90 per

cent of our floodplain wetlands

and along with that, almost 80

per cent of our bird life has gone. It is hoped a return of

water will re-invigorate bird

and fish life and address

salinity by keeping the mouth

of the time. You have the

various difference irrigator

groups out crying blue murder

over these figures when this is

the very minimum. This is the very minimum that the authority

says we need if we're to save the system. This is the of three reports and just the the system. This is the first

start of what is sure to start of what is sure to be a long running battle. The solution won't come cheap. It will cost the Federal

Government at least $6 billion to buy back water for

environment pal flows. Then

there's the cost of the battle

with the States who have ultimate control over water resources. Everyone's promising plenty of consultation. Everybody will get to have

their say about what is in the report. That will begin public meetings next week and report. That will begin at

continue for the next four months. The Federal Water

Minister, Tony Burke, says the

Government will consult stake

holders to draw up a plan for

the basin by late next year. At

the end of all of this, we end

up with a basin plan that is

survive disallow wants in put forward by me that

either house of the Parliament.

next year. At the Let's not jump to the end of

next year. At the moment,

there's a major period of consultation and if that

consultation works, then I do

believe we can find a believe we can find a way through this. That's Tony

Burke, water economist Quentin

Grafton told ABC News 24 while

he's predicting between 7 to

9,000 job losses, there may be

lost anybody if nothing is done

to help the basin. Business as

jobs will usual can't continue. Those

do something in the basin and deal with

deal with the ecosystem decline

we've got. We've got to we've got. We've got to do

something now and before we get the big

the big hits that potential could happen and further droughts, let's put the money

on the table, let's help the

people who need the help now,

let's fix the environment and

that's actually help those

communities. Trying to stop

the tied coming in by saying

let's keep business as usual is

not going to work. It's not going to work for the people in

terms of their jobs and it's

not going to work for the

community. What I'm arguing and I think thaets and I think thaets let's get water into the community, help

in may more effective way in may more effective way than

currently planned and let's

move forward. I'm

to trivial lies it. I'm simply

say we've got to make it change

and let's make the change now

and let's do it with and let's do it with the money that we've got on the table. Professor Quentin

Grafton there. Dr Ian pros ser

is a science director at is a science director at the

water for a healthy country

program at the CSIRO and he

joins us now from studio. Good morning. Communities in the basin say

the cuts proposed to water allocation are just too

drastic. What's your view?

Good morning, Jane. First of all, I think everybody recognises that there is overuse

overuse of water in the basin.

If re-look back to the recent

drought, we had cuts for the

first time in water use of 30 to 50 per cent. By anyone's

measure that's an un

sustainable system.

Allocations fell, so the total water use fell cent for the first time ever in the history of the Murray-Darling Basin. Murray-Darling Basin. Wetlands dried up, the lower lakes

started drying up. We had

dying rivers and dying rivers and wetlands, we had water sharing plans that

were suspended. By anyone's measure, that was not sustainable water management

and this plan is hoping to

address that situation, put us on a more sustainable

footing. Is what you're saying that all these predictions

including those predictions of thousands of jobs lost, that's whether the plan is put whether the plan is put into

place or not? What the report

does it lays out very clearly

the major trade the major trade offs. We have

competing uses of water in the

basin. We've now recognise the environment there are environment need water and

there are economic benefits there are economic benefits of

that environment water as that environment water as well. We have diverse economies in

the basin as well as irrigated

agriculture. It agriculture. It also

recognises if we return large volumes of water to the environment, there economic costs. There will be

job losses, some of the smaller communities could be communities could be very

adversely affected. I have a

lot of sympathy for people in

those communities. A very

uncertain time for them. I've

relatives in some of those

communities. But there is

overuse in the basin and there

are major costs either way.

We're really looking at a major

trade offs here and probably what we're trying to look at

here is are here is are their better ways.

