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(generated from captions) This program is not captioned. This program is live captioned by Ericsson Access Services. Today - round 2 coming for a battered SA, more heavy rain and strong winds on the way.

Investigators say flight MH-17 was hit by a missile brought in from Russia. A search resumes this morning for 2 young women believed to be missing in Sydney's Royal National Park. And Cooper Cronk and Jason Taumalolo tie to take out the NRL's top honour, the Dally M Medal. Hello, welcome to mornings. I'm Joe O'Brien. Taking a quick look at the weather:

SA is again bracing for a severe weather event after it was lashed by a once in 50-year storm yesterday that left all of the State without power. A severe warning for gale-force winds remains in place for most areas. Flood watches are also in place and a flood warning has been issued for the Onkaparinga River. The mid north could get up to 100 mm of rain. People are still left out power. The Premier Jay Weatherill says damage to power infrastructure could have been much worse if SA was not cut off from the national electricity market.A major storm event came through and was of such force that when the force of the wind hit the power lines it was of such a magnitude that it ripped the towers that were supporting those wires out of the ground and at least 22 of them, I think that's the count so far, had been ripped up. This is the major high-voltage transmission that runs down the centre of the State. At the same time we had 80,000 lightning strikes, some of them hit our electricity asset. So this is an unprecedented perfect storm of events that all lined up at the same time and the system shut down to protect itself. There are no doubts some issues about the way in which the national energy market operates and the way in which renewable energy plays into that. But that's a separate question from what occurred yesterday. That's certainly what the Australian energy market operator has told us and those things can be dealt with through important reforms to the Australian energy market and we're working closely with Josh Frydenberg on those matters. Let's not confuse the two issues. Yesterday was a catastrophic failure of infrastructure which brought down our network. That is the cause of it, that's acknowledged by Josh Frydenberg by the market operator, but there will be somebody who will use a crisis to pull out their real agenda which is they don't like renewable energy. That's politics but it's disappointing that people would play those debates into the process at this time when we're in the middle of responding to a crisis.Jay Weatherill speaking this morning from Adelaide. And Simon Emms is the executive manager of Electra Net which operates the SA high-voltage electricity transmission network and he joins us on the phone. Good morning. What's the latest on the regions and major centres still without power?OK, so we have restored power to the metropolitan area and primarily the majority of the State south of Clare. But nothing else.So give us some of the major regions then and towns in those regions that are still without power.So the mid north, Clare Valley and A Eyre Peninsula and upper north would be without power at the moment.OK, and so does that include all the west of the State as well, places like Ceduna, Port Augusta, Whyalla? Correct.And so how about how many homes and businesses roughly?We understand from SA Power network it's about 70,000 homes.When do you hope you might be able to reconnect those people? I understand this is a crisis situation and this will be tough to answer but I've got to ask the question. When do you hope you might be able to reconnect those people?So there are 4 circuit, backbone circuits from Adelaide to Port Augusta and we know 3 out of those 4 are damaged, ie there are assets on the ground. The remaining circuit we are in the process of patrolling at the moment and we expect to have that patrol completed by lunchtime. Should that patrol determine that it's safe to energise and that there's no damage to that circuit, then we should have power onto the Port Pirie and Port Augusta regions by lunchtime, midafternoon. Then the personnel that are doing that patrol will be reassigned and any extra personnel we can get our hands onto patrolling the lines that then feed off those substations.So that's best-case scenario is that areas around Port Pirie, Port Augusta might be back on by this afternoon but what about for other areas of the State?Obviously we need to ensure that we turn assets back on and they're safe and what we're talking about is ensuring that there are no roads that have power lines down across them, that there are no - none of our high-voltage lines that are across lower voltage lines. We've basically got to make sure that the lines that are turned on are in the air and obviously that takes time. Efforts are being hampered by the continued severe weather. So I understand the question and why it's the most important question from everyone's perspective, but in terms of actually answering it, you know, we're going to make sure that we don't pose any - we're not going to do anything that creates a public safety risk.And you can't raise people's expectations unrealistically.No, and that's why I don't, you know, I don't really want to say a number.It could be - some people in the State will likely be without power for several days, is it fair enough to say that?Look, I think it would be very optimistic to assume that the whole State will be back on today.OK, and as you mentioned, it's still dangerous in some areas today to have workers out?Absolutely. I am not at all confident we understand the full extent of damage to the network. Any of your listeners should, even if the line's on the ground should treat it as if it's live. We obviously - any reports of damage help us get a better understanding of the state of the network. So if they could call SA Power Network that would be great.OK, so what was the reason for the State wide blackout?So in the mid north yesterday over a 7-second period, there were 3 of our lines, 3 of those circuits, that failed. Now at the moment we're not sure if that is due to lightning or higher winds but personally I think it's probably due to higher winds. So they drop to the ground. That meant approximately 50% of the generation in the State was tripped off and the - it's a bit like halving the power to your car as you're going up a hill. It just