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7.30 Report -

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Thanks, John. Before we tonight. Civil libertarians have attacked the Federal Government over the
ongoing detention of Gold Coast terror suspect Dr Mohamed Haneef. And that's ABC News. We'll you
with the USS 'Kittyhawk', which has farewelled Sydney after a five-day visit. Enjoy after a
five-day visit. Enjoy your evening. Goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI CC

Tonight on the 7:30 Report, stormy weather, the dispute over dispute over the safety of releasing
more than 50,000 weather balloons each year.

I told them it's bloody dangerous.

I think the Bureau has a very strong reputation in the Australian community.

And from Brisbane to Adelaide, one man's 6,000 kilometre kayak adventure.

I love being out


I love being out here.

Allegations of industrial foul play at BOM

Allegations of industrial foul play at BOM

Broadcast: 10/07/2007

Reporter: Greg Hoy

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology is well-funded and ranks amongst the world's biggest weather
watchers. But one Melbourne manufacturer, asked to help deal with a large, hazardous design problem
for the bureau, has raised with the 7.30 Report allegations of industrial espionage and foul play
in the business of watching Australia's weather.


ALI MOORE: We're often assured by national leaders of the paramount importance of nurturing
Australian industry and commerce for the future.

The public service is meant to lead by example, promoting development of Australian technology and
thus, the economic benefits this will bring the nation. While such sentiments sound patriotic, how
far removed can they be from reality?

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology is well-funded and ranks among the world's biggest weather
watchers. Less well known is that this somewhat quaint science can be dangerous. One Melbourne
manufacturer, asked to help deal with a large hazardous design problem for the bureau, has raised
with the 7.30 Report allegations of industrial espionage and foul play in the business of watching
Australia's weather.

Greg Hoy reports.

GREG HOY: Who'd want to be the weather man? For all the state-of-the-art technology, the aircraft
instrumentation, the remote sensing satellites, for all the finest facilities the Bureau of
Meteorology's annual $237 million of taxpayer funding can buy, reading the clouds can be
confounding, and the critics can be unkind.

reputation in the Australian community. We're very highly regarded and we provide services that are

GREG HOY: But there are those who say it's dangerous to have a blind faith in all at the Australian
Bureau of Meteorology.

I'm devastated that somebody, my friends, could end up, through something that I've done wrong or
didn't or wasn't able to write, I've put them at risk.

GREG HOY: This former senior technical officer with the Bureau -we'll call Mr T - would prefer to
remain nameless to protect his family. His fear begins with a 50-year-old daily weather-watching

MR T: I still wake up in the night thinking that I didn't do enough.

GREG HOY: The humble if hazardous weather balloon. From 59 or more locations around Australia and
its region, the Weather Bureau sends at least 55,000 hydrogen filled balloons aloft each year,
carrying signal emitting radiosondes, tracked by radar to measure atmospheric pressure,
temperature, humidity and cloud height.

(To Dr Sue Barrell) Have you done everything possible to make balloon launching safe for your

DR SUE BARRELL: We've certainly done as much as we can do, we operate very safe facilities.

GREG HOY: Protective and anti-static clothing and balloon enclosures are designed as protection
against the power of a hydrogen explosion as demonstrated in this controlled trial.

TONY HENRY, ENGERTROL ENGINEERING: They have had a number of near misses and people badly burnt in
the past, I believe, from balloons being ignited.

MR T: It's not expensive to do the right thing, obey the law.

GREG HOY: Seven years ago, the Bureau approached engineer Tony Henry of Melbourne firm Engertrol,
experts at managing hazardous environments in the oil, gas and chemical industries, to review its
balloon launch sites, which the Bureau knew did not comply with Australian safety standards.

MR T: Tony Henry is one of - he's an outstanding, has an outstanding ability in this area.

GREG HOY: Mr T led the approach by the Bureau. In the process, he says Tony Henry came up with a
far safer design for balloon launches, but in developing his original prototypes, he was asked to
use up leftover Bureau components to contain costs.

TONY HENRY: Hydrogen, if you remember from the Zeppelin disaster, is what happens when it catches
fire, when it ignites. We're about 25, 30 years in front of anything else they'd come across.

MR T: More futuristic, more - making, actually, a lot more, like, a lot more safe. Smart technology
that was largely the intellectual property of Engertrol.

GREG HOY: The critics fear an explosive chain reaction, suggesting the Bureau's hydrogen is often
stored in large cylinders not safe for such a gas. The technical work was often done by tradesman
without sufficient hazardous training. The vital safety dossiers are often simply not kept and
maintained as required under the law.

MR T: There's no checking and testing, they just assume that the Government will do things right.

GREG HOY: Assistant Director Dr Sue Barrell, in charge of observations and engineering for the
Bureau, and thus the hazardous balloon launch sites, insisted she'd be the only one interviewed by
the 7.30 Report, even though she worked elsewhere when negotiations were conducted with Engertrol.

DR SUE BARRELL: I'm as clear as I need to be, thank you.

GREG HOY: Engineering superintendent Laurence McBean was central to the Bureau's negotiations at
the time, but the Bureau would not allow us to interview him. We insisted he be present, but the
Bureau insisted we not broadcast his filmed responses about the hazards of the launch sites.

(To Dr Sue Barrell) Are they subjected to random inspections?

DR SUE BARRELL: Um... They're open for random inspections, whether they are routinely is, I guess, up
to the relevant safety authorities that need to undertake them.

GREG HOY: Is it true that hydrogen is stored in large 1,000-litre orange cylinders designed for LPG

DR SUE BARRELL: Ah... I can't answer that one.

GREG HOY: Is it possible that we just check that with your technical advisor?

DR LAURENCE MCBEAN (actor's voice): The cylinders were designed for LPG use but have been modified
for hydrogen use.

DR SUE BARRELL: Sorry, the answer is they have been modified. They are appropriate for hydrogen

GREG HOY: So is it true that the manufacturers advise that they're not suitable for hydrogen use
and can leak out of porous welds et cetera?

DR LAURENCE MCBEAN (actor's voice): You're correct in saying hydrogen can leak from porous material
such as welds and any other storage vessel it's stored in.

GREG HOY: Are the appropriate verification dossiers kept and maintained at all sites?

DR SUE BARRELL: Ah, again, we maintain all of our documentation to the levels we're required.

GREG HOY: The Australian safety standard AS238 stipulates the need in hazardous areas to maintain
such a strict safety check. As a certified hazard inspector, Tony Henry was asked by the Bureau to
check over the Finnish company Vaisala's favoured design for a fully automatic balloon launcher,
the AUTOSONDE, extravagantly priced at around $600,000 to $1 million for one unit.

TONY HENRY: When I looked at it, I told them, it's bloody dangerous, I wouldn't use it. Because
it's designed for a safe gas and you're using it for a flammable gas.

GREG HOY: Tony Henry explained he could easily adapt his semi-automatic balloon launcher which Mr T
has confirmed was much cheaper than the Bureau's. To create a far safer version of the $1 million
AUTOSONDE import for just $150,000.

MR T: And the Bureau was very seriously looking at doing this, as such it would then have become a
competitor to the AUTOSONDE.

GREG HOY: This with a Bureau document obtained by the 7.30 Report shows the Bureau established a
three-technician selection panel to explore the best Australian supplier, the design, manufacture,
installation and maintenance of semi-automatic and automatic balloon launchers, that would, unlike
available systems, comply with Australian safety standards. Engertrol won unanimously, but in doing
so it's alleged it upset an old and close allegiance between key people at the Bureau and its
biggest, albeit foreign, supplier, Vaisala.

MR T: Yes, there is one company that some people in the Weather Bureau are very close to. They are

GREY HOY: Vaisala is the giant of world weather watching equipment, and the Australian Bureau is
one of its biggest customers. Indeed the relationship is such that Vaisala's former Australian
manager has been appointed to a senior management position for the Bureau of Meteorology itself.

DR SUE BARRELL: The Bureau's open procedures for purchasing equipment follow all Commonwealth
guidelines in terms of contract compliance and tendering.

GREG HOY: But at great expense, it seems. Fourteen European AUTOSONDES have been imported so far
and despite the selection panel's recommendation, no orders for cheaper Australian versions were
ever commissioned, be they automatic or the semi-automatics produced in-house.

DR SUE BARRELL: We developed our own control mechanism that does the job that Mr Henry, that the
Engertrol control unit was suppose to do.

MR T: I've manufactured it all and I wasn't happy with what I was manufacturing. It was highly
inefficient and costly.

GREG HOY: Meantime it's alleged the real funny business had begun to unfold. Over at Engertrol
there was a break in.

TONY HENRY: About one o'clock in the morning the police tell us some professional people walked
through our building and took the accounts and the engineering, the server of all our computer
records, the whole lot was - disappeared. The policeman said to me, he said, "You're not doing a
tender, are you, for anyone?" I started laughing.

GREG HOY: Police could not determine who was responsible or if this was connected to the tender.
Back at the Bureau, however, there were more mysteries.

TONY HENRY: We were asked to hand our designs over to another company, a third party, and I said,
"Well no, we can't do that, we haven't recouped our money yet."

DR SUE BARRELL: It's clearly a claim being made by Mr Henry of Engertrol.

GREG HOY: Is it true, or is it false? Is it true?

DR SUE BARRELL: I have no idea whether it's true or false, and it's really irrelevant.

GREG HOY: Is it true, Laurence?

LAURENCE MCBEAN (actor's voice): No, I don't recall that

GREG HOY: But the mystery business executive left his business card behind. GHD is a huge
multinational architectural, defence and Australian Government services contractor who handled
construction of large and costly weather stations, office and other projects for the Weather
Bureau, often under Laurence McBean's supervision. The former Bureau staffer say there was some
questionable pre-payment and budget shuffling arrangements made at the Bureau with GHD that were
hard to track.

DR SUE BARRELL: In the past we've operated a trust fund. We undertake very large, tight jobs with
GHD and I understand that there has been a facility in the past which I don't think exists any

GREG HOY: Controversy over a questionable lack of experience has not prevented GHD from
consideration for plum government projects in the past. To the surprise and anger of many, the
company managed to win the lucrative contract for the final clean up of the Maralinga Atomic Bomb
Range, despite the strongest objections from the departmental adviser to the project, nuclear
engineer Alan Parkinson, who paid the ultimate professional price for his protest.

ALAN PARKINSON, MARALINGA CLEAN-UP PROJECT: The GHD were not qualified to take over this part of
the project. Now I was very disturbed that it was even being thought about. I expressed my
disappointment. For my pains and for objecting to that, I was removed from the project and the
whole thing came about.

GREG HOY: Similarly, Mr T, the Weather Bureau's technician on the balloon launcher, also says he
was abused, threatened, isolated and forced into early retirement.

Around the world meantime, some 730,000 weather balloons are now launched into the heavens each
year. A lost ballooning opportunity for Australia. Engertrol did seek a patent on its launch design
with all original components, even if it didn't have the blessing of the nation's bureaucracy.

TONY HENRY: In fact, I believe it's just gone through. It's only now that the Bureau are
challenging it.

DR SUE BARRELL: We're objecting to the patent only on the basis that Mr Henry is trying to patent
equipment that isn't, wasn't his own invention.

MR T: No, I don't believe that there is anything that he stole other than maybe he was entering
into a market place that they weren't controlling.

They won the hearts and mind of the Bureau. My nightly, almost nightly nightmares which went away
until you reintroduced them to me, were that I am right and that there's a potential hazard and
occupational health and safety that has to be addressed and needs to be addressed.

ALI MOORE: Greg Hoy with that report.

Intervention plan using poor tactics: Indigenous group

Intervention plan using poor tactics: Indigenous group

Broadcast: 10/07/2007

Reporter: Ali Moore

The Combined Aboriginal Organisation (CAO), which represents more than 40 community and Indigenous
organisations in the Northern Territory, has released its response to the Federal Government's
radical plan to curb child sexual abuse. A co-ordinator of CAO, Olga Havnen, says the emergency
measures lack insight into effective child protection interventions.


ALI MOORE: For the past three weeks the Federal Government's radical plan to curb child sexual
abuse has been rolled out in remote Aboriginal communities throughout the Northern Territory, and
its implementation has polarised politicians, health workers and Indigenous leaders.

Today the CAO - the Combined Aboriginal Organisation, representing over 40 community and Indigenous
organisations in the Territory - released its response to the plan. The organisation asserts that
on the face of details explained so far, the emergency measures lack insight into effective child
protection interventions needed to address the crisis.

Olga Havnen is a coordinator of CAO as well as a board member of ACOSS - the Australian Council of
Social Service. She's worked with the Fred Hollows Foundation and is a former principal policy
advisor to the NT Government, and she joins me now in our Sydney studio.

Olga Havnen, as I just said, in this report released today, it says "the Government's emergency
measures lack insight into effective child protection interventions". Why? In what way?

OLGA HAVNEN: I think the main concern that we have about the current approach by the Government has
been a failure to understand that there are some really deep-seated, underlying structural issues
that need to be addressed. Principal amongst those will absolutely be the need for adequate
housing. It's great to have the police on the ground, it's great to have the medical intervention
there and the health checks happening, but in the longer term it's actually about having better
access to a whole range of services which are currently not there.

ALI MOORE: But isn't the Government recognising that, that what we're seeing at the moment is the
preliminary response. We're seeing the health workers on the ground, the police on the ground, then
they come up with the longer term plan for the secondary response?

OLGA HAVNEN: Well I'm not sure that that longer term plan and that longer term commitment has been
quite clearly worked out. The commitments that are there at the moment seem to me, on face of it,
to be rather short-term. We're talking about people being out there as volunteers, police presence
perhaps, you know, for periods of six months, and insofar as the administrators and their
appointments, we're talking about 12 month appointments. I think what we're needing is a much
longer term, comprehensive, detailed plan of action that's really going to address the needs of
people in remote communities.

ALI MOORE: One of the key points in your report is the call for the inclusion of local communities.
You say that if there's no community consent and ownership, the risk is that the problems will be
driven underground and these initiatives will be resisted. How in the context of an emergency do
you get consent and ownership without starting a whole new talk fest?

OLGA HAVNEN: Well, I think the document that we released today has been put together by a range of
Aboriginal organisations and other community sector organisations with some real expertise in these
areas about child protection and child safety. We also know, too, from the work that a lot of our
organisations do at a local level, organisations like Tarungjira (PHONETIC) Walcha (PHONETIC), for
example, Congress which is a medical service in Alice Springs, all of those organisations have been
working, I think, you know extremely hard for a very long time trying to provide positive parenting
programs, safer families, safer community kinds of programs. The unfortunate part is that for too
many of those programs their funding is very much short term, it's ad hoc, and it's really never
been the right kind of investment to make the sort of impact that we believe can be done. If you
don't have the active involvement of Aboriginal people, the individuals, the families, the victims,
the perpetrators, and the community at large, then it's really unlikely that any of this can
possibly work.

ALI MOORE: I think though the Federal Government would acknowledge that, wouldn't they? It's a
question, though, of getting some consensus and quickly on exactly what needs to be done. Can that
consensus be got without a huge debate?

OLGA HAVNEN: Look, I think that's absolutely the case and the fact that so many of our
organisations have come together as quickly as they have and been able to provide the level of
detail and thoughtful contributions that we contain in our proposal, I think that's a clear
demonstration of our ability that this isn't just about more talk, it's actually coming up with
some practical solutions. In fact, our proposal identifies a two-stage approach. One is that there
is an emergency response, things that can be done immediately and over the next three to six
months, but more importantly, it's taking that longer term plan to really make sure that we can get
best value for money, to make sure that we do protect our kids properly, and that we get much
better outcomes for, you know, community well-being across the board.

ALI MOORE: In some aspects, though, is there the potential that it's too late? If you look at what
the Prime Minister said today, business managers have been appointed to six communities, the
process is well under way, and one of the very points made in your report is that those takeovers
of communities is not the right way to go. It's already happening.

OLGA HAVNEN: Well, it might already be happening and in some ways it doesn't necessarily imply that
it has to be too late. I think the potential and the opportunity, therefore constructive engagement
and dialogue with people, has to be there. This isn't something that police or outsiders on their
own can possibly solve.

ALI MOORE: So who should run this? Who should have carriage of it for the longer term?

OLGA HAVNEN: Look, ideally we'd very much like to see the Prime Minister, whoever that may be, you
know, now and into the future, I think we have to have bipartisan support and really the lead
agency should rest within the Prime Minister's department itself.

ALI MOORE: Why? Why the Prime Minister's Department?

OLGA HAVNEN: Because I think that's probably the only level within the bureaucracy that has the
ability to bring together all of the other responsible agencies in a coordinated way with some very
focused tasks and identified actions and planning. Until we get that level of concrete thinking,
very clearly identified plans, some serious commitments about the kinds of resources that we need,
then I'm not sure that much of this is going to change.

ALI MOORE: If we look at some aspects of this plan. I mean, certainly, the ban on alcohol, everyone
agrees alcohol is the problem - has the Government got that right?

OLGA HAVNEN: Well, again it was a curious kind of approach to suggest the need for bans on alcohol
in remote communities. Most of our communities are already dry, and in fact out of some 600
communities that we have in the Northern Territory, this is discreet Aboriginal communities, I
think only about eight or nine of them have any form of licensed takeaway alcohol sales.

ALI MOORE: The problem is what goes on around them?

OLGA HAVNEN: It's what goes on around them. I mean, Alice Springs for example has been in the news
constantly for the last decade and longer about the difficulties there in applying all kinds of
alcohol restrictions. The number of liquor outlets and the availability of alcohol in Alice Springs
and some of our major towns is just a disaster.

