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Seven Nightly News -

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This program is captioned live. Sydney commuters get a smart card
but the rollout will take years. Two men arrested at a mosque
in Sydney's south. The new battle to win
domestic airline passengers. An employee accuses ANZ of bullying
struggling mortgage holders. And Australia headed for victory in the second test
against South Africa.

VOICEOVER: This is Seven News
with Mark Ferguson. Good evening. After a 12-year wait, long-suffering Sydney commuters
are finally getting the chance to trial a transport smart card. Ferry passengers will be the first
to use the technology which was originally promised
for the Olympics. But everyone else will be waiting
for up to another three years. A smart card for Sydney has seemed
like a journey that never ends. But the government has high hopes
for the Opal. People will be able to avoid
the Monday morning queues, they'll be able to avoid having to
worry about buying tickets. You'll just have to get this once. All you'll need to do is tap on,
then tap off when you finish. (MACHINE BEEPS)

And then top-up the card's value
in store or online. From December 7 it will be trialled on the ferry between
Neutral Bay and Circular Quay. To encourage passengers - after eight trips,
the rest of the week is free. Sunday trips are $2.50 and you won't pay
more than $15 a day. While New South Wales suffered
the expensive failure of the Tcard, passengers in other states
have been using these card systems for up to five years. It hasn't always been
smooth sailing.

We know that there's been glitches
almost everywhere it's come in. I'm not expecting this to be
glitch-free The Opposition says
it's already delayed. Minister Berejiklian
has been promising all this year that Opal would be ready to go by
December for all Ferry passengers. Today we find out it will be
operating on 1 route out of 11. Sydney has been waiting
for a public transport smart card since 1996 and we'll waiting a few more years before this one
is fully implemented. What starts as a trial
here at Neutral Bay is expected to take until 2015
to rollout to the entire system. With the rest of the ferries
done next year, a start on trains mid-2013, buses in 2014 and finally, light rail.

Paul - how much will commuters pay
to use the Opal Card? Mark, the card will be free. The government says
under the Opal system, fares will become distance based. But it's not clear how much
people on longer trips will pay.

In breaking news - up to 50 firefighters
are battling a bushfire close to homes
on the Upper North Shore. The blaze is burning
across three hectares near Yanilla Avenue at Wahroonga. Crews from the Rural Fire Service
and Fire and Rescue are on hand. Despite initial fears,
a short time ago, the crews managed to keep the fire
within containment lines. Nearby properties
are not under threat. Two men have been questioned
by police after being arrested
for suspicious behaviour at a Sydney mosque. Worshippers dragged one man
from the prayer hall at Arncliffe before officers took the pair
into custody. Witnesses say the men were acting
suspiciously on their mobile phones. Police say the incident
could involve mental health issues and charges are unlikely. Qantas has stepped up its fight
to hold on to customers in the increasingly competitive
domestic travel market. Tiger Airways is bouncing back
after being banned from the skies putting new pressure
on the flying kangaroo.

Open day for Qantas staff to check out its latest weapons
in the battle of the airlines - like new iPads. Futuristic.
I think it's really cool. A refurbishment of its ageing 767s - new carpet,
leather seats in business. The iPads have been retrofitted
behind every seat in the plane. Entertaining the kids, that's it. Parked nearby, the airline's latest
$200 million recruit. A new A330 Airbus
flown in from Paris today. It's a comfortable ride.
I guess the size of the aircraft. Which is why the airline says,
from next May, the Airbus will fly exclusively
each weekday on the Sydney/Perth
and Melbourne/Perth service. The domestic market has become
incredibly competitive since Virgin Australia moved into
the business class space. Tiger Airways,
grounded 14 months ago, has now announced discounted flights
in New South Wales - Sydney to Coffs Harbour. Virgin took a controlling interest
in Tiger last month. Clearly, if Virgin's
previous strategy was working, they wouldn't need to buy Tiger. And, frankly, if Tiger
was succeeding and doing well they wouldn't need to be taken over. Recently, the performance of its
domestic service has been crucial for the fortunes
of the whole airline but it's in here, in business
and the corporate traveller, where Qantas believes
it has the clear edge. And competition, particularly
for business travellers,

A major bank is being accused of bullying
struggling home loan customers to help achieve record profits. A whistleblowing ANZ employee has taken his claims
to the corporate watchdog. The bank denies the allegations.

ANZ hires luxury cruise ships
for staff, pays its boss $10 million and just posted a record profit. But a bank whistleblower says
it's achieved by questionable means. Every staff member knows,
or feels in their heart, that they're doing the wrong thing. They feel wrong about it but they do it because
it's about meeting your targets, it's about doing
what management tells you. He's referred
ANZ Mortgages Collections to financial watchdog, ASIC, alleging unconscionable conduct and misrepresentations
to home loan customers. The bank could be fined
up to $1.1 million. Customers are being warned
they'll lose their home when they're only slightly behind. Bank policy stipulates
it waits 60 days. They are terrified. They are upset because
it doesn't make sense to them - ANZ customer Peter
fell on hard times after being made redundant. Oh, ridiculously stressful. He was on a payment plan when ANZ mistakenly put
his mortgage repayment into the wrong account. Without warning, You're told that your house
is on the way to the solicitors and there's not a lot
that can be done. We've spoken to customers
with serious illnesses, with dying relatives,
mums on maternity leave. They've been threatened
with foreclosure for being as few as $1,000
in arrears. These are really serious allegations and, you know, if true, they represent
incredibly harsh conduct. ANZ rejects any suggestion
of systemic inappropriate conduct.

Police are investigating whether
fatigue or a medical condition caused yesterday's crash
near Bathurst that killed four people. A 73-year-old driver lost control
of his Corolla which veered onto the wrong side
of the Great Western Highway hitting a ute. That vehicle was then run over
by a semitrailer. A man driving the ute
remains in a critical condition.

He has a wife and a number
of children, young children, and they were conveyed yesterday
by police to the hospital. A dog riding in the ute
was also killed. Senior Labor ministers are claiming the union slush fund scandal
involving the Prime Minister is now over after her ex-boyfriend claimed
she did nothing wrong. But the Opposition has rejected
Bruce Wilson's comments promising to continue to pursue
Julia Gillard in Parliament.

The man defending the Prime Minister
was today in retreat - nowhere to be seen at his house
on the New South Wales Central Coast after declaring Julia Gillard didn't know
about a major union fraud scandal in the '90s. From what I've looked at
in today's papers, ah, it's story over. Ms Gillard's former boyfriend,
Bruce Wilson, says she:

Despite setting up the slush fund which he allegedly used to steal
hundreds of thousands of dollars from Australian
Workers Union members. As we in the Labor Party see it,
this is a conspiracy theory. I don't think
the Sergeant Schulz defence is going to work in this instance. Mr Wilson also warned
those pursuing the story that: And that it was a risky strategy
to rely on the claims of former union bagman
Ralph Blewitt, who says Ms Gillard
does need to explain herself. But the Opposition
remains undeterred, vowing to continue
to go after the Prime Minister when Parliament resumes tomorrow for the final sitting week
of the year. If, as the Prime Minister says,
she has done nothing wrong then she should have no difficulty
answering legitimate questions. There is no allegation
against the Prime Minister of any unlawful conduct.

Whistleblowers have attacked
new State Government laws which threaten to jail anyone
who goes public with allegations of crime
or corruption. It's been claimed the legislation is designed
to gag those giving evidence for an investigation into the
state's police bugging scandal.

From premier state
to the secret state...

This is a set of laws which can
criminalise whistle blowing. ..and 12 months prison
for anyone going public with allegations they've made
to the ombudsman. It's frankly outrageous
and quite unnecessary. We're getting ICAC
tearing its way through the corruption scandals
of the last administration and who brought that
to the public's attention? Brave whistleblowers. Brave journalists. The Greens say
the threat of going to jail for blowing the whistle
on crime and corruption belongs in 20th century
Communist regimes, NOT in the democracy
of 21st century New South Wales. The new laws coincide with
the ombudsman's inquiry into the police bugging scandal.

It's designed to shut down
that inquiry, make sure the public doesn't hear
anything about it. The Premier pledged openness
on the bugging scandal. We need to be up front
with the public. We need to tell them
what this was about. It is not possible
to conduct hearings, or indeed any investigations, in public. At a parliamentary inquiry, Deputy Police Commissioner
Catherine Byrne would not answer questions on the
illegal bugging of fellow officers, including Deputy Commissioner
Nick Kaldas. I cannot because of the secrecy
provisions of the Crime Commission. And now the ombudsman can apply
the same gag.

Emergency workers
are urging the public to sign up for a new online service
recording vital medical details. Doctors say registering allergies
and regular medications at could save lives. The site can also help track down
family members if someone is lost or injured. Often, cyclists will go riding,
they'll carry no ID, no next of kin,
no emergency contacts, the same with runners because, you know, they're wearing
as little as possible. It's free to register and details can only be accessed
by emergency services.

Aussie daredevil Robbie Maddison
has made his Hollywood debut as a stunt double for Daniel Craig
in the new James Bond movie. The high-flying motorcycle man
stood in for 007 during one of 'Skyfall's
big chase scenes.

He's one of Hollywood's
most revered characters. Mister...

James Bond. Daniel Craig has won plenty
of praise as this generation's 007. Everybody needs a hobby. So what's yours?
Resurrection. But in the latest film, 'Skyfall', it's Aussie daredevil
Robbie Maddison risking his life to pull off some of Bond's
most spectacular feats.

Been a childhood dream coming true and still kind of pinching myself to come to terms with the fact
I got to double James Bond. He wasn't the only one
a little starstruck on set. Daniel Craig admitted he was a fan of Robbie's hair-raising
motorbike stunts for Red Bull. When he said he's watched my jumps,
I was like, "Really? You have? "You know who I am?" Despite Robbie's experience
with death-defying stunts, there was still one thing
that scared him about filming scenes like this.

They said, "You can wear your helmet
for rehearsals "but when it comes to the shoot,
there's no helmets. "Bond doesn't wear a helmet." He has a new respect
for stunt actors. I told a lot of them, I'm like,
"Man, you guys are crazy" and they're like,
"Coming from you, that's big." Robbie wants to continue
his stunt acting career and is hoping to reunite
with Daniel Craig again in the next Bond film.

Still to come tonight - a shocking new photo showing
dangerous schoolies' behaviour.

Also - Hugh Jackman pushes for changes
to adoption laws. And Australia's oldest shearer
still going strong. That's next.

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A photo has surfaced of a teenager risking his life
at a Gold Coast complex just days after a 17-year-old girl
fell to her death from a balcony. The schoolie was photographed
climbing across a narrow ledge 50m above the ground. Isabelle Colman died
last Thursday night when she fell from the 26th floor
of a hotel during schoolies celebrations.

Hugh Jackman has spoken
about his desire to change Australia's adoption laws. Jackman and his wife,
Deborra-Lee Furness, have two adopted children. They're pushing
for the Federal Government to make adoption an easier process. What are we going to do
to help these kids out today? Not three years from now,
not if I get elected next year, but today, because this is
the right thing to do and it's an urgent situation. You can see Ann Sanders'
full interview with Hugh Jackman on 'The Morning Show' tomorrow.

Being a shearer is a tough job but imagine that sort of
backbreaking work when you're nearly 80 years of age. Joe Duffy
is Australia's oldest shearer

He's a geriatric gun. Just shy of 80,
Joe Duffy's our oldest shearer.

But I'd probably be the silliest
for keeping still going. (LAUGHS) 90 sheep a day. Backbreaking, gruelling work. Getting out of bed of a morning
is my hardest job. He lovingly embraces
shearing's larrikinism. Get in the pub
and I don't look for a bloke I know. Find a stranger
to tell a bit of (BLEEP) to. He won't know the difference.
(LAUGHS) He started 57 years ago
in wool's heyday, but straightaway
knew it was a tough life. We started on a Wednesday,
as luck would have it. I shore 80 the first day,
70 the next, 60 the next and I stayed on bed for the weekend. But Joe is a dying breed. The union representing shearers says
over the past 15 years, the number of people
in Joe's industry has decreased by 70%.

To see something
that was around before Federation, now that it's...
it's just about on its knees. Joe laments the decline
of the job he loves. I've had a lot of fun. I can't go crook. If I drop dead tomorrow, I don't think
I haven't missed out on much.

The chairman of Seven West Media,
Kerry Stokes, is in the running
for Australian of the Year. The billionaire businessman
was named WA's Australian of the Year at a ceremony in Perth. He's been recognised
for his charity work including the donation
of several Victoria Cross medals to the War Memorial in Canberra.

I think it's important
to be judged by what you do, not what you say you're doing. The winner of the New South Wales
award will be announced tomorrow.

2,000 people embraced
the festive spirit this morning, dressing up as Santa for a fun run. The annual 5km event began with a
warm-up session at Darling Harbour. Former swimmer Geoff Huegill
was among those who joined in swapping his Speedos
for a suit and beard.

You can never be too fit
for this event, but getting as much preparation
as you can, I think living
a healthy and active lifestyle is very important for everyone. Sport now with Matt Carmichael Matt, bad news
for another Aussie paceman? Mark, James Pattinson's summer
is over, but it's not stopping Australia. Coming up - Michael Clarke's men
closing in on victory in Adelaide. Plus,
a twist in the Quade Cooper saga and the Wallabies winning
without him.

And own goal misery at Parramatta
and in the Premier League.


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Gold Christmas puddings online.

Australia is closing in on
a series lead against South Africa following Michael Clarke's
aggressive declaration in Adelaide. Australia just 6 wickets away from victory, despite bowling a man down.

James Pattinson fronted early
with scans. They revealed a rib injury
and the end of his summer while it's form
that might end the career of the former Australian captain. I know that
if I'm not getting runs there no chance at all
I might make the summer out. In the middle, Michael Clarke
pushed the Aussie lead past 300. COMMENTATOR:
It's just a powerful sweep for six. It took a Dale Steyn thunderbolt
to crack Clarke's defence. Flush on-the-knee roll. Clarke out for 38, Steyn on a high. But 'Mr Cricket' was still around
and still causing damage. Cuts. That may well do it.
Well played, Michael Hussey. 54 for Hussey
before he miscued against Morkel. This should be out.
Mid-on - comfortable catch. The Proteas out of luck. Even when they hit the stumps,
nothing happened. Making matters worse, Pattinson came up with one last
annoying contribution with the bat. Look out. 429 ahead, Clark declared
with two wickets in hand. Ben Hilfenhaus struck straightaway. Oh, it's out. Yes, Ricky Ponting. Graeme Smith out for a duck, Ponting holding on
like there's no tomorrow. South Africa struggled to survive
today as Nathan Lyon turned destroyer. Got him. What a catch.
Movement, perfect. A Cowan classic
followed by brut force from Siddle. Bowls him.

Four down with a day to play.

Before announcing his boxing plans
with Sonny Bill Williams tomorrow, there's been another twist
in the Quade Cooper saga. The renegade fly half had lunch
with the Queensland Reds' CEO today. They remain confident
he'll stay in rugby next year. In Florence, the Wallabies scored back-to-back
wins on their European tour, dominating the first half
against Italy. COMMENTATOR: Nick Cummins' try
last week against England and he's on the scoresheet
against Italy. Scrum half Brett Sheehan's
nasty knee injury was a turning point
after 30 minutes. From 22-3 down, Italy missed a penalty goal
to draw 22-22 in the dying stages. Sheehan could still play
against Wales next weekend, who lost 33-10
to the All Blacks in Cardiff.

An own goal
from skipper Michael Beauchamp set the tone for a poor night
for Western Sydney in the A-League. While the Mariners and Roar
are level just after half-time at Gosford, a 10-man Melbourne Victory
beat the Wanderers 2-0.

Melbourne Victory
were reduced to 10 men early when Sam Gallagher was red carded. COMMENTATOR: He's off. His frustration
soon matched by the Wanderers who went close plenty of times only to concede the first goal
on half-time. Oh, it's in back of the net.
An own goal, Michael Beauchamp. Western Sydney consigned
to a fourth loss when Archie Thompson made it 2-0. What a finish that is. What a start by Bernie Ibini-Isei
for the Mariners but Massimo Murdocca levelled with
a bullet-like strike for the Roar who are lucky not to be a man down. And he was fired up, Besart Berisha. Newcastle Jets had to come
from 2-0 down against the Heart. Ruben Zadkovich! Melbourne looked home when
Richard Garcia grabbed his second before Ryan Griffiths levelled
from the spot. It's 3-3. And the Socceroos will be hoping Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi
has a moment like this when he captains Oman against them in the World Cup qualifiers
next June. Possibly the worst moment
of his footballing career. Luckily for him, Wigan did win 3-2.

Sally Pearson has missed out on
back-to-back World Athlete of the Year awards. The Olympic hurdles champion finished behind
American Allyson Felix, who won the 200m x2 relay golds
in London. Usain Bolt was the male winner
for the fourth time in five years. It's an honour to win for the fourth
time, I think that's a world record? Yes. Pearson was in Barcelona to see Australia's golden girl
Betty Cuthbert made an inaugural member
of the IAAF Hall of Fame.

Mark Webber's denied
he'll help Sebastian Vettel win the Formula 1
Drivers' Championship in Brazil tomorrow morning. Lewis Hamilton claimed pole
for his final race for McLaren. Vettel will start four places ahead
of title rival Fernando Alonso. Webber qualified third
alongside his Red Bull team-mate.

I'll be focusing my efforts 100%
on my cockpit and getting to the finish line
as fast, as quick as possible. Vettel needs to finish
fourth or better to ensure he's F1's youngest
3-time champion. Golf's top two players are
in a shootout for the World Tour Championship
in Dubai. Number one Rory McIlroy
went everywhere on the Earth Course but will start the final round level with world number two
Luke Donald, at 17 under. (CHEERING)

COMMENTATOR: What a putt. And Sydney 19-year-old
Jake Higginbotham has become the first amateur
in more than 50 years to win the New Zealand Open.

We hope Ricky Ponting has one more chance, in Perth. Maybe two more. Sydney's weather forecast
is after the break then it's 'Sunday Night'
with Chris Bath. Thanks, Mark. Tonight -
they're innocently called bath salts but just look what they can do. The new deadly high
flooding into Australia. And the original
little Aussie battler. Mike Willesee's feisty reunion
with Quentin. That's next, after Seven News.

Hey, sweetheart?

Could you download one of those
Bush Fire Survival Plans? It would be good to sit down
and see what needs doing. Yeah, can we do it later?
I'm just in the middle of stuff. I'll tell you what, I'll print one
off sometime this week at work. Righto, sweetheart.
Let's do it then.

The last weekend of spring certainly gave us a taste of what's
to hopefully come this summer. Today was fine and hot
across Sydney with northerly winds pushing
temperatures into the high 30s in the western suburbs.

It was a fine and warm evening.

The fine conditions continued today
with a scorcher out west.

Tomorrow - there'll be a
late storm in Canberra. Melbourne
and Adelaide can expect
a few showers.

There'll be a few showers
over the ranges tonight but elsewhere
it'll be fine and quite humid.