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Lateline -

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(generated from captions) We continue to see a

very dangerous situation in many parts of the region. This Program is Captioned

Live. Good evening, welcome to

Lateline, I'm Tony Jones. As

Cyclone Yasi peters out, it's clear that Australia's summer

of disasters will carry a huge

bill. We'll look closer at

that tonight, and we'll cross

to Egypt for analysis of what

could become a most unnatural

shows he's prepared to cling

in lives. onto power no matter the cost

in lives. A lot will hinge on

important figure within the what the army does and on one

regime, the newly-appointed

vice-president Om ar Sulim an

whom the US hopes will convince

Mubarek to stand down. Apart

from all the Egyptian ministers

we met on a couple of trips who

were puppets of Mubarek, Om ar

Suliman was able to make

decisions on the spot without

referring the question

Mubarek. He had power within

the regime. He's highly

regarded, if not respected in

some circles within the US

Administrations of the past 10

years. Peter Khalil was a

foreign affairs adviser to the former Prime Minister Kevin

Rudd. That interview is coming

up later. At least five people

killed on the streets of Cairo as anti-government protests

Australian soldier becomes the turn violent. A 22-year-old turn violent.

latest death in the war in

Afghanistan. And the author of

the climate change review warns

we should expect more severe

weather events. Category 5 Cyclone Yasi slammed

into Far North Queensland

earlier this morning leaving a

trail of destruction in its

wake. A 50 kilometre stretch

of coast between the towns of

Cardwell and Tully bore the

brunt of the storm. So far

there've been no confirmed

deaths, but two people have

been reported missing in the

Innisfail area. Thousands of homes have been severely damaged, many will condemned. Around 200,000 properties are without power

and it may be weeks before all

of those can be connected.

Galeforce winds heralded Cyclone Yasi's Cyclone Yasi's arrival at

around midnight. By all

accounts it was a terrifying

night. The noise of the

Roof howling wind was deafening.

Roof iron and street signs

became flying missiles. It horrendous. Have been through became flying missiles. It was

a couple of cyclones, but that

really frightened me. The

Brisbane preparing bosses were bunkered down in

Brisbane preparing for the worst. I'm very relieved this

morning. There are no reports

of injuries or lives lost, but

two men have been

missing. Damage to phone lines is hampering police investigations. We're very

hopeful that with the

restoration of those services,

any missing persons will be

able to be identified very quickly. Coastal communities

south of Cairns bore the full

brunt of Cyclone Yasi and at

to assess the damage. Even

getting into Mission Beach was

a challenge. The once idyllic

beachside town laid in ruins.

Trees were ripped apart

tossed around like twigs and

the beach showed scars of the

cyclone's destructive force.

Some houses escaped major

damage, but others weren't so

lucky. Our whole top level has

just gone, over into our pool

and house. Only thing left

standing in this house is the

toilet. I think it will take a

suffer. We've copped it this

time and worse than when Larry came through, I think. For businesses already struggling,

it's another setback. A lot of

people here have closed prior

to the cyclone, so everybody is

going to be in really big

trouble financially. Further

south, the road into the sugar

town of Tully was cut by

floodwater this morning,

holding up residents anxious to

get back into their homes.

When the road reopened, signs

were ominous. Trees stripped

decimated. In town, street

after street tells the story -

one in three homes have been

destroyed. Gail Anderson fled

eye of the storm her home during the lull as the

eye of the storm passed over. I

thought no way could I stay in

that bathroom for another four

or five hours. This man's

business premises didn't

survive either. Innisfail

residents were bracing for a

repeat of Cyclone Larry, but

the town escaped the worst.

