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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. over businessman Robert Gerard The scandal for Peter Costello. brings new problems on a Sydney beach. Anger at the bashing of lifeguards at Sydney's filthiest house. The clean-up begins Good evening. Some new revelations tonight Treasurer Peter Costello will put pressure back on businessman Robert Gerard over his appointment of Adelaide to the board of the Reserve Bank. Mr Gerard rejected an earlier job National Nine News has learned that multimillion-dollar tax investigation because he feared his could embarrass the Liberal Party. has this exclusive report. Laurie Oakes In Parliament today, of tax evasion allegations Peter Costello denied any knowledge against Robert Gerard of the Reserve Bank appointment. at the time with the tax office. I never knew that he had an issue to the Liberal Party, Mr Gerard, a generous donor

in March 2003. was appointed to the bank board the tax revelations last Friday. He resigned in the face of According to the treasurer, the Government was not aware had been under investigation Mr Gerard's companies over the use of a tax haven newspaper broke the story last week. until 'The Financial Review' plain that nobody knew, Mr Speaker. Over the last three years it is that Mr Gerard It's now been learned the position had earlier been offered of the Liberal Party. of Federal Treasurer who'd held the job for 15 years, Ron Walker, wanted out Adelaide manufacturer said no, and approached Mr Gerard but the his long-running battle explaining that he feared with the tax office embarrassment if he accepted. could cause the Liberal Party

This is awkward for the Government, Prime Minister and the treasurer. Mr Walker is close to both the It also raises the question - with Mr Walker, if Mr Gerard was candid why would he not be equally candid the Reserve Bank job? when approached about about Mr Gerard's job yesterday In Question Time the Opposition asked put Mr Gerard's name forward. that it was Mr Costello who first True, the Treasurer said, but: an enthusiastic response I have never seen such in all my life. All we had today in the Parliament Prime Minister and the Treasurer. was blame shifting between the Laurie Oakes, National Nine News. for a cowardly group of up to 20 men A major police hunt is under way at Cronulla. who attacked two surf lifesavers had to be treated in hospital Both young men for severe cuts and bruising. just a brutal crime, For many, this was not

but an act of sacrilege. Young volunteer surf lifesavers to help others. bashed while giving up their weekends This attack is not Australian as far as we are concerned. and it's absolutely unacceptable an 8-hour patrol at north Cronulla Four lifesavers had just finished when they were abused by several men "of Middle Eastern appearance". described as by a further group of men. This gang was then joined the head, kicked and punched. The lifesavers were bashed about that was pretty bad, There was young guy his face was all covered in blood. were admitted to hospital, Two lifesavers aged 19 and 20 suffering cuts and bruising. One was lucky not to lose an eye. the two young lifesavers After being so badly knocked about, quitting weekend patrols. are now said to be considering asked them Today, Surf Lifesaving Australia about the attack, not to speak publicly to reprisals fearing that it could lead and more violence on the beach. of one of the victims. But there was no stopping the mother

because this is my son Something has to be done children down on the beach again. and I don't feel safe to let my have been harassing lifesavers Locals say gangs at north Cronulla for years. to 12 people over yesterday's attack. Police claim they're now hunting up and act anti-socially If people come to this area we will take action against them. Damien Ryan, National Nine News. has outlined an alarming number A confidential report near schools. of attempted child abductions is playing down the report, But the Government has been increased. claiming school security to be safe ground for children. Schools are supposed child predators are lurking, But just outside those gates, children as young as six years old. regularly stalking and assaulting

that's just shocking. Oh, it's just shocking, According to a Government report, across Sydney, the incidents have been occurring simple pick-up and drop-off routines. prompting many parents to change You've just got to be more diligent than we did in our day, I guess. and chaperone them around more this year There've been several reports in suburbs across the city - of abductors stalking children

being pulled into a car at Caringbah. a young boy was lucky to escape from for a school security review. The Opposition is pleading seems to think The State Labor Government outside the school gates. it has no responsibility of the 674 reports, But the Government says offences, only 15 have related to serious school population. a fraction of the city's We've actually seen a decrease been reported to the department. in the number of incidents that have There's been an 8% decrease. at schools has been increased, The Government claims security police powers strengthened extra fences built, and security guards employed. The rest is up to the community. It's a situation parents all need to work together. where communities, schools,

