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Today Tonight -

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(generated from captions) Hello, and welcome to Today Tonight. ENGINE REVS and risking other people's lives. 210km/h in a 70km/h zone ENGINE REVS to shame those crazy drivers. There is a call

Hello, I'm Naomi Robson, and this is a hoon plate there is a ratbag behind the wheel. to warn everyone

What are you doing here? is a boot in the arse. What you're looking for

the landmark court ruling. Also, we look at

It is a real double whammy. have been locked up A couple of tearaway teenagers been ordered to pay damages. and their parents have also Plus, smart shopping. There are discounts to be had. just ask. You don't even have to be pushy - We will show you how easy it is.

on the pokies, seeking revenge. And the woman who lost $1 million But first tonight, hoon drivers. behaving like lunatics. We have all seen them, In some States, after a number of warnings can be taken away from them. their cars being put forward by a magistrate, But now there is another proposal But now there is another proposal

appearing before him, sick and tired of hoon drivers

as Rodney Lohse explains. This is hoon heaven - at more than 200km/h. the Sydney Harbour Tunnel

in 15 minutes. And this Brisbane to the Gold Coast ENGINES REV We've got basket-loads of photos the Accident Investigation Squad taken by going to get killed in cars. of people who were never LAUGHING They think it is fun, they are maniacs with machines. but to the rest of us, across Australia has them - Almost every town and city

young drivers with a death wish. What are you doing here? is a boot in the arse. What are you looking for started by a frustrated magistrate, Now there is a radical plan, to put the brakes on hoons. P-plates for provisional drivers, We have L-plates for learners,

well, how about one of these?

An H-plate for hoons? in areas in Geelong. We have a fair bit happening down on Ritchie Boulevard. This is one place where it happens director Lawrie Miller says Chamber of Commerce Executive of hoons Geelong has more than its fair share and not all of them locals, raised the idea of H-plates in court. which is why a magistrate People really don't want that badge. by the local paper as a campaign. It was picked up Here is how it would work. Do a burnout, drag-race, or speed and dob you in. and witnesses can call a hotline and you get a H-plate. Get found guilty It's naming and shaming -

you're regarded as a hoon driver in the paper accordingly. and it is written up a mixed reception from the community. The campaign has had the way they talk - Couple of the young guys I know - say I'd have one on there. you're never going to stop them. There's probably no effective way,

They're always going to be driving, driving erratically, there's always going to be people trying to get somewhere so quick. So far, they have stopped short to wear H-plates on their cars of forcing drivers is working. but the shame-and-name program have apologised. Some of the hoon drivers on a motorcycle said A fellow who really rode very fast he apologised for doing such a speed and it's rather surprised us. young drivers, And if it is slowing down desperately needs it. then the rest of the country cause of death for under-25s Car crashes are the single biggest in this country. In every State in Australia, in injury and fatality rates. young drivers are over-represented In New South Wales, they hold 16% of the licences of the fatalities. but represent about 28% Just this week, that killed cyclist Amy Gillett. it was a teenage driver in Germany with insurer NRMA, Anne Morphett is a policy adviser crashes than any other age group. and says young people have more at this terrible rate Young people are being killed of all well-developed countries on the roads and no-one has found a solution. Remember the harbour-tunnel hoons? breakneck speeds at which they drove They thought they could handle the

through their paces but when we put them of a professional race-driver, under the guidance the results were frightening. ENGINES REV TYRES SQUEAL down through here. MAN: Lots of speed on the road. Reckon you can do 200km/h Turn it in, come on, turn it in. may be one option, And while the H-plate science may have found the cause. in the United States suggests The latest research lack the capacity young drivers' brains to make critical driving decisions, cannot help but take risks. finding young drivers show the underdeveloped parts These yellow areas of the brain responsible for risk-taking. and they just happen to be the areas dark blue until a driver is 25. They won't mature to this (screams) Further research has shown more likely to have a crash a young driver is 10 times in the first 1,000km on the road than an experienced adult driver. A test

10 cars of newly licenced teenagers where cameras were installed in produced shocking results. and 7 of the 10 drivers crashed. They ran red lights, stop signs

Phones, friends and loud stereos killing kids in cars. are part of the deadly cocktail Oh, my God. of so many deaths on our roads, And while we now know the cause the problem is stopping them. The NRMA's Anne Morphett says as keeping young people out of cars. it is not as simple of hundred thousand people Out of the couple that hold P-plates, in New South Wales roads who are responsible for bad driving. it's a small proportion

percentage that need the H-plate. And perhaps it is that small of other people in your car. You've got the lives

that could happen to you The worst thing but that they die and you live. is not that you die LAUGHING Rodney Lohse reporting there.

support the idea of a hoon plate. We'd like to know whether you would our web site, or just give us a call. You can let us know your thoughts on Now to a landmark court ruling where two teenagers have been locked up and their parents made to pay for their crimes. As Karryn Cooper reports, the ruling puts all Australian parents on notice that they might now be held accountable for the actions of their children. It certainly is about time and I was very pleased to see it. Applause for the ground-mark ruling by Townsville judge Clive Wall that the parents of two juveniles who set fire to a vagrant pay up for their children's crimes. Enough is enough. Someone has to be repsonsible for these children. It's not going to be the government, it's going to be the parents. Neil Neilsen was asleep in a Charters Towers park in North Queensland when, in a cowardly and callous attack, two teenage boys doused him with methylated spirits and set him alight -

not once, but three times. I tell you what I didn't like - the fire on my knee and burnt my leg off of me trousers. I soon woke up pretty quick. The 53-year-old suffered severe second-degree burns, the two boys said they did it because they were bored. They just walked away laughing. Actually run away laughing, they did. But the 13-year-old and 14-year-olds, who have both been in trouble with the law before, were not laughing when Judge Wall sentenced them to 2 years detention. And he did not stop there. Judge Wall has now made legal history by also penalising the parents. He has ordered them, all of whom are on various forms of welfare pensions, to pay a total of $2,000 to the victim their children set alight. What do these parents want? The state to be responsible? Do they want their children taken away from them? If you don't, then you become responsible for your children. The sole parent of one of the boys is to pay $1,000, at a rate of $10 a week for 100 weeks. I think it's a brave move. It's one I would have liked to have done.

Former Children's Court Judge Barbara Houlbourne says it is a decision that will send shockwaves through the judiciary. and open a Pandora's box for parents. Sit up, take notice, parents, because you're going to be responsible from now on. Parents should pay the compensation.

People accept enough responsibility for their actions and I, certainly, if my little boy stuffed up, I'd be expected to pay. The parents should be doing the jail term for the kids. While parents have praised the judge's move, younger people, on the other hand, are not so sure.

No, it should be the teenagers held accountable. Kids are getting worse and worse and part of it is family, but you can't always blame that. But in making his ruling, Judge Clive Wall was satisfied both parents did not try to control or discipline their children. He slammed the inconsistent supervision of the boys. They were not made to go to school, the 13-year-old was not even enrolled. They were allowed to roam wild and thus the parents contributed to the torture of the homeless Neil Neilsen by providing no supervision. And kids just keep getting away with the most atrocious crimes without having to be responsible. Parents shrug their shoulders and walk away and say I can't do anything with him as if that's the answer. It's not. That report from Karryn Cooper. Now to the poker-machine player who is out for revenge after she lost a staggering $1 million. She wants State Governments, clubs, even the poker-machine makers to pay up, claiming they effectively encouraged her to gamble her life away.

Sophie Hull takes up the story.

Not only did they allow it to happen - they encouraged it. They were a party to it. They are a menace in our society. Innocent people are entrapped by machines. State governments around the country are getting close to $4 billion a year in pokies taxes, and they've turned a blind eye to the damage caused. The landscape of our pubs and clubs is changing. Since pokie machines were introduced 10 years ago, for millions of Australians, having a drink also means having a flutter. But is it a bit of harmless entertainment or a devastating addiction? People who have never committed a crime in their life are suddenly being found to have gone anywhere from petty theft to murder after becoming pokie-machine addicts. Douglas Knaggs is a suburban lawyer who has been catapulted into the big time. He has just launched the most ambitious Australian class action in living memory. Representing pokie losers, by taking on some of the most powerful bodies in the country - State governments, hoteliers associations and pokie-machine manufacturers claiming there is conclusive proof all of them knew of the dangers and ignored them. A cigarette company could be accountable for not putting a warning on it's cigarette packet when it knew of the dangers of addiction and harm to health. Why is that different from the case of gaming machines? Well, there's no such thing as a safe gaming machine. You cannot choose from hundreds, thousands of machines in Australia between harmful, less harmful and not-harmful machine. You only have one choice - it is the electronic gaming machine and they are all harmful, they are addictive. Lana O'Shannassey is one of Douglas Knaggs' clients in the ambitious duty-of-care claim. Over a period of several years she ploughed an estimated $1 million into machines which, she says, robbed her of her career, family life and sanity. I just wanted to be there playing gaming machines and not at work, or not looking after my children, or any of those things that I should have been doing. Some would argue that if you play and lose on the poker machines it is simply your fault. It is often said, "Nobody held a gun to your head." Douglas Knaggs believes perhaps it is not a gun to the head, but certainly poker machines are designed to psychologically entrap the human mind. State governments and the Federal Government have failed in their responsibility to the Australian people to do something about the devastation caused by pokies. Five years after their introduction,

pokie machines began bearing warnings. But according to South Australian State MP and gaming crusader Nick Xenophon, that is not only an admission that governments knew they were exposing people to harm but a pathetically inadequate attempt to reduce the problem. The money that State governments get from pokies is really fool's gold when you consider the devastation it caused - the families that break up, the people that suicide, the businesses that go broke - it's just not worth it. I'm educated, I'm smart, I have a happy marriage, I have lovely children, and it happened to me. It can happen to anyone. The first hearing of the class action is scheduled to take place in September. We will keep an eye on that for you. Sophie Hull reporting there. Coming up, smart shopping.

There are discounts to be had. All you have to do is ask. We will show you how easy it is. You can get discounts on just about anything if your prepared to ask that question. Price busted! Introducing Franklins: 6-pack Kleenex Cottonelle tissue varieties: Look for this and other Price Busters! Only at: You don't have to be too pushy to save a small fortune while you are shopping. It is pretty much a case of "Ask and you will receive." Tonight, Rohan Wenn has some simple tips on what to do to get a discount on just about anything. You can save thousands of dollars a year. We are a nation of shoppers, spending hundreds of millions every year. And most of the time, most of us pay full price. But Cath Armstrong, who runs the consumer web site, says you are mad if you take the marked price as gospel. There's a huge mark-up on lots - 100%, 200%, 1,000% on some things. Some things might be only 80% mark-up but the mark-up is still there. Which is why Cath says we should all get into the habit of haggling. I think you can get discounts on just about anything if you're prepared to ask that question, and keep asking the question until you get a price you're happy with. But if you're not used to driving down the marked-up prices, getting the hang of haggling can be hard. So we decided to set up a haggling school and asked Catherine Cullen and Toby Weatherby to take the class. Already, I think I'm a pretty good shopper but I would like to see what else she has to teach me.

Today we're going to cover the five basics of haggling. No.1 - what do you think it is? Know what you're going to buy. Cath says it is important to know what you want, so you cannot be talked into buying something else. Tip No.2 is to know how much you are willing to spend, so that you do not pay more than you meant to. You need to know what your starting point is and what your end point is. Tip No.3 is the most important - They know the very bottom price they can sell at to make a profit, so they're prepared to give a little if you're prepared to be brave enough and ask that question. Tip No.4 is to - This is important

because some stores have to pay the banks a fee if you use a credit card, so paying cash can save them money. We don't need to pay for a credit card charge if you're not using a credit card. And finally, whether you're young or old Cath says you should use your age to your advantage. If you're old, make hay - If you're young, same thing - make hay, get a discount. If you have a pensioner card, ask for a discount. If you're a struggling student, a shop might be kind to you too.

Is a larger department store more likely to discount than a small independent shop? Not necessarily. But small shops could come back with a better deal because they really want the sale. Good theories, but do they work in practice? We decided to find out. Catherine $300 for you, Cath, $300 for you, and, Toby, $300 for you. Now, you've got to try to get a toothbrush for around $50, a microwave for around $150 and a gift of your choice for $100. Are you ready to go? A little bit nervous? Good luck. Okay, off you go. Haggle hard.

Two hours later our class had returned triumphant. Toby had managed to get good discounts on two of the three items. He talked the price of a microwave He talked the price of a microwave from Myer down - I was a bit nervous going in. I thought they were just going to laugh at me, but they were quite happy to negotiate. Catherine also did well, haggling a microwave from Myer - She got a discount from the Shaver Shop - And from Harvey Norman - I just asked them straight out

and it was just quite simple and surprisingly easy. Can you believe it? No, I can't. And interestingly the staff at the Shaver Shop gave Catherine that $9 discount on the toothbrush just moments after telling Toby that they don't discount their prices. I guess there's a bit of luck in there, as well...I hope. Finally, Cath talked her way to some stunning savings. From Big W - And a whopping discount on the toothbrush from the same store

because she was willing to take the display stock which didn't have a box. And from Dick Smith - If you're persistent and nice about it you are generally successful. And from now on our students say they'll think twice before accepting the ticketed price.

I really do think people should give it a go. You know, a dollar saved is a dollar earned. Some good advice there. Now to the search for a young runaway, one who wouldn't be too hard to miss. She is 100 kilograms, black and white and grunts a little. Her name is Charlotte the Pig. She made her escape only moments before she was about to become someone's barbecue. Jackie Quist joined the search.

Strange things are going on in the

tiny Victorian town of Daylesford.

Here the hunt is on for a

three-year-old cow and a black and

white sow called Charlotte. She was

a cute little pig. She is missing

for one very good reason. They are

going to make her and a cow into sausages.

Ball bore sausages are a local

tradition and at the Daylesford

secondry college it was part of a

competition. The problem is some

students became very attached to

ball one one of the main

ingredients. She was a very nice

pig. So intelligent she apparently

ran for her life. Charlotte got out

or someone let her out and since

then, they have hidden her and the

cow from everyone and everyone in

the school has no idea where she is.

So began the campaign to find


This is not Charlotte. It all comes

from the local abattoirs, so you

never know. Have you seen a pig

wandering around? No. Why? There

are a few people at the school who

know where she is and are keeping

it under wraps. In desperation, he

appealed for international

assistance. Help came from the

executive producer of the soon to

be block buster Charlotte's web.

Freeman's mum, jilly. They have

offered to build a beautiful house

for Charlotte and a friend. Is

Everyone who has a pig, wants one

forwefrb. This is not Charlotte,

but star of Charlotte's. One of

their most important interests is

they don't want to be a sausage.

But is it too late for Charlotte?

We finally caught up with the man

who knows the answer. Garry Thomas.

The process has gone ahead, it has

completed, the sausages are being


They will be available for sale at

the Glenn line fair. It makes me so sad. Jackie Quist with that report. After the break, a family who invaded a woman's home finally get their marching orders. And coming up, crazy roundabout laws

and no wonder drivers are confused. The courts are struggling too. We look at one incident, We look at one incident, two court cases, and two very different rulings.

Big garage. got the work car and I've got the all-wheel drive for the weekends. Ohh! Crewman. SONG: # Are you ready? # it's the ultimate ute. Nice!

Oh, you're so busted! Franklins has price busted Nestle 125g to 200g block chocolate varieties: Look for this and other Price Busters! Only at:

Now to an update on a story we brought you a couple of weeks ago about a young mum, Trisha Bevan, who has been at her wit's end trying to remove squatters from her home. To make matters worse

the fours adults, three children and three dogs

have caused thousands of dollars damage. I want you out of my house now, this is my house. But the police said you aren't allowed here. Trisha Bevan's house has been taken over by squatters who have been refusing to leave. This is my house. This is her house. Yeah, but we're in... You're not giving me any money. You don't pay my electricity. We offered, you wouldn't accept. You have not offered me any money! After paying just one week's rent of $200, the original tenant moved out and these squatters moved in making themselves right at home in Trisha's three-bedroom house on six acres. are living in this house? How many people None of your business. Get out! Get the ---- out of our place, mate! adults, three kids and three dogs When we turned up there were four for many more. but mattresses piled up on the floor of the condition of this room? What do you think residence at the moment. I think it looks like a squatter's

are sleeping in her bed, Outraged to see that the squatters

and using her furniture, watching her TV of a house she built from scratch Trisha is visibly shaken by the state seven years ago. Look at this mess, look at my stuff. and rubbish piled high, With her outside shed trashed have become a reality. Trisha's worst fears How do you feel after this? I cannot believe it. I cannot believe these people. I cannot believe the sort of people, the amount of people, the dogs, the rubbish... It doesn't seem like they're going to move. They have no intention of moving. There has been some good news for Trisha. This weekend she and her children will be back in their home after successfully ending the squatter's takeover in court. Police served an eviction notice on the squatters, and commonsense prevailed. They moved out without incident. I will have for you on Monday night Now to one of the stories roundabout lunacy when we will look at one court and not guilty in another. and how a driver was found guilty in

That is no surprise, that roundabouts cause. when you see the chaos and confusion It can be a real circus. rules for roundabouts. The police did not know the road The magistrate didn't know the rules

Either in regards to round abouts.

I had no choice but to take it all

the way in order to get justice done. we will have for you on Monday night. That is one of the stories I hope you have a great weekend. Until then, Please take care, and goodnight.

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