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Today Tonight -

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(generated from captions) I'm Naomi Robson. Hello, and welcome to Today Tonight. will cost you around $2.02 today. This litre of milk

the price rises won't stop with milk. On Monday, it will rise to $2.18 and is now on The big supermarket price hike we'll show you how much more and tonight vegetables, meat, the lot. you'll be paying on your fruit, but should we believe them? Retailers are blaming petrol prices, of what you'll see This is really only the start in everything you buy. right across the board inside Australia's pokie palaces. Also tonight, we take you

where kids run wild The pubs and clubs breaking the law to keep them playing. as mum and dad are given credit Plus, bait advertising - with amazing specials. how big stores suck us in the deals are gone But when you get there, they were never there. and in some cases, And the dolphin-feeding frenzy. raid a tourist attraction Government officers determined to shut it down. Not going to cop it, at all. is on the rise yet again. But first - our cost of living And high petrol prices will mean will cost you at least 5% more all these basic food products in the days ahead. the excuse of rising petrol prices But retail experts are worried in pushing up their prices is giving manufacturers open slather says it is powerless to stop them. and the consumer watchdog, the ACCC,

At the end of the day, on everything. it's going to have an effect will certainly rise fairly quickly. I think fruit and vegetables Milk's going up.

going to make cows' eyes water. And as the old saying goes, that's But this is no laughing matter about to be wept by consumers and nothing compared to the buckets at the cash register and beyond. the plumber coming to visit you. The home-delivered pizza, hire cars, As petrol prices soar head to the heavens and the cost of most consumer goods David Chalke according to social analyst

by as much as $100 to $150 a week. household bills could rise disproportionately Some items will be hit transport cost in their cost make-up and it will be those that a high that will affect bulky items and oddly enough and breakfast cereals like toilet paper filling up a trailer, where you have big boxes to have them delivered. and you actually pay a premium price

spending $12 more per week on petrol. Australian motorists are already that trucking goods around the nation So it goes to reason to retailers from producers to distributors in almost every product category. will see price rises as 16 cents a litre from Monday. Milk's already set to rise as much

publisher of Retail World, says Barry Flanaghan, it won't stop there. on a supermarket shelf, Every product you buy in a clothing store is transported. every product you buy Isn't there a risk though rising fuel prices - that price hikes in the name of artificial prices? that we'll see profiteering, Profiteering is a dirty word, and really, of being accused of profiteering. companies would be very fearful profiteer, put up their prices, So if a company wanted to so-called people stop buying the product you'd find all of a sudden at a cheaper price. and buy a comparable product at least 5% So if everything's going up chief economist at Comsec, according to Craig James how's that going to hit your wallet for some of the basic items? when shopping next the high petrol prices We're going to have to get used to of other goods. and that means prices at the range We just have to pay the price. is finding it hard. I think everybody

For the time being, that rising prices are a given. we may have to accept and save money? So what can we do to cut corners on things like going to the cinema, You'll see immediate tradebacks costs $100. taking a family to the cinema and rent the DVD. Maybe we'll just wait I think specials than they have in the past. people will look around more for on fuel by driving less distances. They'll look at ways on saving So really, people will say, go to my favourite supermarket "Will I still

supermarket which is closer?" or will I now choose a second our cars, buying smaller cars, We'll adapt by trading down maybe riding bicycles, using public transport more often, but we will adapt. Chris Simond reporting there. inside Australia's pokie palaces. Now it's time to take you about the pubs and clubs I'm talking, of course,

just about everywhere that have popped up could imagine to get patrons hooked. with all the bells and whistles you for some parents It's an environment so addictive as they feed the machines. that they let their children run wild hundreds and hundreds of dollars It's also where players will spend just to win a meat tray or kettle,

as Karryn Cooper reports. ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM PLAYS 1.30 in the afternoon It is Tuesday,

is like thousands around the country, and this pokie haunt doing a roaring trade,

dreaming of that elusive windfall packed full of people into these machines. and pouring thousands of dollars what the clubs and pubs are doing But as you will see, and keep them playing to entice punters is shamelessly well planned. I think these tactics are abysmal. All the techniques that are used establishments and stay in them to get people into these as quite manipulative. can be regarded Guy West According to gambling expert will do anything to get your money - these venues will do anything to get your money -

even children are fair game, full of toys and video games setting up pseudo childcare centres parents line the venue's pockets. which distract the kids while their of sinister development, actually. I think it's quite a sort have been left unsupervised, These toddlers and small children free to roam are freed up to gamble. while their parents put them into child care. You can bring your kids in, you've got your cheap drinks, You've got your cheap meals, everything is provided. I just needed to be there, I didn't need sleep. and with this machine that was completely addictive,

I was in a trance. Melbourne woman Libby Mitchell is all too familiar with what she says are underhanded and premeditated ploys used by gaming venues. Her obsession cost her her family home. She reckons she has lost up to $500,000. I remember once on a Tuesday afternoon, I went into the casino and I came out on a Thursday morning. Libby claims the machines are hypnotic and pokie manufacturers' venues

know exactly how they transfix the vulnerable punter. You would just move through this very quiet, pulsing rhythm, coloured lights flashing, a bit of nostalgic music in the background, someone's machine going off, tinkles. In fact, it was a very soothing sort of sound. By the time I walked outside, the reality had hit me,

a sickening thud as to what I'd done. And there is no end to the tricks and traps to keep people playing.