stalled.And so at that point you say you think it was probably the high winds that caused that - possibly the higher winds that caused that -The damage to the towers on the photos that I've seen, it's clear evidence there's been immensely strong winds there.Yeah, we've just got one of those shots up now, it's extensive damage to the system obviously, and how many of those towers went down as far as you know and what kind of winds are they built to withstand?At the moment we understand that 23 towers that are on the ground, I'm not exactly sure what those - they're designed for but they're designed in line with the Australian standards and, of course, that's the risk-based approach because you can't - it's not practical or prudent to actually design a tower to withstand any wind condition.Now did the blackout and/or the speed at which you are able to reconnect people have anything whatsoever to do with the fact that you have a large portion of power in SA generated by wind? No.Why then is this the first time that a whole State has lost power in such a long time? We've heard it mentioned this morning this is the first time in more than 40 or so years that a whole State has lost power?I think it's just a characteristic that any State in Australia that lost approximately half its generation in 5 seconds would go black.So there is significant damage to infrastructure, the towers, as you mentioned. Presumably that's going to take a long time to repair?There are - the initial efforts will be on temporary repairs to basically get the lines back in the air, to re-establish power and then we will work on permanent repairs.So is the damage to the system in the tens of millions of dollars at least, considering those images that we've seen and you've seen?I think that's probably on the high side but, you know, I wouldn't like to speculate at this time because I don't understand the full extent of the damage.And is it likely that eventually power bills for people will have to increase over time to cover the costs of this because it just looks like it's going to be such a huge job to fix it all up?We have insurance and insurance reserves, how the accountants account for this is up for them.OK, Simon Emms, thanks very much for talking to us this morning and good luck with your work over the coming weeks and months re-establishing the system there.Pleasure, thank you. Let's get the latest now from Adelaide. Reporter Nathan Stitt joins me from there. It looks pretty calm in Adelaide at the moment but a second system is due to come through?Yes, so as you say, conditions have certainly eased over the past couple of hours or so, but very different story overnight, very, very strong winds here in the Adelaide CBD and across large parts of SA. As we just heard, with such force the winds were able to pull these crucial transmission towers from the ground which has led to the entire State being plunged into darkness yesterday. Now, parts of the Adelaide CBD began to be switched back online. At the moment commuters just going about their business as they normally would. The morning traffic lights seem to be operating in most parts of the CBD. Trains and trams are operating also. But the SES, it's been frantic. They've had more than 950 call-outs for assistance over the past 24 hours. We understand thousands of additional volunteers in stand-by with plans of calling in additional volunteers from WA if they're needed. Of course, because of the power outages we understand about 75,000 or so still without power but roughly 95% of customers in SA should have power connected. But as we were just listening just a moment ago, as to when those 75,000 will get power connected again is anybody's guess. But of course people working around the clock to make that happen. Overnight, of course, we saw a lot of strong winds with such force tearing, I guess, sheds and rooftops from sheds, I should say. We caught up with a few individuals that were battling the conditions and the power outages overnight. This is what they had to say.The noise was unbelievable. It was like a freight train. Yeah, you can't really describe it.It's crazy, it felt like apocalyptic film.We were in the process of making a lot of stuff. When the power goes off we lose all the ovens so we had to throw what he had made away.I was quite shocked, actually, because you always expect there's a back-up system and you think lit be an hour or so.The fact that we're so reliant on technology now means when things go wrong they really go wrong.We're just relieved the power did come back on when it did.And so Nathan, just how much rain fell and how strong were the winds in Adelaide itself?We've had recorded wind gusts of up to 120km/h overnight. There are a number of flood warnings and flood watches in place because I guess that's the main concern today. We've already got a lot of catchments across SA already saturated because we had a storm event just 2 weeks ago which caused chaos across most parts of the State. So the concern today is with the forecast rainfalling across Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills, up to 50 to 100 mm forecast. That will top up already saturated catchmentes. We understand there's a flood already in place for the Onkaparinga River and flood warnings for the Adelaide Hills, the Mount Lofty Ranges and other parts of SA. So the concern will be the additional rain and of course those gale-force winds which are forecast to return. And of course we understand across the Eyre Peninsula right now, strong winds of up to 90 to 120km/h, wind gusts of 90 to 120km/h. The other, I guess, system at the moment too is an intense low pressure system which is tracking across Kangaroo Island. So again, that system is also expected to bring very, very strong winds around the gale force strength category.And Nathan, there were reports of people stuck in lifts, have you been able to firm that up this morning? Did that actually happen and how long were these people actually stuck in some of these lifts?Yes, so 4:00 was when we saw the State plunged into darkness. So I guess whenever you have an entire State losing power just with the sheer amount of people using things like lifts, statistically you're going to get somebody caught inside one of these. The Adelaide CBD had power restored throughout the afternoon and techb - the evening and overnight. Of course it would have meant anyone caught in situations like that may have been caught in these lifts for hours on end. One of our media colleagues for another network, we understand there are a couple of people caught inside a lift there as well. So of course, emergency services working around the clock, not just to help people in those situations but also, of course, responding to concerns, particularly in regional areas. As these strong winds strike SA, because of the saturated soil, the warning from the SES is that it's going to increase the risk of these trees falling. So we've already seen large branchs, large trees coming down on roads. So obviously the warning from the SES is to take care when driving, making sure that you drive to the conditions and of course, if you see floodwaters on roads, not to take any chances and not to drive through those floodwaters.Nathan Stitt, reporting from Adelaide. And the Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg says weather was to blame for yesterday's blackout across SA but questions, he says questions remain about the State's energy security. Some Government ministers are questioning whether the State's heavy reliance on renewable energy is making it more vulnerable. Mr Frydenberg says SA needs a back-up plan.There's about 80,000 households north of Adelaide who don't have power. That is because those transmission lines, some of which are down and we need to get hell helicopters over the area. There's still gale-force winds in SA which makes this work difficult. There were 80,000 lightning strikes across SA yesterday and of course gale-force winds, some of which are continuing. This was a once in 50-year weather event which caused a lightning strike into a power station, which caused these transmission towers to blow over and of course it led to the interconnectors shutting themselves down to protect property and people as a safety mechanism because there was a surge of electricity as a result of those events. Our number 1 priority must be energy security. Of course we've got to keep in mind the affordability of electricity and again, renewables at this stage are more expensive than coal or gas, but also we need - and we also need to get to a lower emissions future. That's what we're determined to do to reduce emissions. But we have to weigh it all up to ensure that our number 1 priority is to keep the lights on for Australians.Josh Frydenberg speaking there. Phillip King is the Bureau of Meteorology's extreme weather desk manager and he joins us now from Melbourne. Phillip King, good morning. What were the strongest winds recorded yesterday across SA and where?Through Cummins we had winds up to 115km/h down through the ports and the peninsula, generally around 100 to 110, 120km/h. In Victoria we had winds up to 143km/h, Mount Hotham through there. So it really is a very extensive system. Severe weather across 4 States.And what were the biggest rainfalls recorded yesterday and where?So we're starting to see falls of 60 mm through the Mount lofty Ranges. Generally falls of about 20 to 40 mm but those peak falls in excess of 50 mm. Now this system, it's just come up through Kangaroo Island and it's moving across south-east Australia. So it will move away fairly slowly during the afternoon period. We're still seeing on the radar very severe winds and rain coming in to the Adelaide area, right across SA. But it will slowly start to ease, but it won't be the end of it. This system's really complex. There's a number of low pressure systems in it and we will see another burst of strong winds and heavy rain come through this evening and into the night.And so there are flood warnings in place right now. Are you expecting any major rivers to actually break their banks and possibly send water through homes anywhere?Well, we'll have to see how much more rain we get. As I mentioned we've had some falls in excess of 50mm in the ranges. We could see that again as this system, before it moves right away, and we see a reintensification this evening. So we'll have to see how much goes into the river systems. We're already seeing minor flooding, so that could get worse as we see this system move away over the next 24 hours.And where is the worst of that minor flooding at the moment? So, it's coming - Mount Lofty Ranges is where we've seen most of the rainfall. We could see another 50 mm through there as this system move ace way - moves away.You've mentioned this second front hitting. It looks like from the charts that we've seen that that second system is already starting to hit the west coast of SA. Is that right and how strong are the winds and rain around that now?Well that's the main system at the moment, that low pressure system south of Victoria Harbour, it's going to move towards Bordertown this afternoon and then into Victoria. But we're seeing a number of smaller, low pressure systems rotating up to the south of it. Again we'll see an intensification of this system coming up through Kangaroo Island and through south-east SA, the Adelaide region again this evening. So we may see some letting off later this morning and into the afternoon, but we're expecting that the stronger winds, gale-force winds and winds gusting up to around 120km/h and heavy rain to continue this evening and into the night.And just talk us through the timing of that second system because on that major map at the moment we're just seeing the major low which seems to be passing over Adelaide at the moment but you mentioned there are other systems working in with this. What's going to be the timing on that front of bad weather that's going to roll through SA this afternoon?Probably we'll start to see even on radar at the moment I can see some of the rain starting to contract east of the Adelaide region or the Mount Lofty Ranges. So we start to see some of that rain slowly easing off but I wouldn't say it's over by any imagination. And then we'll see another low pressure system move up from the south late afternoon and into the evening, our models are indicating say around 7:00pm and later, that we would see a reintensification of the weather across SA. We'll also see this weather spreading to Victoria and southern NSW and Tasmania. So warnings across all those States are current.And so what's the first place on the SA coast that this new front is likely to hit this evening and tonight, it's not going to reach as far west as the WA border?No, and it's not really a new system. It's just a complex system but we have a main low pressure system moving across SA and then reintensification of the same system. It's not too uncommon. We call them complex