Are there win situations we can

get, can we reduce this get, can we reduce this tension between water use for irrigation for towns and water for the environment. Are

ways of making the system more

efficient. A smarter water management where we can have

viable irrigation and re sill

ynt ecosystems. What is ynt ecosystems. What is this

going to do our food supply.

Are we going to have to up the imports if the amount of water to irrigators is Australia is a net exporter food and and as your item pointed out, the Murray-Darling Basin is critical for that. With increased efficiency, if

we look at the recent drought, the predictions the predictions of reductions in agriculture, in agriculture, the realisation

was not quite a dire as the

predictions because there was a

lot of adaptation. Irrigators

and other farmers are very

resilient, they change their

crop types, they change their farm businesses. They're a variable predictions of

economic impact and it economic impact and it comes

down to how adaptable farmers

will be. Thanks so much for

joining us this morning on ABC News 24. Thanks, Jane. Treasure

Wayne Swan is in the United

States meeting States meeting US Treasury

Secretary Timothy Geitner and

as our Washington

correspondent, Lisa Millar,

told me earlier, Mr Swan will

be taking part in several

meetings with reps from the International Monetary Fund,

the world bank and G20

to these meetings as the

representative of a country

that has one of the strongest that has one of the strongest economies globally, so much discussion and much looking what Australia is doing, and he

spoke to CNN just a couple of

hours ago about the Australian

economy. The Australian economy is very strong. economy is very strong. If

you're sitting around the table

here at the IMF, Australia's

economy is one of the economy is one of the strongest

among advanced economies. We

didn't go into recession. We've had very strong We've had very strong employment growth, unemployment in Australia is in the United States, we have a

very strong pipeline of

investment happening in

Australia, and of course we are

back on track to bring our

budget back to surplus by budget back to surplus by 2013.

I think the value of the

current sti tends to reflect the underlying strength of the

Australian economy and the view

thant national investors have

of the Australian of the Australian economy, despite all of the international international uncertainty that we experience. That's Wayne

Swan speaking of course in your

patch. Lisa. Also in your patch House figure is leaving. This

can't be good timing given the

midterm elections are just

around the corner? It's starting to

starting to look a little like

a stampede even though the White House is adamant that

this is what you should expect

two years into a new

administration. It is a 24

administration. It is a 24

hour a day job and people do

suffer burnout. Jim Jones, the

national security director, had

indicated to the president when

he was asked to take on the job that he would only make it to

the two year point, but some people thought perhaps he wait until after the midterm elections to go. Of course,

you and I have spoken you and I have spoken about economic advisers that economic advisers that have

pulled the plug over the pulled the plug over the last

month and others month and others that are set

to leave. The President, as

you say, has just three weeks

to go. He's not on the ballot for the midterm elections for the midterm elections but

the democratic party is and the

control of Congress. Today

just touching back on those

economic discussions, economic discussions, the US saw unemployment put at 9.6 per cent and they're

the last jobless figures that the last jobless figures that America is going to see before

the midterm elections and

there's no amount of positive spin that can spin that can be found to do anything other than to make

those figures look as bleak as

they are, 9.6 per cent, another

95,000 jobs lost last month in

America. The President hasn't

had a good day all around. Lisa

Millar there. Still to come Millar there. Still to come on ABC News 24, gaoled Chinese Liu Prize, sparking renewed Prize, sparking renewed calls

for his release. A reminder of the top stories

on ABC News 24. The draft plan for the Murray-Darling Basin

has proposed cuts of up to 45

per cent for water allocation

for farmers. The authors of the plan admit the blueprint

will see around $1 billion lost

from farm production. And

financial analysts say it is a

matter of when, not if, parity with the Greenback. The

dollar was tipped to match the American currency overnight,

but it's currently sitting at around 98 US cents. around 98 US cents. And Hungary's toxic sludge disaster has claimed another three lives

but government but government officials say the River Danube, a major

source of drinking water, has been saved from environmental

catastrophe. And a quick look

at the weather, showers in

Sydney and Hobart, rain easing

in Brisbane, and a top of 33 in

Darwin. It should be fine in

Melbourne and Adelaide today.

As we heard earlier from Lisa

Millar, the White House Millar, the White House isn't hiding its disappointment over the latest

the latest jobs figures. The

September report was worse September report was worse than expected showing a loss of 95,000 jobs. Growth of 64,000 private sector jobs was private sector jobs was offset

by larger than expected layoffs

in the public sector. It is

the last jobs report before the midterm elections and with unemployment unemployment stuck at 9.6 per

cent a nearly 15 million

Americans out of work, the US President acknowledged more

needs to be done. Those weak

jobs figures were tipped to

push the soaring Australian

dollar to parity with the

Greenback overnight, it didn't quite give it the boost it

needed to reach 1 US dollar but

analysts say it's a matter of

when, not if. While that's

good news for those eyeing an overseas holiday, other Australians actually stand Australians actually stand to

lose money. Brigid Glanville reports. Australia reports. Australia is seen as a

safe haven for investors. The

mining boom and interest rates of

return on their money. A far

cry from the US, Japan and parts of Europe where interest

rates are close to zero. But

it's bad news exporters. For everyone per cent appreciation of the

Australian dollar, it takes

about $210 million off the balance of Australian

balance of Australian exports. The high Australian dollar has seen people take a record

number of holidays overseas.

In the past year, nearly In the past year, nearly 7

million trips were made to knees ya, the United knees ya, the United States,

the UK and Thailand. While airlines, it now means ,

though, the domestic tourism is

struggling. I think that's one

of the things in the long-term whether we want whether we want overseas people to come into Australia or domestic people to travel domestic people to travel to

our destinations, we need to be good at promoting them. The

Australian dollar has last at parity in July 1982. Some

analysts are even predicting analysts are even predicting it may go above the 100 US cent mark. Our forecasts have 102.

It could trade up to is really an unchartered

territory and it depends on how the economic circumstances

unfold. The latest Japan has

just approved a new economic still must package worth more

than $60 billion, a sign their

economy is weakening, making Australia's all the Australia's all the more attractive. The Chinese dissent Liu Xiaobo dissent Liu Xiaobo has been

awarded the Nobel Peace awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

He's currently serving an 11

year gaol sentence for signing

a charter for political

pre-form. He also took part in pre-form. He also took part in the Tienamin Square demonstrations

1989. The award has angered Beijing. The Chinese Government

suspected this was coming, but

it didn't make it any more palatable. The Nobel

Committee has decided to award

the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010

to Liu Xiaobo for overtwo decades Liu Xiaobo decades Liu Xiaobo has been a

strong spokesman for the application of application of fundamental

human rights in China. Liu

Xiaobo will not be accepting

his award in person.

serving an 11 year sentence for

subversion after leading a subversion after leading a move

to petition the government for

basic human rights basic human rights and democratic freedoms. The po

yet and academic has a long history of

history of activism history of activism demanding Chinese authorities allow a

more open society. He's paid a

heavy price and has been gaoled

a number of times. He was

credited with saving many students by persuading leave Tienamin Square just

before the troops moved in.

Before he was imprisoned, he

explained why he continued to push for

In China I just want to be an honest and dignified

intellectual writer. If you

try to be that, you will definitely clash with the political system political system in this country. Not surprisingly, the

Chinese Government was hardly

embracing the news. The foreign ministry website

described him as a criminal described him as a criminal who broke Chinese law. Earlier broke Chinese law. Earlier a government spokesman said the decision goes against the

principles of the Nobel Prize. It was

It was and obscene says

authorities and will harm

relations between in-China manor whether he knows eset one the honour. honour. His wife says she'll

travel 300 kilometres to the prison to tell him. TRANSLATION: In Tienamin

Square in 1989 lots Square in 1989 lots of people lost their lives, but lost their lives, but he

survived a massacre, so he has

to speak out for those who are

dead and can't speak for themselves. The prize will no doubt focus attention on

China's human rights record and

may encourage more to demand may encourage more to demand

change. It's let more people

know that if you striving for freedom, equal rights, and constitutional democracy, more

and more people understand and

support this kind of deeds. Calls to deeds. Calls to free Liu Xiaobo

are expected to intensify, but

if history is any guide the

pressure from home and abroad

may have limited effect. Phillip Williams, ABC Phillip Williams, ABC News. There's been an impressive medal haul impressive medal haul for Australia at the Commonwealth

Games overnight , particularly in the pool where veteran Geoff Huegill has put in a personal Rowland reports from

Delhi. What a night here at the

Delhi quad tick centre. Australia picked up 7 of the 11 gold

gold medals on offer, by gold medals on offer, by far the biggest win was Geoff Huegill's victory in the 100

metre butterfly event, cracking

gold in what has been his big come back games and in doing

so, smashing his very own

Commonwealth rrd set way back

in 2002 at the Manchester games. Other winners included

Liesel Jones in the 100 breast

folk and . Nugent say very happy man. It doesn't come much doesn't come much better than that. Would

that. Would you mind if we took

you through a number of them.

Geoff Huegill, what do you say?

We talked about him last

night. He's sensational.

We're coming in on the bus and

I said do you reckon you can

get this done tonight, and he

said if he's not too far way.

He planned his race well. I

think just being level at think just being level at the

50 gave Geoff a lot of

confidence and he showed his

true class to true class to swim away from him. Smashed his own games record in

record in the process? Yes.

His lifetime best time. At 31

after having 6 years out of the business, it's

amazing. Anything stopping him now? I don't know. He was all

about the Commonwealth Games.

Go home, have a think about it

and obviously I'll be talking

to him. How about race to him. How about race 2, 31-year-old to a girl 14 31-year-old to a girl 14 only

nine days ago. How about that?

Yes. She has been inconsistent in her racing in the and packs which you expect

from a young inexperienced

athlete. She's been here and been a bit up and down, but to

do that in the 50 tonight against absolute class against absolute class act just tremendous result. How tremendous result. How much of

a confidence win is a win like

that for somebody so young?

Any great swim boosts their

confidence. Confidence is a

fragile thing. They could come

out tomorrow and maybe swim off

it a little bit and the

confidence quickly goes. It is

important to know that you perform, but it won't always

happen. Lot more action coming

up on day six of the up on day six of the games including the first of the including the first of the big street events, the 20 kilometre

male and female walk finals. How will Delhi's traffic cope. In Delhi this is Michael

Rowland for ABC News. More to the games with Amanda Shalala. Australia's done pretty well

out of the pool too? Yes, really really good results all around. It's been a green and goldrush at the Commonwealth Games with

Australia still on top of the medal tally just two shy of a century. The the gymnastic programs with two more golds

more golds to Lauren Mitchell on beam and Joshua on beam and Joshua Jefferis in

the barrel bars. The archery team took out the team took out the men's

recurve, Michael Diamond and Adam Vella and Simplice Ribouem

won the 8 5 kilometre

weightlifting tooilt title.

The Daniel Ellis, and The Daniel Ellis, and Scott

Sunderland won the team sprint. Cameron Myer Cameron Myer won his third gold

of the games in the men's 20 of the games in the men's 20

kilometres scratch race. The die mappeds undefeated in netball after a big win over netball after a big win over

Malawi and likely to face

England in the ceremonies.

Emily Seebohm, Marieke Felicity Galvez and Alicia

Coutts took out 94 by 100 freestyle relay. Liesel Jones,

Sophie Edington and Ben Austin

also won gold in their respective events.

respective events. And she had to leave last year's world

championships in Rome due to

the death of her brother in a car car accident. Peter George

looks set to take his looks set to take his test

cricket debut for Australia in

the second test against India

in Bangalore starting this afternoon. The afternoon. The Aussies were

narrowly defeated by India in a

dramatic first test and need dramatic first test and need to

win this match to level the

series. He will replace Doug Bollinger. Ricky Ponting still

searching for his first win as captain in the subcontinent. captain in the subcontinent.

I want to be able to change the captaincy record thing here. All can I do is give myself the best chance of being able to do

that and the people, we that and the people, we felt last week we last week we gave ourselves a

great chance to win that

game. Back home now in national one day cup, an

unbeaten century to Brad Hodge has helped Victoria to a

massive 113 run win over

Western Australia in Perth. Shane Harwood was Shane Harwood was the pick of the bushranger's bowlers the bushranger's bowlers with career best figures of 6 for

46. While sook Roos 46. While sook Roos coach Holger Osieck says all of the

players involved in this week's training camp with a chance selection against Paraguay selection against Paraguay in

Sydney. The match is part of

Australia's lead up to the Asia

cup which is early next year in Qatar. Gold keeper Mark Schwarzer will captain the side in the absence of the injured

Lucas kneel. It is not just

this game and this game is all

about. It is about coming home

and playing on home soil for

the first time for a while, showing the public rewarding

the public for the support

they've given us, but also

trying to do new things, get

the new ideas into play. The

A-League's first ever local

Derby has seen Melbourne Heart

triumph over Melbourne Victory

2-1. Hart prize recruit gave the the league newcomers the

opening goal of the match.

Cruise showed expert control to

make it one-all at halftime.

The defendant touch game

heart a memorable first up win.

The Hart had to survive the

last 20 minutes with 10 men on the pitch after a player the pitch after a player was send off with a second yellow. It needed the win, plus first Derby, it was good to score the

first goal in the local

It goes down in history. We won the first local Derby Timana Tahu has Derby Timana Tahu has been

accused of making a racial slur

to an Aboriginal teenager last

weekend. A formal complaint has now been lodged with the

ARL indigenous ARL indigenous council with claims Tahu directed a claims Tahu directed a racist comment to a 16-year-old opponent while playing in an indigenous competition put on the New South Wales Central

Coast. Earlier this left the Blues State of Origin camp in relation to Andrew

Johns using the same slur in describing Queensland's Greg

Inglis. Tahu has denied the claims. Holden V8 driver Jason

Bright will be unlikely man to

beat. The 1998 Bathurst 1,000

winner has qualified fastest ahead of favourites Craig

Lowndes and Jamie Whincup.

Bright says he was surprised

business his effort but Lowndes

will be pretty tough will be pretty tough to

overcome after he smashed Greg Murphy's so-called lap of the

gods record in a minutes 6 point 8 seconds. And

the new women's national

basketball league season basketball league season has

kicked off with wins to all

three away teams. Sydney Uni

beat the fire in Townsville,

Logan downed the AIS Brisbane and Dandenong was too

good for the lightning in Adelaide.

Taking a look at the weather

now, and thick cloud over the

far east in an offshore trough

is generating heavy rainfall in South-East Queensland. Patchy

cloud is spreading across

cloud is spreading across the

tropics as humid air is dragged east causing

northern WA. Around the

states, and Queensland should

see rainfall easing in the south-east, but showers south-east, but showers and thunderstorms continuing in the tropics and about the east coast. about the east coast. In New

South Wales, scattered

South Wales, scattered showers are expected on the north coast

and adjacent ranges and over the northern slopes and plains.

Isolated showers possible over the northern and the northern and central

inland. A fine and mostly

sunny day is expected for

Victoria, apart from some

isolated morning showers about the south-west and coasts. Scattered showers

expected in the west and far south of Tasmania with south of Tasmania with isolated

showers moving over the rest of

the south-east during the

evening. Light

clearing over the South

Australian coast with isolated

morning fog and frost morning fog and frost east of

the ranges. It theing fine

elsewhere. WA, elsewhere. WA, isolated showers expected in the

south-west this evening as well

as in the Kimberley and Pilbara

regions. In the Northern regions. In the Northern Territory afternoon showers and

storms expected around the Top

End. Looking ahead, End. Looking ahead, showers

for most of the capitals, sunny and and 25 in Melbourne and a top

of 33

The top stories from ABC News

- the Federal Opposition - the Federal Opposition says regional towns deserve to

regional towns deserve to know exactly how plans to restore the health of the health of the Murray-Darling Basin will

affect them. The Murray-Darling Basin Murray-Darling Basin Authority is calling for water consumption from some of

basin's river systems to basin's river systems to be

slashed by almost a slashed by almost a half to

secure the region's future. If it could mean losses of up to $1 billion a year agricultural production. The gaoled Chinese dissent Liu Xiaobo Xiaobo has been Nobel Peace Prize. Nobel Peace Prize. He's

serving an 11 year gaol sentence for signing a charter calling for political reform.

China says he isn't a suitable

recipient for the award. The death toll from Hungary's toxic

sludge disaster has reached 7 as relief teams continue as relief teams continue to

clean up the caustic mess. The spill happened on on dy when a

reservoir burst as an alumina plant in western. plant in western. And

financial analysts say it is a

matter of when not if the Australian Australian dollar reaches

parity with the Greenback. The

dollar was tipped to match the

American currency overnight but it's currently sitting it's currently sitting at

around 98 US cents. Pollution

levels from the red sludge

spill in Hungary have subsided,

but the death toll is rising. but the death toll is rising.

Two more bodies have been found during the clean up

during the disaster has died in

hospital. Winsome Denyer reports. Relief team reports. Relief team workers

made the grim discovery in a

park where the torrent of sludge passed sludge passed through on

Monday. The 6th victim of hung

ae toxic spill was carried away

in a casket. A reservoir overflowed at an alumina plant

in western Hungary flooding surrounding towns with 1.1 million cubic metres of the

thick red sludge. There is

some good news. officials say the River Danube has been saved from environmental catastrophe. When the toxic core rent

reached the major waterway, it

threatened to contaminate the

water supply of five water supply of five European countries, but Hungary's interior minister says the spill has spill has not affected spill has not affected the

drinking water so far. TRANSLATION: We're

continuously monitoring it, so

I think when it gets further

downstream it will not be of an

extent which would cause

biological or environmental damage. been trying to dilute the

content of Monday's spill by

dumping tonnes of clay and dumping tonnes of clay and compounds into local waterways.

Tests on the PH Tests on the PH level of the rivers have been encouraging. TRANSLATION: It

was organised and the situation

is still under control. is still under control. We

have to prepare for a long-term protection

protection effort, possibly the

amount of chemicals added amount of chemicals added to the water will also be

reduced. What caused the contaminant reservoir to burst remains unknown. Officials in

Chile have been rehearsing evacuation procedures for the moment they can start winching

the 33 trapped miners to surface. Rescuers say they could reach the men within the next 24 hours. Around the clock

vigil has begun here now. The miner's families trying to

contain their impatience knowing the knowing the next knowing the next key breakthrough could come at breakthrough could come at any moment. Two months of moment. Two months of waiting and worrying TRANSLATION: We're all a bit

more this nervous this morning. We're trying to find ways We're trying to find ways to

keep calm. Somlyay some

are pacing up and down but I'm trying to stay still. The plan

B drill here is now just 40 metres above

metres above the trapped

miners. That's about half miners. That's about half a

day's drilling, all go well.

There are three drills involved

in the rescue operation. But

plan B is in pole problems it's expected to reach

the trapped men within the next

few hours. Engineers will few hours. Engineers will then inspect the entire length of

the shaft by video. Rescuers are already planning to line

the first part of it with the first part of it with steel

tubing because the rock is

weaker and might collapse. If

that's all the reinforcing the

tunnel needs, the rescue could

start within two or three days,

but if they need to line more

of the shaft, it could take up

to 10 days to start bringing

the men out. After so long without

will be given these special

glasses to protect their

eyes. TRANSLATION: They're in

excellent condition down there. Very

optimistic. Above the rescue

shaft a new crane has shaft a new crane has now

arrived. It will be used to

lower the reinforcing tubes and then to bring the miners out in

specially built escape pods.

We may be halfway up a desolate

hillside in the foothills. Andes but over the past two up here. Of course, there are the relatives of the trapped miners in their tents and

cabins. Their children have a school to go to here. There's school to go to here. There's a cafeteria, clinics, officers and of course the rescue

workers themselves and now half

the world's media drawn here by

this extraordinary tale of

survival. 700 metres down, the

men are keeping busy clearing

rubble and making sure they

stay slim enough to fit through

the narrow rescue tunnel when freedom finally beckons. The

monsoon season is taking hold

in south eefts and central

Asia. Flash flooding in central Vietnam has left 48

dead and more than 100,000

houses damaged. Dozens of ships have sunk or been

damaged. The government has

deployed 900 troops with deployed 900 troops with more

than 1.5 million tonnes of food

aid. The region has seen more

than double the usual rainfall.

Meanwhile, 91 people have been

killed and 68 are missing in killed and 68 are missing in

Indonesia. Flash Indonesia. Flash floods have devastated various communes and

communications lines have communications lines have been cut. The government scrambled

to get flies to the hardest hit region. The death toll is

expected to rise. Back cotton growers in Central Queensland won't be so dependent on irrigation allocations this year. Unseenal wet weather has raised

hopes of a bumper crop. Grain growers are ruing the growers are ruing the rain which has caused widespread terrible. We've been just climbing the walls trying to

get out of here. We're sick of

being in the workshop. We

should have our crop off and in

the silos by now.

It is just unseason Ally wet.

It broke records for rainfall

for this region in the 150

years of rainfall records.

It's caused a lot of damage to our crops. starting to sprout, the unharvested seed is going

shoots out of it. It's

downgraded from high quality milling wheat down to stock feed. If you have a look at

the seed, you can see there's little shoots of grain off the

tips of the wheat and the downgrades will be quite

significant. I've got significant. I've got 2000

acres of winter crop in moment.

1300 wakers of chick pee.

There's 700 of wheat. Last year we year we had perfect harvesting

conditions. We had a very good

wheat harvest last year and my

contractors that harvest contractors that harvest for me go go right down to southern parts

Victoria, sorry, and they had Victoria, sorry, and they had a dream run all the way dream run all the way through. Yes, this is quite Yes, this is quite con

contrasting from last year. He's actually having to spraying my neighbour's chick

pee at the moment. Normally they wouldn't have to. It's ripe penned at this time of the season. The rains made it come any more seed, but it makes any more seed, but it makes it

very difficult to harvest.

He's having to spray it to kill

the plant so we can harvest.

We're probably looking at an

extra $20 a hectare to do that. That's something you wouldn't have budgeted for. In terms of cotton, it

cotton, it is good. A full

profile of moist ter to plant

the cotton. It is a good start

to the season. Disappointing

for our grains that are the moment. They're due to be harvested in the next week or

two. There's going to be significant significant losses with the

grain. On the upside, we do

have a full dam, things have a full dam, things are positive and we look forward to

growing the season. In the

Central Highlands here. Some areas of

areas of the Central Highlands

received up to five times received up to five times our average rainfall for the

season. This rainfall that we've seen has we've seen has helped with

preparing a seed bed and with

good soil moisture growers can plan some irrigation water. We're talking over 400,000 heck days for the nation. That puts our national

production over 3 million bales of cotton which of cotton which we haven't produced since 2001-2002. I've

got to look at the bright side of

of this event. Cattle graziers

around the region will do well. It's given us It's given us excellent

opportunities for spring and

summer crops, sorghum, dry land

cotton, corn and sun cotton, corn and sun flowers.

If we look on the bright side of things there opportunities have come out of this event as well.

John Lennon's widthio Yoko

Ono is still getting over the

death of her husband on the death of her husband on the eve

of what would have been his

70th birthday. The beetle

singer was gunned down outside

his New York apartment 30 years

ago. Yoko Ono said it was very

hard to deal with. the Imagine Peace Tower in

Iceland to mark his birthday. Rove McManus has won the top

gong at a popular's kid's choice ha ward for the third

time in a row. McManus has

been off air for a year and had

to be flown in from the United

States for the event. The popular entertainment emerged from a slime

from a slime fountain at the Sydney Entertainment Centre to

accept the award. American actress Phillip Williams is actress Phillip Williams is set to play Marilyn Monroe in a new movie. It will be based around opposite Sir Laurence Olivier

in London. The film named "my week with Marilyn" will

chronicle a week in the life of the star as had he escapes the

Hollywood routine for life in

Britain. The demolition of

prominent landmark Lonsdale

house to make way for the redevelopment of a Myers store

has led to the formation of a

new lobby group. new lobby group. Melbourne

heritage action is attracting a

new generation of citizen activists. The group's president is a archaeologist with a passion for historic

Melbourne born, grew up in Carlton and I'm an

archaeologist by profession.

Having travelled all over the

world, lived in many other cities, I always really come

back to Melbourne for its

really unique charm and its really unique charm and its character. The wonderful feeling that you times and places, past events. 25-year-old Rupert man was so

incensed at the treatment of Mel weren't's architectural past that he decided to sets up

an action group I'med at pressure erg the powers that be

into protecting the city's heritage buildings. This is the front of the hotel. Is this

building staying? Who knows.

It is unprotected. This could There's absolutely no

protection for this building.

There's not even a heritage overlay for this area. This cluster of early buildings on the corner of

Spencer and Flinders Streets is on a list of around 100

structures in the CBD identified by the identified by the Melbourne

heritage action group as having

no protection. It is a corner

scene of Melbourne's CBD. This is the very edge of the

city. Do you any anyone notices

it? Yes, all the time, every and come through here and think

what a beautiful building and

they think it is safe. They

think it will be there forever and don't realise it could be

demolished at any time. The

action group was born of a

campaign to save Lonsdale house recently demolished as part of

the redevelopment of Myer. Concerned that other prominent buildings around Melbourne

could face the same fate,

Rupert and friends and Rupert and friends and acquaintances set up a a Facebook page and a new lobby group to make some noise about

the issue. They demolished

Lonsdale house because it is a facade they could do the same for

for the Windsor just a facade. They meet at a

Melbourne pub to discussion

their campaign. We want to see

a review of the a review of the way tidge

Victoria works. We would

certainly like to see the heritage study result in the

listing of new buildings. The

city of Melbourne hasn't listed

a new building off its own bat since 1982. Mel certain at this

time city council was unable to

provide a spokesperson for this

story but Melbourne Victoria is saying it saying it is constantly adding

to its heritage list. I have to its heritage list. I have to balance the need for heritage

conservation, alongside the

need for ongoing viable economic use for places. What

I can consider is that for a

place to be appreciated and repaired for repaired for future generations, it needs to have a sustainable ongoing use sustainable ongoing use and

sometimes to achieve that use

changes are needed.

Particularly among young people

there is a realisation that Melbourne's character is Melbourne's character is about

its heritage and its old charm and how that exists together

with the new. For young with the new. For young people

it is about having a say in

what we want for our

the future. And I'll be back with a reminder of the day's

news at the top of the hour.