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Victorians face harsh water restrictions in new year

Victorians face harsh water restrictions in new year

Reporter: Ben Knight

BEN KNIGHT: Steve Robinson is on water patrol. He's one of 140 officers around Melbourne whose sole
job is to try and catch people breaking water restrictions.

STEVE ROBINSON, WATER PATROL: We're looking for people that are watering their lawns or washing
their cars at home or might be using spray nozzles instead of trigger nozzles.

BEN KNIGHT: Do you go past a bunch of dry nature strips and see a green one and think something's
not right?

STEVE ROBINSON: Well, we do, yeah.

BEN KNIGHT: Until now, the thousand or so people who have been caught out have been warned. Some of
them, up to three times. But from now on, things are going to get a lot tougher.

STEVE ROBINSON: What we've got here is a restriction device, it's a box that goes over the stop tap
and what we do is turn the stop tap down to two litres per minute.

BEN KNIGHT: What does that mean inside the house?

STEVE ROBINSON: Inside the house it means people are not getting showers that they would normally
get.

BEN KNIGHT: Cutting off people's water sounds extreme, but authorities are confident they've got
public support.

KATE VINOT, SOUTH EAST WATER: Anybody who's actually not following those rules is basically being
unfair to the other citizens of Melbourne and therefore we need to have some means to take action
against those people.

BEN KNIGHT: Like many Australian cities, Melbourne is drying up and for a place that prides itself
on its parks and gardens, it's been tough. On the whole, Melburnians have accepted the
restrictions, but they're being tested.

LOUISE ASHER, VICTORIAN SHADOW WATER MINISTER: I think Melburnians have had a great amount of
goodwill in saving water but I think, with the Government threatening to introduce some very
draconian measures, that the Government's at risk of eroding community goodwill.

STEVE BRACKS, VICTORIAN PREMIER: I refute the suggestion that householders do not want to play
their part. They do.

BEN KNIGHT: On New Year's Day stage three begins. By the end of summer it is expected to go to
stage four; that means a complete ban on watering gardens and sports grounds and washing cars. And
anyone who chooses to break the rules faces having their home's water supply reduced to a trickle.

ROSS YOUNG, WATER SERVICES ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA: People are genuinely frightened we're going to
run out of water, that's why there's community goodwill to actually conserve water and why those
who don't follow the rules really need to be brought into line. That's only fair.

BEN KNIGHT: But even with the tighter restrictions the situation is getting worse. This week
Melbourne was told its main storage, the Thompson Dam, will be down to 20 per cent of capacity at
the end of summer. That wasn't supposed to happen until May. Around the country the picture is the
same.

ROSS YOUNG: If you go back to early 2001 Warragamba Dam, which supplies Sydney, was at somewhere
about 84 per cent capacity. Now it is down around 37 per cent. Wivenhoe, which supplies Brisbane
and much of southeast Queensland, in 2000 it was up at 92 per cent and now it's down to 23 per
cent.

BEN KNIGHT: In the cities, the effects of the drought are everywhere, and not just on the nature
strips and lawns. In the worst-hit areas, the state of sports grounds is so bad that the cricket
season has had to be cut short and next year's football season has been postponed. You know the
drought's bad when the cities start running out of water, and this is one of the worst in living
memory. Some are calling a once in a thousand-year drought, meaning that while it's bad, it is just
part of the normal cycle of weather. But the CSIRO is warning that climate change will make events
like this more frequent. Now Governments are being criticised for being caught short.

ROSS YOUNG: It's quite easy to be wise in retrospect. I would argue you needed the wisdom of
Solomon to predict this drought was going to be so severe.

BEN KNIGHT: But now it's here, the search for solutions is facing the problems of bickering between
state and federal Governments. Today the Federal Agriculture Minister floated the idea of a
referendum to allow the Commonwealth to take control of Australia's major rivers away from the
states.

PETER MCGAURAN, FEDERAL MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE: "The states have patently failed over the years,
despite all of the warnings, to institute practices and to build engineering works that would
secure their long-term future."

BEN KNIGHT: But the Prime Minister wasn't putting his name to it.

JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER: I think Peter was expressing a certain amount of frustration, which I
understand, but my preference in all of these things is for collaboration.

BEN KNIGHT: But he says the NSW Government's opposition to a plan to pipe some of its water into
Queensland wasn't helping.

JOHN HOWARD: All we're doing through the National Water Commission is investigating the possibility
of doing that, yet what is the reaction of the Iemma Government - no, no, you can't touch it. It's
NSW water. Well, it's not NSW water, it's Australian water.

ROSS YOUNG: The solutions will vary from State to State and city to city, depending on a range of
options, but the broad options might be some dams in certain instances, desalination plants,
groundwater resources will be available, water trading.

BEN KNIGHT: Until now, water trading was something that happened between farmers. But now, as
cities like Bendigo and Ballarat dry up, they're looking to buy some of that farm water on the open
market to fill their reservoirs. Not surprisingly, farmers are outraged at the idea. So the
Victorian Government has promised Melbourne won't start buying up that water.

ROSS YOUNG: I can't see that lasting and it is also inconsistent with the National Water
Initiative, which all the states and territories have signed up to, that says you should encourage
water trading generally, and that includes water trading between urban and rural areas. I find it
quite perverse we can trade water from the rural areas to Bendigo and Ballarat, and not Melbourne.

BEN KNIGHT: But if it's going to wash cars and water lawns, the water fight is yet to really begin.

SCOTT BEVAN: Ben Knight with that report.

Researchers trial revolutionary melanoma treatment

Researchers trial revolutionary melanoma treatment

Reporter: Emma Alberici

EMMA ALBERICI: This was a Christmas Judy Anderson wasn't sure she'd be here to celebrate.

JUDY ANDERSON: I'm very excited about Christmas this year. I've had a pretty tough, like, you know,
two years.

This Christmas is special and I am going to treasure every single moment of it.

MARK ANDERSON: It's very much a family thing because everybody is involved in it and everybody is
part and parcel of it, regardless. You might not think you are but you are. Judy is part of - she
is the family, really.

EMMA ALBERICI: With her family by her side for the holidays, Judy Anderson is fighting for her life
and hoping that 2007 will bring better news.

JUDY ANDERSON: The melanoma has completely changed my life. There's rarely a day that goes by that
I don't think about melanoma, like even when I walk down the street if someone's got a mole I'm
looking at that mole, it's terrible, but that's how it has affected me.

EMMA ALBERICI: Her nightmare began two and a half years ago when she visited a skin cancer clinic
on the Gold Coast. At first, a consulting doctor told her that a mole on her leg was fine, but
agreed to perform a biopsy. Two weeks later the Andersons rang the clinic for the results, as they
told the '7:30 Report' last year.

ABC REPORTER (ARCHIVE): You did the right thing and asked if there was anything to be concerned
about in the pathology?

JUDY ANDERSON: Yes. Well, Mark did. He rang up and I was present when he made the call.

ABC REPORTER: And you were very clearly told nothing to worry about?

JUDY ANDERSON: Everything was fine.

EMMA ALBERICI: As it turned out, everything was far from fine. The mole on Judy Anderson's leg was
potentially cancerous but the clinic overlooked that and simply filed away the diagnosis.

DR IAN MCDOUGALL, PLASTIC SURGEON: The pathology report was signed upon and was recognised and
wasn't acted upon and now the patient suffers.

EMMA ALBERICI: Dr Ian McDougall operated on Judy Anderson nine months after her initial
consultation at the skin cancer clinic. By the time he saw her, the mole had advanced to a level
three melanoma.

DR IAN MCDOUGALL: If when the lesion was biopsied it was treated at that stage, she wouldn't be in
the position she's in now.

JUDY ANDERSON: Melanoma's cancer. It is cancer. I've had people say to me, "You'll be OK. You've
had it cut out." I wasn't OK. "It won't travel from your shin, like up to your groin" - it did.
Quickly.

EMMA ALBERICI: The cancer in Judy Anderson's leg travelled to her lymph glands, which were removed
in March last year. After a number of stays in hospital fighting off infection, Judy was finally
well enough to participate in a ground-breaking trial of a melanoma vaccine.

CLINICIAN: Any problems since we last saw you?

DR MARK SMITHERS, ONCOLOGIST: This is a trial looking at trying to make a vaccine out of her own
melanoma tissue. We're just trying to jiggle with the immune system to try to kill the cancer
cells.

EMMA ALBERICI: Dr Mark Smithers and his team have been running the trial to find out if a vaccine
can be developed to help those who are in the early stages of the disease.

MARK SMITHERS: By taking away some of the melanoma, that's the individual's melanoma, we then take
out some blood and concentrate some of the immune cells that are in the blood and that gets changed
so that we can then expose that blood with the immune cells in particular to the patient's own
cancer.

EMMA ALBERICI: A cancer cell constructs a protective wall that shields it from our immune system.
It's hoped that this vaccine will eventually be able to break down those walls and kill the
microscopic cancer cells.

EMMA ALBERICI: Is it a cure?

MARK SMITHERS: No, I can't say that. This is an experiment, if you want to say. We've seen this
vaccine have some effect on people where the melanoma had spread, but an effect on the cancer
cells, the melanoma, doesn't mean we've got rid of it and doesn't mean we've cured it. It just
means there was an effect on the cells.

MARK SMITHERS: I've had a good look at your leg where you had the melanoma and there's no lumps on
the leg between the groin and where the melanoma was.

JUDY ANDERSON: There's no cure for melanoma, so these researchers are doing brilliant work. I've
got a designer vaccine, you know, I'm with all these other people on the trial as well that, you
know, it's got to give us some hope.

EMMA ALBERICI: The melanoma project team hopes to eventually have around 200 patients in its trial.
Dr Mark Smithers says the trial might also help people with the disease confront their fears.

MARK SMITHERS: People hear about melanoma, they've heard the worst about what can happen and so
there is this fear. I have compared it to somebody with a blindfold sitting on the top of a
platform about to do a bungee jump. They have no idea what they're about to jump into but they have
to so they just jump.

EMMA ALBERICI: Judy and Mark Anderson have devoted all their energies to the cancer battle. They've
sold their small business and are taking every day as it comes.

MARK ANDERSON: It's been hectic, it's been trying. I've found that over recent times it's getting
harder to deal with.

JUDY ANDERSON: I don't know what my future is. My prognosis is on paper that I've got a 29 per cent
chance of surviving the next five years, and even though it's a prognosis on paper, I've got to
fight that piece of paper. I've got a family, a wonderful family, and that's where I'm going to,
you know, spend my time.

Virtual realities lived out online

Virtual realities lived out online

Reporter:

SCOTT BEVAN: He may not dress the part, preferring black boots to white shoes, and the basement in
his parents' home may not look like the hub of an international business, but David Storey owns an
island. To get there, he need not float or fly but simply tap and click.

SCOTT BEVAN: So this is your island?

DAVID STOREY: This is my island.

SCOTT BEVAN: You own all that we survey here?

DAVID STOREY: That is true. That one straight ahead, that's my mansion that's where I live.

SCOTT BEVAN: Yet to David Storey this is more than a computer game. It's his place in a virtual
world called Entropia Universe.

DAVID STOREY: It's part game, part economic simulation and part just a place to hang around and
chat. Entropia Universe gives you this freedom to go in any direction and do whatever you feel
like. It's this flexibility that I think is great.

SCOTT BEVAN: And the freedom extends to having your own identity in the virtual world, called an
avatar. So David Storey, university student from western Sydney, becomes Zachem Deathifier Imogen,
property mogul of the Entropia Universe.

DAVID STOREY: Well, actually, my Deathifier avatar is an extension of me. I don't treat them as
separate entities. The real me and the virtual me is me as a whole.

CHRISTY DENA, AUTHOR: Your avatar represents what you want to look like to other people.

SCOTT BEVAN: Just across town, author and lecturer Christy Dena is in another world. This is her in
real life and this is her avatar Lifewit in Second Life, a virtual world program that has more than
2 million members, or residents, as the company behind it calls them.

CHRISTY DENA: People log on from all over the world and enter into a 3D environment. What you can
do in second life, as opposed to a lot of games, is that the residents can create whatever they
desire. What we can do to actually get more of a view is, I'll fly.

SCOTT BEVAN: On a tour in Second Life, Christy Dena emphasises, anything that is possible, even
impossible in reality, can be found in here. To get an in-world view of Lifewit's life, computer
technicians created a virtual me. In here, you can apparently get away from it all, or you can stay
connected. Communication is mostly by typing. The words appear on the screen. Still, just as in the
real world, Christy Dena says there are plenty of friends and colleagues in Second Life.

CHRISTY DENA: A lot of my colleagues are overseas and people that have similar interests to me
congregate there. So we get together and we talk and we socialise and we discuss the future and
what it could be and possibly our role in it.

SCOTT BEVAN: One of Lifewit's friends is Anya Ikshel. Angela Thomas is the person behind the
avatar.

ANGELA THOMAS, EDUCATION, SYDNEY UNIVERSITY: It's a way for young kids to make their own 3D
animations.

SCOTT BEVAN: This university lecturer in education holds classes in Second Life. So behind those
avatars are real students receiving real tuition in a made-up world.

ANGELA THOMAS: I've never had so much fun teaching a course before. The students are so
enthusiastic and motivated.

SCOTT BEVAN: And it seems these avatars are teaching their creators a thing or two about life as
well.

HACER DEMIRKAN, STUDENT: Somehow, because she's got so much flair and personality and she's so
outgoing, slowly that all rubbed on to me, my personality in the real world.

SCOTT BEVAN: As for the rather exotic virtual classroom, well, it was built with real money.

ANGELA THOMAS: With some small grant money from the university, I bought myself a little beachfront
property and I had some friends help me make a classroom.

SCOTT BEVAN: But just like in our lives, money makes the virtual world go round. Every day,
hundreds of thousands of US dollars are converted into virtual world currencies to buy whatever is
desired - from businesses to clothes and hair styling for your avatar, even virtual sex.

CHRISTY DENA: You can go to an ATM at any one of the stores there or you could actually just do it
online, yourself, in-world, by just click the button right at the top there and selecting an amount
you would like withdrawn from your credit card.

DAVID STOREY: I would very much like to be the Donald Trump of the virtual world, a big, big
player.

SCOTT BEVAN: Then there's the unreal estate. In 2004, David Storey and a group of investors paid
about US $30,000 to buy and set up his island in Entropia. At that time it was a real-world record
price for a piece of virtual world land.

DAVID STOREY: It is certainly difficult to communicate this virtual universe concept and this thing
where you can invest real money and get real money out of it.

SCOTT BEVAN: Since developing the land, David Storey's treasure island is living up to its name.

DAVID STOREY: It earns approximately US $100 a day.

SCOTT BEVAN: Real money?

DAVID STOREY: Real money.

SCOTT BEVAN: From a virtual world?

DAVID STOREY: That's right.

SCOTT BEVAN: The bulk of the island's ongoing revenue comes from taxing visitors to mine and to
hunt creatures. For the visitors, those minerals and creatures hold loot.

DAVID STOREY: We found animal thyroid glands.

SCOTT BEVAN: You can sell that?

DAVID STOREY: Yes.

SCOTT BEVAN: In a mind-boggling blurring of fantasy and reality, loot which has a use only in that
world or game can be traded for actual money. That's given rise to and industry called gold
farming, where people hunt computer creatures to ultimately earn a living. There are reportedly
even large-scale gold farming sweatshops in China.

DAVID STOREY: It is generally clarified as illegal and against the terms of service of the game
it's done in, but it is still very large scale, very large operations going on.

SCOTT BEVAN: Just as real people go in to virtual worlds, so can real-life problems.

SAL HUMPHREYS, RESEARCH FELLOW, QUT: When you've got a world where there are communities inside the
game, obviously governance inside that game is going to be an issue.

SCOTT BEVAN: Sal Humphreys, from the Queensland University of Technology, has been studying how
people spend their time and money in online spaces owned by companies. In some cases, like Second
Life, participants may keep the intellectual rights for what they create, but overall, she warns,
the companies that own the computer games and virtual worlds hold ultimate control.

SAL HUMPHREYS: People are creating online identities - so, they're doing that inside of a
proprietary space and what that in effect means is, part of your own identity is owned by someone
else and your access to that identity can be controlled by somebody else.

SCOTT BEVAN: Sal Humphreys believes more attention needs to be paid to regulations and rights in
virtual worlds.

SAL HUMPHREYS: I think we're more and more going to be living parts of our lives inside virtual
worlds, so we have to address the issue of living parts of our lives in proprietary spaces and what
the implications of that might be for us.

SCOTT BEVAN: And as a place to not only socialise but to do business, virtual worlds are on the
rise. Big names have moved in and more are on the way, including Australian organisations. Telstra
and the ABC are looking at setting up in Second Life.

CHRISTY DENA: There are a lot of companies that are looking at it as another way of marketing their
wares or of being part of the future.

DAVID STOREY: I think you'll see a lot of growth. What implication it has for the real world I'm
not quite sure but I don't think you'll find people going en masse to live in the virtual world
exclusively. I think the real world is going to be a stayer for a quite long time.

Ukulele proves popular with revival

Ukulele proves popular with revival

Reporter: Peta Donald

PETA DONALD: It's a Monday night and the regular drinkers at this suburban bowling club are making
room for those trying their hand at the humble four-stringed instrument often dismissed as a toy.

PLAYER: Anyone can virtually pick it up and learn a song and play on it.

JOHN PENHALLOW: There's no membership fees. You just turn up - once, you're a guest, twice, you're
a member.

PETA DONALD: Inspired by a visit to a similar group in California, John Penhallow set up the
Balmain Ukulele Club earlier this year.

JOHN PENHALLOW: It's amazing the instruments that come out of the closets. People have got amazing
instruments that have been left in the attic and they've dusted them off and restrung them and now
they're learning to play.

INSTRUCTOR: Add your pinky finger to the third fret at the bottom for a little bit of an
embellishment.

CLUB MEMBER: A lot of these older blokes have been playing for years. When this group started they
all came out of the woodwork and I met so many people who play ukulele. Before that I only knew
about four people. But they've been around for years, I guess.

PETA DONALD: In another city there's a similar scene as members of the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective
or MUK get together as they have for the past two years. Along with another group in Byron Bay,
they're doing their bit for the ukulele revival.

PERFORMER: People are almost blown away, I think, because they expect you to do 'Tiptoe Through the
Tulips', and talk like that when you perform.

PETA DONALD: That association with performers like Tiny Tim and George Formby has led many to
regard this traditional Hawaiian instrument as a novelty. While he's better known for playing
guitar and even the Indian sitar, former Beatle George Harrison was also a convert to the ukulele.

JAKE SHIMABUKURO: He made the ukulele cool. Here's a guy like George Harrison, this icon, he loves
the instrument, he understands it, he appreciates it. If George Harrison's playing it, it's a cool
instrument.

PETA DONALD: Jake Shimabukuro's version of the famous George Harrison song might be more accurately
titled 'While My Ukulele Gently Weeps'.

TOMMY EMMANUEL: He's breaking new ground with that instrument and he doesn't sound like anybody
else.

PETA DONALD: On his recent national tour supporting guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, the Hawaiian-born
virtuoso showed Australian audiences why he's been described as the Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele.

JAKE SHIMABUKURO: I started playing when I was about four years old and I got into it because my
mum played so we'd sit around and play lot of traditional Hawaiian music. As I got older I started
listening to guys like Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin and then of course a lot of different styles
of music like flamenco, jazz and blues, and that kind of led me, I guess, to where I am today.

PETA DONALD: Just as George Harrison inspired him, Jake Shimabukuro is inspiring others to give the
ukulele a go.

JAKE SHIMABUKURO: I see that, you know, and I feel that, especially with travelling and touring
now. I find that there are all these little ukulele clubs and all these young kids picking up the
instrument and, you know, playing different things on it.

PERFORMER: I think ukulele is really underrated. It's fantastic on jazz, it's great on bluegrass,
ballads it's beautiful. As a parlour instrument it's fantastic because it's actually quite mellow.
You can make it do anything. People take the mickey out of it but it's actually really, really
versatile.

PETA DONALD: For this new wave of ukulele strummers, there's a sense of pride at reviving a rich
musical tradition.

CLUB MEMBER: It's just mindblowing when you want to get in to a hobby and you find out there's
other people who are into this thing you've just decided to pick up and realise there's a whole
history and lineage and culture to it.

SCOTT BEVAN: That's the program for tonight and the week, and the year. From all of us here, have a
safe and happy New Year. We'll be back at the same time on Monday but for now, goodnight.