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ABC News 24: Business Today -

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(generated from captions) This Program is Captioned Live. Good morning, Live. Good morning, you're

watching ABC news this, I'm

Virginia Trioli. Virgin has announced it's suspending its

flights to Perth because of

advice the Chilean volcanic ash

cloud will spread across the

city this afternoon. It's

forecast to be at a lower level

and the company has made the

decision as a precaution. Other

airlines are reviewing airlines are reviewing their plans Qantas and JetStar

flights remain grounded in

Tasmania and New Zealand but

flights to Adelaide have resumed. The resumed. The Federal Health

Minister Nicola Roxon says revelations that she sought

political donations from a

tobacco company in 2005 won't

divert the Government from pursuing its plain packaging

plan. The ABC has obtained letters that Ms Roxon wrote to Philip Morris executives

inviting them to a fund raiser.

The Minister admits sending the

letters wa as mistake and she

says she's embarrassed by it.

Clearly it was an error,

clearly they shouldn't have

been sent. I can obviously

confirm and I've gone back and checked all the records that

they did not attend and they did not attend and no donations were received because

of course our party has of course our party has had a ban since 2004 and so clearly

they were sent in error but

obviously I need to make the

point that none of this is

going to divert our government

from taking action on plain

packaging but obviously there's

going to be a lot that's going

to go in and out of

to go in and out of this debate, some of it relevant,

some of it not. There's some of it not. There's no

suggestion that I am in any way

under the influence of big tobacco companies, tobacco companies, they would be feeling if they spent be feeling if they spent any

money on me that it was a very

poor investment but it was part

of the Labor Party, as it still

is for the Liberal Party,

is for the Liberal Party, a

process where we did, in the

past, put before 2004 invite

them to events, it was them to events, it was part of

our rules that we were able to

take donations. I don't believe

that I did that very often but

I have publicly declared, for

example, attending the tennis.

I mean these - in 1999, these

things do not affect where our things do not affect where our party and our Government is now

at. Since 2004 we have not

taken donations. In contrast the Liberal Party has received

millions of dollars in that time. Nicola Roxon speaking time. Nicola Roxon speaking on ABC News Breakfast this

morning. Flood waters are morning. Flood waters are threatening several threatening several communities

on the NSW mid north coast.

Around 800 people have been

evacuated from the area. The

Macleay River at Kempsey is

expected to peek at 6.9 metres

this afternoon, breaching the

town's leaves and flooding the

CBD. David Rae from the NSW SES says the focus now is on that

township of Kempsey. Overnight

there were evacuation orders

put in place for the CBD of Kempsey and downstream townships of Smithtown,

jerseyville and Kencilla, also

parts of Gladstone. Over 700

residents in that area

affected. It's affected Kempsey

CBD and those downstream places

and also in the Hastings River,

in the Port Macquarie area in the Port Macquarie area have

sod flooding issues. There's an

evacuation order for Rordon

Island affecting 400 Island affecting 400 people.

There are flood advices for

isolation around settlement

point and surrounding areas. We

are liaising closely with the

Bureau of Meteorology. They do

expect that over the next 24 to

48 hours this weather system

will move further south ward

and west ward and potentially

affect the areas of Hunter so we're liaising very closely and

predeploying SES people in

those places to ensure we have a capacity to respond. David

Rae there. Now to NSW Rae there. Now to NSW politics

and more problems for defeated Upper House candidate Upper House candidate Pauline Hanson. The man who convinced

the former One Nation leader that her election bid had been

sabotage admitted he made up

the evidence to lead her the evidence to lead her to

launch a challenge. It's an

unsurprisingly chaotic end to Ms Hanson's campaign tilt at

State politics. This is yet another

another twist in the ongoing

political saga of Pauline political saga of Pauline Hanson. Down here yesterday at

the Supreme Court in Sydney we

had a very interesting had a very interesting day

indeed. Where a man by the name

of Shaun Castle, a 35-year-old

father, a school teacher from out west there in out west there in Sydney,

fessed up, admitted to not only faking an identity but faking

an email that prompted Pauline

Hanson to take a challenge to

the court, challenging the NSW

election results back there in March when she narrowly missed

out on an Upper House seat.

This chap, Shaun Castle,

apparent ly wrote an email

under the name of a Michael

Radna saying that dodgy staff

had basically cheated Pauline Hanson out of 1,200 votes

therefore Pauline Hanson, I

guess, understandably took the thing thing to court. Now, of course she's devastated, she thought she had a case. she had a case. Obviously she

didn't. She's now been

criticised as going to court

with flimsy evidence but the whole thing has whole thing has collapsed. She's devastated. She's saying

this is a terrible email hocks,

a vicious attack on her and

can't understand why. Again a

very interesting twist in this ongoing saga. More now on one

of our top stories and that's

that Virgin has announced that Virgin has announced it's suspending all of its flights to Perth because of reports

that the volcanic ash cloud

from Chile will spread across

the city of Perth this afternoon. Earlier on ABC News

breakfast my colleague Michael

Rowland spoke to Peter

Maraszesky from the school of

aviation at the University of NSW. He said flying through or anywhere near ash clouds. It's really up ash clouds. It's really up to the company to determine

the company to determine what

their levels of risk management

tells them but they're also guided by regulators tells them but they're guided by regulators and the air services as to how air services as to how the

weather should affect air services as to weather weather should affect the

aeroplane s and the fact that some airlines are are electing

to fly below the ash around the ash cloud is their

call. The risks call. The risks are there, they have decided that not as great as it could be and

they feel that it is quite not as great as it could they feel that it is quite safe. OK, takes us through some

of those risks of flying anywhere near this ash

cloud? Well, the problem that cloud? Well, the problem that I

see is that even though they're flying around cloud? Well, the problem that I see

flying around or near the ash cloud

flying around or cloud they don't really know

what particles are in the air cloud they don't what particles are in the air

and the volcanic ash that we see in the air or that we know

that exists in the air are

quite deadly to aircraft,

particularly in - when it's particularly in - when it's a

great mass of dust because it

can actually cause the engines

to stop working. However, when it's very light it still to stop working. However, it's very light it still is a problem because the particulates of the volcanic ash

ash will virtually clog up

pores in the engine which rely

on air breathing sensing for the fuel control system and

also they will erode the rotating parts of the engine

including melting on the

turbines and causing the turbine blade shapes turbine blade shapes to change and

engine that's going to

deteriorate rapidly and deteriorate rapidly and become a very costly overhaul expensive as well. Based on

what you know, how dense what you know, how dense has

this ash cloud been and what effect

effect might it have had on

planes flying anywhere near its

vicinity? Well, there's really

no great data or evidence

showing that is a problem but

the concern that I have is that

if you have flying anywhere

near a volcanic ash cloud you

really don't know as a pilot

whether you're going to be flying in it because it's virtually

invisible. It almost looks like

just a normal cloud, just a normal cloud, moisture

cloud. So really, as I said,

the risk assessment these

airlines do would have to fairly serious and intense and

also at the same time satisfy the the regulators. Now a nuclear waste dump in

a reality. The Senate has resumed debate into the radioactive waste management bill which is likely to be

passed this week. We'll bring

you that story later on but now

we can take you live to that press arrests across the country. Over the past 5 months the AFP's child protection

operation teams have search warrants across 4 Australian States a tote ol Australian States a tote ol af 11 people have been charged with the sexual with the sexual exploitedation

of children, their ages ranging

between 18 and 67 years. Child exploitation images are not a

benign commodity. A conduit for

innocent sexual therapy or a substitute for real substitute for real world offend ing. They are in most

cases a record of serial victimisation of a child consumers of child imagery are child Mo Esthers imagery are child Mo Esthers by

proxy. The Internet provides an international support international support network

without fear. The it to enable online child sex

offenders. It supplies a haven

for those with a sexual

interest in children as offenders communicate with like-minded individuals, nurture and validate their sexual preferences. The use of preferences. The use of the

Internet by Australians to

sexually abuse children is a

serious and confronting problem facing society. It will be

alleged by the AFP that these 11 men were accessing 11 men were accessing the illegal images peer file sheering network. A peer-to-peer file sharing individuals will share information off a common system. Best example would be the former music the former music sharing system

like Lime Wire. Storage devices

including hard drives, USBs,

smart phones, laptops as well

and routers were seized. They're alleged to contain

thousands of child abuse images

and videos although in a stage at this point in

time to acknowledge how much because we're still analysing

the material that is seized. The men are being charged with

a range of offences relating to using a access, transmit and possess child exploitation material.

These offences carry maximum penalties penalties of between 10 and 15 years imprisonment. During the operation the two children at risk and they

have been removed from have been removed from harm. The that has been charged with

with a child under the age of

10 and 2 counts under the age

of 14. These offences carry a

maximum of up maximum of up to life imprisonment and in the interests of the victims no appropriate for me to comment any further in regard

to this particular matter. This

matter was undertaken at matter was undertaken at the behest of the virtual global task force international working law

enforcement group that come together to investigate and

prosecute offenders using file

sharing networks to trade and disseminate child abuse

material. The VGT is a group of

law enforcement law enforcement agencies that

are headed by the AFP at this

current point in time and this

is the first of its

peer-to-peer operation of its

kind throughout this the world. This operation

demonstrates that the demonstrates that the AFP's commitment to combatting online child sexual

excess of 25 charges that have

been laid. To date the follow ing

arrested although I won't be arrested although I won't be naming them but a naming them but a 40-year-old

man from forestville in NSW, a

67-year-old man from St Helen's

Park in NSW, a 36-year-old man

from Rushcutters Bay in NSW. A

39-year-old from oak Hurst in

NSW, a 43-year-old from NSW, a 43-year-old from Korio

in Victoria, a man from ka

boolt - ka bullet - Kabul

chur in Queensland. Can you tell us how tell us how you came across the peer-to-peer networks, were the

officers getting entry and

posing as a member were they

introduced by a person who was already in the network? It's common knowledge that common knowledge that police

operate in a covert capacity in an

an online instance. I won't go into the details methodology but it's fair to

say that by entering these systems in a

engage individuals that are

like-minded in that sense and

through that engagement able to infiltrate either individuals or groups. How

sophisticated was the network? In terms of

peer-to-peer so fist peer-to-peer so fist occasion,

it previously most child protection operations protection operations have resulted out of seizure resulted out of seizure of servers and particular websites

and groups of individuals that

are using that. Peer-to-peer is

so fist Kated in the sense that

you have to gain the trust of

the individual, probably greater than

greater than you would if it were a normal instance of an

online server or particular

group. So you have to engage

that person and that person has

to have the trust that you're a like-minded individual. So how long, some significant time? 5 months. Will you be alleging that actually produced here in Australia or were they perhaps images Australia or were they images from overseas that were images from overseas that just disseminated? Mostly the images are from overseas but we just disseminated? Mostly the

images are will be alleging that there

images are from overseas but we were in particular some videos will be alleging that were in particular some that were filmed here that were filmed here in Australia and

that were filmed here Australia and

Australia and quite confronting videos. (Question nature of those wouldn't describe the graphic nature of those individual. But what I will do

is say that the images that we've seen is say that the images that where you talk about the

sexualisation of a child,

having the child perform a pose

position, right through to the

highest category where we're talking torture, bondage and

the highest levels of rape. The

two children that were removed

are you alleging that they are in some way related to one of perpetrators, one of the people

who have been arrested? Again I really wouldn't like to comment

on that because our major

priority there is to protect the identity of the children.

What I will say is it is common for individuals to groom children and by grooming what I

mean is taking a substantial

amount of time to either ingratiate themselves with the child or the parents or the

family of the child and by doing that gain the confidence

of the family and the

children. Have you been able to

identify any of the children in those images or video s? No,

not yet and as I said not yet and as I said we're

only in the early stages of going through

going through the amount of

material that we seized is quite substantial and that it's

going to take some time to go through and analyse that

material. Was that your goal

though to identify more of those children? Identify children, that's the priority

is to remove any children from

immediate harm. But also too,

to identify other potential offenders and take action

against them also. How long do

you expect that to take? What sort of process will through? Again, depending upon

the size, we don't actually

have a number in terms of the

amount of image s and files that we've seized that we've seized but that

could take anything up to 6 to

12 months. But what we do do is

go through a triage process

where we attempt to run software over the images to

identify where in particular we

may be able to identify any

children at risk and again that is our primary purpose is our primary purpose to

identify children that are at

risk. So do you expect there

will be more arrests apart from

those 11 men? I would say given

the amount of material that

we've seized, yes. What's the

international spread of this

network ? Network is solely in

Australia but through the virtual global task force the participating country there's

are all running an ongoing exercise similar to what exercise similar to what we're running here in Australia and

again I don't want to go into

the details of that because it could well expose the operations that they're undertaking in other parts of

the world. You said that this

is the first investigation of peer-to-peer network globally, you

you have 11 arrests you must be pretty pleased with that result? Absolutely. We're

pleased - pleaseside a good

word to have but it generates

from an unfortunate set from an unfortunate set of

circumstances. So we are

pleased and it's a credit to

the people that do the work and

I'll probably hand over to

Sergeant Needham to answer this

because he is the man here that

ran the operation from the NSW

perspective and he can talk a

little bit about the type little bit about the type of

work and how difficult it is as a child protection officer.

Well as commander Ed wards

explained it subpoena difficult

work but it is very rewarding work

work at the same time. My team

is a dedicated bunch of

investigators and we're a close

knit group and we look after

each other so that always helps in undertaking these investigations. It's rewarding

to get results like this but

the graphic nature, you've endured - Like Commander

Edwards said, the excitement about undertaking these investigations is tempered by

the graphic nature of what we

have to look at. So yes, that's

a valid point. In your

experience how bad are these

images? Look, as Commander

Edwards said, they're probably

not something that would be best discussed in this environment. They're environment. They're graphic and that's probably, if I just

leave it at that. What sort of

ages of children are we talking about? The ages range from

about 5 years of age through to

15. And you're still going

through the material, is it

likely these 11 will face

additional charges? There is a

chance of that, yes. D you

explain how this file sharing

network worked? I notice in the

footage there was a lot of

images of iPhones, were they

involved? Yes, I mean smart

phones are used because of

their portability and because their portability and because of the advancing technology in

terms of the clarity of the

pixel ation of the images and

the ease in terms of being able to file share across smart

phones. Do you expect there is

a prevalence of this sort of

file sharing going on among the

file networks online? Is this

the tip of the iceberg? It's

one of a number. I mean the people

children through this means will do so

people that prefer to exploit

will do so in any way that they

can and the peer-to-peer

sharing is one of a number of can and the peer-to-peer

sharing is one of a number of

ways they're able to share this information. (Question inaudible) There were inaudible) There were 6 arrested in information. (Question

inaudible) There were 6 arrested in one in Queensland, one in South

Australia. This is potentially

only the first lot of a number,

depending upon to go through and

and analyse the rest of the

images that we seized. There

are any men at home watching

the news tonight who are

involved in this they should be

pretty worried about

agency out of a number of Australia but throughout the world child protection area and as a

collective we get together

regularly and share

intelligence and work through

our protocols to make sure we

best target our activities best target our activities and if you have

if you have a preference to

deal with the exploitation deal with the exploitation of children online then we'll

expect one day to get a knock

on the door and it will be more

likely be police. Again, with

the volume of images that we've

seized it will take some

but we do work closely with our

colleagues at Interpol and

Interpol have a system where these images and they do work

on trying to share those images with particular with particular law enforcement in in countries where we can identify any identification

elements on the pictures that have

have been seized. How long has the virtual been in operation? About five

years now. The AFP is the chair of that group and that group not only works very strongly

from an enforcement perspective

but also too from a crime

prevention perspective and

what's important to realise is

that it's up to us as

individuals, not only to make sure that we to make sure that we educate and in and in particular our children

in terms of who they're dealing

with online and it's very

important as parents and teachers that we take the time out to actually look and there are a number of webss p - websites available to do that. Probably the one that's Probably the one that's most

popular from our perspective is the having children and parents sit

down and interact and actually

talk through the dangers of

being online and simple things

that's just, you know, for instance taking af your clothes

in a camera. A child will think they're dealing with the person

at the other end but what

they're not realising is that image is

image is then captured and shared amongst the world. So

the more that we can get out

there and get our children

educated it removes the

currency of these people and currency of these people and the currency being the images

that they trade on. What

information do you have of the

men arrested and their dealings

with the children? Well people, online child exploiters come

from a range of professions. Some of the professions that we've identified in are from teachers through

are from teachers through to security, security, through to IT workers. There's no real or workers. There's no real rhyme or reason as to which

particular profession particular profession that these people prefer to be but

those that certainly move to

contact offending usually have

access in one way form or

another either through their employment or employment or through their vocational activities with children. Commander Edwards

there speaking to you from a

press conference at holding where they've just

announced that they've arrested

11 men across the country from

Victoria, NSW and Queensland

and charged them with various

child sexual assault charges.

They've cracked an online child

abuse ring where they say they allege that they've seen images

that range from the

sexualisation of a child to

much more serious and troubling

abuse and bondage and abuse and bondage and rape. So more details to come out through the morning but

charged, ages ranging from 18

all the way up to 45, 39 and the age of 40. So a very serious matter that's been

exposed there by the Federal us for a look at the weather. We have thick cloud

that remains around a low

pressure system in the east,

heavy rain is falling over the

lower and central parts of the mid north coast and northern

parts of the Hunter district.

The heaviest rain is still falling over Taree. Within the

next 24 hours smaller make their way across parts of

the mid north coast. Further intensifying rain and winds. The low will move off the coast

and into the Tasman Sea

tomorrow and conditions should begin to calm begin to calm down. In the 24 hours leading up to 9am Kerry's Peak recorded over 180 mm. In

the west we have a frontal

system still causing show frers

the Pilbara to the south-east coast. It has carry another ash cloud into WA this afternoon. That front will continue to showers across the South

Australian coast. Australian coast. In Queensland, isolated showers over the southern and central interior and over parts of the Cape York Peninsula. NSW that heavy rain will continue to

affect the Hunter and mid north affect the Hunter and mid north

coast. Scattered showers for the rest of eastern districts, gale force

winds about the Central Coast.

In Victoria isolated showers in

the south-east, otherwise a

mostly sunny day ahead. A cold

but mostly sunny day for

Tasmania as Launceston heads

for #9d and 12 degrees for

Hobart. A fine day also in

South Australia as well

although mild northerly winds

will develop in the will develop in the west,

that's ahead of a front. Top of

16 for Adelaide. WA windy day

with showers and storms coming

down from the Pilbara to the south-east coast, south-east coast, showers clearing from inland areas and 18 degrees in Perth.

Temperatures continue to be

below average up in the north.

Broome's going for a top of 25

degrees, 26 the expected top in

Darwin, fresh south easterly winds across the Territory winds across the Territory will

begin to ease. For tomorrow:

ash cloed cloud as well buzz as

we started our program this

morning at 9:00 we were reminding you that Virgin Australia has Australia has just announced they're suspending their

flights to Perth because that

ash cloud will now be heading across Perth city and across Perth city and making flights there difficult. We're expecting to should let us know what they're

doing with their flights. So that's it from us at the moment

and of course ABC News 24

continues in a moment. Have a great

This morning - floods

surge through northern NSW.

Waters expects to spill through Kempsey's CBD later today.

Also today - 11 men charged and children removed to safety.

Federal Police smash an online

child pornography ring. Flights

to Perth to be suspended, more volcanic volcanic ash moving over

Australia from the west. And it's going to be a wet one -

will the slippery conditions help the Blues balance the

ledginer the State of Origin? This Program is Captioned Live. You're watching ABC News 24,

I'm Joe O'Brien. Taking a quick

look at the weter in the caple