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Live. Labor showdown, delegates expect to clash over gay marriage at the second day of

the ALP

Also today - communities

threatened as fire fighters battle an battle an out of control blaze

in south-west WA. The troubled

US economy given a boost with

unemployment tumbling to a

2.5-year low. And former Australian captain Ricky Ponting continues his

first resurgence on day 2 of the

first Test against New Zealand. Good morning, you're watching

Geoghegan, thanks ABC News 24, I'm Andrew

Geoghegan, thanks for your

company. A check of the around the capitals: company. A check of the weather

Labor Party delegates are

expected to clash over gay

marriage at the national ALP

conference today as the party

confront s. The question to

split the change the marriage act has

party. The Prime Minister Julia

Gillard currently opposes gay marriage. Her lieutenants marriage. Her lieutenants are

trying to spare her the

embarrassment for marshalling by numbers for the mat tore be

treated as a matter of

conscience if it comes up in Federal Parliament. The opening

day followed past scripts but

that's not to say it was

without its fiery moment as the

left and right of the party

budget and the mining tax. For publicly clashed over the

decades the ALP national

conference has been carefully stage managed. Julia Gillard says this one will different. We didn't join Labor in our youth because we had no

opinions. We didn't come here for a coronation or a campaign

launch. We came here for debates, we came here for Minister nonetheless followed surprises. But the Prime

the form of past leaders at the

triennial event by telegraphing

labour Labor's lines for the

next campaign Labor says yes Australia's next campaign Labor says yes to Australia's future. The Government's being portraying

Tony Abbott as the Dr No of

politics after his threat to

mining rescind the carbon tax and the

mining tax. We govern for

growth by saying yes. Yes to

the skills, yes to

infrastructure, yes to keeping

the doors of trade open to

walking the reform road in government

government every day. The conference literally followed

the traditional script in the traditional script in other

ways too. Thank you, comrades chairs. Sorry, comrades. I

don't agree with you on some

issues, comrades. But even the disagreement served a political

purpose. Don't agree with Wayne

on every issue but I have to

say to you when you what say to you when you look at compared to that lazy, gutless treasurer that we had for years, Peter Costello, Wayne treasurer that we had for 11.5

Swan is the Swan is

we've ever had. But the left is

uncomfortable with the world's

surplus best treasurer's plan for a

surplus at all costs. We should never have a fetish for a

surplus. You know, we say that if jobs are in surplus. You know, we should

trouble, if our communities are

in trouble, and our people are in trouble we look after them. I do not belief this

Government has a fetish for a

surplus, merely to prove that

Joe Hockey and those pretenders opposite can never add up. opposite can never add up. It is a fundamental part

economic strategy. Doug is a fundamental part of our

Cameron's also accused the

party's leadership of caving

into mining interests by

watering down the mining tax. The rolls royal rally in Perth. All the billionaires tax. The rolls royal rally over

in Perth. All the billionaires

were out there. The Armani

anarchists out there, you know, saying "Don't saying "Don't tax us, we're too

poor." And yet you went around

behind the rally and the

Rolls-Royce, the BMWs and the mercs were lined up to take them back to mayor

mansions. The senator calmed

for the mining tax to be

angered the party's WA widened next year and that

contingent. The Labor Party in

the WA as well and you owe that

Australia some degree of Labor Party in Western

collegiate support. The West Australian Opposition Leader echoed the

State's Liberal Premier on the

issue of State mining royalties

which Julia Gillard wants to limit. It might be a matter of some surprise to you but constitutionally and legally

the minerals under the West

Australian soil belong to the

people of Western Australia.

That's what federation means. That's what means. That's what federation

means and I want to say to you

no WA Labor politician will

right to charge ever agree to giving up our ever agree to giving up

right to charge royalties. But

in terms of defiance and real debate these issues were hot air than substance. There will be no policy changes on

the commitment to a surplus or

genuine split behind the scenes the mining tax but there is a

in another area. A well in another area. A

organised campaign by the promarriage rights lobby is

force hitting the mark and could

force an unexpected change in

the party's platform on gay marriage. Well there could be a

historic change to

platform an same sex marriage platform an same sex

as we just heard. Let's take a

look at the current state of

play for gay marriage around the country.

recognised by legislation recognised by legislation in

all States expect South Australia and the Northern

Territory but all ALP State Territory but all ALP State and territory branches except territory branches except NSW have endorsed motions supporting marriage equality.

