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(generated from captions) before our very eyes, Houses set alight has also just lost his home. and this man Australia's no-go zones, Tonight we take you inside rule the streets. where kids as young as seven The kids are doing it. fall back on the parents? Why don't they make all the damage Make them pay for it. to flee their own homes. Residents are now being forced We will take you there shortly. Also tonight, has Australia become a nation about those in need anymore? where no-one cares The elderly, women in distress - will anyone step in to help? It is a real eye-opener. Plus, the Aussie families to cope with crippling petrol prices. who are selling up motherhood skills in our schools. Plus, the calls to teach special - And our Dancing with the Stars of a ballroom blitz. how Australia is in the grip

First tonight, by gangs of young children, the community under siege some only seven years old. A car is stolen every day get bored with that, and when the kids they simply burn down homes. in security patrols, Despite an increase except move out. there is little locals can do most terrifying suburbs, It is one of Australia's threat of violence and crime. where its residents live in constant Children rule the streets. Two nights ago

burned to the ground. Bill Smith's home was torched - They smashed the window, through the window. and threw a lighting fluid tin through the window.

And it lighted all up. And he took off. And goodbye house. has left $60,000 worth of damage This blaze to Bill's property and possessions. All three of his cats perished. This is the Gordon Estate - on Dubbo's western side. an area of 20 small streets all out of control. Fires, theft, drugs -

Burn the cars outd, burn around

here at 2 o'clock in the morning

and pinch cars. They even loathe

fires in the main street on the

road. We are all scared because we

are going to walk out and the house

is nout going to be there when you

come back. Who is next on the list? No-one knows. Bill has had enough. After four years on the estate, is too high a price to pay. The spiralling crime, he believes, Housing Commission estate for good. He is leaving this largely

I'm moving out. I'm moving out now,

out of this area to. You've had

enough? I've had enough and now

there is few aher people that are

going to follow. It is a housing

esstate ghetto. from the local community centre Terry Doolan is appalled by these young thugs. as young as 6 or 7 He has even seen children out roaming the streets at night. are getting into heavy-duty drugs. You're dealing with teenagers who You can buy any drug.

You want over there, when they use

thep, those substances keep them

away for three days, they combine

with alcohol and steeling cars,

they are pretty lethal combination.

It is a death trap, you're not safe in your own home. has been robbed and threatened In just two years, Kye Smith by the kids controlling the streets.

They're going to set somebody's

house alight and they are going to

be dead because little 9 and 10

year old kids that are doing the damage. with burned-out wrecks, The estate is littered boarded-up and burned-out homes. each night here, At least one car is stolen in the last 10 years. and about 30 homes have been torched

is still a long way off. and any solution

Crime is rife but aclusion is a

long way off. People are frightened.

Everyone knows about it. No-one

does anything? No-one does nothing.

Parents have got no control over

the kids. They go out and do what they want. Following these latest crisis talks, are again calling on the community local police against this crime wave, to work together one that is estimated well into the millions. to have already cost taxpayers

Confront these young people,

committing crime. basically, while they are

For the past six months, the Aboriginal Employment Service Peter Gibbs from has been organising street patrols. monitor the streets from 10pm to 6am. Trained security guards

In West Dubbo, we have a serious

drug issue. This program, at least,

gives us as aboriginal people a

chance to take responsibility for

our actions. Some of my guards live

in the Gordon estate. These people

take the issues to the young people

and their families. We need pair

toopbts take responsibility for the

children. We can't back away from

that. It is going to take someone

to get burned out, killed inside,

to take effect before they will do

anything. What happened here, I

wasn't inside the house. Lucky. Has

this been put in the too hard

basket? It has been put in,

everybody is tried to do something

and when you do, it's a joke because nobody does nothing. from Dubbo. Nicolas Boot reporting there the performance of Australian mothers A three-year study into are simply not equipped has found too many young mums to adequately raise their children. with the skills special motherhood classes introduced That has led to a call to have and universities, in Australian schools as Gavin Alder reports.

Mothers need support. The bottom

line is they need support. That

support can come in many forms. It

might be out there but university

researcher and grandmother Marie

Porter suggests it is time

mothering is taught. Why is hitting

the ball in tennis more important

than the different styles of

mothering in the world Can you

teach people to mother? I don't

know if it is something that can be

taught. It is something innate and

you pick up from your mothers and

friends. I think something in the

schools would be good. I don't know

about a full course, but you could

relate it. For the past three years

amuree has been studying how

mothering today is different to the

19 50s and 60s. Use ice, make life

in summer worth living. I think

mothering is even more devalued now

than it was back then. Vivienne who

brought up 12 children in the era

agrees women have too much on their

plate. They are expected to pursue

a job or a career. For me, my

career has been my children. Which

generation of mother had it

tougher? Vivienne agrees women

don't feel complete if they are not

bringing in an income. There is

more expectations on mothers today.

Aren't you saving for a home? Is

the questions. Aren't you doing

this? Haven't you got, you know, a

job to be supporting your husband?

To get you home. The concensus from

these women, today's mother is

under more strain. 22-year-old

Melissa has 18 Lila to look after

put feels the pressure to work. A

lot of people ask me if I'm going

back to work. It is materialistic,

people are comparing to what they

have, but to me the more important

thing is to be with my daughter. It

is harder for the women, I think

and they are just appalled in -

pulled in so many different

directions. You are supposed to be

the great mother and the great

worker and the great, you know,

everything! Everything is so rushed.

Muree says that is why some courses

in motherhood are desperately

meaded and to better value the role

of the mother. Why do we under

value motherhood? I have no idea.

It is like it is invisible. I don't

think we should talk about

mothering, I think we should talk

about mother work, because mothers work. Gavin Alder reporting. Now, another day, another petrol price hike. Just have a look at these petrol prices from around the country to see how much we are being hit for today. Those crippling prices have even sparked a new crime. Michelle Cole had her car's petrol tank syphoned by thieves as it sat outside her home.

I jumped into the car Saturday

morning, turned on the ignition,

empty, completely empty . So I

checked the petrol cap to see they

jimmied it open. Got marks on it,

siphoned all the gas out of the Tonie Carroll. With petrol prices increasing at the rate they are now, is it any wonder Australians are now seriously starting to look at

what can be done to reduce the costs? Chris Simond reports. Due to increasing fuel prices, I need to tighten the belt. REPORTER: Downsize? Downsize to a smaller car. This car uses a half to a third of the petrol of the cars I used to have. What's your saving been over the last five years? Initially it was around $2,000 a year and as the prices increased we got up to $5,000. With petrol prices on a mission to the moon the cost of keeping most vehicles on the road is now hitting your wallet at around $200 to $300 a week, more than a quarter of the average weekly wage. But before you abandon your wheels for public transport, you may want to consider some alternatives.

Here's a beautiful Honda sports for sale with many luxuries. Stewart Levy has decided to put his Honda CRV on the market after calculating his weekly fuel costs. Close to $100 a week.

And with petrol prices tipped to reach $1.60 in coming months, Stewart's decided

he's on the look-out for something more economical. I'm looking at a smaller car, about a 1.5 litre vehicle. If, like Stewart, you're thinking of downsizing to a smaller-engined vehicle that's not quite so thirsty, the NRMA's recent survey on the weekly running costs of 450 vehicles showed Holden's four-cylinder Astra as the best small car value at $128 a week. That covers interest on your finance, registration, insurance, depreciation and the cost of petrol. Want something even cheaper, and there's the Hyundai Getz costing only $107 a week. But before you buy small, you may want to think through the alternatives. One of them already has 500,000 customers in Australia. So how long does it take to do a full conversion, Wayne? Probably an average conversion is two day's work. Wayne Broady is a specialist in converting vehicles to liquid petroleum gas, LPG. With petrol prices in some cities today passing the $1.30 mark and LPG around 50c a litre, his phone has been ringing off the hook.

I'd be doing 15 to 20 quotes a day.

At what point does it become practical to convert? How many thousands of kilometres do you have to do before its viable? I think 20,000km a year starts making it worthwhile. This is a V8 and we normally get around 370km per $27. With some petrol tanks costing $100 to fill, Simone Ruddatz's 2000 Holden Calais tops up with LPG for a little more than a quarter of that. She's calculated the savings she's made after travelling 150,000km. It's been about 20,000.

$20,000 savings in five years? That's correct. The big question, Wayne, of course, is

how much will it cost to convert to LPG? Probably the average cost for a 5-to-10-year-old vehicle is probably going to be around $2,500. And up to $4,000 for a new vehicle. Some showroom models are already factory-fitted, fully converted

for dual petrol and LPG.

And some, like Malcolm Steele's Toyota Prius, prove it's not just gas that's the cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative.

It's a hybrid car. It's partly petrol, partly electric. While it costs him $38,000 fully tricked, it's already saving him up to a half of the fuel bill of his previous car,

a two-litre Subaru. So what's its secret? It works by the computer switching off the petrol engine when it doesn't need it and using the electric engine for other times. So when you're sitting So when you're sitting at traffic lights, it switches off the petrol engine, saving on petrol, and when you're running downhill it uses car speed to recharge the batteries. When you're going along the flat, you don't need much power. So it runs on battery power. I'm spending about $20 a week to drive 400km a week, whereas friends of mine with a Commodore would be spending $60 to $70 a week. It's got the towbar, nudgebar, While you're weighing up whether you want to make Stewart an offer for his Honda, of course, there are other alternatives even cheaper still. They may not be family-friendly are guaranteed to be the lowest. but their running costs are guaranteed to be the lowest.

We have just heard that there are some petrol stations that are now selling petrol at 149.9c.

Shocking, huh? Still to come, the return of Dancing with the Stars and how it has developed into an Australia-wide ballroom craze. After the break, have we become a nation that no longer cares? Wait until you see the results of our stunning social experiment. Oh yes, it's dreadfully concerning. I thought of my mum. I mean, she's in her 70s, and I thought, "Well, gee, if she's stuck out here, she'd be like a shag on a rock, "Nobody would stop." There's a great new fresh-baked taste on Hungry Jack's regular menu - You'll love them. Yum!

Now to our ultimate social experiment to determine just how much Australians care about each other.

We wanted to know if the days of helping the elderly, or, indeed, anyone in need of assistance, are all but gone. Rodney Lohse went to find out. The skeleton of the 70-year-old woman was found... Does anybody care these days? Police believe she collapsed Police believe she collapsed and died almost three years ago. Nearly two weeks passed before his body was found, in this tiny Geelong flat, the TV still blaring. Perhaps not. These are the sorry stories that sadly happen all too often in the fast-paced world we live in. For 30 years, this was home to an old sailor called Clem Williams. For the last two, it was his tomb. Take Clem Williams, for example, the elderly pensioner lay entombed in the old shop he called home for almost two years before his body was found. Perhaps the most tragic example is that of a 25-year-old Canberra University student, Steffie to those who knew her. She lay dead in her flat for seven months before anyone noticed. And this story has led to calls for change in this fast-changing, apparently non-caring world. A get-to-know-your-neighbour day to encourage people to start caring again. I think it'd be good, yeah. I think everybody needs a helping hand here and there. Never before have Australians been so transient.

These days, on the average, we're moving house once every five years. And you only have to look at our most famous neighbourhood to know that's true - Ramsey Street, Erinsborough. The people that live in Ramsey Street are always coming and going. But the big difference between them and real neighbours is we seem to be struggling to get to know each other. I think it's very hard to say whether we've gotten more caring or less caring because people didn't go around doing surveys in the 1950s. Social scientist Helen Marshall says it's not surprising many of us don't know our neighbours, because modern transportation means we can easily travel to see people we have more in common with and some people just don't like to get involved. As we've seen, No-one raised an eyebrow last year when we sent actors dressed as thugs to smash up a house in the suburbs. But that was an abandoned house. What if a person was in need,

like our actor Sharon this week, whose car broke down. I thought of my mum - she's in her 70s - and I thought if she's stuck out here like a shag on a rock, nobody would stop.

Eventually a passing tradesman does offer his assistance, just one in a sea of 1,000 that drove on by. What about on a windy day, and a pedestrian drops some papers. Oh, thank you. Some help but some don't. It could happen to anyone. Or what about about poor old Bill? He's in his 70s, a little lost and struggling to carry his suitcase.

Time and time again young fit and able Aussie's pass him by. Until finally someone at least offers to help. I'm struggling alright, but look, it was good of you to offer. But I think I'll get down there okay. REPORTER: Did anyone disappoint you, Bill? I have to say yes. So do we need a national get-to-know-our-neighbour day? I think it'd be great to promote knowing your neighbours. Because I think that what's happening in our community is there's a lot of increasing isolation. It's nice to know you can go next door for anything if you've got in trouble or needed some help or just someone to speak to, I guess. Who knows, you could end up lifelong friends like these two. If he had a problem, would you go and help him? Of course, of course, of course, straightaway. I put my body, my heart, my blood. (laughs) One, I give it to my neighbour. If you ask me, God give me two. One, I give it to my neighbour.

Thank you. Name Tony. Give your neighbour a hug. Thank you, Tony. Why not? Why not? Always. Thank you very much. My name's Jimmy. Jimmy and Tony. Good neighbours. Rodney Lohse reporting. in your time of need If you have been ignored helped by a Good Samaritan or, alternatively, if you have been please let us know on our web site.

the single mum we featured last week, Now to Karen Schuler, the do-or-die choice who is being forced to make possibly losing her life to cancer. of putting her son into state care or Her 10-year-old son Australia living with a rare disease is one of only six children in his brain, kidney and heart, that affects 24-hour care from his mum. meaning he requires A couple of months ago, with uterine cancer Karen was diagnosed to be hospitalised for an operation. and urgently needed But because of government red tape, for an allowance she was not considered eligible while she was in hospital. to have Alex cared for The good news is that Karen is now in hospital getting treatment while Alex is being cared for at home, while Alex is being cared for thanks to you, our viewers, responded to public pressure. and to the government that finally

