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7.30 Report -

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(generated from captions) That's the sort of weather

that makes roses bloom, just like this showy Joey. Thanks,

before Mark. It's beautiful! And

before we go, a previous recap

of our top stories tonight.

Police in the United States are

investigating a bizarre shooting of Australian twin

sisters at a Colorado shooting

range. And the ACT Government

has foreshadowed a package measures to overhaul Canberra's

poker machine laws. That's ABC

News. Stay with us now for the 7.30 Report, and you can keep

up with the latest news at ABC Online

Online and ABC News 24. I will

be back with a news update at

8.30. Until then, goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI Tonight on the 7.30 Report -

a mountain of trouble. After three decades just who is responsible for responsible for this massive

mound of asbestos? There is no

doubt at all it is very, very dangerous. The response has

been appalling. That's the

only word to use. This Program is Captioned

Live.

Welcome to the program, I'm Tracy Bowden. It's been hailed

as the of austerity. In the UK, the

engagement of Prince William to

Kate Middleton comes as Britons

cope with tax hikes and major

cuts to public spending.

Adding to the doom and gloom is

a planned massive financial

bailout for Ireland, the

neighbouring nation on the

brink of bankruptcy. , but

there are hopes this next

chapter in the House of Windsor

will bring some good cheer and

boost the British economy. The

Philip Williams reports from ABC's British correspondent

to marry his girlfriend Kate Middleton. to marry his long-standing

Exciting news and I'm sure that the whole country will want SONG: # The look of love is in

your eyes... #

It could have happened any

but time during the last 10 years,

but for William's deep blue

blood the marriage of a RAF helicopter pilot to a one-time

fashion assistant would be a unremarkable occasion, far from unremarkable occasion, but it's forward to spending the rest of

our lives together and seeing our lives together and

what the future holds. It's obviously nerve-racking because I don't know what I'm sort

of... I don't know the ropes

really. William is obviously

used to it, but no, I'm willing

to learn quickly and work hard. She'll do really well. ,

but there hasn't been a Royal wedding like this since he

married her. Prince William

the joys and tragedy of his has had

mother's all too short life.

Right from the start of their

relationship when they moved in

Andrew's University, they together whilst studying

clearly decided to manage

expectations and exposure, to do it on their terms. They

tucked themselves away. They ordered curries from the local

curry shop at the end of the

road. They called in DVDs and

they had a very... well, it was

a very successful understanding

photographed together. They

wouldn't be pictured holding

hands. When they turned up together it

together it was separately and

that stood them in good They could keep that relationship clandestine for

the best part of a year. There

was considerable exposure for

the princess-to-be as she acted

as a runway model in front of

her boyfriend, but she's been

seen as a modern woman unemcum

bered by expectations of titled suitors. The whole thing saying icate's family is

ordinary is ridiculous. Get

into the 21st century. It's

terrific that Kate's family ordinary. That's exactly what

the Windsor line needs is

ordinary blood pumped into it.

She can relate much more to her husband's future subjects. Kate

Middleton did what many dreamt

of doing, snaring the world's favourite Prince Charming. Just

so sexy, he's gorgeous. what a real man looks like. ,

but this real man took his time

and the relationship wasn't without its false starts, a break-up, a reconciliation and now nearly ten years after the

two first met, the full Royal

deal. And over the years I knew

things were getting better and

better and we went through a

few stumbling blocks as every

relationship does, but we

picked ourselves up and carried

on and we from where you had

the odd problem when you were

first getting to know each

other

those have all gone. It's

really fun and I'm obviously

extremely funny and she loves

that so it's pretty good. If

you say so yourself. You go

through the good times, you go

through the bad times, both

personally, but also within a

relationship as well and I

think if you can come out of

that stronger and learn as I that stronger and learn as I said, things about yourself,

it's certainly been a good...

how many years? Three or four. Beyond love, there is

pressure, sustained, intrusive

and from now on unrelenting.

So far, she's handled the media

mob with flare, but she'll also

be compared to an icon who

would have been her mother-in-law the woman whose engagement ring she now wears

on her finger. Well obviously I

would loved to have met her and obviously she's an inspirational woman to look up

to... yeah, I do... There's no

pressure, though, like Kate said it's about carving your

own future. No-one's going to

try to fill my mother's shoes

and what she did is fantastic.

