Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
7.30 -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

(generated from captions) cloudy day is forecast for Sydney. A sunny 33 is expected in Melbourne. Cloudy and warm temperatures are forecast through the inland, while rain and temperatures in the midto high 20s are on the coast.A low 15 is forecast to across the territory, for a top of 25 in Tuggeranong tomorrow. We can expect more rain tomorrow, as well. The sun will rise at 7:02am, and at 7:02am, and there will be medium chances of rain for the west of the week. The weekend is looking cloudy before week. The weekend is looking cloudy
before a wet start to next week and that is the latest from the Canberra newsroom. You can follow us online or on Facebook at ABC Canberra. Thank you for joining us and stayed with us for 730 with Leigh Sales.

This program is live captioned by Ericsson Access Services. Hello, and welcome. Tonight - South Australia to go it alone on power - will the rest of Australia follow? I'm paying a lot of money to buy that power, so I expect that power to be there when I need it.Today, South Australia takes control of its energy future.This is quite an extreme reaction by the South Australian Government. Conducted a sweep without targeting cameras... Also - Australia accused of secrecy in the war against Islamic State. We're incapable of engaging with Australia because they won't tell us where they bomb, they won't tell us when they bomb, and they won't tell us what they bomb. There have been over 100 bomb threats phoned in to Jewish institutions since the start of this year alone. And - hate crimes strike America... I think it's very sad. These were somebody's relatives, someone's family, and they buried them here in the hopes that they would be remembered and their memorial would be cared for. South Australia is turning its back on the national energy market after months of blackouts and record price spikes. The state will spend $500 million to go it alone, building its own gas-fired generator in a desperate bid to regain control of its power system, and give customers some relief from high prices. It'll be one of the most radical shake-ups in the network's 20-year history, and the rest of the nation will be watching what happens with bated breath. Alex Mann reports from Adelaide.

Making glass is a power-hungry business, and the unexpected blackouts can break it.

Our furnaces are running at a temperature of about 1,200 degrees. By cooling down, they do a lot of damage in the furnaces, plus it takes days to bring them back up again in temperature, so you do a lot of damage when you have power failure.When the power went out last December, Eamonn Vereker faced a $10,000 bill to fix his furnace. It was the second time in just two months.When that happened, all my staph had to go home. Home. -- all my staff had to go home. All my interstate orders had to be cancelled for a few days. Then we had to do a reboot, which cost all that money. If that was to happen again, it would put me out of business, basically.

Since a storm toppled transmission lines last September, the fragility of South Australia's power supply has been at the forefront of the national energy debate. For six months, blackouts and radical power price spikes have put the focus squarely on how the state - and the country - plans its transition from coal-fired power to renewables. South Australia is very much the canary in the coalmine for Australia, but it's also the caw canary in the coalmine for the rest of the world. It has one of the largest penetrations of renewable energy anywhere in the world. So this is very much an experiment to see how much intermittent renewables - in particular, wind and solar - can help support an electricity system.Most days, South Australia derives more than 40% of its power from wind and solar. Since its last coal-fired plant was closed last year, it's placed huge market power in the hands of just a few gas generators. And South Australia says it's at the mercy of a commercial market that favours generators over power users when energy is scarce and prices climb.The truth is that this National Electricity Market is broken, because nobody wants to invest in new generation. And we've accepted that. We've accepted that that's the reality. What we've done is step up and are retaking our control of this National Electricity Market in South Australia's sense. So we're making our own investment in generation.Today, South Australia's Government unveiled plans to build a $360 million backup gas generator, and what it says will be the biggest battery storage facility in Australia.Today, South Australia takes control of its energy future. We have a National Electricity Market which is failing not only South Australia, but failing the nation.Premier Jay Weatherill says his Energy Minister will now have new powers to intervene directly in the market, giving him the ability to order existing private gas generators to switch on.This is a massive vote of no-confidence in that market operator, given the fact that the Energy Minister in South Australia now has the - or will have - the overriding power to decide when generation comes on and off, and how much generation they're going to have coming through that thin connection with Victoria.Our clean, green...David Blowers is an expert in energy markets, and was watching today's announcement closely.It's fine to build a new gas-fired generator, but where's the gas coming from? At the moment, we're looking at gas shortages from next year onwards, and that has to be dealt with.High power prices are directly related to the gas shortage. The SA Government today offered incentives for new exploration and extraction, and promised land owners 10% of any eventual royalties. It's a move welcomed by the gas industry.I think it's a think it's a very well-considered plan from the South Australian Government. We particularly welcome its recognition that gas is an essential part of the energy mix. Plenty of people in South Australia need to have a sense of confidence around their energy supply, particularly businesses that are looking to make investments in South Australia. So hopefully this will be a medium- to long-term solution for South Australia's energy problems. The federal Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg, was less enthusiastic. Frydenberg, was less enthusiastic.
Today, Jay Weatherill made a $550 million admission of failure. Going it alone created South Australia's problems, and going it alone won't fix South Australia's problems. In fact, the measures announced today will only increase electricity prices for South Australians, and has the potential to increase prices for Victorians, for people in New South Wales, and in Tasmania.The danger, from a Federal Government's point of view, is that the states are just going to go off and do it on their own. The role for the Federal Government and the Federal Opposition is to get together and come up with a sensible climate change policy that interacts with our energy market and actually can deliver the investment we need in the future. Otherwise, we're going to see more intervention by state governments.Tomorrow, the Federal Energy Minister and PM will meet with the heads of the country's biggest gas producers. They're desperate to shore up gas suppliers for demistic use, and avoid another power-price crisis.We're seeing in situations, for example in Victoria and, indeed, South Australia, where gas which was meant for the domestic market has been now exported to Queensland and off to Asia.

Whatever happens, for business owners like Eamonn Vereker, a solution to high power prices couldn't come soon enough.I'm paying enough money to buy that power, and I'm paying a lot of money to buy that power. So I expect that power to be there when I need it. Surely, as a nation, we should have that.

As you may know, Australia's Air Force has been carrying out air strikes in Syria and Iraq as part of the international coalition fighting terrorist group Islamic State. Some of those bombings have been in densely populated civilian areas. January was reportedly the deadliest month yet for civilians since the start of air strikes. Is there enough transparency from Australian authorities about our nation's role in the campaign? Middle East correspondent Sophie McNeill has been investigating whether the Australian Defence Force is as transparent as the United States when it comes to tracking civilian casualties.

An air strike obliterates a house in East Mosul. The target was Islamic State, but 11 members of the one family were reportedly killed. Five children among the dead.

Don't get to drop bombs on cities and towns and not kill civilians. It took a month before it was safe enough to dig those bodies out. We know the names of every one of those victims.

What's not known is who's responsible for the loss of these innocent lives.Now, we know the coalition bombed in Mosul that day. Iraq may also have bombed that day Iraq may also have bombed that day - the Iraqi Air Force. It may have been the US. It may have been Britain. It may have been Australia or Belgium, France... We don't know.

It's as if there was credible information suggesting that civilian casualties had been sustained, then that must be investigated and subject to national security considerations must be released to the public.

Australia is part of the coalition, which has dropped more than 69,000 bombs and missiles on ISIS targets in Syria and north Iraq.

The risk of civilian casualties is incredibly high, because IS fighters deliberately hide in densely populated areas. It presents a logistical and legal nightmare for coalition members like Australia. The degree of complexity in The degree of complexity in the current phase of the operation will be heightened, also, by the potential presence of up to 750,000 civilians, who may be remaining in West Mosul.Questions over Australia's secrecy in war are now Australia's secrecy in war are now
being raised.In our view, there's just no real transparency from Australia here, and there's no real accountability, either.Chris Woods is the director of Airwars, an independent NGO set up to hold nations accountable for deaths from air strikes. They have hundreds of cases of civilians allegedly killed in Syria and Iraq from coalition bombings. With the names, ages, locations and details of how people died.Everyone in Iraq and Syria has a cell phone. Everybody is taking videos, photographs, uploading stuff onto the internet. So we know a great deal about civilians - how they're dying, where they're dying, when they're dying. And it's become much more difficult for militaries to ignore that information now.

For many years, the United States was criticised for secrecy surrounding alleged civilian casualty incidents. But now, there's been a significant shift towards been a significant shift towards
transparency. been a significant shift towards
transparency.We provide them with dates, locations, GPS coordinates as best we understand them... The Americans will then come back and they'll say, "Ah, no, we categorically weren't involved in this. We didn't bomb in this location." They might come back and say, "Yeah, we've already got an assessment under way", or they might trigger an investigation because of the information. We have a similar information with the British - we're very much engaged with the UK on a case-by-case basis.Airwars believes over 2,500 civilians have been killed in coalition air strikes in Iraq and in Syria. So far, the Americans are the only coalition member to admit that they have accidentally killed civilians, conceding they have unintentionally caused more than 220 deaths. The US says many more alleged civilian deaths are still under investigation.The contrast with Australia couldn't be starker. With Australia, we get nothing.

We reached Mosul, our target area, in the early hours of the morning, a few hours before dawn.The Australian Defence Force maintains it takes every precaution to avoid civilian casualties.Then we conducted a sweep with our targeting cameras to make sure the area was clear of civilians before employing our weapons.It is absolutely fair to say that the coalition and the individual allies are taking probably unprecedented care in a hot war to limit civilian deaths. But this idea that Australian bombs do not kill or injure civilians is a fantasy.Airwars says it ranks Australia as one of the least-transparent coalition members. Other coalition partners tell us every week, sometimes even daily, where they bomb, when they bomb, what they target. We're incapable of engaging with Australia because they won't tell us where they bomb, they won't tell us when they bomb, and they won't tell us what they bomb. And that's been going on for 30 months.Airwars is THE most reliable independent NGO globally in monitoring civilian casualties arising out of armed conflict. They are the organisation which inevitably one turns to for the best picture, because they're very accurate in qualifying the reports that they give.

It's about accountability. It's about hearts and minds.Newcastle lawyer and human rights advocate Kellie Tranter decided to dig deeper into the outcome of Australian air strikes. She lodged a Freedom of Information request to Defence, and the response was surprising.

The Department does not specifically correct authorative, and therefore accurate, data on enemy and/or civilian casualties in either Iraq or Syria, and certainly does not track such statistics.

I was, to put it mildly, in shock. How do we refute allegations that we've killed civilians if we're not tracking and holding that information?Of the couple of militaries I've discussed this with informally, lest just say they've expressed surprise at the Australian position. Other nations are absolutely clear that it is their obligation to track and assess civilians they may have killed. Nobody else is going to do this for them. them. It's their job.The ADF says the Americans collect all data relating to casualties, and any information needs to be sought directly from them. But when 7.30 spoke with US Central Command, they told us they do not speak for their coalition partners, and that each country is responsible for tracking their own data. The ADF declined 7.30's request for an interview. They said all ADF personnel are required to immediately report suspected instances of civilian casualties, and that all reports are investigated. investigated. They said they would not provide mission-specific details on individual engagements for operational security operational security reasons. And the ADF refused to say if any civilian casualty incidents are currently being investigated.A blanket refusal to release data on civilian casualties regardless of the circumstances, and regardless of any operational risk that there may or may not be, would not be consistent with any view of a state's responsibilities in international war.The fight to retake Western Mosul is now under way, and the coalition has dramatically increased the number of air strikes in recent weeks as the battle against this ruthless terrorist group continues. The US is leading the way for transparency in its military operations. The question now is why Australia is not holding itself to the same standards.After so many strikes by Australia now, it's impossible, in our view, that civilians will not have been harmed. They will have been accidental, we accept that. But we need to understand when those civilians were killed, how they died, if we're going to improve the chances of civilians in future Australian air strikes. If all we get is denial, how can we make things better? How can we improve on things better? How can we improve on
things?Tasmania's $700 million salmon farming industry is facing fresh concerns over its impact on the environment. A scientific report into the health of Macquarie Harbour on the state's west coast finds that low oxygen levels have created a so-called dead zone under several of the massive salmon pens right next to a world heritage area. Now, one of the salmon-farming companies says it's found the first evidence of environmental damage inside the protected wilderness area. Natalie Whiting reports.

