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(generated from captions) Relief for Rockhampton residents but the

damage is already done for the region's cattle farmers. It's This could be the straw that

break breaks the camel's back. Still underwater, Julia Gillard to visit Western Australia's flooded Gascoyne region. A Gold Coast inlation company charged over the death

of an installer. And England

poised for victory in the time

Ashes test in Sydney. Good morning,

top story on ABC News I'm row. I'm Mary Gearin. The

Breakfast. Rockhampton's

residents are waking up to some

good news for a change, not as

many of their homes have been many of

flooded as first thought.

Emergency services have revised

the number down from 400 to 150. The floodwaters have

dipped slightly, but they'll

stay high for some days yet.

Kerri Ritchie reports. To everyone's surprise the river

fell slightly. The mayor's

relieved but fed up who arjt budgeting from their

marooned homes. He says irresponsible parents are risk

their lives and from now on no more supplies will be sent in. That's not starving them out. That's not

It's an appropriate use of the emergency services personnel

that we have. No-one will be

forcibly removed. Instead, police negotiators are trying

to coax people out. People that

are helping will end up being

bitten by a snake apt thing I

don't want to see is someone getting sick or killed. Wayne Wisley is staying

put. We've got solar hot water

system for pour hot showers.

gas stove, so it's just We've got a gas stove, natural

camping to us. We do like our

camping. Lou Mitchell is also

refusing to go to the relief

centre. Even though his home

is cut off He's come in to pick

up chook feed from his

daughter. One of his much-loved hens drowned this morning. We took her upstairs,

put her on a hot water bottle and I went next door to the neighbours and I got a hair

dryer and we put about half an

hour we preened her hour we preened her and now

they's come good. Clayton John

isn't is waiting with his shopping for a boat ride back

to his house. He says the

local council has abandoned the city's battlers. If we had a

hill that would be doing million dollar house on the

everything to help us no. One

wants to know us. Authorities believe In the 1991 floods, three remain for at least 10 days.

locals who stayed on in their

homes drowned. Police and the

mayor don't want to see that

happen again. The mayor also

wants more money from the

says something about Queensland Federal Government. I think it

and Queenslanders that in times

like this, people come together

and provide such great support

and the Federal Government is

very happy to stand shoulder to shoulder with Queenslanders and the Queensland Government to the Queensland

difficult situation. The

river has stabilised, but it is

still hard times ahead for Rockhampton. It is estimated

the airport will be closed for

three weeks. Kerri Ritchie,

ABC News, Rockhampton. The cost

to the Queensland floods just

keeps growing. Local beef

producers are the latest to be

hit. Their stock is trying to

feed on waterlogged land. They

can't get to market and there's

no way for a abattoirs to get

the meat to consumers. Siobhan Barry reports from Dingo in

in send federal's Queensland

prime grazing land is sitting

underwater. At Dingo, cattle

for the second producers have been flooded out

for the second time in three

years. Before the '08 flood

we had quite a number of quite

dry years there, so it's just

one thing after another. This

could be the straw that breaks

the camel's back. A A lot of

damage toed to ter, struck

sphrukt infrastructure, roads.

There's a lot of work to recede. Large tracts of Richard after these waters

Luck's property has been

underwater since the McKenzie

River system flooded in early December. We had 14,000 acres

underwater which is, oh well,

80 per cent of what we call our

fattening country. It will be

another 10 days before the

waters recede. Richard Luck

got most of his stock to dry

ground but relocating the

cattle will put pressure on

that land. The flooded area recover. There's a lot of will take time

damage done there to the

grasses. Some of the grass has

been underwater for many days been underwater for many days

now. Alan Acton owns three

properties nearby. Using his

helicopter, he got his and his

neighbour's cattle to high

ground. He says the biggest

problem graziers face is not

being able to get cattle out to

market. The roads will be dear

rated to extent it could take

months to repair. Meatworks

probably won't be able to fill

their markets because they

won't be able to

the meatworks. It will be an

number of months. Farming ongoing thing for quite a

groups say that will affect

industries further down the

line as well as having an

impact on supply in coming

months. It is not just beef

producers who will be affected.

Farmers with crops in the

region say the floods will cause erosion and weeds. No summer crops in this area

already lost some of their planted and some of them have

winter crops. Yes, it will be

quite devastating actually. AgForce says flood affected producers should

circumstances. Talk to their about the extraordinary negotiate with their lenders

banks, let their banks know banks, let their banks

what the situation is and we as

an industry group is talking to

banks as well. Seek help if

they feel overwhelmed. The

recovery will be measured in

years, not months, they

agree. In other news, the Prime

Minister will visit Western Australia's flooded Gascoyne

battling its second flood in region today. The area is

three weeks. About 180 people have left their homes and

entire banana plantations

Gillard will be shocked by the

devastation. Farmers are

financial assistance. A Gold hoping they'll offer them some

Coast company has been charged

over the death of over the death of one of its

insulation installers. Michael

Sweeney was electrocuted almost

a year ago while installing

foil insulation in a home near

Cairns. Titan Insulations is

charged with failing to conduct

its business safely. Australia's intelligence agencies believe China is hiding the size of its military spending. latest WikiLeaks cable, they

say it goes beyond China's national defence and threatens

regional stability. Fairfax

newspapers report the agencies

have found China's military spending at 2006 was a

staggering $90 billion, double

what they had publicly

disclosed. Severe floods in

Brazil have killed at least 35

people and forced more than

30,000 to flee their homes. In

one city, a family of four died

when a mudslide triggered bied Many others have drowned or

been buried by the mud. Heavy

rain has been talling since

Christmas leaving more than

20,000 people homeless. China is thinking about is thinking about a new law

that will force people to visit

their aged parents. Nearly 170

million Chinese are over 60. million Chinese are over 60.

With the economy booming, the

growing pressures of work are loosening traditional family

ties. A government official

has told China's state media

the new law would a will you

elderly people to go to and claim the right to be looked after. The cost of Queensland's devastating floods

is expected to hit the national

economy. But Prime Minister Julia Gillard says it won't

stop the Government bringing

the budget back to surplus.

For more Julie Doyle joins us

from Canberra. The Prime Minister is determined to

preserve that budget bottomline. Yes, she certainly

is. We've seen a lot of talk

about just the impact of the

floods. As you mentioned

there, billions of dollars is being estimated as far as the impact on the We saw the chambers of commerce and industry saying yesterday

they thought this would have an

impact on the impact on the national economy for months effect pause the effect on the agriculture and mining industries. There is

the cost of the flood relief.

We won't know the exact price

tag on the Prime Minister

saying until the floodwaters

recede and we see what the re

koofr vofsz. Given those two

things, there will be an impact

on the budget bottomline. Prime Minister is saying she's determined determined it to meet that

commitment to get the bumth

back into surplus in 2012, 13. There will have to be tough decisions and choices, but

she's determined to meet that deadline. That means spending cuts

cuts potentially. You would

think so. If you've got an

impact on GDP, an impact coming

off the economy, an impact as

as far as spending on flood

relief, where are you going to make up those savings to get

the budget back into surplus? You think when she says tough

decisions that's usually code for spending cuts. The Federal

Government is also unveiling

what it's describes a a major overhaul of the nation's ports.

Tell us a bit about that. The Infrastructure Minister has

written in the Australian today

and there's a report in that

paper as well talking about

this national port strategy

that is to be unveiled today.

It's got 42 recommendations

that are going to go to the Council of Australian

Governments. He's talking

about a better planning around

ports to ease also to improve road and rail links when it comes to being able to cope with more trade

going through our ports. One

of the things he's talking about is better planning around ports around those areas of

freight corridors. He wants to

look at things where getting

the State Governments to look

at putting in place buffer

zones when it comes to

development around ports,

things such as residential developments and shopping

centres. It could be quite

interesting to see how the State

State Governments react to

that. He said in that article

this as a Federal takeover of

the ports, that it's all about

better planning to better

protect freight corridors and

to ease those bottlenecks. We

should see more details of that coming through today. Mr

Albanese would be well aware

looking at the health reform

package and the mining tax,

getting all the states on board

isn't necessarily a given. No,

certainly not, particularly

with the current climate that we have with the Coalition in

power in some of the states as

well. It's certainly not easy negotiation.

with the health plan, with WA

still negotiating there and Victoria the Coalition in

power, of course, so it will be another tough negotiation, wow

expect, at the council of

Australian Government. That's why he's come out and said this

is it not a Federal takeover

because he's trying to get that across at this point. We'll

see how the states react to

it. Julie Doyle in Canberra. Thank you. Western's Australia Opposition Leader Eric Ripper

says he's confidantes of retaining the

week. It might not come an to

that. There are suggestions

this morning ace challenger

doesn't have as much support as

he first thought and is

considering calling the whole

thing off. Barely 24 hours after laying down the gauntlet,

Ben Wyatt is now reconsidering.

Signs that things weren't going

his way began appearing earlier

in the day with Eric in the day with Eric Ripper declaring he'd been flooded with calls of support. The support that I received overwhelming that I'm confident

that I will win on Tuesday. In stark contrast, Ben Wyatt

was saying little about his chances. I'm offering chances. I'm offering an

alternative and the caucus can

accept or reject that. accept or reject that. That will happen next week. It's understood Ben Wyatt believed

he had the support of the most

of the old right faction and

some members of the left, but

he has now been told that some

of them have shifted their

support to Eric Ripper. It's

understood Mr Ben Wyatt may

withdraw before the planned it yet to finalise his decision. He has been offered

an Olive branch with Eric

Ripper suggesting he may being

able to continue at treasuresers. If I can get the

right assurances about out

future I would be prepared to move on

move on from that mistake and

get on with attacking the

Barnett government. Some MPs

have blamed Federal Labor for

Eric Ripper's woes, but the Prime Minister wasn't willing

to buy into it. He's a good

person doing a very tough job as Opposition Leader, leads the State Labor Party is leads the State Labor Party is

a matter for state Labor members. Those state Labor

members may no longer have to

vote on the matter. If the only challenger withdraws.

Let's look at the front pages

of the major newspapers around

the country. The Courier Mail

reports the expected damage bill from Queensland's floods

is so daunting that national spending cuts could be needed

to protect the national

to protect the national

economy. The latest WikiLeaks

show Australia's intelligence hiding the extent of a massive military spending. The Sydney

Morning Herald reports the

agencies says the build up goes

beyond national defence and

poses a serious threat to

regional regional stability. The

Canberra Times says the leaks

show a strategic assessment by the agencies found China's military spending for 2006 was $90 billion. The Australian

says property developers will

face new restrictions on

projects near the waterfront

and ports under a new Federal

Government strat try. Gangland

widow Wendy Pierce says she won't tell what she knows of the Walsh street police murders

to any inquest. The Financial Review reports the Australian Crime Commission chief says the Wickenby taxe vision

investigation was about making Australia unattractive to

promoters of tax haven schemes.

New South Wales premier

Kristina Keneally has explained her decision to front an inquiry into the state's billion dollar electricity

asset sales. The West Australian says challenger Ben Wyatt chapses of toppling Eric Ripper appear to Ripper appear to have resolved. Renewed alarm over the state's economic future. The Northern

Territory News reports a 14-year-old high school girl has been missing for the past 10 days. And the South

Australian premier has pledged

to lead his government to the next election, says The

Advertiser. We can probably

though you some of the front pages that should be attracted pages that should be attracted

most comment this morning and

they are not surprising in the

sporting sections of the major papers. Let's look first at

the Age newspaper sports section which has a particular

take on how the Ashes... That's

the Herald Sun, with a particularly provocative but

not too far from the truth headline. Bring on the fat lady as Michael Clarke screams in

agony after his wicket was

taken yesterday. On the front

page of the Age's sport section

a terrific headline and full marks for the headline writer

or the subat the age who came

one this one. Yet another wicket tumbling headline, "anyone for tennis."

Our prospects on the tennis

scene aren't that great either. Australia is collectively turning away

slowly and looking the other way. If you'd like to add your two cents worth into the national conversation about where our cricketing team should be going and who should

be coming in to replace some of the cricketers who clearly

aren't up to playing on the test cricketing stage, weed's

love to hear from your perspective on that. Also, you

may have seen some of the

newspapers this morning already

that have Gerry Harvey, the retail king, quoted as saying

he has been so hurt by all of this criticism about complaints about online

shopping that he's now stepping

back from his campaign to get that

that GST imposed onion line

purchasers. He's had a go at

what he said is vicious and

hateful personal criticism of hateful personal criticism of

him. Very much for most of his

business career and he says

this, the criticism might come

in one or two nasty letters, but Twitter changes He's seen it all. You've all

been a bit too nasty. A

collective slap on the and.

Send your emails

Let's take a quick look at

the weather. Brisbane rain at

times 26, Sydney a morning

shower or two, 25, Melbourne

mostly sunny and 34, Canberra

could be partly cloudy and 27.

Hobart fine and

dry partly cloudy, 34, Perth a

possible morning shower, 25,

dar within a possible storm

30. The top stories on ABC News Breakfast. There's relief for

residents in Rockhampton this

morning. Floodwaters are dropping and the number of homes inundated in the city is

far fewer than first thought.

Authorities say 150 homes have been inundated. Queensland

isn't the only state hit by

flooding. The Prime Minister,

Julia Gillard will head to

Western Australia today to visit the flooded Gascoyne region. Entire and about 180 people have left their

their homes. A Gold Coast

company has been charged over

the death of one of its

insulation installers. Michael

Sweeney was electrocuted while

installing foil insulation near

Cairns. Titan Insulations is

charged with failing to conduct its business safely. Residents

in Western Australia's Gascoyne

region are counting the cost of

two floods in about as many weeks. are once again cut off. Even though water levels weren't as

high this time, they've been

enough to push some plantation

owners off the land. Pamela method Lyn Gascoyne River was swollen and

moving fast but the town of Carnarvon was spared. It was a

huge relief forest dens who are

still cleaning up from a flood

before Christmas. In the

surrounding region, some

farmers are finding there's

little left to pick up.

They've lost everything. Our

place is at the moment a

complete write off. there since 1963, I was born there, second generation

grower, yeah, we've been

through floods before, but

nothing as severe as this. Just

24 hours ago, authorities had been preparing for the worst,

handing out supplies and phoning each household along

the Gascoyne River to warn the Gascoyne River to warn them

that they could be in danger. I

think everyone was pretty

organised, we did issue a lot of sandbags at the beginning of

the over the last couple of

days because I think people

were stressed and panicky water levels. Although the town escaped another flood the

memory of the previous one was

fresh in many minds. A huge

roar. It's frightening. You

doesn't know how far the

water's coming. People are

optimistic they will bounce

back. I would suggest that 80 per cent of the horticultural

area will be back in production ready to

ready to start planting on or

before 1 February, so that the

winter markets can be supplied

in Perth. There's still no access by road to areas like

Gascoyne Junction and some outlying stations, so emergency supplies and food, water and

mail had to be flown in. The


is scheduled to tour the flood damaged region and residents

are hoping she'll bring with

her the promise of more

financial a assistance. In New

South Wales, Queensland's South Wales, Queensland's flood disaster could actually deliver

an unexpected boost of mining. Floodwaters with mind structure in the north. Coal producers in the Hunter will come under pressure to meet the shortfalls. Flooded

coal mines sit idle in the

worst hit parts of Queensland and even if the mines were operating, their valuable

product couldn't be moved. Demand in Australia's lucrative export markets shows no sign of

abating. The spot lot has been

turned on the nation's other

coal producing regions.

There's likely to be a big swing towards Newcastle for are's already hearing of customers coming now rushing towards Newcastle for more coal. Queensland is the source of around half of the coking coal used in steel

production. Prices have risen

mildly so far, but that's

expected to pick up. We could see another 20 to 30 per cent

rise in the price just at current disruption levels

persist for the next month or two. Queensland also supplies

40 per cent of Australia's

thermal coal exports thermal coal exports for power generation. We'll see thermal

coal prices if move higher.

We're already seeing but we

could see higher prices in the near to medium term. Even though the Hunter is expected to benefit from disruptions in Queensland, there are

challenges. It is a vulnerable

asset to poor queue congestion.

