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Live. Tonight - firefighters

battle a battle a major blaze in the

centre of Canberra. Signed and

sealed, Telstra and Optus

switch to the NBN. US troops in

Afghanistan get their marching orders. After this initial reduction our troops will

continue coming home at a

steady pace. And in the money.

its sightses on the Pacific. The Royal Australian Mint sets

A heritage listed hotel

complex on the edge of Civic

has been extensively damaged by

fire. The complex is home to

several restaurants and bars.

The fire is now under control,

but at its height, flames and

smoke billowed across the city.

at the scene and joins us now. Our reporter Siobhan Heanue is

We've seen a few dramatic

images. Tell us what you can

see and how bad the damage

appears to be? We're having a

bit of trouble getting through

to Siobhan. Are you able to

hear me at this stage? No, we

seem to have lost ... Yes,

we're here at the scene of the

New Acton Hotel complex, which

has been almost completely

destroyed in a very dramatic

and very rapid fire here. Right

in the middle of the peak well. It caused significant business

chaos in the CBD. With me now

is Superintendent Tony Flaherty

from the ACT you tell me how this fire started this afternoon and how

much damage has been done? I

can't comment on the extent of

the - or how the fire started

but I can comment on the extent

of damage and it has been

significant, about 80 to 85% of

the building has been damaged,

severely damaged by the fire.

And our firefighting efforts

after that with water and smoke damage it's a very historic building, in fact, it's heritage listed.

It's one of the oldest It's one of

those old materials must've buildings in Canberra. Surely

proved to be quite a challenge for firefighters? The

construction of the building

certainly did affect the

firefighting efforts, in that

it was - it did have timber and

like in it, lots of furniture

and other combustibles. And

once the fire did get hold, it

and managed to spread extensively

building. Our firefighting

efforts at the time, we managed

to save the other two buildings. On each side of the

building affected. So building affected. So at this stage, the hotel accommodation

is intact. The other building

is extensively damaged. Because

there were hotel rooms,

restaurants, bars and the like

as well as apartments in close

proximity, I have heard witness

reports that there were a lot of people inside the building

and around the vicinity at the time of the fire. fire, no-one was injured? It's it that with such a ferocious


extremely lucky that no-one was

injured. As I've said before, we've had no reports

injuries or people missing. The

people on either side of the

complex in the motel rooms evacuated effectively. Resulted

in our firefighters not having

to worry about search and

rescue for that amount of time,

we were straight into the

fire-fighting operations, once

it was established that that was the was the case. And now, a very

sad event, because this is a

heritage listed building and

it's got quite a history and is

a well-known landmark in

Canberra. It's also been

meticulously restored and won of architecture awards as a result

of that. I have heard from the

owners of the building that

despite very significant damage

here today, they are determined

to start rebuilding as soon as they

they possibly can. Well,

that's some good news. Yes,

indeed, a very disappointing

thing for Canberra. A much

very pleased and relieved to loved precinct. We're very,

hear that no-one was hurt at

that very busy time of the day.

Thank you very putsch for that.

I know you will stay on site

and give us any update it is

they come to hand. Thank Virginia. We'll keep you

throughout updated with that on ABC News

throughout the evening if there

is any change in that

situation. It was at this

moment one year ago that Kevin

Rudd's Prime Ministership

collapsed. The ABC's revelation

against him destroyed Mr Rudd's that plotters were moving

position within hours. Today,

Party did their utmost to let

the anniversary pass quietly.

But the opposition wasn't about to let anyone forget. Mark

extremely long time in Simkin reports. A year is an

politics. Kevin Rudd now leaves

from a different house and goes

to a very different job. How

are you feeling, one year

on? I've got to be in

Parliament in 15 minutes,

that's how I feel. All the

best. See you guys. Today,

unlike 12 months ago, he knew

what was waiting for him at determined to revisit the

real Prime Minister hovering past. There is the ghost of a

over this Parliament. A real

Prime Minister who has been cut

down, cut down by a politician

who turned out to be very good

at executing her party leader,

but has turned out to be

hopeless at actually running

the country. No! No! No! No!

