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ABC News Breakfast -

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(generated from captions) Nelson Mandela fronts a

cheering crowd of 100,000 to

endorse the ANC leader Jacob

Zuma ahead of Wednesday's

election in South Africa. The controversy over controversy over Victoria's Bushfire Royal Commission

increases as witnesses gather

for the first day of the

hearing, the and Western

Bulldogs lose the first game of

the season going down to West

Coast by 33 points at Subiaco Oval.

Live. This Program is Captioned

Good morning, it's Monday, 20

April, I'm Virginia Trioli, And

I'm Joe O'Brien, the top story on ABC News Breakfast, pressure

is mounting this morning on the

Government to break its silence

over last week's asylum seekers

boat explosion that killed five

people, injuring dozens more,

senior Government officials

confirmed to the ABC that confirmed to the ABC

asylum seekers doused the deck

with petrol as a threatened act

of sabotage, the news came as

the Defence Department released

footage. Kevin Rudd and Indonesia's Indonesia's President Susilo

Bambang Yudhoyono offered

closers cooperation. The ABC

has been told another boat

carrying asylum seekers is on

its way to Australia. I am not

going to prejudge what a police

investigation is going to conclude. I don't know what

happened, you don't know what

happened, and speculation is

not appropriate. I would think

a great deal is known about a great deal is known

what happened, and I would hope that the Federal Government makes a more detailed makes a more detailed statement

to the Australian people. The

time has come for Mr Rudd to

tell the Australian people the

truth. Malcolm Turnbull there

amongst a cast of dozens this

morning, for more Hayden Cooper

joins us from Canberra. Good

morning, first of all, let's go

through some of the details

that the ABC revealed last

night on our news night on our news Bulletin.

Chris Uhlmann had a report

about what senior Government

officials do know about the

last moments of that burning

ship. That's right, it seems ship. That's right, it

the only information coming out

is coming through unidentified

sources, and as you say, Chris

Uhlmann, my colleague has been

told that petrol was spread

around on the boat in question,

but it was done so because but it was done so because the

asylum seekers feared they were

about to be towed back to

Indonesia, they spread the

petrol as a threat and the

ignation may well have been an

accident. So it's again the

case that instead of any sort

of official word from

Government, we are all having

to rely on other sources like

this one. And this is the

problem. The Government seems

to have painted itself into a

corner here, a corner of

silence, albeit a well-meaning

one when it said from the

beginning it didn't want to

inflame a situation that was

very inflammatory many years ago during the children

overboard crisis. Yes, and the

great danger for the Government

is going too far in the other

direction, because there seems

to be an air of secrecy, and

the question is how long can

they go on without giving any

information whatsoever. Each

day the push for some sort of

statement from the Government

intensifies, it's been driven

in large part by the

Opposition, but it would seem

that surely the need for that surely the need for some

sort of statement is growing

based at the very least on the

accounts of the sailors who

were at the scene and who have

since been interviewed. Now, on

the issue of discussions

between Indonesia and

Australia, we mentioned in the

introduction to the program

that there's been a

conversation between Kevin Rudd and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,

what do we know about

that? Well, Kevin Rudd spoke to

his Indonesian counterpart last

night. They have agreed that

the reason for the increase the reason for the increase in

asylum seekers is due to

something they call push

factors, what they mean is more factors, what they mean is

asylum seekers are choosing to

leave dangerous places like

Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri

Lanka, and they are going in

search of a better life. search of a better life. So

Kevin Rudd obviously does not

want to accept any part of the

blame for this incident, he

doesn't want anyone to believe

that Government policy could

recent increase at least have led to the influx or the

recent increase at least in

asylum seekers, so that's the

form of words he seems to have

agreed upon with Susilo Bambang

Yudhoyono. And as you say, they

are also looking at greater

cooperation to try to reduce

the flow. If you are talking

about push factors, you are not

acknowledging the pull factors,

as the Opposition is arguing is

an amended or changed policy

when it comes to asylum seekers when it comes to asylum

here in Australia. What is the

Opposition line on all of Opposition line on all of this

over the weekend and this

morning. Malcolm Turnbull is

suggesting some sort of

cover-up. As I say, each day he

has been fronting the press,

not willing to let this one go.

He wants to try to make a point

here that the Government's

policy or changed policy last

year can be held partly

responsible for the increase in responsible for the increase

asylum seekers approaching our

shores. On the other hand

though, he's not proposing any

decent alternative. Malcolm

Turnbull is simply criticising

the Government's policies, suggesting that there's some suggesting that there's

sort of cover-up based on the

lack of information coming lack of information coming out.

I don't think that's

sustainable for a very long

time because Malcolm Turnbull

is not saying what the

Opposition's policy is, if he

is criticising the new regime,

what does he propose. He did

acknowledge yesterday is that the Pacific Solution is

history. Yes. But he doesn't go

further than that. For

examples, would a Malcolm

Turnbull Government bring back

temporary protection visas,

these are some. Questions he

must confront as well. Hayden

Cooper thanks so much. To other

news, in South Africa former

President Nelson Mandela made a

surprise appearance at the

final campaign rally of the governing African National

controversial African National Congress, he publicly endorsed

Congress leader Imam Congress leader Imam Sumudra in

front of 100,000 cheering front of 100,000 cheering -

Jacob Zuma in front of 100,000 supporters. The Royal

Commission into the Victorian

bushfires starts this morning,

hundreds of affected

hundreds of affected residents

have been denied legal representation, the

commission's legal council says

par piss pants under scrutiny

are allowed to have lawyers.

The investigation is headed The investigation is headed by

Justice Bernard Teague, and is

expected to deliver an interim report which August. Australia

joins western nations in a

boycott of United Nations

conference on racism,

conference on racism, the Foreign Ministered Stephen

Smith says there are concerns

the meeting in Geneva will be

used as a platform to air

anti-Semitic views. United

States, Canada, Netherlands and

Israel are refusing to Partis

payment. Afghanistan's problem

announces lance to train announces lance to train 15,000

police officers in time for the presidential election in

August. United States and

Canada pledged funding, they

employ 82,000 now. The country's Interior Minister

says there may be a doubling of

those numbers in the long

term. And Somali pirates

continue their assault on

foreign ships, they have seized

a Belgium freighter in a Belgium freighter in the

Indian Ocean near The

Seychelles, the 'Pompei' is

towing a smaller boat sailing

towards the coast. NATO

worships foiled an attack in

the Gulf of Aden after a 7-hour

pursuit. It's shaping up as the

most competitive election most competitive election since

the end of the end of apartheid. African

National Congress is battling

to maintain a large majority.

It received a boost with the

appearance of former appearance of former President

Nelson Mandela at its final

rally, Africa rally, Africa correspondent

Andrew Geoghegan reports from Johannesburg.

CHEERING

. Jacob Zuma, the man expected

to become South Africa's next

President. There to support him

was former President Nelson

Mandela, who took the ANC to

power 15 years ago. Comrades,

we have achieved a lot over the

last 15 years. There's still

much more to be done. But the

ruling party is facing its toughest challenge yet. Its

support base is faltering, support base is faltering, and there are concerns about Jacob

Zuma, who is tainted with

allegations of corruption, the

prospect of a Jacob Zuma

presidency worries one of the

country's most respected

figures. It may be, of course,

that he will find power

disciplining him, and making

him a little less shall we say

volatile. But a majority volatile. But a majority of

South Africans remain loyal to

the ANC. Now, for this country,

we want it to be free for

whatever time in the future it

leads the ANC. This country,

no matter what majority the ANC

receives is in safe hands, and

nothing will ever go

wrong. Polling suggests the

ANC will win the election in a

landslide, but with a reduced

majority. The party of Nelson

Mandela still has a firm grip

on power. The Iranian on power. The Iranian President

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says a

journalist jamed for spying

should enjoy her - jailed for

spying should enjoy her legal

right to appeal. It came in an

unusual letter from Roxana

Saberi's case. Roxana Saberi,

an Iranian American was jailed

for eight years at a secret

one-day trial in Tehran at the

weekend. US President Barack

Obama says he's confident she

wasn't involved in espionage

and is worried about her well

being. I'm gravely being. I'm gravely concerned

with her safety and

with her safety and wellbeing.

We are working to make sure

that she is properly treated

and get more information about

the disposition of her case.

She is an American citizen I

have complete confidence she

was not engaging in any sort of

espionage, she's an Iranian who

was interested in the was interested in the country

which her family came from.

We don't know about the

conditions, but we knew that

she was kept in a political

ward of the prison. There are

only two other persons there.

She didn't complain about

She didn't complain about the

food or anything, but she is

under psychological

pressure. The Royal Commission

into this year's Victorian

bushfires is set to begin

hearings this morning, the

inquiry is embroiled in

controversy with accusations

that hundreds of victims are

denied legal representation. To explain why Lisa Maksimovic

joins us from outside the

Melbourne County Court. Good

morning, what's the reasoning

behind the decision not to

allow the victims of the fire

to have legal to have legal representatives

in the hearings. Well, leave to

appear in terms of a Royal

Commission actually means an

entitlement to have legal

representation at a Royal

Commission. It's only people

who are granted leave to appear

who are able to make oral

submissions to the hearings.

Now, the reasoning behind

whether individuals or

organisations are given that

right, according to the Royal

Commission's web site is this.

It says, "Leave to appear may

be granted to a person or

organisation whose conduct is

to be scrutinised or to be scrutinised or questioned

as a consequence of evidence

before a royal commission", it

says here that it's unlikely

that a person whose conduct is

not under potential scrutiny

would be granted leave to

appear. So this is something

that individuals and families

are angered by because they

have already received letters

last week outlining whether their applications have been

granted or denied. Have we

already had some sort of

reaction from

reaction from residents in

relation to this announcement. Well, we announcement. Well, we have

over the weekend. Today at the

preliminary is when the

applications are to be formally

considered by the judge, but

over last weekend, as I

mentioned, people have received

letters, so over the weekend

people were voicing their

anger, mostly through the

media, because, of course,

individuals, as premier John

Brumby said when he announced

the Royal Commission, he said

this would be a Royal

Commission for all Victorians,

so people that have lived

through the fires, losing loved ones have assumed they'd

ones have assumed they'd be

able to be a part of it and

they'd honour their loved ones through making submissions

here. Now they are told they

may not have that chance, they

are very angry about

it. Haven't they had some kind

of involvement in the process,

there's been stories there's been stories of Justice

Bernard Teague, who is heading

the commission, going out to

the areas and speaking to the

residents. There's been 26

informal hearings, now

informal hearings, now the

Royal Commission actually went

around to individual towns over

about a four to five week

period, and hundreds of people

did attend those. They were

closed to the media, so the

Royal commights has come under

criticism for that. They were

closed to the media, but open

to anyone who wanted to come

along. It wasn't formal

evidence they were giving,

basically it was an open forum

where people sat around, wrote

down ideas, and Justice Bernard

Teague basically said he wanted

their opinions so he knew how

to proceed with the Royal

Commission, what priorities

should be, but people have

understood that after that they

would have a chance to give

formal evidence. As you pointed

out there, John Brumby had

described this as the people's

commission, it was going to be

the people's commission, it's embarrassing result then embarrassing result then that

they are not going to have their own legal their own legal representation

in the inquiry, is there any

likelihood that there'd be a turnaround turnaround and Justice Bernard

Teague could allow this kind of

representation? Well, that's

something we could see today at this preliminary hearing,

that's what it's for, to

formally consider these

applications. And it is embarrassing for the Government

because, of course, as you

mentioned that's how mentioned that's how Premier

John Brumby belt it out in the

beginning, saying no stone

would be left unturned, it

would be open to all Victorians and people assumed

and people assumed they'd be

able to be part of this, they

were the first-hand witnesses

and their opinions would really

matter. And, of course, the

decision to not grant leave to

appear to hundreds of people

seems to fly in the face of

that. The Prime Minister, we've

heard over the weekend in reports in Melbourne newspapers

has also pitched in to this

argument. It was reported argument. It was reported that

he was - that a woman came he was - that a woman came to

him who was being denied leave

to appear and he's now gone to

the Premier himself to inquire

about these types of decisions,

so we might see whether that

intervention will make a

difference today. Pressure from

all sorts of places, Lisa

Maksimovic in Melbourne thanks

for that. Now to the front

pages. Major newspapers. The

Age - asking the Government to tell us what happens as it

maintains silence on the

explosion about the explosion

on board a boat carrying asylum seekers. The Sun divides the

front page between a picture of

the burning asylum seekers boat

before it sank and an offer of

a free footy cards album. a free footy cards album. The Sydney Morning Herald has a

photo of the burning boat. And

reports the Government is

fighting off Opposition claims

that it was engaged in a

cover-up. The Courier Mail has

a photo of three Afghan

children detained in Indonesia

with an excerpt asking for

asylum in Australia. Adelaide

Advertiser dubbed South

Australia's Road Safety Minister Tom Koutsantonis

Minister Tom Koutsantonis chief

of the hoons after it was

revealed he'd been fined for

speeding almost 30 times. And

aged care hostel has been

threatened with Government

sanctions after an

investigation questioned the

wellbeing of residents

wellbeing of residents reports The Northern Territory The Northern Territory News.

The Australian reports that

china's Government controlled

national pension fund is

expected to embark on a

multibillion buying spree to

gain large sfaets in western

corporations. Stephen Conroy

will push governments funding

for the National Broadband Network. The Financial Times

says. The Daily Telegraph says

a baby girl left on a goor step

in NSW has been named Sunday

April by police and hospital

staff. She's doing well after a

couple of feeds. The Mercury

says Tasmanians miss out on says Tasmanians miss out on an

Anzac Day long weekend. Laws

will be changed to ensure a

long weekend in 2010. If you'd

like to send feedback: like to send feedback: doorstep in NSW has been named Sunday April by police and hospital staff. She's doing well after a couple of feeds. The Mercury says Tasmanians miss out on an

Anzac Day long weekend. Laws will be changed to ensure a long weekend in 2010. If you'd

like to send feedback: The top stories on ABC News Breakfast

this morning - the Government's

no comment approach to no comment approach to the

asylum seekers boat explosion

comes under renewed fire from

the Opposition, and unnamed Government officials confirm

last week's accident was caused

by asylum seekers dousing the

deck with petrol in a threatened act of threatened act of sabotage.

Nelson Mandela fronts a

cheering crowd of 100,000 to

endorse doors ANC leader Jacob

Zuma ahead of Wednesday's

election in South Africa. They

are expected to win the poll,

analysts saying it's unlikely

to retain the two third

majority it enjoys. The

controversy over Victoria's bushfire royal commission

escalates as witnesses gather,

hundreds of affected hundreds of affected residents

have been denied legal representation because only

participates likely to

participants likely to come

under scrutiny are being

allowed to have lawyers present.

South Australia's Road Safety

Minister says he won't resign

from his portfolio despite

being caught speeding nearly 30

times since 1994 and wracking

up nearly 10,000 in fines. Tom

Koutsantonis has been a critic

of motorists who broke the

rules since being sworn into

the position and says he has reforms. Chris McLoughlin

reports. He's been a Minister

for seven weeks, life in the

fast lane has caught up fast lane has caught up with

Tom Koutsantonis, since taking

the ministerial oath the ministerial oath he

highlights the danger of

speeding When you are on a

public road speeding is not an

option, we want people to not

speed, slow down. The minister

can't stand on his record,

clocking up 32 fines for

speeding and running red

lights. He couldn't be lights. He couldn't be sorier I

am not here to say, "Please

forgive me", I'm here to say

I'm sorry, I did the wrong

thing. The Premier told Mr Tom

Koutsantonis he must never

reoffend. It's improving,

disappointing, he knows - I

told him in no uncertain terms

that we will not tolerate

reoffending. The Opposition

says the Premier's response

should match his rhetoric on

law and order issues. He's

appointed a hoon driver to his

cabinet and is standing by the

hoon driver and leaving him in

the post. It is a disgrace. Mr

Rann says he won't sack

Rann says he won't sack the

Minister but set him a

challenge He can atone for his

prior record by making sure

that we achieve the best road

toll, the lowest road toll

since World War II. Police are

keeping the issue at arms

length. It's an issue for the policitians, I'll stay out of

the discussion at this

stage. Do you feel Lees... Sorry, no comment on

it. The Minister is expected to

introduce a package of road safety reforms to Parliament in

the next few months. Let's look

at finance news - new figures

show retailers are confident of

an economic recovery despite

being forced to lay off

workers, Australian Retail

Association says 23% of

businesses sacked employees in

the three months to March. 11%

of retailers employed extra

staff. It was not all bad news,

11% of businesses expected to 11% of businesses expected

increase staff numbers in the

current quarter. They are

optimistic of employing more people selling more

goods. Let's look at the

finance figures:

In a few minutes Vanessa

O'Hanlon will be here with a

look at the weather. And a

review of the newspapers, this

morning we'll be joined by

broadcaster Gael Jennings. Now

with sport here is Paul

Kennedy. Geelong and St Kilda

are the only two undefeated AFL teams, West Coast Eagles beat

the Western Bulldogs by 33

points at Subiaco yesterday restoring their confidence.

Let's look at action from the

last quarter. Come on Colby, I

want it out of you by the end want it out of you by the

of the quarter. The goal umpire

hasn't moved. Needs a good

bounce. This is his return

game. Gilbee runs in at the

open goal, almost subs his toe

gets one back for the Dogs.

There's what's confronting him.

Cool under pressure, kicking

the goal. The Dogs kick their

third in a row in the last

quarter. Both of these wins

will be at home. Crowd love

that. Welcome back. We have to

be prepared to play anywhere in

Australia, that's where our aim

is as a footy club. We want to

make sure we play consistent

footy in the next couple of

weeks. David Wirrpunda in a

comeback game. Everton neat

Chelsea, mooking Manchester

United out. The Red Devils -

knocking Manchester United out.

The Red Devils rested a lot of

stars, they still expected to

win. The teams were tide.

Everton composed in the the

penalty Shoot out winning

through to the final. With the

goal we'll show you later. It's

just a penalty. Into to English just a penalty. Into to

Premier League Manchester City

beat West Brom 4-2. Tottenham

beat Newcastle leaving the

losers stranded in the

relegation zone, let's look at

a couple of goals.

Still no win for Alan Shearer

since he took obvious, one

point out of nine, Newcastle in

trouble. The NRL had three

games, the stunning performance

was the Bulldogs thrashing of

Parramatta, there wasn't much

between the teams at half-time.

Brett Kimmorley, the veteran

led the Bulldogs to a

big-scoring second half. You

scan see the little fellow had

to run 80 metre and just got to

the line at the end. 48-18 the

end score. The other iners

Warriors and the Cowboys. Mark

Webber had his best Formula 1

result the Australian driver finishing second to his

team-mate in Shanghai, the race

was completely waterlogged. It

didn't stop German Sebastien

Vettel. Red Bull race's first

victory. Let's hear from the

Australian now. Our team has

been through a lot, and a lot

of results slipped through our

fingers, today Sebastien and fingers, today Sebastien and I

capitalised on a car that

worked well and pushed each

other hard in the race, it other hard in the race, it was

tough conditions for the whole tough conditions for the

Grand Prix. It got a little

better in the middle of the

race. At the end it was a

little interesting, and also

when you lose the edge off the

wets they don't cut the water

as well. Very tough race.

Extremely rewarding to get the

result, and personally for

myself it's my best result of

my career, I hope to go one

step better in the future, this

is a long way towards is a long way towards it. Back

to the FA Cup result that was a

major upset, Manchester United

rested stars as I said.

Interesting fact was Tim Howard

was the goalkeeper for Everton,

that saved a couple of those

goals, he's an ex-Manchester

United player. You can see a

couple of lame attempts, and

here comes the winner for

Everton there. Timmy Cahill,

the Australian playing for

Everton missed his penalty

earlier. That's what you call

getting out of jail, missing

your penalty but your team wins

through, Chelsea in the final

of that, at the FA Cup, and

also through to the semis of

the Champions League with Guus

Hiddink doing wonders there. It

denies Manchester United five

potentially five trophies, I

think. They wanted to win all

five. I guess what's happened

is Liverpool has, in the last

couple of weeks, made it a

really tough race in the

English Premier League. Which

is making it tough

is making it tough for

Manchester United to play its

full strength team in all different competitions. different competitions. That

will be interesting, we'll get

to see Timmy Cahill run around to see Timmy Cahill run

in the FA Cup Final. In in the FA Cup Final. In the

Formula 1, it's great to see

other teams continuing to make

an impact instead of regulars.

And Mark Webber getting a

result. He finished

second. What do you want to say

about Mark Webber You noe. I'll

say this, he made second

because what was it five cars because what was it five

smashed up on the way around. smashed up on the way

How many other drivers fell out

of that. It was a doit it It

was a Steven Bradbury result It

was a bath. They shouldn't have

held it. The rain was too

heavy, it was dangerous. A

couple of drivers said they

were aquaplaning With the rear

diffusers. The safety car was

out for eight or nine laps. It

was ridiculous, I'm being mean

been Mark Webber. The one thing

to keep in mind is his team-mate finished first, they

are in a couple of good cars.

I grant you that. On

water. He's in a good car and

may have a chance of winning, I

have to eat humble pie on

another matter raised last week

about the crowds at the IPL. A

few people are turning up to

the cricket in South Africa.

We'll talk about that

later Yes, they are. We'll talk

briefly, it's been overplayed

Terry Wallace's position at

Richmond. We all know his team

is losing, he's probably going

to get the sack, but he's

copping an absolute bashing in

all quarters of the football

needia. I'm filing that story

under, "I really don't care".

Thank you Paul. ABC News

Breakfast can be watched live

on the web from anywhere. Now

for the first time this

morning, here is Vanessa

O'Hanlon with the weather, and

it's Big Brother wild up in NSW. Good morning, it certainly

was yesterday, there could be

decent rainfalls on the way,

50mm are possible along the

coast from the hupter to the

Queensland boarder, looking at

the maps, we'll see where the

showers fall along the East

Coast as a low deepens in Coast as a low deepens in the

Tasman Sea, and a high

extending a ridge into NSW,

causing heavy rain along the

north coast and the trough in

the west causing showers for

the interior of the central and

western parts, a low in western parts, a low in the

Timor Sea directing humid

easterly winds over the top

end. On the NSW coast the low

cloud in fresh southerly wind,

causing scattered showers, and

the high cloud drifting down

from Indonesian storms, but not

causing rain. Queensland - isolated showers and

thunderstorms about the Gulf,

developing over the south-east

corner as well. NSW - mid North

Coast bracing for heavy storms,

showers for the coast and

ranges, rain in the north,

dangerous surf for the northern

and Central Coast. In Victoria

- fog about the south, isolated

showers over Gippsland, fine

and sunny, smoke hads over the

north-east and south. Tasmania

- north eastern and upper west

coast drizzle. Cloudy, cool to

mild day. Light winds. South

Australia - isolated showers

north wet of about Ceduna to

Oodnadatta. Storms in the west.

Mild conditions in the south,

warm in the north. WA - sunny

and warm. Interior showers and

storms. Isolated showers and

thunderstorms for West

Kimberley, isolated Kimberley, isolated showers

over the northern top end

during the afternoon, a storm

or two over the North Coast.

Tomorrow: The top story -

pressure is mounting on the

Government to break its silence

over last week's asylum seekers

boat explosion that killed five

people and injured dozens more,

Government sources told the ABC

that the asylum seekers doused

the decks with petrol as a

threatened act of sabotage. The

news came as the Defence

Department released footage of

the boat burning off Ashmore

Reef, 41 survivors are in

hospitals in Perth, Darwin and

Brisbane, most in a stable

condition. Several have serious

blood infections, for the

latest on the injured we are

joined by Lana Taranto in the

ABC's Perth newsroom. Bring us

up to speed if you can by the

survivors treated in hospitals

in Perth. Good morning, there

are 22 Afghan asylum seekers

and one Indonesian man being

treated in Royal Perth Hospital

burns unit. Most of the

patients are suffering burns of

up to 5 and 55% of their up to 5 and 55% of their bodies

- very serious burns, and the

patients are ranging in age

from 16 to 50 years of age, most of them are young most of them are young men.

They are all in a stable condition condition at Royal Adelaide

Hospital at the moment, and all

are expected to survive, which

is great news. However, they

are under observation for blood

infections which are a serious

issue with burns. Some of them

could be released as early as

next week, others could take months, possibly years to

recover from the burns.

Surgeons in Perth have been

working tirelessly over the

weekend, it's a situation of

all hands on deck, from what we

understand up to 150 staff understand up to 150 staff at

Royal Adelaide Hospital will be

working on the patients working on the patients - Royal

Perth Hospital will be working

on the patients keeping them in

the situation they are, at this

stage they made a joke saying

there's no chance of a day off

any time in the future. They

been all hand on deck in

Perth. Has the Burns Perth. Has the Burns specialist

Fiona Wood been involved in the

treatment. She's renowned and

celebrated for the work she's

done with burns victims done with burns victims and

those from the Bali bombing. That's correct, Fiona

Wood heads up the team in Perth

and said her experience in the

Bali bombings is invaluable.

She's known for pioneering a

spray-on skin treatment used

for the victims of the Bali

bombings, and said the

experience she went through in

treating a lot of the victims

helped in this situation, also

helped staff at Royal Perth Hospital prepare for a situation like this as

well. Now, you mentioned that some might be released some might be released soon,

but some will take months to

recover, does that mean in some

cases we could have some of

those people in hospital for months? Yes, that's months? Yes, that's correct.

The surgeons here have said

that obviously best case

prognosis and those with, you

know, less burns to the body

would be released as erlies as

next week, they are saying

those with - early as next

week, those with serious burns,

up to 55%, it's a huge recovery

time, up to months in hospital

in Perth and fully recovered it

could take years. I know it's

furthered afield, can you

update us on the situation of

those wounded in Darwin and Brisbane? Yes, that's Brisbane? Yes, that's correct,

there are 11 people wounded in

Darwin, they are Darwin, they are in Royal

Darwin Hospital in a stable condition, however, there are

seven in Royal Brisbane seven in Royal Brisbane and

Women's Hospital, four in

induced combas, a lot with

serious blood infections, the

situation in Brisbane is serious. Good to talk to serious. Good to talk to you

Lana Taranto. It's a story

rolling on, as you know it has

political dimensions with the

Opposition claiming that the

softening of asylum seekers

policy by the Government

contributed to people getting

on boats and people smugglers

being emboldened to their task.

What do you think:

To other news - in South Africa the former Africa the former President

Nelson Mandela has made a

surprise appearance at the

final campaign rally of the governing African National

Congress, the 90-year-old

publicly endorsed the

controversial ANC party controversial ANC party leader

Jacob Zuma in front of 100,000

cheering supporters, the ANC is

expected to win Wednesday's

poll, analysts say it's

unlikely to retain the

two-thirds majority it holds

now. The Royal knhigs into the

Victorian bushfires starts -

commission into the Victorian

bushfires starts, hundreds of

residents denied

representation, only

participants likely to come

under scrutiny are allowed to

have lawyers, it is headed

have lawyers, it is headed by

Justice Bernard Teague, and is

expected to deliver an expected to deliver an interim

report by August. Australia report by August. Australia is

joining other western nations

in a boycott of United Nations

conference on racism. Foreign

Minister Steven Smith Minister Steven Smith says

there are concerns the meeting

in Geneva will be used as a

platform to air anti-Semitic

views, United States, Canada,

Italy, Netherlands and Israel

are refusing to participate. Afghanistans

Government announces plans to

recruit and strain 15,000 recruit and strain 15,000 more

police officers in time for the presidential election in

August. The United States and

Canada pledged funding for the

training, the Afghan police

force employs 82,000 now, the country's Interior Minister

says there may be a doubling of

those numbers in the long term. Orthodox Christians

around the world celebrated

Easter. In Jerusalem thousands

converge said on converge said on the Church of

the Holy Sepulchre,

Christianity's holiest Christianity's holiest shrine,

this weekend's services passed

without incident, Israeli

police stepped up security

after rival Orthodox

denominations clashed in

previous years. Indian security forces shot and killed three

members of a Pakistani militant

group, it's not clear if it's

linked to general election,

security forces are on high

alert during four weeks of voting, Alicia Byrne

reports. The police say the

militants be long to

Lashkar-e-Toiba, and were

killed in a batting in Northern

Jammu, and and Kashmir. Zahida

helped the militants, I used to tell them let's get tell them let's get the

election over, there are more

women as well, we'll take

action afterward. Police say

they recovered AK-47 rifles and ammunition, India's Northern

Jammu and Kashmir is a

sensitive region, Pakistani

militants crossing the border,

they have been blamed for

terror activities, secury in

India has been stepped up for

Democratic elections taking

place in for weeks, in Agra

river patrols are planned

around the historic Taj around the historic Taj Mahal.

TRANSLATION: The level of

water in the river is low these

days, so we are making use of

pickets to keep watch on the

monument. As soon as the water

level rises we'll start using

the boats. Security has been

steadily increased around steadily increased around the

Taj Mahal since November's

Mumbai terror attacks. Now Mumbai terror attacks. Now the

Road Safety Minister, new South

Australian rowed Sunshine Coast

minister Tom Koutsantonis is to

keep his - Road Safety keep his - Road Safety Minister

Tom Koutsantonis is to keep his

job despite being caught many

times for speeding, Mike Rann

was aware the Minister lost his

licence a decade ago but

unaware of his offending

history. Tom Koutsantonis is

calling on the public to forgive him. Kirsty Bennett

joins us from Adelaide. How

long does that record extend

back. Now, there's been more

than 30 traffic offences in the

past 15 years since 1994.

past 15 years since 1994. Mr

Tom Koutsantonis racked up

about 10,000 worth of fines,

that hasn't pleased the South

Australian Premier, he says he

won't sack the Minister, but

has set him a challenge to

lower the road toll to levels

never seen since World War

II. What kind of offences do

these involve, are they all

speeding. Not all of them.

There's 27 speeding fines, he's

been caught running a red

light, and also driving while

using a mobile phone. There was

also an instance - incident

when he lost his licence for

three months, there's three months, there's been

reports of outstanding fines,

and Tom Koutsantonis says he'll

check them today and pay

outstanding fines that he may

have. What was he doing at the

time. Is there explanation as

to why there are so many

transgressions here? He did say

that majority of them were

while he was a taxi driver, but

the strange thing is that the stranne thing is that the strange thing is that

majority of them were in 1994

and he became an MP in 1997.

Between '97 and now there's Between '97 and now there's a

number of fines, and the other

point is he's been Road Safety

Minister for seven weeks,

during that time he's spread

the message for people to slow

down and given these messages

and his track record he has

apologised and will be reducing

- introducing reforms into State parliaments within the

coming months. No doubt the

media in South Australia will

be keeping a close eye on be keeping a close eye on him.

Kirsty Bennett in South

Australia, thanks for that. A

nine month long David and

Goliath between a rebel Queensland priest and Queensland priest and the

Catholic Church is now all but

over Father Peter Kennedy was

sacked as administrator of St

Mary's in Brisbane in Mary's in Brisbane in February.

He said his final mass at the

church before leading hundreds

of followers in a new direction, Melinda Nucifora reports. Father Peter Kennedy

has presided over the St Mary's

Parish for almost 30 years. He

said highs last mass at the

South Brisbane church. The last

nine moths of grief, doubt,

sadness and loss can now give

way to optimism. In way to optimism. In February

Father Peter Kennedy was fired

by the Catholic Archdiocese of

Brisbane for unorthodox

practices, he refused to practices, he refused to leave,

St Mary's a congregation in

exile We are as Catholic as the

Pope, no, we are not. Is the

pope a Catholic? That's a good

question actually. Mid with a

through today's service he led

almost 1,000 followers 200m

down the road to create a new

place of worship There's a

certain sadness, I'd say

there's a lot more optimism and strength. What's happening here

is very positive, I think. I

don't mind it I've been going

there my whole life, I think

it's a good change. The Archdiocese considers the move

a breakaway. He moved out to

set up a separate enterprise,

like a private enterprise. And

the Church hierarchy says it's

not considering

not considering excommunicating Father Peter Kennedy, but he

could be stripped of his could be stripped of his rights

to preach and here confessions

If Father Peter Kennedy is

choosing to be a rebel, having

things revoked is probably not

going to worry him. Father Kent

Howell will become St Mary's's

new administrator, but just how

many paritioners are left is

yet to be seen. US yet to be seen. US President

Barack Obama has pledged to

crack down on the flow of

illegally traded - sorry, we

don't seem to have that don't seem to have that story

at the moment. Thailand's

political protests may have

died down for now, we are

moving to another story, sorry,

but the effects on the tourism

industry are felt by businesses

reeling from the financial

crisis. There are predictions

political in stability could

cost of the country $6 billion

in revenue by tourists scared off. Geoff Thompson

reports. This is the Thailand

travellers know what love. A

place where foreigners can

share the culture, and the fun

in a land of smiles. This is

Thailand's uglyier face, which

has lately been seen snarling

on televisions around the

world. Last week Australians

were among the tourists caught

between these co-existing realities. The same day

realities. The same day that

they are all here having a

great time partying, only a few

blocks away there's buses

burning, bombs were exploding,

people rioting with clubs and

sticks and that. But yeah, so

it's definitely a weird experience, for

sure. Thailand's now proven

unpredictability has some

worried its tourism industry

will never regain its status as

one of the nation's biggest

earners We expect now is our

booking has within cancelled

about 40%. Up on this hill

sits the luxury Pattaya Holt

which was easily overrun by the

protesters shutting down an

ASEAN summit. Now down

ASEAN summit. Now down below

Hunyan Samsuwang's beach chairs

are mostly

are mostly empty.

TRANSLATION: We used to have a

lot of people coming here to

rent a chair. Now it is hard to

find guests, it's happening to

almost everyone. It's estimated

the rolling crises could

the rolling crises could cost

at least $6 billion, and more

than 200,000 Thai jobs. With an

ageing monarch and no long term

solution to Thailand's bitter

divide in sight the prospect of

instability in this country is

not a question of if, but when.

You are watching ABC News

Breakfast, the top stories this

morning - the Government's no

comment approach to the asylum

seekers boat explosion comes

under renewed fire from the

Opposition, an unnamed

Government officials confirm

last week's accident was caused

by asylum seekers dousing the

deck with petrol in a

threatened act of sabotage. Nelson Mandela fronts

a cheering crowd of 100,000 to

endorse the ANC leader Jacob

Zuma ahead of Wednesday's

election in South Africa, the

ANC is expected to win, but

analysts say it's unlikely to

retain the two-thirds majority

it enjoys. And the

Conservativecy over Conservativecy over Victoria's

Bushfire Royal Commission

escalates, witnesses gather for

the first day of the hearing,

hundreds of residents denied

legal representation because

only participants likely to

come under scrutiny are allowed

to have lawyers present.

And now for a look at the

national papers, we are joined

by the broadcaster Gael

Jennings, good morning. Good

morning. You have straps across

the front pages, notably the

age, the question everyone is

asking. In all the papers I can

see around the nation except

for The Courier Mail -

for The Courier Mail - yes,

The Courier Mail had that big

photo of 25 second video of the

HMAS Albany going up in flames,

you've been talking about it,

the question is, what caused

it, and I think it's

interesting today, after last

week, and the Queensland

Premier saying that the asylum

seekers doused the boat with

petrol. The Western Australian

Premier. Sorry, saying that Premier. Sorry, saying that the

asylum seekers themselves had

doused the boat with petrol

there's kaurn coming in there's kaurn coming in with

the federal saying no, we'll

have a lauk. It's interesting

looking back as I do in my own

job with television documentaries, we look back

documentaries, we look back at

what happened with the children

overboard and sif ex. There was

a lot of jumping the gun, and

the reports in the newspapers

turned out to be wrong at that

time. They are not jumping the

gun and are still coming under

fire. You know, yes, Colin

Barnett did jump the gun last

week. There have been... It

seems what he said is right.

We don't know, they haven't

looked at it. The most anyone

can say is there were petrol

vapours, no-one knows exactly vapours, no-one knows

what happened yet. The Northern what happened yet.

Territory Police are looking

into it, we have to be very,

very careful because a lot of damage was done with the

children overboard. There were

navy officers there who were on

board and may have a rue on board and may have a rue

what happened. Maybe the

Government could tell us what

they saw, what do you think

about that? That's what

happened last time, and happened last time, and now

although nothing has been

proved, it seems - well, there

was a commission, and there

were different stories coming

from different people on the

boats, and there are

allegations of political

interference and all sorts of

things, we have to be

careful. That's why it's what happened last time. careful. That's why it's not

Because... That's what I'm

saying, it started that way, I

think it's interesting that by

Monday, no, we are not going

there, we won't say what

everyone - what some people saw

and didn't, we'll wait until

the whole thing is vetted. I think it's a big difference. The difference

being though that the naval

personnel back then did say

what they saw had happened, but what they saw had happened,

it was not passed on by the

Government. Publicly, yes. I

think that's where we are

heading, naval personnel will

say to the Government, "This is

what I'm saw" I am not

attributing blame or saying the

cause, but this is what I saw",

and that is not passed on.

Which is similar to last

time In that sense it may be

similar, this time, last time,

the Government was saying exactly what happened exactly what happened and

issued photographs which were

later shown to be cropped later shown to be cropped and,

you know incomplete and out of

context, in fact, wrong. You

think the prudent thing to do

is wait for the Northern

Territory place investigation

you think it's OK for the what happened. As a journalist kind of documentary evidence kind of documentary from all sides and have some to finish Yes, until they know

- situation. This was really it's explosive - excuse the pun to be prudent and it's wise, the last Government", you have navy said, "We were leant on by navy said, "We were leant on position Many members of the reports. Absolutely, they not pass on the eyewitness buckle under the pressure, do the next few days until they Government up to this point and

going with, and something like what the Government was also Australia, this was very much antiasylum seekers sentiment in 2001/'02 there was a strong 2001/'02 there was a different times have changed in story, and it shows how 'The Courier Mail', a different story, the front page of the story, the front page of would like to go to the next the atmorse fear which is why I in last time again really was what got the Howard Government 88% of the Australian population said, "Yes, drag them off to Nauru, we don't want the people in this

country" This is on the front page. The Courier page. The Courier Mail The

Courier Mail has a really

positive Afghani asylum seekers

picture, smiling children

saying, "These poor nent

victims of boat smugglers, they

want to come to Australia",

this is another lot apprehended

on the same day. You think we wouldn't have seen

wouldn't have seen this story.

We have been going through the

papers and stories in

2001/2002. You didn't see

positive stories about Afghani

or asylum seekers as people,

children, normal happy people,

it's a completely different

sentiment. It's mashed very

interesting, I feel. No

positive stories back if 2001.

I didn't look at all the papers. It's not my recollection. Few,

recollection. Few, and the

polls at that time were 88-90%

of Australian people backing what the Government was what the Government was doing,

creating a detention centre on

the rock that was Nauru, and changing boundaries, people

were for it. Not many polls are

taken on the issue, they

reflect similar figures, the

recent poll had it in the 70s

supporting the idea of towing boats

boats back to Indonesia or back

out to waters. Sentiment hasn't

shifted. That's why the Rudd

Government is taking it slowly,

there's allegations that they

have softened what they are

doing, there'll be a glued.

Flood of asylum seekers, and... Taking into account what and... Taking into account

was just mentioned in relation

to the polls, are you surprised

the media is putting the media is putting out

stories like the positive one

that The Courier Mail has the front page It that The Courier Mail has on

the front page It is

interesting, I'm surprised interesting, I'm surprised and

it is interesting, particularly from Brisbane, which was

probably not one of the places

looking more positively in the

old days. I think it is, old days. I think it is, yeah.

I think maybe it feels it must

have done some kind of polling

of its demographic of readers

and must have a sentiment

that's more positive. Let's

move on to another story, move on to another story, we

mentioned briefly before, that

is up in mentioned briefly before, that

is up in Queensland, Father

Peter Kennedy hanging tough for

some time in the face of the some time in the face of

Catholic Church wanting to give

him marching orders. Well, they

did, they dumped him in

February. And he, of course, is

the person who was in charge of the person who was in charge

St Mary's, a Catholic Church

and has a congregation which is

a dispirit lot, middle class,

people on drugs, people who people on drugs, people

sorts have had difficulties, all have had difficulties,

sorts of people who felt maybe

the main stream Catholic Church

was less for them, and so he

was ousted from that church in

February. He stayed put, there

was an occupation almost by he

and his congregation of almost

1,000, yesterday he had his

final assembly, he's moved final assembly, he's moved off

to the tradesand labour council hall, dubbed

hall, dubbed the totally lapsed

Catholic hall. That'll be his

Rehn agreed church. It is, he's

taken up a collection. And been

excommunicated for it. There

was a story we are running this

morning and on the 7:00 morning and on the 7:00 news,

there are a lot of elderly

people in the congregation,

it's a very broad it's a very broad church. Yes

Catholics all it is, people that have been

Catholics all their lives,

normal - main stream Catholics

are there as well. He feels

strongly that he's not going

anything wrong, he's reaching

out to people. Letting them be

in touch with their

Catholicism. A reminder you can

watch all of ABC News Breakfast

streamed live every morning.

With the weekend sport, here is Paul Kennedy, straight to

is Paul Kennedy, straight to

the AFL - West Coast has

the AFL - West Coast has broken

Western Bulldogs unbeaten

streak. The Eels led from start

to finish at Subiaco, it was a

stirring performance,

considering they lost by 97 considering they lost by 97 to

St Kilda last week, the

Bulldogs have been to Perth

twice and won't be too stressed

by the loss. Everton meet Chelsea, knocking Manchester

United out overnight. The Red

United out overnight. The Red Devils rested many of their

stars and went in with a lot of

second string players. After

120 minutes the teams were tied

at 0-0. Australian Tim Cahill

missed his spot kick, so did

two Manchester United players

and eventually Everton won the

shoot-out 4-2. There it goes in

there. Melbourne remains

unbeaten at the top of unbeaten at the top of the

Trans-Tasman Netball Championship

Championship after beating

Adelaide. The thoids built an

early 4-goal leads, the vixens

pulled it back to be 23 pulled it back to be 23 all.

Bianca Chatfield had the better

of her contest with the of her contest with the T-Birds

Kate Beveridge, setting the

vixens on the path to victory,

Kharrel McMahon was dominant. Here dominant. Here is Vanessa

O'Hanlon with a look at the weather. After a dry couple

weather. After a dry couple of

months over in the west, we are

going to see rain this week, up

to 30mm as showers and storms become heavier, more

widespread, it is due to the

trough in the west, letting

rain off over the central and

western interior. Showers falling along most of the East

Coast as a low deepens over Coast as a low deepens over the

Tasman Sea and a high ridge

into NSW causing heavier rain

along the North Coast.

along the North Coast. A low in