It's early morning at McQuearb Harbour on Tasmania's west coast. This team from Huon aqua culture is 1km inside the world heritage area, trying to gather evidence that overstocking of salmon is damaging the protected waters.It's basically a little - like a submarine with a camera on it.It's not long before they find what they're they find what they're looking for. This white material up here on the sea floor, that looks like bacterial matting on the sea floor.The bacteria bedgiatoa can occur naturally, but it is used as an early warning sign that the salmon fampz are having an impact on the environment. It occurs in the presence of low-dissolved oxygen in the water and excess nutrients, which can come from the salmon's faeces and feed. The salmon pens sit just outside the world heritage area.We wanted to see for ourselves what the situation was out there. The vision has shown us that there's more than 1km into the world heritage area, which means that there's a severe problem with the sediments in that end of Macquarie Harbour, particularly.Huon will use this evidence as part of the legal proceedings it's taking against the state and federal governments, and the regulator, the Environment Protection Authority. The other two companies who farm in the harbour - Tassal and Petuna - have sided with the governments and regulator. Has there been any commercial rivalry underpinning any of the steps you've taken?Absolutely not. Our concerns are based on valid evidence and science. This has got nothing to do with commercial issues. This is to do with doing what's right.Huon is heading to court to try to force the regulator to regulator to drastically reduce the amount of fish allowed to be farmed in the harbour. In January, the EPA did drop the cap, but Huon wants it to go further. An independent report commissioned by the regulator has found worryingly low levels of dissolved oxygen, which is how the salmon - and other marine life - breathe. The report also found a significant decline in the number of creatures living in the sediment under the pens. The recent scientific report found that the amount of fauna on the bottom of the harbour here had dropped by 97%. About 1.5km behind me is the Tassal lease that has been ordered to be destocked. The report - prepared by scientists from the Institute of Marine and anyone Antarctic Studies - referred to this monitoring site as "the closest to the world heritage area", but independent surveying work commissioned by Huon claims it's actually more than 450m inside the world heritage area. Last month, the CEO of Tassal, Mark Ryan, was questioned about whether the dead zone from its lease extended into the protected waters.Look, there is some of it in the World Heritage area and, for that, again, by us destocking and fallowing the lease, that will recharge.But a short time later, the company issued a retraction:

The condition of the World Heritage area is of particular concern because the salmon companies signed an agreement with the Federal Government to protect it. A range of conditions were put in place to ensure there was no significant impact on the World Heritage area or the endangered Maugean Skate. Breaching the conditions inkers heavy penalties.They can be prosecuted civilly for those breaches, in which case the maximum penalty is around $up with.8 million for each breach. They can also be prosecuted under a separate section of the legislation, and that carries very heavy penalties - up to $9 million if it's under civil, and they can also be jailed for up to 7 years.There's a commercial risk to us as a company as well because, when we signed those documents, we signed up to say that we wouldn't damage the World Heritage area. We actually have, but we're not the person in charge of setting the biomass and setting the regulation. Huon's legal action claims the state regulators have failed to comply with the federal conditions. Neither the state or federal ministers, the other companies, or the Environment Protection Authority, would speak to 7.30, citing the legal action. But the EPA is standing by its management decisions, and will be handing down a new biomass cap - the amount of fish allowed to be farmed in the harbour - in coming weeks.If that decision is to reduce the biomass, will you continue with your legal action?We'll consider our position.Tassal isn't the only one having issues in the harbour. One of Huon's leases also recently recorded non-compliances because of bedgeatoa. Tassal is on record saying the area around its problem lease could be caused, in part, by nutrients from natural debris like fallen leaves and branches being washed downstream. But Francis Bender says, even if other factors are contributing, the result is the same.We do know now there's enough science to show that we are having a huge effect on the environment ourselves as salmon farmers, so - whose fault it is, it's partly ours, significantly ours, it doesn't really matter. In the United States, the incidence of hate crime has risen by an estimated 20% in the past year - that includes bomb threats, desecrated cemeteries and racist graffiti. Some people blame Donald Trump's incendiary language for unleashing people's worst impulses - something Trump backers, of course, dispute. One of the most recent race-based attacks occurred in Pennsylvania, where more than 100 tombstones were vandalised in a Jewish simitary. Conor Duffy reports from Philadelphia.

This work we do together is a little bit of redemption to help make a correction on the desecration that happened earlier this week.Markers of human lives literally smashed in half, and a Jewish community gathering to repair the damage.So to have, really, hallowed ground desecrated like this, to have hate acted out upon people who are dead, who can't even fight back, is so distasteful and so hard for us to understand.Volunteers have arrived from all over the east coast. It's a show of strength, but there's no escaping that the desecration of the dead contains a message for the living - and it hurts.It says that not only do we hate you, potentially, for who you are, for your beliefs, but we even hate your loved ones. We even hate those who have died before you. Or we know that, by harming them, we'll be harming you.It's like a twister going through one of those Midwest Missouri towns.As he shows us through the cemetery, Allen Hornblum finds the graves of grandparents on his mother and father's side have been vandalised.Dozens and dozens of stones are knocked over, and although this has happened in the past over the decades, this is by far the worst case I've ever seen. Allen Hornblum believes the President's rhetoric is partly to blame.I think some of this can probably be tied to the national political scene, and some of the statements by Donald Trump.Blame President Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric - he's condemned the attacks, but stands accused of using language previously unheard of from a mainstream candidate.When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.He's been endorsed by some very reactionary groups, and it doesn't take much to fire up some people with bad intentions to do bad things.Across the country, swastikas have been sprayed on Jewish centres, mosques have been attacked, and white supremacist groups have come out into the open. There are now more than 900 race-hate groups, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In the response to the race-hate attacks, crowds gathered at the local Town Hall where the Constitution was written. Among them, religious leaders from a number of faiths.We are here to stand against hate.The crowd heard hate attacks spiked by 25% last year, and that white supremacist groups were growing bolder.It's an assault on all of us. It's serious. Very serious.Did any of you -- Can any of you vote yet? ALL: No.Senior politicianser like the Governor of Pennsylvania, were among those turning out to reassure the Jewish community. What was the mesesage you wanted to send out today?It's not who we are. We don't do this kind of stuff here.Thank you. Here's Attorney-General, Josh Shapiro, touted as a future Democratic leader - he told 7.30 President Trump was walking both sides of the street on the issue.I raised the issue to the President. The President responded by initially calling these types of threats intimidation reprehensible, but then the President made a comment about how, sometimes, the reverse could be true. I don't know what the President meant by that, but here's what I do know - that leaders, especially the President of the United States - need to speak with more clarity on these issues.The White House did get on the front foot - Press Secretary Sean Spicer began his daily press briefing with an unprompted condemnation of the attacks.I want to acknowledge that there's been an additional wave of threats to Jewish community centres and Anti-Defamation League offices. According to some reports, there have been over 100 bomb threats phoned in to Jewish institutions since the start of this year alone.

Back at the cemetery, two younger members of the Jewish community are coming to terms with the new environment. They're being comforted by their rabbi.I think it's very sad. These were somebody's relatives, someone's family, and they buried them here in the hopes that they would be remembered and their memorial would be cared for. This is the first time in my lifetime that I've experienced something like this.I'm not quite sure what the logical reaction should be, but the emotional one is just pain.I can see that this is upsetting for you.Yeah. Ah, sorry. Thank you.Here, four members of the same family had all their tombstones knocked over. This isn't the only attack the Jewish community has suffered in recent weeks. While there's a sense of being under siege, they say they feel heartened by the support shown by other religious leaders. It's bringing unlikely allies together - the Muslim and Jewish communities aren't known for being close in the States, but Tarek El-Messidi is bridging that gap. The Muslim community says there's been a number of attacks on mosques, and many were quick to empathise.We've had places of worship - mosques and synagogues - vandalised, threatened, burned to the ground. Just four mosques within the last six weeks. I think a lot of the rhetoric during the campaign has come around full circle now, and these people feel empowered. There's almost like an ecosystem of hate that's flourishing right now, and it's very unfortunate.Tarek El-Messidi got to work. He set up a GoFundMe page for Muslims to donate. The response was immediate and overwhelming.Our goal was $20,000 on the crowdfunding page. We hit that goal in just three hours. Right now, after a week, we're at over $150,000 raised.I'm really sorry that this happened.As we film with Tarek, a local rabbi recognises him, and offers a hug - a moment of unity amid the hate. That's the program for tonight. Thanks for your company. Goodnight.

BRIAN COX: I'm on tour
in Australia... Some of them might recollapse
in a fraction of a second. Others might be blown apart
by loads of dark energy.

..talking about
the life of our universe to scientists
and to space-loving audiences. I just like having
my brain stretched. I'll probably just stop and have
a look at the stars on the way home. On our journey so far, we've explored
how our universe began. So, this is the oldest light
in the universe.

But what about our future? Is there an end of the universe?
Is our universe eternal? The universe literally
tears itself apart.