Thank you so much for your support. for the last month or so The sense of aloneness that I felt has gone because I just know is here with me today. that half of Australia Thank you so much. Karen and Alex's story for you. We will keep following the wait is finally over - Coming up, is back tonight. Dancing with the Stars in a moment We will have our special report a ballroom-dancing craze. and how the show has created

it's just dancing, dancing, dancing. Everywhere you go,

anyway. It's great fun. It's quite a social thing to do It's just taken the world by storm.

of Dancing with the Stars, It has been a long wait for devotees for another season. but it is finally back Yes, tonight - and Ian "Dicko" Dickson the likes of Dawn Fraser tripping the light fantastic. will be among the stars As Jackie Quist reports, the ballroom craze there is just no stopping that is sweeping the world.

Everywhere you go, it's just dancing, dancing, dancing.

From the 'burbs to the big screen, the stage to the small screen, everybody's batty about ballroom. it seems I thought the outfits were nice. Might get a Tom Williams.

tonight's contenders! CLIP: Let's meet Dancing with the Stars The hit series has fuelled a worldwide dance frenzy. Once branded daggy, is now well and truly hip. ballroom dancing with enthusiasts of all ages Suburban dancehalls are overflowing the tango, the quickstep... keen to master the foxtrot, keen to master the foxtrot,

Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow... the Dancing with the Stars judges Mark Wilson is one of the Jamm Dance Centre. and he also runs on Monday nights, for instance, He says 300-plus people cram this hall. When Dancing with the Stars started, in the beginners class, to 50, 60. we went from, like, 25 people So it was a massive result all through Australia. and that's been happening Quick, quick, slow... because of what we'd seen on TV, Well,

to start moving around a little bit. we thought it was time before. We hadn't done any ballroom dancing We've been dancing together for about one and a half years and right now we're doing really well.

in America, London and here, With Dancing with the Stars it's just taken the world by storm. Sasha Farber and Trent Whiddon We first met dancers earlier this year. on Dancing with the Stars star in the stage show Ballroom, Now the talented duo and Sarah West. alongside Natalie Lowe 100 coats of orange tan We don't wear the false eyelashes, We don't wear the false eyelashes,

and things like that. The Tina Sparkles hairdo, it's out.

for choreographer Jason Gilkison, It's a dream come true

to London, Shanghai, who is set to take the hit show

Beijing and Las Vegas. He says ballroom is traditionally about. it totally changes the notion of what and still is, probably, I think it used to be, Circular Waltz and Pride of Erin have done for years, and something your grandparents but not, like - really what it is today. when people see a show like this, I think, of what ballroom dancing has become. it really changes people's idea

has jumped on the ballroom bandwagon, Now Hollywood with Mel Gibson's company Icon Films to our screens later this month. bringing Mad Hot Ballroom The film is sure to add even more fuel to the ballroom boom. It's something enjoyable, it's something social, fitness-wise, it's good for everybody,

a good fun sort of fitness. and it's just you're doing anything. You don't even realise because they want to meet someone People come dancing and also for exercise, it's been fantastic for people and, look, weddings in the last five years. and we've probably had eight or nine anyway. It's quite a social thing to do So yeah, it's great fun. Sister got me into it, for me to do. said it might be a good thing

Met a lot of great people here. I said, oh great.

Have you told it to anyone? REPORTER: What do your mates think? Um, no I haven't. I'll get beaten up at school. And if I do, Shhh! So if we could just keep it quiet. so don't put this on TV, No-one has to know, or else I'll get kicked at school! series 3 kicking off tonight, And with Dancing with the Stars who will take out the honours?

I've got my eye on Michael Caton. At this stage, I have no idea. We'll have to wait and see. I just wish them all the best! Yes. The older I get, the slower I like it.

Because everyone wants to dance!

Anyone who says that they doesn't is a liar. And, of course, in just under half an hour Dancing with the Stars can be seen on the Seven Network. I'll have for you tomorrow night, Now to one of the stories that is hitting Australian homes. and the underquoting scandal a house was advertised for $550,000. You will see how reject a $700,000 offer? So why did an agent So why did an agent

in today's real estate market. We expose what is really going on That's totally, grossly unfair. is simply unacceptable. This behaviour It's bait advertising. in a very fair light. I don't think it was presented Misleading and deceptive conduct. That's tomorrow night. So thanks for your company tonight. And until tomorrow, I hope you have a great evening. Please take care, and goodnight.

Captioned by Seven Network Email - captions@seven.com.au