It's about making your own

future and your own destiny and

Kate will do a very good job of

that. From an early age, Kate Middleton appeared to show a Middleton

quiet confidence. This, a

modest stage to the one she now

finds herself on, often by

William's side, but rarely

attracting attention. , but

while the previous Royal crop

marked their earlier days with rather undistinguished

behaviour, young Miss Middleton

has been the model of propriety. I do think Kate has

worked really, really hard and

has been very successful at

crafting a respectful image of

herself. We haven't seen her her party, I've herself. We haven't seen her put put a foot

her party, I've seen her drink,

but she always leaves the club looking immaculate, she's

always polite if you comment on what she's wearing. She has

good manners. If good manners

do maketh the princess she's

set and unlike Diana she's had

a long apprenticeship. The Queen said she wanted the princes

princes to date their partners

for at least five years. Kate

is the best

of Wales we've ever had .

SONG: # The look of love... #

A good preparation is no

guarantee of long-term success.

Buckingham Palace has seen

come and go, but the what ifs

are for another time. The here

and now delivers a happy day as

a future king of Australia has

found his princess. The mother perhaps of another Australian

head of state. All this, and a

Royal wedding to come.

Philip Williams reporting from

London. Royal commentator

Dickie Arbiter is a former

press spokesman for the Queen and we and we cross to him live now in our London bureau. Dickie

Arbiter, how important is this marriage to the future of the

Royal family? Good morning. I

believe any marriage is important to the future of the Royal family. This one has had

a good apprenticeship because

they've known each other for

nine years, shave shared the same

same house at St Andrew's at the university been an item for eight years.

They fit very well together and they're very confident with each other. They know each

other's foibles, each other's

likes and dislikes so a good apprenticeship and something that hasn't happened in previous Royal marriages. Do

you think given what could be

called the mixed success of

recent Royal marriages that the

public level of excitement will be somewhat toned down? I don't

think so. We've had Kate on

the scene or Catherine as she

is known, for eight years so

people have kind of got used to the idea that she is William's

girlfriend. Well now she's

William's fiance and next year

will be William's wife. We're

used to it. When Diana burst

onto the scene six months

before they announced the engagement she was relatively

new, we saw relatively little

of her, but a lot of her after

she got engaged in February

1981, but Kate we have seen on

and off for a period of 8

years. Their split in 2007 was

very, very public and their

coming together so I don't think there's

scepticism amongst the British

public now because they've got used to the idea of Kate being

around. You've certainly seen

first-hand the media frenzy

surrounding a Royal wedding and

scrutiny attached to the Royal family.

family. Do you believe Kate

Middleton is prepared? I think

she is pretty prepared. She's

more prepared than any of the

other Royal brides name ly

Princess Diana, Sarah she's had to run the gauntlet

of the paparazzi as a private

individual. Well she won't

have to do that anymore because now she is engaged now she is engaged to William

she'll have Royal police protection, so she'll be able to cope with the media. She

won't have to run the gauntlet

of the paparazzi and anything

that happens in the future in terms of media will be very controlled. There are bound to

be comparisons between her and Lady Diana and, of course,

there's been a lot of talk

about the decision to give her Prince William's engagement Prince William's mother's think she'll cope with that

comparison? She probably will

cope with it very well. We

heard William talking just now

that there shouldn't be a

comparison. Kate is a person

in her own right and it would

be wrong to compare the two

ladies. I think we should let

Diana rest in peace now. She

died 13 years ago. She'd be

very happy her son has found

happiness. She'd be equally

happy that her engagement ring

has been given to Kate. It

meant a lot to William to do

to have it, but we've got to that and it means a lot to Kate

move on now and Kate has got to

stand up in her own right and

we've got to get rid of this

silly idea of comparing to somebody in the past. Kate somebody in the past. Kate is

a person in her own we've got to accept that. What

type of wedding ceremony do you

think it will be? Would a

lavish affair be inappropriate in these tough times? That's

the million dollar question,

isn't it? It's difficult to

predict what they want.

William is a bit of a control

freak. As far as the

engagement is concerned, they

got engaged in Kenya last

month. He kept it such a secret that nobody month. He kept it a such a secret that nobody knew he was in Kenya in the first

place and announced it in his time, which was yesterday. As

far as the wedding is concerned

yes we've got to consider

Britain along with a lot of countries

countries throughout the world

is going through harsh economic times.

times. We're still in

recession. Government are

cutting back on all

departments. People are being

asked to tighten their belts,

salaries are being frozen. So

to do anything lavish to go

over the top would be wrong and I

I think the Royal family are

very aware of how right they've

got to get it. Yes there's got

ceremony to it. My guess is

it'll probably be Westminster

Abbey and you can't do

Westminister Abbey without a

bit of pomp and ceremony, but

there are levels of pomp and

levels of ceremony. If we go

back to 1947 at the time that

the present Queen got married

to Prince Phillip there was

pomp and ceremony, but it was fairly low-key because we were

living in austere times just

after the Second World War.

The guards and the soldiers

lining the street were in

battle dress in khaki. There

was no scarlet so I think we'll see

think the Royal family and William in particular will

recognise that they have to get

it absolutely right, and

getting it right is not splashing out and going over

the top. Do you think the British public's view of the

monarchy is different to what

it was, say, 30 years ago that last famous wedding? Well,

attitudes change and people's

memories slip by very, very

quickly. We all remember that wedding

wedding in 1981. It was a fairytale wedding and a fairytale

went sour. We saw the sort of,

the open warfare and hostility

between the Princess of Wales and the public split was very

public Diana running the

gauntlet as a singleton were

very public and her various relationships with men were

public and her ultimate death

was extremely public so the

public are very aware of what

goes on, but memories move on. People don't forget, but they

don't harp on it, so the Royal

family is standing family is standing in pretty good stead at the moment and

this engagement and forthcoming

marriage can only boost its fortunes even further. Dickie

Arbiter, thank you for speaking to

to us. You're welcome. And on

the domestic front, a scathing

criticism of Government

inaction over asbestos has been

issued today by the NSW

ombudsman. It follows a flurry of

of reports in Queensland about

possible asbestos hazards in

that State's schools. The

ombudsman is particularly

critical of the mountain of asbestos at the asbestos failings at the abandoned Woodsreef Mine

in northern NSW, which he

describes as an environmental

disaster and a serious public

health issue. Two years ago health issue. Two years ago we reported on the condition of

the former asbestos mine, but

since then as Matt Peacock

reports, little has changed.

In the NSW Northern Tablelands

near Tamworth lies this huge mountain of asbestos tailings. 400 hectares, up to 70 metres

high and 15% pure white

asbestos. The grim legacy of the abandoned Woodsreef Mine.

I was absolutely amazed. I

was amazed that in 2010 we can

still have something like that

in the community close to where

people live. The scale is just extraordinary. extraordinary. Most of the asbestos mined here supplied

James Hardie, the company that

employed Bernie Banton who died in 2007

is about the victims and

support for them and their

families. Thank you so

much. With the Asbestos Diseases Foundation, Bernie

Banton led a long campaign to

force the company to compensate

its victims. Two years ago,

the 7.30 Report came here with the society's president Barry

Robson, who was shocked by the

conditions. I found it totally amazing that road access has

been bulldozed through

tailings and which is used by

the public and it's actually

the local council and the

tourist people here in the

local district encourage people

to come up here and drive through these

through these tailings. I find

it amazing. There is no doubt

at all that it is very, very

dangerous. Obviously it's a little bit less dangerous to

the other kinds blue and brown

asbestos, but still we have to

be very much aware of all the

potential dangers that may be ellicited by white asbestos. At

the time the then NSW Mines Minister Ian MacDonald refused an interview, but following

pressure from locals, asbestos

groups and unions, the NSW Government agreed to act. We

wanted the site secure because

people and children were

playing in the area, tourists

were using it, school buses went went through and past it and it was just unacceptable. The road at least was to be sealed

and last year $5 million was to

be spent demolishing the be spent demolishing the mill

and clearing away loose

asbestos, but what has

happened? Pretty much zilch.

(Laughs) That's what happened.

We went to the NSW Government

back in '08 and demanded some

action and we still haven't

seen anything happen since then. Today's then. Today's ombudsman's report calls the mine site an

environmental disaster with

extraordinary asbestos

contamination and minimal

security. Very little has been

done by Government, it

concludes, to

concludes, to deal with this serious public health

issue. The response has been

appalling. That's the only

word to use, because there's

been no adequate

response. Paula McIver is secretary of the Community

Development Committee in

Barraba, 15 kilometres from the

mine. This area here turns over $125 million every year in beef cattle.

It's one of the richest

agricultural areas in Australia

and yet we have an asbestos

mine and the Government mine and the Government has

abandoned it and abandoned the

community. The sheer scale of

the mountain of potentially cancer-causing asbestos

tailings left behind by this

mine is simply mind-boggling.

