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A Current Affair -

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(generated from captions) to A Current Affair. Hello and welcome in propping it up, We all have a stake so why is somebody running it down? how it's hurting you. Tonight, the turmoil in Telstra - Also tonight, this needy grandmother with a fine the cruel council slapping on her car. because she put a for sale sign now just 29 kilos, Plus, anorexic Jade her last chance to survive. but mindless bureaucrats are blocking but indless bureau rats are blocking

And savings in cyberspace -

the big bargains on the Internet. we'll show you how to find This program is captioned live. This program is captioned l ve.

Something for everyone tonight. But first Telstra - half owned by all of us taxpayers, the telecommunications giant at least for the moment anyway. It's meant to be a huge success, of the telephone business, the cutting edge for all Australians. it's in chaos, But the truth is complaints, share prices plummeting with millions of faulty lines, the PM calls 'disgraceful'. and executives whose performance how does all this affect you? Forget the politics, is a national disgrace. is an unconscionable monster. I think Telstra The whole thing is farcical. Farcical. the major shareholder in the telco - You've got the Government - having an open brawl. and the executives a used-phone company from this man? John Howard, would you buy Answer - no. were worth more than $5. This time last month, Telstra shares for about $4.30. Today, they're selling for the imported executives Things aren't looking good who recently took over. since they grabbed the reins, It's claimed, the company's value every single day. $190 million has been wiped off in just a couple of months. That's $10 billion what, a billion a week? Pretty big achievement to wipe off - the value of the company. For Sol, he took off It's pretty big. to flog the thing, Telstra, they're still trying who the hell would want to buy it? but the question is, last time around Mike Carlton did and, like millions of others from the Government, who took a chunk of Telstra

it's a bit of a sore point. Highway robbery. What do I think? bushrangers - Ned Kelly springs to mind, absolute swindle. it was a con job, You bought the shares at $7.40. "Great deal," said the Government.

What have you got now? $4.30 or something. They call us mum-and-dad investors, which is a condescending phrase. Mugs are probably better. to sell off the rest of Telstra, With the Government getting ready new chief Sol Trujillo a month ago. the Prime Minister sat down with were supposedly confidential. The details of the meeting Mr Howard was shown, But this leaked document revealed Telstra's troubles. in black and white, 14 million fault calls a year They receive and 14% of their lines have problems. but it really is not funny. I think their service is a joke, They're not laughing in Kyogle, are faster than the Internet. where carrier pigeons Or in this remote town in Tassie, their only connection where Telstra wanted to take away

to the outside world.

What if there's an accident? for the nearest phone box. You'll have to go to Queensland You could die on the spot. all those small companies And then there's ruined by a dodgy phone line. It has crippled our business. It has done enormous damage, and gone to another supplier. and we have now left Telstra may not have been shocked Lorraine Cobcroft but others were. at the depth of Telstra's problems, dirty laundry was out in the open - When the bad news leaked, the the share price tumbled. has to make their own judgment Obviously every shareholder about their investment, that you can give to people but the single best message a time of panic or a time of crisis. is never make that judgment at When one of Sol's three amigos said to his mother, he wouldn't recommend Telstra shares their value kept falling. it wants - the $32 billion - The Government can't get the money and things it was promising. so it can't pay for tax cuts looks dubious The future fund for the bush and at this price - $26 billion - so, under these circumstances, it can't be sold. The Prime Minister was fuming, bosses to talk the value down. saying it was disgraceful for Telstra

have got to tell the truth. The Telstra bosses you go to jail like Rodney Adler. If you start talking up a company, about their companies, You want people to be positive to be artificially inflated. but you don't want the share price be the millions of people Otherwise, the losers are going to who put their money into T3, for the PM and his policies. and that would be a disaster

may have prevented mass heartache The plunging stocks for future Telstra shareholders, who were feeling the pain today. but it's the current ones is disgraceful. Whatever has happened to Telstra but I don't know who to blame. I agree, Youlanda Mascarenhis is one of many. not very many but whatever it is - I know we have a small package, the big drop is quite dramatic. a substantial amount? So you have lost Of course, yes. are guilty of the unpardonable crime Sol Trujillo and his three amigos of telling the truth. Stick with it, Sol. that whatever happens, Count the money, because you can bet when the final blow-out comes, will have a lovely golden parachute Sol and the three amigos an it will take them all the way back to the States. and it will take them

Ben Fordham investigating. Telstra and their performance. Now you must have some shockers about drop us a line Why not email us at, if you can get through! or simply give us a call - her life tortured by anorexia. Now to Jade - a beautiful young woman, That's her behind me, before she fell ill. Now she's just wasting away and her mother. before the eyes of her little girl a solution. No-one so far has been able to find one final chance. She figures she's got But standing in her way are bureaucrats who don't seem to care. Jade, how much do you weigh today? 29kg. Jade is slowly starving herself to death. When we last met her in April, she weighed a mere 32kg. Now she's even smaller and, sadly, she thinks that's OK. I would much rather get on there and see 29kg than see I have gone up to 32kg or 33kg. I would have a heart attack. Because of the illness which has infected her body and mind, she's struggling to realise how frighteningly serious her condition has become. What have your doctors said to you about what this means? If I don't start some treatment then I am going to die, basically. It is only 4-year-old Chiara who is giving Jade the strength to fight the demons of her eating disorder and accept that she needs help - or die. Just seeing her now and thinking of not seeing her in the future it breaks my heart thinking it. Jade's tried all available treatments in Australia with no success. The last hope is the renowned Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which uses a physiological, rather than psychiatric, approach to treating anorexia. It's controversial - and costly. I can't wait. I can't wait another three months. I have to go now. The good news is you, the viewers, opened your hearts and your wallets and helped raise $150,000 for Jade. She's been accepted into the Institute and leaves next Monday with Chiara and mum Bev. It is just incredible, I don't know how to say it, except thank you, thank you, thank you. Even Flight Centre's flown in with a donation. I have a big surprise for you - I have three tickets to Sweden - on us!

Oh, my God, thank you so much! Even Flight Centre has flown in with a donation. But the bad news is the cost of her $2,000-a-day treatment has blown out - doctors believe it will take up to 14 months in Sweden to bring her back to good health, and that means Jade needs to raise a further $200,000. H friend a d family Her friends and family are appealing for more help. Carl Bozichavich has helped set up a fund for Jade. t ere is anybody out there If there is anybody out there who can find it in their hearts to be as generous as the people have been to date, it would be much appreciated. this illness is self-inflicted? What can you say to people who think

and get better?" "Why don't you eat something that it is not a choice now. It's become on my own. I try but I can't seem to do it The Federal Government won't help. for people travelling overseas While there is funding that's not available here, for treatment it has to be approved. And despite months of investigations, a conclusion bureaucrats have not reached

about the Karolinska program. It has a 75% success rate a success rate of 25%, whereas in Australia so I think that is proof enough. And to make matters worse, with red tape. Jade's fighting a second battle it will slash her sole parent benefit Centrelink says allowance when they go to Sweden. and erase her mother's carer's

and we really have. To think we have got this far,

to help me to think we can get there So many people have come together it will just run out, and then, to have no money, it scares me. and my grand-daughter How am I supposed to feed myself while my daughter is over there

for an eating disorder? being treated What - we end up not eating? it is so important. It is our last attempt, packing a case, Otherwise, instead of me it will be arranging a funeral. when you look at that stomach? What do you see It's fat. I just gets rolls. It's fat and if I sit down, It's too wide around here. It's so wide. That is 1cm thick. That is almost a dying woman, Jade. Can you see that?

It just looks disgusting. because it is too small, Not disgusting

but it is just too wide around here. It's no wonder - of six milk bottle lollies a day Jade subsists on a meagre diet the Sustagen drinks and struggles to down her Swedish doctors have ordered. It is just hard to a have it. but you have to. I know it is hard, and be around for Chiara. Just be able to enjoy life I would love to live a normal life

every single day. without obsessing about this Elise Mooney with a truly sad story. you can do it one of two ways. And if you'd like to help, to the appeal to assist Jade, If you're able to make a donation just give us a call for the details. then next up - Alright, we'll take a break, a needy grandmother a local council prosecutes wiih a stupid fine. with a stupid fine.

he ttest bargains o the Internet. And we'll show you where to find the hottest bargains on the Internet.

is $9 million. This Thursday's Powerball jackpot ask for a Powerball Megapick. For more chances to win, $9 million Powerball jackpot. You could: Welcome back. how a little bit of power It never ceases to amaze us makes some people feel so important. of this heroic council - Take the case on a genuine battler. they've come down hard and a carer. She's a grandmother, a pensioner on her car. Her crime - putting a 'For Sale' sign

Well, I'd never heard of it before.

If I'd have heard of it - everybody that I've spo en If 'd have h?ard of it - everybody

that I've spoken to has never heard If I'd have heard of it - everybody

of it before. Of this law? Yeah. To

me, it's just cruel to do something of it be ore. Of this law? Yea . To

to a person like that. Here's a

story that'll make your blood boil. to a person like that. Here's a

No, it's not fair. As if life isn't

hard enough for Betty Van Der Weyse

- So what do you reckon? She tries

to make ends meet on an old-age

pension and helps care for son

Steve, who suffers from motor pension and helps care for son pension and h lps care for son

neuron disease. Recently, she put a

'For Sale' sign on her car outside

her house to try and raise a bit of

kpru extra cash. Instead of a buyer,

she got something else from her

local council. There was this pink

slip under the windscreen saying I

had a $50 fine. Betty doesn't have

$50. When she questioned such a

fine with council, she got an $50. When she questioned such a

answer like this. We've had a

number of instances where motorists

are distracted when they look at

cars. Council bureaucracy has gone

mad in the northern Victorian city

of Wodonga. Indeed, locals wanting

to send their car cross the river

to Albury where a 'For Sale' sign

on a vehicle is not so offensive.

on a vehicle is not so of ensive.

So silly is the law to many here on a vehicle is not so offensive.

that Betty's relative, Keith, well,

he put it this way. If you drove

around town or parked outside your

own house with a sign on the back

that told the world to frankly get

stuffed, nobody would bother you.

Whereas two little signs that say

'For Sale' and a phone number, and

all of odd sudden you're slapped

with a $50 fine It's a law that has

everyone upset. It made me feel

sick. At the council, Gary Arnold

was put forward to defend this law.

you're a Most people would probably think

y u re a cruel,

you're a cruel, heartless bastard

for doing this. No, I think most

people in the community would

understand that road safety is

paramount, not just for motorists

but for pedestrians also. There's paramount, not just for motorists

no road safety issue with that. It was

was a sign in a pensioner's's car.

She has a disabled son. The car She has a disabled son. The car was he has a disable so . The car

parked on a public highway. Legally.

And being offered for sale. A

little bit of common decency would

have gone a long way, to get a

notice to say that there is a law

that you can't park there. I didn't

know about that. That's thanks

Betty got for being a council

volunteer for 15 years. Over the

e p asis pas few years, t@ere has a ma or past few years, there has a major

emphasis on road safety by the past few years, there has a major

council. This is the ridiculousness

of this law. Greatest respect to

you, I'm trying to have it anyway,

but this is a 'For Sale' sign in a

pensioner's car and she has a

disabled son and is trying to raise

some dollars. She hasn't parked the

car illegally. If she had a sign

saying 'xoun is Stupid', she

wouldn't be fined, would she? Would

she? On this occasion, the sign was

offering the car for sale. But she

wouldn't be fined if she said

council was fined? He never

answered the question. As for Betty,

she has no option but to pay the

fine. I said when my pension comes

due on Thursday, you'll get your

$50 fine. Did you say anything else

to them? Yes, I said I hope they

choke on it. Why didn't you just

give her a warning, tell her to

take the sign off? Our community

deserve ... They deserve decency, they they deserve d serve .. They deserve decency, th y deserve

