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I was scared that I was going

to die and if it meant going

into the night to have this

procedure chen I was prepared

to do that. Patience we are

talking about are patientents

that are morbidly obese.

Hello and welcome to Stateline

I'm Kathleen Hyland. Coming up

Quentin Dempster on the reason

behind Premier Carr's departure

from politics. First during the

last decade of the last century

obesity rates rose dramatically

so that by 20012.4 so that by 20012.4 million

adults in Australia were

estimated to be obese. That's

not overweight but O'Bies.

Whilst the diet and exercise

mantra is widely known it

doesn't work for everyone and

for some people the risk to

their health is so severe that

more dramatic action is

required and a new Canberra

clinic is providing it.

The role of surgery is not to

stem the tide of obesity is to

help the individual who is now

obese and is struggling and

can't lose weight by other

means. The reality is that if

people are starved, people are

put in prison camps are starved

then they'll lose weight 100%

of them.

When I reached over 130 kilos

I just knew I had to do

something. I have tried to lose

weight for many years, all the

different types of weight loss

things that are out there and I

would lose weight and it would

come back with avengence. At

more than 50 kilos overweight

Karen Turner was morbidly obese

in other words so obese that

her weight was a serious danger

to her health. It also made

simple physical tasks like

getting up from a seat

extremely difficult. We were

swimming in the little water

holes. My 4-year-old son fell

in the water hole went under

the water. I was very big at

that stage I could not get into

the water hole quick enough. the water hole quick enough. I

didn't get in there at all

basically, I just couldn't move

because of my size. I had to

just sit there and watch. I had

friends and relatives that were

able to get him out for me. A

year ago Karen took a step

which may seem drastic to some.

She had an operation at Calvary

hospital known as lap banding a

procedure which radically

reduces the capacity of her reduces the capacity of her

stopping the surgeon was

Charles Mosse. This is what

we're talking about. This is

the lap band. That is the part

that goes around the top of the

stomach and this attaches to

the ab come innal wall under

the skin. We can access it and

change the pressure in the

band. This is the diagram of

your stomach, as food comes

down into the stomach down into the stomach it fills

this pouch up the top and

patients then if feel full much

more quickly and don't feel-

feel much less hungry and need

to eat a lot less. That's how

it works. While he normally

specialises in cancer surgery

Dr Mosse has conducted nearly

100 lap banding operations

surgery unit at since opening a weight loss

surgery unit at Calvary

hospital two years ago. We're

about to do the first of four

today. We'll use the team we've

done for all the cases we've

done to gain experience because

it is a new operation that we

hadn't done before in Canberra.

The number of patients heading

on to the operating table is

expected to climb. The average

patient comes in weighs 140 to patient comes in weighs 140 to

150 kilograms. They're

desperate, they need help. As I

said it is very difficult for

people to change life style but

it is the life style change

which is the real answer and I

say people they think it's

easier to go and have an

operation it's too hard to do

the other thing. Despite early

research that lap band surgery

is having positive results some

not enthused. in the medical fraternity are

not enthused. They're concerned

that the Canberra Bariatric

unit is encouraging a growing

trend to look to surgery to

lose weight rather than address

the key issues of diet and

exercise. They do allow

themselves to be mutilated is

the word but to have an opation

which is quite major because

they want an intant answer.

In reality after a long They want this and that's fine.

In reality after a long time

the commitment isn't there to

maintain the diet they might

lose 10 or 20 kilograms, a year

or two later they have put most

of it maybe not all of it but

maybe half way back to what

their original weight was. But

Dr Mosse disagrees saying the

approach to weight loss surgery

is now more holistic. He says

the Bariatric unit is made up the Bariatric unit is made up

of dieticians and councillor

sos that patients have plenty

of support before and after any

surgery takes place. You've

lost? About 33 kilos in the 12


He says it's important to

recognise the lap banding

operation is amed only at the

severely obese. Research shows

only a small percentage of

by going people lose weight permanently

by going it alone. Patients

we're talking about are

patients who are morbidly obese

that is at least 30 to 40

kilogram s over their ideal

weight and more. We've operated

on patients over 200 kilograms.

For those patients the benefit

of surgery is considerable.

We're not offering surgery to

kilograms patients who are a few

kilograms overweight there's no

role for that . There is no

doubt when it comes to looking

for surgery to solve the

problem including the problem

of obesity the United States is

leading the way. It leads the

way in the number of fat people

too. Mere we are with dark blew

of up to 20% of people in these

states are overweight. In 1996

we see an enormous amount of

people in the state who have people in the state who have

overweight. As we programme the

colour turns to gold. That's

greater than 25%. We move to

2003 you can see the blue that

we're worried about is now all

gone because most people in the

are overweight and we're state are more than 20% of them

getting the red colours now

which represent some states

that almost a quarter of the population are obese.

With numbers like those it's

perhaps not surprising that in

the US a far more drastic

procedure than lap band sg just

as popular. That operation

involves changing the digestive

system so that food bypasses a

large amount of the stomach and

bowel. It's effective but

irreversible, creating

controversy in the states

because people as young as

teenagers are seeking it out.

That operation is available in Australia but not

Australia but not on offer at

the Canberra Bariatric

unit. Patients don't favour it

because it's much more invasive. The risks of dying

and the complications are

higher and it's a life-long

problem that can't be

reversed. So we're putting a

band on that you can take off

isn't quite like removing a

quarter of your bowel. So from

that point of view it sounds

like a smaller procedure. Lap

banding may be only a small

procedure but at this stage it

doesn't have a small price tag.

Not covered by Medicare having

the operation in Canberra will

cost between $4,000 to $15,000

depending on private

insurance. In the short term

I'd be very against a Medicare

subsidy you'd have a queue a

mile long of people wanting

this opation to lose weight and you'd blow the whole health

you'd blow the whole health

Budget. Yes, in terms of

preventative medicine that's

wonderful. I'd want to see some

phenomenal results from the

operation before I'd be happy

before putting it under

Medicare. A lot of what Allan

say ss reasonable. Having said

that patient whose are obese

and tried all other means to lose weight and

lose weight and who have a poor

quality of life and suffer ill health as a result of the

obesity need to be offered

help. So you think they should

be covered by the public health

system? I think that the weight

loss surgery needs to be

debated more widely in the

public arena and that provision

to help people who are unable

to help themselves financially

should be made, yes. If you

come over we'll check your hagt

and weight. Despite his

criticism Dr Says he'd be happy

to eat his words if overtime

this relatively new procedure

is shown to have a massively

great increase. He says that's

because of simple mathds. One

because of simple mathds. One

opation is far less of a burden

on the health system than the

lost list of problems such as

diabetes, hypertension and

asthma. I'm sceptical about any

op eration for losing weight.

Having said they hope this new

operation will work wonders and

I'll become less sceptical and

see some wonderful results

because losing weight is

because losing weight is going

to- people who lose weight is

an enormous benefits to their

health. We have patients who

have lost up to 60 kilograms

who are no longer die bettic,

off all medication for high blood pressure and can walk

with their children. For that

group of patients it's very

hard to say to them um, perhaps

you should have just dieted and

lost weight in the ordinary way

because they just can't. People

would look at the size of you

and think what does she need

this sort of food for. Why is

she in here? What will she

shove in her mouth this time?

Basically that's what I felt.

Meanwhile entering a cafe is

no longer a trauma for patients

like Karen Turner who's 51

kilos lighter since this time

last year. The equivalent of 17

balgs of oranges in fat. She

says while an operation a may

not be everyone's cup of tee

tea for her it was the only

alternative to remaining danger

usely obese. I was scared I was

going to die and if it meant

going under the knife to have

this procedure I was prepared

to do that.

Now this time next week New

South Wales Premier Bob Carr

will be enjoying his

retirement. A 44-year-old son

of Italian migrants and from a

lawyer, adviser and

self-declared mate to Graham

Richard son will be the new

Premier. Late today Carl

Premier. Late today Carl Scully

dramatically pulled out. Over

the last 48 hours they crushed

the life out of Carl Scully's

Premiership. The right

dominated Labour caucus has

taken the risky part of the

unknown. He told talkback radio

hosts he'll take the Labour

Party to the next election. Bob

Carr is intense ly political

and maybe that's where the

truth lies as Quentin Dempster

reports. He said you've got no

momentum and without momentum

you're going to lose seats.

That was brutal.

In 2003 just after his third

election victory Bob Carr

revealed in a book on his

private diaries just what

despair and elation he derived

from opinion polls. For a

former journalist and constant

ly practising spin dock tar

they became his trade mark. One

dairy entry revealed the polls

deflating emotional

impact. Last night I get the

news about the news poll. We're

down from 41% to 39% in the

primary vote. A 6% bounce for

the Libs as a reward for

changing leaders I should have

quit at the start of the year.

I can put it down to mandatory

sentences and then pass into

private life. A single poll in

the momentum passes to the

Libs. When hard political work

did produce a bounce in the

polls there was elation. 13th

October 2002 news poll found

29% of the voters know

Brogden's name. Remarkable.

Young, hand sm, big smile but

their noo new leader hasn't

worked, ugly old me. I eem not

going to dwell on negatives

because we have paid armies of

astute minds some of them

representatived here who will

do that for me.

As his resignation press

conference on Wednesday Bob

Carr refused to concede my

failings, limitation, he wanted

to concentrate on the positives

he said. But if you look at

news poll voter satisfaction

news poll voter satisfaction

rating since the 2003 election

you get a pretty good idea why

Bob Carr is going. As a leader

he's lost momentum. Elector

ally he's on the nose. If you

track vort dissatisfaction as

measured by news poll you see

dissatisfaction with Bob Carr

growing 10 points from December

2003 to February 2004 and

growing ever higher since.

growing ever higher since.

Reaching an all time high of

53% dis satisfaction in

December 20034. That's just 7

months ago and it remains over

50%. No momentum, consistently

high dissatisfaction rating-

time to go. The electorate

might well find it refreshing

to have another man or woman no

the job after having had me

there for 10 years. The

judgment was the lek trat had

become tired of you? No, no, no.

Does Bob Carr know something

we don't. In his farewell

speech he highlighted the

relatively clean record of his

Government. I guess the third

legacy is shear good governance

by swaelts.

Well that's true up to a

point. But Mr Carr's forgetting

point. But Mr Carr's forgetting

the independent commission

against corruption inquiry into

the orange grove affair.

Allegations of influence

pedalling involving the

Premier's office, assistant

planning minister and MP Joe

sps Tropodi now the housing

minister. The factory owner

claimed Tropodi told him orange

grove was being closed by the Government as

Government as a favour to

Westfield's Frank Lowe. They

reported a leak ed detail the

submission reportedly concludes

that Dianne had failed to act

impartially and described Mr

Tripodi's evidence as not

reliable. It clears the Premier

of any wrongdoing. We're

waiting to see be the

waiting to see be the ICAC

makes adverse findings against

the Government ministers. The

final orange grove report will

be released in mid-August.

Politically it's a dead cat

left over from the Carr era and

be the first very unpleasant

test for the next Premier of

New South Wales.

Enough of the thrust and parry

of political life now to the

real thing. A growing number of

young people in Canberra are

trying out fencing as a sport.

It seements to be shedding its

elitist image and becoming a

popular fitness alternative.

For most of us fencing keeps

the dog in the backyardor kitds

out of the pool. In a sporting

sense it has a long tradition

yet a modern

yet a modern appeal. Sword

fighting it's what they see on

the films like Princess Bride,

what are some others- of course

Star Wars or all the usual

wherever they see a sword.

Like the Princess Bride and

countless others sword fighting

is featured in Hollywood films

for generations.

Modern fencing lets people of

all ages play out their own

fighting fantasies. If you're a

little kid you might have

played with swords and then you

can really play with them when

you're big. I think it's pretty

cool. There is no age limit.

I've taught from 4 through to

72. And I don't know people

don't seem to think

don't seem to think it's

elitist at all. It cease

something they've always wanted

to do. Once the domain of

European aristocratics for

settling differences through

duals it's the growing

alternative to the modern

gym. It's very much an active

sport and different from going

to the gym and working out

there you get to do it in pairs

and do it with Oliver and it's been fun.

Father and son

Father and son fencers Gary

and Oliver Webster took up the

sport 12 months ago. Rather

than standing on the side line

yelling at them you can get in

there and hit them.

What's it like to beat the old

man Oliver? Oh, well it's

really fun.

It's still an exotic sport I think

It's still an exotic sport I

think for a lot of people but

as a father and son thing we

can do it together and do other

things with fencing and meet

some other people. It's a

controlled and safe environment

that helps these siblings

settle the family

differences. That's right all

the anger from the week comes

out and we hack into each other

basically. Is that the

plan? It's a great release.

Fencing has evolved over the

centuries. The modern

technology uses electric fences

to register hits on various

target areas on the body. I's

known as physical chess for its

combination of strategy and

skill. What do people enjoy

about it? Just the excitement

of fighting. The intellectual copies where

copies where you you have to

outthink your opponent not

outmuscle the opponent.

It's just you against your

opponent. It's not- it's

different to a team sport where

you've all got faces and names.

This one it's just you a

against the opponent testing

yourself and it comes from

within. Fence sg one of few

sports to be included in every

modern Olympics but Australia

has never had a player in the

top 10. The ANU fencing club

has been operating for more

than 3 decades in recent years

three more clubs have formed in

Canberra including the

YMCA. Most people haven't heard

that fencing exists in the ACT.

It's easy to get into. All the equipment

equipment is provided there are

qualified instructors here.

It's about an 8 week course

after 8 weeks you're ready to

take part in competitions. The

YMCA club runs school holiday

and beginner programs and a

junior competition for young

musketeers. We saw a moving

involving fencing and it looked

cool so we decided to try it

out. I think it's fun and

out. I think it's fun and it's

a pretty good sport because I

don't like running jumping or

soccer and it's one of the two

sports I play. The ACT fencing association is introducing

programs for schools so parents

might need to be on guard.

Now we found another old film

this one presumably meant for

children about a family car

trip around the region. It

looks like it's from the early

60s so if you're sitting

comfortably we'll begin.

Schools, holidays are on

again, hoor ray.

Down the south coast and it's

famous not only for its

lighthouse on the beach but for

something else we're all

excited about even mummy. It's

the blow hole discovered by the

explorer George Bess.

but we can't stay too long

we've a long drive ahead so

it's goodbye to Kiama.

next stop Canberra-

Australia's federal capital.

One look at the map shows how

easy it is to get lost in

Canberra. The streets go in

circles and so did we.

This the the main shopping

area with the oldest part tovs

city but going ahead with

plenty of new huge buildings.

Canberra is famous for its

public buildings and one of the

newest is the academy of

science with its dome-shaped

copper roof. To get in it we

have to cross a little Moat.

It's an all Australian custom

wherever you see something like

a wishing well you throw in a

a wishing well you throw in a

coin and already the moat has

its fair share of them. We made

a wish too. I wished we'd see

many nice places and we did.

Unfortunately we have to end

the program this week on a

rather sad note with this post

script to one of last week's


In terms of you cry and you

know you're feeling a part of you so really it was a tough


Ethel and her children were

eagerly awaiting the children

of her husband and father in

Canberra. She arrived here four

months ago to work at Carey

gardens in Red Hill, a nursing

home run by the Baptist

community service. Her three

children arrived last

month. Ing a news not so high

forring a news.

Their father should have been

stepping off a plane from

Zimbabwe on Monday. I think if

my husband is here it would be

the whole family now.

Last Friday the world was

shattered with news from home.

He'd been on his way home from

his parent's shop with the

day's takings and run down by a

car and killed. He was an

accountant by profession and

given up his profession by

coming to Australia. He didn't

come home that night and was

killed on his way home and

robbed. The tragedy has shocked

nursing home staff and

residents who were able to

raise $12,000 to pay for air

fare force the family to return

home. Devastated people they've

been so flat in the last few

days and they've hath had a lot

of crying, counsellors in to

try and help them. She was very

popular, not just staff but

residents and relatives as

well. It's been a huge blow to us. Ethel's colleagues from

Zimbabwe Rita and Starr have

played and important role in

helping people understand the

appropriate way to respond. We

thought we'd appreciated very

well the cultural differences.

Something like this happens it

puts a whole different

perspective on things and not

something that one really

thinks about happening. So it's

been a very difficult

time. Ethel and her family plan

to return to Canberra in a

month's time.

And if you want to contribute

something to the family there'll

there'll be details on our

website on Monday. To finish

the work of Canberra artist

Michael Winters on at the

Australian war memorial. The

exhibition depicts Australians

at war on Crete in 1931. Until

next week goodbye.