Both the State and Federal

Government subsidise Woodsreef

Mine, yet for the past 30 years there's been nothing, but buckpassing about who if anyone

will clean it up. And the state

that the building's in, it's

scary, it's very scary and I

certainly wouldn't want to be

going through there going through there on a windy

day. I think there's a real

danger. These photos from the

ombudsman's office reveal the degree of asbestos contamination inside the abandoned mill building it's

recommended be demolished. Two

years ago the mines department refused to say if it was safe. You're saying the place is safe

now? I'm saying the place is as

stable as we can make it at

this point in

time. Safe? You'll have to ask

health experts about safe. Short-term remediation, removing the old mill site,

trying to make the site stable,

better securing it, would not

be that expensive. It would be

in the order of about $5

million. That at the very least should be

least should be a matter of

priority. This is how asbestos

is dealt with according to the

law on building sites. protective suits and law on building sites. Full protective suits and breathing apparatus preventing any

inhalation of the toxic dust. It's It's a It's a different story

elsewhere amongst home renovators and

renovators and local councils

according to the ombudsman. Community awareness about

asbestos dangers is minimal and the Government's approach overall is disjointed, ad hoc

and confusing. We want one single coordination authority.

We want adequate and campaigns. We want there to be appropriate public a single law which covers all a single law which covers all asbestos-related issues. There

is a popular saying in

Australia "Don't worry" , but in the case of asbestos the Australians should worry very Australians should worry very

much. Australia has the highest

per capita incidence of asbestos disease in the woorgt

according to this Professor at

Sydney's Bernie Banton Centre - all deaths that are

preventable. It is a tragedy what we what we are seeing in the Australian environment

currently. There are too many persons dying from asbestos-related diseases.

We've got campaigns to ensure

people don't go out in the sun,

expose themselves to the sun

for fear that they might get

melanoma or skin cancer. This

is no different. We must

inform the community about

where asbestos is located, what

it looks like, what the dangers

are. There's no safe level of

exposure and if people are

exposed there's the risk, the very real risk they will

die. Not only does each State

need a central asbestos

authority believes union leader Paul Paul Bastian, the Federal Government must also take

action. It was widely used

everywhere, it needs a national

response. Laws aren't unified around the country, local

government's got its laws

involved in it, State

governments have. We need a

national authority to oversee

it as well to try and get this

dealt with once and for

all. And meanwhile, the local community at Barraba tries community at Barraba tries to

ignore their menacing neighbour

and continues to wait for the

promised Government action. It's just an action. It's just an eye sore.

It just keeps raising its ugly

head all the time and if it was

in the city, it wouldn't in the city, it wouldn't be

left like that. And NSW Premier Kristina Keneally today

referred the ombudsman's report

to Cabinet saying it would get

serious consideration. The

Opposition described the scandalous. That report from Government's

Matt Peacock. Deborah Cheetham

is now one of the country's

revered sopranos, but she had to battle to reach to battle to reach her goal of

Australia's first Aboriginal

opera singer. Determined to

make the path easier for her

Indigenous brothers and sisters

she's written an all-Indigenous opera

opera titled 'Pecan Summer' and

unearthed some talented up and

comers to share the limelight

with her. Along the way,

Deborah Cheetham, a member of the Stolen Generation, also shone some shone some light on her own

family history. Kirstin Murray shone some light on her own

reports. All roads have led to

'Pecan Summer', long before I knew there was a before I was looking. For

Deborah Cheetham, this opera's

been a lifetime in the making. For Australia's Indigenous community, it's taken

generations to reach this day.

So empowering we're not just

playing the black tracker in

someone else's story. We're

out there telling our own

story. Whether or not Deborah knows quite what she's done

here yet I don't know, but this

is going to the first step on a

people in general. That's 15 really big road for Aboriginal

minutes. This is for

practicing getting rid of the practicing getting rid of the L quickly. Two, quickly. Two, three, four... Over the past

years, this group's been four... Over the past three

preparing for their

history-making roles. history-making roles. Staging

an Indigenous opera's proven a hard task for the artistic

director. Until now, the only

Indigenous opera singer in the country. It's never made any

sense to me why there weren't

more because we're actually

built to sing acoustically,

it's the only way we did sing. Really it's about disadvantage,

isn't it? It's about another

gap that needs to be closed. gap that needs to be closed. A national search unearthed

promising talent, some who'd

harboured life-long dreams of

singing on stage. Like to

start again? I'm really

nervous, I'm sorry. Most voices just needed a little formal

training. Did you ever think

you'd be in an opera? Never in your wildest dreams at all. In her bid to break her bid to break new ground, Deborah Cheetham looked to the

past. 'Pecan Summer' tells the story of the 1939 Cummeragunja

walkoff when hundreds of Yorta

Yorta people left their homes

in a mass protest against the

harsh and inhumane conditions

heard about on the mission. And when I

heard about 200 men, women and

children walking off their

the Murray River as we call it

now, from NSW into Victoria I

just thought "This is it, this is my story". Musician Jimmy

Little was just a child when

his family left Cummeragunja.

The walkoff's a tale he grew up

with, but he says it's time the general population heard more about what his people

endured. Other countries are wondering why Indigenous

Australians, the first Australians Australians were always

protesting and looking for a

better deal, so we need to

teach - it wasn't taught in

school. Late last year the

opera trainees journeyed to

Yorta Yorta country to Yorta Yorta country to better appreciate the experiences of the characters they were to

play. It wasn't until I came here

here that I really understood

my culture and what it really

meant to be Indigenous to

Australia. It was the group's leader who'd biggest discovery of all, during

during a conversation with a leader who'd earlier made

local elder. Her first question

to me was "Who's your family?" Well, I'm a member of

Stolen Generation, but the critical piece of information I

have is that Jimmy Little is my

mother's brother so when you're

Jimmy Little's niece that's

quite handy because everybody

else in the Aboriginal

community knows how they're

connected to Jimmy

Little. Suddenly, the opera

became deeply personal when a

heritage was revealed. Deborah missing piece of her family

Cheetham was told her own grandparents had been involved in the walkoff. I just probably

even now just trying to

actually put that into the

context. That's why I say, I

don't think I found the story,

I'm pretty sure it found me. country in Mooroopna in Premiering

Victoria's north-east was a way

to recognise the past.

(Sings) # Now my little ones...

I want to do honour to that

story, to my ancestors and it's

really quite an amazing dream

coming true right now for me.

In a scene that would resonate

with any member of the Stolen Generation, Jessica character is removed from her mother. I know it's really hard

for her whilst on stage to perform the situation where I

am actually taken away from

her, knowing that it probably

brings up a lot of memories for

her. For Tiriki Onus ,

performing in 'Pecan Summer'

was a chance to honour his

grandfather, a key leader in

the walkoff and later, a

revered elder. Yes, my people the Australian Aborigines knew

about the very beginning of

time. For me to be able to

connect with him on a personal

level and play a character that

is very much based on him I think is think is really, really an

important personal journey for

me in discovering my own

identity in many ways also. The

soldout performance was met

with a standing ovation. For

the show's writer, composer and

director, it was a moment to savour. She's receiving accolade and praise and

recognition and all these

things are rebuilding a young girl who was half alive, half

informed to becoming a whole

woman. These people lived that

story, you know, and I think

that's what makes it so

powerful. This day, a very, very powerful performance. I'm

proud of what you've done darl,

I really am. Deborah Cheetham

hopes to tour her opera nationally next year. Kirstin

Murray reporting there, and

that's the program for tonight. We'll be back at the same time

tomorrow, but for now,

goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

(Applause) hello, hello, hello, Well, hello, hello, that puts a song in your heart, and welcome to QI, the show and a hum in your pyjamas. a tune on your lips special music edition Joining for tonight's Linda Smith and Alan Davies. are Sean Lock, Mark Gatiss, ladies and gentlemen, please. So, let's tune up, See how you're sounding. Sean goes... (? Beethoven - Fifth Symphony) (? Handel - Water Music) Mark goes... (? Vivaldi - Spring) Linda goes... (? Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) And Alan goes... Well done. Very good. Excellent. what kind of music First question this evening is, What do they find most charming? do snakes like the best? (? Handel - Water Music) Kraftwerk. Mark? Really vicious German electro-pop. Imagine those fakirs playing it... Those whats? Excuse me? Fakirs. Oh, yes, right, fair enough. You're quite right. They are. All of them. Um, and... (Cymbals crash) At ease, thank you. Thank you, sound department. When you say they like it, it's not like they like it, they go out, inside their baskets. they buy it, they put posters up When you say like... No, right, I see. (Imitates snake-charming music)

Yeah, Kraftwerk. Just a second. Good heavens! It works. ready to pounce. Oh, the hood right back, Um... X-rated Ain't Half Hot Mum, that. I'm so sorry. It was, rather. The oddity is, actually, to the music at all. that snakes, uh, don't respond It's simply the sight of it. They don't. They can't. Yeah, 'cause if you do it without... They just like the sight of it. You're quite right. They don't respond to music. Yeah. Or just making no noise at all, You could be doing that on anything?

and forwards and look mesmerised. and it would still sway backwards They don't have ears. that was exactly what was thought, You're sort of right. Until recently In fact, when you go inside - 'cause they don't appear to. they've now discovered - they do have otic nerves and a whole system, which responds electrically to sound. Is that snake alive or is it a model one?

I think it's actually a dinner. It's a snake in a basket. I think it's just come back from holiday in Spain and bought one of those donkeys, those straw donkeys. a rattlesnake on TV, every week. When I was a kid, there was (Laughs) there was always a rattlesnake. Every week, in something,