The Northern Territory news Tue 6 Jan 2015
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08 NEWS TUESDAY JANUARY 6 2015 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Firefighters fear worst yet to come as battle heats up ADELAIDE: Firefighters are continuing to battle a blaze which has so far razed at least 26 homes and is still burning across a perimeter of more than 200km in the Adelaide Hills. Authorities yesterday said there had been no major change or significant expansion of the fires perimeter but they remained concerned about the threat posed by potentially catastrophic weather conditions that could hit Adelaide tomorrow. Further reinforcements were being brought in from NSW and Victoria last night and today to join 700 firefighters already on the ground. The temperature in Adelaide and surrounding areas is forecast to soar to 38C today, and again tomorrow, when a late weather change should move through the fire zone, bringing with it shifting winds and the possibility of thunderstorms. The day of the change is always the day of highest potential, Country Fire Service chief officer Greg Nettleton said. Its always on the day of the change that its one of those watch-out days for us. However, Mr Nettleton said he was not anticipating conditions to be as bad as they were on Friday and Saturday. If I compare where I was at on Saturday afternoon to where were at now, Im much, much more comfortable, he said. Premier Jay Weatherill said 26 homes had been destroyed or badly damaged the number is expected to rise as well as 41 outbuildings such as farm buildings and sheds. The current priorities of fire crews were to contain the fire within its massive perimeter, clear roads to help restore services and to protect the more than 1000 homes in the fire zone. Mr Weatherill praised the work of firefighters and was relieved hes not having to talk about deaths. But weve got a bit of a way to go before we can relax, he said. Twenty-nine people, mostly firefighters, had been injured or hospitalised. Authorities yesterday also began allowing residents back into some fire-affected areas but about 20 checkpoints remained in place, with falling trees and powerlines a major safety concern. More than 1000 homes were still without power yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile, in Victorias north a fast moving, out-ofcontrol bushfire is threatening private properties. The communities of Mockinya, Nurrabiel, Telangatuk and Toolondo hade been told leaving was their safest option. Gumeracha CFS volunteer Robert Knobben with six-yearold Jackson Newman Picture: CAMPBELL BRODIE JACKSON Newman has become a hero among firefighters after donating his sixth birthday cake to tired volunteers at Gumeracha, South Australia. The youngsters cake, lovingly made by his mother ahead of his planned birthday party on Saturday and adorned with a fondant replica of a Transformer, is a symbol of the community spirit which has banded people together in a time of crisis. His birthday party was cancelled as his parents and his friends families put in place their evacuation plans to escape in case the fire tore through town. Mum Melissa Newman said she had not expected the reaction to the simple gesture as photos of the cake went viral across social media yesterday. One of our good friends said they were picking up food to donate to Gumeracha and I had some watermelon and other things and he said what about my cake?, she said. He thought it might make them smile and make them strong. We just wanted something for the firies. One sweet gesture Labor demands briefing on PMs Iraq talks CANBERRA: Labor is holding back support for an increased Australian role in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq until it receives a more detailed briefing of talks in Baghdad. The Opposition also warned that excluding the media from Prime Minister Tony Abbotts unannounced diplomatic mission to the Iraqi capital on Sunday was not in the national interest. Mr Abbott, in talks with Iraqi leader Haider Al-Abadi, pledged Australia would do everything we reasonably can to help Baghdad. Mr Abadi told Mr Abbott he wanted Australia to increase the arming and speed-up training of Iraqi forces. Tourist accused of punching his brother bailed SYDNEY: An Irish tourist accused of punching his brother and leaving him in a critical condition has been granted bail in a Sydney court. Barry Lyttle, 33, allegedly punched his younger brother Patrick, 31, during an argument at Potts Point in the early hours of Saturday morning, causing him to fall back and hit the footpath, police say. Paramedics treated Patrick at the scene before taking him to St Vincents Hospital, where he yesterday remained in a critical but stable condition. Barry will soon be able to visit his brother in hospital after being granted conditional bail at Sydneys Central Local Court yesterday. Defending Aussie jobs MELBOURNE: Thousands of Victorian defence industry jobs are at risk if the Federal Government fails to place further orders for work, Premier Daniel Andrews says. Mr Andrews(pictured) said it made no sense to send contracts offshore to make navy vessels paid for by Australian taxpayers. He said Melbourne s h i p b u i l d e r BAE Systems would make hundreds of workers redundant if there were no further Federal Government orders. The NSW and South Aus tralian premiers are also pleading for jobs to stay in Australia. Paroled killer is shot SYDNEY: Convicted killer Michael Ibrahim, a member of a notorious Sydney family, has undergone surgery after being shot on a footpath in Sydneys CBD, just four months after he was released on parole. The 36-year-old, who is the younger brother of Kings Cross identity John Ibrahim (pictured) and former bikie gang member Hassan Sam Ibrahim, suffered non lifet h r e a t e n i n g injuries. He was jailed over the killing of Robin Nassour in 2006 and had been out on parole since August 2014. Step-gran bailed on boys murder bid charges BRISBANE: A woman accused of repeatedly trying to murder her step-grandsons has been granted bail. The 58-year-old woman, who cannot be named, was bailed by Maroochydore Magistrates Court yesterday. She is facing two counts of attempted murder and one of attempted arson over allegations she held the door closed after setting fire to the bedroom of two brothers, aged nine and 11, the court was told. The boys escaped the fire at the home at Morayfield, north of Brisbane, in early 2014. She also faces two charges of attempted murder over allegations she tried to smother the older boy in his bed. A final charge of interfering with a corpse relates to the death of a seven-month-old baby from the same family. Police opposed bail over fears the woman would interfere with witnesses. Prosecutor Sergeant Aaron Murray said the woman had lied about, and instructed others to lie about, the circumstances of the babys death. Her lawyer said she would fight the charges. Humbug Scrubs Jo Morris heartbroken at the loss of her kangaroos at her Kangaribilli Sanctuary comforts and hugs one of her surviving roos; and (left) Gregg Morris amid the destruction to the sanctuary Pictures: MARK BRAKE