low pressure systems. We're likely to see a low pressure system down near Tasmania which will see some heavy rain go into the north-east of Tasmania tonight and also across the southern parts of NSW and Victoria. So it's not a completely different system. You won't see the weather clear, you will probably see it ease off a little bit in the Adelaide region and then come back again intensify in the evening period.Tonight, Adelaide can expect winds of up to 120km/h in places.Similar -And rainfalls again of up around 50mm? So similar to what we've been getting with this system coming up from the south, near Kangaroo Island in the evening period and then moving across south-east SA and then we'll get similar conditions, winds gusting to around 110, 120km/h and particularly through coastal areas and - or exposed areas and mountain regions.How far into Victoria and NSW do you expect those damaging conditions are going to get?Well, severe weather warnings are out for a fair bit of NSW right up to say about Dubbo and into the north-west and along the ranges. They're out for north-west Victoria and the north-east ranges, as I mentioned we had winds gusting to 140km/h there and they're out for Tasmania. So it's a very extensive system. In general, the rainfall amounts are going to be in that range of 10 to 30mm but we'll see those peak falls, 50 mm or more, along the ranges, the ranges of Victoria and NSW and into the north-east of Tasmania and the system tomorrow, on Friday, we'll still probably see the main low pressure system near Tasmania just to the south and we'll see the focus of the heaviest rain shift to southern parts of Tasmania and also persist along the NSW slopes and ranges.Plenty to watch out for over the next couple of days. Philip King, thanks for bringing us up to date on the latest with that complex low system in SA at the moment. You're welcome.To other news now, and the search for two young women and a teenager in Sydney's Royal National Park has resumed. Search parties are looking for 21-year-old Nicki Groves and Kate Bateup as well as 16-year-old Cassie Olczak near Waterfall Station. Reporter Jo Nicholson is at the Royal National Park south of Sydney where the search is taking place. She zwroin - joins me now. Can you tell us about the two missing 21-year-olds?Yes, good morning. The two 21-year-olds, Nicki Groves and Kate Bateup made their way into the national park yesterday. About 2:00 in the afternoon they called park Rangers to say they'd become lost. Then contact was lost with them and a huge search operation was launched. Now police, the SES, the Rural Fire Service and park rangers were all involved in that search but it had to be called off because it simply became too dark at about 7:00 last night. That search has now resumed and will continue right throughout the day with police rescue, SES and the Rural Fire Service.And then you've got this unusual coincidence that there is another girl missing in the same area?Yes, a 16-year-old Cassie Olczak went missing on Sunday evening. She was around this same area. She just returned from a trip to Abu Dhabi visiting her father and she'd been seeing friends when she went missing. Her mother spoke yesterday in a very emotional appeal for information saying that her daughter has never dis appeared like this before. Police believe that Cassie may have taken a substance before she disappeared and they also say that she hasn't accessed her phone account, her bank account or her email or social media. So there has been a huge search operation for Cassie since Sunday and that also is continuing today as well as the one for those two 21-year-olds.Jo Nicholson reporting there from the south of Sydney at the Royal National Park. Let's get more now on the Dutch-led report blaming the downing of Malaysian airlines flight MH-17 on a Russian missile. Paul Guard lost his parents, Roger and Jill Guard, in the disaster. While he welcomes the findings of the report he says there are still many unanswered questions.Most of the information was in the public domain and I think the investigative collective had reported on that launch location and that launcher route. I mean there's nothing new but it's good to see the volume of evidence they've collected. I think it is important that the perpetrators are found and prosecuted. Whether that's likely to happen is another question. I think it's a difficult thing to bring about. But it's a worthwhile effort. I do think, though, there's many other things to also focus on and one of those is the peace process in Ukraine. I've always blamed the conflict, myself. I think that more focus needs to be put on getting both parties to fulfil their obligations under that peace agreement, which has stalled, and also there's the questions of what was the passenger plane doing in that area. The separatists asked that on the radio soon after they shot it down "Don't they know there's a war going on" and that's a very valid question. I don't think anyone's answered that sufficiently. The other question is, you know, why hadn't Ukraine closed its air space? Certainly another plane had been shot down at a similar altitude a few days before. So there's a lot of other questions to ask as well as who pressed the button. A biger question is why was that war going on and how can we make sure that it doesn't happen again. To me it's a function of the terrible things that happen in war and I mean there are many innocent civilians that have died on the ground in the Ukraine and there's hardly any attention being put on addressing their suffering. So that's not the take away from the grief of everyone, including myself, and obviously they were innocent people in that plane and they should never have been brought into that war. But I think Malaysia Airlines and Ukraine have questions to answer as well about why the plane was there. Both sides had that particular missile system so whether it was a Russian who accidentally shot it down or a separatist or a Ukrainian, it was a war. Bad things happen in war. Melbourne Storm half-back Cooper Cronk and North Queensland big man Jason Taumalolo have tied to win the Dally M medal. They both scored 26 points and finished 4 ahead of Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston. They were tied going into the last round and had to wait to see who was awarded points for the win. Neither man was given points so they both went. The rookie of the year went to Ash Taylor and Cameron Smith won best representative player.

The top stories today - SA is bracing for more wild weather after being slammed by what's been described as a once in a 50-year event. About 70,000 people across the State are still without power after high winds tore off roofs and brought down trees and power lines. A severe weather warning remains in place for most areas with an intense low pressure system expected to cross the State today. Power has been restored to Adelaide's metropolitan area. International prosecutors have concluded that Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17 was brought down by a Russian-made Buk missile. The findings challenge Moscow's suggestion that the Boeing 777 was brought down by the Ukrainian military. The search for 2 young women and a teenager in Sydney's Royal National Park has resumed. 21-year-old Nicki Groves and Kate Bateup were last heard from via mobile phone at 2:00 yesterday afternoon after they got lost hiking near Waterfall station. Police are searching nearby bushland for 16-year-old Cassie Olczak who was last seen on CCTV leaving the station. And Cooper Cronk and Jason Taumalolo have tied to win the Dally M medal. It's the u second time Cronk has won the prize after topping the league in 2013. Let's get more now on the situation in SA. Dermot Barry from the State Emergency Service joins us now from Adelaide. Dermot, good morning. So what's the situation in Adelaide right now?Good morning. The situation at the moment is that we're in a little bit of a lull. We've had a few fronts go through this morning but certainly the bureau are warning that there's a lot more rain to come and we're also expecting strong, strong winds. So that weather is starting to impact on the west coast and we're seeing that now and with that there's a real potential for a storm surge or for big waves and big seas. So we're conscious of the risks to our coastal areas as well.OK, so what was the worst of the damage overnight?Predominantly storm damage. We had a number of roofs off, properties damaged, businesses flooded, those kinds of things. The concern we have is that that weather is going to continue into today and probably for the next 36 hours and we're monitoring closely our creek levels, river levels, so that we can be sure that we can warn the communities if we need to and try and ensure everybody's safety.Is and what was some of the worst affected communities in the State? We've heard a lot about Adelaide itself with the power outs overnight for much of the city but what about other areas of the State? I've heard Blythe mentioned a bit this morning, it's about 100ks to the north of the Adelaide?That's right. Blythe was badly impacted. The local reports, although unconfirmed, was they almost had like a tornado there. There were roofs ripped off, buildings impacts and I've seen a picture of a semitrailer that was blown over. That's extraordinary impacts and something we wouldn't regularly see in SA.And what about other areas around the State that were hit apart from Blythe? Predominantly we're seeing at the moment especially is the weather coming through the west coast. They've been wearing a lot of the brunt of this so through the Eyre Peninsula and coming across the Yorke Peninsula there are a lot of communities that have seen localised flooding, storm and other effects as well.Have you heard of any properties that have been totally unroofed as a result of this storm? Absolutely, yes, so certainly in Blythe and certainly - there's houses in even the Adelaide metro area that have lost partial roofs and on the west coast and places like that. With e - we know there's a number of shacks that have been damaged not only from the wave action but from the storm effects as well.Do you know how many homes across the State have been unroofed as a result of this or is it a bit too early to tell?It really is too early to tell. Our plan is once the weather eases and we don't suspect that's going to be for at least another 24 hours, we will get crews out who will do an initial damage assessment and from that we will be able to start to drive our recovery efforts and all the other parts that go with recovering from a disaster. Are you able to get many crews out now or like, as you said, conditions have calmed down for the moment, they're likely to heat up again tonight?Yeah, all our crews are out and about as we speak. We've already seen an increase in the tempo of our operations. We've got great support from Country Fire Service volunteers. Of course the metropolitan fire service and our SES volunteers are helping their communities. We've seen support from WA who sent a task force of SES volunteers over, who are also out now supporting the community.OK, Dermot Barry, thanks so much for talking to us and a special thanks to your signer as well. She's been doing a great job over this emergency for the last 24 hours, so let her no.OK, I'll pass that on, thank you.Cheers. And Gary Zelwek is a dairy farmer in Blythe. He's currently without power and relying on generators to run the farm. He joins us on the phone. So what was it like when what's been described as a tornado by some people blew through yesterday?Yeah, we were actually out packing machinery under the sheds because of hail warnings and it was pretty big, golf-sized stuff. We watched it go across the paddock. It was like a curtain and turned into a bit of a tunnel and just touched down about a kilometre to my east and absolutely stripped a patch of scrub I'm looking at right now. Totally tore the top out of that and it went on for another 4ks and clipped the edge of Blythe and went through there and obviously did a lot of damage.So you describe it - how would you describe what it looked like?It was like - sort of white - it looked like just a misty rain going across and then it sort of started turning into a bit of a vortex and it just, yeah, it was a really weird sight just looking towards the Clare Hills from where I am. You can sort of see it come across.Did you duck for cover at all or were you kind of watching in awe?We were watching from our shelter of a hay shed and we knew we had no chance of getting power back on so we actually went down to the house and had a quick beer and then the photos of Blythe came in and we shot into there very quickly. So that was the last relaxation period in the last 24 hours.Tell us about the extent of the damage in Blythe? Yeah, it hit the corner of Blythe. So the bottom corner. It's only a small town of 500-odd people but it's a fairly compact square type town. It clipped the corner and wrecked the first house it hit and it went across the few streets and took off the roof of the church and the church hall and then went onto another property just on - another 500 metres on and absolutely made a mess of that one and then I don't know what happened after that. I think she just stopped and went off into the atmosphere somewhere. It made a fair mess.And so has it basically blown one house apart? What's left of that first house that you mentioned?I didn't actually get to see it but I was putting the roof tiles back on my father's house. I think it smashed the windows the way the storm come from and took the roof off. There's another house behind that, it took 7 or 8 roofs off, we think, I'm not sure of the total count. The church is a big tall building, it just, yeah, sort of got under the eve of that and just lifted off one side and we pushed the pews to the other side. Just one more question, have you - I understand you've done a bit of restoration work on the church. How how disheartening is this that this has blown through now?Not sure about restoration. We've redone a few things on the hall roof, that was patched up. It's gone now. We just sort of battle along with that little church, a few of us go every week and, yeah, it's a bit disheartening for sure when you come and see it like that and you see the roof actually rapped around Stobie poles on the other side of the road. As far as you know, no-one in town was hurt? Gary, are you still there? Unfortunately I think we've lost Gary there with that line to Blythe. It's unfortunate because I was going to ask him about that situation of being a dairy farmer without the power on at the moment and how that's affecting his operation there. But yeah, it sounds like Blythe is one of the worst affected areas in SA as a result of this storm and there is more wet weather and damaging winds on the way for much of SA as we heard a little earlier, we'll be right across that throughout the day here on ABC thu - News 24. Federal Government data has revealed some of Australia's top private schools receive nearly 3 times the taxpayer funding they're entitled to. Meanwhile public schools in most States an Territories let less than the minimum amount. The Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham earlier this week said he could cut funding from overfunded private schools. Reporter Dan Conifer joins us from Parliament House in Canberra. Good morning, bheas - what's been revealed?Good morning. We know how much above the minimum standards some of these schools are getting. The Education Minister Simon Birmingham flaggeded on Q&A this week that he thinks some wealthy private schools are overfunded and interesting concession or admission from the Minister there and that he could, indeed, cut some of their Federal Government funding. Now, what's been revealed, these numbers are from 2014, is just the amount above the school resourcing standard that some independent schools are getting. The schools resourcing standard is basically the minimum amount that a school should be getting based on the students that go to it, based on need. One school that stands out is Loreto at Kirribilli. It's getting more than 280% of its school resourcing standard. That's a school that is metres away from Sydney Harbour and charges its students more than $18,000 in their senior years. Melbourne Grammar more than 140 Magistrates Court of its school resourcing standard despite the fact it charges students more than $30,000 a year from Year 9 and Radford College in the ACT nearly 200% of its school resourcing standards. So that's despite public - the public school systems in every State and Territory, except WA and the ACT, getting below the schools resourcing standard and many Catholic schools getting below it as well.OK, Dan Conifer reporting there from Canberra. The US is threatening to cut off all contact with Russia over Syria unless it stops bombing the city of Aleppo. Since the collapse of the US/Russia brokered ceasefire 9 days ago, Aleppo has suffered its most severe attacks of the country's 5-year civil war. Syrian and suspected Russian war planes have conducted aerial assaults on 2 hospitals in the city. The city's largest hospital was destroyed and a warning, some viewers may find these images disturbing. The bodies of two children lay half covered by rubble. Victims of a pro-Syrian Government air strike in eastern Aleppo. A witness says he heard the bombs falling before they hit. TRANSLATION: We felt the ground suddenly start shaking, then the rocket hit. There was one child who was crossing the road and there was another holding food for his family. Both of them were killed.Aid agencies say pro-Syrian Government aircraft targeted the medical facilities killing at least 2 patients and wounding a number of staff. They say there are only around 30 doctors left in eastern Aleppo and there's not enough medicine, medical equipment or staff to treat the wounded.They're having to take children in as they're pulled from the rubble of their homes and they are left in the clinics, in these underground clinics unable to be treated and left to die. The doctors have to focus on those children who they think they can still save. So this is a tragic situation for children. Civil defence volunteers say another air strike targeted people standing outside a bakery. There were a number of people killeded in this attack too.TRANSLATION: Civilians were standing by the bakery. There was no armed men with them, they were targeted by several shells. There were a number of people killed and medics were injured by a second attack as they tried to help. According to civil defence groups on the ground, the recent days of intense bombing has killed more than 400 people. Pro-Syrian Government forces surround eastern Aleppo. Opposition fighters say they have repelled at least 3 attempts by government forces to push forward into the old city. The hospitals cannot treat all the wounded. There's no way to get medical aid in. The UN Secretary-General says targeting medical facilities is a war crime and will not go unpunished. But as civilians continue to be killed and wounded, and hospitals are hit, it seems the Syrian Government and its allies just don't care. Coalition back-bencher George Christensen says he wants religious exemptions put in place so that service providers can refuse to take part in same-sex marriage weddings. Mr Christensen said he doesn't support legislation allowing people to discriminate against same-sex couples but he told the ABC's Lateline being involved in their wedding is different.Churches need to be exempt from actually being forced to have same-sex marriages performed inside churches and church property regardless of whether or not they're local priest or minister or pastor is involved in it. What about the person of faith who is a wedding photographer or a wedding cake maker, or owns a particular venue that just doesn't agree with same-sex marriage and that venue's called upon for a reception? Really you are then pitting people's right to freedom of belief, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion against another right, a right that's only just popped up in recent times and that is this so-called right to same-sex marriage and I hope that we are going to enshrine, if in the event same-sex marriage does become legal in Australia, we'll enshrine some form of religious liberty that's got to exist after it comes into affect because we've seen religious liberty actually railroaded in other countries where this has come into effect.George Christensen there. An Australian designed rocket propulsion system is heading to the International Space Station for a year-long experiment that could revolutionise space travel. The technology could be used to power a return trip to Mars without refuelling. We've got one of the co inventors in the studio but first an explanation of how it works.We call it a ark plasma thruster. It works by putting a couple of,000 amps through a cathode. The current moves at fairly low voltage, maybe a couple of hundred vaults in a low pressure environment so that the plasma discharge created on the surface of cathode is created from fairly small cathode spots. Inside these cathode spots, material from the cathode is eroded, Ionised and leaves the cathode. The plasma can move at between 0.5 kilometres per second up to 140 kilometres per second, depending on materials and conditions. We don't need an electron gun to be our charge initialisation system making our system a lot less complex. It also runs off solid fuels rather than gaseous fuels. The upshot is, though, that it still creates momentum exchange like a rocket. All of these systems have an exhaust that goes that way really fast and that leads to the space ship moving in the opposite direction. It's basically just how a rocket works. OK, Marcel Abilic is one of the inventors. Good morning. Can you explain it in layman's terms? Essentially it's operating from solid fuels and there's a very large amount of energy put into a very small space on the solid fuel and material.
this high energy density oblates the material. You're getting material from a solid, from magnesium to titanium, propelled out from the surface of the cathode.How's this a development on what there's been previously?This in itself isn't really, because cathodic ark thrusters have been around for a while. No-one has achieved the sort of thrust we have and the reason that we have these thrusts is essentially threefold. There's 3 developments that are different to what's been done before. One is that we're using a centre trigger. So we trigger our system in the centre and that means that these small balls of plasma move to the outside. They repel each other. So we oblate the material much more uniformally and we get good reproducibility this way. The second aspect that's different is that we use a much higher current. Higher current equals higher energy in the spot in that small volume and much higher ionisation rate and these ions travel faster than neutrals. So we're giving our material much more speed for each of the material that's objected for each mass. The final development, which actually came out of Paddy's work, the previous 2 were designed in to give us capabilities to deposit materials, new materials, in a previous research project. Patrick came along for his research and he focused on looking at this system for its potential as a rocket. He looked through many, many materials as almost as many as we could burn in it and he found that magnesium gave the highest thrust and this is a really important development because magnesium is abundant in space junk and in the universe generally in outer space.And so how does that work? You say it's really important that you're going to be able to access this magnesium from space junk, presumably, or how is it going to work with a planned mission to Mars?The beautiful thing, I guess, is that it's just fortuitous that magnesium happens to, in some of its properties, gives the highest thrust. That's a bonus, so that's given us the record, and of course it's a light alloy that's used in a lot of aerospace materials. So a lot of the space junk we hear about that's clogging up Earth's orbit and making it difficult to launch satellite could become fuel in the next generation of spacecraft. What we'd need up there is some reprocessing stations that would robotically process this into fuel cathodes and we believe, we haven't tested specific other alloys, but given the high magnesium content and given what we've seen with system of the other materials, we're quite sure you will get good propulsion without having to purify it. So we can use that up there for fuel for rockets. This has huge implications because currently one of the biggest costs to launching spacecraft is actually getting all the fuel that you need up into space from Earth orbit. You've got to fight against gravity to get it up there and that's a huge cost and you burn a huge amount of fuel just doing that, just getting the fuel into space so you can start moving around in space. And by having this capability to refuel in space, we avoid having to ship the material into space.And therefore you can go much further. That's right.And so the plan would be that you launch the rocket, it stops off at the International Space Station which has collected space junk and reprocess ed magnesium, it fuels up on a place like the International Space Station and heads off to Mars?Yes, and you can envisage having a lot of these type of stations in different locations which can become like petrol stations in space.And you would put them at different places along the way to Mars?Well, I think to Mars, I think Paddy's done some calculations and I'm not an expert on those calculations but I believe the mission to Mars is even possible without refuelling.Wow.However, this is even for further exploratory missions, so going further in space, there is the potential to have these refuelling stations and be able to