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A

A union blockade turns ugly

at a Melbourne building site.

The workers united will never

be defeated! Back in black,

Virgin says its strategy to

take passengers from Qantas is working. It's really pleasing

to see the major elements of

the game change program are now

in place. Shot down in flames,

rebels fight back in the skies

over Damascus. And that chronic

cough, doctors think they've

got a treatment that works.

Hello and welcome to ABC News

across Australia, I'm Nicole

Chettle. The banks have offset

weaknesses in the resources

sector on the local market:

There were violent scenes in

central Melbourne this morning

when construction workers

Clarked with police at a

building site. The building

Grocon and members of the

construction communion the

CMFEU are locked in a dispute

over the union's presence at

the site. Well, while the

pictures look quite dramatic,

police and the CFMEU are saying

aigts not quite as serious as

what it perhaps looked. No-one

was injured, no-one's needed

medical treatment after that

scuffle at 7:00 this morning

and so far no arrests have been

made either. But police in fact

did use capsicum spray at one

point, a number of police who

were on foot were knocked to

being trampled the ground and were at risk of

being trampled by some of the

protestors so they deployed

capsicum spray to get people

off them around them and enable

themselves to hop up. A number

of the horses, protestors aimed

at them during the

confrontation , pushed them

back. Some used some force to

do that. Police said that's

quite disappointing but the

horses are OK. Here's what the

union said about that

particular scuffle. What we've

seen here this morning is Daniel Grollo's industrial

relations. This is what he

wants what everyone Victorian construction worker, violence

and thuggery on construction

sites. What sparks these

scuffles today. Police saited

they were helping some union

members get into the

sight. There were 130 Grocon

employee s trying to get into

the sight. This has been going on for 7 days now

on for 7 days now and you may

be able to see there's only a

scattering, a couple of dozen

left on the picket line here.

That's been going for some

days. So the CFMEU says it was

a bit of a stunt bringing in

all of those workers with

police and mounted police and

riot police to get them into

the site today ahead of a

Supreme Court hearing. Here's

what the police said about the

incident this morning. It

wasn't a violent confrontation

per se, which we're pleased

about. I haven't reviewed all

of the footage but at this

stage we're comfortable that

they behaved reasonably

appropriately. But as I said,

if they have punched horses

then that's not

appropriate. Sadly it ended in

what it did and ate the

hierarchy of the CFMEU here in

Victoria defying the law of the

Supreme Court, defying the

Victorian Police and really

seeing themselves above the law

of Victoria. So what's prompted

this disaknreement -

disagreement in the first

place? Unlike so many of the

protests we've seen in recent

months, this one isn't about

pay and conditions. It's more

or less about the union's

presence at work site. This one

behind me and 3 others across

Melbourne. Members want the

right to be able to wear their

union emblem shirts, vests,

helmets and be able to wave the

union flag to show they are

represented on those work

sites. They also want to be

able to have shop stewards on

the work sites and their own

occupational health and safety

inspectors. Thanks for joining

us. In Brisbane construction

workers have staged an angry

March march through the city. More than 300 More than 300 workers

bimentding a new children's

hospital worked off the job and

rallied in the CBD. The workers

are unhappy about contractors

being employed on the project.

The State Labor president says

the industrial relations

climate is changing and workers

are being short-changed. Both

in the State and potentially at

a federal level next year.

Employers are suddenly thinking

they're on the ascendency. What

they want to go back to is they want to go back to is the

bad old days of Work

Choices. The protestors also

converged on a Grocon site to

show solidarity with their

Melbourne colleagues. The

national secretary of the

Health Services Union has

pledged to fight moves by her

colleagues to expel her. The union's acting national

president has accused Kathy

Jackson of breaking union

rules. She says it's a smear

campaign and is maintaining her

innocence. Kathy Jackson blew the whistle on corruption in

the union but the spotlight is

now on her behaviour. The union's acting national

secretary has levelled 10

charges against her including

signing a secret contract worth

hundreds of thousands of

dollars with her friend Rob

Elliot. Gross misconduct, gross

neglect of duty, breaching the

rules of the union, breaching

the industrial relations legislation. These charges are

not going to be found to be

valid. This is about Chris

Brown smearing me in the press

with the rest of the national

executive. Keep in mind that

probably this time last week

they were calling for my

resignation. I don't give them

my resignation and then they

come up with these trumped up

charges. Dris - Chris Brown is

also concerned about the

Victorian Police investigation

into the union. It's difficult

to move on when the national

secretary herself is under

investigation by the Victorian

Police for corruption as a

result of financial activities

that took place in the

Victorian number 3 branch when

she was secretary. Kathy

Jackson says Mr Brown is doing

the bidding of the ALP and the

case isn't about the concerns

of the union's membership. The

problems that I have caused in

this organisation, if you want

to call it that, is to expose

corruption and if there's any

factional players in this sorry

saga, it's the anti-corruption

faction versus the corrupt

faction . Kathy Jackson's serm

expires in 2014. She says she

hasn't made up her mind about

whether to stand again but

isn't inclined to. Chris Brown

says she needs to leave so the

union can be rebuilt and 2

years is too long to wait. The former prime minister Kevin

Rudd's declared that Labor can

win the next federal election.

Mr Rudd was launch ing a

biography of another former

Labor prime minister Gough

Whitlam. During his speech he

directed a scathing broadside

at the Opposition Leader Tony

Abbott. Mr Abbott would hope he

would be taken on trust,

notwithstanding the fact that

Mr Abbott is the most extreme

right wing leader in his

party's history. Not Wist

standing the fact he neither

has the temperament or the policies

policies to occupy the highest

office of this country. And

theass why I believe Mr Abbott

is entirely beatable about the

next election because

increasingly the Australian

people see what it may mean to

take a conservative leader such

as him on trust. The good

people of Queensland are

discovering this as we speak. A

man's been committed to stand

trial over the shooting death

of a Gold Coast police officer last year.

last year. Senior Constable

Damien Leeding was shot when he

interrupted an armed hold up at

a tavern. At a committal

hearing on the Gold Coast a

magistrate has heard details of

the incident from the fallen

officer's partner and decided

there was enough evidence for

Abul to face trial. Committal

proceedings are continuing

against another man over the

policeman's death. Overseas now

and the UN chief Ban-Ki Moon

has called for an independent

inquiry into the killing of

hundreds of civilians in the

Syrian town of Deray a and

France says it's the final

proof that Bashar al-Assad must

step down as president. Else

wrr rebels say they shot down

ale government helicopter. A

dramatic development in the

battle for Damascus. A military

helicopter burst into flames

and fell out of the sky. Rebels

said it had been firing on

their neighbourhood and claim

to have shot it down. State television acknowledged only

that it had crashed. It was a

huge morale boost for the

opposition in this uneven war. Unverified footage appears to

show the Mouldering wreckage. There's

There's no sign of the pilot.

Fighting has raged in the

capital for more than a week

with the army trying to drive

out rebels who have regrouped

in outlying suburbs. These

pictures are said to show a

fire ignited by random

shelling. To the north Aleppo

is the other main battle

ground. The conflict here has

ground into a bloody impasse.

These images appear to show a

guerrilla fighter using small

arms to attack the Syrian

military. Activists claim he

hit an approaching armoured

vehicle. The rebels are clearly

outgunned but today the French

President tried to give them a

political boost.

TRANSLATION: France asks the

Syrian opposition to form a

provisional government

inclusive and representative

that can become a legitimate

representation of the new

Syria. Mr Hollande promised

France would recognise such a

government but with the war

raging and the opposition deeply divided that prospect is

a long way off. Virgin

Australia's back in the black

announcing a profit of $22.8

million. It's a major turn around for the

around for the nation's second

biggest airline which clocked a

$68 million loss last year. The

Virgin chief John bore get i

says the company's increased

its share of the business

travel market and as the battle

for the skies heats up could

airfares go lower still Elysse

Morgan is at the briefing in

Sydney. Virgin has been aggressively targeting business travellers and it seems to be

paying off? It does. Over the

last year Virgin's revenue from

corporate and government sales

was up by 60% and that now

accounts for a fifth of all

eash - earnings at the airline. It's been targeting Qantas customers and it shows it's

been paying off. Total revenue

for the airline was up by 20%

to around $4 billion and it

shows that the airline's

strategy of move from a budget

airline to a premium airline is

working. Are there any

indications that ticket prices

could take a dive as

competition heats up? Chief

executive John bore yetty today

when asked that says

competition remains fierce

among all airlines. We've seen

it play out recently on the

Gold Coast where Qantas reau

nounsed it would be flying back

into the Gold Coast now and

we've seen ticket prices dive.

But Mr Borghetti remained quite

coy on where ticket prices will

be going. The one thing that

I'd say is that we do have a

cost advantage on our side and

we will continue to have that

going forward. So yes,

competitive discounting is -

well discounting levels are

very competitive but it will be

what it will be. And despite these

these strong results today,

Virgin's keeping mum about the

financial outlook for the year

ahead? They sure are. This

year's result is a $91 million

improvement on the financial

year before hand. It did

disappoint some analysts though

and the share price today is

reflecting that. It's down by

around 3%. John bore -

around 3%. John bore -

Borghetti says in this

environment and with the result

of the carbon tax unknown he

doesn't want to predict what

next year's result will be. The

global financial crisis and

digital revolution have forced

unimagined structural shifts on

Australia and the message from

some of those who earn a living

glimpsing into the future is

get used to it. Go forward to 2030

2030 and look back. This was a

period in which there was a

great change in the Australian

economy. Bernard Salt says

manufacturing, retailing,

agriculture and tourism will be

hardist hit. The contraction of

Australia's manufacturing began

in the '60s. Once amounting to

30% of the country's economic

activity in 2012 it's down to

8%. The manufacturing I think

is consolidating down to

probably what will be a fairly

safe 5% or 6% of the economy. We'll still be making

stuff, just not in the same

way. Things like production

lines in manufacturing will be

significantly reduced due to

things like robotics and to 3D

printing. If fact there will be

few areas un touched by further advances in digital

technology. There is going to

be big changes in businesses

like transport, for instance,

airlines due to virtual

meetings and we're going to see

virtual meetings shift. They're

not going to be like a Skype

meeting now. It's going to be

3D. Technology is the great

unknown unknown. If you go back

10 years to 2002 no-one had

heard of the word Facebook.

Whatever those ininvestigation

ventions and developments are

it will make us more

productive. Phil Ruthven believes the biggest growth

will be in communication and broadband industries. But it's

what's in the ground which will

still underpin the economy in

10 years, even though it won't

be commanding the same

prices. I think the strategic

threat to Australia is not one

of diminishing demand but one

of alternative sources, whether

it's Kazak Stan or Chile or Brazil. Unsurprisingly all

agree flexibility and training

are key in preparing for the

coming changes. Bernard salt is

heartened by the unprecedented

interest by the private sector in preparing for the

future. The role of any CEO,

and the role of the board and

chairman of the board is positioning. And as they say

position is everything.

There's been a sharp decline

in new home sales putting an

end to months of modest growth.

The latest survey by the

Housing Industry Association

shows a 5.6% drop in July with

unit sales leading the way. The

biggest falls were in western

and South Australia, Queensland

was the best performing State.

The Association says the result

wipes out nearly all the growth

recorded in the latter part of

the last financial year. Time

now for a check of the markets

and here's Michael McCarthy

from CMC Markets. How is the

market looking

today? Surprisingly good, as a

matter of fact. Despite some

negative leads from the US

markets and weaker commodity

prices as well as a fall in the Australian dollar we're seeing

a gain in the Australian share

market today. There appear to

be two factors driving that.

First of all the European

situation appears to be

continuing to improve and

that's good news. It means

we're taking out some of the

risk premium we've aplied to share prices and we're almost

two thirds of the way through

the reporting season and the results overall have been quite

strong and the market has been

buoyed by some good individual

results. And there's been

results out today by Seven West

Media? Seven West put in a strong result and whether we

look at revenue numbers,

underlying profit or headline

profit we're seeing increases

of about 40% across the board.

The Seven Group Holdingshold

Seven West Media shares but has

a holding in West track and

that's where the big gains have

been made. With $4.3 billion in

revenue, $3.5 billion of that

has come from the West track business and that's really

pleased investors. We've seen the shares rocket higher today

up by more than 5% in today's

trading. And there are results

out too from Flight

Centre? Yes, and this is a good

one for all those who are

concerned about the state of

retail Australia because Flight

Centre have also posted very

impressive 40% increase in

profit. Admittedly revenues

were only up 9% but overall

Flight Centre's exposure to

both retail and corporate

markets and their

diversification over 10

countries has Sood - stood them

very well over the last year.

And pleasing for investors was

the increase in dividend to 71

cents a share and that's seen

investors mark its share price

up by more than 1%. Analysts are paying particular attention

to China today? Yes, yesterday

the market fell away over the

second half of the session as

the China market came online

and so far today we're seeing

falls in Shanghai and if there

are any negatives on the short-term horizon for the Australian market it would be further falls in China. So

we're watching very closely. At

the moment Australia is bucking

the regional trend. The only

share market across Asia to be

in positive territory today. Michael McCarthy, thanks for bringing us up to

date. Thank you. To Wall Street

and investors were cautious as

they await a meeting of the globe's top central bankers in

the US later this week:

The residents of a tiny NSW

town have taken to the stage to

raise money for their

community. Boomi, an hour's

drive from Moree as endure ed

its fair share of floods and

droughts but its musical has

raised thousands of dollars to

keep the community alive. It's

a long way from Broadway to

Boomi, but this little town an

hour's drive from Moree knows

how to put on a show. The hall

will be jumping tonight. I hope

you've got room for the camera

because when they get excited

they really get excited. The

locals tread the boards every

two years, writing, directing

and starring in their very own

home grown musical. None of us

knew we could sing or do

anything like this so it's a

total eye opener and we've been

doing it for 21 years now. When

the hall is full it more than

doubles the population of Boomi. Everyone lends a hand to

keep the crowds happy. This production brings fun and

hundreds of guests to the tiny

town of Boomi. But it's also a

whole lot more than that. Over

the past 21 years it's raised

hundreds of thousands of

dollars for the local

community. It began more than 2

decades ago to pay for the

repair of the local swimming

pool. Now it funds a range of

projects across the district

including the community shop.

Tanya Nichols makes hamburgers

by day and takes to the stage

at night. You know, you put the

costume on and no-one can see

who you are and you can just be

anyone.

It gives confidence to those

who have never sung before and

a rollicking night out for the

enthusiastic crowd. It was

great. Great crowd, it was

fantastic, so yeah, really

happy how it went. It will be

another 2 years before the

local stars tread the boards

again to keep their town alive.

A drug used to treat epilepsy

could offer new hope to people

suffering from a chronic cough.

It's a problem that affects 16%

of the population. Doctors at

Newcastle in NSW found the drug

Guam pen tin - gabapentin

offers some relief to patients

who don't respond to the other

findings. The ABC medical

reporter Sophie Scott joins me

in the studio. Let's start with

the nagging cough, what makes

that dimpt to other

symptoms? These are people who

have a cough for 8 weeks or

longer and nothing works. The

cough medicines don't work to

stop the cough. So they test them for

them for things like asthma,

reflux, even sign yus problems

and no medication works and

then it's a chronic

cough. What's special about

this particular medication?

What makes it work? Well it's a

medication caused gabapentin

and it's used for epilepsy and

chronic pain and it suppresses

the nerves and they think it

will suppress the nerve that triggers the cough in these

This patients. What's the outlook?

This has been tried on 60

patients, is it a long-term

viable treatment? It is because

it's already out there and being used so it could be quite

soon it gets on the market for

these people with chronic cough

and there's nothing else to

help them so those people

really need something. The big

question is when will it be available because clearly there

must be a lot of people waiting

for a solution like this? We've

had calls from people this

morning saying when can we get

this drug. I'd say it will

this drug. I'd say it will be

on the market soon because the

trials have been so

successful. Thanks for joining

us. Twin sisters have died in

a house fire in Geelong

south-west of Melbourne. Fire

fighters found the body of one

of the women when they arrived

at the Grovedale unit late last

night. The woman's sister died

in hospital this morning. They

were aged in their 40s and had

Neighbours a long history of illness.

Neighbours have expressed their

shock at the deaths. We try to

be friendly and all involved

with one another, try and help

each other out when we can.

It's shocking news. Police say

the fire was an accident and

may have been caused by a

cigarette. The defending

champion, Australia's Sam

Stosur has breezed through her

opening match against Croatian

Petra Martic at the US Open.

She was true to the form she

promised going into her title

defence. In the opening match

on the centre court she started

strongly and never released the

pressure on her 21-year-old

opponent. The match lasted 51

minutes with Stosur running

away 6-1, 6-1. That felt great.

It felt like I prepared as best

as what I could. I'd done

everything I could and I felt

like I was going to go out

there and play well. I didn't

know I was going to win 1 and 1

but it was kind of the way I

felt going into it. I felt pretty relax and calm about

it. Stosur's had a topsy-turvy

year since winning at Flushing

Meadows and is seeded at number

7. And the final Paralympic

cauldron has been lit in Wales

in the build up to the Games

starting on Thursday morning

Australian time. British cyclist Simon Richardson did

the honours. This one and

previous cauldrons lit in

England, Scotland and Northern

Ireland will be brought

together before a torch relay

to the opening ceremony. And

with two days to go before the

opening ceremony, to the London Paralympics, organisers are thrilled with the public

