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Live.

Tonight - homes destroyed as

fires burn out of control in

Perth. Rivers rising -

Victorians can't seem to escape the floodwaters. Mass

resignations, but it's not enough to move the

protesters. The status quo is

simply not sustainable. And the

Bungendore. Good evening. country music get-together in

Craig Allen with ABC Victoria come to terms with News. While Queensland

their natural disasters,

authorities in the west are

confronting a new emergency. Firefighters in Perth are

battling blazes on two fronts.

In the city's south-east, a

fire has already destroyed up

to 20 homes, and the flames remain out of control. And in

the north-east, residents have

been evacuated as a fire

threatens around 100 homes in

five suburbs. The fire at Roleystone south-east of Perth took off quickly and without

warning. We went for a drive up

there because we saw the smoke

and by the time I had driven

down the road, all the houses were on fire. There are unconfirmed reports that around

20 homes have been destroyed

with more under threat. Strong,

gusty winds are making it difficult for authorities to

get the blaze under

there are people within the control. Please make

fire area, to evacuate them and

not to worry about the houses

at this time. The fire began

just after midday, and within

hour it is had destroyed

houses, vehicles and bushland.

No people have been killed, but it's understood one firefighter

was run over by an ap appliance

truck while fighting the blaze.

Meanwhile, at Red Hill, north

of Perth, and out-of-control fire has already burnt through

hectares of bush. Some homes

have already been damaged. The

blaze started just after 9

o'clock last night. The Fire

Authority said it moved swiftly and Emergency Services

through the hills. Flames were

up to 3m high. Dad just came

into my room and he just said,

"Emma, wake up. There's a fire

where the horses are." And I'm

like, "Oh, my god." With the

weather against them, evacuation crews quickly to evacuate the residents of the they spent a

tense night at the centre. It

is a pretty anxious time. It's

hard to say what you feel.

There is a lot of anxiousness

and anxiety and hope, hope

fire is coming over the ridge there is not more to come. The

and threatening private

properties. Most of the houses

have been evacuated but some

people are preparing to stay

and defend. Also under threat

is a Buddhist temple and

community. Les Sheehy from the temple spent the day preparing

to fight the blaze. We've spent

the day keeping the grass wet.

Our plan is to protect the temple building. Helicopters

are continuing to dump water.

Crews will be fighting both

blazes into the night. A

massive clean-up is under way

in parts of Victoria after the

torrential rain of the past days. There were evacuations

today in some towns around

Mildura in the State's

north-west. Further east, some

areas are still waiting watching, with several rivers areas are still waiting and

yet to peak. This is what

happens when you get a year's

worth of rain in less than two

days. Have a look at it. look at the place. It's unbelievable!. SES workers

spent the morning evacuating

around 80 homes in the town of

Irymple, just south of Mildura.

Rising stormwater and the fail

tour of several stormwater

pumps meant this was a battle

residents could never have won. Something I never have

wanted to go through and I felt really bad for the one in

Queensland, but it's happened

to us now. We'll live through it.

Thank god I'm insured... I

hope!. Some evacuees were

better equipped for the

conditions than others. Just to

the south in Cardross,

stormwater purposes were

working but there was little

they could

huge volume of water. SES has

Melbourne alone since Friday. taken 4,000 calls for help from

There are renewed warnings for

people not to take risks

driving on flooded

roads. Nearly 90 rescues, many

of them out of vehicles. That's

not necessary. It is a

diversion of resources. We need

those resources focused on

emergency response. In the

Rutherglen wine-making region

in the State's north-east, dry

weather can't come soon

enough. From now on, the

biggest concern will probably

be the bunch rots which causes the

the bunches to break down and

make them unusable, so make them unusable, so that's

the big risk. With more rain

predicted later in the week,

there is plenty to be concerned

about. Military might is

arriving in the worst-hit areas

from Cyclone Yasi, and getting

recovery. But on with the business of

devastation is overwhelming, recovery. But the scale of

and progress isn't moving fast

enough for some people whose

homes have been wrecked. Donna Field reports. Cyclone Yasi

tested Tully's strength and damaged the community. (Singing) But it hasn't shaken their faith. Yeah, you've got to have something. Parishioners have no faith in

power for the organ, but that didn't stop them from giving thanks for their safety. The

message today is do whatever

you can to help

others. Outside, the recovery

work continued. When you start

to think about 850 buildings

that need some kind of repair,

you really do understand this

was a big event. From Cairns to

Townsville, more than 80

schools will remain closed for

repairs, but at Tully High School, the devastation is absolute. It will be demolished. Along the coast,

4,000 troops are now helping in

the recovery effort. The way

Defence normally does things is

until the job is done. The it gets in and keeps at

military is also flying in food

from Brisbane as part of Operation Cyclone Assist and

power companies are shipping generators to the worst

affected areas so they can get

the electricity back on. So

these communities are still

very much reeling from what's happened to them. People like

banana farmer Mark Nucifora. When you lose your

home, too, it makes it that

little bit more challenging to get things back to normality. From Cairns to

Cardwell, 95 pest of banana

crops have been wiped out. The industry is worth around 400

million, so we've just lost 75%

of what would be grown for the

banana industry in Australia,

so that's gone. On Palm Island off Townsville, anger is

mounting that the community hasn't received help for

cyclone damage or re-supply of

its government-run general

store since Yasi hit. That

amount of food for an island of

3,000 is a drop in the ocean. But strangers is making a difference in those communities

that are easier to get

to. We've managed to bring down

35 kilos of cause sadges, about

25 loafs of bread. A hot meal

is hard to come by in a place

where many homes have lost not only power, but foundations. For Canberra,

last night's summer storm was

all over in just a matter of minutes. The short deluge

dumped just 5mm on the airport, but it was the wild winds

gusting up to 70km/h that did

the most damage. The SES took

100 calls for help and around

2,000 homes were blacked out,

main I from trees falling on powerlines. The season of

floods and cyclones sets the

tone for Federal Parliament's return this week. Politicians will come together on Tuesday

to mark the death and damage of

summer. But the display of unity won't last. Julia unity won't last. Julia Gillard

and Tony Abbott remain sharply

at odds on how to pay for

disaster repairs. Political responsibility Greg Jennett. Whether remembering

the Victorian bushfires two years ago... (Sings)

# We are Australian... #

..or this summer's floods and

cyclones... natural disasters

are framing the start of yet

another parliamentary year, and

this time pitching the major

parties head long into conflict over the levy to pay for it. Queenslanders and Victorians have suffered enough without having to suffer yet another

another new tax. I think what

we're seeing from Tony Abbott

is playing politics at a type of national crisis. Tony Abbott

is calling for more subsidised loans for businesses and still

promising to find savings fo to fully match the Prime

Minister's $1.8 billion levy. He levy. He has now identified one

target, hundreds of millions of

dollars worth of water buybacks

from the flooded Murray-Darling

Basin. That would be one area

that could be very substantially deferred or cut back in the years ahead. Rough

estimates of the combined bill

from last week and the January floods range up floods range up to $6 billion. That means the Government could

have to find $4 billion in

savings, twice as much again as

Tony Abbott. There are no easy

choices left now, so in making

further Budget cuts there is

going to be some pain around

and people are going to have to

recognise that. The ABC has

been told big-ticket welfare

payments are in the

Government's sights. The $17

billion family tax benefit

scheme is being examined and if

eligibility is tightened, it

could unlock savings across the

board on other allowances and

the education tax refund. Their

decision won't be declared

until the May

his this week. New South Wales

Premier Kristina Keneally has

begun the election campaign

with an apology. While it

looked like an official

campaign launch, it was instead

Labor's first major policy

announcement and it began in a

most unusual way. We lost way because we were too focused

on ourselves and not enough on

what matters to families in

this State. And for that I am sorry. Kristina Keneally went

on to announce a $900 million

package to ease the cost of

living for families. It

includes capping increases in

the cost of driver's licences,

car regos, stamp duty and bus

and train fares of the election

will be held on 26 March. And

the South Australian Labor

Government has undergone a

major overhaul. Three senior ministers, including the Deputy

Premier, have resigned. Labor

has been in office for years and has been under pressure to deliver

generational change since generational change since last year's election. Kevin Foley is

quitting as deputy and

Treasurer, but is expected to

keep his Defence portfolio. His

future had been under a cloud

following union pressure after

a tough Budget and an assault

outside a city nightclub. It is

time for Kevin Foley to give

way to younger, talented people

who will take this Labor

Government to the next election and win and win beyond that.

The Police Minister Michael

Wright and Mining Minister Paul

Holloway are also stepping

down. The Premier Mike Rann says he is committed to staying

in the job despite waning

popularity polls. A Cabinet

reshuffle is expected

tomorrow. The leaders of Egypt's ruling party have quit,

including the son of President

Hosni Mubarak, but that's not

enough for the protesters

gathered in the centre of

Cairo. They say they leave until President Mubarak goes, too. Middle East correspondent Ben Knight

reports from the Egyptian

capital. Egypt's army tried to

convince the protesters to pull

down the barricades and allow

traffic back through the

Square, but the protesters aren't aren't budging. They formed a

line in front of the tanks to

stop them rolling over their

makeshift barrier and they say they will stay here until Hosni

Mubarak quits. They're calling for

for mass rallies every Tuesday

and Friday. But outside the

square in the streets of

central Cairo, normal life is starting to return. The police

trucks that were burnt out last

Friday are being removed and

tomorrow the banks will open

for the first time in more than

a week. For all those who

protested, there are many who are angry at the economic

disruption this crisis has caused

TRANSLATION: Of course. I've

been closed for nine days. How

am I supposed to make money? But others TRANSLATION: I'm not in there

with them, but I am with them.

They have made an amazing step

towards change. It's hard to

believe things are back to

normal while there are still

tanks on the streets and those

streets are still a dangerous

place. Both protesters and

foreign media are still being subjected to random attacks. So

no-one knows how long it will

last or more importantly when

it will end. The government

says it's about to hold its

first discussions with Opposition groups. President

Hosni Mubarak met with his

economic team but late in the

day came the news that his

ruling party's entire committee

had been resigned. They had

been replaced with some progressives, but most

significantly it means the

President's son, Gamal Mubarak

will not stand at the next

election. But his father, it

sees, is hanging on, although

Hosni Mubarak's cosy relationship with the West is over. In fact, the United

States appears to be radically changing its policy towards its

friendly dictators in the

Middle East. The status quo is simply not sustainable. The

challenge is to help our

partners take systematic steps

to usher in a better future where people's voices are heard, their rights respected

and their aspirations met. And

those people continue to watch

what's happening here in Egypt very,

very, very closely. Across the

Middle East, nervous leaders

are scrambling to prevent Egypt-style eruptions of

discontent and protests in

their own countries N Jordan,

influential former generals

have called on King Abdullah to

introduce urgent reforms

including a crackdown on

corruption, and for once, the

military is on the same side as

the country's Islamist

movement. The ABC's Mark

Willacy is in the Jordanian capital. capital. For these Muslim Brotherhood leaders, prayer takes precedents over protest.

To them, there is only one

almighty, and he is not the man

in the palace in Amman. TRANSLATION: The people have no

liberties, no voice. The King

has absolute power and because

of this corruption and poverty is spreading. CHANTING. As

Jordan's main Opposition force,

the Muslim Brotherhood has organised demonstrations

against government corruption.

And these Islamists aren't the

only Jordanians raising their voice in protest. General Ali Habashneh represents another

powerful group, the military elite.

TRANSLATION: We are worried

about the country and the

future of the monarchy, so we

felt the need to ring the alarm about corruption. In an

unprecedented move in Jordan, a

group of 30 former generals signed a petition to King

Abdullah, calling for urgent

reform and an end to graft and

corruption. TRANSLATION: Corruption has flourished because of a

succession of weak parliaments

which don't reflect the

people's wishes. It's up to the

King to let voters decide who

represents them. From a monarch

seen as aloof and autocratic,

the King is now trying to show

that is he listening. In this

desert kingdom, that means balancing the demands of the

Islamists, the tribes and the

generals, and for once they're

all asking for the same thing - more power for the people and

less for the palace. Collision forces in eastern Afghanistan

are calling on local communities to communities to help fight

Taliban insurgents crossing the

border from Pakistan. Taliban

and US forces are battling for

control of the province of

Ghazni where the Taliban is

still very influential.

Afghanistan correspondent Sally

Sara reports from the volatile

province. The war in eastern Afghanistan is

village at a time. US troops

were shot at from here three

days ago. A girl from the

village was hit in the

crossfire. The soldiers are

appealing to the local men to

join the campaign against the

Taliban. To make sure that we

do whatever we can to increase

the security here and make sure

that no other kids ever get hurt in this village, because

the Taliban fired from

here. The Taliban have been so

strong they've collected taxes,

run courts and even their own shadow government in this part

of Ghazni province. A lot of

the trouble is coming from

across the border in Pakistan, just

just over 100km away. Even in

remote villages like this one,

what's happening in Pakistan is crucial. Some of the leadership

of the insurgents which are

fighting in this area are from

the city of Quetta. Commands

from there can have a big

effect as to what goes on, on

the ground in areas like this

one. US troops have been in

Taliban here. 17 soldiers from

Bravo Company were wounded in

action in their first three weeks in this area. We pushed

into areas where ISAF hadn't been before in the last couple

of years and as we pushed into

those areas, the Taliban has

wanted to fight us there. Some

of the village elders come to

the base asking the base asking for weapons to

protect themselves. The US

troops want nails of local

young men who are willing to

man a checkpoint to secure the

area. This man says he hopes he

can trust the Americans to keep

their promises . But the their promises . But the big question is will the

hard-fought gains made in

eastern Afghanistan be

sustainable. Some of the local

people have had little contact

with the Afghan Government for

more than 7 years. Time is now

running out to turn that around

before coalition troops

withdraw in 2014. Pakistani cricketers at the

centre of spot-fixing

allegations have been suspended

for at least 5 years. International cricket's

anti-corruption tribunal said it it had been proven Pakistan's

former captain Salman Butt and

fast bowlers Mohammad Asif and

Mohammad Amir had pre-arranged

for no balls to be for no balls to be bowled in

last year's Lord's Test against

England, but ban is for -

butt's ban is for 10 years and

Asif's is for 7, but both will

serve only five if they have no

further breaches and undergo anti-corruption education.

Mohammad Amir will be only 23

when his five-year ban

ex-pierss. The newspaper which

broke the story is

unimpressed. This is just not

strong enough. I think there

are ICC chiefs who are on the

floor this evening because they were expecting life bans and

for life to mean life, not this

fudging of the issue. The trio

have three weeks to appeal against the against the sanctions in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

They're also facing corruption

charges in Britain. England is

chasing 280 for victory in the

final match of its one-day

series against Australia. Adam

Voges marked his return to the

Australian side with a quick

fire 80 as the hosts recovered

from a slow start to post a competitive total. England

missed a chance to remove Brad Haddin for a duck, but the

tourists soon found their first

breakthrough with Tim Paine out

lbw on review. Callum Ferguson

failed to enhance his case for a late call-up to the World Cup

as he went for 15. Haddin tried

to make amends for his slow

start, but aggression brought

about his downfall, along with some clever work in the

field. COMMENTATOR: Oh! I think

it's out. I think it's brilliant from Steve Finn. The

host 'cause have been in more trouble with two difficult

caught-and-bowled chances going down, but it was third time lucky for England. Out! The

Australians eventually lifted their run

their run rate through David

Hussey and Adam Voges. They

combined for a partnership of

95 from just 83 balls before

Hussey was dismissed for

60 Yeah, good catch. On

return to the national team,

Voges Voges top-scored with 80

not out in front of his home

crowd. He received good support from WA team-mate Mitchell

Johnson as Australia Posted a

solid total of 279. France and

Ireland have opened their Six Nations rugby union campaigns

with contrasting victories on home soil. The defending

champions kept Scotland winless

in Paris since 1999 with a

sparkling 24 point win. France

crossed four tries to three.

Harinordoquy for the line and

for France's try. In a tighter

affair, Italy went within a

whisker of recording its first

Six Nations win over the Irish. The Italians looked to have

snatched the win when they took

a one-point lead in the closing

minutes, but Ronan O'Gara ended

any premature celebrations when

he potted a field goal for Ireland to sneak home 13-11.

Italy has beaten Australia in a Fed Cup

Fed Cup type for the - tie for

the first some time. Samantha

Stosur and Jarmila Groth were

beaten in Hobart this

afternoon. Italy also won the

doubles and took the tie 4-1 to

advance to the semifinals. With

the tie level at 1-1, French

Open finalists Samantha Stosur and Francesca Schiavone and Francesca Schiavone faced

off in the first reverse singles rubber. The world No. 5

hit winners the world No. 4

could only applaud. But

Schiavone won the points of

consequence and took the first

set in a tie break. Stosur hit

back, and won the second 6-3. COMMENTATOR: And that is a bit more like more like it!. Some found it

too tense to watch. The

Australian survived four match

points in the third set, but

not her fifth. Took no risks.

Very disappointing to come

here and lose two matches,

especially when they're so

tight. The pressure was on Jarmila Groth to keep Australia in

in contention, but she was no

match for Flavia Pennetta. Pennetta's 6-3, 6-2 triumph

sparked scenes of celebration.

It was Italy's first win in six

ties with Australia. I think we

make a lot of story in Italy

with tennis, so this one is

going to be another was no join for Australian veteran Rennae Stubbs who was

making a heartfelt exit from

professional tennis. Stubbs and Anastasia Rodionova also lost

the doubles. The and bra

Capitals have overcome a slow

start to comfortably defeat Logan by Logan by 20 points in their

final home game of the season.

Down by 10 points, the kavp

tals rallied in the third quarter outscoring their Queensland opponents by 28-5.

In stifling conditions Canberra

went on to win the game 99-79.

Mariana Tolo top-scored with 24

points. I think our third

quarter was like that and we've

got to find that each quarter

every play and that's where

this team has to go. The

second-placed Capitals will

head to Brisbane for a re-match with Logan next weekend. Defending champion

Yani Tseng has won consecutive Women's Australian Women's Australian Open titles.

Tseng proved untouchable

finishing 7 shot as head of the pack. Katherine Hull and Karrie Webb were the best-placed Australians, finishing equal

7th, 11 shots back. Jennifer Browning

Browning reports. A handful of

shots separated the top group

heading into final round at the Commonwealth course. After

firing a 6 under par in the

third round, Katherine Hull had a frustrating day. Oh, that

wasn't near the

hole. Canberra's Nikki Campbell

looked to have the shot of the

day on the 8th. Oh, yes!. Before a long-range putt

from American Christina Kim

topped it. Oh, very, very good.

Look at that! Karrie Webb

posted a 3 under par round to

finish tied for 7th, and after

starting the day 10 shots off

the lead, England's Melissa

Reid pushed her way into the top 4. Beautifully holed. But

there was no stopping the

defending champion Yani Tseng

as she powered her way into the

final round. Despite

efforts, world No. 1 Jiyai Shin

and fellow South Korean Eun-Hee

Ji were unable to catch the

leader. Shin held a 5 - Tseng

held a 5-shot lead heading into

the back nine and extended that

to 7, claiming her second title

in as many years. It might be

smaller and less well-known

than the Tamworth music

Festival, but for country music

lovers, the Bungendore Muster was the place to be this

weekend. There are no overseas

artists to be heard. This is an

all-Australian affair. Hundreds

of country music purists

flocked to the small town near

Canberra to get their fill of Australian bush ballads. The

next song I will do is called

'Old Man's Kingdom'. Many up on

stage are the country's pioneers, others are just

starting out. Trent Holder is just happy to be up on with many of his idols of Australian country music. It's

the atmosphere, the people,

they're all friendly. Once you

come down, everyone knows you

and remembers you. They come

from near and far. More than a

thousand fans have camped at

the showground, undeterred from

the rain. For them the Muster

is a chance to catch up with

old friends and cheer on their

favourite artist. Tom Maxwell,

the best country music singer in Australia. That's right,

and we like Ernie Constance. Brilliant. The

weather is a bit outie, but

you've got to go good with the

bad, hey? The Muster has been

running for 26 years and many

fans have travelled to

Bungendore for every single

one. Hovering behind the scene

was Maureen Gordon. She had the

inspiration for the event back

in 1986. We had no idea. We one-off, one-day event and for

some reason, people just seem to

to take Bungendore to their

hearts. They love the area,

just love Bungendore, so we're

very proud of what we've

achieved. Just leave the

instrumental bits to me,

OK. Fans and performers alike

say they will be back next

year. Good on you, Ted. To the

weather now and last night's

storms dumped about 5mm on the

city, but it was intense when

it came. Nothing fell in the

official rain gauge today. Just

half amm at Tuggeranong, and

temperatures were cooler for a

pleasant change. In fact, that

was much the case throughout

the region:

Ex-tropical cyclone Yasi is

still tracking west, pushing cloud down through sauce,

Victoria and New South Wales.

The high has moved into the Bight Bight and the low pressure

trough is sitting up through the inland of New South Wales.

The disturbance is still

producing showers through the

interior and down the eastern

seaboard. Sydney will see some

respite from the heat tomorrow:

The local region will stay mostly dry tomorrow, with cooler winds keeping

temperatures down again. Up and

down the coast it will be mostly

mostly sunny:

During the working week we

will see increasing temperatures with showers developing next weekend. That's

the news for now. Thanks for

your company. Have a great

week. Goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI.