Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Sky News On The Hour 4pm -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program will be live captioned by Ai-Media

Delivering unrivalled live of coverage, this is Sky News, Australia's news channel.

Across Australia and New Zealand this is News Day. Hello again, it's 4 o'clock in Canberra, 1 pm in Perth as your live rolling News Day continues, I'm Ashleigh Gillon. The top story. The weather forecast for the next four or five days is problematic. It's not for casting as bad as we saw on Tuesday, that doesn't provide any comfort for people to relax. Cooler conditions help firefighters in NSW gain the upper hand on more than 100 blazes burning across the state but they remain on alert with hot and driep conditions for cast for the weekend. Also today around the rest of the east coast, Victoria and Queensland are also bracing for high fire danger with hot temperatures on the way. The latest forecast from the Weather Channel. Also...If people are living in an area as a matter of course they don't receive of mobile coverage, they're not going to receive the alert on their mobile phone not surprisingly. In Victoria the state's emergency services Minister defends the alert system after residents in Ballarat had no warning of a fire that destroyed nine homes. In Victoria the squad take on Sri Lanka, the weather forecast for tomorrow, it will be hot to very hot in the south, east and North with showers and storms in the northwest.Our top story this News Day a total fire ban is in place for tomorrow for NSW and the ACT. It comes as authorities in NSW are urging people to stay vigilant and informed as firefighters continue to battle more than 100 blazes. The pressure is now on to contain the fires by tomorrow when that mercury is again going to climb. Temperatures in many parts of Australia are lower today and fires are not providing great problems. There are total fire bans only in two northern regions of NSW, covering towns like Inverell, Tamworth, Narrabri and Walgett. Conditions in those areas are hot with low humidity. The fire service Commissioner says being vigilant is vital. Staying alert, staying informed is so critical in order to identify Triggers and actions that you will take in the event that circumstances are changing and that there's an increased likelihood that you're going to be threatened by fire. Commissioner Fitzsimons says one of the biggest problems other than the Heat is clas sen see. "She'll be right mate, it won't happen to me" is not good enough. The key to survival is having a bushfire survival plan. Some of the fires in NSW have been started by arson nifts with several months yet of hot weather possibilities a stark warning from Victoria's acting premier. If push comes to shove and you're in two minds about whether you should go, get out. If you stay it maybe too late. Elsewhere in Australia no fires are providing threats to property or people although the force of fire in Tasmania is still rated as watch and act the second highest status. That's the blaze that caused so much damage in the small toup of Dunally last week. Let's get the very latest on that fire situation this NSW. We're joined by Anthony Clarke from the Rural Fire Service. Anthony, take us through which fires are still yet to be contained? Look, we still have around 100 fires which are burning across NSW. About 15 of those fires are uncontained at this stage. The main ones which we are focusing on still remain around the Coomera area, Yass and the shool haven area that fire burning -- Sholehaven. The effort is focusing on trying to do as much containment work as possible, for instance with that fire in the Sholehaven area. We have had crews doing back burning along the Princess Highway. The highway is crossed on and off while the crews do that vital work. A lot of smoke in the area but as I said no immediate threats to properties. Are you getting a better picture now of how much damage has been done in recent days in terms of bushland that's been burnt out and livestock lost? We have seen around 360000 hectares burnt across NSW over recent days. But I think it is a test ament to the crews on the ground, the aircraft in the air and the community's preparation as well we have gone through the last couple of days, some terrible conditions with only one property being destroyed. Of course there have been other losses particularly for farmers in western NSW and in southern NSW. A lot of pastoral areas, crops and so on. We have seen a lot of fencing destroyed and literally tens of thousands head of livestock, sheep for instance have been killed or injured. A loss for the farmers out west. Anthony at rural fire headquarters we appreciate the update. As the bushfire threat in Victoria sub sides there is growing outrage among residents in Chepstowe in Ballarat. They said they didn't receive enough warning before a blaze author through the area on Tuesday injuring six people and destroying eight homes but the Country Fire Authority and the acting Victorian premier Peter Ryan are defending the system. Loretta Johns has been in the Dandenong ranges today. As firefighters across Victoria make the most of cooler conditions to consolidate containment