response. The Games are likely

to be sold out as Europe

correspondent Mary Gearin reports. The Olympic

reports. The Olympic village is

slowly coming back to life as

elite athletes arrive for the culmination of London's

Olympiad. Vision impaired world

champion in the 1 kilometre

time trial Felicity Johnson

along with her pilot Stephanie

Morton arrived in London two

days ago with the rest of the

Paralympic team after a

training camp in Wales. For

Johnson it's been a better

organised, more professional

experience than Beijing where

she won silver. My experience

from bay sing to now is

incredibly in the sense that

evolution of Paralympic sport

and just the fact that the

support we got, even our

staging camp was in new port

and those depies were so good

to us, all the Welsh

people. It's got a lot of

similarities to Sydney and I

think LOCOG took a lot of those

elements. The team's got a very

similar feel, very cohesive and

focused but the level of elitism, the

elitism, the level of

professionalism within the team

and the athletes is significantly higher. And we're

ready to go. German sports

journalist MarcelBurgman says

it's the best staging of the

Paralympics he's seen. It's

nearly perfect what they're

doing here in Britain. I've

been since at - at - Atlanta

1996 and these are by far the best organised games ever. These

ever. These Paralympic Games

are all but sold out. 2.4 of

2.5 million tickets have

already been sold and that's

more than any other Paralympic

Games in history. In London

there's little sign of Olympic

fatigue. I think there's a

really general Olympic buzz

going around. They've promoted

it really well and publicised

it really well. It seems

London's love affair with all

things Olympic is a marathon,

not a sprint. The full force of

the law was called out in a

small town in Essex after

locals reported seeing a lion

in a local field. Armed

officers and helicopters took

part in the search for the big

cat and locals were ordered to

stay indoors but a-Las No king

of the jungle was found in the

wilds. It's here you'd expect

to see lions in Essex,

to see lions in Essex, safely

in captivity in Colchester Zoo

but a few miles away last night

armed police were on alert.

Several people reported seeing

what they thought was a lion

lurking in a field. Today one

of them told us what he'd

seen. We believe we saw a large

cat looking at at tree, thought

it was going to go up the tree because we were talking to the

police at the time. It didn't

go up the tree, it turned,

go up the tree, it turned, sat,

I believe it could be hearing

us from the other side of the

field, and it just sat there

looking at us and it was very

impressive. It was a nice sight

to see. In the local area some

were sceptical but others were

understandably worried. I think

it's quite concerning and

obviously if it is true and

there is a large cat out there

then it's quite a worrying

thing but we do have a lot of

thing but we do have a lot of

fields around us here so

there's plenty of places for

the animal to hide. The

sighting happened in a field

near St Osif. Experts were

drafted in on the evidence of photographs that were taken,

evidence that was far from

conclusive. It's a picture of a

blurry, sandy coloured animal

at a distance. I wasn't prepared to say really one way

or the other as to what it

could be. But this afternoon

the search was called off. For

a while imaginations had run

wild with what could be out

here on the prowl but police

say it's likely to have been a

large domestic cat or a wild

cat that caused all the fuss

and now calm here has been

restored. Let's have a quick

look at other stories making

news around the world. Hundreds

of protestors have smashed cars

and torched churches in the

Kenyan city of Mombasa after a

gunman shot dead a Muslim

cleric. The US had accused the

cleric of helping Islamist

militants in neighbouring

Somalia. And the Japanese

coastguard has released video

footage showing a group of activists from Hong Kong

landing on one of a group of disputed islands in the East

China Sea. Japan controls the

Sen ka ku Islands and deported

the questioner - the protestors

after questioning. And to the

weather. A few showers to

Tasmania, Victoria and South

Australia. A build up of cloud

over south-west Western Australia ahead of another

front is causing increasing

showers and patchy cloud on the

Queensland coastline, it's

bringing the odd shower to the

tropics. A high will bring a

cold morning and dry day

tomorrow to most of Victoria, the

the ACT and NSW. On shore winds

on the northern NSW and

southern Queensland coastline

will cause a few showers and a

weak trough will bring a few

showers to South Australia,

Victoria and Tasmania. A front

will bring showery winds to

south-west WA. To the forecast now:

Let's go back to the stock

exchange now for a final check

of the markets.

That's the news for now. On a

day when there were angry

clashes between police and

building workers in Melbourne

and doctors thought they might

be able to fix that nagging

cough. There's continuous news

on ABC News 24 and there's also

news online. Our next full

bulletin on ABC 1 is at 7:00

this evening. I'm Nicole Chettle, have a good afternoon. Closed Captions by

CSI

This Program is Captioned

Live.

APPLAUSE

Good evening. Welcome to Q&A,

live from Melbourne's The Edge Theatre. I'm Tony Jones.

Answering your questions

tonight, some of the stars from

the Melbourne Writers Festival. Celebrated Australian writer

and feminist Germaine Greer.

Ghanaian British American philosopher and social theorist

Anthony Appiah. Nigerian

American novelist Sefi Atta.

British actor, director and

author Simon Callow. Please

welcome our panel. APPLAUSE

Q&A is live from 9.35 p.m.

eastern time T is simulcast

live on News 24 and news radio.