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A Current Affair -

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(generated from captions) where to get real value. at the movies - And the high cost of family night gathers pace. to all those changing speed zones the campaign to bring commonsense Also tonight - place. inspector, I'd be condemning this you can see. If I was the inspector, I'd be condemning you can see If I was the y u an ee. If I was the inspecto , I'd b inspector, I'd i sp cto , you can see. If I was the As agreed to buy. before the new owners the all clear from the pest inspector Yet this same house was given with every wall eaten away. it's falling apart, A house so badly damaged by termites How could it happen? This program is captioned live.

would understand See, a lot of people I don't know. he would start a fight with you? Would there be any reason why so I kicked him back. he attacked me, that's why I kicked him back, He kicked me first, while they're down? Is there any excuse to kick someone they just ruined my life for me. I didn't think like that, Honestly, my dream was gone, I started crying. I was shocked, surprised. his football career. effectively ending of 30 years, Bilah was given a suspension disagreed, But local football authorities He had it in for us. Why would a linesman do that? "Come on," and wants to fight. all very angry and for him to say, it was a very hot day and we were he was edging me on, Yeah, he was edging me on, So you reckon he started the fight? back at his side. and that's when I have kicked him he's kicked me in the groin As I walked up, "Yeah, ou, you little shit." A d he goes, "Yeah, you, you little shit." And he goes, I go, "Me?" going to be in big trouble." And he said, "You, yeah, you're I looked at him and said, "Me?" "You, you, I want your number." and says, One of the touch judges points at me cost his team the match. when a decision right on full-time Bill started arguing with a referee derby last weekend, Playing in the local rugby league They've ruined my life for me. my dreams are gone. For this to happen, football for Australia. had a dream of one day playing known to his mates as Billy, 15-year-old Bilal Elzamta, so it's not my fault. he started the fight, I did not start the fight, But is he sorry? Not a bit. and leaving him on crutches. for bashing an official Banned for 30 years and he's paying it for it, big time. Well, this teenager forgot that rule on the referee or umpire. never ever take it out no matter what happens on the field, any kind of football - There's a golden rule in football - Tonight we're on assignment in Perth. Hello. I'm Ray Martin.

Not to me. 30 years does seem excessive? Billy doesn't deserve another chance. referee Bill Harrigan says Controversial former rugby league which is just out of bounds. where he has assaulted a referee It's a brain explosion hurt him for that to happen to him. That happened to himself, I did not with torn ligaments? But he's the one that's on crutches Yes, I want an apology. You want an apology? I would like an apology. So would you apologise to him? he also added. of events as a load of rubbish, However, he described Billy's version civil action against Billy. until he decides whether to take isn't talking The 21-year-old referee to help him out. and obviously he was trying on the other side, the ref had a brother He had a brother on the other side, it was a hot day, you were angry? because you lost the game, why you would start a fight with him, to rugby league. and I want to go back like they just got me into trouble I want him to get into trouble who should be banned. and says it's the injured ref Billy plans to appeal the decision Do you deserve another go? No, I'm not a hot head. Are you a hot head? No. Are you a thug? He did, his own actions. of a career. deprive this young fella We didn't - or the game didn't - that's a whole life sentence. 30 years and 8 months, and I'm copping and I want football as a career I am 15 years old and why should I? and five years and only copped four years No, no, people have hit the referee what you get? Some would say you deserve He tripped. What happened? for what happened? The ref blames Billy and say their brother is innocent. were at the game Sisters Fatama and Sarah Nobody heard what Billy had to say. "You hurt the ref." It was all about the ref, what he's got to say. No-one even wanted to hear hear what he's got to say. at least give him a try, The kid's acting in self-defence, for their actions? and take responsibility When is somebody going to stand up take responsibility. It's not... Again, you've got to

Not one speed sign, but nine in 10km. I spend most of my time looking at my speedo and not concentrating on the road. Why do you think there are so many? I think it's dishonesty, it's trickery. I put it down to a total lack of planning and revenue. To add to the nine different speed signs, there's 24 sets of traffic lights in the same 10km. Way out east of Melbourne, Brian Hodgson says drivers are being saddled with more and more variations in speed signs and he wants it to... Whoah. Why do you think there are so many? My greatest fear is that with there being so many I will ultimately get caught out out not once but many times. Hang on, we've got a 60 now, so I've got to slow down again. We now go back to 80. so I'll just slow down. So I'm doing 80, We're getting to a 70 now. We are too. traffic lights, bingo, you're in 60. The minute you pass the set of of traffic lights. This is 80 coming up to a set of the times. Emilio says it's a silly sign north of Melbourne, Out his way, which is Bundoora, absolutely nothing to correct it. and this does nothing, at the road toll I'm absolutely appalled it's about a 9 out of a 10. On a frustration level, are currently forced to confront. of the dangerous distractions drivers to even more outrageous examples And we've been alerted into the signage on our roads. to bring some sanity urging us to keep up the campaign faxes and phone calls We've been inundated with emails, has really hit a nerve. around the country on the confusing array of speed zones Our report last night his actions were way over the top. when he won't even concede much sympathy for Billy I suspect there's not going to be David Eccleston there. I don't think so. Do you think it will happen?