At this Brisbane League's Club, a group of elderly punters are sucked into a grocery grab. Keeping them glued to the console over a two-hour period, the club hands out mock cash to players who can exchange it later for fruit and vegies -

in effect, outlaying big for the hope of a small reward. But it gets worse

with the Victorian Government investigating venues for supplying illegal credit. Problem gamblers were literally betting their homes, withdrawing equity from home loans to keep gambling. where time sort of disappears, They try to create an environment where time sort of disappears,

so there's no windows, so you don't notice the days turning into night and so on. In the last 10 years, Australians have spent over $70 billion on pokies and we now have a staggering 20% of the world's poker machines. But that is not enough. Venues are resorting to sneaky tricks to make even more profit. In some States, there are no clocks, and there are no windows,

so you lose track of time. They use happy sounds and bright colours

They use happy sounds and bright colours to make you feel like you are winning, even when you are not. There are childcare facilities, rewards programs, subsidised food and drink and competitions with anything ranging from groceries to plasma TVs, and even holidays and cars. And you always have to be present to win them. It's quite sad, really.

You'd spend thousands of dollars and you'd end up getting an electric kettle. And that's the thing that made me so angry about it was they didn't care about him. They didn't care about his family, either. His family could have been out on the street and they just didn't care. The Zappone family had to mortgage their Queensland home three times and are still out of pocket $80,000.

He wouldn't hear anything, he wouldn't see anything, he wouldn't remember anything. So he would just go there and blow money, however he could get it. Lynne and her husband, Domenic,

have won a Queensland-first court case after a League's club in Mackay repeatedly gave Domenic cash advances from his credit card. Domenic is too embarrassed to have his say,

but Lynne is now so angry and cannot stay silent, accusing gaming venues of entrapment, targeting Australians who are sick. You get them where they give them food and drinks, you get them where they hand them over cash money, they put that in their other books, and you get them where they give it to them on their credit cards as purchases and they don't care. Gamblers and gambling experts now say the industry is out of control, preying on increasing numbers of addicts. Australia's first pokie class action is now under way, targeting 10 of the country's targeting 10 of the country's largest gaming companies and every State and Territory government except Western Australia, which still doesn't have them. They are sort of a form of stupidity tax. They prey on people who aren't able to understand

that they've got no hope in the long run of winning. No arguments here. Karryn Cooper with that report and the producer was Ryan Heffernan. Now to the intrigue surrounding Australia's luckiest multimillionaire. It's exactly a year since someone's winning lotto numbers came up but the $23 million jackpot remains unclaimed, perhaps for a very good reason. Gavin Alder takes up the story. No.22. Good luck. It's unbelievable, isn't it? There's someone out there who is a millionaire, 23 times over, and doesn't know it. The interest is still there.

People are still puzzled by the whole thing.

Lotto is not like a murder.

There is no DNA with a Lotto ticket, is there? 365 days ago, this was the little shop at the end of that Lotto rainbow. The wife answered the phone

and the Casket informed us we had sold the first-division prize we had sold the first-division prize of $23 million. But that is where the trail went cold. To this day, $23 million, Australia's fourth-largest ever Lottery win, has still not been claimed. The man who sold the winning ticket, Paul Dewick, says even a year on interest has never waned. Oh, yeah, mate. If I had a dollar for every time someone's asked me whether it's been claimed, I'd have $23 million myself! There are millions more waiting to be collected around the country. In Queensland, there's another million-dollar prize still unclaimed. In New South Wales, the lottery officials are sitting on two unclaimed prizes worth $4 million. must know when their numbers come up. But it is the mother of all unclaimed wins that keeps chins wagging. Anybody having that ticket - they'd be collecting it now for sure. Some poor bugger that was drunk and lost his ticket. Probably lost in a washing machine. General Manager of the Queensland Golden Casket, Bill Thorburn, says

all is not lost.

There are several great stories about big wins claimed belatedly. A woman cleaning out her handbag found a Gold Lotto ticket and almost threw it out, thought the better of it, and had it checked. It was worth $1 million. A Western Australia woman waited seven months before checking a ticket that was worth $950,000. One division-one winner in South Australia refused to answer his mobile phone because it was an unknown number and he thought it was a telemarketer. It took weeks for the Lottery officials to track him down and tell him of his $300,000 windfall.

We know of one situation in Victoria

where a $250,000 Tattslotto winner from Dandenong took 12 months to lodge his claim and basically said he didn't need the money. He knew the money was secure and he turned up pretty well on the 12 months and lodged the ticket. There has been no shortage of people trying to claim the $23 million. Well, we've had 96 claims lodged so far for the prize. None though have had the necessary proof,

leaving everyone to continue speculation. Now, if the popular theory is true and someone is waiting for a divorce settlement before claiming their big prize,

they should keep in mind. here is something is earning $25,000 a week interest That $23 million won't see a cent of that. and the winner Earlier this year, the Queensland Government decided medical research until it is claimed that interest would go to or until 2011,

for a winner to come forward. when time is up Coming up - to go into battle after being told local residents prepare they've cared for for over 40 years. to stop feeding dolphins And after the break - with amazing specials, how big stores suck us in the deals are gone but when you get there in the first place. and often were never there CATCHY UP-BEAT MUSIC It's an advertising ploy. Honesty is just not there. Consumers properly feel ripped off. Get into the Sale at Kmart selected hooded Jackeroo barbecues for $150 off for your home. get the latest styles

a store because of those big sales Now, have you ever been lured into on big-ticket items, which offer massive discounts by the time you get there? only to discover they're sold out Well, you're certainly not alone. by some companies You see, it's all part of a big trick

just to get you into the store you'll buy something else, in the hope that much more expensive. usually something usually something

And here's Glenn Connley. CATCHY UP-BEAT MUSIC

Integrity, no. Honesty is just not there. It's the same spiel - you would have got that item. "If you're here at 8 o'clock, "Unfortunately, we've sold out, $200 more, but we'll knock $50 off." "but we have another item that's It's an advertising ploy. for the customers And I feel disappointed what we've gone through. that have also gone through Ever spent way more than you intended

furniture or electronics? when shopping for clothes, Ever been sucked in offering unbelievable savings? by a glossy brochure chances are you've been baited. Well, if you have, It is a bait.

to try and hook the fish. to come into the store It's a bait to hook the customer to some other product. and then divert them I thought it was fantastic value. saw this DVD recorder advertised When movie buff Patricia Hoskins for just $449 at Aldi, the bargain of the year. she thought she'd stumbled onto of course, there was none available. We went to Airport West and, could phone other stores. So we asked if the manager So we asked if the manager

that they had none whatsoever He said no, a raincheck. and that he could not offer How quickly did they sell out? they sold out on the first day. We were told consumers angry and disappointed. It's a common story and leaves from Melbourne's RMIT University - Marketing expert Con Stavros want to bring people into your shop Why would you want to bring people into your shop

if they're going to be disappointed?

What can be gained? when they go shopping Well, a lot of people at point of purchase. will make a purchase decision So the big job for many retailers is "Let's get them in the store, to a variety of different choices "open them up "and then make a sale." So in many cases buy is not what you end up buying. what you thought you were going to is a risky tactic Con says frustrating customers

but it pays off. while you may be disappointed You see,

is unavailable, if an advertised product you're also vulnerable - surrounded by goodies, standing in a store, and often your budget, will change. your priorities, Bait advertising is technically

shouldn't be involved in at all. something that companies that's not allowed to be done It's something it's bringing people into a retailer and essentially into a shopping experience or bringing them that are not available using products

in very limited kind of quantities. or available quick, quick. Let's go! Quick, quick,

Sure. Jump up in the seat for me, mate. too good to be true in most cases So it's a special that's With a family holiday pending,

Brandon Darren Smart's four-year-old son money on a DVD player for the car. was ready to spend months of pocket I got the Repco catalogue. and there was a DVD in-car player I looked through it for Brandon and his sister and we thought it was great on their way up there. to watch Hi-5 to watch Hi-5

might not last, Aware such a good deal night before, hoping to get in first. Darren went into his local Repco the had a look on the shelves, I went the day before to Repco, there was none on there. I asked one of the consultants. that you have in your catalogue, I said, "You know, these items "are they available?" for quite some time." He said, "No, we haven't had those I've rang nine other stores

and the nine other stores said the same thing - those items haven't been available for about three months. In fact, he says he was told all four of the big-ticket items on the front of the catalogue were unavailable at the nine stores he called. I expect to go to that store, be able to buy it, or at least get a raincheck for that item for when they get new stock in but to be given the answer of "We have limited stock" - well, you have to have stock to have limited stock. There's no question in my mind that customers, consumers, properly feel ripped off. They properly feel ripped off because they are misled and deceived by businesses who engage in this practice. That's why it has to stop. That's why the ACCC takes the matter seriously. ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel says the law is very clear that when a store has a big sale, it should have a reasonable number of sale items to meet expected demand. We're very worried about it actually. Because not only are we getting an increasing number of complaints through our info centre but also we're finding that the office of fair trading around the States and territories are themselves getting complaints on this issue. Con Stavros says stores are much more subtle than they used to be in the way they now lure punters to try their luck at lottery-style bargains. It was very, very common, to try and build excitement and enthusiasm for sales, to try and have one or two products or a small number of products at incredible prices, family-size fridges for $50, along those kind of lines, That's a form of bait pricing. At least in those cases the big department stores would advertise that they only had five of them or they only had two of them. I'm angry and frustrated the fact that an item that's advertised, that my son sees, has used his Christmas money, wants to buy that item and the item never existed. I mean, it's annoying for people like myself who rely on these catalogues to be correct. We turn up at the store and then we get offered an item that's a couple of hundred dollars more than what we've seen. So if this is a tactic to get you back to Aldi, has it worked?

No, I won't be going back there. And the ACCC says businesses are on notice. It's already taken action against Harvey Norman, Mobile World and computer company And coming up - angry residents unite after being told to stop feeding dolphins they've cared for over the past four decades. I have to look after them and I will. The minister seems to forget. Those dolphins come here. We don't go out and chase them. for $150 off selected hooded Jackeroo barbecues including these sizzling styles. And with 40% off Royal Club sheets and towels, get the latest styles for your home. 450mm yard broom, just $9.98. 4-tier garden light kit, only $14.94. Medalist 5-litre pressure sprayer, just $9.87. Tub with rope handles, a low $4.98. SONG: # Bunnings Warehouse. #

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Now, for the best part of 40 years residents at a popular tourist attraction have cared for and nurtured a pod of very precious and rare dolphins. And naturally, they've become quite attached to the creatures. So imagine their absolute horror when government officers moved in to take away

what the residents believe is the dolphins' only lifeline. SERENE MUSIC There's not enough natural things around so people should be allowed to do things like that as long as it's not hurting them. The joy on people's faces, there's no words to describe that.

For more than 40 years, Tin Can Bay has been one of the few places in the world where people can get this close to wild dolphins. And it's all about to end, shut down by the Queensland Government. We've told the owner that the feeding of the dolphins at Tin Can Bay must stop now. Environment Minister Desley Boyle says the rare Indo-Pacific dolphins which come in to be fed every morning are at risk.

These are amazing wonderful animals but they're wild animals and they must be left free in their own natural environment, not enticed for commercial gain into boat harbours. In your opinion, does feeding the dolphins do them any harm? None at all. The people closest to the small pod of dolphins which come here every morning are the local volunteers and they can't fathom what all the fuss is about. The dolphins come in here to see people.

People come in to Tin Can Bay because the dolphins are here. The dolphins' welfare is the paramount reason we're all here. We have people watching to make sure boats don't encroach on their area, people don't enter the water to do anything untoward.

So there's always somebody watching the people the moment the dolphin comes in. Are you going to stop feeding them? No. I'm afraid we've been threatened. The Environment Minister

has threatened to fine us with on-the-spot fines of $250. They've gone further - conducting raids through the week telling Steve Walker to remove his dolphin-feeding signs and to send tourists away. The minister seems to forget those dolphins come here. We don't go out and chase them. And it's Steve Walker the minister blames for the new hardline attitude to an activity that thrills hundreds of thousands of people from all corners of the globe every year. He's put in the most ridiculous submission expanding the program

showing that his commercial gain is all that matters.

But Steve and other volunteers say all they've done is follow guidelines for the operation that were set down by the government

and they can't understand why they're being singled out when dolphin-feeding happens at Queensland's Tangalooma resort and at Monkey Mia in Western Australia. They're allowed to feed 200 of them over at Tangalooma

and yet we've got two that come here and we're not allowed to feed them. Ridiculous. Locals say this decision will kill off tourism in Tin Can Bay with the stroke of a pen and because of that, they're simply not going to cop it. In fact, they are going to be openly defiant. Not going to cop it at all. They can come down here every day with their little jack boot army, come down here everyday and hand out their little paper fines but we will be in the water.

The minister though is just as determined. I have to look after them and I will. And if that means fining people every time they get into the water with the dolphins, she will. It could be quite a revenue-raiser. There was between 85 and 90 people there in the water this morning. I guarantee tomorrow it'll be double that.

Gavin Alder with that report. Now to one of the stories I'll have for you next week when we catch the stalker who's hounded and harassed woman for years. When confronted, the stalker goes on a stabbing frenzy. She's a stalker. She'll follow you around. You'll get a phone call and she'll know every conversation that you've had. You've gone too far. This is my... You've got a knife in your hand, Susan. You've already stabbed one person. She chased us all the way out and she just stabbed it into me. Ow! I'll have that story for you next week. So until then, I hope you have a great weekend. Please take care, and goodnight. Captioned by Seven Network Email -