ALI MOORE: Clare Martin, the Northern Territory Chief Minister, says that she will challenge the
move to remove the permit system and also to seize control of some 70-odd Aboriginal communities.
Will you as a group, the group behind this report, support a challenge to those two aspects?

OLGA HAVNEN: Look, I think we really need to wait to see the detail of what comes down in any kind
of amending legislation. I think there's been quite a lot of debate about, you know, whether or not
the permit system is a good or a bad thing. There are those that argue that the existence of a
permit system somehow inhibits the ability of government agencies and others to deliver services.

ALI MOORE: And hides the problems.

OLGA HAVNEN: And that's not the case. There's absolutely no impediment to the Northern Territory
Government or other bureaucrats from getting access to Aboriginal communities. But I think the
positive side in all of this, and it's interesting, it comes from the police and the Police Union
themselves, together with the Northern Territory Government, to suggest that perhaps the retention
of the permit system provides a degree of control, if you like, particularly with, you know, the
move of alcohol, with other substances and other drugs. So I think, you know, this is something
that probably does need to be thought through much more carefully, because the last thing you'd
want is. you know, the unintended consequences, that is, opening communities up further to that
kind of substance trade.

ALI MOORE: Finally, briefly, optimistic? Can it work?

OLGA HAVNEN: Look, I think with some genuine goodwill, bipartisan support and the engagement of
Aboriginal people in all of this, it can be done. This is not something that's insoluble. I think
we can make some real inroads here but it does require some, you know, partnership building and
good trust.

ALI MOORE: Olga Havnen, thanks for talking to us.

OLGA HAVNEN: Thank you.

building and good trust.


Kayaker's epic journey points to climate change

Kayaker's epic journey points to climate change

Broadcast: 10/07/2007

Reporter: Genevieve Hussey

At an age when many are looking forward to retirement, 54-year-old kayacker Steve Posselt has
embarked on a seven-month journey from Brisbane to Adelaide via the length of the Murray-Darling
River system. But this isn't just the ultimate boys' own adventure, because he wants to use his
quest to spread the word about climate change.


ALI MOORE: At an age when many are looking forward to retirement, 54-year-old Steve Posselt has
embarked on a gruelling physical challenge that's not for the faint-hearted.

This keen kayaker is one month into a seven-month epic journey from Brisbane to Adelaide, via the
length of the Murray-Darling river system. But this isn't just the ultimate "boys own" adventure -
Steve Posselt wants to use his quest to spread the word about climate change.

Genevieve Hussey reports.

GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: At 54, civil engineer Steve Posselt is in the middle of the adventure of a
lifetime, a seven-month epic journey from Brisbane to Adelaide by kayak via the inland river system
that feeds the Murray-Darling Basin.

STEVE POSSELT: One day I thought that I'd like to do a longer trip, something that somebody had
never done. I love being out here.

GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: But this is a journey that almost didn't happen. Twelve months ago, Steve Posselt
was in hospital fighting for his life after a motorcycle accident in central Australia.

STEVE POSSELT: I came off at 100 kilometres an hour, landed on my head and my shoulder... I had
every rib smashed down the right side.

GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: He thought his kayaking days were over, but after an intensive course of
physiotherapy, Steve Posselt got back on the water, determined to do something important to make
the world a better place. He decided to use his kayak journey to warn Australians we need to do
more to try to curb climate change.

STEVE POSSELT: Climate change is just one of the things that's going to bite us. We talk about how
everything's connected - the water, the land, the coal, the whole global warming issue, and the
fact that we can't live sustainably.

GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: One month into his odyssey, Steve Posselt has ironically spent more time on the
road than in the river. With much of the river system in Queensland still in the grip of drought,
when the water dries up, Steve Posselt pulls his specially modified kayak with wheels and a
harness. He'll probably walk at least half the 6,000 kilometres.

BRUCE LAMB, KAYAK 4 EARTH: He's a very passionate man. Steve's had to really slog through some
difficult areas on the river. He's had log jams to get through, caught up in willow trees, barbed
wire fences, and so he slogs his way through.

KERRI LAMB: Interviews are right, he's got to be ready at 1:10 this afternoon for another radio

GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: Bruce Lamb and his wife Kerri head up the support team which is documenting Steve
Posselt's journey. One of their main aims is to talk to as many children as possible.

BRUCE LAMB: The fear on your face as you're about to go over the water.

STEVE POSSELT: That's not fear.

BRUCE LAMB: We don't want to have kids being negative and concerned about the whole thing, so we're
giving them positive suggestions about things that they can do, turning off light switches, using
energy efficient light globes, planting trees, that sort of thing.

STEVE POSSELT: (speaking to school children): That's it, that's all there is to it.

STEVE POSSELT: The highlight really for me has been talking to the kids. It's been wonderful. Bruce
and Kerri are school teachers and they understand what it means to make a difference to a life, I
guess, and for me it's a new experience.

GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: At St George, 500 kilometres west of Brisbane on the Balonne River, the locals
have come to hear what Steve Posselt has to say about what he's seen further upstream. St George is
a major cotton growing and agricultural hub. Water users here believe they have the balance right.

LOCAL: Humans do make a difference, but I don't believe it's making the difference that's trying to
be foisted upon us.

RICHARD LOMMAN, CO-CHAIR SMART RIVERS: In this area in particular, I think we're using it very
sustainably. We spend a lot of money monitoring the river health and the hydrology of it.

GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: Steve Posselt says he's listening to what people have to say and he's been
impressed by the efforts some are making to take care of their rivers, planting trees and
reintroducing native fish. But he believes the state of the Murray-Darling and the stories he's
heard on his journey also send a stark message about the need to live sustainably.

STEVE POSSELT: Some of it's fairly powerful. There was a lady who said that the Condamine River at
Condamine was clear when she was a child. She said please tell the story of our rivers because I
don't want to leave them like this for my grandchildren.

BRUCE LAMB: Okay mate, we'll see you in about an hour.


BRUCE LAMB: The community attitude is really polarised, and there's a lot of people who are very
angry about what some people are doing with water in the area.

GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: But some still question the timing of this journey.

RICHARD LOWMAN: It's interesting that someone does a trip like that hopefully at the end of the
worst drought in history, perhaps he could do it again when we get some rain and get a flow in the
river and he could probably sit in his canoe the whole way.

GENEVIEVE HUSSEY: Steve Posselt still has more than 5,000 kilometres to go, with the goal to be in
Adelaide for Christmas Day celebrations. He believes the aim of his journey is simple.

STEVE POSSELT: I want to have a world for my grandchildren like I grew up in. It's important to me
now that I'm alive, that I didn't die, that I continue to make a difference.

make a difference.

For a longer version of the interview with the adventurer Steve Posselt or to to view any of our
other stories go to our website. And just a quick note about last night's story on the pet scans
for cancer. The Health Minister, Tony Abbott today acknowledged that a strong case can be made for
providing greater access to PET scanners, saying once he receives a report at the end of the month
he'd be recommending further Government funding. He rejected Government funding. He rejected the
accusation of scientific fraud over the Government's assessment of PET calling it more a question
over precise editorial pitch but he said there was little point in recriminations over what
happened seven years ago. That's the program for tonight. We'll be back at the same time tomorrow
but for now goodnight.

Closed Captions by CSI

LISH: Early 20-somethings Gemma, Vicky and AJ live in a rental house in suburban Melbourne. It's a
typical student pad, and money is tight.

Money is a big issue for me because I'm a student and I don't get to work as much as I would like.

Our bills for electricity, especially in the winter, are really high. I think that's due to heating
costs, probably.

SEAN: As renters, when the house gets cold, their solutions are quick, but expensive.

In wintertime, our heaters are basically on for 12 hours a day. We've got those terrible, terrible
energy-wasting little heaters. I mean, it's just going for hours with me in my room.

If you're being lazy, then you're probably wasting consumption by just kind of turning everything
on full blast and moving towards the comfort zone, basically.

I think we should all start using it.

LISH: Environmentalist Vicky is on a crusade to get her housemates to save energy.

Sometimes - I hate to admit it - sometimes I lecture them, because I can't help it. (Chuckles) I
lecture them about using the dryer. You have to use it for four or five hours just to dry, like, 20
socks, and I'd grab all the socks and I'd put them out myself on a line or on the clothes horse.

SEAN: But it's a losing battle, with a kitchen full of electrical appliances.

I think we have anything that you could ever think of, from a rice cooker to a popcorn maker to
other little fandangly things that AJ tends to buy off the Internet sometimes. (Laughs)

And that's where we come in. We're the Carbon Cops and we're on the lookout for energy wasters.

Our job is to get all Australian households to cut their carbon emissions in half. But can we find
enough cheap and simple ways to keep these renters happy?

There's a lot of ideas we've had that we really can't do in a rental house, so we sort of need