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.
7.30 Report -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

(generated from captions) This shrimp flower likes it

little damp and warm. Thanks

very much, Mark. Before we go a

brief recap of our top story. Military planes are being used

to get supplies into the

flooded city of Rockhampton.

500 homes have been evacuated

and waters are still rising.

And that's ABC News. The '7.30

Report' is coming

you can keep up with the latest

news at ABC online and ABC News

24. I'll be back with a news

update at 8:30. Until then,

goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI This Program Is Captioned

Live.

Welcome to the program. I'm Tracey Bowden. There appears to

be no end to the flood crisis in engulfing Queensland. Authorities are tonight racing

against the clock to get food and medical supplies into

Rockhampton, before the Fitzroy

River peaks on Wednesday. While

the city remains the the emergency, swollen rivers

are causing concern further

downstream. Evacuation plans

are now being made in the south

western towns of St George and

Surat. The State and Federal Governments have announced

extra funding for farmers and

small businesses to help with

the clean-up and recovery.

Today, the Queensland Premier

Anna Bligh called an emergency Cabinet meeting to deal with

the crisis. Annie Guest reports from Rockhampton.

The raging floodwaters of the Fitzroy River are

unrelenting. It's forcing about

500 Rockhampton residents from

their homes. Before the water

rose too high, nurse Sandra

Davey was returning to check

her home every day after her

hospital shifts. This house is

like - hold as lot of memories

and that. Hard to stay away.

Yeah. Try and keep an eye on

it? Yeah and also 'cause people

sometimes steal things and when, you know, people are sometimes steal things and that

vulnerable, too, you know, and

that's what I guess not only

me, but other people I've

spoken to worry about, too, you

- know. You know, things that you

- even if you haven't got much,

it's still valuable to you. It's pretty sad. Sandra Davey

has lived in Rockhampton all

her life and seen it flood

before. But for her family, doesn't make it before. But for her family, it

easier. Everyone's concerned doesn't make it any

'cause like my son can't get to

his job and he doesn't get - while he's not working he

doesn't get paid. So it dominos

into that sort of as well.

That's more worry is getting access to work. As concerns

about safety and sewage prompted authorities to order

many residents out of this

Cameron David Cameron low-lying rock hamp David

Rockhampton suburb over the

weekend, this man and his

neighbour wadeed in to save

what they could. Despite the

upheaval, the abattoir worker

wouldn't live anywhere else.

What will you do? Sleep in the

car. This is Ray's home and it will get worse. Around

the corner, Barry Messenger is

determined not to move after 50

years in the same house. We're

going that way. I will be here

till the end. Unless the water

comes into the floor boards.

Until that, we will be staying.

Cutting off the gas and the

water today but that won't

worry us. Just stacked all the

gear up, just nor or less

putting all the gear up higher. But also moving higher are the are the snakes. The reason why

we keep the doors closed here, you need 'em open for the

breeze but you have to keep them closed because the blacks

and browns come straight up

into your house. Down the road

Joyce Bull has lived in the area she calls the swamp for

all of her 71 years. She all of her 71 years. She told

me if I didn't leave, they'd

just drag me out. Joyce Bull

heeded the message of

authorities last week to stock

up. I don't know why we can't

sit it out. It's not gonna come

We've got food. We wasn't and up in our house. You know.

got a thing for the power. For

our fridges and our freezers

and everything. We paid money

for that, all the money for

petrol, you know. It's just all

gone wasting. She thinks

exaggerated. concerns about sewage are

exaggerated. And like her

neighbours, her main worry is theft. I certainly am

encouraging all people who are

worried about evacuating their

homes because of the issue of

looting to think that their personal safety is foremost.

That is the most important

issue. He says the water is

posing new dangers. The

vegetation that's in the water.

The bacteria that's likely to be there. There's dead animals

there that can cause all sorts

of health issues. There's also then

then the risk from vermin and

snakes that are in the waterways. Authorities are

appealing to people not to

swim, walk or come into contact

with the water at all but with

residents regularly wading

through the flood to check on

their homes, water illnesses are expected to

become a problem. People rush

to catch the last plane flights

on the weekend before the

airport was barricaded and shut

down for up to three weeks. The

runways have since disappeared

under water so have roads and

stranded travellers have taken

shelter alongside locals in Rockhampton's evacuation

centre. We were going up to magnetic island to spend

Christmas with my younger

sister who lives there and we came back, tried to come to Maryborough which is where I

live. We got stuck at Rockhampton. Her family may

have been caught off guard by

the rising water but antique dealer Jim Elrott is striving

to get ahead of the flood. Two blocks

blocks back back from where the

river is encroaching on the

city, friends and family have

been helping to move his

$300,000 worth of precious

feel antiques to safety. Makes you

feel very anxious to think that everything you worked for

be destroyed. The antiques may

stay dry upstairs, but there's

little Jim can do to save his

shop if it's inundated. This is

the first here that I've opted

not to insure because of the

cost of flood cover. So

anything that happens is up to

us to replace now. It's going

to be aed ao a long hard slod

slog to get it back to going

again. On the banks of

west of Rockhampton, David Nobb

has watched the water rise from

3 to 27m. It has broken his

irrigation system and engulfed

his seed and lakina legume

crops. We lost two crops, that's probably about $300,000

worth. The irrigator is

probably about $100,000 to fix

it because the lakina and that

that grows under it. Could take

six months or more to come

back. Some of his losses may be offset by government disaster

assistance grants of up to

$25,000. David expected

flooding but he was surprised

the water rose so high. With

half of his cattle and cropping

property under water, he says

the road to recovery will be a

long one. It's nothing much to

do. Just gotta tough it out.

Just gotta wait for it to come

back. Which it eventually

will. It's not just in Rockhampton

Rockhampton that the start of

2011 is one of heartbreak

anxiety. About 21 Queensland

towns and cities have been

affected by the flooding. Two entire

entire communities have been evacuated and evacuated and the death toll is

also rising A man died this

morning when his car was washed

off a flooded cause way, bringing to 10 the number of

flood related deaths over the

past month. In a moment, I will be joined by the Queensland

Premier Anna Bligh but first

this report from John Taylor. For those witnesses and

dealing with Queensland's

flooding it's cruelly awe

inspiring. In many ways this is

a disaster of biblical

proportions. You don't see

these type of flooding events

occur and in reality we all

hope that all of us live a long time and time and don't see this event

occur again. It's affected

over 200,000 people of our community. In Queensland right

now, communities have little

choice but to rally together to

fight off the rising

floodwaters. The size and scale

of the flooding they're facing is unprecedented. 21

communities and cities around

the state are affected. Water is coursing through river

catchments, with no regard for

the people that live amongst them. On our satellite we're seeing ribbons of floodwaters moving right

through the major river systems of southern Queensland through

the Condamine, Balonne system,

through the Fitzroy River basin

and it's extensive areas of 100

kilometres of riverine

flood. One of the cruel twists

of this flood disaster has been

the weather. Many of the people

battling floodwaters have been doing so

doing so under clear blue

skies. Yeah, it's not raining

but what we had was rainfalls during the week

around Christmas time. In some

areas up to several hundreds of

millimetres falling on every

square metre of

These are very large rivers. If

you use the Fitzroy River as an example, 140,000 square

kilometres over which most has had very deep rainfall. More than 3,000 State Emergency Service volunteers have out across Service volunteers have fanned

out across the State. But the

crisis is so big that the army

has been called on to help.

Soldiers have helped move more

than 100 people and shifted

tonnes of food and equipment.

This afternoon a plane laden with food and medical supplies

flew to Mackay. It's always

going to be difficult. This is

a significant flood event. And

that's the beauty of rotary

wing helicopters, being able to

get into some of these isolated

communities. I am sure that in

the forthcoming days and weeks,

it will continue to be a difficult task. will continue to be an

important asset. The governments of New Zealand and the United States have even

offered to help. At the moment

we can manage these circumstances. The bill from

these floods to individuals and

firms and local councils is

likely to run into the

billions. The federal and State

Governments have announced

extra financial assistance for

farmers and small businesses to help with the recovery. All in all,

will be in the order of many

hundreds of millions of

dollars. As fast as the waters

have risen they've have risen they've also fallen

now in some parts. On the weekend Bundaberg residents

began cleaning up after the

worst floods there in 70 years.

Near the famous rum distillery

it's gone from this ... to

this. Derek and his wife

Beryl's home was flooded, water

up to their chests and sup a heart wrenching task. Hard to explain. The

feeling is there all the time

that you just gotta carry on.

That's about all you can say

about it. Only days ago,

Emerald, west of Rockhampton,

was mostly under water. The

city of about 12,000 people is

a mining and farming centre,

but now it's focused on cleaning. Opposition Leader

Tony Abbott was shocked by

he saw today. You can see here

in this street the scale of the

devastation that has been

suffered by thousands and thousands of people across

central and southern Queensland as a result of these epic

floods. House after house, the

story is the same. Must've been

here. The watermarks. Beryl

Callaghan is 75 years old. It

is hard. It's terribly hard.

Work a lifetime to get this

stuff together and you end up with nothing in the end. The

number of houses that have had

water in and around the yard

still stands in the thousands. People are slowly returning

back to their homes. It's a long journey for these people. And it's a heartbreaking

journey. They've experienced

losses and tragedies that most

of us can't relate to. Across

Queensland, people are counting the cost. Rockhampton's flood

crisis is yet to peak and there there is yet more to come. It's

only just the beginnings of our wet season in Queensland. We

still have a la Nina, strongly established, which means that

there's plenty of time for more

weather systems, but really we

have to be very sensitive here that

that we've got very serious

flooding now and it will take a

very major weather system to

make a repeat of this or to

make anything worse.

A short while ago I spoke to the Queensland

Bligh in our Brisbane studio.

Can you give us the latest

information you have on the

situation in Queensland

tonight? Well, thank you. We're

really still in the middle of

an unfolding disaster. We have

some towns and cities now starting the heartbreaking

business of clean-up and recovery. While we're still in

response mode in places like Rockhampton, St George and in

that south west area. So we

still have some towns bracing

for more floods

are starting the clean-up. As

we turn to recovery, there's

certainly some big logistical

issues. The city of Emerald,

for example, we flew 13 tonnes

of cleaning equipment and

disinfectant in there this morning hand they need more.

That's just one town. We're

also seeing a around supply of food and other

goods and materials. The

highway is cut at Rockhampton.

Rockhampton is now completely stranded, a town of 75,000

people, no airport, rail or

road. That means not only is

the supply issues there for Rockhampton but towns like

Mackay, Townsville and Cairns

that are north of there. So the

Australian Defence Force this

morning started floods with

C-130s out of Amberley to

resupply food, taking it into Mackay and then driving it down

into Rockhampton. Keeping these

towns supplied while they are

cut off is one of our cut off is one of our main

priorities right now. You've recalled the Queensland

Cabinet. What will be at the

top of the agenda when you get together? While we are still in

response mode, in places like

Rockhampton where we don't

expect to seat peak of these

floodwaters till Wednesday, we

are starting to see the

recovery begin. The purpose of

the Cabinet meeting, I will be

recalling ministers s to start the rebuilding process as quickly as want to wait for all the waters

to go down before we start all

the assessments on roads and

bridges and the rebuilding

task. What's the latest on

financial assistance available?

There has been some news on

small businesses and primary

producers, what's available for

them? On the weekend the Prime

Minister and I reached an

agreement about a new level of

assistance known as category C

that gives small businesses and

primary producers access

grants of up to $25,000 to get

them back on their feet as

quickly as possible. What that

will mean for a lot of graziers for example in central

Queensland is that they can

with confidence start to do

fodder drops to stranded cattle

and they know they'll have some

financial backing to do that.

There are now thousands of

small businesses that haven't

been open for 10 days. Many of

them will not be open, able to open their businesses and get

back to work for several more

weeks. They're a big employer

in the Queensland economy and we want their feet as quickly as we can. What sort of challenges

are presented by the fact that

some of those in evacuation centres, even when they can go back to their homes, they may

not be able to move into them.

This could go on for not just

days but weeks? Ai. I expect to

see this unfold for months

frankly. The mere - once the

water goes down there is still

a lot of work to be done.

People cannot go back into

their homes until they've been

certified as safe by need if they every been

inundated to have those homes

often rebuilt completely from

the inside. These are wooden

Queenslanders, old homes in

many cases. They'll need to have their have their walls stripped, their kitchens replaced,

otherwise it would all be mould

so there's a lot of work and

it's a big rebuilding program

and some of them you're right

will not be back in their

homes. The focus is obviously

on handling this current

crisis. Do you think down the

track there will be a

discussion about whether any of

these towns could be better this in the future? Some of these

these towns are seeing events

that are either without

precedent or a 1 in 100 flood level. In our

environment, we have to accept

that there will be from time to

time these sorts of disasters

and every time we have one we

learn from it. A lot of the reason why I think we're seeing

a great effort out there on the

ground is some of the lerns we

got from Cyclone Larry and some

of the subsequent disasters

we've dealt with since cyclone Larry. We've also passed new legislation in Queensland this year that unequivocally

outlines a chain of command

that gives authority in the

first instance on the ground to

police. In far-flung Queensland and where the Queensland and where the most

regionalised state it's only

the police who have a 24 hour presence. It's making a remarkable difference on the

ground. It's the first time

we've seen that legislation in

use. And that's as a result of

learning from the past. The other interesting thing about

this disaster is it's the first time

time we've seen on a scale use of the SMS emergency

alert system. Where people are

getting messages on their

mobile phones telling them

which streets are affected in

their town, when the highway is

open or cut. And it's making -

it's giving people information

immediately. Some of them

aren't even able to access radio information. It's

interesting to see that working

so well that was one of the

national responses and

Queensland's seeing it work

live on the ground. As this

crisis has gone on and got

worse, do you think that any of

those involved have very, very big problem

now? Managing fatigue in our

front line people, in a

disaster like this, is a No.

priority. We welcomed today SES

replacements from Victoria, and

we thank them for that. We also

welcomed disaster coordination

experts from New South Wales

who are relieving our central coordination

coordination unit. These are

people who have been on the

job, motor vehicle of them full time since Christmas Day. We

still need a

there, so we do need to refresh

people. And other States are

coming to our aid in that

regard. I think that's the great thing about how

Australians respond to these sorts of events and I thank the

other States and their premiers

for their willingness to help so generously and enthusiastically. In hindsight, do you think it was

the right thing to do to leave

your troubled State of

Queensland and come to Sydney

on the weekend? My family are

holidaying in Sydney, and I

have to make these decisions on a regular basis is, juggling home and family responsibilities with my responsibilities. I was actually working most of the

weekend while I was in Sydney

and there's a great news story

out of Rockhampton, we're

trying very hard to keep supplies into the city, but supplies into the city, but we

had a challenge to get supplies

out. We have pineapple growers

with 500 tonnes of pineapples.

The only pineapples available

for most of the southern

markets and after a lot of work

on the weekend, including

between myself and the local member up those pineapples out tonight.

So southern markets will have

pineapples, lychees and mangos. That is

That is important. Because we

if we lose all of that crop, it drives

drives prices up for

So I was working on the

weekend, and my family general

ly comes second. On this

occasion I spent a day with

them but I'm back on board and

I won't be back on leave. In

terms of industry, any update

on the impact on your very important Queensland

industry? We know we have three quarters of all of our

and unable to supply markets.

There is likely to be a

significant long-term effect of

that, no only nationally but internationally. Queensland supplies supplies half of the world's

coking coal needed in steel

manufacture. So there is a

remarkable problem out there in

the mining industry. The mining

companies and the mining

communities are all playing their role in trying to help

the recovery effort and I thank

them for that, but they will

have a long, slow climb back to

full production. industry of course very hard

hit. Some agricultural sectors

doing very, very poorly, losing

entire crops. Until these

waters go down, it's going to be

be hard, I think, to really

fully assess the long-term

economic and social impact, but

there's no doubt that it's not

just a one-off week-long event

. This is an event that will

have a ripple effect across

Queensland, Australia and in

some parts of the international

region for many months to

come. Anna Bligh, thanks for speaking to

new year marks an historic

turning point in Australia's

industrial relations system.

For the first time, working

parents are legally entitled to taxpayer-funded parental leave.

Paid at the national minimum

wage of around $570 per week. Women earning less than

$150,000 a year can take up to 18 weeks' paid leave,

transferable to their partners.

While the scheme has been

widely lauded by unions and

industry alike,

some consternation among

employers. For first-time

mother Hayley Mean the

introduction of a national paid

parental leave scheme couldn't have been better timed. I kind

of felt a bit privileged. I

know women before me have

struggled. I think being struggled. I think being the first generation, it's pretty

amazing. Parents have waited

decades for this to happen. And

so many people have campaigned

long and hard for it. So it is

a time for everybody to come

together and celebrate. It's a

first for Australia and a big

political victory for the big

Gillard Government. It legally

enshrines women's it rights to

paid maternity life for the

first time since Australian

women entered paid employment.

It allows working women like

Hayley who aren't eligible for

their employer funded maternity schemes to take 18 weeks of

government-funded leave at the minimum wage. But this 28-year-old marketing manager

isn't taking anything for granted. I don't think it's my

given right to be paid to have

a child. I think it's a

blessing for me to have a child. Others see it as a

hard-won right. High school

teacher and mother of one Julie

Mumford says paid maternity

leave is something many working

women like herself have come to

expect, thanks to enterprise

bargaining in the workplace. Go

horsey, go! I feel like I'm

children, taking time out to have

contributing to society. I've

been contributing to society.

Paying my taxes and doing all

those good things. And so for

this to be a bit of a pitstop

in between, it enables me to continue

continue to live the best that

we can without struggling too

much. And still enabling me to

go back to work and feeling comfortable about that it's

really about choice as well. I think that's really important

for women to have. She says it's a choice her

mother never had when she gave

up work as an airline hostess

to start a family. She was

working during the 60s and once

she had her family, she completely stopped. Some of

that was her choice but one of

it was her employer's choices

as well. The introduction of the national paid parental leave scheme is the culmination

of a 30-year campaign by the

ACTU. This is one of the most significant institutions I think that has been introduced

since Medicare or even superannuation. We have been waiting for this for a long, long time. But President Jed

Carney says the fight isn't

over with unions reporting some

companies plan to scrap their

own maternity provisions when employment agreements

expire. We know we have some

agreements with some aged care employers for example who are

waiting for a government scheme

to be introduced so they can

whittle away the hard fought for paid maternity leaves --

exists. I think it will

happen. If I was on the board

of a medium sized firm you'd be

looking for ways to save money.

several thousand dollars. Let's You might say this will

scrap our scheme and use the

government's scheme. Yes, that's a decision that

businesses will make at times.

But Peter Strong executive director of the council of small business organisations of

Australia says it's less likely

to happen in small businesses

that don't tend to have ABAs or

maternity leave schemes. He says the real risk for those businesses, including his own

Canberra book store, is the

cost of administering the

scheme. It actually is bad for business because they're asking us to do more red tape, asking us to do something

that's completely unnecessary

which is to put those payments

through our payroll system.

Anybody in business knows

Anybody in business knows you

don't include a third party in

any payment system unless it's completely necessary because

mistakes will be made, and I guarantee

guarantee that if they continue

to put these payments through

small businesses mistakes will

will suffer will be the workers be made and the

who might not get their money.

A survey by the government's

own equal opportunity for women in the workplace agency found that more than that more than a quarter of employers intend to change

their existing paid parental leave schemes with the

government-funded one. Families introduction of the

Minister Jenny Macklin says that's not the desired

outcome. We'll of course be

monitoring this very, very closely. And I will be very disappointed if employers dropping their own schemes, but I think business recognises recognises today that paid

parental leave is good for

their business. They'll want be the employer of choice.

This is mainly good for the

workers, without a doubt. It doesn't really benefit any

business in any particular way.

Monetarily, it just helps keep workers in the work force.

It's hard work looking after

children. It's love, but it's

work as well. That's the

program for tonight. We will be

back at the same time tomorrow,

but for now, goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI our job is to identify subjects Here at grumpy mission control irritating, like the class system, that the cheerfully challenged find since we were nippers, instilled into us class, a hooray, a toff, whether you're old-fashioned working up and coming, down and out who needs a slap, or a maddening rich so-and-so you fit into it and whatever it is, the whole subject of class, wherever is alive and well. How do I define class? Class. Class. I really like very, very posh people. I think they're hilarious. (Twittish laughter) My mum used to get posh when, you know, answering the phone. My name is 'Bouquet', that's B-U-C-K-E-T. Is posh the same as being upper class? No. Though I'm known as a sort of a classy son of a bitch. (Titters) I'm stonkingly rich. Up yours. can afford eccentricity Only the really upper classes and they do it in spades. and we'll never know what it's like. Ordinary people are starving to the poor. We've got make some small gesture as far as I'm concerned It doesn't really matter with the Normans whether your family came over or came over in a container. You stupid man. 'That's classy' is not classy. I think anybody who says the British class system. It's like alchemy trying to work out will class cease to matter at all? When the new generation grows up, That's our question tonight. the class system somewhere, We have to start our romp through so where better than the head toffs, the royal family? The ones with all the money. Our money, oddly. And 2.4 stately homes per head. We all need people to look up to, to hold up as role models and they presumably set the ultimate example for us, don't they? The British royal family are rather provincial in a way. The head of a barbarian off-shore tribe. Not necessarily people of great class or culture. There were the photographs at Buckingham Palace that came out and it was just like a caricature. of how the Queen actually lived in to do her interior decoration. It was like she'd had Dick Emery a magnificent collection The Queen is supposed to have of glass animals. what you think to do with it. Imagine, all that money and that's Look at Princess Anne's wardrobe. the same clothes The woman has been wearing sort of about 15. from, you know, she was with voluminous arms This pink satin dress is the height of fashion in 1985, the outfit received another outing. but last Tuesday, 16 years later, slimming the sleeves The scissors had been at work for the new millennium. This made its debut at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1987 to be reborn at a film premier seven years later. Apparently at Christmastime, the Christmas presents they give each other are pretty hysterical. they give each other things like toilet brushes, and, you know, nail files. Granny! I've got some winkles for you. Ooh! Winkles, you say. I'm very participle to winkles. And a bottle of milk stout. I'll be seeing you, old fruit. It appears my breakfast is prepared. looked to me, always, The funny thing is the Queen Mother the way she dressed. a bit like a pearly queen, down market could you go?' And I thought, 'How much further