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Live. Tonight - the Government

promises a better deal for bank

customers. It's important that

we don't let the big banks off

the hook. I have to give it

three out of ten because the

Government has failed to deal

with the fundamental with the fundamental challenges. A new climate

change deal puts the heat back

on the Opposition. Confusion

over the ACT's outdoor smoking

ban. We don't know what the

rules are, even though the

legislation is already in

does pay - an underworld tale force. And proving that crime

dominates Australia's movie awards It's wonderful to be

reassured you haven't been

barking up the wrong tree for

48 years in your choice of career. Good evening. Craig

Allen with ABC News. Power to

the people - the Government is making it easier for bank

under its shake-up of the customers to switch lenders

financial industry. The

Treasurer wants to abolish exit

fees on new mortgages from next

year and give the competition

interest rate movements. watchdog more power to monitor

Already the banks are warning

they may increase rates and

other fees if all the changes

are adopted. We'll examine the

industry reaction in a moment,

Correspondent Mark Simkin but Chief Political

begins our

for the long-awaited details. coverage. Journalists scrambled

It's one

Treasurer welcomes a high rate

of interest. These reforms are very important and it is

important to get the reforms

right. It's important that

they are enduring and it's important that we don't let the

big banks off the hook. The

hook can be painful. Banks

that send signals to each other about potential interest rate

changes will face fines of up

to $10 million. Lenders will

be forced to give borrowers a one-page fact sheet outlining

the real cost of a mortgage,

including fees and interest.

From the middle of next year,

mortgage exit fees will be

banned on new loans. Two big

switching to another lender. switching to banks charge customers $700 for

In some smaller institutions

the charge is $7,000, and the

banks could try to recoup that

cash. Out with the exit fees and in with the application

fees. Out with the exit fees, fees. Out with the exit

in with the maintenance fees.

It's not going to be on. We're awake

alive to it, and we have it

targeted. Other changes help

building societies and credit

unions. The Government will

spend $4 billion on securities

to help non-bank lenders access

cheaper money. It will also

allow lenders to issue covered

bonds, making it easier for superannuation funds to invest in the financial sector. We'll

build a new pillar in our

banking system from the competitive power of our credit unions and our building

societies. Other more radical

proposals are still in the

Treasurer's intray. The Government will establish a

task force to scrutinise ATM

fees and a feasibility study on

whether customers can keep the

same account number when

switching banks. We're going

to give this a go. This is

about political relief for the

Government, not mortgage relief

for bank customers. The big

four banks control more than 80% of Australia's home 80% of Australia's home loan market. The Government wants to reduce that, but industry

insiders say the changes amount

to more evolution than

revolution. They are really a

bit of a grabbag of ideas that

are useful in their own right,

but they don't really come to

the major tension between competition and stability,

review could address. We'll which only an

find out what the big banks

CEOs think later in the week when they face a Senate inquiry. Today's announcement

has been welcomed by borrowers

and credit unions alike, but

the big banks aren't so happy.

They say axing home loan exit

fees could push them to recover

lost revenue elsewhere. But,

as Stephanie March reports, individual mortgage holders say

the reforms are long

overdue. Ian Wooldridge is fed

up with his bank. I find it

quite frustrating. I lost a --

they lost a lot of

the different representatives There was no cohesion between

a lot of confusion. Mr you were talking to. There was

Wooldridge has been keen to

change banks for some time, but

the idea of paying two mortgage

exit fees for his two loans has

made him stay put. When you

talk, you're probably in the talk, you're probably

region of nearly $2,500. I'd

rather keep that money to

myself than give it back to a

benefit this bank. Ian Wooldridge won't

benefit this time from these

changes because it won't apply

to existing mortgages, but he

says they're long overdue and

he's not alone in welcoming

today's news. If it gives more

people flexibility to switch to

a low rate, that's fantastic.

Creates competition, which is

a good thing, brings the prices

down and, gee, I need that at

the moment. Among the other

winners are building societies

and credit unions. Part of the

Government's plan includes a campaign to assure people that

mutual institutions are just as

safe as the banks. We have

seen a great start today. We

believe that credit unions and

building societies are going to

be a big part of bringing that

competition to the banks. For

its part, the banking sector is

warning the move could lead to increased establishment fees. Another Another potential outcome is

that banks will recover these costs through higher interest

rates. There's a number of

ways they may do it. They may just seek to absorb these costs But it's non-bank lenders costs But

who have the most to lose.

of They currently charge exit fees

of up to $7,000. They've just

missed the fundamental problem

in the industry is reliable

funding for non-bank

lenders. The ban on mortgage

exit fees won't take effect until

until July next year. Swedish

police say they're

investigating what may have

been a terrorist attack on

central Stockholm. Two

explosions went off almost simultaneously in a downtown strip packed shoppers, leaving one man dead

and two others injured. The

first blast appeared to be a

car bomb. Moments later a

second explosion hit the same

street. Police say they found

a body at the scene, but

they're yet to confirm whether

the two blasts are connected or

how the person died. A Swedish

news agency has reported receiving a threat of

unspecified action about 10

minutes before the explosions.

The email mentioned Sweden's

involvement in the war in Afghanistan as well as

caricatures of the prophet

Mohammed by a Swedish artist which sparked worldwide

protests three years ago. After

nearly a week of talks, 200

nations have reached a deal in

Cancun to kerb climate change.

Now Australia's representative

at the talks has turned up the

heat on Tony Abbott, demanding

he accept the science and support a support a price on carbon. Greg Combet says Australia

can't continue playing a role

on the international stage on

the critical issue of global

warming if it's not doing more

at home. North America

correspondent Lisa Millar reports from Cancun. The delegates met into the early

hours of the morning desperate

not to let Cancun go the way of

Copenhagen. Let us now do what

it takes to support the Mexican

presidency, get this deal done

and put the world on a more

hopeful path toward lower emissions and sustainable

future. This time only Bolivia

held out, but it was

overwhelmed by the mood of

triumph and relief on the

floor. Activists had been

hoping Cancun would breathe new

life into the UN process to

tackle global warming. The UN deal approves a multi-billion dollar green fund developing countries, includes

for the first time emission reduction targets of both rich

and poor nations, and offers

compensation to preserve

forests. Well, there a are a

lot of ghosts from Copenhagen

in this meeting, but we haven't

seen the howling banches and

seen countries cooperate. We

now have a UN agreement captures the majority of the world's pollution. It was also

criticised for not raising

emission reduction targets and setting deadlines. The

significance of Cancun is the

negotiations are still alive,

but there's masses to be done

before we lock in place what's

currently there, because the

other main significance is it's

a very, very weak deal. Close

to dawn, an exhausted Greg

Combet emerged to demand action

back home. How about we see a

bit of commonsense, a bit of

better approach, a bit of

respect for the scientific

evidence and some national

interest and some responsibility taken by Tony

Abbott to support efforts to

get a carbon price into our economy. The greens they take the balance of power in the Senate next year. The Greens have absolutely put Greens have absolutely put all

we've got into the negotiations

to make sure we get a carbon

price. So we will get one by

hook or by crook next

year. After the relief that the

long night had produced agreement comes the realisation

this is still just one step in

the process and many of these

arguments will be dealt with

again when they meet next year

in Durban, sarfa. One of the

world's most prominent

diplomats, Richard Holbrooke,

is in critical condition after undergoing heart surgery at a

US hospital. Mr Holbrooke is

President Obama's special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan

and a key player in the administration's attempts to

turn the tide in the nine-year

war. He's had a distinguished

career, one of his most notable

achievements brokering the 1995

Dayton accords, which ended war in the ball Kans. The 69-year-old fell yesterday while working at the State

department. The elder son of

convicted American Swindler Burnie Madoff has Burnie Madoff has apparently committed suicide on the second

anniversary of his father's

arrest. Mark Madoff's body was

discovered in the apartment by

a relative. He maintained he

knew nothing about the ponsi

scheme believed to be the

biggest fraud in US history. He was

He was never charged over the

scheme, but was the subject of

a number of investigations as

well as a civil suit well as a civil suit by defrauded investors. Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year

prison sentence It's the dawn of

of a new era for ACT pubs and

clubs as new laws governing

smoking in outdoor areas come

into force. There's confusion

about how the rules should be applied, with smoking still

allowed in some special

segregate ed areas. Clubs,

pubs and pubs and hotels are calling for urgent amendments to clarify the new regulations. The

ubiquitous ashtrays are gone

and so are the smokers. In

their place an array of eye-catching signs and posters

warning of $550 fines. It's a

nicer environment to have that

clean, smoke-free environment and certainly good

health as well. The ACT

assembly passed the laws

banning smoking in public

outdoor eating and drinking

areas one year ago. The laws

came into force this week, but the changeover is still

catching some by surprise. Pretty distraught, actually,

to say it simply. I don't

know, it's just an Aussie past

time, have a beer, a smoke. I'm

sure there will be a group of

smokers that feel this is going one step too

one step too far, but we've

tried to az come date that with

the designated smoking

areas. Smoking is not permitted at restaurants and cafes, but

it is allowed in the designated

outdoor areas

pubs. In these new smoking

spaces, eating, drinking and entertainment is banned. They

won't be serviced or cleaned

either. Business wise, not a

problem at all, and it's

actually better for us because we

we don't have to clean the ashtrays. Televisions are being

switched or removed from

designated outdoor smoking areas, areas, but there's confusion over the extent of the

entertainment ban. The letter

of the law states that clubs

can't have an outdoor smoking

area which overlooks sporting

venues and you can't use that

outdoor area while ever live

sport is being played Clubs ACT

says viewing live sport on

playing fields should not be

included. They're also unhappy

over the confusion over whether

watching games on the internet

is included in the ban. We

don't know what the rules are,

even though the legislation is

already in force. While that confusion is bound to be

resolved in time, some pubs and patrons are already criticising

the legislation, saying it doesn't go far enough. Despite

the strength of the economy,

charities say more people than

ever before will be doing it

tough this Christmas. Smith Family volunteers have been

mobilised across the country to

deliver food and toys to thousands of struggling

families. John Thompson reports. The spirit of Christmas has arrived. A

football. Across Australia, thousands of Smith Family

volunteers have been at work

packing Christmas hampers

... Go for the girls 6 months

and older, put that in a bag

... loading up ... Each of the families gets a hamper

delivered ... and hitting the

road Merry Christmas. Bye.

Thanks very much. While it's a huge logistical exercise

... Here is an example of the

cartons which include all the

foodstuffs that the families

will enjoy on Christmas Day.

... it's hardly a thankless

task. Hard work. It's really

hot in here. It's been a great we do it and it feels like

Christmas. But for an creasing

number of Australians, times

are tough. The demand this year

year is as great as it has

been, probably increasing,

which is probably a reflection

of the times Just how tough? Sue is a single out of work

mother of four boys. Good

morning. We're from the Smith

Family Her youngest has a rare

heart condition and has been in

and out of hospital since he

was born. Struggle a lot of

years through Christmas with the

the kids. So we've had a hard

couple of years. It's a frisby The Smith Family

Christmas appeal began 88 years ago, when five wealthy

businessmen decided to give

gifts to a Sydney orphanage.

It's now grown to this, 10,000

hampers and 20,000 toy packs

for families across the

country. And what an

they make. Should be a good Christmas? Sure will. Queensland has

experienced a day of dramas

caused by the continuing wet

weather. At Bundaberg in the

State's south-east emergency

crews rescued two teenagers who got into trouble while swimming

in a loyal in a loyal river. A

14-year-old made her own way to

shore, but police rescued a 13-year-old girl. Further

south, a family had a lucky

escape after their car was

washed off a road near

Childers. Police rescued the

couple and their nine-year-old

child after they became

stranded in their car, but the search

search is still on for a car

that's believed to have been

swept off a road at Walliaville

and houses have been inundated

with water at nearby Howard.

The water has closed roads and

washed out a bridge in the

Sunshine Coast hinterland and

authorities in central

Queensland remain on flood

alert after more heavy falls. Rockhampton's Fitzroy River is

expected to peak at 7.8 metres

on Wednesday. While upstream communities are suffering from

floods, things couldn't be

better for those at the end of

the Murray-Darling system.

Already enjoying the biggest

water inflows in more than water inflows in more than a decade, the town of Goolwa in

SA is experiencing a tourism boom, with more water on the

way. Oscar W is a symbol of the

Goolwa community and a river that suffered years of drought.

The paddle steamer is showing

off a healthy waterway to

tourists who are again flocking

to the region. But not so long ago

ago it was a different story.

The red marker that we've just passed

passed is the edge of the

channel. From there over to

where you see the land was total dirt 12 months ago. The

volunteers who operate and

maintain the paddle steamer say

as the water has returned, so

too have smiles on faces. The

last time we were here, there

wasn't nearly as much water.

The difference is astounding.

It's amazing what a difference rain makes. Request more water

expected to flow to these parts

in the coming weeks due to

flooding on the east coast,

locals say things can only get

better. With the barrage open and dredging halted, 48

gigalitres of water is flowing

out the Murray mouth to sea each each day. After being left

high and dry during the

drought, boaties are slowly

returning to gal wa and

desperation among residents and

businesses has been replaced

with Joy. We expect that this

summer will be fantastic, given the conditions we have the conditions we have this year. We're looking forward to

a busy summer period. While

morale and the economy is up,

reality is never far away.

Mother nature has fixed this

up for the short term. It's

now up to the politicians to

make sure that we have a

sustainable river system into

the future. While this

community has welcomed the

water, they're mindful of the

negative impact it's had on their northern neighbours. Researchers say

they're closing in on the key

key to not being unhappy. A

new medication based on a naturally occurring hormone is being used

being used to treat social

anxiety disorder. Right now,

rats are responding rats are responding positively

and scientists say it has the

potential to help humans too. These look

rats, but they're very happy.

They're also part of an important scientific

experiment. Researchers at the

University of Sydney's schools of chemistry and psychology

have found a way of making them

more sociable and outgoing.

They've developed a compound

that mimics oxytocin, a

feel-good hormone known to

reduce social anxiety. This is

probably the most exciting drug

discovery project I've ever

been involved in and I think

there's real potential here to

help a lot of people who have

social problems. Do you put him

in a cage or straight in Just

straight in When the rats were

given the new treatment, they chose

chose to spend more time together rather than interacting with a toy When we gave this in the right

doors to rats that are socially

interacting, we get a dramatic

increase in I guess their

desire to hang out together. They've also

developed new software to track

how useful the drug is in

promoting social interaction.

These are just our preliminary studies, it was effective in

doing that, more than oxytocin

itself While it's still a long way from happy rats to happy

humans, researchers believe it's an important step forward.

The medication will be trialled

in humans in the next few

years. From Uluru to Sydney's

harbour Bridge, Oprah Winfrey

has ticked all the obvious

boxes during her tour of

Australia. And it's hoped her

star power will breathe new

life into the flagging tourism

sector. The US talk show host

is preparing to film two

episodes of her TV show at the

Opera House and today her career reached new

heights. What better place for

someone at the top of someone at the top of her game?

The script called for Oprah

Winfrey to scale the harbour

bridge along with her travelling disciples. Down

below, every move was captured

by her devoted fans, eager not

to miss one bit of the Oprah

odyssey and they were rewarded for their patience. How do you

feel, Oprah? How do you feel, Oprah? How do you feel?

Oprah, do you feel a sense of

achievement? For one fan at

least, it was all too much.

She's a giver, not a taker,

too many takers out there.

She's amazing. My eyedol. I

need to see Elvis now and I'll be

be right. Devoted and

dedicated, this fan hobbled all the way from Queensland. When

the doctor told me he was going

to operate on this foot, I

said, "No way." There's

always a cynic in the crowd.

They're all excited You're

clearly not, why? He doesn't like her.

like her. Not a big fan. The

NSW Premier certainly is. At a private party private party last night,

Kristina Keneally got to know

the woman helping to reinvigorate tourism in Australia. The United States,

there's a hell of lot of interest in coming to

Australia. We have to use the

Oprah visit to turn that

interest into a decision to come on over. Oprah Winfrey says she'll be telling Americans to do exactly that.

We started singing, "Well,

hello Sydney" and I will have

to say it measures up to everything everybody has ever

said. The only thing I'm

worried about is that Oprah will

will take my job. She's a better ambassador than I

am. Whether or not you agree

with the hype surrounding her visit, there's no doubt Oprah

Winfrey has made her mark on

the city. The Australian PGA

championship won't now be

decided until tomorrow, after

heavy rain forced play to be

suspended during the final

round at koolum. Veteran Peter

Senior is in the lead. With

nine holes to play, the winner

of 19 of 19 events on the Australasian tour is one clear

of Peter Fowler and American

Bobby Gates. John Hayes Bell reports. During the first three

rounds, 51-year-old Peter

Senior had elevated himself to

sentimental favourite. Victory

would make the two-time winner

the oldest to win the PGA title, beating Kel Nagle's

performance in 1968. The rain

began early and became

torrential. It was good for

the wild life and had little

initial impact on the scoring.

Jarad Lyle was 7 under through

13 holes in his round. Richard

Green closed in on the leaders

after almost acing the second.

Others also marched into

contention. Geoff Ogilvy a

week after his Australian open

win. Well done John Senden

with another final round flurry

and Robert Allenby threatened

to make significant moves.

Matthew Griffin stormed up the

board to 10 under. New South himself in the mix with a

birdie at the 7th. Another 51-year-old Peter Fowler and

Andre Stolz also stayed close

to the lead. Tall Florida-born

Bobby Gates had led after the

second and third rounds. The 24-year-old was two ahead after birdies at the third and

fourth. But as the conditions

worsened, Gates finished his

front nine with consecutive

bogeys, gifting the lead to

Senior. Both found the trees

off the 10th before play was suspended.

suspended. The 10th tee was

under water, it was a bit

squishy. Both of us carved it

right. As the rain persisted, most add a drenched Coolum were rearranging their

schedules. England has survived

a few scarce on the final day

of the tour match against

Victoria to secure a draw. An

unbeaten century by Matt Prior steadied the ship as steadied the ship as the

tourists faltered, chasing a

victory target of 311. Victoria's ripped through the English top

order, taking four wickets in

the first 12 overs. All-rounder Clint McKay followed up yesterday's

unbeaten 50 with a four-wicket

haul. Matt Prior stopped the

the rot, though. He shared a

62 unbeaten partnership with

the captain, Andrew Strauss, to

play out the match. One of

Australia's top mountain bike

riders has made a successful

return to elite competition

after 7 months in gaol. South

Australian Chris Jongewaard

scored back-to-back victories

at the national championships

in Hobart. What a difference a

year makes. Last December,

Chris Jongewaard was keeping

fit on an exercise bike in a

South Australian prison, saving

time for a -- serving time for

a hit and run crash. Just a

few days ago, Jongewaard's

parol officer cleared him to

compete. The 31-year-old made

the most of it against some of

Australia's best, winning the

long-form and short-form cross-country races. honestly, I couldn't feel any

more happy. Being inside is

not the funnest place, so, you

know, to have freedom back and

be able to do what I love, I

couldn't be any sweeter Jongewaard has his rivals have been relaxed about

his return. They're welcoming and, you know, I guess they're

happy to see me back in some

ways, I guess. He's a good

yardstick. We know he's been

training hard. To come back

into the competition and put

himself against the rest and

they can really see where

they're at in relation to

Chris. Australia's number one women's rider, Tasmanian Rowena

Fry, was hot favourite in her

events. She also won the

cross-country double, though she's still rebuilding after a

bout of tonsillitis. Yeah, I

want to have a good crack at

world champs this year. I didn't have a good year the

past year with illness. I hope

to try to push back into the

top 20 in the world and even higher and then Olympics

the year after. Jongewaard also

has his sights set on the world

championships and the Olympics.

The gritty drama 'Animal

Kingdom' dominated last night's Australian Film Institute

Awards. The chilling portrayal

of a Melbourne crime family

picked up 10 awards from 18

nominationings and there's a

growing buzz that one winner

may be on her way to Oscar

glory. It was the local

recognition 'Animal Kingdom'

had been waiting for. 'Animal

Kingdom' 'Animal Kingdom'. 'Animal Kingdom'. The film

about a Melbourne crime family

had already won international praise at the Sundance Film

Festival but with a record 18

nominations going into the

Australian Film Institute

Awards, the movie's stars were

feeling the pressure. A little

bit nervous, very excited, sometimes a little bit sick. I

reckon they might turn against

us and we might end up getting

like three or something for the

night. That was well off the

mark. Mendelsohn himself won

best lead actor, with the movie

collecting 10 awards, including

best film and best direction.

Joel Edgarton picked up best

supporting actor and Jacqui

Weaver took out her first AFI

award for Best Lead Actress.

Wonderful to be reassured you

haven't been barking up the

wrong tree for 48 years in your

choice of career The veteran

actress may joke, but there's

growing speculation she'll be

nominated for an even bigger

award. I hope Jacqui gets

nominated for an Oscar. It's

weird, I think that might

happen The best feature length documentary went to ABC's scop

contact while Hawk picked up

three awards, including best

lead actor for Richard

roksburgh. What a bloody vision. As with any awards night, there was colour and movement and sdiert to keep speeches snappy. We're

going to play off through a

couple - best sound, best

sound, sound guy there, mate? You look like a sound guy. Other award winners

include the movies 'Tomorrow When The War Began', 'Bright

Star' and the documentary

'Inside the Firestorm. On to

the weather. It's been a windy

about mostly sunny Sunday

around the Canberra region. We

had a top of 23 degrees after

13 degrees as an overnight low.

It was mostly dry day around

the region. The Bay reached

29, Bega 25, Cooma had 20, Yass

and Wagga 23. In the capitals

today, Sydney had a top of 31

degree, Melbourne 19, Hobart

18, Brisbane 26 and Adelaide

20. On to the cloud chart.

The band associated with the

low pressure trough is

continuing its move off the

coast, bringing some unsettled

weather to far-North Queensland. There's also

speckled cloud from a cold pool

of air over Victoria and

Tasmania. The high pressure

system to the west will move through to dominate local

weather over the coming few

days. There'll be some showers

for Melbourne and Hobart

tomorrow, Sydney and Adelaide

will be mostly sunny, Brisbane will have some rain and a top

of 29. Rainfall nationally

will be restricted to the Top End, with the rest of the

country staying dry tomorrow.

For the region tomorrow, some

showers in coastal parts, but

not heavy rainfall, and timp

rattures around 24 or 25. Goulburn

Goulburn and Albury heading Goulburn and Albury heading for

about 25, Cooma 24 and Yass 26.

For Canberra, a mostly sunny day with light north-westerly

winds, a top of 25 degrees

after 7 degrees overnight.

Sunrise tomorrow will be at

about 20 to 6, setting just

before 8.15. In the longer

term, we'll see to the capital from Tuesday on

and stretching through the

whole working week. That's the

news for now. We'll leave you

tonight with more of the

sumptuous costumes of the

Ballet Russes currently on show at the

at the National Gallery. Thanks

Thanks for your company. Good

night. Closed Captions by CSI