The same can't be said for the

region's farmers. Cane fields flattened, banana trees snapped

in two. It's devastating, but

the way the banana industry was it wasn't looking real bright,

but the thing is there's not

too many growers who are going

to have enough money to get

back on their feet. That's the

hard thing. In Townsville,

despite the drenching, despite the drenching, the

water supply is about to water supply is about to run

out. As powerlines tumble down

they cut off crucial operations, during the main reservoir. Our water treatment

plant at Douglas, our sewerage

council's communication system

have all been put offline. The

tidal surge carried sewerage

into thousands of homes and

businesses. Authorities say it

will be weeks before emergency

the meantime, the council will repairs can be carried out.

truck in extra water for

residents. Use water over the

next couple of days simply for drinking purposes. Despite

predictions of serious

flooding, Cairns escaped the

worst, but residents weren't

taking any chances. 11,000

people spent the night in 20

storm shelters across north and Far North head home, see if I've got a

house . But the threat is not

over yet. Cyclone Yasi has been downgraded to a Category

1, but is still bringing heavy

rain. We are expecting around

200 to 300 millimetres more

rain over the next 24 hours plus, so there

plus, so there is significant localised flooding and

isolation issues in a number of

Prime communities in the region. The

Prime Minister arrived in

Townsville tonight. She'll

survey the cyclone damage

tomorrow. I did want to come as

quickly as I could to be able

to say hello to people who have been through such

experience. 500 SES volunteers

will be flown into affected

areas once the damage

assessment is done. The

Premier Anna Bligh says the

massive and so reconstruction effort will be

bill. Of course the flood massive and so will the

appeal will now have to broaden

out to be a wider disaster appeal. Cyclone Yasi should be

downgraded to a tropical low by

the time it hilts Mount Isa 900

kilometres inland. It's the third cyclone in Queensland

this year and the Weather be the last. There definitely

could be more. We're in the middle of the season and we see

most cyclones between February

and March. The good news is

there's no imminent threat. As we've just seen in the Tully

area, sugarcane and area, sugarcane and bananas

have been flattened by the cyclone and growers may take

years to recover the losses. I

spoke a short time ago to the

President of the Australian Bananas Growers Council, Cameron MacKay, who's in Tully.

Cameron MacKay, thanks for joining us. Good evening,

Tony. Can you start

giving us some idea of what you went through last night? Yeah,

it was not something I'd want

to go through again, that's for

sure. Last night, it was quite

quiet early in the night.

Wasn't too anxious, knew it was

coming and thought we were well

prepared and we were well

prepared for what was there.

Then about 11 o'clock just

before the eye came over, it

really had me worried. There's

not too many times I've been

scared and I must admit that

was pretty close then. It was

something pretty mighty

there. You're in a brick house,

but at first light when you

walked outside to see what the

damage had been, what the

damage bill was essentially,

what did you see? Walking

outside from going in that

night into the house and

locking up, it was beautiful greenery, beautiful-looking

area, nice trees everywhere to

walking outside and basically

seeing match sticks, trees

lying everywhere, no greenery

and yeah, just total devastation. Have all your neighbours been accounted for, no-one

all of this? That was our first

priority in the morning, to go

up and see the neighbours. We

still had mobile phone

reception, so we rang friends

and relatives, make sure they

were alright. For were alright. For the first

hour or two this morning we

just checked on everyone, made sure they were alright, walked

around the neighbourhood and

seeing roofs off houses and

things like that was not a good

sight, but definitely good to

see that the people were well

and safe. You also went down to Mission Beach, which is pretty

much it appears where the

cyclone touched down on the

mainland, mainland, what's the damage

there? Yeah, they've had a

fairly large tidal surge in

there , so there's a lot of

debris up over the road, some

of the road missing. Again,

just the rainforest has been

devastated, the forest is all

brown, no greenery left and

still a lot of leaves and logs

everywhere and also there is

certainly a fair bit of house

damage down there as well. You've obviously made

sure that no lives have been

lost in your area, but of

course there's the economic

cost and you're a banana

grower, how bad is the damage

to the crop? Getting a Category

5 cyclone direct hit is...

yeah, your worst possible scenario when you're a grower. Banana trees are at the best of

times can't handle a great deal

of wind. Once you get above 50

knots they'll fall over, when

you've got winds in excess of

100 knots it's total

devastation. All our properties are flattened so all

the trees are on the ground. Is

that just you, or all the other banana growers in as well? All through the region

Tony, mostly from Cairns to

Cardwell has been flattened. There might be small pockets

left over, but most of it's all flattened and really flattened and really about 80-90% of Australia's bananas come out of this region. What

will that do to the market,

obviously prices will go up at

the very least? It will, I

think you can draw a similar assumption to Cyclone Larry as

to now, you're looking at a similar

similar amount of loss,

Being earlier in the season

maybe for not quite as long,

we'll probably be back into

production a couple of months

earlier than what we were with Larry. Cameron very much for talking to us

tonight. Thanks very

much. We're joined now live in

Cairns by cyclone expert

Jonathan Nott, Professor of

Geomorphology and Natural

Hazards at James Cook

University. Thank you for

joining us again. You've been

driving around looking at the

damage, is it more or less what

you expected? In some

is Tony, in other places it's actually more

actually more than I expected. It's quite devastating,

especially around the Cardwell

and Port Hinchinbrook area. It

almost looks like a

been through there and I've

been in after a lot of

tsunamis. It reminds me a lot

of that. How lucky was North

Queensland in terms of where

the cyclone landed, because it

does appear there wasn't the

vast amount of devastation that

could have happened if it could have happened if it had

hit a larger town or city? We

were extremely lucky that it's come through between the two major regional centres here,

Cairns and Townsville. If it

had come through in Cairns, for example, we would have had absolutely widespread

devastation, something that

Cairns had never seen or probably North Queensland had

ever seen. It would have been

absolutely terrible and exactly

the same thing would have

occurred in Townsville if that

eye had crossed to the north of

Townsville. Having gone through

Cyclone Larry, was Queensland, or or northern Queensland better

prepared for this? We were

prepared in terms of the response to

response to the emergency at the time the time and right now when

we're going in and trying to repair things like electricity

and make sure people are safe

and sound. But mitigation strategies still haven't

improved in improved in all that time. We're still not thinking seriously enough about where

people should live and how to

keep them safe and out of the

road of danger. So this is really the big issue

still. Briefly, what do you say

should be done? I think that we

should revise our mitigation

strategies quite stringently.

I think we need to look at

where people were impacted by

this event, where the houses were

sea level and from now on make

sure we build higher above sea

land and further inland so if

another event like this comes

through - and it through - and it will - make sure nobody is in the path,

whether it's people or their

property. As we'll see in a moment the Government's climate

change adviser Ross Garnaut is

warning global warming will

lead to more severe weather

events just like this, so Queenslanders should support action against climate change - do you agree? Yes, absolutely, and we extreme events particularly in

the tropical regions. We're

going to see more extreme

tropical cyclones, Category 5

cyclones. We're going to see

more extreme rainfall events

and floods and we could see

more extreme droughts too. We

need to take these warnings

very seriously and absolutely

support it. Do you think that

it is inevitable that we will see more Category 5 cyclones

like Yasi and perhaps not be as

lucky next time where they land? I do land? I do actually, and

whether it's due to climate

change or not, we know even by

natural cycles we would start to see

to see more of these extreme events coming through. As well

as that, we do change and that's going to add

to the problem so I don't think

there's any doubt we're going

to see more of these type of events. Jonathan Nott, thank

you very much. While those in

the path of the cyclone begin

rebuilding, at the other end of

the country there's been a message from the climate change

tsar, you aren't seen nothing

yet. Professor says the odds are weather

events are going to become more severe unless global warming is

slowed. More slowed. More from political correspondent Tom Iggulden. Julia Gillard's jetted off to

North Queensland promising the

Federal Government will do its bit

bit to rebuild the State. I

would prefer that my visit to

Queensland was for other

purposes, but we're here

because nature's been

continuing to throw challenges at Queensland. Apart from the

toll on every day

Queenslanders, those challenges are also proving costly for the Federal budget. The Prime

Minister's ruled out raising

the flood levy to fill the even

larger hole left once larger hole left once the tally's counted from Cyclone

Yasi. We will have the damage from the cyclone and

we will meet that damages bill

from the Federal budget. It

will require cutbacks in other

areas, there's no point sugar

coating that, and I suspect

when we make cutbacks in other areas to support the rebuilding, there will be

people who aren't very happy about where the cutbacks are

made. Dealing with the cost

coincidence, the theme of a

speech tonight by Professor

Ross Garnaut, the Government's

top adviser on the subject. While Australia has

always been a place of variable

climate, a place of drought and

flooding rains, the greater energy in the atmosphere and

the seas, can intensify events and I'm afraid we're

feeling some of that today and

we're feeling that at a time

when global warming is in its

early stages. Professor Garnaut says this is the year for

action in Canberra on climate

change, but it won't happen

without a push from the wider

community he says, including

those who've just experienced

one of the country's worst

cyclones. A warming climate does lead to intensification of

the sorts of extreme climatic events we've seen in Queensland

and I think people wishing to

avoid those awful challenges in

Queensland will be amongst the people supporting action on climate change. As

the country's third major clean-up operation gets under way, in Canberra debate's

turning to how to pay the bill

for increasingly severe weather

events. Added to talks of the

flood levy and a permanent

disaster fund, South Australian

Senator Nick Xenophon's come up with

with a third option. He wants a European-style system where

the Government takes out flood

insurance with large multinational reinsurers. Having a one-off

levy, having an ongoing fund won't solve the problem, you

need to look at the global insurance market otherwise we

will be dipping into taxpayers'

pockets. Different governments

in Australia adopt different

financial policies about

insuring for loss in their

State. I don't think it's

helpful for me at the Federal Government to start Government to start Monday morning coaching what have done on insurance. The

Queensland Government

reportedly says it looked into

an insurance policy, but it wasn't cost effective. Pitched battles have been

fought on the streets of Cairo as the

as the tenth day of protests in

the Egyptian capital took an

unexpected turn for the worst.

Violent clashes have broken out

between protesters calling for

the resignation of President

Hosni Mubarek and the leader's

supporters. It's been reported

that five anti-Mubarek

protesters have been shot and

killed and scores injured by

pro-Mubarek supporters who've been been accused of being Egyptian

police in civilian clothing.

Overnight at least 800 people

were injured as chaos and

anarchy took hold of Cairo. Middle East correspondent Ben

Knight reports. Just before dawn, heavy gunfire on the

streets of Cairo. For two hours, sustained bursts of

automatic weapons fire single shots echoed across

Tahrir Square. Witnesses say supporters of Hosni Mubarek opened fire on protesters who

are calling for the president

to step down immediately. As

the sun rose over Cairo this

morning after last night's

violence, it was apparent there

were elements of both pro and

anti-Mubarek supporters keen to

keep the fight going. Among

burntout cars and buses, rocks

and make-shift missiles were still being engaged, although

barriers kept warring parties apart

ring out sporadically. There's

every indication at this stage

that the scene is set for a

repeat of last night's clashes today. It was the

worst of outcomes. Instead of

a peaceful revolution, there's

war in the heart of Egypt's

capital. Petrol bombs are just

one weapon in a deadly arsenal.

After days of pushing, this was

the push back. Thousands of

seemingly well-organised Mubarek supporters were

determined to confront and

crush their

suffered injuries. Mostly head

wounds from the rocks. Some

were in serious trouble. There

was even a charge at the

anti-Mubarek crowd by men on

horse back, even a camel. According to anti-Mubarek

forces, there was a planned

attack aimed at creating chaos. They're trying to get

Egyptians to kill each other.

Horses, and camels so they can

be violent with us, so we would

kill each other. And as the world watches on, the White

House has hardened its stand against President Mubarak

saying change needs to take

place immediately. I think this underscores precisely what the

president was speaking about

last night, and that is the

time for a transition has come

and that time is now. Despite

the blood and the fear, the

anger has only intensified and

the determination this time is that they will not be crushed.

Some of the protesters have

left the square, but many

remain, facing fire bombs and

even gunfire. We're joined on the

the phone by Peter Khalil. The

-- Lina Attalah. Will this

counterrevolution be

successful, and do you

characterise it like that

characterise it like that yourself? I wouldn't call it a

counterrevolution. It is not a revolution, it is just an

attempt to thwart what has been

taking place in Tahrir Square

for the past few days. It's

basic acts of thuggery

witnessed yesterday and it's manifested by people carrying

arms on them, everything from

knives to Molotov cocktails thrown at protester thrown at protester s who have

been for the past few days

insisting on the ousting of

President Mubarak. So I wouldn't call it

counterrevolution, I would it an attempt to thwart what happened. I wouldn't

necessarily consider it a

sign... (Inaudible) We've obviously seen the

extraordinary pictures of those

men on horse back and on camels, the anti-Mubarek demonstrators.

Who are they, where do they

come from? Until now, we don't

have an idea of who those

people are, but many people who

were arrested by the protesters

as they were raging violence at

them have said they work for the ministry of interior...

security forces, so many of

them are proven to be personnel

from the ministry of

security personnel. The rest

we're not sure, but we also got

a lot of worries about people

being paid working for the

civil service and who were paid

a different amount of money to

basically take part in the

demonstration yesterday. One of

the most disturbing things

about this is that the army

simply stood by and allowed it to happen. They seem to be

sending very mixed signals.

What is your view about where

the army actually stands the army actually stands

now? At this point, the arm now? At this point, the arm y

is deserving its position its

position of maintaining order and not taking sides, having

witnessed all this violence

yesterday. Again, we had a lot of reports of thugs entering

the square with appears on them, Molotov cocktails and

what not, so there

ground a lot of loss of faith

in the army possibly taking the

anti-Mubarek protesters. There

are a lot of question marks

about what the army's position

is now, its remaining to the current regime.

Nevertheless, people are in

high spirits here and they

still think tomorrow is the big

day. Tomorrow there will be a new mobilisation new mobilisation of demonstrators, as usual, in

fact, after Friday prayers. Do

you think the anti-Mubarek

cryers will still have the

stomach for this fight having

seen the violence that's been perpetrated against them? What is widely agreed upon here in

the square is that there is no

point of return. There was a

lot of pressure even from some oips on the street to basically

leave the square to minimise

the toll of casualties,

however, the youth are just determined to stay and they're

saying that there's no point in, you know, returning and

there is a lot of mobilisation around mosques and churches

tomorrow after Friday pray ers. It is supposed to be the

determining day for the revolution. Finally question,

how do you expect this to end.

It's difficult... despite

mounting calls for it to leave,

I expect more violence. I can't tell exactly politically

how the situation will be like.

I just expect more violence

which is conducive to more of

the weakening of the regime. Even if the situation does not

end tomorrow, it will end soon.

Even if there is a lot of

violence tomorrow, it's widely understood as it's the last...

within this regime. I think

it's a matter of time. We'll

have to leave you there, Lina Attalah by

We were also joined a short

time ago by Peter Khalil, a

foreign policy adviser to

former Prime Minister Kevin

Rudd. He's now an Associate Professor at the Centre for International Security Studies

at Sydney University. Peter Khalil, thanks for joining

us. Thanks for having me. You

were in Cairo a few weeks ago

and have high-level contacts

there. What are they telling

you now about the pro-Mubarek demonstrators in Cairo? Well,

the people I've spoken Tahrir Square during the

protests and even people who

are protecting their homes with

iron bars and baseball bats on

shifts through the night are

telling me that many of these

pro-Mubarek demonstrators are secret police or Interior Ministerery officials who have

been unleashed by the regime to

instill fear amongst the

general populous and to send

the message that without

Mubarek in control there's

chaos. I don't think that will eventually work. I think it's

quite cynical by the regime and

I think it's a desperate move is getting much worse. Robert

Fisk is calling it Hosni

Mubarek's counterrevolution - would you agree with that? No,

I wouldn't even give it

respect of that phrase, because

really he's just clinging to

power and using every means

possible to try and divide I think the core of the

democratic protesters and maybe

take the middle class away from

the core of the younger

protesters who may be fearful

of chaos and lack of stability

in the country. He may have

some success in that, but I think

it. In fact, they caught a lot

of these looters and some of

the pro-Mubarek demonstrators

with ID badges which showed

they were police officers. Is

it clear now to you that Hosni

Mubarek intends to dig in and

try and stay in power no matter

the cost in violence, in

blood? I think he's going to

hold on as long as he can.

He's going to cling to power. He's

He's been an absolute ruler for

30 years. He's been in

complete control. I find

step down as easily as, say,

President Ben Ali did in

Tunisia. The caveat is immense

US pressure. If administration really pushes

him, they may be able to find

him a somewhat of a respectful exit I suppose.

exit I suppose. But I think

he's going to hold on as long

as he can and I don't think he

really cares about the

additional violence that will

be unleashed, because if you

look at the human rights track

record over the years I don't

think he's made much heed to human rights or bloodshed violence. So I think he'll

hold on and this is worrying,

because the longer he holds on

the longer the demonstrations

go on and the more violence and

instability there is. What will the army the army do, because they've been sending out quite mixed messages? Yeah, it's really

interesting 'cause I've said that the army is critical to

this. If they decide to go

with the protesters I think

it's pretty much the end of

Mubarek. We've got to remember

that the army is very much part

of the Mubarek regime, the top

brass. Mubarek himself was a former Air Force. They're very

much interconnected and they've

benefited from the Mubarek

particularly from some of the

US military aid that has gone

their way. However, ordinary Egyptians see them with great

patriotism, as sort of a

neutral institution and they

respect them greatly and

they're trying actually to

bring them on side. They're viewed much differently than

the detested police

forces. There is one man who

may hold the key to all of

this, the Americans seem to think man that Mubarek has appointed

as vice-president, former chief of the Egyptian intelligence

services. You've met him I

believe, what do you think of him? Look, I was struck Tony by

the fact that apart from all

the other Egyptian ministers we

met on a couple of trips who basically were quite basically were quite frankly puppets of Mubarek, Omar

Sulieman even six or seven years ago was able to make decisions on the spot without

referring the question to

Mubarek so he had the regime. He's known as

Mubarek's consiltatory. He's

also highly regarded if not

respected within some circles

within the US Administration of the past 10 years and also

with the Israelis because of

his work on some of the

Israeli-Palestinian issues and he's

he's very close to the CIA, of

course, as an intelligence

head. He's ruthless, but he is

effective and I think what he

does over the next couple of

weeks will be critical to how

this transition plays this transition plays out. We heard from Martin indink last

night that the Americans would

like him to help get rid of

Mubarek and remain as a

transitional leader, to bring forward elections as soon as

possible? Yeah, I think the

Obama Administration obviously

has tilted towards the protesters and the

understanding that Mubarek is

likely to be finished, so what

they want to see is a peaceful

transition and a period of stability with an interim

government. If Omar Sulieman

is that guy with other

opposition groups as part of

they would be happy with that.

What the real risk is, of

course, is the longer Mubarek

himself holds on, the more chance there is of instability and

and violence and violence continuing and I

think Omar Sulieman himself

also is inherently risky,

because the core of the

protesters won't accept him

either. They want to see him

gone as well, because he's part

of the hated regime. So it's

going to be very interesting to

see what he does. He's reached out already to the out already to the opposition

and there are some reports

saying that he's also asked Mubarek to

think he's got sort of that

halfway there with Mubarek

saying he will not stand for

re-elections. Where do you

think this will end up, because tomorrow we're tomorrow we're going to see

Friday prayers, yet again we'll

see large demonstrations after

that. This could be a crunch

point, if the army steps in, in particular? On that particular? On that issue of

the army stepping in, what the army stepping in, what was somewhat disturbing is that when some of the pro-Mubarek

thugs that came in and started the violence against the

demonstrators, the democratic

demonstrators, the army didn't

really step in and those demonstrators. So that

is somewhat disturbing. I

think Fridays are traditionally

the day of protest as you said after Friday prayers, hundreds

of thousands will go out. I think this is going to continue

and I think what's going to

happen in the future is that there will be some sort of

interim caretaker government.

The key issue that I see is

whether the elections are free

and fair and whether there's

actually time and space for the

opposition parties to actually,

the secular opposition the secular opposition parties

to actually develop, grow and if they don't the Muslim Brotherhood which are very well

organised although they don't have a majority and I don't

think they'll win a majority in

an eallocation, will be at an

advantage if elections are held

tomorrow, so there needs to be

space and time. There is fear

amongst the Christian minority

and other moderate Muslims in

the country there will be an

Islamic takeover in this period

of instability. Peter Khalil, we thank you very much for

joining us. Thanks for having

me. A 22-year-old soldier has

become the latest casualty of

the war in Afghanistan. Corporal Richard Edward

Atkinson was with the Darwin-based 1st Combat Engineer Regiment. He was on foot patrol in southern Oruzgan

Province when a roadside bomb

exploded. A second soldier

wounded in the blast is said to

be in a satisfactory condition.

It was Corporal Atkinson's

first tour of duty in

Afghanistan. His death brings

to 22 the number of Australian

soldiers killed in the war.

There's been a stoney silence Government and East Timor in

the wake of Lateline's revelation on Tuesday night of

the details of the proposed

offshore asylum seeker processing

processing centre. The Opposition's been examining the

document and claims any future

East Timor detention centre would provide a guaranteed

right of resettlement in

Australia. For all the asylum

seekers who pass through it.

Peter Lloyd reports. Revealed on Lateline this week, the pitch for a detention centre

conceived in Canberra and put

to East Timor. thinks the 23-page plan exposes the Government. We've always

believed this was a stunt

designed to get Julia Gillard

through a news cycle last through a news cycle last year.

We don't expect it ever to see

the light of the light of day. Senator

George Brandis claims the

document is worded in a way

that means asylum seekers would

get a guaranteed ticket to

Australia. What this document

at the height of foolishness

does is it is built on the idea

that there should be a guaranteed resettlement

outcome. Those

used in the document itself.

Now if that's what is on the

mind of Australian policymakers

at the moment, if that's what's

on the mind of the Gillard

Government then we've got an

even deeper problem than the Australian people feared. In

fact, the proposal doesn't say

Australia would be a sure thing

for anyone, but what's not in

doubt is the scale of the proposed detention centre,

housing as many as 4,000 asylum

seekers close to Dili's air and

sea ports. It outlines plans

for the UN to claims on Australia's maf and

for East Timor to set up a

legal system to review cases where asylum seeker claims rejected. Washing hands of

responsibility and international obligations,

dumping vulnerable people out

of sight out of mind in the

poorest country in our region

is not an appropriate response. East Timor's

government has received the

detention centre proposal, but

won't comment on it. The office of

office of the High Commissioner

for Refugees is part of the so-called East Timor solution,

but refused to comment on

whether the Gillard Government

has formally requested it get


That's all from us. If you'd

like to look back at tonight's

interview s or review any of

Lateline's stories or

transcripts you can visit our website.

us on Twitter and Facebook.

Ali Moore will be here tomorrow

night and I'll see you again

next week. Goodnight until

then. Closed Captions by CSI

Tonight, a once in a century

cyclone deals another cruel

employee to Queensland. Oh ... terrible. Terrible. Never seen

anything like it in my life. Tempting to feel totally

overwhelmed by what you are

about to go back into. If you

are feeling alone, you are

not. Residents wake to widespread devastation with

banana and sugarcane crops wiped wiped out. But amid the

wreckage the birth of a baby

girl. She originally wanted a

home birth. She got a home

birth, just a bit bigger than what

Also ahead - another Australian

Australian shoal jer killed in

the line of dut thee in Afghanistan. And scores Afghanistan. And scores left

dazed and bleeding as political

passions give way to pitched battles in Cairo.

Live across Australia, this

is ABC News 24. Good evening. I'm Scott Bevan. Queensland

Police say two people are

reported to be missing in the

Innisfail area south of Cairns

as communities brace for flash

flooding in the wake of tropical cyclone Yasi. There

have been no reported deaths or

serious injuries from the

monster storm which slammed

ashore last night, pummelling communities in the State areas

far north. As Paul Lockyer

reports the small town of Tully

was one of the hardest hit. For

a full 12 hours, the people of

Tully huddled in their homes.

Or any shelter they as the cyclone roared through the town. It disintegrated

around them. Street by street the images tell the story. Amid

the wreckage of homes and

businesses, trees plucked out

of the ground, or stripped bare by the gale-force winds. Oh ...

terrible. Terrible. Never seen anything like it in my life.

I've been through Winnifred and

Larry and all the forecasts

were very good and they let us know it was going to be pretty

terrible, and lived up the expectations they had.

Outside town the disastrous

sight of flattened banana crops. Most of Australia's

bananas are grown here crop destruction is on a scale

of that of Cyclone Larry, five

years ago. As the cyclone swept

across the farming land to

Tully, it left coastal

communities in ruin. At Port

Hinchinbrook, a marina now a multimillion-dollar junkyard. Boats smashed together by the force of the wind and the storm

surge. A trail of destruction

that swept 20 kilometres from

the coast to bring all its

force to bear on one town. Here

in Tully, what's remarkable is

there isn't even more damage to the buildings here. Even more

remarkable no reports of any

casualties. Two of the survivors, Ross and Margaret.

How did you survive the night? I think it was a

miracle. I certainly do. miracle. I certainly do. As the

full force took over, the

roller door blew out and the

only safe refuge was in a

vehicle. So yes, sheer luck more than anything.

Sow spent the entire night in

the vehicle? Yes, we did and we even

even had to change vehicles

because the rear roller door

blew out and then the front one

blew out. When they both blew

out, we this to jump from a cam

tree a Hilux and back up to the

door to stop it from blowing open. How terrifying was the wind? Very terrifying. Very

noisy. We could hardly hear

each other talking. It was just

so loud. Frightening, terrible,

I don't want to go through that

again, ever. Were there moments when you wondered

whether you would get alive? Yes, because of those

doors. If they'd hit us or let

go when we were changing

vehicles, would've been the end. The town of Mission Beach

took a direct hit from the

cyclone with roofs ripped off

house and cars swept away. It's

a major blow to the seaside holiday destination that's already suffering from an

economic downturn. Our reporter surveyed the damage Driving in to Mission Beach was

a challenge in itself. It

revealed a beach side down --

town in ruins. Some houses

escaped major damage but others have this to come home to. The

whole front level is just

gone. It's hard to know where

to begin when the only thing

left standing is the left copped it this than when Larry come through.

Trees that once lined the vim

large green were ripped apart

and tossed around like twigs while the normally

beach showed scars of the

cyclone's destructive force.

Residents and businesses along

the beachfront not only had the

terrifying experience of a

Category 5 cyclone but the dual

effect of a storm surge and

this is the result. Absolute

devastation. Home honers like

Christine are now left to pick

um the pieces. It is a swimming

pool. This is the perimeter

here. It goes all the way back.

It's 12 x 5m. It's full of coconuts, debris, tree trunks,

fences. I mean, I'm amazed.

This is a whole lot worse than Larry. But it will take weeks

if not months. For businesses

already struggling financially, it's another it's is going to is going to be in big trouble

financially. In the nearby

town, the carnage was just as

bad. Roofs were peeled like

paper. This one speared

house next door. This SES

worker was helping in Tully

when the sty clone struck. He

arrived home to see what's

left. I'm glad the house itself

is still standing. The shed,

well, I had a funny feeling it

might have something go in it.

A bit broken hearted but what

can I do? For now his place will have to wait. helps those most in need. Innisfail residents were

warned that Yasi would dwarf Cyclone Larry

the town in 2006. But they've

been spared the wrath of this storm, despite significant

banana and sugarcane crop

losses, the community is

counting its blessings. As

gale-force winds and heavy rain

warned cyclone Yasi's warned cyclone Yasi's arrival was imminent, Innisfail residents braced for worse than

they'd ever seen they'd ever seen before, yet daybreak showed a very different picture to the misery they thought they had in

store. We just didn't get it as

hard as they expected. Gary

Bolton's home was destroyed by

Cyclone Larry five years ago.

He expected to find it gone again. This time there is

minimal damage. Just a window or Other than that everything was

alright. Gilbert Kelly too was

expecting catastrophe. Not to

have a house, yeah. We have a

house, we have a house, we have a bit of water

inside, a bit of damage. Right

across town, the damage was

minimal. Trees were uprooted

and riverfront areas were

drenched in the slight storm

surge. Despites thatti's Category 5 force, amazingly, no

livers were lost. No lives and no injury. In fact a life

gained. A new baby born. The

residents of nearby flying fish