We can can see that emerging

pretty quickly. If anything,

what that does is slows volume

activity not raises it. Whatever the impact, Mark

Pervan says it won't be

shortlived. This could be a longer the order of two to three

months. It could be a four to

five month

situation. Newcastle's port facilities might be

but it seems demand for coal is

on another scale. Karl Hoerr,

ABC News. To the markets now

and US stocks were and US stocks were mixed overnight as the dollar

strengthened and investors mulled a rise in jobless

claims. The Dow is trading 18

points down. cleez cleez

Let's take a look at the sports headlines with Amy

Bainbridge. What's there left to say? pretty much a formality,

unfortunately. In a way we do

have to play today but it could

have even easily wrapped up

yesterday in the SCG. England is about

is about to clinch the first Ashes series win in

Australia in 24 hours.

Australia was 7 for 213 at

stumps, still 151 runs behind

England after a master class in swing bowling by James

Anderson, Chris Tremlett and

Tim Bresnan. That tally was in

reply to England's score of

644. The side's highest total in Australia. The 3-1

series win will be a formality

on the final day at the SCG.

They've been outstanding with

the way they've bowled and then

when this they batted they made

the most of nice batting

conditions and hats off to them

they've played unbelieve well.

We haven't played up to We haven't played up to our standard that we know we can at all

all really, so the way the

results have panned out exactly what they should have been really unfortunately. To come over here knowing

come over here knowing the

history, knowing 24 years since

we've last done that there's

obviously a reason for that.

Amount of hard work,

preparation, everything that's

gone into this tour, all sort of comes out today and of comes out today and obviously tomorrow. It is

fantastic feeling being out there, the support, the Barmy

Army were again absolutely fantastic. To be there with your mates on the field, as I

say, with all the hard work

that's gone in, preparation, training, planning, it makes all that sweeter. Let's

overseas. India has secured a draw in

draw in the third and final

test against South Africa at

knew lands. To earn a share of

the series spoils. To make an

improbable 340 to win England

was 3 for 166 when play was

called of an with eight remaining. 64 runs. It is the

first time in five tours of

South Africa that India has

managed a share of the honours.

We would love to start well in a series, but we couldn't in

this series. It was good to

see the he effort put in by the

fast bowlers. It's not always

a wicket that counts, but at

the end of the day some wickets

you have to bowl fast and give

your best. That was definitely

a good sign. Apart from that,

in our batsmen they're all over the world for scoring,

it was good to see individuals

come up with performances come up with performances like

that. We lost three serieses in India, Marc Albrighton been

one-all, the teams are very

even and it shows in

competitive the cricket S Back

home now, Lleyton Hewitt and

Alicia Molik ended their Hopman Cup singles campaigns with success defeating Kazakhstan last night. Lleyton Hewitt

defeated world number 36,

Andrey Golubev, winning 6-3 6-3 and then Alicia Molik secured

the tie with a win in the

women's singles.

3-nil lot to Serbia on Tuesday ended the host nation's hopes

of qualifying for the final.

In the days other tie, Justine Henin defeated former world number one Ana Ivanovic 6-4 6-3

in 76 minutes. Novak Djokovic's win

Djokovic's win over Michael

Berra in the men's single was

enough for Serbia to clinch a

place in the Hopman Cup final. Defending champion Andy Roddick

had an easy win to set semifinal of the big servesers

at the Brisbane international.

Roddick made light work of

Marcos Baghdatis cruising to a 6-2 6-3 win in 74 minutes on

pat rafter arena. He'll play South African Kevin Anderson

who is 203cms tall. Roger Federer has reached his 8th success sell semifinal

outplaying the Serbian 6-2,,2

in the Qatar open. He play s

Joe will Ford songer after a long spell with knee Roger Federer is on fire and making his way slowly to

Australia. He'll be here soon

I promise. Else's playing

tournaments in the lead up as

all the good players are at the

moment. Great that Lleyton

Hewitt found some form. We'll

fore cus more on the tennis

because the Ashes is almost

over. It is a formality at the SCG today. Tickets are

free They should pay Australian cricket fans to come in. I'm

pretty sure every English

pat living in Australia would

head to the SCG, call in sick,

and get there. It is very much

deserved. Wild celebrations

for the English side. We've been out played and the

recriminations that have been

gaining momentum over the past

few weeks have of the papers this morning, Peter row buck who writes

fabulous copy most days has

come out firing this morning. A couple of quotes from him on

a play from that quote from the

body line series. Of the two

teams out there only one is playing test cricket. Shane

Watson involved in another run

out. Shane Watson leaves more

people stranded than a dodgy

airline. We can look at what he said about his said about his run outs later

in sport, but you wouldn't want

to be with him at the crease. Absolutely not. It

might have been Hughes's fault

as well, he came out straight after and said yes, I've got

the problem. I need to rectify

it quickly. Yes, you probably

need to rectify it a while ago. At

At least he's not having

technical issues with his

batting. It is just the

running out. Surely we can fix that. This is from the front

page of the Age, prose, he straight out says top

of his article, revolutions

have broken out, palaces

stormed and coup data stormed and coup data for less

than this. The cricket

community has a right to be

angry. Heads must roll. The

Australian press is almost more

vicious than the English could

ever be. We know in the past

that the English press turns

against their sports heroes quickly. The selectors and inconsistency in

the Australian team. We'll chat about that more throughout

the morning and also Shane

Watson needing to fix his

running pretty quickly before

we have one day action. You

shouldn't have run outs in test

cricket. He needs a consistent

partner first. Maybe that's it.

Maybe he hasn't anyone at the

crease to understand. There is

a fair level of understanding

between the two batsmen to

create a successful partnership. On that depressing

note, thanks Amee. ABC News

can be watched live on the web from anywhere. Vanessa

O'Hanlon joins us with the

weather now. Good morning. The

satellite image is showing a

cloudy day over Queensland's south-east to north-east New

South Wales with heavy showers

and storms. Warm northerlies

in the south-east. A change is

looming as a from the west towards the

south-east. This will cause

areas of storms in its path. Queensland, moderate to he was Sri Lanka falls over the

eastern Wide Bay region, showers and storms over the

tropics and isolated showers

along the Central Coast and

larj area of the interior. For

New South Wales today, isolated

showers in the north-east

tending scattered near the

coast. A mostly sunny day in

the far west. A cooler south-westerly change should

reach the far south-west late this afternoon. although mostly cloudy in Tasmania with fresh northerlies

winds and a high fire danger

for the Derwent valley. Isolated showers and spread

across the state. Western

Australia scat tertd showers

and storms will continue in the

south although light showers will continue in the

south-west. Isolated storms

about the Kimberley, showers

and storms in the Northern Territory. For the weekend,

partly cloudy in Sydney, and a

sunny day in got a top of 28 degrees.

That's the latest weather.

Breakfast. Still to come we'll

be speaking to Jim Elliott from

the Bureau of Meteorology. Viewers have been asking a lot

of questions about the process

and the science of measuring

floods and if you've got a question you'd like to ask him,

he's the export, email breakfast at You can expect as well. Also

ahead, we'll be having a review of some of the newspapers. This

This morning we'll be joined by

Waleed Aly from Monash

University. Leading the news

this morning, finally some good

news from Rockhampton's news from Rockhampton's flood

emergency. There are far fewer

houses flooded than first

thought. Emergency services

have revised the number down

from 400 to 150. Authorities

are hoping the worst may now be with the water for spefrl more

days yet. Better news for St

George bee leagued resident,

the flood expected to peak

below 14 metres. The Prime

Minister will visit the

Gascoyne region today. About

180 people have left their

homes and entire banana

plantations are now ruined.

Severe floods in Brazil have

killed at least 35 people and

forced more than 30,000 to flee their homes. In family of four died when a

mudslide triggered by the downpour engulfed their house.

A Gold Coast company has been

charged over the death

of its inlation installers. Michael Sweeney was

electrocuted almost a year ago

while install ing foil inlation

in a home in Cairns. China is

thinking about a new law that

will force people to visit will force people to visit

their aged parents. Nearly 170

million Chinese are over the age of 60 and with the economy booming, the growing pressures of work are loosening

traditional family ties. A government official says the

new law would allow elderly

people to go to court and claim the right to be the right to be looked after. We can take you live to

Washington where Barack Obama is talking about his new Chief of Staff William daily. His

experience, his strong values,

and forward looking vision to this White House. I'm

convinced he'll help us in our mission

and moving America forward and I very

I very much look forward to

working with Bill in the years

to come. Before I ask Bill to

say a few words, I say a few words, I should

confess that I have prevailed once again on Peter's sense of

duty or sense of guilt, I'm not

sure which, and I'm grateful

that he has agreed to one more

tour of duty as my councillor

for the next two years.

CHEERING AND APPLAUSE As you might have noticed, people

Peter. He a unique and indispensable asset to me and

this administration. I cannot

imagine life here without him

and I told him so and I'm

delighted that we're able to

keep him a little bit longer.

I'll be making further

announcements in the

weeks ahead and I'm absolutely

confident that we will have a

great team that's equal to

America's task in America's task in the years to

come. But with that, what I'd

like to do is introduce my new

Chief of Staff, Bill daily.

(Applause). Thank you. Thank

you very much. Thank Thank you, Mr President. Thank

you. Thank you very much.

Thank you, Mr President. Thank

you very much, Mr President, Mr Vice-president, you have

honoured me and my family by

giving me an opportunity to

serve you and to serve our

nation. 50 years ago this

month I visited the White House

with my parents and my brothers

and sisters visited a young

president who went on to show

great strength, leadership vision in the face of enormous challenges in those times.

You, Mr President, have proven

your strength,

your vision, dug a most

difficult time for our nation

and for the world. You have

also shown through your example

that public service is an

honourable calling and I am

pleased to answer your call. I

look forward to working with

the wonderful staff which you

have assembled and I know job will be made easier by the

great work and direction of

Peter, the direction and great

work he has provided over the these past couple

the President talked about the enormous successes un-Peter's

watch . The new White House

Chief of Staff to Barack Obama, one of several staff changes announced at the White House

over recent days. He fills in

the position that has the position that has been

filled by Peter rouse. He's a confidant. He has been with

the president since the Chicago

man got elected to sent net

Senate in 2004. He has been

acting as Chief of Staff but obviously the president is keen

to have a full time person and

he has chosen pretty well.

William daily a member of the

daily political dins thatcy

from Chicago. His brother Richard is the mayor of

Chicago. As these stories go,

there's interlocking elements.

The new Chief of Staff comes in

as the former longstanding

Chief of Staff is in Chief of Staff is in Chicago

running for the mayorty of that

city. A lot of moving pieces there and very much an attempt

by observe tob to get his house

in order as the 201 election

season comes into play. Needed

those friendly faces around

him. He's keeping rouse on the

role of councillor to the

president, a new position, and

a standing, a promotion frint rim Chief of Staff

friendly faces around him in

the lead up to 2012. Peat rouse

is very popular with many White

House staffers. He has been House staffers. He has been a longstanding confidant of Barack Obama and somebody many

people in the White House look up

up to. Barack Obama is hoping

to get positive political spin

from that announcement that is still being made still being made in Washington as we go to air. Residents in

St George are still preparing

for floodwaters to peak, but it seems things won't be as bad first thought. The ABC's Paul

Lockyer is in St George and he

spoke to the shire's mayor

Donna Stewart who says she's confident the town will survive this latest flood. We have

we're very confident. We've

done a lot of planning for this flood.

flood. We had the experience of the flood of the beginning

last year and also as a result

of that flood last year, we did

some very high-tech flood

mapping and that's very, very

valuable for us in the planning processes in thissed into. Already we've seen houses

that went under last March have

gone under again. How

dispiriting for those people. Very dis people. Very dis spirits but some of those people some of those people have protected their own properties

by pill building their own

levee banks. It's really levee banks. It's really a

credit to them to see what

they've done in such a short

time. There was talk 80 per cent of the town could go underment you're saying that

won't happen? No, Paul, the

flood mapping that we did flood mapping that we did do indicated at cent of the town could go

under, but that was if we

hadn't put the levee banks up

we had and plugged those

we had and plugged those points

of entry of water into the town so so it doesn't fill into that basin. Incredible as it is,

this is injuries the first of the

the water. There's an enormous

amount of water coming your play, the second biggest flow

of water in history. That's

right. It could well be the

biggest flow in history. Last

year was a record flood and if

this one will be bigger than

the one last year. Paul Lockyer in St George. Queensland's

south-east is standing south-east is standing by for more flooding. Rain yesterday

has cut roads to Dalby and the

Toowoomba range was closed

before of land slietsdz. The

SES received 100 call out in Toowoomba and Brisbane because

of flash flooding as Ynja Bjonrsson reports.

Bjonrsson reports. The rain has moved south.

has moved south. There were

totals of 100mm in and around Brisbane. flooding in low-lying areas and several roads were cut. In

Brisbane, the SES received 30

call outs for help. In the

valley there were reports of up to 50 cars that were flooded. Forecasters say

deluge will continue in the

Wide Bay Burnett region. Some

areas could get up to 100mm,

enough to cause more

trouble. That's mostly going to

be a flash flooding issue and

not likely to become a river

flooding issue unless we get

days of very days of very significant rainfall. The Recovery Taskforce met for

Taskforce met for the first time in Brisbane to discuss time in Brisbane to discuss what's ahead and Major General Mick Slater will tour Emerald

for a firsthand look. The

Brisbane City Council is dough donating half a million towards the flood

recovery. This is many times

greater than previous donations

that council has made. It

recognises the enormity of the task. Racing Queensland will

spend $1.5 million to help the

industry in the regions. Rockhampton's Callaghan Park

still underwater. It is a hell of a lot

areas and a lot of clubs have

been affected. As water starts

to subside in the regions, a

true extent of the damage is

unfolding. Rail lines have been scarred out especially around

the alpha Jericho area. An

amazing tale of one cow's

survival has emerged. The cow

was located on north Keppel

island. It was alive and well

they believe it's come from

Rockhampton. It is a 20 minute

boat journey, that's a long swim in anybody's book. A long swim indeed. Ynja Bjonrsson, ABC ABC News. Breaking it news from Copenhagen. The Daily

Telegraph in Sydney is exclusively revealing that

Princess Mary has gone into

labour this northern with her

twins. She's hoping for a

natural birth, but just in case there are people on standby.

That's right. The Telegraph is reporting her husband, the crown Prince Frederik, was seen rushing to join his wife. reportedly went into labour at

3.15 Australian eastern

daylight time and obviously

will be following closely any

news that emerges from that

Copenhagen hospital over the next few hours. next few hours. It's fair to

say, the editor of the Hobart

mercury will be very happy this morning. Although anyway knowed

that they didn't get the

exclusive. It will be great

news for the royal family in

Copenhagen and great news for

the Princess's home state of

Tasmania when the happy news does emerge from Copenhagen. Still overseas and the United States has announced it will send more troops into

Afghanistan. An extra 1400 marines will bull store Coalition forces Coalition forces in the volatile subject of the

country. US defence official

say the deployment will put pressure on the enemy during

the winter. The forces are being dispatched after the

deadliest year since 2001. Our new Afghanistan correspondent

Tsar reports from Kabul.

Disglmpbility the extra 1400

marines will beed ready to depart

next few weeks. They'lling

going into Southern Afghanistan which has been the most

volatile part of the country.

These forces are a top the original surge of troops

which was announced by

President Obama 12 months ago.

This still keeps the US forces

within the limit of 100,000

soldiers which was set by the

President. The Defence

Department is saying that these

forces will go into the south

of the country to try and stop a planned They'll use this winter period in Afghanistan to try and

consolidate their position in

many parts of the south of the

country. Just over a month ago, President Obama his strategic review, his

assessment and the Government's

assessment of how the United

States led Coalition is going in Afghanistan. It was a

mixture of caution and also

confidence. The government

believes that some of its gains

are fragile but it's hopeful

that it can continue and make

sure that it's in a position

that it can start withdrawing

some of its forces by July this year. That's part of withdrawal which will lead to

the Coalition winding down its

presence by 2014. Sally Sara reporting from the

Kabul bureau. For a city with

such a long history looking 100

years in Jerusalem's future

might not seem like much of a

stretch. When a group of

science fiction filmmakers were

asked to come up with their

idea how the city might look in 2111 there were startling results. Ben

reports. In Jerusalem's old

city an Israeli soldier

confronts an Arab man. It looks like a only one possible outcome until

the two men are brought together by a common enemy. A

monster. This is one of the

move vivid idea of what the

holy city might look like in

100 years. Jerusalem 2111 is a

competition for science filmmakers to ask them to

imagine the city a century from

now. Breaking down barriers

was a common theme. Except in

2111 it is done literally by

alien spacecraft. This film

won first prize. It is not

just the barriers between Jews

and arabs that are discussed.

Several of the films tap into

the current fee amongst some

Israelis that their country is

turned into a strict religious republic N

declares the new state of

Judyia to the cheers of

ultra-orthodox Jews while young

secular Israelis hide away in

despair. There's humour. Eve even when Jerusalem's traffic

is solved by flying is solved by flying cars,

Israelis can't help themselves

honking their cars at each one.

Will the three great religions who claim the city ever share

it. The answer is no.

Jerusalem has been emptied and

become a moo assume. In this

is has worked and a new Jewish temple was been built neck to

the mosque. This is an

extremely controversial image

and one about as realistic as

an alien invasion. In some

ways imagining what Jerusalem

might look like in 100 years

now isn't all that hard,

especially in the old city where on streets like shopkeepers have been flogging souvenirs to tourists since

before the time of Jesus. Of

course, there have been soldiers patrolling these

streets all that time streets all that time as well. 100 years past they were

British, now of course they're

Israelis. Perhaps the most Israelis. Perhaps the most

interesting question is 100

years from now who is going to be wearing the uniforms. Ben

Knight, ABC News, Jerusalem. Why didn't Washington think of that. Washington think of that. The

silent hand of aliens in the Middle East peace. Steven

Spielberg might be able to

broker a Middle East peace, not Barack Obama. There's relief for residents in

this morning, floot waters are dropping and the number of

homes inundated in the city is

far fewer than first thought.

Thoughts say 150 homes have

been inundated. Queensland

isn't the only state hit by

flooding. The Prime Minister Julia Gillard will head to

Western Australia to visit the

flooded Gascoyne regionment been ruined and 150 people have

left their homes. A Gold left their homes. A Gold Coast company has been charged over

the death of one of its

insulation installers. Michael

Sweeney was electrocuted while installing foil inlation near

Cairns. Titan Insulations is

charged with failing to conduct

its business safely. For a

look at the national national papers said we're joined Waleed

Aly. Thank you for having me another angle on the

floods. Yes. It's amazing how quickly natural disasters can

become politicised in this day

and age. It hasn't taken long

with the floods at all. The

front page of the Australian today is running with a story

Tony Abbott's starting a new

conversation, I think, in

response to the floods by

talking about dams. This seems

to be something that he's positioning for the next

election. He went to the previous election talking about water management issues. he's announcing that he's going

to prepare a dam plan within 12 months and probably the Coalition was previously

committing $500 million

water management, so this will

presumably add to that sort of

cost. It is an interesting

idea, I think, because when

you're in opposition, of

course, you can announce these

things and try to start a conversation without

necessarily having to have a

policy worked out to deal with it.

it. I've got a feeling this Tony Abbott could be on a

winner here. Dams are the kinds

kinds of things we don't build

any more. They're also the kind of things that people keep

talking about something we should have more

simple concept s. It's very

simple. People understand what

they're used for. Arguments to

say they're not useful for

don't work or cause

environmental damage are much

more complex argument to make

in a sound bight. This was in

the face of Brendan O'Connor there's nothing as far as they can see from these particular

floods that would have been

mitigated by dams. He's

clearly trying to dam this

issue, so to speak, right from the start. He can say that. It's hard to imagine a nation

watching that is going to say

there's no way that that water

could be captured or something

through the use of a dam. It is hard to believe Tony Abbott

won't do well out of this and he may well prosecute

it. Politically Labor's hands

are tied care of their alliance

with the Greens. This is what Greens have been the strongest

opponents of dams being built across the country pretty much

forever, preferring water

recycling or some other option, desalination plants already

exist in Queensland, of course,

or have been built in

Queensland and Victoria. You have these other options for

managing water on foot. Tony

Abbott's rhetoric on this is

actually quite clever. What

he's starting to do is really

target the Greens in the way he

talks about it. He says, just

listen to the in support of dams here, he says they're flood mitigation devices, sources of emissions base load base load electricity, they are

a an important adjunct of food

security and source of

environmental flows in dry

times. They have a lot of

important community benefits

largely thanks to the Greens,

in the last two decades, we've

had this dam phobia. The

floods is an illustration of

the sorts of issue where can help. The Greens are in

Tony Abbott's cross hairs here

and the government, given the

Coalition has spoken hard about

how there's a Coalition between

the Greens and Labor. Spin on into the future. From dams to

leaks, if I may. Yes. Sorry. That's all

right. I'll permit you that.

It was quite good. An

interesting story be the front

page of the Fairfax press

across the country today.

Australian intelligence agencies saying they believe

the extent of China's military

build up is bigger than

reported and is more than is necessary for purely defensive

purposes or for containing

Taiwan. In some ways not

surprising. There's been long rumours that China's military

is far in excess of what they declare. The Australian Government's defence white

paper had previously intimated

that China was a nation to be

watched in this regard and

China was not very happy about that, although the government

denied that China were unhappy

about that, as things tend to

happen that way in circles. It is important from

a global perspective because

the central question that surrounds China and the imminent rise of China is whether or not it will act as

military power rather than

merely as an economic one. China

China is saying, in our history

we've never been an

expansionist military power.

We've been concerned with

internal military security but

we're not an expansionary

power. If the assessment

is true, that's not something that's that's going to be relied on. This dovetails with increasingly strong rhetoric

from the US from the US administration of

wanting to fake a greater

presence in the Asia Pacific

region, keeping a close eye on China's military

intentions. Exactly. The world

is going to be keeping a close

eye on China's military

intention. If this leaked

cable points to something

that's true, they're going to have a lot to look

and painfully the final thing on your list which you were going to look at which of

course is the Ashes. Sigh.

There's a lot of doom and

gloom around. There is there's an article that captures it

quickly. First time that in a

techt series since 1936 that that's happened. England's

total of 644 the highest in

Ashes history and England the

first team to pass 500 times in a Ashes series. It

was a good snap to the of the

disaster that is Australian cricket. You have some free

time? It doesn't matter. Who

do you select? If that's open,

I'll take that. I think the

selectors get more of a kicking

than the players at the moment. That's probably right. Thank you very much for coming in. No

worries. Here's Amy Bainbridge. Making sport

headlines, England is about to clinch clinch its first Ashes series

win in Australia in 24 years.

Australia was 7 for 213 at

stumps, 151 runs behind England after

after impressive swing bowling from James Anderson, Chris

Tremlett and Tim Bresnan. The

tally was in reply to England's

score of 644. The side's

highest ever total in

Australia. The number one

ranked test side, India, has

secured a draw in the final

test against South Africa at

knew lands to share the series spoils. spoils. Set 340 to win, India

were 3 for 166 when play was

called off with eightovers

remaining. Lleyton Hewitt and

Alicia Molik ended Alicia Molik ended their Hopman Cup singles campaigns with success defeating Kazakhstan last night. Lleyton Hewitt defeated world number defeated world number 36 Andrey

Golubev 6-3,3 and Molik won her

women's singles match.

Australia's loss to Serbia had

quashed their finals hope. Justine Henin defeated Ana

Ivanovic 6-4 iks 3 in 76 wins.

Novak Djokovic win over beller

mans was enough to book a place

for Serbia in the final. Jamilla Groth lost in straight setses to Germany's Andrea

Petkovic and Andy Roddick made

light work of the popular Cypriot, Marcos Baghdatis,

cruising to a 6-2, 6-3 win in

74 minutes. More on the tennis and of course the correct

connect next hour in sport.

We'll talk with what's happening in Doha and Roger Federer in blistering his way to Australia. Thanks

Amee. Here's Vanessa O'Hanlon

with the weather. First off in Queensland,

Queensland, the State Emergency

Service received around

calls for help yesterday.

Here's rainfalling throughout

the south-east and up to quards

the Capricornia. Samuel Hill,

80.4mm, homm fell in an hour.

71.4, 61 at Nam bore and members at beer burr rum. The let's look at Queensland. A severe weather warning has been issued for the south-east issued for the south-east coast and eastern parts of and eastern parts of the Wide

Bay and Burnett districts.

Moist easterly winds are

feeding into a low and a

trough. The system will move

from the south-east interior

today into the Capricorn

district, heavy rain may occur

around the eastern Burnett,

Wide Bay today. Wide Bay today. The low will sit offshore from the Capricornia region it will

maintain a ridge over the

south-east tertiary gone. On

Sunday the lowest for the cast

to move back on the Capricorn

region. It will weaken mid-week but it's looking like

showers and storms will remain

across the state. Today in

Queensland we can expect more rain

rain over the eastern Wide Bay

region in particular and the

south-east. Showers and storms over the tropics, afternoon showers along the

Central Coast and a large area of the interior. New South

Wales, isolated showers in the

north-east tending scattered

near the coast, a mostly sunny day ofrt far west. Hotter mainly sunny in Victoria,

moderate northerly winds but a cooler south-westerly change

should reach the far south-west

this afternoon. Fine and hot

and cloudy in Tasmania and a

high fire danger for the

south-east and Derwent Valley

this afternoon. A very warm day

day across South Australia, will spread right across the state. In Western state. In Western Australia, scattered showers and storms

will continue in the south

although light showers should

clear this morning about the south-west. Isolated shores

about the Kimberley, showers and storms about the Northern

Territory and a late surely change

change about Alice Springs. A

cool change in Melbourne a

shower or two, a shower in

Brisbane, a top of 26 degrees,

and hot and sunny day ahead for

Perth a top of 30. I'll take look at the situation in

Western Australia. There have been good rain falls in the

south. We'll be speaking to Jim

Elliott from the Bureau of Meteorology to find out about flood forecasting and also ahead, we'll speak Queensland's premier Anna Bligh

for the latest on the floods. We're stopping for a

short break. We'll be back

very soon.

Rockhampton's flood emergency eases but not emergency eases but not soon

enough for the region's cattle

after another. This could be

the straw that breaks the straw that breaks the

camel's back. Julia Gillard to

tour the Western Australian

floods as farmers call for

financial help. A Gold Coast

insulation company charged over the

the death of an installer. And

England on the brink of victory

in the final Ashes test in Sydney. Sydney. Good morning, it's Friday 7 January, I'm Michael Rowland. I'm Mary Gearin. The

top story on ABC News Breakfast, Rockhampton's flood

emergency is beginning to ease.

There are far few are houses flooded than first

thought. Emergency services

have revised the number down to

150. Authorities are hoping

the worst might now be over,

but the city will be living

with the water for several more

days yet. Residents in St

George are still preparing for

floodwaters to peak, but it

seems things won't be as bad first thought. The ABC's Paul

Lockyer is in St George and he

spoke to the shire's mayor

Donna Stewart who says she's

confident the town will survive

this later flood. We've done a

lot of planning for this flood.

We're very confident. We had a

longerer time to prep