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ABC News 24: 10am News -

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Live. Today, Qantas agrees to a

pay deal pay deal with the Engineers Union.

Also today, Australian rescue

teams rush to the scene of a

boat tragedy off Indonesia. At

least 180 people are feared dead. We have been asked for

assistance this morning from

the Indonesian national police

will and Australian Federal Police

region. Mildura residents fed will head from Jakarta into the

up. More floodwaters sweep

through outback Victoria.

Violence in Cairo for a third

people have been killed. straight day. At least 10

Former Prime Minister Malcolm

Fraser calls on the Government to protect Julian Assange.

Good morning. You are

watching ABC News 24. I'm Joe

the weather first: O'Brien. Taking a quick look at

The Government says it is good

news for the flying public that

a deal has been reached between

Qantas and the Engineers Union. a

holding a media conference on

that development in Melbourne.

We plan to bring you details of

that shortly. The airline and

back at Fair Work Australia the Engineers Union will be

the agreement. The deal is

understood to involve a 3% pay

rise in exchange for new work

practices. It is the first deal

between Qantas and one of the

unions involved in the unions involved in the dispute

with the airline that saw the

fleet grounded back in October

leaving the Government to force fleet morning, it is suggesting,

quoting quas Qantas quoting quas Qantas as saying

any of the claims that the agreement does not

any of the claims that would

restrict Qantas in making the changes to compete in global aviation industry. changes to compete in the

Included in that was a claim to

maintenance could be done on a build a new hangar so heavy

the maintenance could be done on

the big A 380 aircraft. That hasn't media conference is under way

and we will bring you details

as soon as we can. Indonesian

an authorities hope to resume

their search morning for about

180 asylum seekers. The 180 asylum seekers. The wooden

boat was overloaded with 250

people. So far 86 people have

been rescued and two bodies

Australian government has Australian have been recovered. The

help with the search effort.

The Australian government as I

just mentioned has offered the boats and plane. Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare spoke Minister Jason

there is only a remote chance

now of finding any more survivors because it is 48

hours after this incident happened. It is still a search

and rescue mission. Search went

on until midnight Indonesian

time last night until 4a.m. Eastern daylight saving time.

They will be continuing to aided by Australian assistance.

We made the offer yesterday of

a P3 surveillance aircraft as

well as an Armadale class

have accepted that offer so patrol boat. The Indonesians


this morning the boat this morning the boat and

aircraft will head into the

search and rescue region. The

48-hour window is now closing.

It has been almost two days since the boat capsized. The

water is warm but very very

rough. I am told there were 5

to 6m waves in the region. monsoon trough has descended to 6m waves in the region. A

chances of finding people are

becoming more remote as we

speak. People will ask

questions today and in the days

ahead about what the best policy is to avoid the risk of

people getting on dangerous

boats and dying at sea. My view

on this is offshore processing

is the way to go. That's the Government's position. It Government's position. It is the Opposition's position as

well. We need to work together to

to implement this, to get

things done, to get this done.

There are people of goodwill on There are people of goodwill

both sides of

to work maturely and sensibly to implement offshore

processing. Home Affairs

Minister Jason Clare. Now to

the shocking images we have

seen from Egypt overnight. The

UN Secretary General Ban

Ki-moon has condemn ed what he

called the excessive use of

force against the security forces against protesters demanding an end to military rule. At least 10 people have

been killed in Cairo. A warning this following vision this following vision contains

images which some viewers will find confronting. Since Friday,

outside key government demonstrators have protested

buildings demanding an end to

military rule. In the clash, they hurled rocks and military rule. In the latest

pieces of metal over a concrete

barricade erected by troops.

Soldiers were seen dragging a

female protester along the

ground and stripping her

clothes off to reveal her

midriff. It is the worse

violence in weeks. It fuelled debate about violence in weeks. It has

military's role in fuelled debate about the

transition to democratic rule. military's role in the

Service received 300 calls for assistance during last because of some flash flooding. assistance during last night

Heavy rains fell across the State's west State's west and central

districts. Halls Gap got 9 0

mils in 20 minutes. There was flash flooding in Mildura double the average monthly flash flooding in Mildura when

rainfall fell in less than two

hours. Residents are angry a flood mitigation pipeline is

yet to be finished. Flash flooding also affected parts of Melbourne overnight. The

northern suburbs were the worst

hit with the State Emergency

Service called in to assist with damage of properties. The rain with damage of several

properties. The rain also

caused damage to rooves in suburban homes and there caused damage to rooves in some

problems on the roads obviously suburban homes and there were

as well. I was coming over attend the site, the as well. I was coming over to

attend the site, the traffic

was quite busy but the rain

came down so heavily I had came

pull over. I slowed down to 40

but then it became too

see, I stopped for a good five see, minutes. Windscreen wipers

weren't coping. They were of no

use. A 32-year-old man will

face court in Melbourne today

charged with the murder of his parents. The and Kim parents. The bodies of Michael and Kim Smith were found in their Vermont South home on

Friday. Friends discovered the parents. The

bodies when Mrs Smith failed to

turn up from work. The death

toll from floods caused by a tropical tropical storm in the Philippines has risen to more than 650. The coastal

communities on the island of

Mindanao have been devastated

and more than 800 people are

still missing. As the

floodwaters recede, the full

becoming clear. Some of the

more fortunate survive ors began returning searching

through whatever through whatever mud-covered

belongings could be made. "We will start

will start from scratch" this

man said. "We thought we were

going to die. This is how we

escaped. The corner of the

roof, that's how we got out of the house". the house". In other places entire villages have been

washed away. The government has

mounted a mass rescue and

clear-up operation involving

some 20,000 members of the

armed forces, rescue workers

scouring the coastline looking for people who may have been swept out to sea swept out to sea and

survived. TRANSLATION: We sent

all of the available armed

forces to help. In fact, we

even chartered helicopters

yesterday. That's why we have

three helicopters here assisting us. But hundreds of people are still missing. One

official said he suspected in some cases entire families had

been swept away. Bodies are beginning to pile up in the

morgues uncollected increasing

the risk of water borne s spreading. Tropical Storm Washi has now passed Washi has now passed over

Mindanao Island but leaves

behind it tens of thousands of people dependant on the government or aid agencies for

food and shelter and struggling

to rebuild their to rebuild their lives. Tanya

Strongman is the Asia emergency

operations manager for the charity Save The Children. Very

sadly, it seems that the population were caught by an unexpected tropical storm. It

is quite late in the season for

tropical storms in that part of

the world. I think they are up

to their 19th out of a traditional 20. Caught people

unawares and very very sadly

also caught people when they

were sleeping. There are a

number of agencies on the

ground and Save The Children is one

one of them. We have teams

already there. Over the last

24, 48 hours there have been

assessments underwhat way to

ascertain what people need. We

have some stocks of supplies so we can begin to deliver aid immediately. There

is the immediate aftermath

where people require immediate

basic needs but then basic needs but then situations

like this, you have had people's entire livelihoods

destroyed. Homes will have been

destroyed by livelihoods will

have been destroyed and that

can take months if not years to rehabilitate. It has been

almost six months since Sudan split into two separate

countries with the south gaining independence from the north . The main objective was to end decades of war but tensions remain high as but tensions remain high as the countries continue to fight

over oil security and land.

ral y, the army has taken a

strategic town from the strategic town from the rebels.

Tension is rising between the two Sudan Republics. TRANSLATION: We can confirm the SPLM is totally

supported by the Government of the south. This be the location of the embassy

of the Republic of South

of the Republic of South Sudan.

As you can see, they have a

sign and flag but the embassy

hasn't opened until hasn't opened until now. A po

tent symbol of the

dysfunctional relationship

between two countries between two countries that

still have scores of unresolved

issues between them. The

virtual state of virtual state of war has complicated other mutual agreements. The border delineation process is in a

deadlock. There is a stand-off in the border region with more sides. Rebel groups in sides. Rebel groups in Darfur whose leadership have joined

ranks with the rebel of the south and south and vowed to topple the government. Sudan's economy is teetering on the brink. Most of

its revenues used to come from

the oil that now belongs to the Republic of South Sudan. The

pipelines where that oil passes

for exportation lie in the

north. There is disagreement

over how much money the south should pay for pipelines. TRANSLATION: We decided to stop the passage of

any oil from the South for

exportation until we agree with

them on all the legal procedures. But the town had to

immediately reverse that

decision a few weeks ago. It

cannot afford to lose the

little income generated from leasing the pipelines. The economy was transformed deliberate by the government into the economy dependant on the oil which is basically produced from produced from and in the south.

The oil money was not used for development, it was not used

for investment, it was used for security. It was used politically to buy the

political opponent and

fragment the political opponent

as well. Sudan is now seeking

alternative sources of alternative sources of income

such as agriculture and mining.

But it will take stability and

years of work for that shift to

materialise. That report from

Al Jazeera. A group of prominent Australians including former Prime Minister Malcolm

Federal Government to ensure that WikiLeaks that WikiLeaks founder Julian

Assange is not extradited Assange is not extradited to the United States. Mr Assange is fighting extradition from Britain to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault.

In an open letter, the group

warns if Mr Assange is sent to Sweden, he could be handed Sweden, he could be handed over to US authorities. Bernard Keane is a journalist for

Crikey. He has also signed this

open letter. I think as the appeal processes Julian Assange

has instituted come to successful conclusion or not,

the issues and concerns that we

have and a lot of people have about what will happen to Julian Assange if and when he reaches Sweden, and in particular what the United

States Government will try and

do once he is there, are coming

into much greater prominence. We know the United States

Government is keen to somehow find a way to find a way to secure Julian

Assange. The first port of call

for that campaign is in Sweden

with this mechanism of temporary surrender. We think

it is pastime the Australian government made it clear to

Sweden and the United States

that it expects

process to be observed and, in

the case of the United States,

this campaign against Julian

Assange based purely on his

journalism is not appropriate

for any country that supports

Our top stories - Indonesian

authorities hope to resume

their search this morning about 180 asylum seekers still

missing off Indonesia. The wooden boat was carrying wooden boat was carrying 250

people when it sank in heavy

seas near the coast of Java. Qantas Qantas and the Engineers Union

have reached a deal to end

their long-running dispute. The

deal is understood to involve a

3% pay rise in exchange for new work practices. Flash flooding

has affected parts of has affected parts of Melbourne overnight. overnight. The State Emergency

Service was called in to assist with damage

with damage at several properties. Checking the weather around

Vaclav Havel, a leading figure

in the fall of communism, has died. A playwright and

dissident, he led Czechoslovakia's so-called

Velvet Revolution of 1989. He

became the country's first post

Communist President Communist President overseeing its transition to

freedom. The State honours freedom. The State honours this

remarkable leader for his many personal sacrifices and

contributions to the cause contributions to the cause of freedom and justice. Vaclav

Havel didn't like pomp and ceremony. He didn't even like

wearing a suit. But he was head

and shoulders above most

political leaders in terms of

intellect. He was small, jolly

and mildly subversive and he

always seemed amazed by always seemed amazed by the

company he kept as President.

The revolution in Czechoslovakia in November 1989 would have

him. Communism simply collapsed under the vast weight of public

disapproval. What Havel brought

to it was a powerful to it was a powerful moral force. Everything from now on

would have to be done according

to the law. He was elected

President. A political prisoner

hoiked into power with scarcely

a pause along the way he said afterwards. At his inauguration

in Prague Cathedral, he said During the Prague Spring of

1967-8 when Liberal Communists allowed far greater freedom,

Havel first became internationally. The BBC's Joan

Bakewell went to interview him. The inspiration came of

course from my experience course from my experience in our country. But Soviet tanks

smashed the Prague smashed the Prague Spring.

Havel's work was banned and he

was jailed. When I went to see

him in 1983, the Secret Police were harassing him constant were harassing him constant ly.

As he was led off by them, it

was impossible to think he'd be

President in six years. It

wasn't always to be a happy

time. Under him, the Czechs and

Slovaks split and he became

President of the Czech Republic

only. He was far more important

as a dissident than as a

President. I think we often forget plays are very frequently communism to an end in Poland as

as Havel did in

Czechoslovakia. A great man, a

meritous man. We will all miss

him . May he him . May he rest in peace. People in Prague have already begun showing their

feelings for him. Czechs had a

real affection for their witty,

unassuming and courageous


John Simpson with that report. Let's check the markets

with a Alicia Barry. We have been talking about crisis. Phillip Williams had a

piece this morning on the ABC

radio this morning saying banks

are faltering in a Greece

default and some people default and some people are expecting that could happen this week. In light of that, how

how is trade shaping up? Once

again Europe is the focus for the local share market. It is

the ratings agencies over the weekend that dampened

sentiment. Moody's downgraded

Belgium by two notches Belgium by two notches and Fitch warned of a potential downgrade

downgrade for six other nations including France. China posted posted its worst performance posted its worst performance in

home prices this year in November. The All Ords isn't

doing too well. It is down

around 1% at the moment as is

the ASX 200 index. Mining stocks are among the biggest

losers. Wall Street ended lower

on jitters about Europe and the Dow Jones industrial average

lost a few points by the

lost a few points by the close.

It was a similar story across

the Atlantic.

To commodities now and spot

gold prices are managing to head higher head higher in Asian trade this morning. West Texas crude oil head held steady on Friday in held steady on Friday in the US. The Australian dollar has

recently been sold off in line

with equity s. Right now it is

buying 99.7 US cents. Eurozone

finance ministers will hold

more talks on the debt crisis

to flesh out plans made at a

brurfls sum - Brussels summit

to save the European currency. Several nations are under threat

threat of a credit downgrade.

The telephone con for example is expected on boosting the

money in the monetary fund. The

conference will reportedly take

place on Monday and Tuesday.

British banks are in for British banks are in for their

biggest shake-up in 25 years.

The British Government says it

will accept the recommendations

of a report into the banking

system and separate retail arms

from investment from the same time from Prime Minister Nick

been trying to heal a rift with France over the future of the

Eurozone. In a sense we could

carry on day in, day playing this game of a beauty contest contest between one economy and

the other. I don't think it helps any economy, I don't

think it helps any government.

That was something that That was something that was fully recognised fully recognised by the French

Prime Minister when I spoke to him a couple of days ago. He

was very very clear he was not

seeking to cast a shadow over

Britain's credit rating Britain's credit rating and certainly there is no intention

on our part to do the reverse.

I think we need to calm the

rhetoric and move on Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg speaking now and the NSW Environment

Minister says Orica can expect

to lose its licence if it doesn't

doesn't supply with

environmental law. Thousands of

litres of sulphuric acid leaked

on Friday following a series of

spills at the Newcastle spills at the Newcastle plant.

It has until the end of the

week to explain the week to explain the incident. Orica has been under Orica has been under intense scrutiny after a series of

leaks forced the closure of its

week Kooragang Island ammonia plant

in Newcastle. I will

including a look at how Qantas shower shares are performing. The media conference has conference has been held in Melbourne. It was the conference has Engineers Union, one of three

unions in dispute with Qantas

over pay and conditions. The

conference has just conference has just wrapped up, we can bring that now. Thanks

for coming today. We have for coming today. We have good

Christmas news for the Christmas news for the members

and Qantas. The aircraft engineers have struck an

agreement with the airline

Australia today and what we

have done in the last three weeks is canvas members around

the country if they would

support an agreement we were was put to them on Friday was put to them on Friday and we are pleased to say they we are pleased to say they have accepted that position. What

are the main issues you have

been able to work through with

Qantas? The main issue all

along for us was job along for us was job security. We wanted an A380 hangar in

this country. We haven't

secured that in the agreement but we

existing job functions in a job security clause which is good

news for the members. How happy

are the members with this

decision? We had a bit of a

straw poll of members at meetings across the country and they were overwhelmingly in

favour of this option. That was

ratified by our executive on Friday, the call went through

to Qantas, they said yes to it.

I think probably there has been

some assistance there also from the Federal Government. Bill Shorten, the Work place

relations Minister I we have been doing. With all of

that, it was timely for us to

get something up before Christmas. Was arbitration

helpful? Yeah, look, both parties were faced prospect of going to

arbitration. I know from a union's perspective we arbitration.

would have come out second best

but there were some dangers

there for the airline as well.

We could have secured some We could have secured some of the terms they probably

wouldn't have liked us to have.

I think that was a very helpful

process and it shows the Fair

Work Act was of Australia? Today at Fair Work Australia we will be going Australia we will be going in

with a document hand in with a document hand in hand

with the airline. We will be announcing that this is an

agreed position between the two

parties. Especially the

place but there is no

differences in the outcome that

both parties are seeking. It will then become a consent to

arbitration. There is a lot of talk about Qantas being concerned about losing concerned about losing competitiveness concerned

internationally. As the

agreement comes into agreement comes into force, will that affect that? I will that affect that? I read

some comments today by Qantas

that says it won't business. Certainly our agreement will not stop them

starting up a premium carrier

overseas. It certainly is going to secure the jobs of to secure the jobs of our

members onshore. We have

reasonable pay rises an it is

wrapped up in a four-year

agreement that commences on 1

January this year, so backdated

12 months. The pay raise? We

have a 3% wage increase which

is what we have been seeking.

