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.
ABC News At Noon -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is live captioned by Ericsson Access Services. Today: Political donation reforms - the Prime Minister considers serious restrictions on contributions to party coffers.

The former Federal MP Clive Palmer cops a grilling at the Federal Court over the demise of Queensland Nickel. Cable car emergency - dozens of people stranded thousands of metres in the air in the French Alps. Good afternoon, you're watching ABC News. I'm Jeremy Fernandez. Also ahead on the program: The swimmer Lakeisha Patterson takes out Australia's first gold medal at the Paralympics Games in Rio. And the Western Bulldogs open the AFL finals the
with a stunning upset victory over the West Coast Eagles. P of The rules covering political donations are set to be overhauled, but debate has erupted about just how far the reforms should go. The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, says he'd been in favour of banning money from foreign sources. The Federal Opposition says the Government is trying to avoid a simple discussion by also calling for an end to union donations. Political reporter Matthew Doran joins us live now from Parliament House. Matthew, is there any likelihood to be agreement on this matter?Well, this is well and truly on the political agenda but the two major parties are coming at it from slightly different angles. You would think, at the moment, there does seem to be quite a distance in between their proposals. So coming to any sort of agreement in the future could be tricky. Malcolm Turnbull has said that that limited
political donations should be limited to people on the Australian Electoral Roll, in a way, getting rid of any influence from foreigners, and that is a party position that Labor has. They do want to ban foreign donations, Malcolm Turnbull, in saying or making this classification of the ec electoral has -- electoral roll has in fact gone further. That would wipe out any donations from the union movement or any donations from the business community, something the Labor Party has raised serious concerns with. Christopher Pyne was speaking on commercial television this morning and said it is a very complex matter and there is much to be spoerng about before any sort of agreement can be -- spoken about before any sort of agreement can be reached.You also have to do something about third party campaigning. It is not as simple as everyone thinks it is.Christopher Pyne speaking there earlier this morning. Labor has also raised concerns with what Mr Turnbull is suggesting. There have been two High Court cases in recent years about the constitutionality of banning unions and corporations from giving funds to political parties. In one of those cases the High Court overruled an attempt by the NSW Government to cut out corporations and unions, and Mark Dreyfus says this is an example of Malcolm Turnbull trying to look after himself. He's also said if the Government is actually clear and is coming to the table to discuss these sort of matters, it needs to come in good faith and sit down with the Labor Party to come to some sort of bipartisan plan.We now have calls for donations reform from John Howard, from Tony Abbott, from a range of Liberal Party members. Mr Turnbull is saying that he is prepared to entertain donations reform and, in particular, a ban on foreign donations. Labor is saying, "Let's do this."Mark Dreyfus there, and the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been criticising his successor today over the the royal commission into the youth detention centre in the Northern Territory? That's right, that came after the shocking image of the prisoners being stripped and tear-gassed and a day after the Federal Government announced a royal commission into the detention situation in the Northern Territory. The former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has almost suggested that this was too much of a snap decision. He said that governments need to look at all of the factors first before making such a grand decision in instituting something like a royal commission. Here is talking to Sydney radio station 2G B this morning.I'm confident that this royal commission, given its terms of reference, there come up with a reasonable report. But you're right, Alan, normally governments should Minister.
not respond in panic to a TV Prime Minister.I don't think anybody responded in panic. I think people responded to the dreadful images that were shown in that program, and to the, you know, ethical response, which was this is not something that should happen in our country. It is a pity Tony Abbott wants to play a bit of Liberal Party internal politics with an issue that really should be above politics.The Opposition frontbencher Penny Wong speaking there from Jakarta where she is on a trade commission. This goes to show this royal commission does indeed have a bipartisan report. But Tony Abbott says given the terms of reference of this commission, he does believe it will come to some sort of valid recommendation particularly if both sides of the argument - those of the victims and those people running the youth detention in the Northern Territory - are adequately heard. Matthew Doran, thank you. Australia has been warned not to put Britain ahead of the EU when it comes to trade. European politicians disappointed by the Brexit vote have confronted Australian Ministers about a proposed new deal with Britain. James Glenday reports from Brussels. In the Parliament in Brussels, the beating heart of European bureaucracy, two of our nation's top ministers held talks about an EU free-trade deal. My clear message from Australia's experience is that free-trade agreements drive economic growth and deliver jobs. But during a special hearing, they were confronted by MPs, who were concerned Australia is also discussing a future agreement with Britain - a country that recently decided to exit their organisation. You cannot dance with two people at once and if you want to get a serious trade deal with the European Union, you will have to focus on the European Union and make that your sole negotiations. You can't have side deals and side negotiations with the United Kingdom.Our nation seems to be onboard the Brexit bus even though the UK isn't out the EU's door. It was the Trade Minister's trip to London this beak that raised the ire of MPs.They're upset that they've lost the referendum. You have to look at it from a perspective they didn't think they'd be in this situation.For Australia's top diplomat, Brexit is a delicate balancing act. Julie Bishop pushing for closer ties with Downing Street, and trying to make new friends that can help us on the continent. All the issues with the EU are overly complex because they involve 28 different countries, and self of those simply don't care about Australia. So the message coming from many in here is get the EU free-trade deal done first before even speaking to Britain, or else risk missing out altogether. The former Federal MP Clive Palmer is being grilled at the Federal Court over the collapse of Queensland Nickel. Andrew Kos is at the court. The questioning is focused on the directorship of the company?It certainly has. What we've heard this morning is a focus of when Clive Palmer was a director of Queensland Nickel. We've heard he first stepped down from that position in 2013 when he took on a role to try and oust the then Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman. He subsequently was a director in 2014 and stepped down when he became a Federal MP. Then he again held a short directorship role in 2015, when his nephew and Managing Director of Queensland Nickel Clive Mensink was going through a divorce. Most of today's focus was on a notepad or a diary that Clive Palmer get recording the joint venture adpreems set up between Queensland Nickel and Queensland Metals and Queensland Resources. That diary he has kept since 2009. We heard he only wrote in that diary using a pencil, not a pen, and it relates to any decisions agreement.
made about that joint venture agreement. We've heard that he would often sign off decisions either verbally or writing in this diary, signing all three different times for those three different companies. But he has constantly denied making directions directly to Queensland Nickel. He says all the directions he's made have been through this joint venture agreement of which he is chairman. This is a key in the case because lawyers are trying to ascertain if Clive Palmer acted as a director of Queensland Nickel in the lead-up to its collapse when he wasn't a listed director.What has the court about the wraabouts of its Manning director, Clive men sink?We heard that Clive Palmer spoke to him last week, that's when he was in Berlin. The liquidators have been trying to serve Clive with a sum mons to appear in this hearing. They haven't been able to do that because he has been in Europe for the past couple of months.Sit clear what is happening at the hearing for the rest of the day yet?Yes, we expect Clive Palmer to be in the stand certainly for the rest of the day. We expect to hear more about the financial dealings of Queensland Nickel - if and how money was moved between Queensland Nickel accounts and that other joint venture arrangement. So that's what we can expect from this afternoon and, of course, Clive Palmer will be back on the stand on Monday.A police officer who assaulted a man at a police station in Sydney has been placed on a good behaviour bond. Leading Senior Constable Shaun Moylan pushed Amy Adams in a charge room cell last year causing him to fall backwards and hit his head. That incident was captured on TV, Karl Hoerr is at the scene?Indeed. Leading Senior Constable Moylan was on duty last year when alps ms a alps was t -- Mark Adamski was in the charge room holding cell. He was affected by alcohol. That footage shows the officer throwing open aggressively the door to that cell and confronting Mr Adamski and pushing him backwards on two occasions. Now, Mr Adamski did fall and hit the back of his head. The officer, Officer Moylan, pleaded not guilty to all of the charges that he faced but today he was convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm and he has been placed on a 15-month good behaviour bond for that conviction.The magistrate remarked about the severity of the assault, that it could have been much worse? She did. The magistrate said that the significant amount of force used in this incident could have resulted in more serious injury. She noted that the officer had claimed that he was acting in self-defence, that he perceived that he was going to be assaulted by Mr Adamski. She completely rejected that and, in fact, said that it was almost absurd. The court was told that the officer has been suspended and now faces the very real prospect of losing his career. But the magistrate appeared to have little sympathy in that regard. She said that that is what happens when real boundaries are crossed. She noted that police officers are in a special position, and she said that the footage show that is there -- shows that there had been a sudden rush of blood to the head with disastrous consequences.The twin brother of the man who murdered Leetown high school teacher skef sunny cot has been released from a NSW jail. Marcus Stanford was released from a jail complex a short time ago. He was sitting in the rear of a vehicle. The car sped off quickly. The car was followed by a number of media outleths then a police car also followed that contingent. Marcus Stanford has served a 15-month jail term for being an accessory after the fact to Leetown High School teacher Stephanie Scott's murder in April last year. Marcus Stanford in custody since his arrest, so even though he was only sentenced just over a fortnight ago, with time already served, he was eligible to be released today. His twin brother, Vincent Stanford, who has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulted and murdering Stephanie Scott, will be sentenced in October. A French policeman has been stabbed during an operation to arrest three women over an abandoned car found with gas canisters near the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Authorities say the women aged between 19 and 39, had been radicalised and appeared to be preparing an imminent attack. The vehicle had its hazard warning lites flashing and no number plates when found from the iconic landmark on Saturday. Several hundred people have been trapped in cable cars hundreds of metres above the French Alps. Those stuck in food.
inside have been given blankets an food. The cable car is on the border between Italy and France at an altitude of 3,000m. Aid agencies working in Syria have condemned the United Nations and Syrian's Red Crescent's response there saying Bashar al-Assad's interfering with aid efforts. They allege the Syrian Government has blocked deliveries of besieged areas and removed medical supplies from convoy. The UN has previously said its agencies must work with key government departments to deliver relief. Thousands of migrants are now stuck in Greece as the processing of their asylum claims grinds to a halt. There are fears they're being held in limbo to discourage others from arriving. It all looks so calm. The tourists are here, indulging, enjoying their Greek summer. In the background, the refugees linger, trapped, as Europe's crisis festers. Out at sea, the boats have slowed. Greek coast guards scan the water. But tonight, nothing. Europe's deal with Turkey is having an effect. Turkish patrols deterring more crossings.

Arrive -- arrivals now a hundred a day, not thousands. So it is here on the land where the crisis has continued.So we've slept in the garden about 20 days and no-one cared about us.This man is now stuck in a temporary shelter, hoping for refugee status but with no end in sight, like 60,000 refugees. There are people waiting six months and they are still waiting. For me, I am two months. Maybe we will wait two years or more.Adding to their frustration, the refugees can't work. They're reliant on handouts and it is charities, not the EU, that's feeding them. For Safa, a Syrian Kurd, and her family, it is demoralising, degrading, it is not what they expected in Europe. TRANSLATION: We escaped death, war. How can they reject us, where is their humanity. We are in Europe. Europe is always talking about their human rights, they must protect us. The refugees have made their own shanty and the Islanders believe the EU is deliberately slowing the asylum process to deter more arrivals.The EU wants to minimise the flows, so leaves this procedure to take months for the refugees.The EU policies then have, to an extent, secured Europe's borders here for now, limiting the influx. But they've left Greece and the refugees already here in limbo. Unclear when or to where they'll ever move on. Millions of pill grams have begun arriving at Islam's holiest site in Saudi Arabia ahead of the start of the Hajj later today. More than 4 million Muslims are expected to take part in this year's pilgrim imagine which is required once in the life of all able-bodied followers of the faith. Massive construction is under way to improve mecca's infrastructure so it can better handle the annual influx of worships. Last year thousands of people were killed in a stampede during the event. Stay with us, we look at the markets next. Then, the weathering wilderness - the shocking impacts humans have had on the health of the planet over the past 20 years. Alicia Barry is with us. Glenn Stevens has a week left before he leaves the RBA and he has had a few parting words?He has indeed. This is presumably one of the last media interviews if not the last, before he hands over the reigns next Friday. The Reserve Bank Governor in this interview said he has some discomfort about the surging Sydney house prices. He has argued concerns about hot spots in the housing market need to be weighed up against the need to stimulate economic activity and home prices shouldn't dictate the direction of interest rates entirely. He says Australia has a two- speed economy, in NSW, the housing market is heating up, while in contrast, resource-rich states like Western Australia and Queensland have seen economic growth rates slump. The wide-ranging interview covered Mr Stevens' worries about the complacency that 25 years of straight economic growth can cause among some policy-makers. He's also hit out at central bank policies around the world to stimulate growth saying they must pass the Bunnings test. That is, they must stimulate or encourage consumer spending.Alicia, looking at the markets, it looks like a fairly weak session today?It is. We're seeing a sell down for the second day this week. The Australian share market is trading near a 2-month low as the banks fall out of favour again. The All Ords is off two-thirds of a per cent. The As X 200 is down a similar amount. The Commonwealth Bank and Westpac are among the worse of the big four. Origin Energy is among the best performers after announcing the resignation of its Chief Executive Grant King. And BHB Billiton is doing well. Across the region, the Nikkei has dipped a little across the morning trade. Wall Street lost value overnight with Apple shares sliding after the technology giant's latest offering, the iPhone 7, failed to impress investors. The market's overall falls were limited by gains in the energy sector after crude oil prices rallied. Looking at the commodities market - spot gold fairly flat. But you can see the crude oil prices shot up overnight to $47.58 US a barrel. There is data out today showing a bigger than expected fall in the number of home loans approved during Julich this, of course, was -- July. This, of course, was before the August rate cut. The Australian dollar not too affected by those numbers.Alicia, thank you. Australia has won its first gold medal of the 2016 Paralympics Games. Lakeisha Patterson set a new world record in the S8 400m freestyle, and Sue Powell claimed silver in the veg cycling pursuit. Stairn stairntarian is in Rio. This the the -- Guy Stapner is -- Stayner is in Rio.I was a little bit disappointed I couldn't get a better time but, hey, came home with a medal, that's great.Sue Powell won gold in London. This silver takes her medal count to three, after damaging her spinal cord playing hockey nine years ago. Rio certainly has one thing in common with Australia - it is synonymous with sand and surf and Australians are continuing their love affair with the water here in Rio. And Lakeisha Patterson is set to make Australia fall in love her - a gold medallist at 17.I knew I had to keep that rhythm going as hard as I can.She is nicknamed Lucky Lakeisha, but she needed a lot more than luck.When I looked at the scoreboard, I knew my dream has just beginning.Looking at sports news now with Chris Glassisck. A big upset for the Eagles?Yes, we didn't see this one coming. The Bulldogs are through, defeating the West Coast Eagles in the AFL. The Bulldogs attacked from the onset. With ferocious pressure and unrelenting commitment, they created numerous chances upfront. And the little men slowly took control of the match. The Bulldogs stretched their lead at every change and celebrated a 47-point win, wholeheartedly, at the end of the match. Only two weeks ago they were beaten on the same ground by lowly Fremantle. Now they're through to the next stage of the AFL finals. They go on to prepare to meet the loser of tonight's Geelong-Hawthorn qualifying match. Jeremy, in the Bulldogs' dressing room, it says 'anything is'. They have it up in their dressing room as their slogan and maybe it is. They're chasing their first flag in 62 years.The NRL finals kick off tonight with an all-Queensland match.What a match it will be, a packed out Lang Park between the Queensland Broncos and the Gold Coast Titans. If you asked anybody at the start of the year where these teams would have ended up, it would be complete opposite ends of the table. The Broncos, will start as strong favourites over the Titans, who have done exceptionally well to make the top 8. Jarryd Hayne will be playing at fullback tonight and his clash with Darius Boyd is one to look out for. Young gun Ash Taylor, who has had a sensational debut season, takes on Ben Hunt. For the loser tonight, the season comes to an abrupt halt. It give the Titans some chance but I think the Broncos will be too strong.To the tennis, Venus Williams has crashed out of the US Open.Absolutely gob smacked with this one. She has been beaten by Karolina Pliskova, the world number 10, and playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal. There were no signs of nerves, though. She pulled out all the strokes to win the first set 6-2. Williams had been serving well but it went awry at the crucial moments. Here she is serving an ace but when it really mattered at match point in the second set, got to 6-6, got to the tie break, unbelievable double-faulted. Uncharacteristic for Serena Williams. Crashing out. I think everyone at flushing Meadowss -- Flushing Meadows were gobsmacked. Williams' lost means it has cost her her shot at a 23rd blamd title but also that record 187th straight week as the world number 1. She'll be stuck as a joint record holder with Stefi Graf. Kerber will become the new world number 1 when the rankings are released on wond.And finally, quickly, some surfing news?Yes, back in Southern California. It was an entertaining first round. Here is Joel Parkinson, who was up against Mick Fanning. Parkinson too good in the end. Beautiful waves of the Trestles Beach line. He is successfully through to the third round. Fanning served a 7.8. After that horrific 2015, he is having a more enjoyable 2016, but he'll have to go through the repo charge.30 soldiers from Australia, the United States and China have been thrown into the remote Northern Territory without food and water. The exercise is aimed at building trust and strengthening relations between soldiers from different nations. Crocs, humidity and sparse bushland - the Top End bush is one of the hardest places to survive.Here it is dry and hot, especially in the afternoon.The exercise is in its third year. 30 soldiers from Australia, the US and China have spent a week in the bush learning survival skills in a remote part of the Daily -- Daley River region such of Darwin.We say act like the locals.Locals