No! Tony Abbott tried to censure the current Prime with the old one. He was

dictatorial, yes he was

arrogant, yes he was

incompetent, but I tell you

what, he had a few convictions

and he had a few things that he and he had

believed in. We'll let him play

the silly political games he is

going to play today and we'll

get on with the job of helping families around the nation.

The censure failed. Unlike the coup. Julia Gillard is lower in

the polls than Kevin Rudd was

back then. So no-one's talking

about a first birthday celebration. Each and every

Prime Minister and I will be day, I go about working as

doing that tomorrow. What will

I be doing tomorrow? Working

hard as I do every day. That

other Labor Prime Minister

knifed by his party is out of that within the two years that hospital. I'm very confident

Julia's got, she will be on top

of all these things. The current leadership is good? The leadership is quite secure.

We've got a Prime Minister

who's working hard, who's got a

plan for the future and we're

right behind her. That's what

factional leaders say in

private, too. There's no

appetite for another leadership

change. And certainly not for a

Kevin Rudd return. While some wags call the cow assassination

day, one Labor figure has a

different day -- name for it, liberation day.

It took $12 billion but the

Federal Government has now

recruited the two giants of

telecommunications to its National Broadband Network. Telstra and Optus have pledged

their involvement with

long-term lease deals. The

Prime Minister says it marks a

massive milestone for the country's biggest infrastructure superfast broadband comes a


promotion. Another big step

forward. A major and historic

milestone. This is a red day. This is broadband incorporated. Politicians and

industry heavyweights in a deal Telstra's chief says is

unrifled. It's probably one of

the most complex transactions

ever been done in the history

of corporate Australia. It was

painstaking work. It took two

years to convince Telstra

Optus to strike the deal, and they extracted their price. $11

billion for Telstra to retire its existing copper network,

almost $1 billion for Optus to

get on board, ut shutting one down

down of its existing broadband networks. We say yes to

competition and yes to

high-speed broadband. The

agreement guarantees a large

and ready customer base for the

new network and access to the

pits and pipes already in

place. As David said it's been

a very complex deal, but it a very complex deal, but it has been worth the it? Oopsy daisy. To the

coalition, it's the rough end

of a raw deal for taxpayers. A

heavy price for buying out the competition. We're turning the clock many decades,

generations almost, to have one

government monopoly that is using

using taxpayers' money to

eliminate competition. It's

Malcolm Turnbull's mission to

destroy the NBN but as each day

passes, that gets harder. This

deal includes a $500 million penalty clause. Should any

future Prime Minister want

break it. They're commercial

contracts, just like we sign a commercial contract with any large company we have exit

clauses. It's no more difficult

than that. There is no question of anything being ripped up or terminated or

anything like that. Only the

ACCC and shareholders have that

power. The agreements are now over to them.

Well, the NBN deal wasn't

well received by share

investors. Telstra shares

closed more than 2% lower. It

was their biggest one-day fall in four months. Credit ratings agency Moody's also threatened

to downgrade Telstra's credit

rating. But some investors are

relieved to see a little more certainty. Finance

correspondent Phillip Lasker

reports. Make no mistake, the

world is watching to see

whether Australia's digging a

huge hole for itself. Will

we're talking about a

transformation of the economy. But the talk among long-time Telstra shareholders

was one uncertainty had been removed. I

think it's the best possible

deal in the circumstances .

When Senator Conroy was holding

a double barrelled shotgun to

the executives' heads. To get

something out of it,

essentially it's about 14 or $15 billion in cash over 20

years out of it, is better than

the alternative. But analysts

say one lot of uncertainties

has been replaced by

another. Once Telstra accepts

this deal, where is it left at

the end of this roll-out period? What's its business look like? It will compete and not just with Optus with IBM,

with EDS, with Google with

Hewlett Packard, as well as of

course with the telcos. So it's

a whole new game for Telstra.

Then there's the Then there's the NBN

itself. The big fe is the build

cost and is it going to be $35

billion or maybe 45 or 50? We

really don't know how much it

will cost to build. Initially

though there's some confidence

Telstra shareholders won't

stand in the way once they say

an independent expert's report. Subject to their

favourable report, I would

expect it to get through at the

AGM. Market reaction wasn't favourable. Telstra's favourable. Telstra's share

price fell more than 2% to a

five-week low, while Optus's

owner SingTel went the other way.

The United States has taken its first significant step

toward ending the decade-long

war in Afghanistan. President

Obama says the US will withdraw

10,000 troops from the country

by the end of this year.

Another 23,000 will head home

in 2012. With support for the conflict flagging, the return America's focus toward

its own troubled economy. With

a war a war weary US public and growing Budget pressures,

political sentiment is shifting

in Washington, and the US

President is moving with

it. Tonight, we take comfort in

knowing that the tide of war is

receding. Barack Obama opted

for an aggressive timetable

ordering a drawdown of 10,000

US troops this year. The remaining 23,000 soldiers deployed in deployed in the 2009 surge will

be home by the end of the North

American summer next year. After this initial reduction, our troops will

continue coming home at a steady pace, as Afghan security

forces move into the lead.

Officials say while General

David Petraeus gave the

President a range of options,

this is a faster drawdown than

he wanted. His commanders were

pushing to keep as many combat

troops as possible. The

President's critics on both

sides of politics worry that

it's too risky and security

conditions are too fragile. These long come to a responsible end.

There were also bipartisan

calls from Congress for an even

bigger pull-out, ahead of the

announcement House speaker Republican John Boehner offered

qualified support. We've got an

awful lot invested here and I'm concerned

concerned about any precipitous

withdrawal of our troops. President Obama says Afghanistan is no longer a

terrorist threat to the US, at

a cost of thousands of US lives

and a trillion dollars, he

wants to turn the page from war

to the home front, and a struggling struggling economy. It is time to focus on nation-building here at home. Barack Obama's

decision still leaves the bulk

of US surge forces in place

one more year and 60 to 70,000

US troops will still US troops will still be

fighting in Afghanistan when he seeks re-election next year.

The Prime Minister says

Australia won't be following

America's lead on troop numbers. Around 1,500

Australian troops are currently serving in Afghanistan. Julia

Gillard says all are needed to complete their mission, training the Afghan

National Army. We do not expect

that there will be any significant implications for

the US/Australian joint efforts in Oruszgan from the drawdown

of the surge. Australia is

expecting a spall reduction in

the number of US troops working alongside it in Oruszgan

Province. The aiblth government

has announced changes to the juvenile justice system. In a

bid to cut the number of young

people in custody. Parole will now be an option for miners.

There will also be changes to

the case management system but

there is a warning without more

funding for support services,

young people will continue to

find themselves in detention.

The ACT has one of the highest rates of youth detention, but the government is hoping to

remedy that with a suite of

changes. At the top of the list

is parole for miners, giving the

the --

for minors, giving the courts more options when

sentencing. It provides options

for young people if they are

given a sentence that includes parole. It's an incentive for

them to behave. This kind of

reform is reform is overdue. It is

necessary. It shows that the

minister in 2008 failed. Under the changes young people in the

justice system will also have a

single case manager to give

them better support inside and

outside of detention. We know

that having multiple case

managers, multiple workers and

the disruption that that brings

with it doesn't necessarily need to good outcomes. Minister Burch will also push on with Budget for an after-hours bail

service so young people aren't

locked up simply because they

have nowhere else to go. She is

committed to tackling the overrepresentation of Indigenous young team in

detention. We will look to work

with the community about what

can we put in place? We welcome

the announcements. The devil is

in the detail. None of it will

work if you don't properly fund the supports and services

around that system. Hand that devil in

The wheel has turned in the

debate over whether bicycle helmets are dues injuries. New

research has found mandatory

helmet legislation has cut head

injuries by almost 30%. But the

jury is still out for some

critics who argue the laws

actually deter people actually deter people from

getting on their bikes.

Australia became the first

country to make riding without

a helmet illegal in 1991. Now,

20 years on, a laws do make a difference. We

looked at the ratio of head to arm injuries over time and the

18 month period before the law

and the 18 month period after

the law and we noticed there was a drop right after the law

in that ratio. They found a

29% fall in head injuries after looking

looking at New South Wales hospital admissions for

cyclists and pedestrians . The researchers say they were able

to rule out that the drop was

due to other factors, including road safety campaigns. People

who wear helmets are safer when

when they fall to the road or

hit a hard October. It's really

a no-brainer. But not everyone

is convinced. It's not the

conclusive study they hoped it

to be. The Professor relied on

the same figure the to show the

biggest drop in head injuries

happened before the helmet laws

came into force. His paper was

retracted after errors were

found, but he maintains forcing

people to wear helmets is a

barrier to more people

cycling. Far more health

having more benefits will be gained by

being physically active than

weighed against the risks of

injuries. Bicycle user groups

disagree that helmets are holding back the growth in cycling. The real reason that

people are reluctant to ride is

provision of infrastructure on that there is not enough

the road. That's where our

focus should be from now on.

Not on helmet laws, but better

cycle ways and more of them. Thousands of Christchurch

residents have been told they

will have to abandon their homes as a result year's earthquake. The New Zealand Government has unveiled

a $500 million scheme to buy

5,000 properties in condemned

areas. While it's not compulsory compulsory to take up the

offer, the government expects

most people will take the

money. New Zealand

correspondent Dominique Schwartz reports from

Christchurch. In the hard-hit eastern suburbs, they gathered

on street corners and in pubs

to hear their fate. The

government makes an offer of

purchase for the entire property at property at current rating

value. It was also the news

Bexley resident Shona has wait

ed months for but the reality still brought tears. It feels

overwhelming. And partly relieved, but also really, really sad. Geotechnical

engineers have spent months

mapping the land that's within

shaken, torn and reshaped by a

series of powerful earthquakes. Everything is

wonky . Nothing basically is

any true in a lot of these suburbs

city into different zones. any more. They've divided the

100,000 households in the Green

Zone can repair and rebuild.

5,000 in the Red will go. 10,000 in the Orange are holding their breath. Decisions on these areas will become

clearer over clearer over time. Unfortunately, we are not yet

in a position to give these

residents certainty. The

reality of today's decision is

that in a couple of years it

won't be a bustling suburb, but

it will be returned to the

birds. One young resident can see the upside. Good news! This

whole unit is getting turned

into a park. It might be a fun park. And the sad

might have to leave. But no-one

is complaining that after nine

months in limbo, battling silt and flooding, they've finally

got an answer.

To finance now. Share markets

around the world fell back today, after the US Federal Reserve made gloomy comments about the

American economy. It wasn't the

official monetary policy

statement from the Fed, leaving

rates on hold, rates on hold, that caused the rending of garments and

gnashing of teeth last night. It was the press conference that Ben Bernanke gave afterwards. He said this:

One analyst remarked that

seat of the Fed must be flying by the

seat of its pants. Another said the emperor doesn't have as

many clothes on as we thought.

The result was

falls on global markets. European stocks fell before the

Burnanke press conference. Wall

Street fell afterwards an most

Asian markets did likewise,

apart from China which went up

1%. In Australia, the All Ordinaries index fell 6/10ths of 1%.

There is a lot of cash in

people's investment portfolios at the moment waiting to come

back into the market. The share

of financial assets held in currency

currency and deposits is now

well above average. When it declines, markets go up.

A Canberra woman accused of

defrauding the Territory's

betting agency of more than $1

million has been committed to

the ACT Supreme Court for

trial. Pamela Susan Close faces

nearly 600 charges of obtaining

while property by deception and theft

while she was working as a race

day controller at Actab. She is accused of

on races that had already

last year. Last December, closed between 2001 and April

police froze her asset, banning

Close from selling her McGregor house and car. Australia is on

the road to becoming the coin

minting capital of the Pacific.

The Royal Australian Mint set

the ball in motion today, making Samoa's newest coins.

The first coins were struck in Deakin as of Deakin as the High Commissioner

of Samoa looked on. It marks a

major change for the country's currency, with lower

denomination points being

scrapped and a new 50 cenae

piece introduced. Because of

our geographical proximity to

the Pacific island countries it

makes sense for us

makes sense for us to be a supplier but we have to supplier but we have to be competitive. He says he's

confident the mint can secure

contracts to produce coins for more Pacific nations. five-time champion Venus more Pacific nations. The

Williams has survived a

three-set thriller against the 40-year-old Japanese player Kimiko Date-Krumm. Australian Jarmila Gadjasova is through to

the second round, but her Fed

and it took Williams three

hours to get the better of the veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm. This match was one for the

ages. At 40, most players are

retired are on the seniors

tour, but Kimiko Date-Krumm is

still competitive at the top

level. Venus Williams is no

spring chicken either but the

31-year-old is still a formidable foe

outlasted her tenacious

opponent 8-6 in the third set.

What a match! There was food

for thought for the defending

champion Rafael Nadal after defeating American Ryan

sweeting in straight sets the

Spaniard was asked if he was in

decline. I don't forget, maybe you forget. Andies Murray and

Roddick were among the other big names who progressed. That was a superb performance by the American. And Jarmila Gadjasova

is the third Australian into

the second round after beating

the Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko

in straight sets.

Indigenous author Kim Scott has won his second Miles

Franklin Literary Award. Set in Western Australia, 'That

Deadman Dance' is about the

early contact between the

Noongar people and the first

European settlers. Judges

described the novel as both

historical and magical. It's early contact, it's a time in southern Western Australia when the coloniser was paying the

rent, as I think of it, and it

tells a little bit about good relationships and generosity of local Noongar

people. Mr Scott became the first Aboriginal writer to win

the Miles Franklin in 2000 when

he tied with author Thea

Astley. Now with a look at

today's weather here is Mark

evening. It was Carmody. Thanks, Virginia. Good

evening. It was far better

weather today than we've been having. There north-westerlies, but they were light compared to the last three days. They averaged between 22 and 27km/h. Also

there was plenty of sunshine,

which resulted in a The continent is almost completely clear of cloud

except for a few remnant bits

over the south-east. That's

mainly due to the presence of a

high-pressure system. The will move slowly east,

maintaining fine, sunny, dry

weather for the ACT until at

least early next week. Around

the country tomorrow: Wattle is out in our

beautiful Botanic Gardens, and

remember the poem, here's a bit

of wattle, the symbol of our

land, you can stick it in the

bottom or pin it on your bottom or pin it on

lapel. I don't think that's

how the poem went at all!

You've completely mucked that

up, but nevertheless, thanks

Mark. Before we go a brief recap of our top stories

tonight. Firefighters are at

the scene after major fire in

the centre of Canberra. The

heritage listed Diamante Hotel

complex has been extensively

damaged. The fire is now under

control and the cause is under investigation. And Australia's

two telco giants have signed up to the Federal Government's National Broadband Telstra and Optus have signed

up to long-term lease deals. The Prime Minister says it

marks a massive milestone for

the country's biggest infrastructure project. And that's the news for that's the news for now. Stay

with us as 7.30 looks at Julia

Gillard's first anniversary and

asks will she be Prime Minister

at the next election? Goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI Spaniard was asked. service of our people. Tonight

on '7.30' - a year since Kevin

Rudd was rolled and Labor is

still paying the price. The

reality is that

about the leadership hasn't

changed. Who does that

benefit? It simply means that

Tony Abbott will be the next

Prime Minister of Australia.

I'm Heather Ewart at the

saleyards in Victoria's north

are getting worried about east, where cattle producers

falling prices. This Program is Captioned

Live. Welcome to the program.

I'm Leigh Sales. Heather

Ewart's story soon. First,

there'll be no party in the

Lodge tonight to mark the

anniversary of Julia Gillard's

rise to power. A year on, the