Peter Stefanovic, National Nine News. and a sense of abandonment Unemployment for the wave of violence have been offered as reasons earlier this year. at Macquarie Fields is investigating the causes A parliamentary inquiry similar incidents in the future. and what can be done to prevent It was a breakdown in law and order - violently clashed with police, over four nights, young locals still refuses to call it a 'riot'. but the State's top cop

were a disturbance. I think the matters to a number of streets. They were confined geographically Today, in front of a parliamentary inquiry, some of our most senior police pinned the blame on a suburb in decay, gripped by alcohol and drug abuse, high unemployment and Sydney's worst record of domestic violence. That's about twice the recorded average for NSW in terms of domestic violence. The Police Commissioner concedes mistakes were made, including outdated equipment for the front-line officers. With the benefit of hindsight some things could have been done differently. The Premier's Department told the hearing there's no quick fix for the social problems at Macquarie Fields, but steps are being taken. There's certainly been a change of approach out there, I think,

and a lot more visible policing, there's police out on the streets. Call it a riot or disturbance, the Police Commissioner can't guarantee there'll be no repeat of scenes suh as those at Macquarie Fields, but he is confident police are now better equipped should it happen again. Nigel Blunden, National Nine News. For years, it's been a blight on Bondi - a local house where rubbish has been piled upon rubbish.

But today, at long last, a team of workers moved in to clean up the property that's potentially worth $1 million. It's more of a hovel than a home, Bondi's rubbish house needed a cleaning team with iron stomachs and heavy machinery. The front yard has rotting refuse stacked metres high and onto the roof. The backyard, if you can call it that, is even worse.

But owner Mary Bobala didn't want the garbage trucks or the attention. She and her two sisters are so attached to their homemade tip they were sitting in it, frantically trying to save as much as they could.

I feel sorry for them, but nobody feels sorry for us who have to live here and have to put up with that every day. For 20 years, neighbours have complained about the rats and the stench. For just as long, Waverley Council has battled the owners for permission to take it away. Council is obviously frustrated if it's been 12 times already this year to the Land and Environment Court. Rubbish has been moved before. This latest operation will cost ratepayers tens of thousands of dollars. The job's so big it will take days to clean up, but residents aren't calling it a victory. They say as soon as the garbage trucks are gone, the hoarding will start again. It's only a band-aid fix today. Until she's helped, and the daughters, it's never going to stop. The Health Department's been asked to intervene

to make sure it does stop. Dale Paget, National Nine News. One of Saddam Hussein's former bodyguards has been allowed to walk free after coming to Australia as an asylum seeker. Labor says it shows the immigration system has collapsed, but Prime Minister Howard has blamed an appeals tribunal, saying the Government tried to stop the man gaining a visa. Oday Adnan Al Tekriti was nowhere to be seen at his Adelaide address today. It's world away from the reign of terror he saw as a bodyguard to the Iraqi dictator. Mr Al Tekriti was refused a visa after arriving on a boat in 1999, because of suspicions he could have been involved with Saddam's crimes against humanity. He spent two years in detention, before gaining a visa and marrying former South Australian State Liberal MP Bernice Pfitzner. Just five months ago was granted temporary protection. Hasn't our immigration system completely collapsed?

The department did not want to give him a visa, but exercising his rights he went to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal overturned that decision by the department. Crucially, the tribunal's findings show that: Amanda Vanstone's defended her department's handling of the case. I can, however, assure the senator that proper process has been followed. Lawyers representing Mr Al Tekriti say that his father was murdered by Saddam and that he fled Iraq in fear of his life. They say he was - and remains - deeply opposed to the toppled regime. Daniel Street, National Nine News. The lawyer for the eight Sydney terror suspects has called on the Premier to intervene on behalf of his clients saying their conditions in jail are inhumane. They're kept in a very tiny cell, they are in solitary confinement 23 hours a day, they don't see the sun and some of them are being mistreated and denied their rights. Their solicitor says he's yet to receive any documents from police and claims it's difficult to gain access to the men. F-18 jet fighters and Blackhawk helicopters will patrol the skies over Melbourne during the Commonwealth Games and they'll be authorised to shoot down any rogue aircraft. The intense anti-terror precautions were revealed as organisers marked a significant milestone in the lead-up to the Games. With a hundred days to go, the Commonwealth Games roadshow came to Sydney. CROWD CHEERS Security arrangements have also moved into high gear as authorities prepare for more than a million spectators and 5,000 athletes. It will be the highest level of security ever seen in this country. Melbourne will be under a 75km-wide air-exclusion zone for the 12-day games period. F-18 fighters will patrol the skies during the opening and closing ceremonies. Pilots on permanent interception alert, authorized to shoot to kill. If someone was to stray into that area they'd be given a lot of warning and they'd be able to be dealt with, I hope, appropriately.

Routine security measures are also daunting. More than 55,000 officials, volunteers and athletes will undergo background checks. The recent series of anti-terrorist raids in Sydney and Melbourne have given added impetus to the security arrangements. It's expected in fact, that some members of athlete's families will also be interviewed by the security services.

In Sydney today, games organisers were doing their best to boost ticket sales - almost one million already sold, a quarter outside Victoria. In 2006, apart from World Cup soccer of course, it will be the biggest sporting event in the whole of the year. Peter Harvey, National Nine News. After a week of without as name, the baby born to Bec and Lleyton Hewitt finally has one. The little girl will be called Mia Rebecca. In the news ahead - a powerful new weapon in the fight against cancer. And the teenager said to be an incarnation of Buddha.

CRASH! So you could win a truckload of cash! Don't miss Oz Lotto's $4 million jackpot.

Rowan Barker, Radio 2GB's morning newsreader, is out of intensive care after his near-fatal stabbing at a work Christmas party at the weekend. Breakfast host Alan Jones has condemned the senseless attack. This young man's just enjoying himself on a Saturday night at a party and he's gone within centimetres of his death. Now someone's got to say, "This is a very serious issue and this is a priority." Two of Mr Barker's younger colleagues have been credited with saving his life by acting quickly to stem the bleeding. The newsreader could be out of hospital by the end of the week. As part of his long-term plan to boost Western Sydney, the Premier is creating a special employment hub at the intersection of the M4 and M7 motorways.

2,500 hectares of land will be re-zoned for industry,

cutting red tape and creating up to 36,000 jobs over the next 25 years. We'll be able to provide planning certainty for major companies investing in this zone. The Premier says the area will be a magnet for jobs and investment because of its links to transport. It doesn't look much, but an easy-to-take pill is the latest weapon in the war on bowel cancer, Australia's second-biggest cancer killer. The treatment has just been approved and could help lead to a cure. Denis Crawford was doing up his belt when he noticed a strange lump in his abdomen. It turned out to be bowel cancer. A sizable tumour was surgically removed last November, but instead of months of chemotherapy his specialist put him on a pill. Compared to the old intravenous chemotherapy, it reduces relapse by a further 14%. The pill , Xeloda, was previously used only for advanced cancer but it's been so effective, it's now been moved up to the front line, to be taken straight after surgery. This is treatment given as an insurance for patients where the cancer has been removed,

but where we don't know that there's no residual cancer cells still lying around - and the best time to cure a patient is in that circumstance. Described by doctors as more clever than intravenous chemotherapy, Xeloda is absorbed into the gut, activates when its particles reach the liver and from there it's 'switched on' in the bloodstream

to fight cancer cells wherever they may be in the body. It allows me to live a completely normal life. I don't have to go anywhere near hospitals, which is psychologically wonderful, as well as physically. With virtually no side effects, Xeloda has allowed Denis to resume work and golf. I'm surprised how well I've been able to get back. I've gradually done it from 5 holes to 10 holes to 15 and on Sunday I did 18, so I'm back! Sheryl Taylor, National Nine News. The former prime minister of Iraq, Iyad Allawi, has apparently escaped an assassination attempt. a mosque and fired warning shots, Bodyguards raced him away from after a group of radicals drew handguns.

When he served as one of the country's interim prime ministers, Allawi survived several attempts on his life. In Hong Kong, organisers are claiming a turnout of 250,000 people in a protest demanding full democracy for the Chinese territory. But Beijing says Hong Kong isn't ready for an elected parliament. It took the territory back from Britain in 1997. In Nepal, this meditating teenager has created a cult following. The 15-year-old

has been sitting between the buttress roots of a large tree for six months, allegedly without food or water. Some believe he's an incarnation of Buddha and a special religious committee is now investigating if the claim is true. Promoters have hinted there could be another U2 concert in Sydney

after tickets for the March 31 show sold out in less than an hour this morning. Been here for three days - in the end, it pays number 1 - yeah! The band will play at Telstra Stadium to a crowd of just over 70,000. (Sings) # Hello, hello I'm at a place called Vertigo. # Already, general admission tickets

are selling for more than $4,000 each on e-bay. Ken with sport is next,

and New Zealand trying to come to terms with Brett Lee's fearsome pace. As well as new measures for bad crowd behaviour. Also, Harry Allenby - the secret behind Robert's success? And Jelena Dokic right at home

at her first Australian practice session. You'd better hurry - FOXTEL Digital's big deal is about to end. Until December 17, you can get FOXTEL Digital installed for just $10 in metro areas. And you get your first month for just $10. FOXTEL Digital. Call 131 787 now.

VOICEOVER: To be the best, you have to be fast. So you don't want anything slowing you down. you can blow tinea away with Lamisil Spray. New Zealand cricket officials are considering banning beer sales if there is a repeat of Saturday night's loutish behaviour in which Australia's cricketers were pelted with fruit and plastic bottles. For Wednesday's second game in Wellington, the first three rows will be left empty. Meanwhile, the Aussies say they understand why Brett Lee's blistering pace has the Kiwis fearing for their safety. Oh, look, I think it's tough work for anyone who has to face 155km/h with the ball swinging like that as well. There's no-one hotter in Australian golf at the moment than Robert Allenby. Now the Australian Open and PGA champion hopes to create history by taking out this week's Masters title at Huntingdale.

Just like Pop, young Harry Allenby is a golfer in a hurry. The Open and PGA titles have kept all the fsmily busy and there was Dad's charity event today. Everyone still wanted to talk about that shot yesterday. His second into the 18th at Coolum decided the PGA Championship and Allenby was happy to re-live the moment. I felt very comfortable. I wasn't nervous or anything like that, you know. We all get nervous and stuff. Now for the Masters and no-one's won the Grand Slam of Australasian golf. I think if I try and rest as much as I can over the next couple of days, I think I can do it. At the Sun City Challenge, a 4-way play-off involving Adam Scott, Jim Furyk, Retief Goosen and courtesy of an eagle on the 17th, Darren Clarke. COMMENTATOR: I don't believe it! The group finished 6 under. They replayed the 18th and Scott needed this to stay in contention. Goosen was the first to go. Then Furyk took control - chip this in and the game was over.

The winner's cheque was also impressive. Mrs Furyk liked it. Now what to do with well over $1 million? I'm actually a pretty conservative guy, but we'll find something - that's a lot. Scott now heads home for the Masters.

Clinton Fletcher, National Nine News. Troubled tennis star Jelena Dokic

has taken her first steps towards rebuilding her career, with a practise session in Melbourne. Once ranked fourth in the world, Dokic is hoping for a wildcard entry into January's Australian Open and is also asking for forgiveness after almost five years in exile. No family, no coach, no sponsors and a world ranking of 349. Jelena Dokic knows the road back won't be easy, but she's just asking Australians for a second chance. I know that not 100% of the people will be on my side and understand what happened, but I am here to make up for what happened before. And that includes the actions of her father, Damir, who she no longer speaks to. We have very different views on pretty much everything in life

and that includes tennis. Instead the 22-year-old's found a new role model in France's Mary Pierce, who overcame similar obstacles on and off the court before fighting her way back to the top. It's a lot harder to come back than to come up so if I can do it I think I'll be a stronger person and player. With a wild card already for next month's Canberra International, she's also hoping for a start at the Australian Open. She's the sort of player you'd want to have in your tournament. She brings a lot to the tournament, but we have to see what happens.

Meantime, Croatia has won the Davis Cup for the first time.

Mario Ancic sealing the victory in the fifth and deciding rubber, with a straight sets win over Slovakia's Michel Mertinak. Paul Crawley, National Nine News. Finance after the break, then Jaynie with the weather details.

Now with just seven days treatment, Effective relief without having to touch the tinea. From Lamisil. Nothing's faster. On the financial markets: Another hot day in Sydney after an impressive weekend! And it's still a balmy 25 outside. The sun beamed down on Sydney with temperatures rising to the low 30s across the board. The coastal areas had a weak change scraping the coastline, which moved through just before lunchtime, but further inland, the light westerlies kept the temperatures up.

A very toasty 21 last night. The maximum today was 30, which is 5 over the average. A large high has kept most of NSW and the ACT dry today. A small line of cloud along the coast

indicates the weak south-easterly change which brought next to nothing in terms of rainfall. A low moving towards the south-eastern States, along with this trough will join forces to provide some widespread rain and storms. For our State, they should land over the south and far western regions by the afternoon. Hot and sticky of these systems, thanks to northerly winds with showers and storms along the NSW ranges.

Northerlies for Canberra with a late shower. If you are heading to Melbourne, it will be hot with a late southerly. Hobart - in for a few showers. Adelaide expecting early thunder and wild winds. Clearing showers in Perth. Storms in Darwin and Brisbane. Sydney, more summer heat and no rain. And surfers - a virtually flat swell for most of the week. Tonight will be cooler than last night, but daytime temperatures are set to soar to the low 30s along the coast. The heat will hang around pretty much all week. The change will move towards us, especially on Wednesday, with storms and light rain which will hopefullly clear by the weekend, Mark. That's National Nine News for this Monday. A Current Affair is next. I'm Mark Ferguson, goodnight. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre.