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National Nine News -

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Friday night. And that's WIN News for this cantips@wintv.com.au team, thank you for watching WIN I'm Peter Leonard, from the news Good night.

for delays to road changes Taxpayers foot the bill for the Lane Cove Tunnel. the value of using the tunnel. I'm counting on people seeing End of the line - local operators ditched

as a Canadian company takes over our helicopter rescue services. It's about lowering standards for some faceless bureaucrats..

Tax cut carrot - the plan to help women get back into the work force. I can't get enough child care to return to work. Shock decision - Damien Martyn announces his immediate retirement from cricket. This program is captioned live.

Good evening. Taxpayers are footing a bill of $25 million in compensation to the operators of the Lane Cove Tunnel. Hard on the heels of the row over the Cross City Tunnel the Government's handing over the money for breaking its contract in delaying changes to Epping Road.

For years this stretch of Epping Road has been among Sydney's most notorious traffic snarls, and this is what the RTA calls its "simple" solution. If we do not make this changes, I fear severe surface road confusion and severe surface road congestion. The 48 changes will be completed when the Lane Cove Tunnel opens, and there'll be more phased in over the first 11 months of operation in response to the RTA's assessment of new traffic patterns.

There are going to be some teething problems with the Lane Cove Tunnel. And it'll be an expensive trip to the dentist for all taxpayers, with the Government paying the tunnel company $25 million compensation for the impact on business and ongoing construction costs. The Government is using taxpayers' funds to delay any difficulties associated with the roads

until after the election. Motorists wanting to avoid the tunnel can still use Epping Road, but it may not be an easy run. But when questioned about whether Epping Road would be a practical toll-free alternative route, the Roads Minister stopped short of guaranteeing there would not be bumper-to-bumper traffic once it's reduced from six lanes to four. He preferred to talk up the benefits to users of public transport. Because they'll have a bus priority lane.

And if motorists want priority, they'll pay for it. I'm counting on people seeing the value of using the tunnel. Adam Walters, National Nine News. The rescue crews of the Westpac and CareFlight helicopter services

are tonight facing an uncertain future after they were dumped in favour of a Canadian firm. National Nine News can reveal that they're now planning to sue over a decision they say will cost lives.

It didn't take long for the newcomer to move in. The Canadian company's new Wollongong-based helicopter was called to a fatal car crash at Picton, just as the Government announced CHC Helicopters would take over Sydney's rescue contract for the next 10 years. Westpac Lifesaver and CareFlight were dumped. In the end it was a very easy decision because I cannot place the patients second. I have to place the patients and patient needs first.

The icons of Sydney skies are angered and disgusted that their long record of saving lives counted for nothing. It's not about saving lives, it's about lowering standards for some faceless bureaucrats.

Our record speaks for itself and very bitterly concerned that we haven't been truly heard. Also claims that there could be a very high price

for throwing away decades of experience. Unimaginable. This will cost lives. To put it bluntly, people are going to die. Some time as of next May or maybe even earlier

when they want a critical care specialist doctor, there is not going to be one. But the Government argues that Westpac and CareFlight simply aren't up to the increasingly complex demands of the job. We need newer aircraft, we need bigger aircraft and we need safer aircraft.

The community-based helicopters will be kept on until at least May next year. Both Westpac and CareFlight aren't about to be grounded without putting up a fight. They've both begun a legal challenge to stop the contract being signed and the Canadian company taking over. We're going to use the legal process to get to the bottom of what seems to be a rort. Dale Paget, National Nine News.

Convicted child killer John Lewthwaite will remain behind bars until at least February - the parole board today putting off making a decision on his case. Lewthwaite had his parole revoked in September

after he sunbathed naked on Wanda Beach. An Irish tourist who was brutally bashed outside a Bondi pub has made a remarkable recovery. Three months ago John Counihan was in a coma - his life hanging in the balance. Today he was able to speak about the attack. John Counihan arrived in Australia seven months ago, planning to enjoy our beaches and make new friends. Instead, he experienced Australia's ugly side. He was punched to the ground outside a Bondi pub and his head was stomped on. I just can't believe it. I just can't believe that people would be capable of doing something like that. John, or JP to his friends,

was placed on life support and wasn't expected to live. My front of my forehead had to be taken out to stop the brain leaving and going back to the back of my neck and me dying basically. After eight weeks in a coma, the 23-year-old has made an amazing recovery. He's been interviewed by police but his memory of the assault is hazy at best. I don't remember the whole night in question. My brain started swelling

because of the kicks in the head or whatever. It's believed a simple argument over a game of pool sparked the vicious attack.

One of the groups refused to shake hands, insults were exchanged, then the dispute was taken outside. Police are hunting three suspects of Pacific Islander appearance.

It's hard to understand what would make a person do this to another human being, um, it's a brutal attack and there's no excuse. Doctors aren't sure whether the Irishman will fully recover, the scars on his forehead a permanent reminder of the dream holiday which went wrong. Shaun Fewings, National Nine News. Townsville paused to salute one of its heroes today with the funeral of Captain Mark Bingley the pilot killed in the Black Hawk crash off Fiji. It was marked with full military honours, watched by his wife, Melissa, and their young son, Mitchell. As Captain Bingley's coffin was carried from the church, three Black Hawks from his squadron flew overhead before the cortege slowly made its way through the heart of town. Hoping to get more women back to work, a parliamentary committee is calling for a radical overhaul to Australia's childcare system. One proposal is to make all childcare costs tax deductible, including nannies, but the Prime Minister says that would be too expensive.

Rebecca Maken says she's suffering from a crisis in child care. It's really tough. It would be our family's biggest expense. We pretty much pay a mortgage on our child care and there's not a lot left over. And it's not just the cost of child care for her girls that frustrates this mother from Newtown in Sydney's inner west. I can't get enough child care to return to work. A parliamentary report, chaired by Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop, is recommending child care tax breaks for women. There should be a tax deduction for child care expenses, just like there is for your car or your computer or your mobile phone. If you can have it for that, you should be able to have it for child care. But Labor supports the existing rebate system, saying only the wealthy would benefit from a switch to tax breaks. An open slather approach that would make nannies and housekeepers tax deductible

would not benefit the majority of Australians. It's not wealthy families that are suffering through child care, it's families like us, who just... there is no supply, we don't have enough child care and we can't afford the child care that we do have. Prime Minister Howard has also thrown cold water on the proposal, saying the current 30% tax rebate is already close to full tax-deductibility. Daniel Street, National Nine News.

Sydney researchers have come up with an extraordinary new way to check for breast cancer. It involves X-raying a strand of a woman's hair - the technique picking up telltale signs of the disease. We've observed that women with breast cancer We've have a difference with their molecular structure.

observed women with breast

cancer have a different in their

moll edgular structure. The test could be available as early as next year,

depending on more trials. International rugby player Mat Rogers has had to endure more personal pain, and it involves his brother Don. Nine's Danny Weidler has been in touch with the Wallaby and joins us now. Danny, what can you tell us?

Mark, I can tell you it's more sad

news for the Rogers family, Don

Rogers, Matt's older brother

attempted to take his life. He's 33,

currently in Sutherland hospital,

where he's recovering. I'm talked

to Mat Rogers, he's shattered, but

he told me the Rogers boys will

stick together and get through this,

just like they had to get through

the unfortunate passing of their

father Steve about 11 months ago. A

terrible situation, for Mat Rogers

and his brother Don to be going

through, obviously, but Mat Rogers

says Don is coming through

says Don is coming through this,

he's surrounded by those who are

loving him. Thank you Danny. There's been a shock for Australian cricket and our Ashes campaign today with the sudden retirement of batsman Damien Martyn. Claiming he's lost his passion, the 67-Test veteran was under pressure,

but had been picked to play the third Ashes Test in his home town, Perth. Damien Martyn's often had a feisty relationship with the media. No gestures from the man himself today,

leaving Cricket Australia's James Sutherland to explain his shock decision. I gotta say, it was a pretty big surprise. I got a text message from Damien this morning, it must have been about 10:30 or something, where he just said I'm about to send you through an e-mail, could you have a read of it. In the e-mail letter, Martyn says he made the decision in the past 48 hours and that -

Having lost his desire to play cricket, Martyn also wrote - Selectors had kept faith in the out of form batsman, naming Martyn in the squad for the third ashes Test in Perth.

Sutherland denies there's anything sinister in Martyn's sudden retirement.

I know that there'll be lots of people looking for conspiracies in all of this

but I have a very strong sense in my discussions with him that he's very pleased with the decision he's made. Martyn could've ended his career in front of his home crowd in Perth. He's also quit with Australia on the verge of regaining the Ashes. Is he depressed? No, I don't believe so. Today, I get the sense that he's quite the opposite.

The fact that he's got a home Test coming up, the fact that Australia is probably gonna win the Ashes back, all those reasons make it tougher. So even more reason to admire him for taking it. If there are other reasons why, we'll have to hear them from the batsman himself. Andrew McKinlay, National Nine News. In the news ahead - a suburban nightmare as London is hit by a mini tornado. And from toilet technician to Australia's best actor. What kind of curry's that bloke been eating? Trade in four old tyres at Beaurepaires and we'll give you Call Beaurepaires on 13 23 81.

Arthur Sinodinos, the PM's long-serving chief of staff, has resigned, to take up a position with a merchant bank.

He told Nine's political editor, Laurie Oakes, that, while he's ready for a change, John Howard has much more to contribute. He's a great patriot and every day he gets up he thinks to himself, "Well, what can I do today to make this a better place to live?" Victoria's firefighters are marshalling their forces for a weekend that's expected to bring some of the worst bushfires in the State's history. Extra crews have been sent in from NSW, and with temperatures tipped to reach 40 degrees, all the signs are ominous. Only weeks ago, they'd been fighting fires in the Blue Mountains

and the Hunter Valley. This morning, more than 200 volunteers and fire brigade crews left the outskirts of Sydney

to join the battle against Victoria's worst bushfire threat in more than 60 years. This is part of a mutual aid agreement,

so when we're in trouble Victoria, Queensland and other States come to our aid. With fierce winds and high temperatures expected on the weekend, the fear is that 31 separate blazes burning across Victoria's north-east and the Gippsland

will merge into one super fire. Very, very scary stuff. Fire fighters say a fire burning over such a massive front would be almost impossible to stop. You can't pull a fire up in those conditions, so we just look after the houses and those sorts of things. In smoke-shrouded towns, such as Jamieson, reinforcements have been arriving all day. By tomorrow, as many as 4,000 firefighters will be standing by. Communities have been warned to prepare for the worst. So you need to be checking your house, you need to go around check for broken windows. Fire authorities are taking no chances, more than 20 Victorian schools have been closed and are likely to stay shut for a week. Brad Schmitt, National Nine News.

A tornado has hit a London suburb damaging at least 150 homes

and injuring six people. It sounded like a freight train. It looked like some kind of 'Wizard of Oz' thing. The damage was confined to 10 streets. Winds peaked at 180km/h. And all the destruction occurred in just 30 seconds. Also in London,

Movie award nights are traditionally the preserve of the super rich and famous. But last night at the AFI ceremony in Melbourne, a plumber and a group of Aboriginal film-makers stole the show. The big names had their moments - Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Eric Bana, Sam Neill - but the night was owned by the new kids on the block. Australian talent rising fast. 'Ten Canoes', a stunning tale of Dreamtime Aboriginal love and life,

won Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Editing

and Best Cinematography It's not like your story, it's my story. My story you've never heard before. We are very, very proud of that film. See? He said, "Very good." Kenny's Shane Jacobson plumbed a rich vein of humour

leaving most of us fully flushed and highly amused.

So I don't do it for glory, I don't do it to impress people. It's a job. Look at that! What kind of curry has that bloke been eating? Kenny, sorry, Shane, won Best Actor. 'Suburban Mayhem's' street-wise Emily Barclay took Best Actress. All in all, a very good night for the Australian movie industry.

Peter Harvey, National Nine News. Ken Sutcliffe is in Brisbane for the swimming where, Ken, the girls in the 100m freestyle could challenge the world record tonight?

Mark, it's the one thing we haven't seen here yet. Also, a veteran rower heading for the record books. And Big Willie on a collision course with the Bulldogs.

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It's been a day of shocks in the Australian cricket team. As we reported earlier, Damien Martyn has announced his retirement from the game, effective immediately. His replacement came from left field - West Australian Adam Voges selected in the 13-man squad

for the Perth Test starting on Thursday. Andrew Symonds was also added to the squad. Big developments tonight in our story on Willie Mason and his flirtation with American football. Big Willie has spoken exclusively to Danny Weidler, telling him he'll quit the Bulldogs if he receives an offer to join the New York Jets. Been there, done that. And he's got the T-shirt to prove it - Big Willie just back from the Big Apple, and he's got a taste for the NFL. Mason is now on a collision course with his club, saying he'll quit the Bulldogs and the NRL if he receives a contract from the Jets. Definitely gonna have to have a look at it, and I'm not going to ignore it, 'cause at the end of the day, it's my decision - if I wanna go, I'm gonna go. That's it - it's black and white. Mason's manager, Greg Keenan, is waiting to hear back from the Jets,

but if an offer arrives next week, Keenan knows what his client wants to do. Greg will talk to the Bulldogs about it. He'll know what I feel.

Mason appreciates that the Bulldogs let him trial, but after nine seasons with the club, he's looking for a challenge. I don't understand why people would think I'd just go over there for a joke.

You know, I'm probably at the time in me career now

where maybe it is time for a change. Mason was put through a tough 40-minute workout where he monitored by a dozen of the New York Jets coaches. That session convinced him he'd like to give the NFL a try. The tough part, though, will be moving to New York. You only live once. New York City's the capital of the world. I'm pretty sure I could settle in there if given the opportunity.

It's a big place. I could certainly hide in a couple of pubs there. Danny Weidler, National Nine News. The world record will be under threat when Jodie Henry and Libby Lenton go head to head in the final of the 100m freestyle here in Brisbane tonight. Last night, Jessicah Schipper swam the ninth fastest time in history in the final of the 200m butterfly. World records have proved elusive at these championships,

but Schipper looked set to give it a real shake in the 200m fly. COMMENTATOR: It's 0.25sec underneath world record time. For three laps, Australia's new 'Madame Butterfly' was under her own world mark,

but, heading to the wall, the red line was just out of reach. Can't quite get it. It's there, but she can't grab it. In the men's 100m freestyle, Eamon Sullivan held off a fast-finishing Ashley Callus.

Callus digging in, but it's Sullivan. Jodie Henry is the fastest qualifier for tonight's showdown with Libby Lenton in the women's 100m free. Rowing into the record books, former Oarsome Foursome member James Tomkins, who's embarking on his sixth Olympic campaign.

The 41-year-old returns to international competition for the first time since winning gold at the Athens Games in 2004.

I'm doing it 'cause I really enjoy That's why I do it. I'm not doing it to try and win a medal - I'm just doing it 'cause I really, really enjoy it. And Australian Joel Parkinson has tamed the famed Sunset Beach in Hawaii to win the World Cup of Surfing. He posted a 10-point ride in the final to secure the title for the second time. Chris Hodgkinson, National Nine News. Peter Lonard leads after two rounds of the Australian PGA at Coolum. The 2-time champion shot a 7-under-par 65 to lead by one shot. No luck for Stuart Appleby on the 13th hole, who got his feet wet when his ball came to rest on the edge of a lake. He eventually decided to play the shot left-handed. COMMENTATOR: There's water on the other side and that's where he's finished. He walked off with a double bogey.

He walked off not a happy man. Back

here in the water tonight at 7:30

from the Chandler pool. You might

get the world record tonight. After the break, the CommSec finance report, Jaynie with the weekend weather details, then the best of Sydney's Christmas lights.

I've helped him load his sleigh and you'll also see him with the courtesy trailer attached 10m flexi rope lights, only $27.50. Ozito cordless spray gun, $115. Wheelie cooler pack, $89.98. Treated pine decking, just $2.20 per metre. If you happen to find a cheaper price on a stocked item, we'll beat it by 10%. Santa definitely shops here. SONG: # Bunnings Warehouse. # Lowest prices are just the beginning.

At Franklins, we love to save you money. With Christmas specials.

Like... MAN: Size 32 Steggles Frozen Turkey: 2-litre Coca-Cola Soft Drink varieties: And 12s Kleenex toilet roll varieties: Franklins is also about

what makes Christmas Christmas. Giving as well as receiving. (Laughs) So merry Christmas from Franklins.

In finance, there's further evidence

a recovery in the housing market is some way off with demand for home loans in October flat as would-be buyers weighed up interest rate hikes.

On the markets, resource and banking stocks fell.

And Ten was lower as it prepares to talk to potential buyers.

Mark, another fairly warm day, with temperatures rising over the weekend. Cloud kept a lid on our temperatures today with a top of 30 in Penrith and 25 in the city, a fresh sea breeze for the afternoon along the coast,

where it's now 24. Virtually the whole State has stayed dry today, just a storm in the Upper Hunter drifting slowly westwards. There may be a few storms over the north-west. Extreme fire dangers for the southern inland border of NSW and for the whole state of Victoria, where they will be bracing themselves for some of the worst bushfires in history.

Northerly winds freshening ahead of the change spreading across SA and to Victoria on Sunday.

41 in Adelaide ahead of the change, bringing afternoon thundery showers. More smoke in Melbourne and some very hot weather for Hobart and Canberra. We are still going for storms on Monday, with a possibility of getting 5-10mm of rain, Mark.

That's National Nine News for this Friday. I'm heading off on holidays, so I'd like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a great 2007. We'll leave you with images of some of the Christmas lights decorating homes around Sydney. I'm Mark Ferguson. Goodnight.

Tonight, Victoria's bushfire nightmare. The State gears up for a horror weekend. We're live from Command headquarters. Plus, the council threatening to take a family's home because of its own stupid mistake. Also, Fly Buys - we show you how to cash in

by making the most of your points. I'm not going to hurt you. And the ageing Hollywood action stars resurrecting their blockbuster heroes. This program is captioned live. Hello, I'm Tracy Grimshaw. Welcome to A Current Affair. Those stories coming up. Tonight, we're coming to you from Whitfield in Victoria's high country. This is an area on red alert. With dozens of bushfires already burning out of control, there are fears high temperatures and strong winds are going to create a horror weekend. We start our special coverage with Martin King, who's at nearby Jamieson. Tracy, while locals around here are nervous about the fires

many say they're not going to evacuate, instead they're going to stay and protect their homes.

Do you know where the fire is new?

It's about 4km away from the pub.

Can we go through to the fire front.

No, you can't. The fire is over the

ridge. I can't let you through. It

may be one of the worst bushfire

threats in decades , for some old

timers, tradition is tradition.

I'm going to Mansfield for

Christmas dinner. You are going for Christmas dinner.

Pul een Reid is 76, her home in

Tolmie is in direct line of the

fires. You can see enormous clouds

of smoke, and they were like as if

they dropped an A bomb. Like most

residents here, Pauline refuses to

run, instead she'll stay and fight.

A lot of people say get the hell

out, just go. Is it worth it? It's

worth everything, it's our home,

it's our area, and our friends.

Going in, are you? Yes. Yes. Sure

am. Is it dangerous in there. I

don't know yet. How dangerous is it.

Well, they were predicting fire

couldened up in Tolmie in the next

hour or so. Here. Yes. Dozens of