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Tonight - compromised reach

as Labor says I do to the PM's

proposal on gay marriage. It

will help ensure that all their sexual orientation are

showing the dignity and the

respect to which they are

entitled. But deep divisions on the street as those for and

against same sex marriage clash. A win for Canberra

parents in the battle for more

help for disabled students. And Australian captain Michael Clarke finally scores a home century. Allen with ABC News. The debate

was passionate and sometimes

personal but in a historic

policy shift the Labor Party

has agreed to legally recognise

same-sex marriage. Supporters

say the decision is a great

step towards equality and one

Labor MP has acted swiftly to

introduce a bill early next

year to debate changing the

nation's definition of

marriage. But it's unlikely they will get the numbers. Chief Mark Simkin reports. Julia Gillard's embraced some very personal politics at conference. The Prime personal politics at this

Minister's opposed to gay

marriage but is still declaring

victory. People should be able

to vote in accordance with their conscience and certainly

now they will. It's not quite

so simple. Her party's now

officially adopted a policy the

Prime Minister doesn't agree

with. You all know what my

views on this debate are and I know

agree with my views on this debate. They said so

publicly. There is nothing to

fear from equality. It will not see fewer heterosexual marrying, nor will it make

those marriages less likely to last. We're not last. We're not nameless,

faceless people who live on the

margins of society. The The

head of Australia's biggest

union railed against gay marriage

marriage asking delegates to

consider the electoral

impact. Are we really going to

say that something that we regarded

this time we should now turn on

its head? He didn't get the

answer he was looking

with our voters. No! That this not affect our credibility

summed up the mood. When the

vote came the resoult was

resounding. I ask delegates in favour of the position to say

against. No. The aye. Aye. Delegates

historic but Julia Gillard argued Labor MPs shouldn't be bound on

bound on it. On this question

people should be able to follow

their conscience. A party their conscience. A party elder

disagreed. I take the view that

rights is not conscienceable. a conscience vote on human

He got a selective standing

ovation. A loss on this would

have been a serious blow to the

Prime Minister's authority. I

declare the amendment carried. Not everyone 's satisfied. No

way, equal marriage! Thousands

convention centre many of protestors marched on the

demanding the Government go further. Early next year the

passion and the politics will shift to Canberra. Julia Gillard's told cabinet

ministers her government won't

sponsor a bill to legalise gay

marriage but she won't stand in

the way of a backbencher

introducing a private member's

bill. One's already being

arranged but it's passage is by no means certain. I spoke to

Mark Simkin a short time ago

and asked him what today's

votes mean for the PM's

authority. Well as you heard, had the Prime Minister

rolled on the issue of a

conscience vote it would have

been nothing short of a

humiliation. But she did have a

win and it was a close run

thing. Only about 12 votes in

it but people close to the

Prime Minister are depicting

this as a significant win for

her and for her authority and

they're arguing that the question now is Tony Abbott's

authority because when this

gets to a vote in the

parliament early in the new

Tony Abbott will allow his year the question is whether

troops to have a conscience vote on the issue. If he doesn't, then almost doesn't, then almost certainly same-sex marriage will not pass

the parliament. Mark, did the conference deal with any other

significant issues? It did.

Asylum seekers was the other

contentious issue discussed

this afternoon and finally the

Immigration Minister has had a win.

specifically endorse his

so-called Malaysia solution but

they did for the first time put some sort of processing into the party endorsement of offshore

platform. Now that's significant because up until

now the party platform's been

ambiguous about that. There was

contentious debate but the left

on this issue certainly did not

have the numbers. Mark, thanks

for your time. Christian groups

the minorities but those for

and against gay marriage were

out in force today. Both sides

say it's an issue that cuts to

the core of Australia's moral

fibre and urging governments to

protect their rights. It's a

debate that's dividing the

nation and today it came to a

head in Sydney. There were angry scenes as equal rights

lobbyists gate crashed a rally

against gay marriage. Pray for

this nation that we would not

go down the path of Sodom and

Gomorrah, down the path of

back destruction but we would turn

back to Him and stand up for truth. Lobbyist s against gay marriage say it's a

issue, one that's united

Christians of all denominations. We're not here

to slam homosexual, we're not

here as hate speech. What we're

here to say is we've got to protect this age-old

construct. They're confused,

they should leave marriage alone. Create some other definition for themselves. But

in Hyde Park crowds weren't

taking no for an answer. I

don't want gay marriage, I want marriage. We dropped gay from

mardi gras, let's drop straight in marriage. Thousands

marriaging on the conference

lobbying for equal right. News

of Labor's conscience vote sparked anger. If the Labor

Party's going to implement into

their platform marriage

equality but not actually make

sure that it gets passed into

law then I think we have to be

holding them into account on that. No-one's claiming

Erbs are saying it's a cop out,

Labor hasn't gone far enough

while lobbyist s against gay

marriage say this is a major

blow to their campaign. T both sides of the debate do agree

that this is just the beginning

of their fight. Germany's leader says Europe should adopt

new treaties to stop

governments from crippling the

Eurozone with debt. Angela Merkel's plan would mean

countries which borrowed too

much money would face sanctions. The

have the power to veto national

budgets put forward by way ward members. The chancellor members. The chancellor has acknowledged the changes would

be radical.

TRANSLATION: Anybody who just a

few months ago would have said

that we are introducing very

serious steps for a European

stability union, a fiscal

union, would have been

considered crazy. Proponents of

previous treaties had a tough

time getting them approved by member nations. The French

President supports the idea but

Britain has already

reservations. Across the

Atlantic, there's a sign things are looking up. The

unemployment rate in the US has

fallen to 8.6%, its lowest

level in nearly 3 years but

sceptics say it could also be a

sign more people are giving up

hope and dropping out of the

job hunt. This is what

America's unemployed have been

facing - long queues for

facing - long queues for fewer

jobs and more often than not

disappointment. If you don't

have a job you really need this. But in one of

the first signs that the

recovery may be gaining momentum, November's

unemployment rate fell from 9%

to 8.6, the biggest monthly

decline all year. When you put

this side by side with the payroll report they're both giving you the same signal.

There's a difference in the magnitude but they're both

giving you the same signal.

There's a job revival. The

private sector put on 120,000

new jobs, a third of those in

the retail sector hoping for a profitable Christmas. And

despite some strong head winds

this year the American

economy's now created in the

private sector jobs for the

past 21 months in a row. Wall

Street wasn't expecting the

drop, it responded with a

strong opening. We need to keep

that growth going. Republicans welcome the new jobs but

pointed to the 300,000 people

who had simply stopped

looking. The jobless rate in our country is still

the 34th consecutive month of

unemployment above 8%. While

the figures are moving in the

right direction, 13 million

Americans are still out of and the White House is keeping

a close eye on Europe. They're urging officials there to urging officials there to take

more forceful action to end the

debt crisis and the chances of

another global downturn. Now to

Indonesia and a year after the

country's most active volcano

erupted thousands of people are still homeless. The

house and land packages but

hundreds of families are refusing to wait to be resettled. They've gone against

a ban and moved back into the disaster zone disaster zone where another eruption's expected in just a

few years. ABC correspondent

George Roberts went to Mount

Merapi in Java. The cloudy

crater of Indonesia's most

active volcano looms over the

land it scorched so

often. About this time year it threw out tonnes of ash

and boulders and torrents of volcanic mud poured down the

slopes. More than 300 people

died and thousands of homes

were destroyed. TRANSLATION: We lost

everything. I went back and

couldn't find where my house

was. I looked for the ruins but

I couldn't find any. This woman

was one of the first to return

to the danger zone and 500 other families have ignored the Government's ban on rebuilding this close to the crater.

TRANSLATION: The place they

build with their hard-earned

money will be destroyed again

by the eruption. More than 2600

families are in temporary bamboo housing while the Government builds them new

homes in safer areas.

TRANSLATION: I'm disappointed

because I can't get a good

house soon. Those who have

risked starting afresh in the

danger zone see danger zone see little choice. TRANSLATION: Our economy is up

here, our livestock are up

here. If we live down there we

can't earn a living

anymore. This house is a

reminder of what could

again. It was swamped by the

huge river of hot mud that stewed down the mountain,

that's all dried out but the

irony is the very stuff that

buried these villages is now

being used to rebuild them. The

so lidified mud's become an enormous quarry where the volcanic gravel is scooped up to make cement and

bricks. Just how long their new

homes will last is at the mercy

of the planet. Fire crews in Western Australia's south-west

are fighting another controlled

burn that's got out of control.

The fire has already burned

40,000 hectares of bush near

the town of Augusta and homes

could be at risk if the fire breaks containment

lines. Oliver Peterson reports

from Augusta in WA. For the

second time in a fortnight crews were once again battling

a blaze sparked by an official

burn off. This time the fire is

burning near Molloy Island and

is moving towards Augusta. It follows the Margaret River

blaze which destroyed 40 properties. While those who

were evacuated from Molloy

Island looked calm, they weren't. I'm concerned about

the island, yes, that's our

home. We just hope they get it

out. It's frightening because

we don't know what's going to

happen with the wind. It's unpredictable. Some residents premature but authorities say

they were necessary. Have to be

frank and say they're very

poorly prepared for the passage

of a fire. It's certainly not safe to leave people in that

situation. They cannot get off

the island quickly and most of

the properties are are not in a

position to withstand the

passage of fire. The fire is

being held within containment

lines but residents at a

commute meeting in Augusta were

told to remain on alert in case

conditions worsen. The weekend

basically looks like a watch and wait but will stay within containment

lines and there may be some

relief in sight tonight. If the

blaze cannot be contained

Molloy Island residents may

face another night of uncertainty. They say if the

blaze reaches the island it's

likely the 200 homes there

would be destroyed as they're

made from wood. Despite the threat, authorities are optimistic residents could

return to Molloy Island

tonight. We're certainly being

extremely cautious, doing a lot

of work with the predictions

and making absolute maximum resources on

these fires. Once again

officials are under pressure to

explain how another controlled

burn has become a threat to

local communities. While many

parents bemoan the rising cost of education some don't have

access to the full range of

options that others take for

granted. Until now after school

facilities in Canberra for

students with a disability have

been sorely lacking but that's

about to change after a

concerted campaign by parents. Canberra has four special

needs schools but if parents

want to work beyond school

hours and many of them have to

to pay for their children's needs there aren't needs there aren't many options. Here's how one parent explained her predicament. I

want to contribute to the ACT,

I need to have - I want to have

a life and I want to be able to

give my children a quality

life. I don't want to be stuck

at home, I don't want to only

have to be able to work part

time. I want to own my own

house. I don't want to be on welfare. So a group started lobbying the ACT

Government for support. Now, on

international day of people with disability, there's

something to celebrate. Four

new services which will provide

40 additional places for

children with a disability and

with complex needs. The Government's kicked in $335,000

a year to fund the new

services. And a mix of

operators have come forward

including Belconnen community

services which has seen first

hand parents' frustration . Parents

to give up work, they have to

reduce their hours. So

providing these extra places

gives parents the ability to

continue to work and knowing

that their children are cared

for. The Black Mountain school

for children with special needs is opening up 10 place as well

as the two new afterschool

services there will be two holiday care programs. People

who have a disability should

have the same opportunities as

any other young person or child

in the ACT. The new programs

will begin in the new year and

the new places are expected to fill long-awaited opportunity not

only for children but for their parents as well. Former

Brumbies coach Andy Friend has braved heat, exhaustion and countless blown tyres to

complete a 5,000 kilometre

journey from Cooktown journey from Cooktown in northern Queensland to Canberra

all to raise money for a very

personal cause. 2 years ago

Friend's wife Kerri suffered a

brain injury in a mountain

biking accident. Determined to

help sufferers and their families Friend hit the road to

raise vital funds into brain

injuries. After three months of cycling more than 5,000

kilometre, Andy Friend arrived

in Canberra to a hero's

welcome. We're all probably

taken aback a bit by it but

it's brilliant. The smiles and

cheering mark a significant

change from May last year when

Friend's wife Kerri suffered a

brain injury in a mountain

biking accident. The effects

continue to this day. Quite

often they leave hospital and

they look good, people say the big messages we wanted to

give. You're not necessarily

fine. After Friend's time as

coach of the Brumbies came to

an abrupt end he was driven to do something

for those who had suffered

similar injuries. We made a

decision to not go and find

another job. We made a choice

to spend time on us as a

family. The family do it tough.

They do it really tough because

the person they knew for ages

is just not there and it's been

an emotional day. Riding Cooktown to Canberra mightn't

seem the normal choice but for

Friend the decision was a

logical one. I love a

challenge, she loves a

challenge, we both met with our

instructors all those things

went into a pot and we came

went into a pot and we came up with let's ride from Cooktown

to Canberra. He's done an

amazing effort. He said he how

much he was going to be every

day and I thought there's no

way you're going to do this.

There's no way and he did it

and we were ahead. We just kept

being ahead of schedule. Friend raised cause. We've been told cause. We've been told there's

been a lot of support. We know

through the funds that we've

raised there's been great support but for people to turn

up here today was really special. And now it's time for

a well-earned rest. Australian

cricket has lost one of its

greats. All rounder Sam Loxton died

died over night at the age of

90. Loxton played 12 Test

matches and earned a treasured

place in cricket history as a

member of Don Bradman's

Ins - Invincibles. Sam Loxton

was Australia's oldest living

Test cricketer and at the Gabba Test cricketer and at

today the cricket community

paid its respects. Sam will be

remembered as a delidge rent

cricketer, a wonderful story

teller, a fabulous raconteur

and somebody who gave most of

his life to the game of cricket. The Victorian rose

through the cricketing ranks to

earn a spot alongside his hero

Don Bradman on the

famous 1948 Ashes tour. He

played a crucial role in the

Headingly Test scoring 93 in

wickets the first innings and taking 3

wickets to help Australia go

3-0 up. I've often said that

had I known the joy that the tour would provide,

friendships, I'd have probably

gone for nothing. Loxton was

one of the most tallented

sportsman of his era. Before

Test cricket he played

full-forward for St Kilda in

the VFL and was the

leading goal kicker in 1944. He

was alts renowned for his

generosity. In 1999 he sold his treasured baggy green donated the proceeds to Sydney's Westmead Hospital. I don't really need the cap to

remind me of playing, of having

the privilege of playing under

the greatest Australian , Don Bradman. After his playing

career ended Loxton was a Test selector and turned his hand politics serving 24 years as a

Liberal MP in the Victorian parliament. His death leaves

Arthur Morris and Neil Harvey

as the only surviving

Invincibles. A century from

captain Michael Clarke has put Australia

Australia in a strong position

Test against New Zealand at the at stumps on day 3 of the first

Gabba. Clarke made 139. Brad

Haddin 80, Ricky Ponting 78 as

the Black Caps were left to rue

a series of dropped

Fans and family were hoping

this would be the day that

Ricky Ponting would end his 2-year drought of Test

fluency of day 2 was gone and centuries. But the flun -

so was Ponting on 78. That's close. He's given him. Michael Clarke was in an aggressive

mood. Good way to bring up

your half-century. On 85 the

captain had his second let off

for the innings. Next ball

Michael Hussey departed. That's out. Clarke break on 99 before reaching his

third century since becoming

captain. Michael Clarke's love

affair with the Gabba continues as does his love affair with as does his

the captaincy of Australia. Luckless paceman

Doug Bracewell wasn't feeling

much love for his team-mates as

he missed out on Clarke's

wicket for the third time.

Australia raced past New

Zealand's total with stand and

deliver tactics. Wicket-keeper

Reece Young had to go well. Oh, that really is a

nasty, nasty, blow. Clarke was

in control until a concentration lapse on 139.

It's going to be straight down

his throat. Haddin reached his half-century in emphatic

style. What a magnificent shot! Bracewell finally found

someone who could take a catch

before normal service resumed

two balls later. Straight

through. It was a costly miss

as Mitchell Starc made 32 not out. Haddin was out for 80 and

Australia made 427, a lead of 132. James Pattinson removed the dangerous Brendan McCallum

in the last over of the day.

Cricket fans in Canberra will

get a glimpse of the domestic

one-day game tomorrow at Manuka

when NSW takes on Tasmania. It

will be the first one-day clash

in Canberra since 2006 with

Canberran Ashton May in line to

make his debut for the Tigers

at his home

playing NSW as well. The guys

next door so yeah, look forward

to them as well. I know a few

of them from playing some tours last year so it should good. The match will be an

opportunity for players from

both squads to make their case

for selection in the national

side ahead of a busy

international summer. Jamie

Whincup has missed the chance

to claim the V8 supercar

championship in today's race in

Sydney handing a life line to

Holden team-mate Craig Lowndes.

The championship will now be

race. Jamie Whincup only

needed to finish fourth to

secure the title but those hopes were soon dashed. Into the the fence, no championship

today for that man. The very

same spot where he lost the

championship 12 months ago. The mishap forced the championship

leader into a long stint in the

garage. It's a broken

damper. When he returned he was

well off the pace. He's 3 laps

down and importantly he's 2

laps down on 25th. Craig Lowndes hopes alive by winning ahead of

Garth Tander and Shane van Gisbergen. Whincup claimed

Gisbergen. Whincup claimed 21st

but will still claim the crown

if he finishes in the top 1 in

- 12 in the final race. The

Kookaburras have beaten Spain

3-2. After falling behind

before half time Australia

claim victory. Jamie Dwyer scored twice after the break to

finished with 2 goals while Des

Abbott scored the winner 6

months from time. And in

tennis, Spain is on the verge

of claiming its 5th David Cup

title after taking a 2-0 lead

over Argentina in the final. Nadal cruised to a straight sets

sets win over Monaco while

Ferrer overcame Del Potro in 5

sets to put Spain one win away

from the Cup. The Canberra

Heat has staged a dramatic

comeback to deveet Victoria in the inaugural final of the

national men's volleyball competition the Victoria started the match with

intentd outclassing Canberra to

lead 2-1. But the Heat rallied

to level the match and set up

the deciding 5th set in front

at the of a small but vocal home crowd

at the AIS, Canberra maintained its momentum to claim the

national title. Canberra teams

have recorded strong results in

several national competitions.

In the WNBL the Capitals were

too strong for the West Coast

Waves winning 89-72. In the

Australian baseball league the

Canberra Cavalry handed Perth its first while this afternoon Canberra

United gave up a late goal to

finish 2-2 with Brisbane. A

fast food firm has caused deep rift between African

neighbours with a new

advertising campaign that

depicts the continent's

dictators past and present. Supporters of Zimbabwe's

President Robert Mugabe have

called for a boycott of the change and the company says it

may have to take steps to

protect staff if tensions escalate further.

mistaking the star of this

campaign, or his former friend.

SONG: # Those were SONG: # Those were the days my friend # Like many African

leaders Robert Mugabe once

maintained close ties to

Moammar Gaddafi and to Saddam Hussein. But don't expect the

creators of the ad to publicly

name their star dictator for

it's an offence under Zimbabwean law to insult

him. We leave a lot of things

to people os own interpretation the people, for example, the

lead character, we left that

for the public to obviously

make up their own minds about

whou that interpret it. Among

those not coming to dinner, China's Chairman China's Chairman Mao who helped train Robert Mugabe's

guerrillas to end white rule

and id i Amin known as the

butcher of Uganda for his

brutal despotic rule. This time

of year no-one should have to

eat alone. That's very hilarious. He's all by himself.

I saw it on TV (Laughs) In

South Africa the ad's been an

instant winner, not so Zimbabwe where there's anger

amongst the ruling elite at the portrayal

portrayal of Robert Mugabe as the last dictator

standing. With militia groups

loyal to President Mugabe

calling for a boycott of the

chain, the company has decided

to pull the ad. If it ever got

into a situation where there

was any risk whatsoever to

either customers or very

importantly our staff, we would

kind of drastic action. That would be our position, family

more important than anything

else for the brand. It will no

longer be broadcast, the ad most definitely out there.

Turning to the weather now

and it's been a lovely, warm

and sunny day, not too hot. A

top of 24 degrees and 25 if

you're down in the valley. Around the ACT region today:

On the cloud chart there are

several cold fronds - fronts

sweeping across the Southern

Ocean. And but our local system

of interest is a high pressure

trough which will bring mostly

sunny and stable weather until

a change later in the week.

There will be a few showers

over southern States tomorrow:

And that's the news for now.

Thanks for your company. Goodnight. Closed Captions by