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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Good evening. is considering The Federal Government for medicines dumping price protections

under the US Free Trade Agreement. is buckling under pressure The Opposition says the Government from big American drug companies. of pharmaceutical drugs won't go up. But Mr Vaile says the cost for a plane crash Engine failure is being blamed in south-east Queensland yesterday. that killed five people a more powerful engine The Cessna had been fitted with in the Whyalla crash six years ago, similar to that involved in which eight people died. too early to link the two incidents. The Federal Safety Bureau says it's of Papua New Guinea, The controversial former PM Bill Skate, has died aged 52. in Port Moresby Sir William suffered a heart attack on the weekend. and was airlifted to Brisbane to its run chase And Australia has made a shaky start on the second day of the third Test. a formidable total of 451 - The Proteas declared with at 3/54. the Australians ending the day After the declaration, were looking for quick runs, the Australian openers at stumps. but the tourists had the upper hand in the capital cities tomorrow. Now the weather clearing showers. Sydney and Hobart - storms. Brisbane and Darwin -

Adelaide - cloudy. increasing sunshine. Canberra - fine. Melbourne and Perth - More news in an hour.

This program is not subtitled This program is captioned live. Good evening. Joe O'Brien with ABC News. considering The Federal Government's

for medicines scrapping price protection

Agreement. under the US Free Trade is buckling under pressure The Opposition says the Government

from big American drug companies. the prices of medicines won't go up. But Trade Minister Mark Vaile says Mr Vaile made the announcement stint as Acting Prime Minister. at the start of his three week as Acting Prime Minister - Mark Vaile has taken the reins from his property near Taree he's running the country in New South Wales. may scrap a controversial amendment Mr Vaile's announced the Government to the US Free Trade Agreement.

on pharmaceuticals He says it would lift controls but not lift prices. We are not going to allow in Australia the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme or weakened at all. to be undermined at all, was put forward The original amendment Mark Latham in 2004. by Labor leader on drug companies It imposes large fines that try to stop competition. the safeguards should stay. Labor says

the Howard Government We don't want US drug companies. kowtowing to the big has control of the Senate, Now the Government without having to appease Labor. it can get rid of the amendment to stop a practice The amendment is designed known as 'evergreening' - companies take out extra patents. that's when pharmaceutical to stop other companies They use them from copying their products. putting pressure on the Government The drug companies are to drop the amendment. prices won't go up They say they can guarantee if it's scrapped. and without hesitation. Yes, I can, unequivocally increasing the price of medicines. It's got nothing to do with the industry will need to prove The Government says Agreement are detrimental the amendments to the Free Trade if they want them removed. that may be easier said than done. Analysts studying the deal say absolutely no evidence We have found amendments that these anti-evergreening

are having any detrimental effect in Australia. on the pharmaceutical industry government officials Australian and US in Washington on 13 January. will hold further talks Sally Sara, ABC News, Canberra. has risen to 62 The holiday road toll the nation's roads. after more horrific accidents on

regional city of Dubbo today Five people were killed near the NSW in two separate accidents. and a 13-year-old boy were killed A 45-year-old woman in NSW early this morning when a truck ploughed into a van of the road and a 4WD parked on the wrong side north of Dubbo. actually ran out of fuel We believe that the van to assist them. and a motorist stopped is the latest victim in Queensland. A one-year-old boy His mother was at the wheel and into a tree at Drayton, when the car veered off the road near Toowoomba. suffered head injuries. The mother and two other children was killed And a 33-year-old pillion passenger in Adelaide's northern suburbs and a tree when a motorcycle hit a pole

at Hillbank this morning. in hospital. The rider is in a stable condition roads over the holiday period. 61 people have died on Australian late this afternoon NSW's toll rose to 14 a collision between a truck and car when three people were killed in north of Dubbo. in Queensland, 14 people have been killed 13 in Victoria,

and 2 in Tasmania. 11 in SA, 7 in WA

Kevin Tetsworth says Orthapaedic surgeon is equally worrying. the number of serious injuries of reckless and foolish behaviour A lot of it is the result of that and the unintended consequences

and some of it is just tragic. the past four months Bradley Whiteway has spent confined to a hospital bed in a car accident at Hervey Bay. after both of his legs were crushed is a killer" is dead right. That ad on TV about "Every k over five minutes earlier I mean, it might get you there but it's not going to help you... when you're not around. know,

have been injured in road accidents Hundreds of people over the holiday period. slow down and take plenty of breaks. Police are urging drivers to

Kate Scanlan, ABC News. Police are investigating the murder of an elderly couple at Toowoomba, in South East Queensland.

The bodies of a 76-year-old man and his 73-year-old wife were discovered

after police responded to a 000 call from a resident. A 42-year-old man who lived with the couple

has been charged with two counts of murder. In Sydney, police are looking at security footage after a 35-year-old man was stabbed to death at Chiswick, in the city's inner west. The man's 37-year-old brother was also stabbed and is recovering in hospital. A knife was recovered from a nearby bay. And in Melbourne,

an investigation is underway into the death of a man who police say may have been killed up to four days ago.

Michael Griffey's body was found in the garage of a Packenham home. Neighbours say there was a New Year's Eve gathering at the house four days ago. Controversial former Papua New Guinea prime minister Sir Bill Skate has died in a Brisbane hospital. Sir Bill reportedly suffered a stroke in Port Moresby several days ago

and was transferred to Brisbane where he was placed on life support. Several years ago he was embroiled in controversy

when he was recorded by an ABC crew apparently boasting about his involvement

in organised crime in PNG. But his supporters say he had a major role bringing peace to Boungainville after 15 years of civil war. Investigators have found that the skydiving plane that crashed in Queensland yesterday had been modified with a more powerful engine. Wreckage of the Cessna was pulled from a dam today, west of Brisbane where it crashed, killing five of the seven people on board. Looking on, friends and family paid their respects. I don't think any of the police here realised the extent of the damage. It would have been a terrifying last few moments for the people on board. Investigators will spend the next few days at the site. We'll be looking closely at the engine, stripping it down,

so we'll be able to establish from that examination whether the engine was operating normally or not. The Cessna had been fitted with a more powerful engine similar to that involved in the Whyalla crash six years ago