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. Hello again. on this Friday night. Welcome to A Current Affair rolling down the highway, It's a deadly mix, huge trucks to meet deadlines. drivers drugged and pushing too hard No wonder so many lives are lost.

I had a house I had a house and I had family I had a ouse and I had I had a house and I I h d a hous? and I h d a house and

I had a house and I had family here. I had a ouse a d I had family here.

We had the whole thing. Now we've

got nothing. a super fit Aussie - Also tonight, what turned this - in just a matter of weeks? into a physical wreck He believes we're all vulnerable. to a good night's sleep. And the secret how to find the right pillow. Scientific tests show you They're the juggernauts of the road. has an accident with a car, And when a heavy truck who'll come off second best. it's not hard to work out accidents Now there are always going to be that could have been prevented, but what we keep seeing are deaths

should have been prevented. Do you think about her much?

Oh, about every hour, every day. goes beyond that, So there's not very much it's just the way it is. that's the way it is, you know, The way it is for Dennis Beddall, that never seems to end. caught in a nightmare What's this done to your life? and Sally's life. Just ceased my life, my life

Zach got a life sentence, I mean, Sally got a life sentence, I have got to carry on, I just feel that move on from this out of all this. and try and make some sense and her 18-year-old son Zach died Sally Sullivan two years ago tomorrow. in this shocking road crash survived Sally's partner, Dennis Beddall, but spent almost a year in hospital. you got out of that alive? Are you surprised Absolutely, so is everybody else. Why? The police said it's a miracle. Zach was driving the family car, of temporary traffic lights. which was waiting at a set and Sally's joint birthday. They'd been celebrating Dennis just hours before. This photo was taken and there was a family here I had a house it just stopped that day, bang. and now we got nothing, you know, Sally and Zach were dead He didn't even know 2.5 months later. until he came out of a coma

everything. The funeral was all over, taken out of your life, bang, gone. It's just as if a person had been for the accident - And this is the man responsible truckie Randall John Harm. of the horrific impact Just to give you an idea on that fateful night, Sally and Zach were waiting where I'm standing is where Dennis, for the red lights to change. This is where they ended up - shunted more than 50 metres fully laden semitrailer. under the front of Randall Harm's or methamphetamine, in his system. Police found that Harm had speed, to dangerous driving, He pleaded guilty causing death and last Friday,

for a minimum three years. he was jailed Do you think three years is enough? it wouldn't matter, Look, if he would have got 40 years it would have been too little. he's ruined his own life, Look at the lives he's ruined, he's ruined that family, he's ruined his wife, his children, a life sentence. he's given Sally and Zach

slammed the trucking industry, District Court Judge Geoff Graham adding, drivers were, claiming it was out of control, "the poor bunnies."

These drivers are just pawns. the blame is with the owner. It's all money-oriented and I think to supply to a particular person, If he had not have had the truck in the wheel basically, and the driver is just another cog

and that's the way he was treated. Ron Holmes owned the truck. there's not much... Once a truck leaves here, that's what you've hired 'em for, The driver's in charge of it, 24 hours a day with 'em, you can't be in the truck yourself. or you might as well be drivin' it weren't applied before impact, While it appears the truck's brakes working effectively anyway. police tests showed they weren't were the truck's brakes in What condition when you last saw it? it had just been relined. When I last saw it, It had been relined a week prior they were all new brakes on it. and um, yeah, Mr Holmes denied claims by Harm up to 8,000km a week. that he was forced to drive

No, no way. No way.

of the drivers, present and past. And you can ask the rest four legs a week, maximum. No, all our trucks do

between Sydney and Brisbane a week. That's four one-way journeys pressure on your drivers Do you think you put too much to meet deadlines? No. That's one thing I don't do. That's one thing I don't do. to Dennis Beddall. Mr Holmes says his heart goes out for 'em, I can imagine what it's like both me and my wife do. I really feel for 'em, I do feel sorry for the truckies. for the truckies. Yeah, I do feel sorry to just do their job They should be able other people themselves. and without having to endanger on the NSW North Coast, Living on the Pacific Highway, on speeding trucks. John May has been waging war 20% of the road toll is involved every year - with the heavy transport industry people don't realise that. Holding a Bachelor of Science, to catch out rogue drivers. Mr May devised a way trucks pass his home every day. He estimates a staggering 12,000 to their operators. Mr May reports speeding truckies on deaf ears. Sometimes though, his alerts fall that said to me, When I've rung up a bloke,

to be out there on the highway "You must be a fair sort of a wanker

measuring the speed of trucks." "at 3 o'clock in the morning And the same bloke has said to me, "Once they're out of the depot gate what they do." "I don't give a (Bleep) on the highways? So just who is the villain

set by corporations. Truckies blame unreasonable deadlines blame cowboy truckies Trucking companies

to meet those deadlines. who'll do just about anything In the end, it's other road users that pay the price. Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night and you expect her to be there until you realise that's not the case. It's very difficult to, it's a very difficult situation to be in, it really is. Simon Bouda with that tragic story. There may be an issue you'd like us to take up. It can be about road safety or anything else. If you think we ought to know about it, drop us an email or give us a call. In Queensland, families affected by the so-called Dr Death scandal at Bundaberg Hospital are in dismay. First they had to grieve for loved ones who died because of medical negligence. Now the inquiry that was supposed to deliver them some answers has fallen apart. What I want people to understand is that I went into this

with only one objective, and that was to get at the truth. But now that mission of Tony Morris QC and his inquiry into the state of the Queensland health system has been terminated.

Everyone is angry, everyone is disappointed. There were very disappointed because they were very hopeful, with the way things were going, that there was going to be good for the whole of Queensland Health, not just for Bundaberg Hospital. The inquiry has been shut down by a Supreme Court ruling that Tony Morris had gone too far with his questioning, was biased and sarcastic. wasn't registered as a surgeon, TONY MORRIS: You knew that Dr Patel didn't you? No, I didn't. No-one told you that? As far as I was aware, he was registered as a surgeon. And you just didn't bother to find out? The Morris rapier was especially directed at two senior Queensland Health bureaucrats, Peter Leck and Dr Darren Keating,

who presided over the Bundaberg Hospital horror. And did you tell him that you were going to offer Dr Patel another four years employment? That offer was made with a view to... Did you tell him that you were going to offer Dr Patel

another four years of employment? A very simple question. Sorry, Commissioner... The Morris inquiry came to life because this man, Dr Jayant Patel, was accused of appalling patient care at the Bundaberg Base Hospital, accused of murdering patients. and I wish the pain would go away. I wish the nightmares would go away It is just never ending

every day of your jolly life. and you are reminded of this butcher You get treated like rubbish. unnecessary amputations Endless medical complications, and perhaps a dozen deaths.

Through 50 days of evidence, h alt syste was revealed the appalling state of the Queensland health system was revealed -

the lies, the cover-ups. nurse who finally blew the whistle Toni Hoffman was the intensive care

within the system after two years of lodging complaints and watching them come to nothing. People trusted Mr Morris, that so many people spoke out. and that's the reason how many people spoke out, It's unprecedented employees. even amongst Queensland Health

They actually trusted him. his job, we heard all the evidence, We thought he was very, very good at that he did, we knew why he asked the questions of the issues. he needed to get to the core to district manager Peter Leck Like Morris's response

for the hospital's problems. blaming the Bundaberg rail crash or helping out these patients? Were you down wrapping the wounds No, there was... No, I didn't think so. that patients might be dying It doesn't worry you might be losing their legs - or that 15-year-old boys it's not your role

some truth in these allegations. to see whether there might be person that needed the answers He was that fiercely independent and we felt he did a wonderful job. and Lisa Hooper Beryl Crosby, Dorris Hillier of this mess. are just three of the victims by phone They listened in horror and disbelief announced today as Queensland Premier Peter Beattie that the inquiry was no more. the Government wanted. This was the last thing to the evidence yesterday The finding in relation of bias and contamination

to go down some courses. makes it very difficult for us it should have went right through, It's a coward's act - right through to the end. The only suggestion of contamination L ck and Keati g is the issues relating to Leck and Keating.

with Queensland Health The big picture here is what's wrong isn't contaminated at all. and the evidence about those issues who won their claim of bias So what of the two bureaucrats truth commission? and shut down Queensland Health's This wasn't about them little they actually think about and I think this goes to show how that they worked with. the patients and the staff

They were the captains of the ship junior people go in there and they've let some of the most by lots of different QCs and be pummelled and let their story be told. and yet they haven't come forward

out of the system Morris was getting all the poison was a better health system, and what we needed but you had to get it all out, it becomes reinfected again, because if you leave part in there, happen to Queensland Health. and that's exactly what's going to David Margan there in Queensland. Crystal Wallace and her family. It's been quite a week for young from people all over Australia A week of incredible generosity determination who want to support Crystal's to keep her family together. Since the sudden death of their mum, quite a load. this 18-year-old has been carrying that the appeal for the family Tonight the Bendigo Bank tell us

has now reached $341,000. needed to set up these youngsters A fantastic effort but more will be in a home of their own. any branch of the Bendigo Bank Donations can be made through heart of what's now being described Coming up - we take you into the worst-ever natural disaster. as America's And we meet the Aussie everything around him. who's now allergic to just about

car insurance renewal in the mail? Did you get your MAN: A what? A renewal! A mule?! A RENEWAL! You should look into your renewal. Look into my mule?! The ad says AAMI can save you money. Save me money? DOOR OPENS

Welcome back. out of America's Gulf states We watch the news pictures and we shake our heads. and most powerful country It may be the richest in the world, coping with the aftermath but they're having a terrible time of Hurricane Katrina. from Nine News, Let's check with Robert Penfold in New Orleans. who's in the thick of it all

I don't want to die like this. We

want help! We want help!

Please get us out of here. Robert, want help! We want help!

we're seeing so much suffering four

days on. What's happening where you

are? Nch what we're seeing is the

start, really, of the flood of are? Nch what we're seeing is the are? Nc what we're seeing is the

refugees that will be coming out of

New Orleans, I think for days or

even a week to come. These people

have been brought over by boat or

by helicopter. They're taking out

thousands of others by buses as

well. These people here have done

it tough. They've been living on

the streets. Is there any sense of

embarrassment that countries like

Australia are offering aid to the

US, to the richest country in the

world? America is embarrassed I

think. People are asking big

questions here as to why this

happened. There was talk of New

Orleans was always threatened and

there should have been a plan in

place. But when it happened,

nothing happened. And here we have

maybe 1 0, 00 or maybe 100, 0 or maybe 100,000

maybe 100,000 or more people still

in the city, still trying to get

out four days on, anarchy breaking

out, people getting hot and a lot

of people asking questions as to,

"This might happen in a Third World

country, but we don't believe this

is America." It has brought out the

best and worst in people. Free the

man trapped and pull him to safety. man trapped and p l him to man trapped and pull him to

Then the looting and the violence?

People have broken into stores and

stolen things - sometimes just

water and food because they needed

it. People broke into gun stores as

well. There have been some

shootings. I heard a story about

one policeman was shot as he was

trying to get people on to the

helicopter because the man who had

the gun wasn't allowed to bring his

dog on board. What does the city

look like? Picture yourself 8 to 10

kilometres out in the suburbs of a

major city where the high rises are

off in the distance. And we peered

out there and we looked right

across the city. Three kilometres

to the left, 30 kilometres to the

right, wherever you look, the whole

lot was covered by flood waters.

They're saying it's not ailgty% of

New Orleans covered by understood

waters, it's probably 90 -- 80% of

New Orleans covered by flood waters,

it's 90%. It's hard to believe

people are now saying it may never

be rebuilt? I'm sure in one form or

another we'll see New Orleans

resurrected. I can't believe they

can rebuild so many houses or so

many people after this, who would

want to come back? We'll let you go. Thanks, Robert. You can't believe it - it just seems to get worse by the hour. For this next bloke, life's also been getting progressively worse.

And it's all happened so quickly - he's now become a virtual recluse because of a severe allergic reaction to chemicals. Every night I'd suffer all night. Every day I'd think it couldn't get worse and every night it would be a whole new level of suffering,

every night. and I just wanted to die every n ght. At 31, Nicholas Pergonis is supposed to be in the prime of his life. He was healthy, super fit, had a high-paying job, he was on top of the world. Literally overnight I lost everything. I lost my home, I couldn't go back to my house, I lost all of my possessions. This is not a story of financial ruin, this is a story about the dangers of pesticides. My dad sprayed through the house. He was sold a product as a cockroach spray. And I got home, I could smell something in the house, I thought that Dad had painted something and once I found out what had happened, I just didn't want the stuff in my room. That afternoon, Nicholas started getting bad headaches and nausea.

Doctors told him to drink lots of water and it would pass. And then every day there would be something new I'd start reacting to, until it got to the point where I was so sick I just couldn't get out of bed. Weeks passed and Nicholas was still bed-ridden, some mates even thought he was faking. That's been a real frustrating thing, that there's no understanding. "This guy is just after a bit of attention"? Yeah, yeah, or just, "It's all in your head." And most of the medical profession is like that too - "If we don't know about it, obviously it's not a problem." We've just been through hell together, just to find him somewhere to sleep. I wouldn't go to a hotel, couldn't take him to a hotel, couldn't take him anywhere. I've got a sick brother that's up near Ballina airport and he needs transport to Leongatha airport.

It was his sister Nikki who got on the phone for hours, which turned into days, which turned into weeks, searching for answers. Finally, a specialist diagnosed Nicholas as having Multiple Chemical Sensitivities condition.

They become super-sensitive to smells, and so public places, theatres, churches, places around that we can go to normally, these people can't go to without getting sick. Dr Mark Donohue says a recent American study showed 1 in 60 people who can't work because of poor health have this condition. So you're saying there's no cure? There's no cure because we don't understand the reason why it happens, we haven't developed any drug or approach which is effective in keeping people better. Most of the studies show the drugs we use as doctors tend to make these people sicker rather than better.

For us to come here today,

when we showered, Nicholas asked us not to use any soap no deodorant, no after shave no shampoo, no shaving cream, and no hair products. from Nicholas We even have to keep a safe distance detergents - because our clothes contain take for granted all these things that you and I for Nicholas. can trigger a violent reaction you get headaches, Just your head will start throbbing, over your head it's like a blanket's been thrown at the same time, but your head is buzzing constantly. it's like you are breathing fumes exposures to two primary groups, We're talking about excessive is herbicides and insecticides, the pesticides generally, which cockroach sprays that go wrong. and yeah, That has been a common problem. and solvents, The other group are paints

without a mask, the renovators who paint their house they paint with toxic chemicals that professionals would demand. with none of the safety to be safe. So people believe chemicals from the shop up the road Why? Because they buy them or you get 'em from the supermarket. to wash again, Dad, Maybe put those clothes on put 'em on to soak. at an organic farm For now, Nicholas is staying until he can find a permanent place free of pesticides. where he can live a life simply, there is no cure. Dr Donohue says, What's it like to hear that? to accept any of it, Well, at first I didn't want from the medical profession, anything I heard there's no cure, I didn't want to accept that there's even a problem. this is happening. I didn't want to accept All I can do is stay positive that can happen. and pray for that miracle healing I mean, it can happen. all the time I mean, things like that happen and that's what I'm counting on. sense of the whys and how comes, By his son's side, trying to make in a lot of pain. is father Harry, a man of few words and affect Nicholas? Why it not affect me

and not Nicholas. I wish it affect me will listen to this I'm just hoping that people before they spray their homes. and maybe stop and think of achieving the same result I mean, there are other ways that aren't going to make you sick. David Eccleston there. And it's worth noting - the dangers of pesticides NSW has today recognised

what you're doing. when you don't know has now set up a toll-free hotline The Department of Environment where you can get proper advice. Up next - a good night's sleep. pillow talk that could mean when it happens? SONG: # How will you feel # How will you feel if it's you comes rolling in # When the big red ball # To make your dreams come true? Lotto parties... # # You'll be throwing # YouGll be throwing

# You'll be having Lotto fun (Hoots and clucks) if you win the big one # You'll have lots of Lotto money that makes dreams come true... # # 'Cause it's the big red ball # The big red ball (Both laugh)

# That makes dreams come true # The big red ball # That makes dreams come true. #

between you and a good night's sleep. The humble pillow is all that lies can be a pain in the neck. But finding the right one There's so many different brands, shapes and sizes, they come in so many different in prices. not to mention the variation

Where do you start looking? for you, Well, we've done the homework to the test. putting the most popular pillows the importance of their pillow. Many people underestimate can be really confusing Buying a pillow

types on the market. because there are so many different in bed, We spend a third of our lives to what pillow we sleep on. yet few of us give a second thought or too soft It might be that it is too hard or too low. or maybe that it's too high Physiotherapist Dr Sue Gordon study - surveying 812 people. conducted Australia's first pillow once in a usual week with neck pain, 46% of them were waking at least between their shoulder blades - neck stiffness, a headache or aching from your neck via your pillow. all symptoms that can come of pillows to the test We put five different types to find the right one for you. First up, the Chiroflow. o reduce n ck pai , This pillow is clinically proven to reduce neck pain,

reduce morning headaches a better quality of sleep. and give you At $110, it doesn't come cheap. says it's well worth it. But chiropractor Dr Brian Sherwood any different? What makes this pillow OK, it's got the fibre on the top we have the bladder. but underneath here as much as you like, All you need to do is fill it up just tighten it up, of our dreams. then you have the pillow of your dreams.

is the general manager at Tontine. Pauline Whitehead $40 microfibre option She promises that the simple $100 Memory Flow or the out of this world will both give you sweet dreams. Now that looks interesting. It sure does, it's pretty hi-tech. for astronauts This was developed by scientists to protect them from the G force the Earth's atmosphere, when entering to your bedroom. so it's gone from a spaceship sleep store Pillow Science. Jeremy Goldin is from specialist He backs the $100 latex pillow down ones. and the pop lar, but mor expensive, and the popular, but more expensive,

This is a latex pillow. generally do not lose their shape. Most importantly, these pillows their shape for 10-20 years. They probably will retain Down pillows cost around $150

for tummy or back sleepers, and they are fantastic

though they do have a bit of loft. they generally tend to be very soft,

Look at all these! spending three nights on each. We gave two couples five pillows, they'll try anything Simon and Adriana McDonald say for a good night's sleep. literally with a headache, I get up every morning pains in the back of my neck and hopefully one of these will work good so I don't have to wake up with Panadols next to me in the morning.

Yee-ha. Goodnight. Goodnight, honey. So which pillow's that one? One designed by NASA. Angelo and Janice Butera desperately need their shut-eye. Being 6.5 months pregnant, it is vital for me at the moment. And being a carpenter, a good night's sleep is important.

15 days on, we revisited the families. It has been interesting. We have learnt a lot about what we like and what we don't like. The McDonalds are very clear about what they like. It's still here, that's what we're using, we both have our latex pillows now, and we are... ..very happy. Adriana rating the latex pillow an impressive 9.5. Her husband, Simon, gave it a perfect 10. It has fixed my problem with my Panadols every morning,

get out of bed with no problems, and that is fantastic. So you have fixed your neck problems? I have fixed my neck problems in three days. But he didn't rate the Memory Flow pillow, tossing it away midway through a sleepless night. The nightmare pillow? That would be this one. As you can tell, it literally compresses to nothing. But for Angelo Butera, the Memory Flow pillow was a dream. I think Angelo will probably sleep on the Memory Flow pillow because it supported his neck. Unlike the McDonalds, Angelo reported getting a sore neck from the latex pillow, giving it only 2 while his wife Janice wasn't overly impressed with any of the samples. Mum to be is going back to originality, back to my old pillow. Elise Mooney with a different kind of pillow talk.

And you'll find more on those tests at our website:

OK, we all know it's getting more expensive to live in our big cities. But don't believe everything you hear about you - or your kids - never being able to afford a decent home. We've done the homework in every State and come up with incredible real estate deals that will knock your socks off.

You'll be surprised at what your dollar can still buy.

A bargain. We've got a bargain you

can't pass up. 4-bedroom home.

Lock-up garage, cafes down the road.

This is fantastic. The owners have

gone overseas. What more could you ask for? Just one of the stories we have for you next week. Have a great weekend. Goodnight.

Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre. www.auscap.com.au