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This Program is Captioned Live. Tonight - no end in sight to the NSW bushfire emergency. There may be people still within their homes that may not have got out.One man dead, and up to 200 homes lost.It was overwhelming. The heat, the cracking of the glass, the fire coming in, the incredible smoke, so nothing could be seen. Bill Shorten unveils his new front bench team.And the Raiders' grand plan to boost match attendance. Good evening, welcome to ABC News. I'm Virginia Haussegger. One man is dead and hundreds of homes are believed destroyed in NSW tonight. Cool temperatures and easing winds are offering firefighters some relief but in the words of the Rural Fire Service' Commissioner the situation is still very active, very dynamic and very dangerous.More than 20 fires are still uncontained with several watch and act alerts.It is in the lower Blue Mountains where the vast majority of houses have been lost. Affected areas right across Springwood and the surrounding suburbs of Winmalee and Yellow Rock.81 properties have been confirmed destroyed there but that toll is sure to rise.Adrian Raschella now with this report. It was a night without let-up. The holing northerlies had abated, now erratic southerly winds were proving a tactical challenge for firefighters.This fire near Bargo south of Sydney was one of a ring of uncontrolled outbreaks just beyond the outer reaches of the city.To the west of Sydney, evacuees shivered as police told them they wouldn't be heading home to sleep.There has been a massive weather change. What that is I don't know.With day break, there were still 30 fires that had not been contained.In the Blue Mountains, at least 100, perhaps 200 houses have been destroyed. Some streets were still the ghostly domain of fire crews.You will see where the fire line is there, over.In the mountain township of Winmalee, residents were heading back, many of them to very little.Me and the dog and we went. By the time we left, there was - you know it was hopeless. The house next-door was on fire. We just jumped in the car and went.These people are educated to have a fire plan and in their wisdom, left in good time.Michael and Julie McGuiness returned to find every possession reduced to ashes.It is everything we had, just gone.We are just numb. Just doesn't seem real.An aerial sweep of Winmalee reveals great devastation. Home after home, in street after street has been swept by fire.When it was evident yesterday that this would be the most serious bushfire crisis in NSW in more than a decade, the fire Commissioner warned of the likelihood of fatalities.He was just as pessimistic today.We simply can't ignore the reality that there may be people still within their homes that may not have got out.The PM arrived in a visit of support.We feel for everyone right around the State of NSW, but particularly how
here in and around Winmalee, how much we feel for everyone who has suffered through these devastating fires.On the Central Coast at Lake Munmorah, 63-year-old Walter collapsed and died while defending his home.The major fires have now been downgraded. Residents have been advised to remain on alert and vigilant. Authorities say conditions could deteriorate rapidly at any time. One of the worst affected areas in the Blue Mountains is the township of Mount Victoria. 20km south-east of Lithgow, at least 10 houses have been destroyed. Today, residents returned to see what was left of their homes. Gordon Taylor reports from Mount Victoria. This area on the outskirts of Mount Victoria took the brunt of the blaze. In just this street, St George's Parade, eight houses have been lost. For Katrina Schloonka and Susan Brock, the return was inevitably going to be daunting. The fire struck with incredible speed. They left only just in time, certain that on their return, they would find the worst.I know, it is going to sound like a cliche but it was overwhelming, the heat, the cracking of the glass, the fire coming in, the incredible smoke, so nothing could be seen.Neighbour Rolley Clarke built the house. His own home down the road thankfully escaped the blaze.We were lucky in that we didn't cop the full force of the fire storm, you could call it. It was strong westerly winds blowing the fire quickly across the road.The cruel thing about this fire is it was selective. The vagaries of wind and topography mean that Katrina and Susan's house is in ashes, their next-door neighbour's house is still standing.For these two women it is tiek to take stock. Their had you mur belying an underlying sense of sadness and delayed shock.We have to change our pants. We are girls, yeah.This afternoon, the fire built in intensity, firefighters trying to stop its spread south ward into the Megalong Valley. Those efforts failed. The fire jumping the Great Western Highway and closing the road causing a build-up of cars and trucks several kilometres long, east of Mount Victoria. -Humour. More than 2,000 firefighters from across NSW are now involved in the mammoth effort. Officers from the ACT, Victoria, Queensland and SA have been brought in as reinforcements. The ABC's Martin Cuddihy has spent the day with crews in the Blue Mountains.It is back breaking and dangerous work and explaining the efforts of his firefighters, the RFS Commissioner was reduced to tears.We have got the best firefighters in the world. They are second to none. They um... A new day saw bushfires again threatening homes as flames raged out of Rural Fire
control.Volunteers from the Rural Fire Service worked through the smoke and heat to protect property.Anxious families watch on as the danger burns closer.The wife and kids are really to roll if we have to go.That is what we do.Firefighters lit back burns to starve the fire of fuel and protect homes. Watch behind you.Once this small section is burnt, we are looking at about 100 feet. That should be sufficient to stop it.Further up the street it was too much for some residents.A few firies have said there is a fire 150m just down the back of the valley. We are basically preparing for the worst, getting a few things, all essentials and basically preparing to evacuate, yeah.At about lunchtime, the main fire at Springwood again flared up.Fire crews have managed to save three bush blocks here but it is extremely difficult. Not only is the terrain very steep but the wind keeps changing directions. It is spinning around and making it difficult to know where the fire will spread to next.We got a warning on a pager a while ago to say there is a wind change to
coming through. It was supposed to be coming through from the north-west.Students at Springwood High School were made to leave, just as happened yesterday, the children were taken to an evacuation centre.Two firefighters were treated for burns at Sydney's Concord Hospital.These are ordinary people who, on extraordinary days come together to support their community and to protect their fellow Australians. We are incredibly lucky to have them.And for those still on the ground, the danger hasn't passed. And Martin Cuddihy is at Springwood in the Blue Mountains. A short time ago he gave me this update.The main concern is this fire at Springwood. It flared up this afternoon causing quite a few problems. The wind has been changing directions sporadically and that caught a lot of the RFS officers by surprise. The steep terrain has made it difficult to access also. Some of the places where the fire is burning out of control, access is difficult. Some of the problems were a number of evacuations had to be High
carried out. The Springwood High School had to be evacuated along with scores of homes nearby. We also saw some people making last minute frantic preparations. They were cleaning out their gutters and wetting down their homes in the hope that would prevent any ember attacks.It doesn't look like there is any rain on the horizon but what are conditions expected to be like over the weekend? Conditions tomorrow are expected to be similar to today. Not too hot. The main problem will be the wind. If it blows up, it has the potential to turn some of these smouldering or smaller fires into potentially large bushfires. That is the problem. Sunday is expected to be awful. It has this horrible combination predicted and that is hot, dry weather along with strong winds. The RFS officers are particularly concerned about this. They are worried that there could be a repeat of the conditions that we had yesterday and that was when scores of homes were destroyed.It certainly sounds like there is still tense times ahead. Thanks Martin. To other news now. Bill Shorten has finalised Labor's post election makeover. He has allocated jobs to his front bench team, promoted a complete newcomer and begun selling his shadow ministry as one of the most youthful ever.Greg Jennett reports. Shorten's shadow team is now job ready.I believe that the team we are announcing is energetic and diverse.29 front benchers, 15 parliamentary secretaries and an emphasis on renewal.There is more Gen X in this shadow line-up than has existed before. More women than ever before. Younger than ever before.After nine years in Stephen
communications and broadband, Stephen Conroy is swapping data for defence. Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek is going global, to shadow Julie Bishop in foreign affairs. Tony Burke enters the economic policy club in finance and there are promotions for Catherine King into health and Richard Marles for the challenging immigration and border protection role. Nine new faces are being promoted into the shadow parliamentary secretary ranks, one, Jim Chalmers, hasn't yet stepped foot in the parliament.It is a training ground for future ministers being a parliamentary secretary. We should give that opportunity.Labor's new team meets next week and will start with talks on the kind of carbon pricing model it will pursue for the next election. There are no guarantees it will be an emissions trading scheme.As for the last campaign, the final word has been delivered on that rowdy election costings debate.You don't accept our figure? No, we don't.It came from the Parliamentary Budget Budget
Office.The Parliamentary Budget Office has costed and tallied Labor and Coalition policies. The bottom line is the Coalition's spending and savings plans would improver the Budget by $7 billion. Labor's by a far more modest $9 million. No black holes afterall but a Budget still stuck deep in the red. An ABC News has found a body floating in the Mekong River whilst covering the aftermath of Wednesday's plane crash in Laos that killed six Australians. The Lao Government says 17 bodies have been recovered so far. Two experts in victim identification will fly to the region from Australia to help local authorities deal with the disaster.South-east Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel reports from Pakse in Laos. It is a joint effort of Thai and Laos recovery workers but it will be a long haul. They have yet to pinpoint the exact location of the plane and there was little action today as they discussed how to find it.It could be anything from 10-50m blow the fast-flowing surface. Special equipment is being brought in from overseas to help. It is a place of beauty now. In bright sunshine. But extreme bad weather caused by the tail-end of a typhoon has been blamed for the crash of the plane which hit the ground here, then flipped into the river.According to this eyewitness, there was very low cloud and light rain at the time but little wind.Trance it was like this and then it fell and there was flames and fire and boom, it exploded. Villages and fishermen have been involved in the search for bodies. This morning, the Lao Government said 17 have been found.We found the 18th, floating in the river and reported it to authorities. Thai divers have shown us pictures of the body of a young boy that they recovered yesterday. There were only two children on the plane - a 17-month-old boy and his 3-year-old sister, both were Australian.Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs says it can't confirm whether the bodies of the Australians have been found until formal identification is complete. As the search for the dead continues, Lao people are beginning to mourn theirs. Government employees in the United States are finally back at work after the 11th hour deal in Congress that ended the shutdown and extended the country's borrowing limit. The damage from the shutdown is estimated to be upwards of $20 billion in lost revenue and productivity. As Ben Knight reports, the politicians who presided over the crisis have also suffered political damage .After 16 days of shutdown, the sun came out in Washington. The barricades were removed. Just hours after the President signed a late night bill to reopen the Government, Federal workers were back on the job.I just put my hair back and went to bed and got ready to come up to work.White House workers were welcomed back by the chief of staff.Welcome back.The Vice President Joe Biden welcomed his workers with cup cakes and hugs. Barack Obama, however, was striking a very different tone.These last few weeks have inflicted completely unnecessary damage on our economy.You don't like a particular policy, then argue for your position, go out there and win an election.It is estimated that this shutdown has cost the American economy more than $20 billion. But the Republicans instigated it are paying a heavy price as well. They have got nothing out of this deal apart from awful polls and a bitter internal party fight.We won't go through the shutdown again because people have been too traumatised by it. There is too much damage. We tried this back in 1995, had the same result.Even if some of those behind it were claiming it as a win.We saw the House of Representatives take a courageous stand listening to the American people.But other Republicans are already sitting down with Democrats, trying to hammer out a deal that will stop all this from happening again in three months time. A month after terrorists killed more than 60 people in a Nairobi shopping centre, there is renewed criticism of the way Kenyan authorities handled the attack. Newly released security video shows shoppers fleeing as the gunmen made their way through the mall. Authorities had initially said up to 15 attackers raided the mall. The footage appears to show only four men were responsible for the carnage.British media has identified one of the men as a Norwegian citizen of Somali origin who returned to Africa four years ago to join the al-Shabaab terrorist group. Three days after the earthquake that killed more than 150 people in the Philippines, thousands of survivors remained homeless. They are taking shelter wherever they can, in parks, farmland and church yards. Water and electricity are precious commodities for those sleeping rough. Meanwhile, new video has emerged of the moment the bell tower in the Philippines' oldest church collapsed during the quake. The Basilica of the Holy
Child was built in the 16th century and is one of at least a dozen churches damaged by the earthquake. Melbourne broadcaster Derryn Hinch has avoided jail but has been fined $100,000 for contempt of court.The so-called human headline was found guilty of breaching court orders over an article he wrote on Jill Meagher's killer, Adrian Bayley.The judge said Hinch was an experienced journalist who should have known better.Derryn Hinch arrived at court with the prospect of a jail term hanging over his head.I hope I come out again and see you in half an hour.He got his wish, walking free from court but with a $100,000 fine. The equivalent of half his yearly salary.Whoever said talk is cheap got it wrong.Hinch was convicted of breaching a court gag order over an article he posted on his blog detailing the past of Jill Meagher's killer Adrian Bayley. But despite being found guilty, Hinch continued to protest his innocence on his blog, Twitter feeds and the steps of court.I thought I have been made a scapegoat and a whipping boy over this.All was noted by justice Stephen Kay who decided his eventual apology to the court was insincere.The judge said Hinch's conduct was grossly irresponsible and calculated to hinder the administration of justice. He labelled him a self opinionated man who thought he knew better than a judge and said he had broken the law in the pursuit of populist reporting.The judge said Hinch's continual reference to being made a scapegoat had no substance.I have learned that you shouldn't say much on the courthouse steps.Hinch has notched up six convictions for contempt of court.Got to go.In the 1980s he served 12 days in jail and last year he was sentenced to five months home detention for court breaches. Hinch now faces 50 days in jail if he fails to pay the fine. The ACT Magistrates Court has welcomed its newest recruit. A magistrate with a history as varied as it is noteworthy. Robert Cook started his working life as a barman and dry cleaner before taking on a part-time law degree and a 20-year career in the Royal Australian Air Force. Remarkably, he only made the decision to join the bar three years ago and last month took over from David Mossop, who has moved to the Supreme Court.Today, magistrate Cook's family, friends and colleagues, old and new, gathered to officially welcome him to his new role. The ACT Government has unveiled a new centre that will improve emergency response times in Canberra's north. Ambulance, fire and rescue services will share the $12 in illion station at Charnwood. It can accommodate one intensive care paramedic crew and up to two firefighting crews that will operate 24/7.It replaces the old West Belconnen fire station and for the first time, establishes a dedicated ambulance capability to service the West Belconnen area.This will make a small overall increase in capacity to the whole of the city but certainly to the West Belconnen it will be a significant improvement to services.The building's design will serve as a template for other new stations yet to be rolled out across Canberra.To finance and the Chinese economy accelerated in the September quarter, defying predictions of a continuing slow down.The Australian dollar has leapt to more than 96 US cents in the wake of the debt deal in Washington.

The Chinese economic powerhouse keeps powering on. In the September quarter GPP growth was up from 7.5% in the June quarter. That transition from exports to domestic consumption is happening. The contribution from final consumption was 3.5% and from investment 4.3%, equals 7.8. Net exports were a slight drag. Bottom line, with America chasing itself down a political rabbit hole thank goodness for China. The politics is hidden and the capitalism is unsullied by democracy. A better way to compare the Australian and US dollars is to look at the representative trade-weighted indices. The US dollar index has remained steady all year and just in the last 24 hours it has clunked to its lowest level since February. The Australian dollar had that big 15% devaluation between April and August. It has since rallied 6.5% much to the distress of manufacturers and farmers. There weren't wild celebrations on Wall Street after the debt deal was announced. The Dow Jones average was flat because of a big fall in RBM's share price. Murray has bid $420 million for Warrnambool cheese and butter, trumping the other bids. The new bid is $7.50 a share and the market thinks there is still more in this auction, taking the price today to $7.89. That is fitness.

The All Blacks will be without their inspirational skipper Richie McCaw for tomorrow's Test against the Wallabies in Dunedin. McCaw has been ruled out with a calf injury meaning he will have to wait to become the record holder for Tests against Australia. The matches gives the Wallabies a chance to build on their last victory in Argentina. Pride is not the only thing on the line when the Wallabies and All Blacks face off in Dunedin. The Bledisloe Cup is safely in New Zealand hands for another season but this year's third trans-Tasman clash hardly seemed like a dead rubber.Any time you get to play New Zealand in any sport being an Australian is something us Aussies like to do. If you get the result you want that is a good day out.The home side wands to protect its 2013 winning streak and add to its four-year 29 Test unbeaten run at home.It is as much a mental thing this week about our preparation as it is anything else.Winger Corey Jane has a hamstring injury and joins captain Richie McCaw as a late withdrawal.Kieren Reid steps up as skipper.It is a challenge. It is about personal standards really. This team prides itself on that.After piling on seven tries against the Pumas in their last outing, Australia has generated confidence it needs to build on.The belief in the individual players is certainly better from coming off a win like that than not.The Wallabies last Bledisloe clash in Dunedin brought success under Eddie Jones in John Eales last Test in New Zealand. Burke with the sprint. He gets the bounce and scores. A try.In 2013, there have been 12 wallaby debutantes. Winger Peter Beetham the latest. Since July Ewen McKenzie's new broom has swept aside the Robbie Deans era for little success and financial pressures on Australian rugby in a tight sports market have the marquee team under extra strain.We want a sport that is financially viable and in the Australian market place competitive against the other codes.A win in Dunedin can only help the bottom line. Poor form, offfield distractions and even the weather, whatever the reason, the Canberra Raiders struggle to attract big crowds in 2013. After a lean year at the gates, gate prices will drop next year and memberships will be restructured to attract fans who can't or won't commit to longer, more expensive deals.In a year the Raiders sacked two high profile players for offfield indiscretions, dumped the coach and then finished outside the top 8, it is no great surprise the club Canberra
cracked the 12,000 figure at Canberra Stadium only twice in 2013.The main focus on that is winning. If the team is winning and we are going well, crowds will come. We have to win them back.In the past seven years, the Raiders have drawn a crowd of 20,000 or more to a home and away game just once despite finishing in the top 8 several times. The Raiders are not the only ACT side that struggled to pull in the crowds in 2013, despite the Brumbies placing second in the Super Rugby competition, the team drew only 14,000 for their elimination final, albeit against the low profile Cheetahs. As far as the Raider are concerned, membership is the answer.The NRL have certainly put a lot more funds and made more emphasis on NRL clubs to push the memberships. Years ago relying on licensed clubs, that has gone away. We have to be self sufficient now.Canberra's climate will always throw a spanner in the works. The Raiders are hoping for an inclosed stadium in the nation's capital to boost the crowds.Canberra is the one city in Australia that needs one. We have cold winters and we get a lot of night games.Neither the stadium nor the cold weather will change in 2014 so it is on the field where the Raiders will need to do the work. To the weather now and if you were cold this morning, you weren't alone. We dropped down to minus 3.4 just before sunrise this morning and that is the lowest minimum on record for the month of October. Thick cloud over South-East Queensland and north-east NSW, with a trough has caused showers and severe thunderstorms. Cloud crossing Tasmania in gusty north-westerly winds is generating light showers. A trough is deepening in the west directing heat over eastern WA. A high is keeping elsewhere mostly clear and dry. That is the latest from the Canberra newsroom. For more ACT news, you can follow us online or on Twitter. Stay with us now for 7.30 ACT with Chris Kimball. I'm Virginia Haussegger and I will be back with a news update in an hour. Good night. Captions by CSI Australia This Program Is Captioned Live.

Hello. Welcome to 7.30 ACT. I'm Chris Kimball. It's good to be with you. This week - the risks and the rewards from living near the bush environment. We'll start with the downside and the bushfires that are already burning around the country. So early in the season. We'll check on the devastating New South Wales fires shortly, but first, how fire ready are we in this