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(generated from captions) That story in a moment. $1.8 million per politician. Little wonder it costs us waiting for? Or how long you're going to be who you're waiting for? You can't tell me you with those sort of questions. Ooh, I'm sorry, but I can't answer been waiting for? and how long have you for tonight REPORTER: Who are you driving and we're picking up the bills. are kept waiting for hours while taxpayer-funded drivers themselves, wining and dining, Our cameras catch them enjoying after dark. What our politicians get up to Tonight, a real eye-opener. I'm Naomi Robson. Hello, and welcome to Today Tonight.

Also, hold that credit card. to us? I can't In just one hour we You have been told you can't talk No-one wants to talk to us tonight. wineing and dining continues. you? Waiting, waiting, as the be waiting tonight. I can't tell taxpayer dollars? How long will you kilometres, they are clocking up While they are not clocking up waiting for their VIP passengers. chaffeur-driven cars are lined up and these Commonwealth in Canberra It was 11 o'clock last night here? No comment Do you know hong you sit how long you wait for? I have no doing your job but can you tell us raipbled for it I know you are taxpayer has every right to be out can't tell me any more. The normally wait for? I am sorry. You out? Up to him Now long do you waiting for until your member comes Do you know how long you will be Here's Adene Cassidy. cost us nearly $2 million a year? So is it any wonder that each of them waited into the wee small hours. Commonwealth cars and their drivers While they wined and dined, we're paying for a lot of it. and, yes, you guessed it, enjoying themselves in style, our politicians were out But first, as we slept last night, she's out of pain now. She's telling me she can cross to the other side. to prove put to the test Australia's top psychic medium And talking to the dead - who refuses And talking to the dead - Plus, the chemist and father-of-nine you name it, they're there. and shops, in restaurants, service stations how gangs are ripping us off We'll show you

can't see why they can't simply pay back at the end of the evening. I car to the restaurant and the car They get a Commonwealth chauffeured for how they spend the money. politicians aren't held accountable just keep growing, He says even though the perks of the press gallery. is the longest serving member of the newsletter Inside Canberra, Rob Chalmers, by way of perks. and quickly learn what is available does seem excessive. They get here so I don't need that service but it taxpayer provided car in Canberra drives which again drive the me friends with the 150whriet car supported? That probably won't make Why isn't the taxi industry Why aren't the cabs of Canberra? like he does. or MPs should drive themselves should be replaced with taxis He says Commonwealth cars mortgages in Canberra. it has been used to pay off past and I am sure it still happens can be claim and and in fact years unlimited travel allowance which overpaid entitlements. We have an dollars are wasted on grossly perks. He believes millions of Peter Andren has a complain against any comment to make? Independent MP money. Your thoughts? I don't have cars with a waste of taxpayers lost for words. These Commonwealth they spend their money, they were million a year. When we asked how taxpayers a staggering $1! 8 Commonwealth cars. It costs want to have a chat with the am from channel Channel 7 Sydney. I am from channel Channel 7 Sydney. I am from channel Channel 7 Sydney. I travel allowance. Good evening, I prices. Let funded by the pollies With food and drink at five-star spotted at least 100 come cars.

the privileges will remain. will return but for those remaining You can be rest assured that most another $2.4 million a year. costing taxpayers to their constituents, not for letters to campaign for your vote, which many use taking the wife. to the company by the way I am executives can go overseas and say private sector not too am spouse themselves. Ut I mean in the I think they should pick up the so they can take their spouse. which many manipulate or $17,000 for an overseas study trip a first-class round-the-world ticket an MP is entitled to in parliament, For every three-year term you are probably footing the bill. despite the fact or what they're doing, where they're going they don't have to justify to anybody for hot European summers, swapping icy cold temperatures When the politicians flee Canberra aren't so transparent. whatever you prefer to call them, other entitlements or privileges, their drivers are a visible perk, While Commonwealth cars and Canberra to cover fees like this. $150 a day for each day they are in After all they are getting about for a taxi out of their own pocket.