taught the soldiers about weaving and catching goanna.I never thought that brains liver and heart were on the menu. Turns out they were.There is nothing like a big feast after a week out bush to unify these soldiers but this exercise comes within an interesting political climate. As tensions rise between the US and China in the South China Sea, military leaders here say they're focusing on creating friendships. TRANSLATION: I don't think there is any tension in the South China Sea. It's just a joke. This exercise is a very positive indicator of how we are going to solve any issues and problems in the future.The scenario, the situation overcomes those problems. There are no issues. But when asked if politicians could learn from the relationships built between the soldiers, neither general wanted to answer. Firefighters have rescued a cat from the rubble of a collapsed house - 15 days after a magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit central Italy. The quake killed nearly 300 people with most damage in the town of Amartrice. The cat called Pietro appeared reluctant to be pulled from the rubble and crashed the hand of the rescuer. He was rushed to a vet clinic. He suffered dehydration and a broken jaw. Looking at the earth. A mostly sunny day with late rain later on. Showers for Melbourne and Brisbane today. Grey skies for Adelaide. Patchy skies for Hobart and Canberra. A sunny day in Darwin. Stay with us, coming up later on the program, the genetic secrets of giraffes - new research shows that types.
there are in fact four different

A reminder now of the top stories - the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, says he is opening to reforming political donations laws to prevent unions, activist groups and foreigners from making contributions. The debate was sparked by the resignation of Labor Senator Sam Dastyari, who allowed a Chinese-linked company to pay off a personal debt. The businessman and former Federal MP Clive Palmer has been denied being heavily involved in Queensland Nickel throughout last year. He's being questioned at a Federal Court hearing in Brisbane over the collapse of the company, which left 800 people out of work. 45 people remain trapped on a series of cable cars high above the French Alps. A helicopter rescue operation has been suspended for the night, and will resume at first light. The cable cars are stuck at an altitude of 3,800m. And the swimmer Lakeisha Patterson has won Australia its first gold medal at the Paralympics. The Queenslander broke the world record in the SA 400m freestyle. Sue Powell had earlier won Australia's first medal of the gaips with a silver -- Games with a silver in the individual pursuit cycling. And the US has hit back by Donald Trump's comments that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a better leader.I don't think the guy is qualified to be President of the United States. And every time he speaks, that opinion is confirmed. Mr Obama said his meetings on a tour of Asia, including the G20 sum submit in China, show -- summit in China, showed how important it is for the US President to be well informed and to have coherent policies.

policies. Taliban forces have entered Tarenkot where Australian troops have been stationed. 41 Australian stroops were killed and more than 200 injured during the commission. US Secretary of State John Kerry will hold talks with Sergey Lavrov over the Syrian crisis. One of those heavily affected areas is a rebel heldarea in the capital da mus cus. The -- da ma cus. -- Damascus. These families in the UN words have faced four years of unrelenting siege. Children starved. Stavering people eat grass. The departs families have fled from Dur eya, in an evc wags -- evacuation condemned by the UN. For the regime, both places were nests of terrorists. (GUNFIRE) Local men said they were just defending themselves. (EXPLOSION) These are forced evacuations. Siege and starvation make people desperate. Children were dressed in their best clothes for the journey. The families are still proud. But this was no party. TRANSLATION: We've left behind tragedy. It's a tragedy everyone shared.Two of this lady's son were killed and so were two granddaughters. TRANSLATION: My heart was broken for my two children. They were looking for food and they never came back. My two granddaughters, 10 and 15-years-old, were visiting their grandmother. A mortar hit the house. Five people were killed. Those are my memories of the last four years. Life here, she said, was like death. The on the faces of some of these civilians you can see the strain they've been living under for such a long time. Now, massive disruption in their lives, huge drank tragedy, but for the Government, this is a good day because they are strengthening their hold on the area around the capital. And, for President Assad, that counts as an important step forward. For the rebels, all this adds up to a defeat.

Syrian Army soldiers searched everyone leaving. They seem to respect the opposition fighters who emerged from the area under a local truce. After a few minutes, the two groups warmed enough to pose for pictures. What do you think of this man? He is there, he has a picture of Assad on his uniform?I don't hate him. I don't hate him for his, for he is a person, he is a Syrian man. I don't hate him. He is a Syrian man also. For me, I want all people who killed us, who killed our children, who attacked us with chemicals to be judged and put in jail. That's what I want.When is all this going to end?Ah, I think when Assad is gone. ,Some Port Melbourne fighters could follow the civilians out, if they're offered safe passage. This war might have years left in it but in this part of the capital suburbs, for now, it looks to be over. An international study says there is evidence that one-tenth of the world's wilderness areas has been lost to land clearing in the past two decades. One of the report's contributors is Kendall Jones from the University of Queensland. He joins us from Queensland. Kendall Jones, this study points to a considerable acceleration of the loss of wilderness.We annualised wilderness -- annalised wilderness from the 1990s and we found that one-tenth has been lost. That's a massive area. It is Western Australia and NSW combined.Are these new wilderness areas being created and conserved on the other side of the ledger?It happens for a multitude of reasons - for Forrest cleaning, timber products and timber-based goods. Forests have been cleared for pasture, and also for mining of fossil fuels and minerals. On the other hand, you can't really create new wilderness areas to sort of offset the loss that you're doing. Or the loss that's happening. Wilderness is defined as naturally intact areas that are uninfluenced by human activities. Once they're gone, they're gone forever. If you destroy wilderness you're destroying a place that has been in that area for hundreds of millions every year. I see one of the bright spots in this report is most wilderness areas are still made of up of large continuous blocs, which is environmentally (sic) for their size.That's right. We -- significant for size Yes, that's right. We found remaining areas of wilderness are found in large blocks. Some of the great mega fauna we have around the world, lions, tigers, they need those large intact landscapes to survive.Take us through the specifics of which parts of the world are worse affected and how Australia compare Unfortunately, it is es?Some of the most biodiverse places in the world which were the most hardest hit. The Amazon, for example, lost over 30% of its wilderness and central Africa, home to the gorilla, lost 15%. These are some of the most biodiverse and species-rich places on the planet and they're under the most threat. Australia has the largest intact Savannah landscape in the world and the world intact Mediterranean woodland system in the world but, unfortunately, Australia has been heavily modified already, so there is not a lot of wilderness let apart from the centre where there is a dessert.One of the aims of the policy was the measure of how to keep up with the loss of wilderness. What have you found?We have found that we are destroying what we're protecting.What are the consequences of that?There are many. Wilderness is important for biodiversity but it is important for people. It is important for climate change. These large, intact landscapes, they capture and store massive amounts of carbon. When they're destroyed, that carbon is released into the atmosphere, which results in climate change with month after month, year after year of record temperatures being broken. Thank you, Kendall. To most people, a giraffe is a giraffe, but scientists have discovered that, in fact, there are four different types. In genetic terms it means the differences between some African giraffes are surprisingly large. They're Africas gentlist giants, but these animals are in decline, as their natural habitat is shrinking. That threat was the trigger for an investigation. Geneticists and conservationists working together to sample giraffe DNA to find out more populations.