gather fuel as you go.And what about collecting the space junk, the challenge of collecting the space junk and reprocessing the magnesium at a place like the International Space Station or wherever you're going to do it? Have you looked into that as well?Not deeply but we do know the technology to do that does exist. Of course there's a bit of an engineering challenge in getting it to happen in space robotically but they're all solvable things. It's not out of the realms. There's no show-stopper there.You're a glass half full professor. Interesting having a chat with you and good luck with your work.Thank you very much. Now here's Paul Kennedy with the sport headlines. It was an exciting finish to the Dally M count last night to say the least. It was Cooper Cronk and Jason Taumalolo both tied on 26 votes each and it came down to the last round. They both had to stand and wait to see if the other man was going to get one, two or three votes and in the end, neither got any votes and both won the prize. Cooper Cronk winning his second Dally M to put him in rare company and Jason Taumalolo. The league MVP voted by his peers as the best player this year now wins his first Dally M. Let's take a look at the final moment of that count and then hear from those two winners. Cooper Cronk no points. In their final game of the regular season, b the Cowboys defeated the Titans, Jason Taumalolo no points. For the second time in 3 years we have joint winners. Cooper Cronk and Jason Taumalolo are the 2016 Dally M medallists.A lot of mixed emotions at the moment. If anything I'm more grateful for all my teammates than anything and when you win an award and share it with the great man himself.Speaking to Jason and he was saying he didn't know and I didn't know, I said, "I hope I get to share it with you." It's just a privilege to be associated with Dally Messenger on a night like this. It's a humbling night to stand here but to share it with a guy like, I know a lot of kids aspire to be Johnathan Thurston but I think there's a lot of kids who want to be like Jason Taumalolo and I think he's done that by the way he's played and carried himself.I There were other gongs given out last night including Coach of the Year which went to Ricky Stuart and Cameron Smith won the representative player of the year. Let's look at the team of the year now and once again the Melbourne Storm, which features heavily last night, Smith and Johnathan Thurston, by the way, finished tide for third in that count.

All that's left now is for the grand final to be played on Sunday. Now just moving away from local football, just for the moment, we'll head overseas and take a look at the European champions. Celtic tied with Man City 3-3. Let's look at the goals from arsenal.

Some overseas football. Of course the Socceroos will be leaving on Saturday to head to Saudi Arabia for another match in the World Cup qualification and Ange Postecoglou reckons that his team is fit and firing for that one. Let's go to AFL now and the Swans have their injury concerns. Today the Swans will travel to Melbourne to get ready for the grand final. Jarrad McVeigh, Callum Mills yet to prove their fitness. And Aliir Aliir, he has been very unlucky. He was ruled out yesterday so that medial ligament injury in his knee was worse than first thought and so he won't play but as you see there, Mills was frustrated by his injury. He may yet get a chance. They will announce the team later this evening but it may not be the final team. They can make changes right up until the game. And the Bulldogs will be training today in front of their faithful and they have no such injury concerns. Matt Suckling is coming back from injury and he might force out Fletcher Roberts, the tall defender that played quite well last week, in fact better than well against the Giants. And Lin Jong, it appears that he may have to sit the game out, such is the depth at the Bulldogs at the moment. They're quite the opposite to Sydney with those injuries. And a bit of surfing news, Tyler Wright has moved into the quarter finals of the surfing competition in Portugal at the moment. There she was when she won in California setting herself up as the world number 1 and favourite for the world championship. She's into the quarters, as I said, so only a couple of good waves now away from winning the world championship. If she wins that event in Portugal, which she may do in the next 24 hours, then she will be the world champion for the very first time. That's it from me. Now with a look at the weather, here is Kirsten Veness and that wild weather still hitting SA.That's right, Joe. You can see here on the radar, more rainfalling across Adelaide and since that storm has hit, Adelaide he's - Adelaide's had 37 mm. Let's look at some of the warnings around in SA. We can show you the warning area here. That's for strong wind gusts of up to 140km/h and of course some rain for that. The next map as well, we've got of Victoria. It's already seen some quite a lot of rain in the south-west which had some heavy falls there. And still to reach the north-east there about 60mm. In Tasmania - sorry, the next map, here we go is NSW. Winds of up to 110km/h possible. Moderate to heavy rain is also expected with the risk of flash flooding. And in Tasmania now as well there's also strong winds that could hit the north today and move to the east by this afternoon. Heavy rain in the north and east, 60 to 90mm possible. I'll have more details on the weather later on.Thanks, Kirsten. Stick with us on ABC News 24, going for a short break now but we'll be back soon and as Kirsten mentioned there, we'll have the latest on the situation with those storms that are hitting parts of SA now. I know we talked to our reporter in Adelaide and it looked pretty calm there but I was just had a message from someone in SA saying that there are still gale-force winds hitting a place called Two Wells to the north-east of Adelaide. So things still pretty wild in parts of SA right now.

Today - round 2 coming for a battered SA. More heavy rain and strong winds on the way.

Investigators say flight MH-17 was hit by a missile brought in from Russia. A search resumes for 2 young women and a teenager believed to be missing in Sydney's Royal National Park. And Cooper Cronk and Jason Taumalolo tie to take out the NRL's top honour, the Dally M medal. Hello and welcome to Mornings, I'm Joe O'Brien. Taking a quick look at the weather around the nation today:

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