And current ALP policy supports the definition of marriage as between a man and a

woman. Let's cross now to our

political editor Lyndal Curtis who is at the Labor Party conference in Sydney. How are

those numbers shaping up on gay marriage? Well it looks like

there are definitely the number

there's to get a platform change

the marriage Act to allow for

marriage equality but would exempt religious institutions,

such as churches, to perform gay marriages. The

question then turns to the

issue of a conscience vote and this is the one that this is the one that the Prime Minister wants and people I've

spoken to this morning say that

the right has locked in behind

her on the issue of a conscience vote and that the

majority of the cabinet have locked in behind her on the issue of a conscience vote as

well and they do expect it will be much tighter. And any other concessions being

discussed? Yes, there are other

concessions being concessions being discussed.

Chiefly is what's called issuing of certificates of no

impediment. That means people

would be able to go would be able to go overseas

where gay marriage is legal and get married and have those marriages recognised marriages recognised in

Australia. I've heard from the

left this morning that the numbers appear to be firming

for that. Not entirely sure yet

what form that would take,

whether that would be a move law on that now or to have a

look at it but certainly look at it but certainly that

is very much up for discussion. There are faction meetings going on now in both the left

and right so the picture may and right so the picture may be meetings are over. Another a little clearer when those

potentially devisive issue is

that of asylum seekers. It's

also on the agenda today and it

comes at a time when 2 more

boats were intercepted overnight. Those on board are being transferred to Christmas

Island presently. Now is the

conference likely to push for offshore processing? Well the

details of what's

happen on the refugee and asylum

asylum seeker debate are still

being nutted out at being nutted out at those

meetings today. The left firmly believes that the situation

should be what it is effectively now, which is onshore processing only because

the Government couldn't get the Government couldn't get its motion to enable offshore

processing, particularly its malaise yation solution through

the parliament. That's unlikely to change any time soon. The imknraition Minister, Chris

Bowen, has already put up a concession talking about increasing the increasing the refugee intake passing a motion allowing offshore processing. The Home

Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor who's from the left told me yesterday there has to be recognition that be recognition that the number of arrivals to Australia is

going to increase unless going to increase unless there

is a regional solution and one

which does allow which does allow offshore processing. OK, Lyndal, we will of course be crossing to you

throughout the day, much. Thank you. much. Thank you. Fire crews have worked through the night

to keep a fire born ing burning

out of control. The bushfire has burnt through 30,000

hectares of bushland sout of

nonup. Many residents in East

Augusta and Molloy Island have been been evacuated abspent the

night with family or friends.

The fire is a result of the Department of Environment and Conservation prescribed burn

which went out of control more

than a week ago. Some people

weren't taking any chances.

Long-term resident David Bell

was one of the first to leave

Molloy Island taking with him

two cars and a caravan. We've chosen

much as we can take with us.

Valuables that we consider to

beville - be valuable as much

as we can carry, we've got what we

we can. The fire is burning near Molloy Island and near Molloy Island and is

heading towards East Augusta.

The blaze jumped containment lines during the day before it

was brought under control but the coming weather conditions

could cause another could cause another flare up and authorities are preparing

for the worst. There are about

100 homes on Molloy Island.

Police went door to door to encourage residents to leave or


early to evacuate predominantly

because of the amount of time

it would take to get it would take to get residents

off or occupants off Molloy Island. Access to the island is

only by ferry or only by ferry or boat. Authorities are also worried if the

the fire gets out of the fire gets out of control residents in East Augusta just

10 kilometres away could be stranded. Because the only way

to evacuate that area would be

by road through the fire by road through the fire

ground, the potential fire

ground. Just like the Margaret River fire which

properties this plaiz is also

the result of an official burn

off. The fire started by a

prescribed burn that got out of control by the Department of

Environment and

Conservation. It's put the Premier under more

pressure. Clearly there's some

serious issues with control burns. They're being done relatively late in the year.

We've had some severe and

strong wind conditions. That's

something that will will have

to be looked at. FESA says it's

deployed resources around the

State in the hope of preventing

another disaster. Overseas British Prime Minister David

Cameron says his country will help solve the help solve the Eurozone debt crisis even though it doesn't

use the shared currency. use the shared currency. Mr

Cameron was speaking in Paris after a meeting

after a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The

British PM says kick starting

growth on the continent is a priority. Want to help priority. Want to help to

resolve the crisis in the Eurozone. In the end what

that's about is convincing the

markets that the institutions

of the euro will defend and

protect and promote that currency currency with everything they've got, the they've got, the so-called big bazooka approach that I've spoken spoken about but it means

fundamentally grappling with a

lack of competitiveness of some European economies and getting to grips with that agenda to

make sure the Eurozone can

function properly. We addressed

all of those things and talked

about all of those things

today. Well there was good news

for the US economy overnight

with the unemployment rate has dropped to a 2.5-year low. A

sign that the country's

economic recovery is gaining

some traction. For more Washington correspondent Lisa

Millar joins us now. Millar joins us now. Lisa, well

I guess this is certainly some

good news for Barack Obama, the

economy has certainly been in

the doldrums for quite some

time. What's the general reaction to these latest figures? Well, you and I spend

so many Saturday mornings, Andrew, talking about Andrew, talking about the

unemployment rate going up we're not the only ones that

were surprised to be able to

say that actually it's gone

down. It's dropped from 9% down. It's dropped from 9% to 8.6 and no-one was expecting

such a big drop, not even the

markets which sponed - strongly this morning. They tailed off as the day went on. In fact In fact the markets have closed in the last 10 minutes slightly

down. We got 120,000

in November, most of those in

the retail sector which is

clearly looking forward to a profitable Christmas and there

were more jobs put on than

anyone expected. On the downside though and there is

always a downside I'm afraid

with these figures, is that 300,000 people stopped 300,000 people stopped looking that's what the Republicans

have pounced on and said it's

not good enough. It may have

dropped to 8.6% but there's a long way to go. Is long way to go. Is that message from the Republicans resounding

throughout America? Do people

feel as though that is a

problem, that the economy is

not gaining traction at the

moment? Absolutely. The economy

is going to be the story as

well go into 2012 and the

election year and as you were just speaking about what's

going on in Europe and listening to David listening to David Cameron, they're eye on the Eurozone and in fact

Timothy Geithner the US

Treasury Secretary is going to

Europe next week to meet Europe next week to meet with leaders there to encourage them to do

worried there's going to be in global slowdown. But Barack

Obama is not expecting the

unemployment rate to drop unemployment rate to drop much further. This is probably what

he's going to have to knain on in a year's time when he's

looking to get his job back for another four years. Among another four years. Among those Republican trying to hammer

Barack Obama and his economic

credentials is Herman credentials is Herman Cain but

he's obviously fallen off track somewhat because of allegations being having made against him.

I set he is set to make a major announcement tomorrow? I can't

say what he's going to say because this campaign has been

full of surprises already.

We've just learnt in the last

hour or so that Donald Trump is

going to moderate one of moderate debates if you can

believe it. He is getting believe it. He is getting his supporters geter in he's going to talk to them. There's every expectation he's

going to pull the plug on a campaign that most people are

saying is dead in the water. He

had the sexual had the sexual harassment

allegation and then he has this woman saying she had a woman saying she had a 13-year affair. That's a lot of affair. That's a lot of work

ahead of him if he's going to

convince voters he's the man that should be in the White House. That leaves Newt

Gingrich as the front runner,

does it? Absolute l. Newt gin - Gingrich and Mitt Romney. And even in the Post one of the

well known conserve tifr

columnists said it's one of the weakest Republican field he's

seen and voters are going to

have to choose out of those

have to choose out of those two men which one in the end is

most likely to beat Barack

Obama. No-one's celebrating at

the moment on the Republican side. I think they're waiting

to see whether there could be

the race even at this late

stage. It's fairly grim stage. It's fairly grim on their side of things. Lisa, thanks very much. Thanks, Andrew. Andrew. The United States military has handed over control of its former headquarters in Baghdad to

Iraq. The camp victory base was

set up in the grounds of a palace built by Saddam Hussein.

It will house over 140,000

people. It comes as part of the

efforts to pull out all American soldiers by the end of this year. The last Iranian

diplomats in England have left

London two days British Government expelled

them in response to an attack

on a UK embassy in Tehran. on a UK embassy in Tehran. The diplomats departed from Heathrow

Heathrow airport with one-way

tickets. Iran says the British

Government's decision to close

down its embassy is hasty. A

group of protestors stormed group of protestors stormed the building on Tuesday building on Tuesday causing

serious damage. The British

ambassador has spoken for ambassador has spoken for the first time since returning first time since returning to

London. He says the violent

demonstrations were most likely orchestrated by Iran's

Government. Well Iran is not

the sort of country where spontaneously a spontaneously a demonstration

congregates and then attacks a

foreign embassy. That sort of

activity is only done with activity is only done with the acquiescence and the acquiescence and the support of

the State and there are a

number of reasons why, with the benefit of hindsight, it's very

clear this was a State-supported activity. The waters of the mighty Danube

River are dangerously low in

the worst drought to hit

Eastern Europe in Eastern Europe in decades. Water levels are too low for

cargo ships to pass dringeing

trade to a grinding halt on one

of Europe's busiest transport

routes. Around 80 ships have

run aground and ports have run aground and ports have been closed until further notice. The lack of rain is causing

aalarm for environmentalists

who have noticed a sharp drop

in local bird populations. The Danube in Danube in Bulgaria is at its lowest level since 1941. A

Brazilian man has been arrested

at the airport with more than 2 kg of cocaine in his stomach.

Authorities became suspicious

when his British and Algerian

passport didn't match. The

small bags were found by X-ray

and removed in hospital. Police

expect the man was trying to

smuggle the cocaine to Europe.

He faces up to 15 years in jail. Liver specialists in England say they're England say they're treating

thousands of people in their

early 30s in what they call an epidemic liver disease. They're particularly worried about the

north-east of England where there's been a 400% increase in

cases since 2002. 10 years ago it was unusual for anyone under

50 to be treated for alcoholic

cirrhosis. Joanne Pattinson needs dozens of tablets a week to stay alive, the result of

years of alcohol abuse. The 41-year-old from 41-year-old from Sunderland used to drink at least 3

bottles of wine a day. Her liver's so damaged she may need a transplant. I do think it was

because I started drinking too

young and you get a taste young and you get a taste for

it, what can you do? You take yourself to the

level. Adults in Britain drink

double the amount of alcohol

they did in the 1950s but in

recent years overall alcohol

consumption has been falling. A

group of liver specialists in

the north-east is concerned

with binge drinking with binge drinking among the

young and has called for

restrictions on alcohol advertising. We've seen this

epidemic of alcoholic liver

disease and hospital admissions

as a result in very young

people in their early 30s and

in their 20s and this is all because alcohol is far too

cheap, far too available and

far too heavily promoted. The

drinks industry say there are

already strick controls on

advertising and it's the

minority who abuse alcohol but

when they do it increases the risk of not just liver disease

but cancer, stroke, a range but cancer, stroke, a range of conditions. This graph shows

the rising trend in deaths from

alcohol in Britain since the

early '90s and you can see

there's a slight fall recently

which might be due to fall consumption but today's consumption but today's figures

are worrying signs of what may

happen to the next generation

of drinkers. Let's check of drinkers. Let's check sport

now with Tulsen Tollett. Can I

first ask you about the cricket first ask you about the cricket

then, what do you reckon, we're into day 3 the halfway mark at

poised or do the Aussies have

the upper hand? I think if New Zealand could have struck yesterday an got Michael yesterday an got Michael Clarke out when he should out when he should have been out because it was a no they would have been in a better position. But it is

evening poised. Ricky Ponting

has continued his resurgence

with an unbeaten half-century.

That was on day 2 of the That was on day 2 of the first Test. The Black Caps made 295

and in reply Australia's 3/154 with Ponting on 67. Michael Clarke, as I mentioned, was

lucky to survive after being


Caps picked up from where Caps picked up from where they

left off on day one. The wicket

of Daniel Vettori was proving elusive. Vettori and Dean Brownlie took their partnership

past 100. Having recently

relieved itself the cape tain was looking to get

hundred but was out on 96.. New

Zealand was all out for 295

with Nathan Lyon taking 4 wickets. Australia faced a

tricky 2 overs before lunch and debutante David Warner couldn't

stay out of trouble. Fi

Philip Hughes was snapped up by

Guptill. Fighting to keep his Test career alive Ricky Ponting scrambled to avoid a duck. The former captain was soon into

stride. Usman Khawaja was also looking solid. That's the

length he was after. But first ball after tea he was caught

flat footed. He was a long time getting into there. Ponting reached his

second half-century in as many

innings. I think that's the

look of a man who says only

half this job is done. On 23

captain Michael Clarke was

bowled but umpire Asad Rauf

thought Doug Bracewell may have out. Clarke was brought back

and the New Zealand captain Ross Taylor was far from

impressed. Ponting was impressed. Ponting was unbeaten

on 67 when the on 67 when the fading light

brought about another brought about another early finish. Staying with

international cricket and India

has taken a 2-0 lead in their 5 one-day internationals with one-day internationals with the West Indies. India was

struggling at 3/84 with

Kohli hitting his 8th one-day

100. Spain thaz 100. Spain thaz taken a 2-0 lead over Argentina. Rafael

Nadal over came man Koh while

Ferrer needed 5 sets to get the

bet of Del Potro. Nadal gave a commanding performance

Monaco and the last team to recover from a 2-0 deficit in the final back in 1939. Spain are bidding

for a 5th Davis Cup title for a 5th Davis Cup title and

their first since 2009 while Argentina has never Argentina has never tasted

victory in the event despite 3

finals appearances. The doubles

will be played this evening

with the reverse since lts

wrapping up the tie. To

football and Central Coast football and Central Coast has

hammered Adelaide United. The

4-0 win was sealed by half

time. Let's take a look at the goms. Mustafa Amini puts the Mariners 1-0 up.

It's the Ibini and Amini It's the Ibini and Amini show at Hindmarsh. Let's stay with football. Defending champions Spain and

1968 winners Italy will 1968 winners Italy will clash

in Group C of euro 2012 after

the draw for next year's finals

was made earlier this morning.

The Republic of Ireland and

Croatia make up the pool

the quarter fienls. England

were drawn in Group D were drawn in Group D with

Ukraine, Sweden and France. In Group E the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany Denmark, Germany and Portugal all drawn together while Poland

will face Greece, Russia and

the Czech Republic in Group

A. A tight hamstring has forced

Rob Horne to withdraw from the Wallabies team for the Wallabies team for the Test

against Wales in Cardiff. The Waratahs centre failed to

complete yesterday's training

session with Reds centre

Anthony Faingaa promoted into

the starting line will also be the last of Wales

winger Shane William's

glittering international glittering international career

and the Wallabies will be hoping to spoil the party. I'm sure that not only the Welsh

crowd are going to want to send

him out on the right note but

his team-mates are and that's a

huge motivate or for any group

that for a guy that has been a

big and important part of Welsh rugby and

rugby and done so much for the rugby here in Wales. Rob

Horne's place on the bench has been taken by Melbourne Rebels half-back Nick Phipps.

Championship leader Jamie Whincup will be aiming to become the first driver in history history to win the V8 history to win the V8 supercars title for both Holden and Ford.

He will be out to score his

third championship title

third championship title today.

He needs to finish in the top 4

of today's first race. Whincup

has 188 point lead in the championship standings over team-mate Craig Lowndes. Let's move to basketball. New Zealand move to basketball. New Zealand has beaten has beaten Melbourne 108-98 in the NBL match in Auckland.

Thomas Abercrombie scored a

game high 33 points in for Breakers in last night's other

game the Taipans beat the cold

dl dsh Gold Coast 87 to 78 in

Cairns. Wilson top scoring with

23 points and he chipped in with 6 rebounds and 6

assists. In the WNBL Sydney, Townsville and Canberra all enjoyed wins. 66-game NBA season has been

confirmed for a start on Christmas Day with a rematch of last year's final series

between the mavericks and Miami Heat one of

Heat one of the fixtures.

Let's check the Let's check the weather satellite image first and thick

cloud is stretching across the

Queensland tropics. It's

triggering scattered triggering scattered showers

and thunderstorms. Extensive cloud over the Northern

Territory and WA interior is

bringing thundery showers.

Cloud pushing over Tasmania with a front is bringing Taking a look around the

States. In Queensland showers are increasing over the east

tropical coast, rain elsewhere

through the tropics and on through the tropics and on the Central Coast. In NSW, the

chance of shower about the

central and northern coasts, central and northern coasts, clearing during the day.

Showers developing about the

southern ranges later in the

afternoon. In Victoria, showers developing on and south of developing on and south of the

ranges during the day, mostly along the coastal fringe.

Isolated thunderstorms, possible near the eastern

ranges. In Tasmania, scattered showers about the west, extending

morning. Showers easing and

mostly contracting to the south

and east during the evening. In South Australia, possible

morning rain about the south-east coast, otherwise

fine and mostly sunny. In the

west, some rain developing in

the afternoon in the central

and south-west Gascoyne and the

north of the central west. There will be

thunderstorms and showers in

the Kimberley and in the Top

End rain or thunderstorms mainly in the afternoon mainly in the afternoon or

evening. And look ahead to

A new self-portrait by the

Dutch painter Rembrandt has been discovered

but they may be the only ones

who get to see it. The sketch

was detected using X-ray

technology beneath the painting

the old man with the beard. Art

historians say painters like Rembrandt often reused or

recycled their canvass. The sketch is similar to other self-portraits by Rembrandt. Uncovering the new work for

public view may not be possible.

First of all the First of all the painting

underneath is not finished,

it's an unfin ished

self-portrait that was finished

very early in its stage, so we only have a very rough sketch of

of the self- portrait of Rembrandt undernooeted the surface and surface and the second thing

is, of course, we need ex - X-rays we need a penetrative

imaging technique to visualise

what lies hidden beneath the surface. The top stories from ABC News national conference have

reconvened for a second day

which is expected to be dominated by the divisive dominated by the divisive issue of gay marriage. of gay marriage. The question of whether to change the

party's platform to recognise

same sex marriage has split the

ALP right. The Prime Minister

Julia Gillard is pushing for a conscience vote in the

parliament which would ensure

Labor MPs who vote against gay

marriage aren't expelled from

the party. Fire crews have

worked through the night to

keep a fire burning out keep a fire burning out of control in within containment lines. The control in WA's south-west within containment lines. The bushfire has bushfire has burnt through

38,000 hectares of bushland

south of Nannup and forced evacuations. It's the result of

a prescribed burn which went

out of control more than a ago. There have been positive

economic news out of the US

with unemployment dropping with unemployment dropping to

its lowest point in almost 3 years. Last month the jobless

figure dropped to 8.6%. Some observers say it's further evidence that the economic

recovery is gaining momentum.

And former Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting captain Ricky Ponting has continued his resurgence continued his resurgence with

an unbeaten half-century on day

2 of the Test against New

Zealand. New Zealand pead 395

and in reply Australia is 3/154. Survivors of the Black Saturday bushfire disaster are pressing the Victorian Government to dump a confronting bushfire safety

advertisement. They say the advertisement. They say the ads

are causing unnecessary trauma for for families who are still grieving. The ad campaign is

designed to shock. Look, put

the sprinklers on. Don't go outside! But for some Black

Saturday survivors it's too

much. I have a few friends gutted by these

commercials. Rebecca Buchanan lost 2 children and a brother

in the fires and says the ads

will revive the trauma for some

families. Shree begun an online and email campaign urging the

Government to dump the ads. I think they could have done it a doesn't work. Affected families

have been warned when the ads will be screened and an

advisory group for the bereave ed community endorsed the

campaign before campaign before it was

launched They know how launched They know how to get

in contact with us. I feel they could have tried harder. The

CFA says the ads are needed to

tackle a high level of complacency in bushfire areas. If one person does

something differently and they

are safe and their family is

safe because of this ad I put it to you they've worked. For

those who have difficulty have the opportunity to turn

the television off. Emergency authorities and the Government

are also under pressure to

resolve the issues that have

delayed the delivery of a comprehensive text messaging

sfrs to warn of sfrs to warn of bushfires. I

can't give you a date when we

will deliver by. You need to

understand the negotiations

over there are over there are extremely complicated. We must get the technology right. But by the

end of the month the Government end of the month the Government

is expected to release its

response to a report recommending a mument

multibillion dollar plan to fire proof Victoria's communications network. He's

the face and voice of natural history broadcasting in Britain with an extraordinary

that spans almost 60 years. Now

Sir David Attenborough has

spoken out against the dangers of climate change and he's

warned the speed of change in the polar regions has implications for us all. The Antarctic continent is smothered by the world smothered by the world eats

greatest ice sheet. It's been a journey of

to the remotest polar regions

with audiences in their millions guided by the giant of

natural history broadcasting, David Attenborough. The last

of a series next week is a

highly personal view. The penguin is the most southerly

nesting of all penguins. And

like the polar bear up in the

north, their lives north, their lives are dependent on the sea ice. His

big concern is the big effect of rising temperatures. Here a

huge iceberg breaks away from Greenland. This does happen

naturally but the melting could accelerate accelerate if the Arctic and

part of Antarctica continue to

warm up. A When I met David

Attenborough for an interview

he explained it was the speed of change

of change that was most

striking and worrying. This

change is extremely swift. This

change is happening within our

lifetime and we've seen it

happening and that is a - in geological terms, biological, ecological terms

that's hugely swift. So to

adapt you can adapt to slow

change, quick change is much

more difficult. One of the

great features of the Antarctic

coast the Wilkins ice shelf is

seen breaking up. The Frozen

Planet film found huge fissures breaking through it. It's not

beyond possibility that warming

will actually cause sea level

rises rises and which could

threaten... Is there a risk of

sounding too alarmist about

this? I troo I not

fact is that we know these

changes are happening, that the evidence for that is incontinue - incontrovertible. If they - incontrovertible. If they go on they will have catastrophic

effects on the human race. And

behind this concern is the

life-long passion for which

he's best known - wildlife and his delight in his favourite

polar creature. I think a caterpillar, caterpillar, a caterpillar that

lives for 14 years and lives for 14 years and is frozen solid, frozen frozen solid, frozen solid to

its core 14 times, which takes

14 years to accumulate 14 years to accumulate enough

food to allow it to grow into a moth. That's amazing. But about the future? Well

scientists can't be sure about

the rate of melting but we do

know that distant regions that

once seemed irrelevant

much closer to us now. Well

the main story we're following today is the ALP national

conference at Sydney's conference at Sydney's Darling Harbour where the Prime

Minister Julia Gillard is due

to speak very shortly. So

hopefully we can bring that to

you as soon as there could be a historic

change to Labor's change to Labor's platform on

same sex marriage same sex marriage today. Let's

take a look at the current state of play for state of play for gay marriage around the country. unions are already recognised

by legislation in all States

except for South Australia and except for South Australia and the Northern Territory. But the Northern Territory. But all ALP State and Territory branches, except NSW, branches, except NSW, have

endorsed motions supporting

marriage equality. And current

ALP policy ALP policy supports the definition of marriage as

between a man and a woman.

As I say, we will hopefully

come back to the ALP national

conference as soon as we get

those live pictures with the Prime Minister Julia Gillard expected to front very

shortly. Let's just move on to

some overseas news and the UN

human rights council has passed a resolution against what it

calls gross violations in

suppressing dissent. A 4,000 people died as the authorities tried to crush an

8-month uprising. The UN wants

this and other allegations of

crimes against humanity to be International Criminal Court. Syria's representative on the body says none of this is in

the interests of its people but

the UN says Syria is

approaching a state of civil war with more and more soldiers

taking up arms against the President. Loud sirens as we arrive at the Lebanese Syrian

border. These those who have

been injured were loaded into

nearby. Families who live along the border fled from their homes. Some crying as other

relatives got stuck, unable to TRANSLATION: People are panicking because there's been

gunfire coming from the Syrian

side into Lebanon and the

Lebanese army left their

positions asat the board so

people were afraid the Syrian army would come in. The Syrian

army did not go into Lebanon.

Activists here tell us the army preventing crossing the border

into Lebanon. In om Sarahs not

even a fence separates the two

countries. In others just a

narrow river. These young fled from Syria on Thursday

telling us they had to crawl 4 kilometres to kilometres to flee the

town. 20-year-old Mohammad Ali

left his mother, left his mother, wife and two

kids behind. We escaped kids behind. We escaped the snipers and the army that are killing people on killing people on the streets. 21-year-old Mohammad

says he will not go back the Syrian Government falls. TRANSLATION: Every life has an

end and President Bashar al

Assad's rule will end. The

Syrian Government accuses some Lebanese factions of smuggling

weapons into Syria to arm weapons into Syria to arm the

groups fighting it but no-one

is smuggling anything. TRANSLATION: It's TRANSLATION: It's simply a human urge to help the human urge to help the injured and shelter the refugees. Less

than 300 metres away from here is the Syrian Lebanese border. And for the town, the violence town, the violence neighbouring

Syria has already touched Syria has already touched on

their lives and disrupted their lives and disrupted it and no matter how and no matter how much effort is put to man the borders it

seems family ties and political interest has overcome any

security or geographical

barriers. By the day's end on

Friday the area was relatively

calm but for how long people

are wondering. The discovery of

a World War II bomb in the

Rhine River has forced

evacuation of 40,000 residents.

Authorities are building an art

official dam around the area

where the bomb was located and

will defuse it on Sunday. The

British Royal Air-Force bomb

was discovered last month when

the river's levels dropped to

record lows. 180 hospital patients and 200 prisoners are

among nearly half the city's

population who will be forced

to leave in what will be the

biggest evacuation in Germany's history since the end of World

War II. War II. The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton State Hillary Clinton has

offered more than $1 million in

aid money to Burma in return for further democratic reforms.

Speaking at the end of her

visit to the country Clinton announced the funding announced the funding would support health care, landmine

victims and microfinance. She

also suggested that the US

would consider lifting sanctions against Burma if the

Government took further steps to release political prisoners and end ethnic and end ethnic conflicts. We will match action for action and if

and if there progress, you know, obviously

we will be considering lifting

sanctions, but, as I said before, we're before, we're still at the very early stages. For more details

on the stories we're following

today and to send us your comments and pictures you can

log on to our website. The

address is

You're watching ABC News 24.

Now we are about to Now we are about to go to the ALP conference at Sydney's

Darling Harbour. We can just

get live shots there as we see

delegates filing into the

auditorium and the Prime

Minister Julia Gillard is soon to speak and she will be delivering a speech about disabilities. And today disabilities. And today the Labor Party delegates are expected to clash over the

issue of gay marriage, the

question of whether to change the Marriage Act has split the

right and divided the right and divided the party. The Prime Minister is currently opposed to gay marriage and her

lieutenants are trying to spare

her from embarrassment by

issue to be treated as a matter of conscience if

of conscience if it comes up of conscience if it comes up in

Federal Parliament. So we will

come back to that as soon as

she arrives. After a year meticulous restoration work the

eureka flag is flying in the

art gallery of Ballarat. The symbol of 1954 miners' er rebellion and Eureka rebellion and Eureka Stockade

has returned and is on display as never before. It's become

the symbol of a fair go the symbol of a fair go in Australia and the Australia and the original flag as returned home to Ballarat. Great to welcome back our national icon, Ballarat's

eureka flag back in Ballarat today, the day before the 157th anniversary of the eureka battle. The battle. The flag has spent the last year in undergoing last year in Adelaide undergoing 600 hours of restoration work including restoration work including 300

hours of meticulous needle

craft. It's very damaged for

lots of different reasons but a

combination of poor combination of souveniring and poor storage. The fibres itself

is still quite flexible. It's

now inside a climate-controlled

case and displayed in a purpose built, dimly lit room of the

Ballarat Art Gallery. The total

cost of the project was $150,000. The cost of the project was are important for maintaining the

the kolors and the condition of

the flag in the long term. In

1854 gold miners staged a

rebellion under the rue yeeck a

flag. On 3 December troops

squash - quashed the uprising.

More than 30 men were killed in

the battle. Most people believe

this is the site of the Eureka Stockade on the outskirt s of

Ballarat. It's now an Ballarat. It's now an education centre being rebuilt centre being rebuilt and the

flag will controversially move

here when the centre opens year. The year. The gallery is negotiating compensation. To

lend an iconwith the eureka flag something needs to be

thought through on the

impact. D the gallery insists the flag will only leave on

loan. Let's just return to

Sydney's Darling Harbour Sydney's Darling Harbour now where that ALP conference under way. Day 2, and the

delegates there are currently watching a video presentation on disabilities. on disabilities. The Prime Minister, Julia Minister, Julia Gillard, will soon deliver a speech about disabilities and then of course

later in the day we will hear

much more about the issue of

gay marriage. But first let's

just take a listen to that

video. We want some help, we

have to prove ourselves over

and over again. Prove and over again. Prove that Riley's got that's clearly not about to

change, prove that Simon and change, prove that Simon and I

need the help, that is also

clearly not about to change. I

think it think it really is absolutely fundamentally about the right

to live a decent life and have

the same opportunities as any other child or adult. The national disability insurance

scheme we heard about it all of

us at Disability Rights Campaigners and thought right, this is this is it, that is one big

idea. We've got some great

things in the nation like Medicare to support each other or public hospitals to or public hospitals to support

each other but we want to do the next bit, the bit that

matters to people who are matters to people who are often

doing it the most tough for the longest period. Got no idea whether he

whether he will be living with

us, living in a group home, I

don't know, I don't know how

we're going to provide for that

you're a child that's born with

a disability, a public insurance agency that insurance agency that we will

create will have the job of

working out what your care and support needs are likely to be over your expected lifetime. So

how much care you might need, how much physical equipment you

might need, properly... You're

watching a Labor Party presentation there from the delegates are watching from

ALP conference at Sydney's Darling Harbour. It is International Day of Disabilities and the Prime Minister Julia Gillard will

deliver an address very shortly

on that very issue. And then

later in the day the conference

will turn to the divisive issue of gay marriage. Let's just

return to the conference floor

there and have a listen to and

see what the delegates see what the delegates are watching at the moment. Will be undertaken by this

Government. The people no

longer have to put up with

charity, they don't have to put up with up with getting in a long

queue, they can get the chance

to get the care and support

that they need through a -

proper insurance approach, proper insurance approach, one