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(generated from captions) Now before we go, a brief recap of our top story tonight - the two ADFA cadets convicted over the Skype sex scandal have been placed on 12-month good behaviour bonds. And extreme weather conditions are testing NSW firefighters but the catastrophic firestorm that was feared did not eventuate today. And that's the latest from the Canberra newsroom. For more ACT news you can follow us online or on Twitter. I'm Craig Allen. Thanks for your company. Goodnight. Captions by CSI Australia

This Program Is Captioned Live. Want to, sigh of relief. The fire emergency eases but for many residents it was a narrow escape. Looks like this fire's right behind your house. No, but behind my house there it's at least 300m I would think. I'm not going anywhere.And Al Gore turns his sights on political climate sceptics. It reminds me of politicians here in the United States who got lot of support from the tobacco companies and who argued to the public that there was absolutely no connection between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer.The emergency services and thousands of firefighters and residents are tonight heaving an enormous sigh of relief after a fire disaster threatening the Blue Mountains was averted. Massive backburning and days of containment operations have kept dozens of fires under control and prevented further loss of life or homes but the danger's not over yet with 73 fires still burning, including 29 that are still out of control. In a major new development tonight, it's been confirmed that the biggest fire of the past week was caused by explosive devices being set off on a Defence Department firing range near Lithgow. That fire has been burning for more than a week and destroyed 47,000 hectares. We'll have more on that shortly but first our reporter Matt Peacock has been on the fire front for much of the past week. He began this report with firefighters on backburning operations last night.

What we're doing by burning out fuel wean the houses and the main fire, we're trying to contain the main fire so it can't escape. This fire crew near Springwood, it was a long night with fire rakes and hoses, they're blacking out, Spain stakingly putting out every trace of fire from the day's backburn around the houses along the escarpment. Just behind me here is unburned fuel so if I leave a little spot of ember here next to unburned fuel, that blows anywhere into that unburned fuel tomorrow as the air dries out, then it will ignite that unburned fuel and that will start to put up flames and that will start to put up burning embers and those embers could land anywhere in those swirling winds and the fire would escape from containment. It's the hard work, it's the arduous and dirty work but this is the key to putting the fire out. We're actually trying to put the fire out.Hugh Patterson's day job is to clear weeds from the National Park he loves. If we can get this fire contained now, it will save us an awful lot of trouble and lot of grief tomorrow. We have a saying that these big fires we just throw money at the fire until it rains.Later in the night, heavier rain did come but it was still not enough. What morning brought, though, was the wind. Air attack will be up as long as they can get up. The wind' going to be the killer on that. The wind was already gusting at more than 40 km/h. It would appear at this early stage that the weather forecast is on track for hot, dry windy conditions throughout today which reinforces the need to remain vigilant. If you haven't made plans, if you haven't prepared yourself, those people who live in the Blue Mountains, now is the time to leave.And many families like Blackheath's Todd Berrimans had heeded the warnings, packing their valuables and pets. It's been a few stressful the last few days. It will be good to get to town and watch it from a distance for a change.Further east on the Bells Line of Road, this fire crew from the ACT was preparing for the worst. It's as windy as anything. We've all been in places where trees have come down so if we're going to send people in to have a look at stuff, let's make sure they're looking up the whole time. It's going to be a difficult day. We've got lot of resources but given this wind, it will take a fair bit of work to ensure that everything's out. At Dargan, Sam Douglas was at home alone on full alert. Dad's fighting the fire and mum's down in town getting supplies. Sam, how are you? Your mum gave me a call and asked me to check the power because the inside of your meter box is all melted.

