Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
A Current Affair -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. to A Current Affair Hello, and welcome

on this Thursday night. these days, We're all so conscious of terrorism

but where do we draw the line? An 11-year-old schoolgirl about a suicide bomber who wrote a prize-winning essay of glorifying terrorists. now finds herself accused

Also tonight - the policeman in hot water and performing like this in public. fo get ng h pnotised for getting hypnotised

Is it a fair cop? on your mobile phone bills. Plus - how to make huge savings and do - And what Australians really think - and marriage. when it comes to love, sex T is program s aptioned l ve. This program is captioned live.

First tonight - a political debate over terrorism. the schoolgirl who's sparked competition for young writers The 11-year-old won a council-run with her story about the war in Iraq. of supporting suicide bombings - Now she's being accused is also under fire. and the judge who gave her the prize an anti-American statement. He's been accused of trying to make

why it is so controversial. why some people may get offended. I can understand to be offensive. But it was never intended

what it means to be Muslim, "To truly show the world

"It

so scary. Get out, orders the

American. Clutching her, I jump out so scary. Get out, orders the

with?" of the truck. Who are you travelling American. Clutching her, I jump out

She's only 11, but today, branded a terrorist sympathiser. this primary schoolgirl is being It glorifies suicide bombing and acts of terrorism, It glorifies suicide b mbing most of us would find abhorrent. and I think that's something that called 'The Power of War', Saihini Naidoo's short story, graphically tells the plight and her brother in Iraq. of a 12-year-old Muslim girl during the war, After they see their parents killed she becomes a suicide bomber. of a truck They have hopped in the back They have hopped in he back

and they have slept there, actually find them and then the American soldiers and, at the end, and tell them to get out blowing herself up. the young girl ends up in the community I think a lot of people have found this story disturbing, by an 11-year-old. particularly that it's written a local government literary award Siahini Naidoo's story has just won Siahini Naidoo's story has just on

in Melbourne, members of her council. but it's outraged it promotes terrorism. Councillor Paul Donovan believes anti-American. It's definitely, at the leastm, glorifying suicide bombing, It's certainly to an extent and, I don't think, acceptable. which is unfortunate about suicide bombers? Why did you want to write a story At the time that I wrote it,

of the war in Iraq, there was a lot of media coverage and the suffering and it just shows the pain and Iraqi children and families and the devastation of young Afghani who are there during the war. suicide bombers? Does your story glorify of the person or the country. It just shows the devastation would have nothing to live for, and so these suicide bombers in drastic measures. so they would result I don't believe she's glorifying it. she might be highlighting it, If you asked me whether I might say yes. glorifying it. But she's certainly not are proud of their daughter's work. Saihini's parents, Nessan and Suria, The days of 'Alice in Wonderland' and the Seven Dwarves' and 'Snow White

are far gone. to write about reality, in a sense tha my daughter chooses we won't stop that, which we won't stymie,

and that her message to the world, and if that's how she feels, that we'd encourage. then that's something

and that her message to the world, and if that's how she feels, the enemy, the destroyers, "Two American soldiers, to save us. "they say that they are here "But I hate the Americans to my country and its people." "and what they have done chose this story to win I think, if these judges anti-American statement because of the potential then that would be wrong in my view. within the story, the judges of the writing compe ition Councillor Donovan claims the j dge of the writing competition

to make a political statement. chose the story Because of its political overtones, the prize it could have been chosen to win because of its political message. Do you have any evidence of that? No, I don't. it was all to do with the craft It has nothing to do with politics, on the page. and how well she executed it like I said, worms, She could have written about, a potent piece of writing. and it would have been was the judge of the competition, Young fiction author Scot Gardner now wants censored. which councillor Donovan their political views I think young people should express and they should feel free to do so. should be used However, I don't think short stories political point of view. as a means to promote a particular You're 11 years old. about happy things? Why don't you want to write That's a good question. things need to be realistic. Because I believe in reality - pretending that war isn't there No amount of hiding away and is going to make it go away. Because it is indeed a fact. how grateful we should be, And I want people to know and we can't change that. because the war is indeed a fact Ben McCormack there. Sahini is not a Muslim - For the record, she's a follower of the Hindu faith, any difference. not that it should make And I guess it's no surprise or human rights lawyer that she wants to be a journalist when she grows up. for a very different policeman. Alright - cop this has been hypnotised. The dancing constable in this video and the crowd who watched him He's clearly enjoying himself, it was pretty good fun as well. seemed to think and quite a few of his colleagues - But now the young officer - are facing disciplinary action. SHANE ST JAMES: Mr Australia, ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together. It's not every day you see a cop under hypnosis - and this one put on quite a show. One, two, three - you're a typewriter, you are all a typewriter. Look at all these wonderful typewriters we have here. Look at this typewriter here going to town. He was a star, a real star for the day. Shane St James, son of the well-known hypnotist Martin St James, says the young officer was put up for it by one of his senior officers as a joke. His officer came up and asked us - he said he's only been in the force four or five days.

"What's something funny you can ask him to do?" I said "Ask him if he wants to come up, "come up and we'll do something funny with him," and lo and behold, he came up on stage. How would you describe his performance that day? Fantastic, really. His performance - police make the best subjects. When I count to three, I want you to imagine it's Monday afternoon and you are doing whatever you do on Monday afternoon. The show was at Brisbane's Royal National Show, known as the Ekka.

And even if he is a rookie, our young constable certainly wasn't shy. What are you doing there, sir? Coro. Coro, whatever that is. But the highlight was when he danced like Mick Jagger. Oh, look at Mick Jagger go. 'SATISFACTION' BY THE ROLLING STONES PLAYS I thought he was fabulous. I thought it was great police PR. The audience loved it, we loved it and I think the young policeman loved it as well. It was awesome. What did you think of his show?

It was great, he didn't do anything wrong, he was just showing he was a normal person, anyone can do it. While the dancing cop kept the audience laughing, senior police weren't amused and they've ordered an internal investigation into the young constable's performance, a police spokesman saying the service's ethical standards committee will investigate the circumstances of his involvement in the show. Actually, I was really disappointed with the service. They are getting a sledgehamer to crack a nut. Phil Hocken from the police union.

It was just a young constable embracing the carnival atmosphere of the exhibtion.

The idea is to interact with the public, I think he was doing that, and there was no real harm done at all. I think it could have started because someone said he had a gun on stage, but that's not true. I would never allow anyone with a gun on stage, that's not the thing.

The whole thing has been blown way out of proportion - it's just a lot of fun and that's all it should have been in the first place. 'SATISFACTION' PLAYS Watching constable Jagger that day were seven other officers who also enjoyed the show - and who are also now on report and facing the internal inquiry. He was egged on anyway by his fellow... fellow... Mates? Mates, so you know, there was a bit of peer-group pressure. So do you think there's anything wrong with a uniformed officer getting up there? Not in the slightest, no. It was a very tame act. I'm the last person to be critical of anyone having a bit fun. Even Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has sprung to the defence of the dancing cop. If there was no harm done, I don't have a drama with it. How would you describe the fact he may be disciplined. Bloody stupid. Bloody stupid? Bloody stupid. Bloody stupid? Completely stupid, mate. I think he should come up on stage and do it again. He was such a star, a great performer. So you think he should be rewarded?

Yes, I think he should be rewarded. 'SATISFACTION' PLAYS Chris Allen there in Brisbane. A young worker loses his sight in one eye after the boss refused his request for a pair of safety goggles.

He gets a compensation payout of just $30,000. A building worker who suffered crippling back injuries worries that his faimily won't get proper compensation because he is not disabled enough. They're just two of the cases unions have used to try to convince a parliamentary inquiry that workers' compensation laws are no longer fair. Do you feel like the system's let you down? Yeah, I do, I feel very let down by the system and the fact we have had to struggle through when we were doing pretty well for ourselves. I just feel I have been sort of robbed of my dignity. Six months ago, construction worker Dan Reeves was caught in the middle of this. Badly hurt, the 27-year-old is now facing an uncertain future. The future is dark for me at the moment. Um, I ponder about probably every, you know,

10 seconds of the day I think, "What's my future going to hold?" Dan was working on a platform on a building site at Rhodes in Sydney's western suburbs. All of a sudden we heard this loud crack, which was pretty loud, and we just fell. Everything was just unfolded from underneath us. He suffered spinal injuries, including a crushed vertebra, as well psychological trauma from seeing his mate decapitated.

When I had landed, I landed right next to him, within 20cm of his headless body, you could say. Now he's been thrown into the workers' comp whirlpool, and it's been nothing but a nightmare - he receives a third of what he used to earn. I've got to support my family, wife - got a little daughter,

got two step-children to support, feed, care for, pay rent and electricity - just normal, everyday life. Dan will never be able to return to manual work and has assumed the role of house husband - but he can't lift anything heavier than 5kg. How's it make you feel not being able to pick up your daughter and give her a cuddle when you want to? It does get pretty hard and it does make me cry. I mean, it's something... ..you expect to have a good life with your daughter and she's my only child. It's very shattering. Gets emotional. Sorry. Dan's wife Tracy. There is so much he is missing out on

with his first child that it's just not fair. It really isn't fair. T g is, Thing is, I can't get her up on the swing. Or out of it. Breaks my heart sometimes. Workers' compensation legislation, brought in four years ago, means people injured at work can't pursue employers for negligence unless there's total impairment of at least 15% of their body. By that measure, Dan expects to miss out, even if it turns out his employer is found to have been at fault. They can't sue a reckless employer, they've got no re-dress and they simply will live a life of misery under the current system. Andrew Ferguson, from the CFMEU, says prisoners have more right to sue for negligence than workers. I basically don't have any rights now since the legislation's been changed to sue my employer for an injury that was basically his fault. Queenslander Ryan Cullen is half blind after a shard of metal flew into his left eye on a Sydney building site four years ago.

I'd asked for some safety glasses from my boss. But there was only one pair. So he used the safety glasses and, in turn, I got something in my eye that day.

Under the old system, the 24-year-old believes he would have been entitled to a $500,000 payout. Instead, he walked away with a $30,000 lump sum for his injury and a small pension which has since been cut off because he's got a part-time job. Basically when I had the accident, my employer left me for dead. I got evicted from my house, I sold my car, my motorbike, other things like my tools just to survive. The scheme is a very fair scheme. In fact, the NSW scheme is more generous, more extensive in relation to its benefits than any other scheme in Australia. John Blackwell from WorkCover maintains that, under the changed legislation, injured workers are actually better off. What we are trying to do is get the less-injured workers back to work. Really, that's what we should be aiming at. Now over and above the 15%, well, people have the right to go to common law. They can receive benefits from us in the interim while they are going to common law and, you know, I believe that is a fair system. I feel let down

in the way that we just haven't got the same future that we were going to have. It's embarrassing, you could say. it makes me feel a lot less than what I used to be. Simon Bouda with that story. Dan Reeves is waiting for the outcome of both a coroner's inquest and a WorkCover inquiry into the accident that caused his injuries. If you have an issue you'd like us to take up, you can email us ACA at: Or give us a call. Still to come - Australians tell the truth about love, sex and marriage. Our revealing survey has a few surprises. And up next - saving on mobile phones. A report you can't afford to miss. MAN: In Mitre 10's Big Book of Gift Ideas. plus GMC 18-volt cordless drill - $99,

and Homelite petrol blower - $169.

Welcome back. So, you just can't live without your mobile phone. It's a common enough call these days, but all that convenience comes at a cost. You're probably paying more than you need to for mobile services. When I open my bills, I always get a shock, because I never expect to spend that much. I spend roughly about $80-$100 a month at the moment.

I didn't spend that much previously, but it's just crept up over the months. I always open the envelope slowly when the phone bills come,

because it is always a worry and it can be a bit of a shock as well. 27-year-old Bassem Abu Said is in the habit of dialling up debt. It's always a bit of a worry when they are this thick, the bills. $413! I can't believe it. It just kills me every month to see that. Have you ever thought of changing plans, Bassem? I have, but you know, the paperwork, with running around and the time, it is just too much hassle. Now, for people like Bassem, with big mobile bills, help is on the line. We have achieved significant savings for some of our customers - savings of up to $1,000-$1,500 a year are not unusual for people who have actually been on plans for a period of time. Alastair Stott runs Schmik Solutions. He crunches the numbers on more than 60 plans offered by the major carriers across the country and for a $50 fee, claims he can find the best deal for you. We are completely independent and we assess people's actual usage of the phone and, in an unbiased way, come up with a recommended best plan for them based on their usage and their requirements. Interactive Productions for all your voice-over...

Bassem's problem is that he talks too much The professional voice-over man often exceeds his fixed-call limit. Bassem is an interesting one, he is a very heavy user of voice and SMS but he also has enormous variation from month to month in his bills. So after going through his bills,

Schmick suggests Bassem drop his $79 capped plan with Optus. We would recommend he move to a '3' $129 capped plan that would give him an extra $300 a month of free calls. This will cover these peak months when he's currently on the phone a lot. That is fantastic. I have never even heard of something like that happening and if I had known that, I would give them the bill right away. Hello, Olivia speaking.

My mobile is almost the most important thing in my life at the moment. I use it for various reasons, yeah, lots of things. Former 'Starstruck' singer Olivia Cervasio mainly uses her mobile for short calls and texting, spending about $112 a month. We would recommend that Olivia moves to the Vodaphone $49 capped plan that will give her up to $230 of free calls each month and save her up to $750 per year. Oh my goodness, that's fantastic. Wow, where do I sign up? I use my mobile for keeping in touch with friends and family and I ring the bank quite often to do my B-Payments and all those banking things.

Melbourne mum Kylie Newton uses her mobile for just about everything. Kylie is not a heavy user of voice or text messages but interestingly, she does use the 13 numbers a lot on her mobile phone. Kylie's been advised to ring '3' and ask them to include 13 numbers in her plan, saving her $1,000 a year. A $1,000 a year would be great because I could spend that money elsewhere. That would be really incredible if someone could save me that amount of money on my mobile, yeah. I actually want to get into a different plan anyway. I'm not really happy with who I'm with that moment, so it would be definitely something I'd look into. The whole mobile phone plan thing is very difficult, very confusing and often not really what I'm after. If you don't want to pay to get a better deal,

you can always do it yourself. The A stralian Mobile The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association has these tips: Shop around and get onto these guys who go through your bill and hopefully they'll find some savings for you. Elise Mooney with that story. And there's more information on mobile phone savings at our website. Or, as we always say, give us a call. In recent weeks, we've tackled some big subjects

in our "Australia Tells the Truth" series. We've looked at the part that drugs, alcohol, crime and violence play in our lives. Tonight, this national survey takes us into much friendlier territory as we check out Aussie attitudes to love, sex and marriage. "I, Matt, take you, Candy." I, Matt, take you, Candy. SONG: # At last, my love has come along... # When Matty met Candy, he wanted whatever she was having forever. I think we'll be married forever. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE Love tends to make us all a bit hopeful. Our reason for getting married is because I found that person in my life that I wanted to spend the rest of it with.

And yeah, it's as simple as that. I've got to tell you, Matty - marriage is never simple. With the current divorce rate at 43%, every new marriage needs a bit of luck and a lot of hard work. Just ask Harry and Mary Robinson. They've just celebrated 60 years of mostly wedded bliss. Is it natural for people to think, at times, "I've had enough?" Oh, absolutely. I've thought of that many a time. Don't worry. What do you think the secret is for a long marriage, as you've had? I think, if you're fair-dinkum with your love for each other, I think that's the main ingredient for a long-term marriage.

Harry, I thought that you were going to say hat you were go ng to say the secret is that you've just got to give in. Mostly. Mostly. Well, despite the divorce rate, our exclusive survey shows Aussies are an optimistic mob. 96% say that they expect to be married to the same partner for another five years at least.

96% said that. I think that's a wonderful figure. And mostly, I'd rejoice in that figure. Father Peter Quinn is part watchdog, part guardian angel, to engaged and to married couples. I've married about - over 1,700 couples since 1964. And I've lost about, um, 60 couples. So my divorce rate at the moment is running at about 3%. And I take all the credit for that, of course. This septuagenarian checks them out, marries them, and then takes them out to dinner. At this dinner table, no topic is taboo.

There's Jonathan and Melanie along with Scott and Connor. They're both engaged. Paul and Margaret have been married for 17 years. Tell us about your conflict. We've fought an awful lot. What do Paul and Margaret want more of in their marriage?

I'd like a bit more our time - just the two of us. Well, guess what - you're not alone. 28% of married couples listed time together, away from the kids and from work, as the number one thing that they needed. They should make it almost a rule that they go out at least once a fortnight together. 9% of couples want better communication. OK, what about sex? Surprisingly, only 7% say that they want more or better sex - 7%. When you break that figure down,

11% of men want more, compared to only 3% of women.

If a woman starts to cuddle them and kiss them, a man has a green light. "Here we go." With a woman, they just want to be cuddled and held. So it doesn't surprise me, that.

And somewhat related to sex, we also asked who had thought of having an affair. Nationally, 19% said yes - 19%. Sydneyites, it seems, are the most likely,

with one in four saying that they've considered infidelity. Brisbane and Adelaide are, it seems, on this survey, the most conservative. Yes, I've had an affair. Acting on a sudden urge is something else. Ask Paul and Margaret. Their marriage has somehow survived Paul's major slip-up. I knew it was the wrong thing to do but I did it any how. It was one of those stupid things you do, but there was a reason for it and we're probably stronger now - I'm more committed now than I was before. The survey suggests that men think about an affair more often. One in four men admitted that they have considered it. Women seem much less interested, at 13%. Some suggest an affair has more to do with the opportunity. Women are usually far too busy to have time to think about having an affair. Former 'Gardening Australia' host Mary Moody was 50, with grown-up kids, and a husband of 30 years.

Mary decided she needed some time out. She headed for the south of France, where she found her own passion flower. I think that, if I'd been at home

and going home every night to my husband to cook his dinner, it would have been much more difficult. Mary says her marriage has survived, but not without its scars.

It's not something you can just wipe the slate clean and it's going to disappear. So I can't really say confidently that marriages can survive. I know that, statistically, generally they don't. Ours seems to have, which is fantastic. But, you know, who knows? After the break - what you need to know before paying your next insurance premium.

Insurance is a risky business - there are traps you need to recognise when buying or renewing a policy. Our money expert explains how easy it is to save hundreds of dollars, whether it be insurance for your car, or home and contents.

What I'm about to say to you hat I' about to say to you could What I'm about to say to you could

rock your budget. How many r c your budget. How many of rock your budget. How many of Wha I'm about to say to you could roc yo r b dg t. How many of you

rock your budget. How many of you roc you b dget. How many of you do this - the insurance oc you b dget Ho many of you do this the in u ance roc you budget. How many of you rock your budget. How many of you do this - the insurance policy

do this - the insurance policy dN t is the insurance policy comes in the ma l comes in the mail, you do this - the insurance policy comes in t e mail, you comes in the ma l, you read do this - the insurance policy comes in the mail, you read c mes in the ma l, you read t do this - the insur nce policy comes in the ma l, you read t and comes i the mail you read t and

comes in the mail, you read it, and comes in the mail, you re d it, and comes in the mail, you read it, and then you just pay the you ust pay it. comes in the mail, you read it, and then you just pay it. You could

save $500. You can save a total of

almost $200. It's very important to

save money wherever we can. That consumer report tomorrow along with our special feature - Vic Darchinyan is a 51kg superman. He's got two boxing world titles, but th real story but the real story is his two great loves - the first for his stunning fiancee who makes faces beautiful while he messes them up. Vic's other love as a migrant is for Australia,

and he has a blunt message for anyone - no matter what their race or religion - who runs this country down. That's tomorrow night. See you then. Goodnight. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre. www.auscap.com.au