Our argument has never been about

about wages. We have

members that came into force on

1 July this year so there 1 July this year so there is

some increases into relation to

those members of ours who have

picked up picked up increased responsibility. You have been picked

quite vocal before heading picked Fair Work Australia. How would

you now say during the

arbitration period, how has

Qantas been? It has been heady

month or so at the negotiation

table with the airline. I don't think they were keen initially

to reach agreement with our members because there was a chance our members could

knocked it back in a vote and

there may have been a loss of

the arbitration process. I

think the kind words or

pressure or whatever it may be from some of from some of the government

ministers who phoned through have maybe convinced Qantas it is

is best to try and wrap up an

agreement. A Christmas card for

Alan Joyce Maybe a handshake, I

don't know if I could don't know if I could go further than that. What does

this agreement mean, your

members will be looking after

A380s? Our members already

look after the domestic fleet,

we carry out the pre-flight

main main nans. We have locked

in those jobs. It in those jobs. It is

disapoibting we couldn't get

the A380 work back but we have we

to be realistic about this. If

we wept to arbitration, it wouldn't have come wouldn't have come back anyway. The engineers anyway. The engineers are sorted, it is now pilots sorted, it is now pilots and

ground staff. How do you think

they will go dealing with Qantas given your experience? heads of the Transport Workers' Union

Union and the pilots. They are pleased

pleased we have reached agreement. All along there agreement. All along there was this perception the this perception the three

unions were acting in concert

do bury the airline which

wasn't the case. When we were

taking industrial action, I

didn't know what day the other

unions were going to go. unions were going to go. They still have to go through the

process and hopefully maybe

follow in the footsteps and get agreement before agreement before their

arbitration comes up next

year. When you look back at the

whole year, this has been going on for such a long time, do you think it has amount of pressure the unions

have put on Qantas? It has definitely definitely brought to the

forefront of the media forefront of the media the issues we face with an airline that are predominantly trying

to move work offshore. It has

put the focus on us which is

good news because now I can

pick up the phone and get air time anywhere, where just time anywhere, where just prior

to that the leader of a small

union wouldn't have had much

chance to talk to the press. It

has been probably been a good process, process, yes. Is there a risk they will try to have they will try to have another

fleet maintained offshore? As

they replace their fleet

... The 787s are coming next year if there are no more

delays from Boeing. The first

will come into the Jetstar fleet. That is not covered by

the Qantas group. The 787 aircraft are a composite fibre

aircraft that don't aircraft that don't require

first maintenance for 10 years. We would be looking at securing

the line maintenance. A couple

of years after they come into Jetstar they will start in

Qantas. Is there a case for it to be done in Australia? The heavy maintenance work, heavy maintenance work, there

will be a case for it to be

done in Australia. We have aircraft engineers here

carrying out maintenance on Qantas aircraft that have the

best safety record of any fleet

in the world. We have a very good argument to continue what

we do in this country we do in this country because

we are seen as the world leader

when it comes to maintenance on aircraft. We have seen between Qantas and possibly Malaysia apparently fall through. What are your thoughts

on that? We are pretty sure the Singapore deal has fall enthrough. I don't know what they they are doing with Malaysia, I

think they lined up Malaysia to

get into the One World

alliance. If Qantas intend to

base themselves with a base themselves with a new airline out of, be happy. I guess that's

something for Alan to deal

with. I am wondering about the

one part of the agreement one part of the agreement in

terms of checks, that is something Qantas were specifically talking about,

saying they were the only

airline in the world that still

did it and wasn't necessary.

What's the agreement say about

that? We carry out pre-flight checks before every domestic airport in the smaller places. We sought

to have the job security to have the job security clause strengthened by making it

specific we would continue to

hold on to those functions and

have more work such have more work such as the A380

hangar brought into Australia.

We have locked in all of the

existing job functions and

carrying out pre-flight checks is

is one of those functions. At

the cost of 3 cents per airline

ticket it would be unwise for

Qantas to make a change to

those practices that have kept the airline secure. Despite

what they say, those checks are carried out and checks are carried out and a

vast number of airlines in the vast number Asia Pacific region and pre-flight checks still go the new aircraft? The the new aircraft? The newest aircraft into the Qantas aircraft into the Qantas fleet, the A380, have pre-flight

checks because they are on long

sectors. The A380s currently has pre-flight

check carried out before every flight. We are assuming the

checks will kont continue. What about the

situation in terms of the licences with people you believe taking over some of

your job functions that were lesser qualified? Are they

going to be introduced into

those functions? We have a new licensing system come in which

is known as a CatA licence

which will allowance someone

with two years experience with two years experience in

the industry to certify for the

lives of thousands of people

every day. We say that is

inadequate protection or

travelling. For myself, it took

me 10 years before I got my

first licence. To have someone

who doesn't even have an