about these increasingly fragmented populations. And this revealed a genetic surprise. The results show there are four different species of giraffe, all very tall and they look very similar, but they're genetically distinct from one another as a polar bear is from a brown bear. The animals here at the zoo is just one of the four - a reticulated giraffe. The others are northern giraffes, southern giraffes and Masai giraffes. To conservationists, this is crucial information.Understanding they look different is a start. Understanding now there are real genetic differences, helps us understand there may be differences in mating behaviour and breeding patterns, which is critical to conserving a species and important to understanding how threats might impact upon it, how can we reduce them and save species from extinction. The wild population of giraffes has declined by 40% in the last 15 years. So looking deep into their DNA could help conservationists work out exactly what these animals need from their Vietnam to help protect the -- environment, to help protect the habitat that the world's tallest animals rely on. As the nation's cities go upward with more and more people living in apartments, public open space is more and more important - something Gardening Australia is looking at this weekend and Kosta joins us now. You've been looking at a skate parkYes. Gashdens are part of the urban environment. What's interesting about it is the whole process of involving the community in designing these rare spaces, which are very valuable in cities now.So what is significant about this particular skate park?I think what's significant about it is that there was an entire consultation process and it was actually designed by the youth for the youth. And what I like most about it is that it's not on some der rel lict piece of -- derelict on the outskirts of the city...It is prime real estate. That's the waterfront in Freo. Exactly. It's there for everyone to see the youth, they're not railroaded to the edge of the town. The results have been phenomenal. How has that been for the life of city. You don't want to just cater to one group of people but this has implications for the rest of the residents who live there?Exactly. Because there is some sensitive, Korea -- creative landscapes, parents can come there, watch your children, walk your dogs around. It is encouraging people to be outside. Instead of young people at home on tablets, computers, they're outside. Meanwhile, Gerry has been taking a look at tropical fruits and flowers. In particular, some little heard of natives?Yes, whenever I go up into the tropics I feel like I need a visa because having grown up in the south, there's so many fruits and so many varieties of plants that I just look at and think, "Whoa, I've got to go back to Hort school to learn all these." What's interesting now when you combine the interest if food and cooking, we're starting to discover a huge palet of fruit...So what? Give us an example?Probably one people would start to see now is the Buddha's Hand. It is a citrus. It looks like a hand with a bunch of fingers.That's right. As people latch onto these different varieties, it starts to push their palet and starts to puch the opportunities for horticulture because then more people grow them, more nurseries supply them and you start to change eating habits and appreciation.An eventful weekend for you because Bush Care's on?Yes, Landcare was Englished -- established by Bob Hawke in the 1990s to look after agricultural land. Bush Care's Big Day Out is about cleaning up the bush.I know weeding is one of the big kind of things to do with the bush?That's right. If the weeds are controlled, slowly, slowly, by local people, they take ownership, they take pride, there is less waste, less rubbish, people look after it. Thanks for joining us.No worries. Coming up next - speeding to victory, two of Australia's Paralympics rowers tipped for gold. The local share market is on track for its fourth week of losses with a sell-off in the banking sector pushing pressure on the broader market.

The Fair Work Commission has pushed back a decision on weekend penalty rates till later this year. In a statement, it is said that the Australian Industry Group needs to provide further evidence to support a case for its reduction. A hearing is sculled for the end of -- scheduled for the end of this month. In Port Augusta, an 80-metre smoke stack has been blown up in a controlled explosion. I am across the Spencer Gulf from the closed Port Augusta Power Station where dozens have gathered to watch the first milestone in its demolition. It took seconds for explosives to bring down the 80-metre smoke stack. Restrictions have been put around the site for safety. But that didn't stop people coming to have a look. Yeah, fairly bittersweet, really, nostalgic. A bit sad and sad that I haven't got a job there anymore. But hopeful that it will be symbolic of a new era in electricity generation from Port Augusta.We come up from Claire this morning to watch this. The power station has gone. All of that will be demolished. I'd like some record of it.The smoke stack was part of the oldest part of the decommissioned
station here which was decommissioned in the 1980s. The taller, 200m smoke stack is expected to come down some time next year. The Port Augusta's Power Station and Leigh Creek Coal mine closed because they were no longer financial power, putting hundreds out of work. For many competing at the Rio Paralympics competing is much more than a stage of excellence. We look at two rowers, and what they've overcome to get their chance, which is remarkable. Early morning, midwinter, on Lake Burley Griffin, this is only for the very determined. For four years, Gavin Bellies and Katherine Ross have been training for Rio.He's definitely the engine. (LAUGHS) He's the engine in the boat and I hope to hold up a good rhythm and pace. I just be quiet and row as hard as I can. Oh, Georgia, Dad could be in with a chance here. Training further Paralympics has kept Gavin away from his family on the Gold Coast for much of the past nine months. The time they do spend together is increasingly precious. Gavin is living with a rare degenerative disease. The symptoms first appeared 12 years ago while he was serving in the army.I was going for a run, and my legs hit each other and I was on the ground. I got up, another 10m, same thing happened again. It wasn't until I got home back to Australia that I went and got it checked out.The diagnosis was a heredity disease which blocks communication between the brain and the spinal cord causing an increasing loss of physical control. Invariably, it leads to life in a wheelchair. There is no cure and, more often than not, it's fatal. Gavin was medically discharged from the army.Yeah, I was in a black hole, so to speak, for quite a few years.Then in 2008, life took a turn.I still remember the day when we were watching the Paralympics, the Beijing ones. We were watching the swimming and he just happened to say, "Hey, look, they've got a ataxeia", and he pulled out his laptop researching what potential sport he could do.Gavin chose rowing and four years later he was competing at the London Games.The reason I'm doing it is for my girls. Being a heredity disease, they both have a chance of getting it and that was my driver, to show my children that it doesn't matter if they have this condition or not, life just takes you down a different path. It doesn't mean your life is over. Attention. Go.Competing in those Beijing Paralympics was Kathryn Ross, the other half of this team. Kathryn was two when she was accidentally run over by a ride-on lawnmower driven by her father. Her right leg was all but destroyed. 50 operations later, she decided to be a Paralympian just 18 months out from Beijing.We missed gold by. 8 of a second. Looking up in the stands those people who assessed me at the talent, said, "Wow, this didn't happen." I'm like, "Hi, guys, told you if I want to do something, I will do it."The two of them now share a bond far stronger than sport.I have the utmost respect for this man, almost above and beyond any other person I've never met. Without rowing, I don't know where I'd be or what would happen. So I've got a lot to be thankful for. Beautiful wife, two beautiful kids. Um, and I can say that I am a London Paralympian, I'm a 3-time world champion and going to Rio, so life's pretty good, I suppose. Ben Worsley with that report. The artist Wendy Sharp has drawn inspiration in many quarters over a colourful and successful career. She was Australia's official war artist in East Timor and has worked in some of the most exotic and remote locations including Antarctic. But it was her victory in the Archibald Prize that brought the most dramatic change.I got more attention, it seemed, the year I won the Archibald. I was everywhere. It was really extraordinary. As an artist, you are usually trying to get some kind of attention because you want people to come and see your work so you need some kind of publicity, but I just couldn't believe that. It is a shock. Friends of a friend of a friend, who I met at a party 10 years before, contacted me. Like everyone who even slightly met, someone who met me at a bus stop contacted me. So, there was was an incredible amount of attention. After a while, I felt a fraud because I was doing interviews and I was talking about what I was doing as a painter or an artist, and I wasn't actually doing it, because I didn't have time to do it.Do you think you were treated differently because you are a woman?Yeah. Look, there's always questions about being a woman and there's always a novelty because there has hardly been any women that have won that prize. Of people who've won it, there's not many paintings of women. So that's certainly a novelty. And there still certainly is an attitude where if you say an artist, people think of a man. If you say artist and model, you think of a man probably with a beard and a nude woman. You always think of that. So there are still cliches and although things have certainly improved, there are still some disadvantages of being a woman in a way. One of the things I find people say a 'leading female or woman artist'. You never hear them say, "A leading man artist.' And why do I have a special status being a woman.That full interview is on ABC News 24 tomorrow. Designers in the US are adopting the see now, buy now trend during New York Fashion Week that allows consumers to buy designs straight from the caught walk. Tom Ford is one of those who has made new styles available immediately. Labels usually display their designs available next year. With fashion shows now live-streamed, consumers are becoming increasingly unhappy about having to wait months before they can buy their latest trendy clothes. Let's look they can buy their latest trendy
clothes. Let's look at the weather with Vanessa O'Hanlon.A deepening low pressure system moving over the south-east and bringing lots of rain with it with flood watches and warnings from Tasmania all the way up to NSW. Our next band of cloud is part of a cold front that heads up to the south-west and behind it we have specled cold cloud -- speckled cold cloud.

Tomorrow, the band of rain moves over to to eastern parts of Queensland, mainly up into the northeastern areas of NSW and clears off the NSW coast away from Tasmania and Victoria. There is the next weather system that will travel through the Bight. It will affect everyone by Monday with very cold temperatures.

Thanks, Vanessa. That's ABC News for now. I'm Jeremy Fernandez. Thanks for your company.