Regardless of how carefully I drive, I really can't cope. The mathematics and equine teacher says his trip to school should be a pleasant canter, but bureaucrats have made it frustrating and dangerous. Are they effective? To date they certainly aren't. I know that I slow down each of the 40km/h zones. I hold up heaps of traffic and see lots of cars travelling at excessive speeds. I think very few people know exactly where the speed zones start and end. So I'd say they're not effective, no. Brian says on his way to school he encounters 15 different speed signs in 15 different minutes. He's even given us a map of it. This is the first one - 60km/h. The only reason I can see for having so many zones is to raise more money. Back to 60. Again, back to 40. 60 again. Up to 70. 80 to 60 down near Target. What do you think of that? Shocking. You've got to slow up in a hurry and everybody gets up your bum and pushes you. It's stupid. Is it frustrating? Yeah, it's a pain in the arse. It's a pain in the what? The arse. Oh, OK. Guess what's really popular along this section of road. What's that? Speed cameras. Do they get many? Oh yes, all along. We've got three sets. There's this one here and 200m down the road there's the second set, and another 200m down the road is a third set. You're seeing red, Emilio? I am seeing red, believe me. Back to 60 again. Now we're back to 70. Still 70. No, it's not, now it's 40. Last night, the NSW Minister for Roads, Michael Costa, called on his counterparts around Australia to follow his lead and scrap some of the signs. It just makes sense. I think we've got to the point where road efficiency has been reduced, people are confused and I think at least or worst safety outcome. Now it's 50 and now I'm tired. Can I ask you a question? Yeah. Are you frustrated too? Yeah, bloody oath. Shocking. See ya. See ya. @ See y Martin King there. We've heard Michael Costa's plan to cut confusion in NSW. What about the other States? Well, Victoria's Transport Minister Peter Batchelor tells us they're also working to reduce and simplify the number of speed zone changes. Queensland's Minister Paul Lucas says they will be happy to look at Michael Costa's proposal, but nothing is on the table yet. Don't worry, we'll make sure it doesn't slide off the agenda. South Australia's Patrick Conlon is pretty non-committal, simply saying "speed limits are under constant review." And Western Australian's Planning Minister Alannah MacTiernan told us "We are already conscious "of not having too many speed changes in one area." Yes, Minister, but does that mean you've fixed all the problem areas? I'm sure viewers will let us know if you haven't. OK, we move on to a shocking mess left by termites. The owners say it's an extraordinary blunder by the pest inspectors. (Out of synch) I'd like a flat white and a lamington, please. When you're feeling a little out of step with the world, why not pop in and recharge at McCafe? Like any prudent home buyer, they wanted to be sure they'd have no problems with termites before they put their money down. So they had no less than three separate inspections. The deal only went through after the last pest inspector gave the OK. But now the place is falling down around them. And guess what? The inspection company says it's not their fault. We were just looking for a home that - for a nice little home that would be suitable for my parents. It's just so much worse than what we thought. Maybe I shouldn't laugh about it. No good. It's ridiculous. This is the house that termites ate. GRAHAM PASIN: The only thing that's holding this wall up at all is just the plumbing pipes. And this is the man the owners say should have seen them coming. No, I don't believe I have let them down. Jeffrey Hills owns the termite-control company. Graham and Tracey Pasin own the termite-infested house. GRAHAM: We thought we'd covered ourselves by purchasing the property subject to a pest and building inspection. Enter termite inspector number one. He said that he'd located termites in one corner of the home and suggested that we had a second inspection. So in came inspector number two. They actually drill some holes through the mortar in the wall, put a camera in so that you can see whether there's active termites or not. Did that second inspector see termites? He did, he showed us the termites. Both inspectors claimed the termite damage was contained to a 2-metre corner of the house, so inspector number three was called in to poison them, but... He said that the black ants had come in and eaten away the termite nest and there were no active termites so he didn't need to do anything. With that, the couple negotiated a discount with the person selling the house and bought it on behalf of Graham's parents. How much did you think it was going to cost you to fix that termite damage up? We thought that it might cost us, all up, in the vicinity of about $5,000 at the most. How wrong they were. The inspector's written report warned further inspection would be required to determine the extent of the damage, but Graham and Tracey could not have known what they were in for. GRAHAM: Basically, every single wall - internal and external wall - has to be replaced. The floor's been ripped up. Every little aspect of the house has had to be repaid for now. Could be anything up to $50,000. Have you got $50,000? I certainly don't. For days, Graham's been begging Jeffrey Hills and Associates to come and see the massive oversight, and for days they've been fobbing him off. I just can't believe that you wouldn't come up and have a look at the thing, mate. But then, finally... Hi, I'm Amanda Paterson from A Current Affair. Hi, Amanda. We just wanted to know who's going to pay for the big mistake here. Um... This is Ian Turner. Do your inspectors wear blindfolds? Aha, ha, ha, um... Because how could they miss a mess like this? A whole house eaten away by termites? Let's make it clear - Ian isn't responsible for this foul-up, but he is the innocent employee but he is he innocent employee Jeffrey Hills and Associates reluctantly sent in to inspect the damage and to cop the wrap. Can you understand why he's upset, though? For sure, yeah. He wouldn't have bought this house if the termite guys got it right. If someone had said to us, "Look, there is very extensive termite damage in this house," we would have an opportunity to walk away from the purchase, but no-one said that. Have any of your inspectors missed a whole house riddled with termites? Oh, not to my knowledge. We thought that there would be some sort of guarantee that would come along with the service that they offer. that would c me along with the serv ce that the ffer. And there is a guarantee - problem is, it's all about protecting the termite inspectors instead of Graham and Tracey. Every report the couple has received has contained a very convenient indemnity clause. How's this one? "No opinion or warranty is made on that which cannot be seen." And then there's this. "No responsibility is accepted for any timber damage that may occur "as the result of past, current or future termite activity." Makes you wonder why you pay them in the first place. They're not caveats to obviate one's responsibilities, they are to advise the client on the potential for future damage. If a doctor said to you, "You've only got cancer in your left foot..." Yeah. ..and that was treated and the cancer went from your left foot, and he forgot to tell you cancer was throughout the rest of your body and you ended up dying... Yes. ..that wouldn't have been too good? No, it wouldn't have been. This is cancer throughout this house. Termites are, yes. They should have been picked up. You're the experts. If they'd missed, say, one other section that the termites were in then, OK, that's a bit of a mistake, but to miss the whole house, to miss every single piece of wood in the place that has been eaten by ants, that's not good enough. We actually indicate to them that they must undertake further inspections to ascertain the full extent of the damage. We want them to do something about it. If persons don't undertake professional advice, I can't help them from that perspective. Queensland's Building Services Authority tells us it's now investigating whether Jeffery Hills and Associates should have its licence suspended or even cancelled. But unless the company offers to pay restitution, Tracy and Graham's only hope of recovering the tens of thousands they've spent on repairs is to fork out even more money on legal action. Alright, going to the pictures should only give you a shock if it's a scary movie up on the screen. But many families are now being terrified by the bill. This Thursday's Powerball jackpot is $6 million. For more chances to win, ask for a Powerball Megapick. $6 million Powerball jackpot. You could: UPBEAT MUSIC And if it's too tricky to answer personally, for situations like these. There, they'll sort out your question and the person you asked will return with your answer. Welcome back. Lately we've been sampling the cost of various forms of entertainment for Aussie families. We've already put the footy under the microscope. Well, now we're going to take a look at the movies and again we find families struggling to meet the high costs of a night at the flicks. Four medium Coke please. No deals today, thanks. Two large popcorn. So how did you go? We just paid $92.50 to go to the movies. Unbelievable. It used to be one of Australia's favourite past-times - mum, dad and the kids off to the movies and no trip to the flicks was complete without a big tub of popcorn, a choc top and a bag of Maltesers. These days, that simple outing has become an expensive luxury. For a family of four or five, it costs about $100. It's just way out of reach for a normal family. We normally spend $50 on tickets and $50 on food, so it's really expensive. Do you think it's a ripoff? For