whatever it turns out. catch a bus? I would be happy with opinion You you would be willing to Americans? He is entitled to his be catching buses like the What about the MP says you should to 90 it could earn him $3 million. $150,000 annually and if he lives Labor Senator Nick is entitled to she got the needle and my other oldest daughter, My oldest daughter's on it, so my girls... I've got teenage daughters, mate, his ground. Mr Horsfall intends to stand it's costing him business, And even though first opened the shop 3.5 years ago. It's a decision we took when we for so-called lifestyle reasons. if they're to be used It's a waste, it's a huge waste. Last year's crop was fantastic compared to this year's. In Victoria's apple capital, Harcourt, Rob Chaplin and his mate Colin Pickering grow some of Australia's finest Pink Lady apples. Problem is, this year the blush has all but disappeared from the cheeks of the Ladies. We have spoilt the consumer over the last few years by growing really good-coloured Pink Ladies especially and now we've come up with a year when we haven't got any colour. It spells huge waste given that the two biggest food companies, Coles and Woolworths, demand that Pink Ladies be pink and they won't accept an apple like this. but mind you, a green Pink Lady tastes just the same as a pink one. The weather's been against us. I think it's the long dry spell. You would think that with the sunlight that it would colour the apples to customers he won't even sell contraceptives is so strong that In fact, Mr Horsfall's stance a lovely fifth child. and she now has got decided not to stay on the pill One lady who, after speaking to me, large family that is. we'd all have one - If he had his way, Catholic who likes large families. Well, they've now turned red and they're now sitting rotting on the trees. Some of it will provide a feast for the cockatoos and the remainder will be fed to giant George and his friends. pharmacist Simon Horsfall is a good With nine children, has always been this way. It's just the Catholic Church as Rodney Lohse reports. not profits, he says it is a matter of principal customers, and although it is costing him he won't prescribe any contraception Not only that, border. on the Victorian-New South Wales and writing up a storm in Albury that he is talking who is so against contraception Now to a chemist and father-of-nine Adene Cassidy with that report. so with teenage daughters, it's better to be safe than not so safe. He should hold his opinions to himself. He's there to provide a service and he should be providing and he should be providing the service that the public want. For contraception, I prefer that they don't get it here. Rodney Lohse reporting there. Moving on to New Zealand where hundreds of fruit growers hurled apples at the Australian High Commission in protest against our ban on New Zealand apples. Australia won't allow the apples to be imported because of the fears of fire blight. But as you're about to see, it's not just the Kiwis who are hard done by. Even our apples are finding it hard to get on to the supermarket shelves simply because they're not pink enough and that's a problem that's arisen because of our drought. Here's a perfect example. Our supermarkets wouldn't accept this apple because it's too green but the lack of colour doesn't affect taste at all. Here's Jackie Quist. but it hasn't. We can't sell as many, if you know what I mean. We've had to leave a lot behind, just leave them hanging because its not worth our while to pick them. Three weeks ago these trees were bursting with fruit but without the regulatory pink blush there was no point even harvesting those green apples.

they don't like the colour. They look for the blemishes. They put all sorts of specification tests, which in my opinion is just really discrimination in drag. What really happens is that if you're a grower you are hostage to Coles Myer or Woolworths. Yet Coles Myer and Woolworths say they've made allowances Pink Lady that are higher coloured. for the farmers' plight with Woolworths changing its colour requirements to 40% pink on Pink Ladies and Coles Myer requiring 45% colour on its Ladies. Coles Myer says it acted on the advice of the Australian Fresh Fruit Company of which Andrew Dick is the director. Unfortunately on the market there has been a focus on achieving higher colour for not just Pink Lady, but other apples, and this has been to the detriment of eating quality. Did you blame the consumer? Nah, nah. The consumer only does what's put in front of them and we've spoilt them over the last few years making redder apples. But then, if we didn't do it, somebody else was going to do it. The growers say they can't risk another season of waste and so intend to bid farewell to the Pink Lady as we know her. Yeah, and it won't be that long because we've got newer varieties of COW MOOS We grow about 300 tonnes of them, yeah, so about 30 tonnes might have gone to waste. Rob hasn't added up his losses but they run into the thousands. Colin reckons it's cost him more than $10,000. I'm only little. There's other orchards out there that have got a lot more hanging. So why isn't it worth your while picking them? Well, it costs us money to pick them and then to store them. The real problem is they can only sell apples to two companies in Australia, the giant octopuses, Coles Myer and Woolworths. Bill Shorten is the national secretary of the Australian Workers Union. They might say

to give the green Pink Lady a go. This year, because of the dry weather, they're very sweet and juicy - very nice. Regardless if they're pink or green? Irregardless of pink or green. So don't judge an apple by its skin. No. You're just one lucky cow. Coming up later in the show, talking to the dead. Australia's leading psychic is put to the test and thousands claim she is better than John Edward. After the break, credit card fraud and the gangs ripping us off at shops, petrol stations, restaurants - you name it. People need to know that their money isn't safe. It's organised crime gangs. Its replacement will be Rosy Glow, an apple guaranteed to live up to its name. In the meantime, growers encourage consumers

VOICEOVER: McCain Wood Fire Style Pizza, Only this week we found out that up to 40 million credit cards around the world were placed at risk by one of the biggest security breaches in history. The simple truth is credit cards are always at risk. In fact, here in Australia, organised In fact, here in Australia, organised gangs are known to be operating, using a relatively new technique called skimming where our personal details can be stolen while our card is being swiped. Here's Glenn Connley. While we're relying more than ever on the plastic fantastic for everything from a train ticket to our mortgage repayments, we all need to be aware that criminals right across the world are going to extraordinary new lengths to tap into our credit card accounts and run up bigger bills than we could ever imagine in our wildest shopping fantasies. We're tracking at about $100 million per annum for the last three or four years in terms of credit card fraud. There was once a time when the biggest fear with your credit card was losing it or having it stolen - a thief then spending up big at your expense. But now a much greater threat is happening while your card's tucked away in your wallet. It's organised crime gangs. Some are overseas-based and we're in situations where they obtain the counterfeit cards, or manufacture them overseas, they encode them with the data and then they actually send people - what we call mules - over to Australia for a short period of time to go on a widespread to go on a widespread shopping spree, I suppose you'd call it, and then ship all these stolen goods back to the country they came from. Detective Superintendent Jack Blayney heads the major fraud investigation unit in Victoria. He says the fastest growing scam is skimming, where crime gangs illegally obtain a swipe of your card, then make a fake card using your details. If you don't check your account, they could have run up tens of thousands of dollars before you're any the wiser. People need to know that their money isn't safe. When single mum Joy fell victim to skimming, thieves used her details for a shopping spree in Canada. I shed a tear, I burst into tears. The frustrating part was they couldn't give you an explanation. "Are you sure you weren't in Canada on the weekend?" Well, hello! Unless you've actually got the card physically in your hand and you actually know the client, then you shouldn't touch them. Bruce Bathols got his fingers burnt from the other side of the counter. He runs a computer supply business. When a customer recently bought almost $25,000 worth of equipment online Bruce called his credit provider, the Commonwealth Bank, before sending off the equipment to Indonesia. And they said it's approved and gave an approval number. And I finished up sending off four shipments in total and it wasn't until the end of the fourth shipment came about that I received messages from the bank to say that the credit cards which were being used were fraudulent. The Commonwealth left Bruce high and dry. But wait till you hear what they did next. Well, it was devastating and the only way I could cover it was to borrow the money and, stupidly enough, I borrowed the money from the same bank that took the money from me in the first place. So how does it happen? How do criminals get your details without stealing your card? Well, it can happen when you're buying anything. An unscrupulous shop assistant secretly swipes and records the details of your card while you're paying for your goods. Ever wondered what happens to your card when a waiter takes it to cover a restaurant bill? You're also vulnerable when you shop on the Internet sending your credit card details onto the World Wide Web. Perhaps go to a restaurant and you hand over your credit card. Someone working in that restaurant - usually part of a group or gang doing this - actually have a little machine and can sort of swipe your card and get information from your card. As Carolyn Bond from the Consumer Credit Legal Service explains there are things you can do. Additional details on how to avoid being a victim of skimming can be found on our web site. Coming up, is Australia's leading psychic better than John Edward? Thousands think so and she risks all to prove it in a moment. She's talking about the diary, it's a little pink book like a phone book or something like that. It's my photo album, my baby album. Yeah, the little pink book. UPLIFTING MUSIC SONG: # 'Cause you were amazing VOICEOVER: New Ford Territory, with Acutrac for sedan-like handling The possibilities are amazing. Domino's has a delicious new menu. Want to play? Meatzatwins comes loaded with spicy pepperoni and smoky bacon for a powerful taste. Other new menu pizzas are available to download now. Australia's foremost psychic medium has an impressive list of clients - from football stars to everyday Australians. They come to her in the hope of talking to the dead, loved ones they've lost over the years but don't want to let go. If you're to believe her thousands of clients, she's just as good as, if not even better than, John Edward. Here's Michelle Tapper. Oh, was he 72 when he passed over? Yes. This is a medallion or something around his neck. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yup. I'm feeling pain through the whole body. Yup. These people believe they've just experienced a paranormal phenomenon, communicating with their dead loved ones. What I do is communicate with people that have passed over to the afterlife. How I do this is I communicate telepathically. Amanda de Warren is a medium. She claims to have a sixth sense, which lets her talk to the dead much like Alison Dubois who works with United States police and is the subject of a hit TV show and of course, the much-heralded John Edward. Grandma is telling me one is missing. Was somebody else supposed to come with you today and couldn't? Yes. How I do this is, I completely shut down my human thoughts, I don't have any normal human thoughts at all, and I connect telepathically to the afterlife. I go by my senses, which is I tell you what I see, feel, hear, smell, sense, taste. Was this only a matter of a few months, this illness? Yup. Is that correct? Yup. 20-year-old Megan Edwards lost her mother three years ago. She's talking about the diary, it's a little pink book like a phone book or something like that. It's my photo album, my baby album. Yeah, the little pink book. Yeah, and it's pink. Desperate to talk to her mum, Megan is overwhelmed by the experience. She is telling me that she's out of pain now. It's a unique gift that Amanda says only became obvious after her partner died of cancer three years ago. Why do you think you've been chosen Why do you think you've been chosen to speak to the afterlife? I get the feeling that I've been chosen for this for a long time, even before I was born. With a client base of around 1,500 people, Amanda's followers include controversial footballer Jason Akermanis, who has asked her to channel his dead mum. Amanda's vision is to take her gift to the world stage following in the footsteps of the hugely successful John Edwards and she's currently in negotiations for her own show in the United States. How accurate are you? Majority of the time, I would say probably about 80%. It depends on the channelling and who I'm doing the channelling for. Some I may be even 90%. This is not as easy as people think it is. It is quite a difficult thing to do. Amanda says she has no control over when the spirits talk to her. In fact, within minutes of meeting our sound man Paul Finlay, she had a message for him from his dead grandfather. And he tells me that he was killed in an accident. There was just a mystery about how he actually passed but I'm feeling like a "W" sounding name, is that correct? Yes. Is it like William or Walter or something? Watson. Watson, okay. Unprepared for the confronting experience, Paul was visibly shaken by the reading, and surprisingly convinced. Certainly hit the nail on the head. My father's father plummeted from the sky, in a plane, into the side of a mountain. The "W", which is now my second middle name, all the boys in my family carry "Watson". She also did an interstate phone reading, describing the person on the other end without ever having met her. You have a slender body. Is that correct? Yes. Because I feel like you're very slim, like you're a size 8. Is that correct? Yes. Do you have blue eyes, do you? Yes. Because he's telling me you have blue eyes. Impressed with her ability, we decided to put Amanda to the ultimate test, inviting her to do a group reading. Was he responsible for his own passing? Right. Okay. I have a suicide coming through. Well, I was very surprised. I was a little bit sceptical when I started, but I was quite amazed at how she just honed in to something. Were you quite close to your grandmother? Yes. Did you live with her for a while or something? Yes, I did. Everything was very accurate. Was that buried with him? It was, yeah. Right. Because he's telling me that it was buried with him. Yeah. The things she said to me, I don't know how she knew that. But yeah, it just felt like grandad was the only person there who could be telling her that. It felt great. Emotional and overwhelmed, clearly most of the audience are convinced - except sceptic Bob Bruce, who sat in on Amanda's performance. Because I'm seeing - he's showing me the right side of the face. Was there a scar down the right side of his face? Yeah, might have been something he got in Korea, I think. My father-in-law's not dead and he doesn't have a scar. He's not a dominant person. We have a good relationship. So basically I led her down a garden path. It really didn't mean much at all. Do you think Do you think you prey on people's grief? Not at all. I don't push this work on anybody. People sought me out. They come to look for me, not me looking for them. We also asked paranormal expert Professor Martin Bridgstock from Griffith University to view the readings. Many of the statements are wrong. The ones that are correct, she zeroes in on very quickly and makes more statements of that kind and so she very much influences the people she's talking to. He says Amanda's accuracy rate is only 60% correct. I didn't see any evidence of paranormal powers at all. What I saw was What I saw was what sceptics call cold reading. But for Amanda's many followers But for Amanda's many followers like Megan, paying the hefty $180 fee is worth the piece of mind and comfort her readings bring. It would be priceless to talk to her if I could. You couldn't really put an amount on it because I guess it's worth anything to talk to someone that you've lost, that you loved so much. It's a gift that I have a huge respect for and treat it with the utmost dignity. It's to be used for good, not for anything else. It's to be used to help people. That report from Michelle Tapper. Now a look at one of the stories I'll have for you tomorrow night. While almost half of us have dreamed of a sea change at some stage or another start really find a better life? do those families chasing a fresh start really find a better life? I just did it, basically believing in the dream. Shock horror. The loneliness was awful. People perhaps not always plan for it as well as they could. It was a frightening experience. Everything froze - spiritually, mentally, physically. I'll have that story for you tomorrow night. So I do hope you join me for that. Until then, have a great evening. Please take care, and goodnight. Captioned by Seven Network Email -