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(generated from captions) And before we go, a recap of our top story - residents of areas near the Hunter River residents of low-lying coastal

face an anxious with floodwaters predicted to face an anxious wait tonight,

hit in a few hours. The centre of Maitland has escaped inundation after floodwaters peaked earlier than expected. Low-lying areas have been swamped. That's ABC News. Stay with us for the '7:30 Report' and Kerry O'Brien coming next. and Kerry O'Brien coming up Closed Captions

If you don't sign an AWA you

wouldn't get a job with

BHP. Tonight on the 7.30 Report

- the workplace revolt in the

heart of the resources

boom. People are scared and

with good reason. Workers at

the nation's biggest iron ore

mine claiming individual

contracts are eroding safety standards. If we're going to

have a fatality, we'll lose

someone, or people. Just a

matter of time. There's p been

an enormous amount of effort

gone into safety. I had to ring

Marg up. I didn't know where I

was. The latest research

offering hope for Alzheimer's. CC

Welcome to the program. It's

been the longest of long

weekend for the people of the

NSW Hunter Valley. At the

mouth of the Hunter River the

city of Newcastle was belted by

a ferocious storm on Friday

with winds and huge waves

pushing a 40,000 tonne bulk carrier on the beach.

Authorities are working out tow

Howe to salvage the ship. Over

the last 48 hours the

community's up river has to

contend with the threat of

flooding. Maitland sits on the

banks of the Hunter, a river

that has repeatedly put the

Maitland on the map for all the wrong reasons, particularly

with the devastating 1955

flood. As waters rose

yesterday, the people of

Maitland were fearful that

history would be repeated and

their city would be inundated. Scott Bevan reports on the

experience through the eyes of

three Maitland families.

It's me livelihood, if we

didn't have the river to pump

out of, we wouldn't be able to

grow the vegetables or make hay

to feed the horses. Having

spent all of his 74 years on

the banks of the Hunter Barry

Mead knows just how generously

the river can give, and just how quickly its water

consistent take it all

away. $1100 worth of seed,

we've lost that, probably

$20,000 wot of hay there on the

price it is today. -- worth of

hay. Contemplating what the

deluge late last week has

already wiped out this farmer

was preparing for the Hunter's

rising waters to consume so

much more. The family home is

just 100m from the river. Them

trees there, that's on our side

of the river. So the river

itself is nearly 200m that way? Yeah. Barry Mead remembers

all the big floods that have

erupted over the banks for more

than half a century. But the

terrifying benchmark is the

1955 flood which claimed 11

lives. So where did the 1955

flood come up to? This, up to

here, right up the end of that

window. Just down the sodden

road at the village of Largs,

another farmer Ian Mack, is

experiencing his first flood in

this region. And planning new

crops. At the moment we could

do some rice or thinking of

some fish farms. He retrieves

the tractor, while his children

pad it will tinny back from

what was until a couple of days

ago, a distant river. The

Hunter River starts to block

up, the Paterson River is

blocking up too, a bit over the

levee banks. We will see

serious flooding on tonight, we

expect. A few kilometres away

in the historic suburb of Lorn

the Megaritty family hears talk

on the street of evacuation. If

we are directed to leave, I

guess we will leave, but if

it's only an advice, we'll

stay. How are you feeling at

the moment? Quite safe, quite

comfortable. Sure enough, just

on dusk State Emergency

Services officers start

advising people to leave.

Across the road the Allen

family with three small

children is contemplating what

to do. It's a dreadful choice.

I think that children are a

little bit nervous. But the

decision is made for them and

about 4,000 other Maitland residents. The police order

them to evacuate. Alright then.

They're not expecting it to be

a flood to rise, but only if

the levee banks should give way

that we could have a wave come

through the towns. Now I'm

shaking, now I'm feeling really

jumpy. The Allens pack up and

head for a friend's

place. Obvious essentials,

sleeping bags and bedding and

clothing and torches and

things. People survive for a

few days without a problem. The

Megaritty's teenage daughters

also go to friend's. While Rod

and Gail Megarrity accompany

his 90-year-old mother first to

an evacuation centre in a

community hall... No-one we

know has anyone that's suitable

to take her with stairs and the

like, so we'll camp here the

night. But then they're

directed to a nearby high

school gymnasium that's a make-shift refuge before a

motel room is found for the

trio 20 minutes away. I

wondered if it was necessary,

but I guess that's the way the

system works and I guess we

just have to go along with it.

It's been an experience, but

one I don't want to have again. Now, Maitland waits to

see if the flood reaches the

expected 11.4 metre mark overnight, which could mean

water in the main streets and

homes. Major flooding slightly

higher than the 1971 event

expected at Maitland. The sun

shines on a new day, and so

have the weather gods. In the

early hours the waters peaked

at 10.7 metres. This was

probably a little bit less than

the 1971 flood, so nowhere near

1955 havoc proportions, but

just below 1971. The immediates stayed put in the family home

overnight. The levees held the

waters at bay. The kids were

there laughing and joking.

They weren't at this time last

night. What was going on? They were frightened and water was

going to break and they were

going to get washed away. Barry Mead doesn't believe the

evacuations were necessary. A

bit overdone to be honest with

you, like from an old fella's

point of view. It frightened

the life out of a lot of people

in Lorn. They evacuated and

whole of Lorn for no reason

whatsoever. The need for the

evacuation of Lorn was we thought we were going to go

residents there's initial under. This morning for Lorn

confusion. First, the SES

announces it's all-clear to

return. Then they're stopped

by police road blacks. Sorry,

the wrong information was

leaked, that's all. That's no

good. Sorry for the

inconvenience. I like to have

a welcome committee. The

Megaritty family finally

arrives home and finds

everything intact and dry. It's

easy to feel relieved now that

there is no problem. If there

had been I might be feeling slightly different. Then their

neighbours, the Allens, get to

turn the key in their front

door. Nice to be

home. 8-year-old Grace Allen

has devised her evacuation plan. That's our

house. Yep. And that's where

you go for the evacuation where

you're staying, and then that's

the map back home. But the

family has no complaints about

the authority's plan. If ever

they wanted to test a plan and

find out if it works they've

done it, and done a sensational

job. The worst may have passed

for Maitland and the big

clean-up is about to begin.

But for those who live by or

they can their livelihood from

the river they know this won't

be their last flood. In fact

many accept all of this as part

of the ebb and flow of life on

the Hunter. We're - just lean

with the punches. Sometimes

you get good seasons, sometimes

bad seasons. Sometimes a kick

in the bottom, other times a

few bob in your wallet. Four

generations of the Mead family

have worked this land. This is

my young grandson, next farmer. Barry Mead can't imagine breaking his bond with

the river, no matter what it

does. That's me life. I love

the open outdoors, I can't work

indoors. So a little bit of

water isn't going to scare you

away? Oh no, I can't swim real

good, either. I can manage to

keep my head above water. And

what the Murray-Darling Basin

wouldn't give for some of that.

Scott Bevan with that report.

According to the mining

industry, the Labor Party's

promise to abolish Australian

Workplace Agreements could

jeopardise the current resources boom that's fuelling

much of Australia's economic

growth. Almost a third of

Australia's workplace

agreements - 200,000 - are in

Western Australia, mostly in

the mining industry. But in

the world's biggest single pit

open-cut mine BHP Billiton's

iron ore operations at Mt

Newman in Western Australia's

Pilbara region, there are

claims that AWAs could have a serious downside for the

workers who've signed them. An

unprecedented petition at the

mine has been signed by more

than 200 people complaining

about an atmosphere of intimidation and victimisation

and warning that a serious

safety incident is inevitable

unless the culture changes.

The company denies the

accusations. Some of the

Newman employs have agreed to

speak to the 7.30 Report for

this story from Matt Peacock.

-- Newman employees.

Australia's resources rush,

around the clock scramble to

feed the insatiable demand for

coal and iron ore. This is at

least the biggest boom

Australia's had in 50 years and

arguably the biggest boom we've

ever had. The boom States are

Queensland and Western

Australia. On the East Coast

it's coal and the trains and

loaders can't cope with the

volume required. Coalminers

are almost all unionised and

work under collective

agreements. In Western

Australia it's iron ore that's

fuelling the boom and it's here

in the Pilbara, the heart of

the industry, where the workers

are flying in and out. Unlike

the coalminers in the east,

there are more workers here on

Australian Workplace Agreements

than anywhere else in the

country. Here at Newman, the

largest single pit open-cut

mine in the world, BHP

Billiton's Whaleback Mine, 80%

are on AWAs. I've no

choice. What do you mean? You

have a choice when you come

here? You don't have a choice.

You either sign the agreement

or you don't get a job, simple

as that. They probably

wouldn't come out and say it,

but if you don't sign an AWA

you wouldn't get a job with

BHP. These workers now believe

that those very same agreements

could be putting their lives at

risk by undermining overall

safety standards. Really, I

think they really want to get

the ore out, production and

safety really comes

second. Safety conditions at

Mount Whaleback are amongst the

best according to BHP Billiton

iron ore Ian Ashby. There's

been an enormous amount of

effort gone into safety in all

of our operations and no better

place is represented than the

Mount Whaleback mining

operations. In fact their

safety record has improved over

50% over the last 18 months of

our operation. But a

significant number of Whaleback

mine employees tell a different

story and the past month

they've become so concerned

that in an unprecedented move

they've decided to speak

out. If it means my job, well

it means my job, but

something's got to be done

otherwise there's going to be a

fatality up there. We're

watching out. I don't know,

have I got a job up there after

this? I don't know. This is no

small group, more than 200 have

signed the petition. It

declares here that:

That, say the signatories,

creates the very real potential

for a serious incident. The

miners who do champion high

safety standards are seen as

obstructionists and resistant

to change, and they work in an

environment of intimidation. We're working our

way through the contents of the

petition. We're trying to get

some idea of just where these

workers have come from. On

first blush it doesn't look

like all of the workers are

specifically located and

working in our Mount Whaleback

operation. What initiated this

letter was one of the crew, the

entire crew spoke to him. The

petition's author is Gary

Martin, who hardly seems a

troublemaker. He's never been

a union member and is the

supervisor of Newman's mobile

equipment workshop. I was

considering just looefrg. It's

common enough that if you're

not happy in a work environment

you'll leave. This is a little

bit different. If I did leave

and I happened to see on the

news that someone was seriously

injured or killed here, then

I'd feel pretty bad about that. But you think it's an

important waiting to happen at

the moment snments I do and

obviously the people who've

co-signed do, too. I'm not

happy, I'd love to get up and

leave Newman, but my kids are

happy, my kids are in a good

school. They're safe. What do

you do? Concerns at Newman have

spilt over into workers' family

lives. Rachel and Martin

Thomas had planned to stay

here. Now they're not so sure. The shareholders, everybody should be concerned about what's going on here.

Pure luck no-one's been hurt

yet on the site. I'm dumbfounded. Mining is

inherently dangerous - a fact

that BHP Billiton recognises.

But these workers say that the

pressure of production is

taking its toll at Mount

Whaleback. I was lucky enough

to be trained by someone who

knew all of the procedures,

worked in the mine for many,

many years and was able to pass

on a lot of that information to

me. Whereas now you've got a

lot of green people training

green people who've only been

there a couple of months and

all of a sudden they're

trainers. And that's a real

concern to me. Friede Morrison

drives one of the giant

240-tonne truck s that cart ore

from the pit day and night.

Like most of her fellow workers

she's on an AWA, an employment

contract she feels has put

safety on the

backburner. There's a procedure

up there that you never dump at

night without adequate

lighting. And, you know,

they'll dump in the dark

because they're frightened to

call up and say, "We need

lights here, there's no lights

here," they're afraid to hold

up production, and they'll just

do it. If a truck breaks the

dirt mound at the end of the

road, it can be catastrophic.

This photo is of one such near

miss last year. Unionist Aaron

Greenhalgh believes that AWA

workers are not reporting incidents. These are blokes

that are coming back to these

wind rows and breaching it,

tipping the tyres through and

tipping loads and carrying on.

That's a near miss, that's a

potential - that truck could be

going over. Apart from that,

they're driving off and the

next bloke comes along and he

could be falling in that same

hole. I'd be disappointed if

people think they can't report

incidents because they think

there's going to be some

repercussion. In fact the evidence that we have with respect to reporting of

incidents is such that we've

had over a 200% increase in the

reporting of incidents over the

last 18 months. Allen Zadow,

another AWA employee recently

quit as foreman over his

treatment in reporting a safety

hazard that hadn't been

fixed. A lot of mine incidents

aren't reported, full stop.

Just ignored. Allen Zadow filed

a report on his computer. The

next morning I was called into

the manager's office and asked

to explain myself. It wasn't a

very pleasant experience. I

mean, I went into a meeting

with five other people, me

being the outsider and having

five different people all

superintendent above trying to

intimidate me. There is no victimisation insofar as

reporting of safety incidents

is concerned. As I said, we

will continue to encourage

people to report safety

incidents and potential safety

incidents because it's in the,

it's for the well-being of

everyone that works within the

iron ore group. Mount Whaleback

workers like Martin Thomas

stress it's not BHP, but the

local management they

fear. I've not a problem with

BHP, BHP has done a great -

it's been awesome for our

family. The problem I have at

the moment, or the concern I

have is the way Whaleback's

managed. It's disappointing to

me that people that work for

our iron ore operations are

talking to the press and others

and not talking to us. Look,

if people have these concerns

they can go all the way to me

if they really want to and talk

about these things. One reason

Whaleback workers are having

problems, according to mining

union president, Tony Maher is

being unions have been

demonised? People don't have

the protection of a union,

they're not able to speak up on

safety concerns. What's

happening is the management are

ruin ruling by fear. They're

intimidating people, fearing

them not to raise safety

issues. In our organisation,

safety is everyone's business.

Safety starts with the

individual. The mining industry

claims it's that direct

relationship of AWAs without

the unions that's essential for

the continuing resources

boom. They are a fundamental

driver of productivity growth,

and they are fundamental to our

international competitors. So

the mining boom is restricted just obviously to Western

Australia and Newman. It seems

to be working quite well in the

eastern States. They're in the

same situation as us. The

mining booms and the resource

booms are on. They're in a

different - they've got

union-based workforces, it

seems to be working fine there. The efficiencies from all

reports are just as high if not

higher than our workforces. Certainly Allen

Zadow who's on an AWA feels

there's safety in numbers. You

would feel a lot more confident 'cause you'd have the backing

of a group of people, not

having to go in there by yourself, and that's what

happens. You have to go in by

yourself, nobody will back you

anymore. There's no question

about people's right to be a

member of a union, but there's

equally the flipside where they

have the right not to be a

member of a union. Similarly

they can choose to collectively

bargain and choose not to

collectively bargain. It's

horses for courses in the

nature of the industry. For the

workers at Newman the hope now

is that their pleas won't fall

on deaf ears. I just hope this

reaches the person who put

these policies out there, who

believes in them and he has a

good hard look at the place,

because geez I'll be a broken

man if I find out that they

know this is going on. That

report from Matt Peacock. More

than 200,000 Australians have

dementia, a devastating

condition causing brain

deterioration and memory loss

in an ageing population that's

on the rise. Now a potential

new treatment for dementia may

be a step closer after it was

selected as the first research

project to utilise a new

high-energy testing facility, the Australian synchrotron in

Melbourne. Scientists from the

Howard Florey Institute and St

Vincent's Institute's Institute

are trying to develop a drug

that enhances and restores

memory and the synchrotron

tests promise to speed up the

process by 2-3 years. Natasha

Johnson with this report.

72-year-old Dennis Tonks is a

retired primary school teacher and principal who once

delighted in a sharp mind. But

four years ago he was diagnosed

with early Alzheimer's, a

degenerative brain disease

after developing concentration

problems and becoming lost in

familiar places. On one

occasion we went to Forest Hill

Shopping Centre 'cause I wanted

to buy some stamps. And I had

to ring Marg up because I

didn't know where I was. Had

no idea. The disease affects

Dennis Tonks's ability to

concentrate on hobbies, reading

and handle the couple's

finances. It also forced them

to give up the camping holidays

planned for their

retirement. On the bad day s

Denis just becomes like he's a

different person. He withdraws

into himself and he doesn't

want to talk. He'll just go

and lie down and sort of like a

depression, I guess, and

complete withdrawal. I think

probably the thing that's

affected him is he was sort of

feeling as if each day he loses

a little bit more independence.

There's too much sky

there. Yes, too much sky,

everything is blue. It's

extremely frustrating, yes.

I'd love to be doing other

things at a higher level. But

I have to - I've had to adjust

to the fact that things have

changed. 220,000 Australians,

one in three over the age of

90, are living with dementia. There's currently little that

can be done to treat it and

with a greying population it's

only going to get worse. Research into dementia

is really a race against time.

Now the Australian synchrotron

is offering a glimmer of

hope. This is a great advance

for science in Australia to do

the first experiments on the

synchrotron. It's a great

honour. It's remarkable how

much this will speed up our

drug program. It's about the

size of a football ground a

complicated scientific

instrument capable of creating

beams of light millions of

times brighter than the sun to

create images of molecules

100,000 times smaller than the

width of a human hair. It's a

scientist microscope. We are

able to see things in fine

detail that you can't see with

a normal microscope. The

things we are looking at are

very small. In its first

research application the

Australian synchrotron is

shining its light on a brain

cell protein which may hold the

key to a potential treatment

for dementia, the most common

form of which is Alzheimer's

disease. This is a picture of a

normal brain and that's a

picture of a brain with

Alzheimer's disease and as you

can see here the whole brain is

shrunken. Neuroscientist Dr

Siew Chai and Dr Anthony

Albiston at the Howard Florey

Institute in Melbourne

discovered a protein in brain

cells called irap is involved

in memory. Exactly how irap

works is a mystery, but in

tests on rats the scientists

have found that certain drug

compounds act on irap to

improve memory. Within five

minutes of being injected with

the compounds, the rats perform

dramatically better in memory

tests. We've shown in animals

that these drugs that we're

developing can and restores

memory in animal models that

have dementia, and we hope that

although these drugs will not

cure Alzheimer's disease, they

can be used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's

disease, being the loss of

memory. The challenge now is to

refine the drugs for human use,

and that's where the

synchrotron comes in. Hi, how

are you? A big day for us

today. Excellent. Working in

collaboration with leading

structural biologist Professor

Michael Parker from St

Vincent's Institute Institute,

Dr Chai's team has until now been testing compounds on a

computer model of what they

think irap looks like. But the

synchrotron will actually give

them a picture of the real thing.

thing. With the scientists on

the outside of a led-lined

laboratory, inside a robot

plucks test samples preserved

at minus 160 degrees in a tank

of liquid nitrogen to place

before the beam line. I think

we should be ready to see our

first pattern now. There it

is. That's an exciting moment.

We're not guaranteed that a crystal will scatter X-rays all the time. There might be some problem with the

crystal. They're not yet

looking at irap but over the

next month data collected by

the synchrotron will produce an

accurate 3-dimensional image

similar to this, of irap and

drug compounds attached to it.

It will accelerate development

of more effective drugs with

fewer side effects. A total

experiment rather than taking

hours or days can now take

minutes to perform. And that

will speed our drug discovery

program by months if not years,

because we'll be getting much

more accurate representation of

irap. You see a light at the

end of the tunnel after 20

years of research. And that's

good news for people living

with dementia, which costs the

community upwards of $6.5

billion annually. Right now in

Australia there are around 150

new cases of dementia after

day. But if we don't make

progress in research by 2050

we'll have nearly 500 new cases

every day in Australia. So any

research development, like is now possible with the synchrotron, is hugely

exciting. It may not help us

tomorrow, but in another five

years, ten years, we hope certainly before 15 years,

these are the advances that we

really need. We thought we might never benefit from the

research, but perhaps there's a

chance now. Natasha Johnson

with that good news story.

That's the program for tonight. We'll be back at the same time tomorrow, but for now,

goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

CC

Hell oh, I'm car oh line

Jones. Tonight ereturn to the

store y of boot make er turn

ed cla classical singer

Peter Brockehurst. When he

first appeared on the program

four years ago there was a

powerful response and he

quickly developed an Army of

devoted fans around the

nation but sudden success did

not turn out quite as he

might have imagined. This is

the continuing story of Peter the continuing story of Peter Brockehurst.

# Ave Maria... We all Noi

the wonderful voices of the

three tenors. Now we are told an Australian name should be

added to the list of great

operaers. Peter Brockehurst... Have you got

time for a song? Can you

give me a key? Peter

Brockehurst, who is back with

us on the show, I do not need

to plug any dates or concerts

because they are all sold

out. Beautiful work. Peter

Brockehurst. Peter

Brockehurst, welcome. Ladies and gentlemen, Peter

Brockehurst.

This is my outdoor

concert halt. I sing for the

ducks, they are my ducks.

When things were going really

good for Peter he had a glow

about him, a spark, his soul

was being nourished, that is

what it was like, deeper in

the soup fishal do your hair,

put on suit and you look

good. There was something

deep inside his core that was

alive. When I went and saw

him where he is living now at

the caravan it is like he had

just been crushed and he

didn't really care about his

health and how he looked and

the hope had been taken away.

The reality is that Peter's

demise is due to Peter the

same as Peter's rise and

success was due the Peter. It

is a personal concern to me

as to how he psychologically