snack food, yeah, definitely. We sent Linda Smith, her husband Mark and two very excited boys on a whirlwind trip of Perth cinemas. They bought the kids an icecream each, two popcorns to share between four, a packet of Maltesers and a Coke each. Add the price of the tickets, and the bill was something else - $92.50. When you've got kids, they want the little extras but the little extras just cost us $43. So if every family of four spends an average of $92? It's crazy. You'd never pay your mortgage off at that price. They have a captive audience, they know people come here and think, "Yes, we have to have something to munch on." You walk out of there spending a fortune. And they've got all these policies now about what you can and can't take in foodwise. They practically frisk you. In fact, for the $16.80 the Smiths paid for their four medium cups of Coke, they could have bought 24 cans at the supermarket. And for $14.60 they paid for two boxes of popcorn, they could have had eight of these. And it's the same everywhere you go. A Current Affair surveyed 24 cinemas across the country and enlisted the help of several families to help us do it. What? $10.50 for a child ticket! That's not nice. In Sydney, the Abela family jumped at the chance to sample prices because they simply can't afford to go too often. When we do go, you feel like you've got a gun to your head, you know, "Oh, yep, we'll pay." So when you do end up paying the cost, you don't enjoy the movie. They may be enjoying it but I'm there in my seat going, "Grrrr, where am I going to get that money from?" Two adult tickets and two children's tickets. That's $28 please. The Abelas bought the same tickets and snacks as the Smith family in Perth - Cokes, popcorns, choc tops for the kids and chocolate. At Hoyts in Chatswood, the bill for four came to $93.40, but for exactly the same deal at a smaller independent cinema, they paid just $64.20. Same sound, same seats, same popcorn on the floor. I'm amazed. I am really amazed that could be such a big difference just to see the same movie and eat the same things. Who would have thought? Melbourne cinemas proved to be the most expensive in the country. At Greater Union, our bill came to a whopping $94.30. Had our family gone to this smaller independent, they would have paid $12 less. The food is way too high. I don't bother with Coke or popcorn anymore. What do you do? They rule the territory. In some cinemas, snack bars are charging four times more than supermarket prices. Most are asking at least $1 more for a packet of Maltesers, $2 more for a bottle of water. Not surprisingly, more and more people try to sneak in their own food. Technically, it is legal that cinemas can prevent consumers from taking in their own food. 'Choice' magazine's Clare Hughes says Australian cinema chains are making blockbuster profits. It seems that simply by saying you can only buy food at our snack bar then they're forcing customers to pay their exorbitant prices. Adelaide had the most expensive independent cinema of any we surveyed in the country, but still not as pricy as Greater Union in the city. And back in Western Australia, this was the verdict from the Smith family. If you're on a tight budget, the movies are out. You just don't do it. In Perth, the Smiths paid $78 at the independent cinema, but Greater Union charged them an extra $14.50 for exactly the same thing. Can you understand how they can charge that much? Oh, it's ridiculous. I say to the kids, "Well, that's two days of our holiday money, "so I hope you enjoy the film." But it's Brisbane that deserves the Oscar for biggest variation in prices. Hoyts Regent was almost double the price for a family of four, compared to the independent complex at South Bank where the bill came to just $50.60. That was cheapest outing in the country. But even at that price, it's still three times the cost of renting a movie and having your popcorn and Coke at home. If they want to stay relevant in these days of home theatre, then they really do need to make it more affordable. If you want more people to come and see your movies, lower your prices. Ros Thomas with that rundown on a family night out. Well have a last word after the break. Mobile phones - there's no question that they've become an essential part of everyday life, which makes it frustrating and costly when you lose the signal. Black spots seem to plague all of us. We're told everything is being done to fix the problem. Well, it's not. So what's the real reason your phone keeps dropping out? MOBILE PHONE BUZZES People want to be able to use their mobiles. They are making money because we have to redial, recall. It drops out every time. It's just not good enough. A national scandal? Well we'll tell you about that and a lot more on A Current Affair tomorrow night. For now, goodnight from Perth. Thanks for being with us. See you tomorrow night. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre.