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(generated from captions) variety, Toronto. It's going the hot water bottle. be frosty tonight so get out

them?! the hot water bottle. Remember put mine away! And before we them?! Thanks, Mark! I never

go, brief recap of our top stories tonight. After turbulent week good news for John turbulent week there's some

tonight. The latest polls good news for John Howard

the government has clawed back 8 points against Labor. And a Queensland man was among died in a plane crash in Queensland man was among 90 who

Thailand. Another Australian is being treated for a broken arm and burns. And that's ABC News. Stay with us your Report coming up next. Enjoy

Tonight on the 7.30 Report -

how the mental health system

forced this man into jail

against the orders of a

magistrate. The period in

prison, which was a couple of

weeks, was, in fact, very

therapeutic in its own way.

It has been common practice in

mental health to feel that

going to prison is a reasonable

way and perhaps even a way of

getting care.


Welcome to the program . And

first, to politics. Few

opinion polls in modern

politics have been more keenly

awaited than tomorrow's

fortnightly Newspoll in the

'Australian' newspaper. The

last Newspoll precipitated a

sense of leadership crisis in

the Government culminating in

John Howard's surprise promise

that he will retire some time

in his next term if he wins the

looming election. We're led to

believe that tomorrow's poll

will show a significant swing

back to the Government, nearly

halving the nightmare gap of 18

percentage points. Such a

guarantee that the Prime result would virtually

Minister will retain his

leadership into the election,

while also ensuring a prominent

role for his likely successor

Peter Costello. And while

we're still in the dark as to

whether or not Mr Howard will

actually call the election by

this weekend, it's widely

believed in Canberra that this

will be the last week of

Parliament before the campaign

proper begins. Political

Editor, Michael Brissenden


To say there's a sense of

anticipation about the House

today is without doubt one of

the political understatements

of the year. Of course, we all

know there's only one poll that

really counts - it's just that

terribly interesting at the a lot of the others are

moment and after the week that

was, the atmosphere ahead of tomorrow's Newspoll is as

Alexander Downer has noted,

perhaps a little feverish. You

make a grave mistake if you

become obsessed with whatever

the latest opinion poll might

say. The main thing for the

successful politician is to

focus on the end game, not what

the commentary is on the way

through. It's an enormous

mistake to become bound up, as

Mr Rudd has, in what the latest

poll says. They can't take the

Labor Party of anything

else. But the fact is the

corridors and the courtyards

are brimming over with

obsessives and a few

compulsives as well. Not all

of them are in the Labor Party.

As we know Newspoll was the

spark a fortnight ago that

caused discussion in the

Liberal Party. But any measure

of these things, the poll mania

is still as rampant in the Libs

as it is where else. The poll

tomorrow, whatever it might be,

will still tell us what last

week's polls told us and a

series of polls have told us,

that we've got a battle on our

hands. The leadership question

was put in the straitjacket

last week, at least until the

real poll is over. Perhaps

that's the real input of the

next Newspoll. The numbers

have come back from a two-party

preferred 59-41 a fortnight

ago. Will that be enough to see John Howard bring on the

election. From Labor there's

no end of goading and yes,

stunt ery. That's not going to

stop until the Prime Minister's

white car drives through the

see, at the moment the gates at Government House. You

Government is holding up the

Australians should basically election. We believe that

get to have a vote. It's on

the 3-year cycle, we are at

that 3-year cycle now. In fact,

the Labor leader's so impatient

he held a faux campaign launch

in western Sydney on Saturday. APPLAUSE

Kevin Rudd has also jumped and

gun with a call for three

debates. There is usually one

debate in a campaign, sometimes

two. The Labor leader wants

three and he wants them

broadcast on YouTube, another

recent political obsession of

both sides - another stunt

according to Alexander

Downer. The time isn't up when

some stuntsman like Mr Rudd

up when the Constitution says says time is up. The time is

the time is up.

REPORTER: When do you think

we'll get the election

called? Before the expiry of

the life of the Parliament and

the life of the Parliament is

three years and three months

from the first day of sitting.

That's what the Constitution

says and so we'll have the

election in due course. Mr

Rudd needn't worry. There'll

be an election and when there

is an election it won't be

about YouTube debates it'll be

about substance. Actually the highlights and the stunts of

the campaign will inevitably be

all over YouTube even if the

debates aren't. This will be a

campaign like no other. In

fact, it already is. The polls

are good for Labor, but many

analysts believe the swing

won't be uniform. There'll be

a seat by seat battle that may

produce some unpredictable

unpredictable could be the results and one of the most

Prime Minister's own seat of

Bennelong. That campaign is

well under way, and the

electoral pork hasn't even been

served yet. The Morgan poll

over the weekend suggested

Maxine McKew is on track to win

it, with a two-party preferred

vote of 53% to John Howard's

47. Hello there. The Prime

Minister may now be leading the

team but he alone has the

responsibility for Bennelong,

and it's already proving a

time-consuming distraction.

Still, Labor accuses the

Government of deliberately

stalling. Can the Prime

Minister confirm that the

taxpayer-funded Government

advertising bill for this year

alone will be in excess of $200

million? Is the Prime Minister

delaying the election just so

he can keep this massive taxpayer-funded advertising

blitz going? Perhaps Mr Rudd

will announce an inquiry into

future Government ad spending.

As the Prime Minister noted

with some glee this afternoon,

Labor has flagged one for just about everything else in the

past few months from petrol

prices to climate change, from

groceries to Federal-State

relations. Can I say to the

Leader of the Opposition that

spin and process is no

substitute for substance, Mr Speaker. Whatever the Newspoll

shows a swing back to the

Government will ensure John

Howard stays as team leader.

Kevin Rudd's answer is to offer

new leadership. But both seem

to agree on the parameters for

the broader political arguments

- substance versus stunts, the

past versus the future. These

are the themes that have

already emerged and whatever

it's called, these are the

themes that will be built on

during the campaign proper. Political Editor, Michael

Brissenden. Despite increasing

Government detention and

funding for mental health

services the treatment of

psychiatric patients remains a

burning issue across the

country. Many mentally ill

people end up in prison simply

because there are inadequate

mental health facilities. The

case of 47-year-old Robert Hesp

who has a long history of

mental illness highlights the

dilemma. He was sent to jail

after assaulting his father

during a psychotic episode

despite a magistrate's efforts

to place him in a Mental Health

Clinic. His father is fighting

to get his son into proper

care. Mark Willacy reports.

Since he was a young boy,

Robert Hesp has found solace in

the strains of the violin, but

never before has he needed his

music so much. It gives me a

deal of pleasure and I think it

helps my mental state, to cope

with a situation like this. But

it's not Robert Hesp's mental

state that it's issue here,

it's his son's. How was he at

that stage of his life? Oh, he

was very happy and outgoing and

a nice personality, you know.

That's before he became

sick. Robert Hesp was diagnosed

with schizophrenia and bipolar

disorder 25 years ago. Robert

Hesp says despite treatment and

prescribed medication, his

son's mood could spring from

reclusive to abusive. Until

July this year Robert's verbal

rages had never exploded into

psychotic violence. He lashed

out at me and he pushed me down

the stairs, so the neighbours

called the police and as a

result of that he was taken

away, and he's been in custody

ever since then. This case

raises a simple question - is

jail the right place to send

people with mental illness?

Well, the magistrate in this

case certainly thinks it isn't.

Acting on advice by one of

Australia's most eminent

psychiatrists, the magistrate

ordered that Robert Hesp be

taken to the Tweed Heads Mental

Health Clinic, but the clinic

simply turned him away. I think

it's a classic example of what

is happening in Magistrates

Courts around Australia, where

a magistrate can see is what

someone really needs is not

prison, but treatment. And

they try to get that person

treatment and the treatment is

not available. Robert Hesp

wasn't just turned away by the

mental health unit at the Tweed

Heads Hospital but also by the

clinic in Lismore 60 kilometres

away. Exasperated the

magistrate condemned both

clinic's refusal to take Mr

Hespe as disgusting and because

of that and left with the

circumstances of the case he

was given no alternative but to

refuse bail. My understanding

of the case, having looked at

the papers, is that he was not

considered mentally ill and

requiring of in-patient

treatment. If he was not

mentally ill, why has he been

on a disability support pension

for the last 15 years now?

Because obviously there is

something wrong with him. He's

got a mental condition. If the

assertion that Robert Hesp is

not mentally ill shocks his

father, that's not the end of

the story. Not only was his

son sent to jail, he's been

shuffled between jails - first

Grafton then Silverwater in

Sydney. It's hard to see how

this would help stabilise him,

but the chief psychiatrist for

NSW says Robert Hesp's mental

illness may have been improved

by two weeks in jail. As it

turns out, the period in

prison, which was a couple of

weeks, was in fact very

therapeutic in its own way. It

can happen that a person on

being admitted to an

institution where they're

getting breakfast, lunch and

evening meal and also getting a

regular routine with

discipline, can in fact, the

illness can by natural process

just go away. Professor Ian

Hickie is the head of the Brain

and Mind Institute in Sydney

and a highly respected expert

in mental illness and doesn't

agree with this

view. Unfortunately it has been

common practice in mental

health to feel that going to

prison is a reasonable way and

perhaps even a way of getting

care. In this century, that is

unacceptable. We must have

people enter the health system

first and only in extreme

circumstances enter the

custodial systems. I don't

think he even remembers when he

has these psychotic episodes.

He's just very upset. He

doesn't like it in jail. Well,

who does? He's not a criminal,

so why is he in jail? To answer

that question " why is he in

jail?" The 7.30 Report tried

to speak with people who know

the mental health system. The

State Government had other

ideas. It warned anyone who

spoke to the program they had

be sacked. However, this man

with his identity concealed,

made it very clear why people

were being turned away. The

lack of beds is very serious.

There could be on any day of

the week in any unit in the

State there can be a lack of

between 4-7 beds per unit.

Multiply that out, and that

gives you an idea of what the

shortfall S it's pretty bad. In

NSW the chief psychiatrist

acknowledge thrrs a small

number of people with mental

illness in jail who should

rather be in hospital. Dr

Basson admit s that Robert Hesp

may have ended up being treated

in a specialist clinic, if a

mental health nurse was

attached to the Tweed Heads

court. We recognise that given

a different staffing

arrangement, that is that we

had a nurse in the court,

things would have been

different. We are endeavouring

to resolve that issue. But this

kind of explanation doesn't

satisfy Peter who have to work

inside the mental health

system. I'm tired of seeing the

rotating door situation with

patients who are discharged

often because they have an

absence of symptoms, not necessarily because they are

able to cope. Any one of us

could get a mental illness

tomorrow and I think all of us

would then want a good service.

For Robert Hesp, that service

has turned him away, leaving

him locked up in prison. His

father believes the system is

failing the mentally ill. I

probably am not the only one.

There must be hundreds of other

people in the same position as

I find myself in, their sons or

fathers or brothers are treated

the same way as my son has been

treated. So there is something

wrong with the system. That

report from Mark Willacy.

After decades of warfare, land

mine fatalities and the

devastating impact of diseases,

including AIDS, Cambodia's

orphan population is one of the

highest in the world. The

country has a growing

reputation as one of South-East

Asia's tourist hotspots which

is good news for the economy.

But there's a downsides.

Cambodia's many orphanages are

a drawcard for well-meaning

backpackers keen to ex tend a

charitable hand. Campaigners

fear that paedophiles could

slip through the government net

and put the children in some of

these orphanages at risk. The

ABC's South-East Asian

correspondent Karen Percy

reports from Phnom Penh.

About 25,000 Australians

visit Cambodia every year.

They come for the splendour of

Angor watt, the unspoiled

countryside and an experience

easy on the hip pocket. More

and more are looking for

something beyond the usually

terms and treks. Damien

Roberts and Chelsea Clarke are

on a 3-week trip from

Melbourne. Today they're

visiting the Cambodian

children's association, an

orphanage in Phnom Penh's

depressing inner city slums. We

just thought it would be a nice

step away from the usual

tourist slog to have a chance

to do something positive. But

nothing has prepared them for

what they see. There are more

than 100 children living here

in facilities that can be

called make-shift, at best.

And there's little if any adult

supervision. What did you

think of facilities in

there? It was a complete shock,

certainly they're far more

underequiped than I would have

imagined them to be,

definitely. Apart from bringing

rice and fruit, the Australian

visitors also donate US $35. I

think any contribution is a

good thing for tourists to

make. It would be good to see

projects in place and things

like that. But I don't think

that it's a negative thing.

Pat is the orphanage

director, a former monk, he

opened this centre more than a

decade ago. Tourists'

donations help to keep it

going. Last year he spent six

months in jail for sexual

abuse, charges that he rejects.

And that's just one reason the

orphanage is embroiled in

controversy. And it became

obvious that things weren't

quite right. There was no

accounting practices, kids were

not taken care of. Until

recently, Drew McDowell was a

volunteer at the orphanage. He

found the centre through an

arranged tour. So how many of

the guesthouses would be

offering these kind of tours,

do you think? Oh, a lot.

There's a lot of guesthouses

here, I think most are offering

tours or helping to

advertise. As time went by he

discovered that tourists were

buying rice at four times the

going rate and he alleges that

much-promised spending on the

children just didn't

happen. Once they have tourists

there they really work them to

get cash donations and talk

about what they want to build

and what their projects are

with the money and very

tangible things, so it's a very

compelling but also, you can

sort of sense that something's

probably not quite right the

way that the whole operation is

working and the drive for money

and putting the kids out

there. 18-year-old brothers

spent several years at the

Cambodian Light Children's

Association. They're glad to

be out of there. They say they

were punished for wanting to

study and to go to school.

The emphasis was on dancing,

or boxing - the kinds of

activity s that can make the

orphanage money. A lot of them

do not allow children to go to

school. On the more serious

cases, we've got staff and

people outside the orphanage

exploiting children both

physical, sexual and also in

terms of labour. The Government

here does have regulations in

place to govern the way

orphanages are run, but critics

say the regulations are there

in theory only, that the

Government doesn't pay social

workers or officials to enforce

the rules, never mind penalise

anybody doing the wrong

thing. It's a third world

country where there has to be conditions for mothers who

can't care for their children. Australian Geraldine

Cox has been in Cambodia for

almost 15 years and has won

many accolades for her work

with local children. She runs

the Sunrise Children's Village

outside of Phnom Penh. I have

heard of situations where

orphanages allow children to go

away for holidays. One girl

was raped by a married man who

had her in the house with his

wife and she was returned to

the orphanage with stories

she'd been raped. Nothing

happened to them. She welcomes

tourists, but under strict

conditions. Here they have to

submit their passports and

they're accompanied by staff

members at all times.

Most of these children will

never leave the orphanage.

Their parents are unlikely to

be able to afford to take them

back, and many countries won't

allow their citizens to adopt

Cambodians because of the

corrupt practices in the

industry. There are occasions

that I know of myself where a

young mother who's poor, maybe

her husband's in jail for three

months and she can't imagine

and somebody will come and

offer her $6 for her baby and

three months later when the

short-term problem's over, she

can't find her baby. With the authorities reluctant to act on

these issues, it's left to the

centres to walk the line

between protecting the children

and providing for them. If we

didn't have tourists coming

here on a regular basis a lot

of our funding would dry up and

it's a source for us to show

people what we do and get them

interested and inspired to

donate. I think travellers and

people from the outside, and

Cambodians, need to rethink

about what it means to

institutionalise children and

what it means to give money.

This is not what we want, or

children need. Karen Percy

with that report. The

Queensland Government's push to amalgamate local council

continues to divide some communities in the build-up to

the next election and in

Victoria, where Jeff Kennett

led the push for amalgamations

back in the early '90s, the

dust has long since settled and

the move finally was hailed as

largely successful. But

amalgamations have created one

unforeseen problem there. Some

councils have inherited

historic Town Halls no longer

fulfilling the purpose they

were built for while costing a

fortune to maintain. Heather

Ewart reports.

It was known as the

Old-Timer's Dance and until a

decade ago they were held once

a week at Melbourne's historic

Collingwood Town Hall. That's

the way it was for generations.

Dancers with a social

highlight, in this once tough working class inner city

suburb. The Town Hall was the

place to be seen for the young

ones, too. On a Saturday night

back in the '#50s, footy

players and fans would head

here after the game for the

50/50 dance or a spot of jitter

bugging. I used to have my bag

with my football sock hanging

out so they had know I was a

footballer. Lou Richards is one

of Collingwood's favoured sons,

a legend of the famous

Magpies. I met my wife here and

we got married. We've been

married ever since. I loved

coming to Collingwood Town

Hall, it was part of the

tradition of living

here. Collingwood has changed

substantially since those days.

In fact, its local council no

They represent a the hell of

a lot history. The reason why

we want to save the Collingwood

Town Hall is because it is a

national icon. It's the rate

payers who fork out for this.

The city of Yarra spans one of

the oldest areas of Melbourne

and since amalgamation, must

maintain two Heritage-listed

Town Halls in Collingwood and

neighbouring Fitzroy. Though,

they're no longer used as town

chambers. These buildings are

high-maintenance. They are

difficult to work with because

the ceiling heights are very

high. They are difficult to

modify because of Heritage

rules, and you know, like us

all, falling to bits as we age.

We're obligated to upgrade and

maintain the hernl value, so

it's something we're obligated

to do. Is there the community

benefit for that? I don't think

so. The city of Yarra has just

completed a multimillion dollar

renovation of Fitzroy Town Hall

for community functions. And

Collingwood is next on the

list. Council has approved a

$12 million plan spanning 10

years to redo the roof,

repaint, put in airconditioning

and wheelchair access. We do

have the dollars in the budget,

in the long-term budget to

support that. But the council

is not unanimous about whether

that's rate payer's money

well-spent. It's a dilemma

that faces councils with rich

history and heritage buildings

to care for post-amalgamation. It's an

issue of contending priorities.

So pot holes, parks, all the

sort of community

infrastructure that we have

would have to take a lower

priority in order to fund the

restoration of Collingwood Town

Hall. This is not any Town

Hall, though. ALP State

conferences and large union

meetings were always held here.

Built in 1885 it was the power

base of towering local figure

John Rehn. This was the stuff

of Frank hardy's book 'Power

Without Glory' later

dramaticised on the ABC. This

place was a stronghold of the

ALP, from the 1960 to the late

'70s every Collingwood

councillor was pre-selected by

Labor's head office and elected

unopposed. The saying went,

"The only way they had leave

office was in a coffin". But

now one of Labor's own is

suggesting the home of all this

history could be auctioned off.

Could you see selling it being

an option one day? Personally,

I think that's an option we

have to consider, but there's

an element of rampant political

correctness within the city of

Yarra which would make people a

bit gun-shy about that. To

protect our Heritage buildings is not political correctness

gone mad. Protecting our

assets and protecting our

heritage and significant

heritage buildings is very

important to not only the

council, the community, but it

should be supported by the

State and Federal

Government. It's part of the

reason why we're going to the

Federal Government and the Opposition in the lead-up to

the election to say , "We need

a community infrastructure fund

to assist". Good afternoon

everybody. It's with great

pleasure to invite you and

welcome you back here to the

Collingwood Town Hall. At this

recent reunion of past

Collingwood councilors, all the

talk was on how to use the Town

Hall for the local community,

and who should pay for

it. Look, there's plenty of

places where you get this

money, you know, the corporate

sector. It's about time they

put their hands in their

pocket. It's also national

heritage. If John Howard can

find the money to create a

nuisance for council

amalgamation in Queensland, he

can put his hand in for Town

Halls like this one. Indeed,

the Federal Government hasn't

ruled out that possibility. The Minister for Local

Government says he's

considering proposals from the

Municipal Association of

Victoria. As for past

residents like Lou Richards, he

just wants to see his beloved

Town Hall kept the way he's

always known it. It hasn't

changed. The balcony is still

there. That's where we stood

to get a dance. The girls

would line up. They used to

call us 'corks '. Why were you

a cork? Used to float around,

pretty awful dancer. Perhaps

some things are best left to


Always room to learn something

more - the cork. That report

from Heather Ewart. For more

on that story, including

extended interviews, just go to

our website. That's the

program for tonight. We'll be

back at the same time tomorrow,

but for now, goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI


Hello, I am Tim Ferguson. John Marsden is one of

Australia's most popular

writers of teen fiction but

being successful author was

never enough for this great

teacher. He had a vision for

a school with a differenten.

'Australian Story' first met

John five years ago and only

recently that vision has

become a reality. I have fond

memories of John as teacher

because once been a time I

was one of his students but

this is his story. Pick an

interesting bit of land,

write bit, keep a journal of

your .... blue when John was

in grade 3 he got a report

from his teacher reprimanding

him for daydreaming which has

affected himself ever since.

I can imagine that year 3 boy

saying to people "I am going

to let people have a think"

The landscape is full of

death, I have nifr noticed

that before. The dirt

stands, I shiver and

keep.... The water sounds so