Many lowlands in these small rural towns - many locals in these small rural towns have stayed here today, convinced last week's massive backburning operation will protect them. Everybody's nervous. You've just got to wait it out and hopefully the wind doesn't pick up.By lunchtime, as the winds continued to strengthen, firefighters managed to quickly contain spot fires near the town of Bilpin but nearby a bigger blaze was burning close to Sam Ramazi's apple orchard and his new wooden house. Looks like this fire's right behind your house. No, behind my house there it's at least 300m, I would think, so I'm not going anywhere.You're not clearing out? No, I'm not going. We'll be staying.Why? Look, we've got our house. We've got to protect our house. You don't just walk away from them and let all the other people do the work.What do you make of these conditions? It is pretty bad. We expected it to come. We had two good days of no winds so that's when we had the chance to get therein and do the backburning so that was great. This was expected to come and it's came.Meanwhile an emergency warning was issued after a scrub fire flared out of control at minmip west of Newcastle, advising residents to be ready to evacuate. - Minmi. We've got rags in the guttards, filling the gutters up, keeping the grass wet, the trees wet. The cinders are coming over now so we want to stop them catching alightch We're going to stay here and fight and if we can't control it we'll go. It's simple as that but I've got mum and my wife, Rachel, and Liam, my young bloke. They're all going now or they're supposed to be going, and we'll stay here and see what we can do. We've packed all our important documents, photo album s, jewellery, clothes. Just with the hoses on the house, I don't know if it will help but that's all we can do. Black in the lower Blue Mountains at Faulconbridge this afternoon, another emergency as flames threatened houses near last night's black-out. Along Chapman Street, fire crews were stationed in every backyard to defend the houses while helicopters swarmed over head. Never seen this many helicopters in my life before. It's brilliant they're all here. Alan Ross only moved here three months ago. It was a bit nerve racking to start with early this morning when the winds started to get up and then all these guys arrived and it was not an issue after that. We've got lot of air attack on the fire certainly which is currently working, fighting the fire before the reaches the backs of properties. Having a lot of success today. Valley Heights captain Steve Price seems confident the line will hold. He'll be back here again tomorrow. The fuel's still very dry. We still have got lot of work ahead of us and we've got some more warm, windy days ahead no doubt so we've got lot of work to get our containment lines in and get the fire wrapped up before those windy conditions return. The most intense firefighting efforts today have taken place around the town of Springwood where a major fire has been burning since late last week. Late this afternoon, high winds were blowing burning embers over the homes around the town but a short time ago an emergency warning for the area was lifted. Blue Mountains mayor Greenhill geen joins me from Springwood now. - Greenhill geen. Good evening and welcome to 7:30. When I talked to you on Monday you were dreading today and you were dreading tonight. How are you feeling now? A false sense of security but I am a relieved mayor tonight. We got through what wads going to be the worst day, those magnificent firefighters, the police and emergency services, the people planning this, they've held the line today. Got a windy day tomorrow and we still have to be very ready and alert but we got through today and I'm feeling a lot better.To my untrained eye, this looks to have been an incredibly intricate and sophisticated firefighting effort. You have considerably more experience as a firefighter than I do. How do you evaluate what you've seen over the last week?I'm in no way an experienced firefighter, no way. I don't get to do as much as I'd like because of my mayoralty but I have spent a fair bit of time at Fire Com with the people running this operation and they are amazing. They're sophisticated, they understand their strategies, they understand their people and resources and they are amazing, awe-inspiring effort. We survive this incredible day because of great planning and also because those magnificent volunteers put their lives on the line for this community yet again. Mayor Greenhill, a few moments ago the RFS put out a statement confirming that the State Mine fire near Lithgow was started as a result of live ordinance exercises on Marangaroo army range. The fire started on Wednesday, there were no total fire bans at the time, the statement points out. In view of what you've just said about what your community's been through and the efforts of firefighters over the past week, how do you feel about that revelation? Look, not happy. I would have hoped that on a day like that, which was a dry day, a hot day with the winds, that the Australian military would have known it wasn't a good time to be igniting. I understand that it wasn't a total fire ban but, gosh, it wasn't a good day to be doing that and while the Springwood fire was a separate fire, that fire itself has caused great concern to my community. It's done damage to my community and it just shouldn't have happened. Not happy at all.How do you assess the extent of that damage? I know it's early days but there were a couple of houses destroyed in that fire, weren't there? Yep, there were, and there's the damage it does to the community and the stress it causes. There's the damage it does in terms of the risks taken by the firefighters, there's the damage it does in terms of the costs to the community of fighting that fire and let's not forget it's still going, it's still out there. We've got a bad day ahead tomorrow and not as bad as today but there's no room for complacency here. This is not over and that, Anabel, it just shouldn't have happened. Have you been contacted by anyone in Defence? Do you expect to be? I haven't been. I was told about this only recently. No-one from Defence has called. As the mayor of the city, I hope I do hear from them. I'm a forgiving person but it's not for me, it's for the community and I represent the community and I would have thought that the community of the Blue Mountains is owed something.You have seen some extraordinary things in the past week, can you give us a sense of the greatest acts of community or kindness or heroism you've seen? Yes, I can. My minor involvement in firefighting, which was just minding a backburn, I went out with my local fire brigade and my involvement was so minor it's not funny, but I went out with my brigade on the weekend, we were out 'til the evening, we had a replacement driver from Katoomba with us 'til the evening. The next morning, very early, I'm up at Mount Victoria and there he is getting on another truck to go out again. I don't know how he did it. The kid studying for his HSC, another young man, fine young man, a high school kidering both putting their studies down to defend their communities. Just amazing. And also the Sikh community, not in the Blue Mountains but people from outside the Blue Mountains ringing me, coming up here yesterday donating food. Just amazing. I did hear, Anabel y was caught out the other morning on ABC TV shedding a tear. I'm told someone donated eggs as a result of my tear so if one tear gets eggs for the firefighters, that's pretty terrific.I'm sure those eggs will be very handy in your future tear containment situations. Mark Greenhill, I'm wish the
sure our viewers would want to wish the very, very best to you and your community for a safe for peaceful night and some welcome respite in the days to come. Thank you. As the fires continue burning, former United States vice President and Nobel prize-winning climate change activist, Al Gore, has bought into the debate over the link between global warming and bushfires. Mr Gore is currently hosting his annual 24 hours of reality Internet broadcast which is billed as the world's largest conversation about the cost of carbon joined me from LA earlier. Mr Gore, thank you very much for joining us on 7:30. My pleasure.Your climate reality project has been talking today in Australia about the cost of climate change, including bushfires and, as you know, we are currently in the grip of rather a dreadful bushfire around Sydney? Yes, my thoughts and prayers are with the people of NSW, Anabel. I've been following the news reports on an hourly basis. I hope and pray for the best and we're all grateful, I know, for the folks who have the courage to become firefighters and we're grateful for all of their bravery and labour right now. Mr Gore, we're also having something of a national debate about the connection between climate change and bushfires and the Australian Prime Minister has said in the last couple of hours that bushfirerise a function of life in Australia and nothing to do with climate change. What do you make of those remarks? Well, it's not my place to get involved in your politics but it reminds me of politicians here in the United States who got a lot of support from the tobacco companies and who argued to the public that there was absolutely no connection between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer and for 40 years the tobacco companies were able to persuade pliant politicians within their grip to tell the public what they wanted them to tell them and for 40 years the tragedy continued and bushfires can occur naturally, and do, but the science shows clearly that when the temperature goes up and when the vegetation and soils dry out, then wildfires become more pervasive and more dangerous. That's not me saying it, that's what the scientific community says.I'm sorry, Mr Gore, are you suggesting there's some sort of commercial conspiracy between polluters and politician s? I don't think it's a commercial conspiracy, I think it's a political fact of life. It certainly is in my country. In the United States, our democracy has been hacked. Special interests control decisions too frequently. You saw it in our recent fiscal and debt crisis if that made the news over there. It's pitiful really. The energy companies, coal companies and oil companies particularly, have prevented the Congress of the United States from doing anything meaningful so far to stop the climate crisis. Mr Gore, last year when Australia legislated a price on carbon, you described as as the canaries down the coal mine. Given we're about to repeal that carbon price, the health of the canary's looking a little questionable, isn't it? Again, it's not my place to intervene in your politics but my understanding is that some of the Senate count is still taking place and that some of the representation in third parties introduces some wildcards into the equation and that more cards need to be turned up plus I think the public has a role in this and has a voice to be heard and here in the United States, we had an event called hurricane Sandy that was devastating. $60 billion US in damages and it caused a dramatic change in the message the public was sending to politicians in both parties. Mr Gore, what about America though? Australians watch American politics reasonably closely, we've seen how your President has struggled to introduce health care reforms. We've seen that your budgetary process seems to be dominated by people wearing period costume. Do you think it's understandable that Australians have great doubts about America's capacity to provide its customary, moral and practical leadership in this particular area? Well, I can't disagree that the performance of the politicians in my own country has been very inspiring in the last several weeks and I've criticised the way our system is working here in the US. Sure, but President Obama just won a tough victory on his health care plan and backed down the so-called Tea Party members who tried to derail it and he has introduced through his Environmental Protection Agency a very tough new regulations forcing the reduction in CO2 emissions so we are moving forward in the US. I would like to see us move forward even faster and more boldly. Mr Gore, Australia's moving into a new phase on climate policy. We're moving to a Direct Action strategy which is centred around buying abatements from polluters and a heavy reliance on soil carbon. Do you think that those are workable solutions? Well, not really, compared to what's needed. The meaningful way to solve this crisis is to put a price on carbon and in Australia's case to keep a price on carbon and, by the way, the price needs to be at a level that's effective and you can give the money right back to the people if you want but we need to have the market send accurate signal those that we get the encouragement for the renewable systems of energy that are becoming cheaper all the time by the way. Wind energy, for example, in Australia is now very competitive with electricity based on coal and all around the world electricity from solar energy is becoming competitive with coal-based electricity and within less than 7 years, more than 85% of the world's people will live in regions where solar electricity will be available at a price equal to or cheap than the price of electricity from burning coal.Al Gore, we're right out of time but thanks for joining us tonight on 7:30. Thank you.In March last year, Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, pulled quite an eye-catching rabbit out of the hat. Former NSW Premier Bob Carr to enter the Senate and serve as her Foreign Minister. 18 months, one election loss and three Labor leaders later, Senator Carr has decided to beat a retreat. He will resign from the Senate tomorrow. I spoke to Senator Carr a short time ago from our Canberra studio. Senator Carr, welcome to 7:30. Pleasure to be with you.Senator Carr, when you entered the Senate, not long ago, you assured us that you intended to grow old and wizened there and yet here you are not even 67 yet, which is your Government's proposed new retirement age, and you're out of there. What happened? Well, the Labor Party won't be back in Government for another three years at least. I think instead of hogging the job of shadow Foreign Minister, the interests of my party are best served if I allow in this case Tanya Plibersek to be the shadow Foreign Minister. I would love it but on balance I think this is better for the party.But the people of NSW didn't elect you to be in Government. They elected you to be in the Senate. Shouldn't their wishes be respected? Yes, I think when people vote for the Senate it's understood they vote for a list of party candidates. It's not like vote frling a Lower House. There is, in section 15 of the constitution, a very simple no-cost way of replacing a retiring Senator. The argument about the cost of a by-election does not enter this. The vacancy is filled by a vote in the State Parliament. Do you have any sympathy for the idea that the Labor Party should start directly electing its Senate candidates? I think trz a case for that. The party can debate it. There's no guarantee that a State-wide ballot of party members is going to get a candidate to everyone's liking though. What are we after in a candidate? Are we after someone who's going to be a tireless worker in party branches? Are we after someone who's going to be a representative of a particular group? Are we after someone who can serve confidently on the front bench? These are different standards and it might be best if we focused on what we wanted and then settled on the best method of getting that.Bob Carr, did the enmity between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd kill the Labor Government? I think anyone writing a book about the period of that Government would have to grapple with that thesis. It certainly was profoundly destabilising, explains why the Government was not elected with a majority in its own right in 2010. I suppose that bit of evidence would propel us to saying, yes, it did explain more than any other factor why it was a Government wounded, badly wounded, and theB defeated.You changed your allegeance from Julia Gillard to Kevin Rudd earlier this year and this morning you said it was partially influenced by walking into a Cabinet meeting on coal seam gas and finding a media reform brief on the table in front of you but you also had quite a serious scuffle with the Prime Minister about the UN vote on Palestine di,edant you? Yes, but that didn't affect my view because I thought she emerged from that looking at the way Party Room opinion had moved and acknowledging she should prove as well. I didn't put that down as a mark against her, not remotely. I thought the high objective evidence reflected in the polls made one conclude that loyalty to the party had to override loyalty to the individual who was presiding over such unarguably - such an unarguably bad prognosis for the party. That was the view I reached. I thought it was a matter of whether Labor would continue to be a viable party of Government and I thought the evidence was just overwhelming. I think my doubts about the management of the Government came together when we embarked on an ill-thought-through plan to reform media with six months to go to the election. I thought of the envelope Rann text book for Government's getting re-elected. You don't buy new arguments least of all with a powerful opponent in the very countdown to polling day. Senator Carr, Nicola Roxon said last week she didn't believe this damaging phase in the Labor Party could be over until Kevin Rudd left the parliament. Are you a subscriber to that view? No, I think we've got to put this very damaging period of Rudd-Gillard, Gillard-Rudd rivalry, competition, conflict behind us, and I wouldn't dwell on the fact that Kevin Rudd sits in the parliament. I think as a former leader he's entitled to depart according to his own timetable. I think the party is united behind a new leadership team, Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek, and determined to put that damaging period behind it. It's got to remember that. The most important thing for a party is an ethos in its parliamentary room, in the meeting room of the parliamentary party and all that happens around it. Party ethos is more important than party rules, party ideology, and a new supportive, collegial ethos behind the new leadership is the most important ingredient to the resilience, the recovery of Australian Labor Party.Bob Carr, I'm afraid we're going to have to leave it there. Thanks very much for joining us on 7:30. Anabel, thank you. It's the been a long, gruelling day for the thousands of firefighters at work around NSW. So far they've managed to avert the can tastraphy feared earlier today but with more than 70 fires still burning, they'll be working late into the night to safeguard homes still under threat. Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop joins me now from the town of Springwood. Thanks for coming to us live, Sean. Tell me what we know right now about defence's role in the State Mine fire. Look, tonight there's news that mightn't sit well with a lot of the residents across the Blue Mountains whose nerves are well and truly frayed after almost a week-long bushfire emergency. Fire authorities, the Rural Fire Service, says that an investigation has found that explosives training by the Defence department caused this fire, the biggest of the fires known as the Lithgow or the State Mine fire, which has burned across hundreds of kilometres and destroyed three homes, threatened hundreds more. It was at the centre of today's massive bushfire efforts. A huge amount of resources has been thrown into fighting that fire over the past week, day and night, and it threatened many homes today again. Now, no doubt the Defence department will have many questions to answer about this. We have heard from them tonight and, interestingly, a spokeswoman says that Defence is running its own investigation into what started this fire and it hasn't yet found enough evidence to show that there are link s, definitively, between this explosives training and that fire, so no doubt there will be a lot of questions to answer as this emergency fades and attention turns to that. No doubt. Sean, you've spent an enormous amount of time in this area over the last week. There must be an extraordinary sense of relief there this evening? Look, certainly I would call it still a tentative sense of relief. I've spoken to a lot of locals here tonight who've fled as the bushfire emergency really flared right behind me. Lot of the homes here people were told to take shelter or leave and a lot of people took note of that and did. They say they're still not counting their chickens even though we're feeling a southwesterly change here, temperatures have really dropped. It's almost a little bit chilly but locals say they won't be calm until the fires are well and truly out.Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop, thanks for that update. That's the program for tonight. We'll be back at the same time tomorrow but for now, goodnight. Captions by CSI Australia

(Monkey screeches) # Theme music

(Cheering, applause)

(Monkey screeches) (Cheering, applause) G'day, I'm Merrick,
and welcome to Tractor Monkeys - the quiz show that takes us
on a ride back through time so we can celebrate Australia
at its best and its best forgotten. # MI-SEX: Computer Games Tonight, we're talking
about technology - the gadgets we craved
and then forgot, the innovations
that were meant to make life easier and then just drove us crazy. Joining me tonight are some of
Australia's finest tech heads, please welcome our team captains, the digital high-definition
Monty Dimond... Oh, thank you.
(Cheering, applause) ..and the analog Dave O'Neil. Oh.
(Cheering, applause) And joining them tonight,
on Monty's team, a man who's so into technology,
he uses his laptop as a drinks tray, it's comedian Tom Ballard.