deserve ... They deserve decency, they deserve humanity. They deserve the deserve hu ity Th y deserve

they deserve humanity. They deserve to be fair. You could have given

her a warning. There h r a wa ning. Th to be fair. You could have given her a warning. There are a number

of - She's got to take the money

out of her pension tomorrow! Late

today, that offending sign was

removed. Wodonga city council,

stand proud - you've won your $50

from an old-age pensioner who cares

for a disabled son. For human

for a disabled son. For hum n

for a disabled son. For human decency, most of us see you as a

big loser. Our council has

consistent ly said that our

community expects and deserves

clarity and that clarity - I won't

listen to any more of that. Brady Halls there. Wodonga Council seriously, how could you? Alright, let's move onto something more positive.

Shop till you drop without ever taking a step outside your home. The Internet is an incredible tool for gathering information. But the more savvy among us were quick to realise its potential elsewhere. They've been pounding the keyboards and discovering bargain after bargain. There are terrific bargains online - you can save anything up to 80%. FAST PAC D CLASSSICAL MUSIC It wasn't that long ago the only way of getting a bargain was waiting in line for hours. Today, the rush is over - and so is the wait. It's online and it's over in a click. It's absolutely the most amazing experience. Once you get on there, you'll just be hooked. Gail Lipscombe is a self-confessed Net junkie. As editor of Internet magazine 'Netguide', she can't believe all of us don't shop online. Everything from flowers to exercise equipment, holidays, pretty much anything you care to name is going to be online.

There are thousands of shopping websites. With the help of 'Netguide', we show you the best sites with the biggest savings. You can see the guys behind me, this is a real business, we are deep discounters, savings from 30% to 80% off. When Paul and Michael started 12 months ago, they had no idea today they'd have more than 140,000 regular customers. Here's a 7-inch portable DVD player,

obviously brand new - they're all brand new - $149 - that's a 7-inch with all accessories, full warranty. How much would that normally sell for? Oh, that's half-price - $299.

Go on to some branded products that you'll recognise - there's a Kodak 5 megapixel digital camera - save $100 on that, no problem. Fully-branded perfume - this is a fabulous product. Up to 60% savings. Here's Hugo Boss on our home page tonight - was $150, going out at $69 - 90%-95% of everything online will be $10. The name says it all, The name s ys it all according to owner Glen Forsyth. There's lots of DVDs available. lots of boxed sets, two CD sets, 3-CD sets, 4-CD sets, and they're still $10. I think there's online shopping for everybody, really. People who are time-poor, people who are elderly and can't get out of the house - it really is a plus for everybody, I think, all-round. for all those nick-nacks and for that last-minute travel are worth a look, according to 'Netguide'.

So is eBay - one in seven Australian adults like Leanne Bailey are members of the online shopping giant. I've bought vintage handbags, I've bought moisturisers which retail for about $198 and I think I got this for about $80,

but the best thing of all is my couch, which retails I think $3,000, and I got it for $1,000. There are genuine savings to be made by cutting out the middle man and shopping online. If you're new to Internet buying, 'Netguide' has this advice. Make sure that you always shop on secure sites. You can tell this by a little yellow padlock that appears on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. If you can't see that padlock, don't do it. Make sure you do your price comparisons - look in physical stores, because sometimes you can be taken away by the online experience. One of the traps that a lot of people fall into when they're shopping online is not factoring in the delivery costs and commissions and other incidental costs that may be involved when you're buying something. It's not risk-free, it is very much a case of buyer-beware, but with just a little bit of homework, you should be just right. David Eccleston getting among the online bargains. And there's more information for you at our website. Next up - something very different. The calendar girls in their 40s getting their gear off to support a great cause. These days, many refer to the 40-year age group as the new 30s. But for most of us,

reaching that milestone means a few extra kilos and a little more self-consciousness about how we look in our birthday suits. Well, not so for this cheeky bunch of ladies from Perth. We're all going to take our clothes off

and have a bit of fun! How's your body now? A lot big than it was when I was 20. If 40's the new 30, then middle age just got a whole lot saucier, because these lovely ladies are getting together in the altogether for a calendar.

It's about raising money for cancer. We're all in our 40s and we think we're fabulous. I'm 40 going on 25. This week, these 40-somethings are living the double life -

by day they're dropping kids to school and getting to work, driving a forklift, doing the vacuuming - but by night, the sisterhood has been stripped of everything but their modesty. It's a bit like, well, it's not as glamorous as you think - holding there and don't move. Don't move, don't move. Great. Great, sort of scary, this especially - frightening. But it's wonderful - it's not often in your life you get a chance to do something that good for somebody else for no good reason at all. And you're standing there with just a flag on! Yeah, pretty much. Sorry, Mexico, by the way! Hey jugs. More songs! While for some this is about as awkward as it gets, for others, it seems like only yesterday they were sporting a staple somewhere - Miss Hawaii, Patricia Nicholson, was once a 'Playboy' centrefold. All in the family - Patricia's sister Cindy also had a crack at a soft-porn career but, now on the road to 40, they're just as happy to cheer along from the sidelines. I feel more of a woman now than I did when I was in my 20s.

I feel so alive. The husband thinks it's a fantastic idea. My son and daughter don't know what to say.

They're quite amazed that their mother, at 40, would be doing something like this, let alone doing it in a calendar when you've got to take your clothes off. Forget the crow's feet, the saddlebags, the droop, the sag, the cellulite - these gals say they feel more beautiful now than they ever did, and if showing off their wears will raise money for charity,

then they're more than happy to get it all off. I love it more, my flobby bits. I know who I am. And that's the difference - when I was 25, I had no idea. Does it feel strange to be doing this at your age? Oh yeah, at any age. For me, yeah. And how old are you? Um, 47. No, no, 46! Yes, 46. I think we all in our lifetime know somebody who has had cancer. I have a few close friends with it, so I thought it was a great cause. How much are you worth, then? How much should a calendar with you nude in it cost? Should be $87 million - but we'll do ours for $ 14.95. The calendar girls hope to raise more than $250,000 for cancer research and they're sure there's a market out there

for a middle-aged centrefold. Mum, families, young fellas, old fellas, everybody. What does this calendar say about women over 40?

That we are fabulous. We are fabulous.

They are fabulous. Ros Thomas there with some good sports helping raise money for the best of causes - cancer research. OK, now to tomorrow night and a dramatic new twist in our campaign over spelling skills,

or the lack of them, in our education system. This time it's the teachers themselves under the microscope,

through the classified report which says many of them can't spell, nor do they know how to teach spelling. So what chance do our kids really have?

I am deeply disturbed. We are

facing the biggest crisis in the

history of Australian education.

There's not enough emphasis training teachers tra ing teachers how

training teachers how to read,

write, count and communicate. It's

the quality of the teachers. What

hope have we got? That exclusive report tomorrow night.

And just before we go, a quick clarification on a story we brought you several weeks ago about frozen chips and processed foods. An expert we featured in that report

mistakenly said the chocolate biscuits, Tim Tams, have beef fat in them. We're now satisfied he was mistaken. And happy to set the record straight. As an Arnott's spokesman put it so well there's no 'moo' in their 'chew'. That's it for tonight. Thanks for your company. See you tomorrow. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre.