Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
National Nine News -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. the Victorian Bushfires A tragedy beyond belief - worst-ever natural disaster. now Australia's other than it is mass murder. There are no words to describe it And as the toll climbs, and gives thanks for those spared. a nation mourns the dead Good evening. from the Victorian bushfires, Now, two days on

and untold grief the shock is giving way to anger is becoming clear. as the full extent of the disaster

The death toll stands at 131 tonight, it will go over 200. but there are very real fears And the worst isn't over - putting several towns under threat. 31 fires continue to rage, many of them living in tent cities. At least 5,000 people are homeless, a Royal Commission. The Victorian Government has ordered with Mark Burrows We begin our coverage by survivors, and the battles being fought by rescue crews and by firefighters to contain the flames. still struggling heart of Victoria is not over yet. The hellfire that tore across the It's turned towards Beechworth, in the State's north-east. the old goldmining town off the house. I'm just keeping the embers and they're doing the rest. That's my job nearby Yackandandah. The fire also threatens

are being lost. Already, outlying farms This is what residents fear -

after street of scorched earth, they've seen the pictures of street homes turned to ashes for an emergency town meeting, and so they met on the fire's march. desperate for any news

At this stage, the fire is

trickling along in all areas and

poses no immediate threat to us. So many people are now confused - or do they run? do they stay inside at home where the fires can be The worst thing is not knowing

and how dangerous things can jump, neighbours' and help each other out so we just congregate down at the to console one another. At Kinglake, they congregate

burned to the ground here. At least 20 died and 500 homes West, and we lost our homes. I live in Pine Ridge Road, Kinglake is all they have in the world. What you see these people wearing

I lost my car and everything. the fire took the life A few streets away, in Melbourne, Brian Naylor, of Channel Nine's former newsreader

and his wife Moiree. who has perished or who is missing. Everyone seems to know someone

I rang my neighbour, she said, know what happened to her." "Jo-Jo come up here and I don't This is what so many faced - charged by gale-force winds. not just flames, but a firestorm a radio station to plead for help. At one stage a mother called She was trapped with eight children. poses no immediate threat to us. It

is surrounded completely by fire

and we're just waiting for it. I

don't know - we have seen no

emergency or anything like that and

we really need help right now. Her brother came to the rescue, and saving everyone. driving his tractor to the house bearing down on them. Witnesses spoke of tornadoes of fire you could hear them exploding. Fireballs, never seen anything like it. 60 foot high, through Kinglake and Marysville, Police are moving where victims died - slowly discovering those who made their run too late, told they stood a chance. bodies in homes, where they were we really need help right now.

There was no time - my husband

backed the car out and by the time

I got to the gate there was just a

massive fireball up and down our

street we have been unable to lift

the roofs of houses that have come

be conclusive. laps so we're not in a position to

And often escape was impossible as they fled in cars. so many were caught

Every wreck tells a dreadful story. stopping drivers in their tracks black smoke that incinerated everything. and the scorching heat were found in one car. The remains of a lady a pile of her favourite crockery. Beside her, victims of fires deliberately lit. Scores of people, I don't know. What do you say? There are no words to describe it it is mass murder. other than be conclusive. We are finding more

bodies as the gain access to

locations where fire had been and

were too hot for either police members of Fire Association to attend. Alfred Hospital with serious burns. There are 20 people in Melbourne's The doctors say the injuries suffered in the Bali bombings. are worse than the burns I've ever been involved in. This is by far the worse disaster who somehow survived. And now the stories of the people with her children Nesh Sinclair fled her burning home of a wombat hole. and hid at the entrance We just made a canopy of wet sheets. are overshadowed by the deaths But the stories of great escapes

by forensic teams. now being investigated blocked and turned into crime scenes. Streets in Marysville have been can't even go back to their homes Locals stricken with grief to retrieve what little remains. Mark Burrows, Nine News.

there. He stayed in Victoria

comforting victims, helping people

who had lost everything to excess

relief funds. I haven't seen anyone

Centrelink representative. yet. Be, the key to see the

The expressions of solidarity. He

was despairing on the subject of

arsonists who like to bushfires.

What do you say? I don't know what

to say about somebody like that.

There are no words to describe that

about then it is mass murder. As

MPs, a shot like all Australians,

politics was put on hold. There was

only one issue and Parliament was

united. A tragedy beyond belief,

beyond President, and really beyond

words. 7th February 2009 it will

now be remembered as one of the

darkest days in Australia's

peacetime history. This truly has

been a tragedy that has brought

about the most terrifying side of

nature. But it has bought at the

best in ours, in Australians. By

the house has passed resolutions

expressing deep sympathy to the

families of those killed, and

appreciation to firefighters and

other emergency services personnel.

The Government promised the burnt out communities would be rebuilt.

Now we go direct to the Nine

Network's Melbourne news reader in

the heart of the devastated region.

While some parts of Victoria and

cleaning up, many other regions are

still under direct threat from the

bushfires has seen -- this evening.

The blaze in the State's more

pleased as the number of towns on

edge. What is the latest from

Yackandandah? In and the next half

awry so there will be accrued

changed here in Yackandandah. They

have done that a tremendous job.

They have had only a few hours'

sleep in the last couple of days,

reports are getting through that

they had almost managed to stop

displays in its tracks as it is

heading towards the township. As

you're Battersea, the fire threat

has been extreme for the last two

days. But it has been out of

control, and it remains that way.

In the early hours of this morning,

it was this the tiny hamlet's Turn

In the Line of Fire. The crews did

their all to protect what they

could. A am just keeping the embers

of the house, that is my job,

they're doing the rest. But this

place has already claimed two lives

and others are missing. Many homes

have been lost. Sadly, this remains

a relatively minor incident in a

massive scale of the crisis. Brain

as daybreak he gave hope that the

threat might ease, but then came

the problem of lightning. A series

of strike sparked small fires. They

used some of us? It is very dicey.

The were asked the thing is not

knowing where devise can be, or how

dangerous things can jump. A

meeting moved into the nearby

school from the public call because

at 1,000 residents turned up. They

were all made a very aware of the

imminent danger. We have all seen

the devastation and Marysville and

places like that and I have to be

truthful and say that this could

happen here. If you are an elderly

person but limited resources

surrounded by gum trees are believe

that now. The club taking drugs --

drastic measures. A was just a ball

of fire coming straight through,

the whole farm was just one big

sheet of flame. Some have been

identified. This couple leave

behind to two young daughters. The

enormity of the situation does hit

home like we just had on screen, it

is all well and good to talk about

130 people dying, now we as

starting to see that these are real

people, we're putting names to the

faces, and then in that terrible

situations they have been left

behind like the two goals and his

family who will never see their

parents again. We can only hope

that the flames that do subsided,

and there is no more heartache to

come from these parts. Thank you

Tom. One of the worst-affected communities has been Strathewen,

and it has been 30 people died. Yes, Peter, I'm standing here amongst the ruins of the Strathewan Primary School.

Strathewan is a small community between Kinglake and Arthur's Creek and it has simply been decimated by these fires. If we have a bit of a look through the school here - and I have to be careful where I step because of the extent of the damage - you can see what has happened here. We look at this slide here, for instance, this children's slide or what is left of this slide in the playground here at the school. We walk up a bit further to my left and we can see some of the school buildings here and what is left of them - as you can see, there is very little left of them indeed. It has been quite an extraordinary tale of destruction through here. The Country Fire Authority have given us a guided tour through here today and what you are about to see is quite remarkable - the extent of damage caused by the fires. It is estimated that as many as 30 people may have lost their lives simply through this region alone. In fact, as I speak you can see this wind is starting to come up into our faces here and there is still a lot of smoke around, as you can see. But as I was saying, about 30 people may have lost their lives.

When we drove around here today and had a look at some of the homes

we were told a number of bodies are still inside those homes. We have had victim identification experts come from interstate - from NSW, Tasmania, as far away as the Northern Territory - today to try and identify some of those bodies. They are doing an extraordinary job? in very difficult circumstances, as you can probably appreciate. It is not just people who have lost their lives and homes that have been destroyed by this fire, a number of livestock have been killed - we saw a number of cattle and horses that were lying in paddocks that have simply been burnt out.

We also saw some cars by the side of the road where people were trying to flee this fire and simply could not escape and were literally burned alive. It is quite a horrible story, as you can well see from these pictures we are putting to air tonight. But there are some remarkable stories of survival as well. Today we spoke to Mark Strubing who was caught in a fire at Kinglake on Saturday and he has quite a stunning story to tell about his escape. Here is some of what he had to say. We jumped in the car and we were only just literally able to outrun this fire - it was travelling as fast as the wind.

We managed to get to the bottom of my property which is flanked by the national park and all we could do was crawl underneath a pipe about this big, underneath the roadway where a creek was going through. Mate, I have looked at this pipe before,

you'd never, ever crawl under there - it is filled with spiders and all sorts of uglies. You literally climbed under it, did you?

We crawled into this pipe under the road. It was a terrible, dark place to go but it felt pretty good at the time? 'cause I would be dead right now if I didn't. Then the flames started coming down the...down the pipe and the only thing we could do to stop ourselves catching on fire was just literally roll around in the water. We had our T-shirts over our heads and we couldn't breathe because the fire had stolen all the oxygen. How we didn't burn, I do not know. I am in shock, I have lost everything - two properties. We just got my little dog - that has made my life, my year. He was sitting in the paddock waiting for us around dead animals. How he survived, I don't know. The police wouldn't let me in yesterday -

all I wanted to do was to get my little dog and some are mementoes that reminded me of my dad. Quite a remarkable story of survival, as you can see. Mark, though, like many people in this area, has been left homeless by these fires. He ran a timber business and that is gone, he's lost the lot. There could be as many as 30 if not more, peoplepeople, who have lost their lives in Strathewan alone from these fires. We won't know the official figures probably for days yet while the bodies continue to be identified. It really is hard to believe when you walk through a place like this today how these communities can ever have rebuilt.

The death toll around Kinglake is

predicted to rise substantially.

But while grateful to be alive, predicted to rise substantially. But while grateful to be alive,

life is proving tough for those who

escaped the flames.

People are feeling neglected and

angry. Over at the community centre

here a few hundred metres from

Iran's standing it is difficult to

convey the extraordinary range of

raw emotion that is on display

there. Pain, grief, shock, and for

many as well relief. Over all of

that, they have them any knowledge

that there is no quick fix, and

there is more bad news to come.

This was the first gathering of

Kinglake survivors. At least those who made it through.

If they leave town they won't be allowed back, leaving them effectively trapped without equipment and supplies. Our house is gone but the shed's still standing. We just want to go down and get a we can live! But they're not gonna let us. Do some washing, get some clothes. This is all I've got I've been wearing the same clothes for three days. Late this afternoon a convoy f supply vehicles was allowed in but the goods won't last long. Kinglake's supermarket is open again to sell whatever stock it has but... Only one person at a time is allowed in. That's all. So we don't have an angry mob. Effectively, though, this is Kinglake's bustling centre. It's just that it's down the hill in Whittlesea. At the community centre, hundreds of survivors are being fed, clothed and sheltered. But the grief and shock seep through everything. Across the crowd, neighbours and friends run into each other, often stunned and relieved to find each other alive. But everyone here knows someone far less fortunate. Have you got family with you? Yeah. Is everyone safe? No. David McGibbin teaches at Kinglake's primary school. He knows 1 of the 140 students is gone. Several more are feared dead. I don't want to think about it. The girl that died wasn't in my grade but every kid at that school is like my family. Alan Brown lived here years ago and has come from his home in Queensland just to help in any way he can. See if I can find me mate from Flowerdale and just want to try to help the community. The worst is behind them but also somehow yet to come. The death toll as it stands is almost certain to rise dramatically. We have been unable to lift roofs of houses that have collapsed so we're not in a position to be conclusive.

Flowerdale, just south of here, is

another of beef small-town so that

felt the full force of the bushfire

disaster. Later day the army was

looking for missing residents. It is a sombre mood here resonating? around the oval in Yea in what has become a makeshift residence for so many people left homeless by these fires. And some profound emotions being felt here, one of hope I guess for some and absolute grief for others and a certain level of anxiety and uncertainty for others. Many of the people who have arrived? here fled the fires at Kinglake and a large number also fled the fires from a town called Flowerdale. That is a township of 800 or so residents about 25 kilometres south-west of Yea. The fire ripped through that part of Victoria so quickly it left many with absolutely no option but to leave and a lot of those people today are? still wondering a couple of days on what became of their town and what became of their property and their neighbour's and loved one's properties and of course, the people that inhabited those properties. I spoke to a couple early today.

They left here on Saturday evening and they said they were left with no choice. They made it out alive, they're thankful for that but to this day,

they had no idea what had become of their house and fair to say the information coming out of Flowerdale was minimal to say the least and that was for two reasons - firstly because authorities had to get in there and have a look at the properties and also because they did make some? grisly discoveries there and had to clear them away. Secondly, because the town was virtually cut off by the fires. You could not get in there. We managed to get in there this afternoon. We took with us a couple to see what became of their house. Even the houses all here are gone. Our house has got no hope, Stuart. Can we get out and just have a look, please?

Just gone up in smoke. And we just grabbed what we could could. We never grabbed clothes. We never grabbed nothing. All we grabbed was the hard drive of the computer with photographs on it and a couple of pictures off the wall and that was it. You just don't know how you're going to get back on your feet. Everything we had was here. Everything we owned. Me and my wife owned, my daughter. Everything is gone.

Police have revealed that the fire,

which ripped through turtle in

Gippsland, was almost certainly deliberately lit. These charred mountains hold the secret

to who or what caused the deadly blaze.

The vast area is under police control, blocking all roads leading into the crime scene. The bigger picture in some cases is whether or not the original fire? was actually arson.

We certainly, in the Churchill fire, believe that's the case. We have a taskforce that's been investigating that. The Churchill fire has destroyed dozens of homes, more than 30,000 hectares and at last count claimed at least 15 lives. The fire started in the pine plantation just behind me. It raced up the hill, through this gully and tore through the Strzelecki Ranges just in front of me.

And what makes this fire even more devastating for the community is there are grave fears it was deliberately lit. It's disgusting.

My parents lost their house eight years ago due to just a regular house fire and to lose it all again and have nothing. It makes you feel sick. Late this afternoon, the blaze broke through containment lines. Scared residents started to flee. It's close enough to be a worry and if the wind changes just a little bit, we're in trouble. So not ready to fight it. It will take weeks, possibly months, for police to work out what caused this horrific blaze. But if it's arson, residents say it will be hard for them to accept. They're sick, so sick. They are just murderers. They don't stand for the things everyone else stands for. They're just not human, not good human people like the rest of us. Shocking. They're the sort of people... that shouldn't be let go. They should spend the rest of their lives in jail as far as I'm concerned. That's all I've got to say. It's difficult knowing that somebody actually deliberately does this is really frightening to me. And somebody that's local, is one of us. I don't know. I think you've got to throw a lot of resources at finding out who it is and then put them away - permanently. And there are fears it could get worse. As a precaution, authorities have sent crews to defend the Loy Yang power station after winds picked up this afternoon. Vicky Jardim in Gippsland for Nine News.

When they come back, we will have

more in a extended coverage of the bushfire disaster. MAN: Oh, hello, AAMI. Oh, hi! AAMI. I've had an accident. I'm on the freeway. Big black birds. They just sort of LANDED on me. They've damaged my van. They're attracted to my car. I think they love my car. VOICEOVER: Some things are hard to explain. Global warming. Exactly. Yeah. At AAMI, you'll always speak to a real person. SONG: # Lucky you're with AAMI. # WOMAN: (ON PHONE) Shoo! Shoo! NSW residents have been quick to pour their hearts out to help those affected by the tragedy. The State Government is offering every resource it has to Victoria

while Sydneysiders are digging deep to help their southern neighbours. Reporter Denham Hitchcock joins us live from the Salvation Army Headquarters Denham, what's the response been like?

The event is catastrophic in size

but the response has been equal to

it. Between the Salvation Army here

in Sydney, and the Red Cross, more

than $8 million has been donated.

They're all goes to a relief effort

without condition or restraint. The Rural Fire Service was the first to answer the call. The deployment is for three days and four nights. In Canberra, they gathered in the dark to hurriedly fill out forms... Have a safe journey and most importantly a safe return. ..and join a convoy headed south.

More than 300 firefighters from the ACT and NSW

have now joined the battle. This is a catastrophic event the proportions of which we have never experienced in Australia. The Police Commissioner agrees.

Search and rescue teams are on their way, along with fire investigators and the missing persons unit. We've watched, with hearts torn out, as we've seen the death toll climb. The devastation so similar to the Bali bombings, the three victim identification teams that did such invaluable work are at a new ground zero. They are very, very experienced, extraordinarily skilled and they're down there already. The Premier has ordered all flags to half mast.

Burns units are on stand-by and firebugs are in the firing line. If you are going to go about being a firebug,

you will get caught and you will have the book thrown at you.

The defence force has also mobilised 200 personnel, bulldozers and chainsaw teams. You'd like to make a donation, would you? The emergency services moved quickly, but the public moved en masse, every major charity setting up 24-hour call centres. Thank you so much for your donation and support, Marilyn. The Australian public can pull together to help us help those in need.

If they weren't on the phone, they were walking through the doors, people rushing to donate blood for burns victims. It's the least I can do for those that are in need. There was even a special service held at St Mary's Church.

God, out of everything that has happened, can repair what is broken... Denham Hitchcock, Nine News. And the best contact point for those wanting to help is through the Red Cross.

The Nine Network in conjunction with the Red Cross has announced a telethon to raise money for the bushfire victims. Called 'Australia Unites' The Victorian Bushfire Appeal will be hosted by Eddie McGuire this Thursday night. We'll have from 8:30 on Thursday a national telethon Firefighters are trying to contain a grassfire at Macquarie Fields, which has burnt about 1 hectare of land. Crews were called out at about 5 o'clock this afternoon, with six tankers still on the scene back burning the surrounding area. No properties are under threat, but thick smoke can be seen rising in the air. Firefighters are confident of containing the blaze the cause is unclear. A 31-year-old man remains in jail tonight accused of lighting a fire on the Central Coast on Saturday. Jason Nicholas Farrell from Killarney Vale is facing arson charges over a blaze which broke out near Somersby. Reporter Chris Urquhart was in Gosford for his court appearance and joins us with the details. After all of the destruction we have seen it almost beggars belief that so many of these fires were deliberately lit. The man accused of lighting the Somersby blaze Didn't actually appear in court today although there were supporters there for him. A solicitor acting on his behalf did not apply for bail. The fire that he's accused of lighting was no where near as big as the blaze here at Peats Ridge which caused so much destruction to bushland and massive amounts of smoke and huge flames on the weekend. Investigators also believe that fire was deliberately lit.

They believe that there were at least four ignition points and where I'm standing tonight is actually one of them. For firefighters who go out there to defend their local community, it really is a slap in the face for people to do things like that. Now today we saw just how close the blaze came to some properties. In particular a Buddhist monastery, which lost some of their infrastructure and some of the pumps that provide thheir clean drinking water supplies. It is frightening because some of the monks and the nun that was here they would not have a clue what to do. The Rural Fire Service have remained on the ground here all day, keeping an eye on things

watching for any further flare-ups The good news from Peats Ridge tonight is that no further properties are under threat, We'll be back with more in our special extended edition after the break. that doesn't harden your features. Casting Creme Gloss, from L'Oreal Paris. Because you're worth it. GENERAL CHATTER VOICEOVER: Say hello to mornings at McDonald's. At ActewAGL, we proudly employ more than 80 graduates, trainees and apprentices. Because tomorrow it will be their big ideas that will help us all power ahead. You're watching a special bulletin of Nine News with the bushfire crisis dominating the headlines. Here's what you need to know - the death toll stands at 131 tonight, but authorities have warned it may go over 200. Several towns remain under threat, with 31 fires continuing to burn. At least 5,000 people are homeless, many of them living in tent cities and the Victorian Government has ordered a royal commission to find who was to blame and how such a tragedy can be avoided in future. We'll take you direct now to Peter Hitchener in the fire zone.

Welcome back to Yea and our

bushfire coverage. The town after

town was reduced to rubble and

ashes. Even with a bird's eye view,

the magnitude of the disaster is

impossible to comprehend. This is

Marysville, a quiet hamlet at the

foot of the ranges. Now there is

not much left. It is only from

appear the EU can truly appreciate

the devastation. It is beyond

description. 600 people called this

idyllic place home. Now it is a

scene from hell. House after house,

whole streets annihilated. From

here we had to Kinglake - the death

toll in this area continues to

climb. You can see how the fire

France spread through this area. In

the house or anyone caught in its

path stood no chance. A few days

ago Kinglake was covered in trees,

now only charred trunks remain.

This is a village or what was once

a village. There were not many

homes there before the fires. Now

there are even less. We tried to

fly towards Beechworth and the

State's east, but were turned back

by a thick smoke blanketing the

range. And all, more than the

300,000 hectares have been

obliterated. At least 750 homes

burnt to the ground. We have just

blown over Victoria's most

devastated areas. I have never seen

anything like it before and I never want to

want to see anything like it again.

From the air, you see the big

picture and that's a picture there

will be hard to forget. Victorians

from all walks of life have been

remembering our friend and

colleague Brian Naylor today, who

with his much loved wife perished

at Kinglake on Saturday. The words

"the best" we used by his peers and

"the best" we used by his peers and

rivals to remember the legendary

newsman who will be sadly missed.

Went for more than 30 years, Brian

Naylor was the face of news in

Victoria. Off too many, he has

become the face of this disaster

and SES family home in Kinglake

West there was no escaping it.

Brian Naylor was standing at my

gate. I said, Brian,

gate. I said, Brian, you're not

gonna stay are you? And he looked

at me. Brian and his wife Maureen

perished, arm-in-arm. They were

very very close and he said many

times that if he had to go they

would want to go together, so I

could not think of a better way for

them to depart this life.

Miraculously his daughter-in-law

and two grandchildren who live on

the property directly across, managed

managed to escape the inferno. His

daughter, Jane, also lost her house

further along the main the Kinglake

Road. Broker sister and laws both

lost their home. Jane had a watcher

home burned down. They took refuge

in a dam and survived. Brian

Naylor's family is still come to

terms with the loss of Matt Naylor,

of the younger son who died in a plane crash

plane crash late last year. What the family members may never

recover from their horrendous

ordeals, Victorians in general are

mourning the loss of a friend. To

those of us who grew up watching

Brian, he was the one who told us.

I am one of the millions of

Victorians who for years only

Victorians who for years only got

the news because Brian told us. He

was loved and trusted like a

reliable uncle. That he started his

career -- Korea and radio and then

switched to the small screen. He

found his way to the newsdesk and

that's where he remained for the

next 30 plus years, a velvet like

boys with an iron like authority.

boys with an iron like authority. The government has launched an

inquiry... Off in 1978, Brian

Naylor made the news when he

switched from Channel 7-Channel

Nine. He remained chief anchor here

for 20 years. If format allies

became foes but off-screen the

friendships remain. That's a lie

friendships remain. That's a lie

remember, the socialising - it was

always conversations that

remembered and laughter. You're

very lucky in television if you can

work with the best of them and

Brian Naylor was the best. From the

beginning he had the X Factor, the

sparkling blue eyes, slightly

crooked smile and the ability to

talk underwater. He had an

indisputable professional flair. To

the end he was a

the end he was a legend, a

gentleman, an inspirational friend

and we will miss him terribly. Code

looked up to Brian all my life and

then I had the privilege of working

alongside him and he taught me so

much - she was a legend of TV news.

I'm still in shock. I knew Prime

and Mori really well. Through his

reign at the news desk, primed lambs

lambs are of the bigger stories of

all time. One of his proudest

achievements was fronting the Ash

Wednesday bushfires. In 1998, at

the them at 66-year-old Brian

Naylor retired from television with

that unmistakable sign off. For the

last time, may your news be good

news, goodnight and farewell.

news, goodnight and farewell. We

will have some other news after the

break, including exclusive

Coming up on WIN News... Coming up on WIN News... Locals

rally to support the victims of the

devastating Victorian bushfires,

And, a teen killed on the Hume Highway near Goulburn. Join me for Highway near Goulburn. Join me for

all the details next.

Dr Jayant Patel has appeared in a Brisbane court

on the first day of his committal hearing. The former Bundaberg Hospital surgeon is facing 14 charges, accused of deliberately botching surgery which led to the death of several patients. The court heard Patel lied to authorities when he was recruited from the United States, telling them he was a highly successful surgeon

who just wanted to help people. The hearing continues.

The movie 'Slumdog Millionaire' has had a remarkable night at the British Film and Television Awards, winning 7 BAFTAs, including Best Director and Best Picture. 'Slumdog Millionaire' Made on a relatively low budget of $15 million, the film is strongly fancied for Oscar trophies in two weeks. The late Heath Ledger was honoured again,

with an award for Best Supporting Actor.

Kate Winslet took out Best Actress for 'The Reader' while Mickey Rourke gave a hint about his painful years in the wilderness when he won Best Actor. Oh, God, such a pleasure to be here and to be back out of the darkness. Brad Pitt was one of the contenders pushed out by Rourke's win, but once again, Pitt and his partner won the unofficial prize as most glamourous couple of the night. A veteran rock god and a country star have ended up creating the sweetest music of this year's Grammy Awards. Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have won Album of the Year, one of their industry's biggest prizes. It's music's turn to rock the red carpet for its version of the Oscars. The glamorous, the cool, teen idols and rock'n'roll legends. Four Australian acts are in the running

The Grammys are as much about the live acts than the awards and tonight's theme was collaborations. Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl, the Jonas Brothers and Stevie Wonder, while Keith Urban played some classic soul for Justin Timberlake and Al Green. The theme continued for the awards. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss were the big winners with five Grammies, including Record and Album of the Year for their groundbreaking rock-country collaboration, while British quartet Coldplay won three awards, including song of the year for 'Viva la Vida'. Thank you and sorry to Sir Paul McCartney for blatantly recycling the Sergeant Pepper outfits. The emotional note of the night belonged to Jennifer Hudson.

who battled through her performance to a standing ovation. She was awarded best R'n'B album. I would like to thank my family in heaven

and those who are here today. Peter Stefanovic, Nine News, Los Angeles. British heart-throb Orlando Bloom touched down in Sydney this morning, on a Valentine's voyage to see his Aussie model girlfriend Miranda Kerr. The tabloids are predicting

the actor will pop the question on Saturday, but Bloom wasn't giving anything away. Hey, Orlando, you got anything special planned for Valentine's? Kerr is back home in Australia to promote the David Jones Autumn collection. Ken with sport is next and at last Ricky Ponting has something to smile about? All Australia now needs is to win tomorrow to square the series but for David Warner it's back to the drawing boards.

WOMAN: I get a big rate calculated daily, so I can watch my savings rise every day. MAN: Go to and open a Savings Maximiser now.

David Warner is tasting the highs and lows of international cricket, after being dropped from the Australian one-day team.

Warner has made it clear he only knows one way to play, but high-excitment cricket comes with even higher risks and the opener's failures buried his limited success. Ricky Ponting says there is a way back. David has the talent there, he has to go back to NSW

and work out a style of game that worked for him at the next level. With Warner dropped and Shaun Marsh out with hamstring problems the new team of Haddin and Clarke, gave the Aussies the start they were desperately seeking.

The partnership was worth 135 runs - close to half of the team's total. I spoke to both Brad and Michael after the game

and it just looked like they were so in control of things right from the start. For the Kiwis, Brendan McCullum was his own worst enemy. He injured his shoulder during the Aussie innings and was batting one-handed as New Zealand chased. The advice was to get treatment, now McCullum is on the doubtful list. He wasn't gong to bat, he wasn't going to keep but he just kept doing everything. Down 2-0 in the best-of-five series, the SCG showdown was a must-win game for the home team.

So is the match in Adelaide tomorrow and if it goes to a decider, Australia will also need to pull that off.

It's been some time since they last won three in a row. Clinton Fletcher, Nine news. There were glimpses of the past and the future, as 5,000 members packed a revamped Redfern Oval, for the Rabbitohs trial against Wests Tigers.

Benji Marshall, in his new role as halfback, showed a lot of promise for the Tigers - he scored a try, and set up another in a 30-26 win. I enjoyed it, it's a bit different role from the five-eighth. I still have a lot of things to learn.

Marshall was replaced at half-time, while most of the Rabbitohs' first graders sat out the entire match.

The Socceroos are in Yokohama, preparing for the biggest game of their World Cup qualifying campaign, against Japan on Wednesday. Even though the squad is made up almost entirely of overseas-based players, the devastation caused by the Victorian Bushfires has hit home. I'd just like to send my prayers and thoughts to everybody that's lost somebody in this difficult time. Football Federation Australia is donating $100,000 to victims.

A year and sport is going to shine

- lots of donations coming and, the

whole sport impunity is getting behind it. In finance - After the break, Jaynie Seal with all the weather details.

Pretty rough. It was huge. (PHONE RINGS) Michael, are those snags ready yet?

In a minute, love. How'd you blokes finish up after the other night, hey? Pretty Rough. It was huge. Jake, go and get your old man another beer, would you? WOMAN: Kids form their attitude long before they ever have a drink themselves, from their most important role model...

severe storms inland of Sydney - will they reach the coast? A very slim chance. Peter. However, showers are moving in. A severe storm warning for the Blue Mountains and inland areas. 23mm in 10 minutes for Bathurst with 76km/h winds.

Not much for Sydney just yet, but increasing in the next 36 hours. Thick cloud provided us with our coldest day for a month. Our record heatwave in western Sydney is over, right now 21 degrees. For Victoria and NSW, storms and winds of major concern. Southerlies gusting to 60km/h for alpine regions. 50km/h for lower ground. Temperatures are down, humidity levels are up, Southerly winds set to increase tomorrow. Ingham has now had 33 days in a row of rain their longest stretch in at least 40 years. Rain has eased in areas that are most flood affected. The monsoon trough will head northwards towards the end of this week with more heavy rain. Late rain for Brisbane tomorrow. Mild in the south-east. For WA, more extreme heat moving in, Perth - 36 degrees tomorrow. Some showers set to increase for Sydney tomorrow. Southerly winds will be fresh. Quite messy at most beaches for surfing. Potentially 20mm for some suburbs. The catchments likely to get some of that too.

22-26 degrees. Showers easing on Wednesday. City top temperatures low 20s. Mid to high 20s for the west. Cool nights. We welcome tonight's weather cadets from Kingslangley Public School. We are told you had a great time collecting data. Thanks Peter, and of course we'll keep everyone updated with the latest weather conditions. Returning to our main story now - the bushfires that have become the worst natural disaster in Australian history. The death toll currently stands at 131 but that number is certain to rise and may even double as the search for victims gets underway. Many people died in their cars, trying to outrun the flames. 31 fires are still raging in the Beechworth and Yackandandah areas. At least 5,000 people have lost their homes. In many cases, arson is suspected and an emotional Prime Minister Rudd has called it "mass murder." A royal commission into the disaster has been ordered. And that's Nine News for this Monday, 19 February. A Current Affair is next, live from the bushfire zone. Our coverage of Australia's worst natural disaster continues

at 10:30pm tonight, with another one-hour bulletin. Until then, I'm Peter Overton. Goodnight. Supertext captions by Red Bee Media Australia.