lines questions continue to be asked about the emergency alert system. They never received an SMS alert when a grass fire destroyed the region -- eight homes. Peter Ryan has defended the system saying a dozen alerts were sent. They'll have on the radio and the alert distributed from time to time, a as I said before a dozen were issued yesterday. There are plenty of mechanisms whereby people can source the information they need. The Government says it is also confident the CSA's web sight and App will cope when severe fire danger returns to Victoria. Both services crashed in the extreme heat. The pilot of a new siren warning system has been launched at Wanbolt today. Ready, set go, that activates it. (Siren sounds)The new system operates across Dandenong ranges warning residents of emergencies such as fire and clouds. Sky News at Monday bulk. A short time ago the Victoria fire service Commissioner announced the statewide fire ban for Victoria for tomorrow. The fire danger rating is severe for all districts, apart from Wimmera which is extreme. That means there's a total fire ban for all districts, the whole state of Victoria is in total fire ban for Friday. I repeat the Wimmera will be severe fire rating and severe in all other eight districts. That mean we will see similar conditions to last Friday elevated fire potential and if a fire does start it would take little for it to become uncontrolled in all parts of Victoria due to dry conditions and the weather. In the meantime authorities in Tasmania are now confident no-one died in the bushfires which all but destroyed the town of Dunally, frustration mounting with many residents still waiting to see what is left of their homes.Obviously our resources have been pretty stretched since Friday, in particular, and that's still the case. We have still got more days of hard work ahead of us. There are also concerns for the towns animals left to fend for themselves during the blaze. The number of homes lost across the state has been revised to 152. It's been announced that res dpents affected by the fires will be eligible for assistance.You can apply directly to -- residents. The department of human services on 1802266.As of this morning 2500 people had applied and the Commonwealth department had paid just under $3 million. $1000 per adult, $400 per child of the eligible families. That's used as a direct consequence of many affected by the fires in terms of your primary place of residents.In the meantime Queensland fire crews are also preparing for a hot dry weekend after conditions eased enabling crews to cease control of a fire on Bribie Island. This report was filed from the island. Emergency services are bracing for busy days ahead in Queensland as the hot dry conditions increased the possibility of fires across the south of the state. Despite the severe fire danger ratings further west over the last few days the mine fires of concern and close to residents at the moment have been clustered around the southeast. A large fire continues to burn on Bribie Island North of Brisbane, burnt through 1100 hectares of National parkland of pine plantation so far and the Queensland Fire and Rescue service expects the fire to actually burn itself to the shore line then burn out at that point on the island but the concern is when the wind picks up embers could be tossed across the passageway starting spot fires on the other side of Moreton Bay. Crews had be on stand-by in outback towns in areas like Roma and St George. The Bureau of Meteorology is predicted thunderstorms further west will do little to reduce dangerous conditions. And firefighters in New Zealand are battling a shrub fire which has destroyed at least one home on the outskirts of Christchurch. Two other properties are currently on blaze, the blaze near Brebhoton is being fanned by winds. Res departments in the area are being evacuated and stock is being moved. Roads have been blocked to stop traffic entering the area. Let's look at what we can expect in terms of weather conditions in the coming days. Joined by Dick Whitaker from the Weather Channel. Dick it looks like the Heat is going to be relentless. On the way back following the cool change earlier in the week. We have the system where we are looking for northerly weeks to increase across southeast Australia over the next 24 hours and a hot day expected for Victoria, much of southern NSW ahead of the next change. What that means for tomorrow we are seeing fire bans current for all of Victoria, much of NSW, that hot air coming down through the area increasing temperatures, we have severe fire dangers for much of NSW and Victoria, we have pockets of extreme for the Wimmera area of Victoria, northern parts of the country and the Riverina in NSW. Another bad fire danger in store for tomorrow. Dick, what about this cyclone on the North coast of WA, will that reach land? It may well skim the coast. The best guess, tropical cyclone Narelle, category three and could reach four on the weekend. It could skim the Pilbara coast. There's a watch between Winn creek and corral bay at the moment. You can see the winds pouring in on shore. That is going to produce a storm surge along the coast. Certainly an issue for the Pilbara coast and the northern Gascoyne coast. It's a system we are watching closely. Thank you Dick from the Weather Channel. Police in Victoria have arrested a man over the bashing murder of Narorone Hutchins. Sky News Adelaide reporter Ashleigh Steele has more.South Australian major crime detectives will travel to Mildura in the coming days to seek the extradition digs -- extradition of a man charged with the murder of Navarone Hutchins. They di h discovered the body on Em you flat road in Keefe. He was arrested in Robin available late last night. Mr Hutchins was reported missing last being seen on Friday night, telling friends he would soon arrive rife at the Keefe hotel. It will be a nightmare for the rest of her life. I will had never ever forgive that bastard whoever they are. Police say he suffered severe head injuries, while the body with is yet to be formally identified through post-mortem, police believe it is Mr Hutchins. Police are continuing to piece together the circumstances of the murder and major crime detectives will remain today to interview family and friends. Ashleigh Steele, Sky News, Adelaide. Police have launched a critical investigation follow the death of a man during an operation in Sydney's west. Police say officers had stopped a taxi at Ermington when a man and woman ran from the vehicle. Police chased the man before he jumped into the Parramatta River his body located a short time later. Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident with a report to be prepared for the core nor. Senior National party figures have rejected suggestions federal lek tral laws should be changed to allow optional preferential voting, Warren Truss and the Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce have been quick to rebuff the idea suggested by their liberal colleague Bronwyn Bishop. Miss Bronwyn Bishop is the electoral affairs spokes woman she said it it should be considered it had lessen the metal vote. If you're on one side of the fence alone you'll think it's a great idea to have optional preferentialment if you are up against a range of people who are similar in some ways to your political colour then it can be a curse. As it stands voters have to put a number next to every candidate to lodge a valid vote. The informal vote rose 1.6% National at the 2010 election, the Labor Party doesn't support any change to preferential voting. Coming up after the break we will look at some of the other top store rise, Hugh Jackman nominated for a BAFTA, we will get all the news from our reporter Sophie Li. -- Sophie Lee.

You're with News Day, sport coming up, first, though, here are the headlines. A total fire ban has been issued for NSW, the ACT and Victoria tomorrow with authorities on alert with temperatures expected to soar tomorrow and over the weekend. The acting Victorian premier Peter Ryan has defended the state's emergency alert system after residents affected by a blaze in the snake valley region complained they weren't given adequate warning of the fire's approach, nine homes were destroyed in the blaze. A cyclone off WA's North coast is intensifying. Authorities are warning res departments to be prepared, but it's unclear if it will reach land at this stage. Tomorrow's weather, hot to very hot in the south, east and North with showers and storms due in the northwest. idents to be prepared, but it's unclear if it will reach land at this stage.

Australian actor Hugh Jackman has been nominated for best actor by the British academy film al wards for his role in the musical fill Les Miserables. He's a hot favourite to take home an oscar award. Joining us with more on this year's BAFTA nominees we're joined by Shelley Lee. It's shaping up to be a big year for Hugh. The award season is under way with the BAFTA nominations coming in tonight and the Oscar nominations due out tomorrow. Australian starve scene Hugh Jackman has been nominated as best actor for his role in Les Miserables. He's a contender for an oscar for that performer and earned him scene actor's gimd and golden global nominations. Back to the BAFTA, leading the charge with 10 nominations is Stephen spiel berj's bio pick Lincoln. Spiel berj has been snubbed left off the list of best director nominees. Ben Afleck and life of Pi Catherine Brigalon. The drama Argo and lay list rabbles are close with nine nominations three of those films nominated for a best film BAFTA, the life of Pi and bin Laden killing film zero black thirty. Up against Hugh Jackman in the best actor field we have Ben Afreck for 56789rgo. In the best act stress category we have Helen Mirren nominated for her role in Hitchcock, Jessica chaft entertain for Zero Dark Thirty. The BAFTA awards had take place on Sunday 10 February. Tomorrow we will have all of the Oscar nominations coming through for you Ashleigh. She willery thank you. The Aussies hopefully will put in a good showing for those. Time for all the sport with Luke, a fresh look for Australia's one day side. Time for a few players to be standing up and being counted. Australia has named a trio of debutantes at the MCG. Aaron finch, Usman Khawaja will complete the team. Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc will spear head the pace attack. George Bailey says the series presents a great opportunity for his young side. We have been pushing for the guys to feel comfortable as quickly as they can within the roles they play around the group, the skills they have and what they have shown domestically and in the small amount of international games that some of the guys have played we want them to go out and to bat or bowl exactly like they are, not to feel like they have to replace Mike Hussey or replace a Ricky Ponting. Retiring test cricket great Mike Hussey won't be playing for the Scorchers, they're up against the third place Strikers at the Adelaide Oval with a home semifinal at stake. The Sydney Sixers won't be making a back-to-back title: Alex Hales smashed it including six sixes. Another big hit from Alex Hales, that is unbelievable here tonight at the SCG. It left the Sixers chasing 1 # 9 for the win, it was -- 179 for the win. Melbourne dropped one game all season. Lleyton Hewitt is through to the final of the coup gong classic disposing of Tomas Berdych in straight sets. Hewitt was in supreme touch and took 88 minutes to seal his spot in Saturday's decider.Two screaming returns from Hewitt. The Australian won the tournament in 2011. Swansea will take a two-goal advantage in the second leg of The Cup semifinal with Chelsea. Swansea stung the Blues with the first Victory at Stanford bridge. A howler from Ivanovic allowed them to claim the lead and the Chelsea defending fell apart again allowing Swansea to secure a two-goal buffer heading into the second leg at home. Here is Graham, keeper stranded, could be two, is two!Barr came off the bench for the Blues and had a goal ruled out off-side. Ashleigh all the sport, back to you. Looking at tomorrow's weather forecast, it is going to be hot to very hot in the south, east and North with showers and storms in the northwest: across Australia and New Zealand you're with News Day, the top stories are coming up including a total fire ban in place for three states. We will get the latest on the situation in NSW with the RFS.

Hello again, it's 4.30 eastern daylight time. You're with News Day on Sky News, I'm Ashleigh Gillon. In the next half hour we will go live to the Weather Channel for an update on a cyclone approaching WA's North coast. First the top stories.A total fire ban has been declared for tomorrow in NSW, the ACT and Victoria. Authorities have warned residents in NSW to remain on high alert with the worst of the bushfire threat possibly yet to come. Cooler conditions today are assisting fire authorities in tackling some of the worst blazes and a bushfire at Lithgow is no longer a threat. However residents are being urged to not be complacent with the weather forecast to heat up again tomorrow and over the weekend. 112 fires are currently burning in the state, 18 of which are uncontained. Victoria and Queensland fire authorities are also working to bring a number of bushfires under control before the extreme weather conditions hit those states. 16 crews are on the ground battling blazes on Bribie Island North of Brisbane. No properties are currently under threat. But residents are urged to remain alert. The Victorian acting premier Peter Ryan has defended the state's bushfire alert system after residents in the snake valley region in Ballarat claimed they had no warning of fire that destroyed nine a homes. Mr Ryan said 12 different alerts including multiple SMS messages were released after a grass fire took hold in Chepstowe. Those who didn't receive at lert must have fallen outside of the paradigm zone. Firefighters in New Zealand are battling a shrub fire which has destroyed at least one home on the outskirts of Christchurch. Two other properties are currently on fire. The blaze near pebble tonne is around 2 kilometres in size fanned by northwest wind. Residents in the area are are being evacuated and stock is being moved. Roads have been blocked to stop traffic entering the area. A 20 year-old man has been arrested after a man was shot and wounded in the head at Mallaway bay in the North coast. The shot man's girlfriend died at wool good deal ba beach, the shooting and the drowning aren't linked but a horrible coincidence. The shooting victim is in a stable condition at could have's harbour hospital. The Opening one dayer in Sri Lanka at the MCG and the forecast lighter winds, heating up in the south, staying hot inland. The top story this News Day, a total fire ban is in place tomorrow for NSW and the ACT. It comes as authorities in NSW are urging people to stay vigilant and informed as firefighters continue to battle more than 100 blazes. The pressure is now on to contain the fire by tomorrow when the mercury is going to climb again. Jay Jamison reports. Temperatures in many parts of Australia are lower today and fires are not provided great problems. There are total fire bans only in two northern regions of NSW covering towns like Inverell, Tamworth, Narrabri and Walgett. Conditions are hot with low humidity. The fire service Commissioner says being vigilant is vital. Staying alert, staying informed is so critical in order to identify Triggers and actions that you will take in the event that circumstances are changing, and that there's an increased likelihood that you are going to be threatened by fire. Commissioner Fitzsimons says one of the biggest problems other than the Heat is clis see. "She'll be right mate it won't happen to me" isn't good enough if you life or holidaying in a push fire prone area. 370000 hectares of lapped have been burnt out across NSW, some of those fires started by arsonists. A stark warning from Victoria's acting premier. If push comes to shove and you're in two minds as to whether you should go then get out, get out. If you stay it just may be too late. Elsewhere in Australia no fires are providing major threats to property or people, although the Fulcett fire in Tasmania is rated as watch and act the second highest status in the fire system. That's the blaze that caused so much damage in the small town of Dunahly last week. Earlier here on News Day we spoke with Anthony Clarke from the RFS. For more on that fire situation in NSW. The main area of focus remains across southern NSW. We have about 100 fires still burning across the state, about 15 of those are uncontained at this stage. The main area of focus remains the Sholehaven area to the south of Sydney with that fire burning, we have fires burning in the Cooma area, has around Yass. The perimeter of that fire is up around 100 kilometres, trying to get on tp of that fire is going to take a fair bit of work. The conditions are much more on our side today. Much milder the winds have dropped off. I tell you what, we are concerned about what may lay ahead. We have very high temperature ra turs forecast across Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In western parts of NSW we are are looking at temperatures up around the 45 degree mark, possibly even higher. The winds may be on our side, though, we are not expecting similar winds to what we experienced on Tuesday, the worst day for the weather conditions. Fingers crossed, we are hoping the winds will pay us some favours. As the bushfire threat in Victoria subsides there is growing outrage amongst residents at Chepstowe near Ballarat. They say they didn't receive enough warning before a blaze tore across the area. The Country Fire Authority and the acting Victorian premier Peter Ryan are defending the system. Loretta Johns has been in the Dandenong ranges today to file this reportAs firefighters across Victoria make the most of cooler conditions to consolidate containment lines questions continue to be asked about the State Government's emergency alert systemment some residents in the snake valley said they never received an SMS alert on Tuesday when a grass fire swept the region. Acting premier Peter Ryan has defended the system saying about a dozen alerts were sent. They will have on the radio, they will hear the alert distributed from time to time. As I said before a dozen of them were issued yesterday. This are plenty of mechanisms whereby people can source the information that they need. The Victorian Government says it is confident the CFA's website and App will cope when severe fire danger returns to Victoria tomorrow. Both services crashed in the extreme heat. The pilot of a new siren warning system has been launched at Monday bulk. Ready, set, go. (Siren sounds smchlt (The new system will operate across the Dandenong ranges warning residents of emergencies such as fire and floods. Earlier the Victoria fire services Commissioner Craig Lapsley spoke about the fire conditions in his state. The fire danger rating is severe for all districts apart from the Wimmera, which is in extreme. That means there's a total fire ban for all districts, the whole state of Victoria is in total fire ban for Friday. I repeat the Wimmera will be extreme fire danger rating and severe in all other eight districts. That mean we will see similar conditions to last Friday elevated fire potential and if a fire does start it would take little for it to become uncontrolled in all parts of Victoria due to dry conditions and the weather. And total fire bans have just been declared in nine districts in SA as well with severe fire danger. In the meantime authorities in Tasmania are now confident no-one died in the bushfires which all but destroyed the town of Duna -- - Dunahly with frustrations moubting for residents waiting to see what happened to their homes. The resources have been stretched since Friday. That is still the case, more days of hard work ahead of us. There are also concern for the towns' animals which were left to fend for themselves during the blaze. The number of homes lost across the state has been revised to 152. Residents affected by the fires will be eligible for assistance. Well, they can apply directly to the department of human services on 1802266.And as of this morning 2500 people had applied. The Commonwealth department had paid out just under $3 million. It's $1000 per adult, $400 per child of eligible families. That is used as a direct consequence of being affected by the fires in terms of your primary place of residence. Queensland fire crews are now preparing for a hot, dry weekend after conditions eased in the southeast today enabling crews to seize control of a fire on Bribie Island. Joel Philp filed this report from the island. Emergency services are bracing for busy days ahead in Queensland as the hot dry conditions increase the possibility of fires across the south of the state. Despite the severe fire danger ratings further west over the last few days the main fires of concern and close to residents at the moment have been clustered around the southeast. A large fire continues to it burn on Bribie Island, it's burnt through 1100 mechanical hectares of National park or pine plantation. The rescue service expects the fire to burn to the shore line then burn out. The concern is when the wind picks up embers could be tossed across the passageway starting spot fires on the other side of Moreton Bay. Over the weekend crews will be on stand -- stand-by. The Bureau of Meteorology is expecting thunderstorms further west will do little to reduce the dangerous conditions. And dick Whittaker from the Weather Channel joins us for a closer look at the weather conditions, Dick which parts of the country need to be on the lookout for the hot weather? Northerly wind are surging ahead of the change you can see the ice owe bars coming down hear. Northerly winds, we will will see temperatures wrap up dramatically across SA, Victoria and southern NSW. We have fire bans for extensive areas of SA and NSW, all of Victoria, mostly severe fire dangers. We have a couple of pockets of extreme for the Riverina, the North country, also the Wimmera, so they're the areas we have to worry about, paradoxically at the moment we are getting showers and thunderstorms over the east of Queensland. You can see the radar, the big issue tomorrow will be the Heat developing in the southeast. Dick, what about this cyclone up on the northwest coast of WA. Is that going to cause serious problems for residence in those parts? Certainly a concern, it is tropical cyclone Narelle, this is predicted path. We have a cyclone watch between win creek and coral bay. You can see the winds coming in on the shore line this is later in the week. That's the situation where we could get coastal flooding, the Storm surge, it is a severe tropical cyclone, it could get up to Cat greel four the second highest level producing Gayle force winds across the coast and heavy rain. Certainly a matter for concern. We will watch it closely to see what actual path it does take. Dick Whittaker, no doubt you will keep a close eye on it for us. Thanks for that. Miss in Victoria and arrested the man over the bashing murder of Keefe Hutchins whose body was found to the south of Keith. Ashleigh Steele has more. South Australian major crime detectives will travel to Mildura in the coming days to seek the extradition of a man charged over the murder of 23 year-old Keefe Hutchins. On Tuesday SES volunteers discovered the body on a dirt flat on Emu flat road from Keith. A 20 year-old man was arrested in in Robin available. Mr Hutchins was reported missing after last being seen on Friday night when he told friends he would soon arrive at the Keith hotelment miss Hutchins says her son's death had been a nightmare for the rest of her life. He can go to hell. I will never, ever forgive that bastard! Whoever they are. Police say he suffered severe head injuries. While the body is yet to be formerly identified through post-mortem police believe it is Mr Hutchins. The investigation is continuing to piece together the circumstances of the murder and major crime detectives will remain in Keith today to interview family and friends. Ashleigh Steele, Sky News, Adelaide. Two Australian friends travelling in Lau have been found dead within days of each other, it's not clear whether the deaths of cane Scriven. The the two men had worked at crewmen for work boats northern. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have confirmed the deaths but won't reveal the circumstances at this stage. To politics now and senior National party figures have rejected suggestions that federal lek tral laws should be changed to allow optional preferential voting, Warren Truss and the Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce have been quick to rebuff the idea suggested by their liberal colleague Bronwyn Bishop. Miss Bronwyn Bishop is the lek tral affairs spokes woman and said the measure should be considered because it would lessen the informal vote. If your political fortune is because you're on one side of the political fence you'll think it's a great idea to have optional preferential or you're up against a whole range of people that are similar in some ways to your political colour it can be a curse. As it stands voters have to put a number next to every candidate to lodge a valid vote. The informal vote rose 1.6% nationally at the 2010 election. The Labor Party doesn't support any change to preferential voting. The rock icon Doc niece son has been hospitalised with a reported brain tumour, he was admitted to hospital over the Christmas new year period and will undergo immediate radiotherapy and start chemotherapy. The band most Fai mus for the 70 hits including" am I ever going to see your face again" have issued a statement saying all upcoming tour commitments have been cancelled while he undergoes treatment for the tumour. Stay with us, we will get all the sporting news with Luke Doherty, including Lleyton Hewitt on a roll ahead of the Australian tennis open.

You're with News Day, Luke will be along with all the sport shortly, first, though, here are the headlines.A total fire ban has been issued for NSW, the ACT and Victoria tomorrow with authorities on alert with with temperatures expected to soar tomorrow and over the weekend.The acting Victorian premier, Peter Ryan has defended the state's emergency alert system after residents affected by a blaze in the snake valley region complained they weren't given enough adequate warning of the fire's approach. Nine homes were destroyed in the blaze. A cyclone off WA's North coast is intensifying. Authorities warning residents to be prepared, but it is still unclear if it will reach landfall at this stage. The weather tomorrow, hot to very hot in the south, east and North, showers and storms expected in the northwest.

All the sport now with Luke, good signs for Lleyton Hewitt ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year. Didn't muck around this afternoon, Lleyton Hewitt is through to the final of the Kooyong Classic after disposing of Tomas Berdych in straight sets. He was in supreme touch and took 88 minutes to seal his spot in Saturday's decider. Oh, two screaming returns from Lleyton Hewitt. The Australian won the tournament in 2011. Meanwhile Bernard Tomic moved one step closer to his first ATP title when he takes on Jarkko Nieminen in the Sydney international tonight. The 20 yearly old is in hot form stretching the unbeaten streak to five matches. The bigger factor with Berdych is his mental approach. He is looking too much stronger, projecting this confidence and that's what is so important. He's always had the game. His encore performances threatened to be off shadowed by off court antics after announcing he had cut ties with past Rafter. Australia will have a brand new top three for the Open one-dayer against Sri Lanka. Finch, and Khawaja will make their debuts. Johnson and Mitchell had be included. The Aussies held the training session at the MCG, captain George bailive defensive over the inexperienced squad. I can understand it coming from Channel Nine I think they're about to go into negotiations for the TV rights, that was a tactical move to talk down one-day cricket, it is still called the Australian cricket team. Tomorrow's match is the first one of five one-dayers to be played against Sri Lanka before the further matches against the West Indies. Mike Hussey won't be playing for the Perth Scorchers, they're up against the third placed Strikers with a home semifinal at stake. The Melbourne Renegades confirmed the favouritism with the Big Bash title with a crushing win over the Sydney Sixers at the SCG, Alex Hales did most of the of damage with a brutal 89, eight sixes three of them in a row adding dints to the SCG roof. That is huge, the biggest one tonight on the roof! Near the clock. That's how well he's timing it. Geez!Hales was only called up on Tuesday to replace the injured Marlon Samuels and played 12 hours after arriving in Sydney from London. Swansea will take the lead against Chelsea a day after the win. A howler from Ivanovic allowed the Welsh outfit to claim the lead and the Chelsea defending fell apart again allowing Swansea to secure a two-goal buffer heading into the second leg at the Liberty. Here's Graham. It could be two, it is two!Barr came off the bench for the Blues and had a goal ruled off-side in the dying seconds. In the day after Leo Messi was declared the world's best footballer Rinaldo set the tone. Real Madrid eased into the quarters. He could hardly contain himself from the side ways, there he goes. He scored a hat-trick. He did well to improve on the tally from last goal. He scored 60 goals from 55 games in 2012. All the sport back to you. Luke, thanks, taking a closer look at the weather,:

Cloud over northern NSW and southern Queensland in a trough is causing the odd shower, looking at the forecast for tomorrow:

Thanks for your company on News Day today. I'll see you again tomorrow. Do stay with us now, though, the National news is up next as firefighters in New Zealand battle blazes that have destroyed at least four homes. Details coming up.

Live Captioning by Ai-Media ai-media.tv