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Today Tonight -

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(generated from captions) I'm Naomi Robson. Hello, and welcome to Today Tonight. this man was a politician, Now, up until yesterday of a disgrace. and he's nothing short behind his double life Tonight we expose the real story in another country where he's been living like a king and at our expense. drink-driver exposed. Also, Australia's most dangerous He hits the pubs to pick up his kids up from school. then hits the road REPORTER: Are you intoxicated? Yeah, probably. He is a complete menace to everyone. waiting to happen, in a moment. See how he's a tragedy And a tale of two families - one with strict rules and the kids have free reign - and the other where anything goes, drugs, booze, you name it - and they're only 16. So where would you draw the line? I have no rules in my house. but look how he treats his tenants. Plus, he's a multimillionaire, Where's the security door? Where's my oven? Where's everything, mate? on 'Dancing with the Stars'. And all the action behind the scenes Wardrobe malfunction, top half! we've ever come across. But first, to the worst drink-driver His name is Rodney Raines, he's banned from driving, and although he continues to get behind the wheel and under the influence. unlicensed, unregistered on putting road users' lives at risk. He's hell-bent But it doesn't stop there. Tonight you'll see Mr Raines on a drinking spree going from pub to pub from school and then picking up his kids without any regard for their safety. Here's Vassil Malandris. to drive this car, are you? Rodney, you're not planning Why's that? you've had at the pub? After all the beers After all the beers

Nah, nah, no. Are you sure? No, I'm not driving at all. in your hand? Why have you got your keys I've never seen anything like it. It's just disgraceful. he doesn't care one little bit. Obviously, thing that shouldn't be tolerated. It's abhorrent, it's the sort of

might keep bad drivers off our roads, If you thought losing a licence

not so. Are you intoxicated? Oh, probably. Meet reckless Rodney Raines - and probably under the influence. unregistered, unlicensed He does it every day, he can get away with that every day. and he thinks a number of driving-related offences, Despite racking up

nothing seems to stop Rodney. Hopping from pub to pub, to pick up his kids from school. even taking a break between schooners

at the Halfway, He'll start off, usually, and then he goes to the Links Hotel. he drinks there And he's there most of the day. He'll leave about 3.00, 3.30, and then goes back to the pub. picks his kids up from school His stupid behaviour who know and drink with him has now prompted some of those to speak out. says This person - who we'll call Bob- says

for good. he wants Rodney off the road sure he doesn't keep reoffending, The police should step in to make or put him inside maybe. that he's going to learn. This is the only way

Yeah. Lock him up? Bob claims his friendship with Rodney late last year, reached breaking point at this pub, when, after a night of heavy drinking to not drive home. he ignored his protest as the hotel's guest rooms - Rodney only made it as far but not to sleep it off. literally reversed through the wall. He just reversed through the wall - literally through his car. There was bricks and glass anyone in that double bed, If there was anyone in that room, what would have happened - well, I don't know could've been killed. they quite easily Adding further to Bob's disgust,

just two days later, and back on the road, Rodney was back in the pub swerving and swaying in this van - hasn't been registered since 2001. which, by the way, You're putting yourself,

other motorists at risk. you're putting your kids,

What are you doing this for? Why would you do that?

to stop you from drink-driving. We're doing it

Yeah, okay. is unregistered as well - And your car 2001, Rodney. about Rodney's routine. And here's another curious thing Having finished at the pub but then goes straight home. he slips into his work clothes and he's over the limit, If he's drinking and driving he's picking up his children or suspended or unlicensed while he's disqualified, and uninsured, and his vehicle is unregistered he is a complete menace to everyone. Inspector Trevor Lovegrove says of drivers like Rodney Raines, while he's appalled at the mentality are increasingly getting results the police on recidivist offenders. cracking down numbers in operation consequence I think we're getting significant because we are using intelligence our policing objectives, to direct where we will target better strike rates. and so we are getting And eventually, he warns, will get caught. even the most cunning drink-driver that he could go to jail. It is very likely So family, kids - that he's probably taking for granted I mean, all those things could all be taken away? That is certainly a possibility. are law-abiding, The majority of drivers with all walks of life, but as is the case there are bad apples. Chris Thompson from the RAA says our traffic rules and regulations the key to people complying with to wayward drivers. is providing a sufficient deterrent very real in those people's minds It's only when the perception is very real in those people's minds

they're going to get caught, that if they persist in this manner, that they're likely to take notice.

And he says if the current methods used to conduct licence and registration checks aren't working, to change the system. they'll lobby to government they'll lobby to government

were that many people unlicensed, If it could be shown that there talk to government and police yeah, we'd certainly working, that is unacceptable." and say, "Look, it's obviously not He may have a point. When we conducted our own survey in this prominent shopping-centre car park, we found no less than seven vehicles either unregistered or failing to display their current rego sticker. What have you got to say for yourself? Nothing. As for reckless Rodney, he may be one less drink-driver on the road. His case is now in the hands of the South Australian Police. They just think they're invincible. And it's not until something happens and then suddenly their lives are changed forever. But hopefully Mr Raines will wake up to himself before that happens. Now, one of the most fundamental expectations of a politician is that they live amongst their constituents.

But Queensland MP Robert Poole has found this basic prerequisite incredibly difficult to uphold. You see, he abandoned his electorate to live it up in a Thailand mansion built, one could only assume, with his taxpayer-funded income. And now he's refused to come home. Glenn Connley has this exclusive report. This luxurious two-storey mansion complete with pool, pagoda and all the trappings, is home to one of the wealthiest families in this region of Thailand. The peasants working in the fields here earn about $5 a week, a pittance compared to the man who lives behind these walls. He's lived like a lord off the taxes of locals for years - but not these locals. He's a grub. He's just in parliament for what he can get out of it for his own personal benefit. He's not representing the people. He's, you know,

just hanging in there so that he can get what he can out of the system. The owner is, or was until yesterday, a politician, not from Thailand, but a world away, on the Gold Coast. His name is Robert Poole and since 2001 he's been the Labor Member for the Queensland electorate of Gaven,

elected on a promise of serving his neglected constituents. But he soon became known as Mr Invisible, the missing MP, the member for Thailand and played a lot of people, including his own party, for suckers. He's made seven trips to Thailand since 2004. I went away in February after the election. As you know, we were all very, very busy. I then went away on behalf of a constituent for four days in June, and then I took the Helensvale senior cits away. This is Robert Poole last year in one of his rare appearances in Gaven, defending his lengthy and numerous absences. So basically, over this whole issue, your conscience is clear, as far as...? Of course it is. Mr Speaker, I'll be perfectly frank with everybody here - I'm disappointed in the way Mr Poole has handled this matter. I feel very personally betrayed. I've never seen him, no. Really, Robert's been away for six months of three years, at least. So what do you think of his performance as your represenative?

Very bad. Shocking. Oh, yes. He's a bit of ghost, isn't he? and two children, With his Thai-born wife and two children, this is where he's been disappearing to - Surin, a working-class district 450km north-east of Bangkok close to the Cambodian border. His sprawling estate dubbed "Poole House" is so big it takes up what was once an entire rice farm. It has five bedrooms, a number of entertainment areas, a roof crammed with solar panels and satellite dishes, manicured gardens and a gazebo overlooking a private dam. While the Pooles live in the lap of luxury -

in a huge mansion, with swimming pool, servants, and everything that opens and closes -

this is how the other half live. These are his neighbours forced to struggle by forced to struggle by on between AU$4 and AU$6 a week.

Compare that to Mr Poole's parliamentary salary of more than $110,000.

On that kind of money, here you live like a king. But Robert Poole will now be able to spend all his time here. He limped away from politics yesterday. Queensland Premier Peter Beattie had given his backbencher three months off to have a knee reconstruction in Thailand. But Poole jumped before he was pushed. It's addressed to me. It says, "Dear Peter. "I much regret in offering you my resignation from Queensland Parliament and as the Member for Gaven. Good. I hope we'll get someone in there that will do a little bit more for us. A politician who can't get to work because of a crook knee, you know, that's no excuse at all. The question now is will the missing MP be paid his generous superannuation entitlements which amount to more than $500,000 as a lump sum, enough to build another mansion in the tropics. Well, we'll find out and let you know. Now, you may remember this next face. It belongs to Charlie Saliba, a man labelled the landlord from hell by a long list of his tenants. Well, Charlie is at it again

making life a misery for all those unlucky enough to deal with him. Tonight Graeme Butler reports on the latest victims of this serial offender. Charlie, these people want their money back. Are you back at your old tricks again, are you?

Charlie Saliba is at it again. You may remember his face. He's been labelled Australia's worst landlord, and if ever a title fitted a person, this is it. Could we have a talk to you about some of your properties? So you say there's nothing wrong with those properties? Don't touch the camera! Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! Don't touch the camera! Get out of the way! Daniel and Samantha are the latest tenants to learn the hard way about Charlie Saliba. I tried to help them out, don't worry about that. You're helping them out by charging $160 for a dump! It's not a dump. Well, Charlie, that's a matter for debate. Broken fences, rubbish everywhere - a dump in our book, all for $160 a week. Bargain? We think not. They can have their money back. Will you give it to them now? I haven't got it with me now. Will you go and get it and we'll wait for you. When we moved in, the bloke, Charlie, the landlord, he said, "We made an agreement that within a week, everything will be fixed." Nothing. Charlie, you've been doing this for years and years, to tenants just like these people. It's because we're young, isn't it, Charlie, mate? Daniel and Samantha are typical of Charlie Saliba's victims - young, and in desperate need of a home. of Mr Saliba's properties, Their rented house is also typical that never eventuate, and the promise of quick repairs of this lousy landlord. also typical

and that's the story. I told him it's not quite finished, Where's my carpet? Where's my oven? Where's the security door? Where's everything, mate? Where's my back fence? 'cause of you. I've got to chase my dogs every day you found out that they're coming. You fix that now because Charlie's antics for almost a decade. Today Tonight has exposed unwitting tenants like Daniel Unfortunately, when the Saliba story began. were still at primary school Why do you rent it out? to be rented out. The property is fit why you haven't fixed these houses. We want to speak to you about to live in hovels, Mr Saliba. You're charging them a fortune I am not. Not only does Charlie Saliba charge enormous rent, what can only be described as given the state of the properties, all of his own. he dreams up a few charges $250 insurance. What's the insurance for? You tell me. I don't know. Why do you charge them insurance?

Just in case... ..because he didn't have any references. And that, by the way, is illegal. But it gets worse. rented the house to Damien, When Charlie Saliba from the City of Canning. it had a demolition order on it two weeks ago. The order was only lifted "Nah, nah." You ask for the money back - Then, as soon as youse come - "Can he have his money back?" tomorrow." "Yeah. You can have it back I won't get it back. But as soon as you go, and I'll give you the money. Tomorrow morning you come here And, surprise, surprise - he came away empty-handed. when Daniel went back in the morning Now, once again 'Dancing with the Stars' last night. the nation was glued to Meldrum may be a music guru, And unfortunately, while Molly his dance-floor talents voters decided they'd seen enough of by voting him off the series. action behind the scenes But, as usual, there was plenty of to capture it all. and our cameras were there Here's Rohan Wenn. The couple leaving tonight is... in this year's dance-off The first celebrity to be voted off was somewhat of a surprise. ..Molly and Alana. Whoa, that's a shock! Backstage, no-one could believe that it was hoo-roo to the guru. interviewing people, I can get back to my own life now, doing my own thing. and it was, "Who's your mummy?" We had a saying for Molly, And now we can't say it anymore.

inspired semi strip Not even Molly's Tom Williams' could keep him in the comp. can you feel it? # # Can you feel it, last week My feet were all over the place were quite kind, you know. and the judges, I thought, I think they felt sorry for Alana! Pre-show, the make-up and costume departments the preening and grooming in as the moves on the dance floor. was almost as competitive the new role in Dirty Dancing III. Luke was touted as getting A few last-minute votes. Voting for you, Alicia! Thanks, girls. Awesome. Best yet! throwing things in the Green Room I noticed a few people might concuss another competitor. that I think they were hoping might concuss another competitor.

for that Kostya Tszyu. You've gotta watch out in your body He knows every pressure point and when he walks past, it hurts. Jennifer Hawkins, And for former Miss Universe, the wardrobe malfunctions keep coming.

I can't get my top up. And Jennifer... ooh! Last year it was a sliding skirt.

Last night it was almost her top. Wardrobe mishap again! Wardrobe malfunction, top half! I couldn't get it off! you're beautiful it's true. # # You're beautiful, sewed everything on. They sewed it in, out of it 'cause it's sewed in. I don't know how I'm going to get any wardrobe malfunctions!" I'm like, "I'm not having Well, there's not much to come off, hopefully got some more material. so, you know, next week Despite the disappointment, to laugh about his loss. in the end, Molly had the good grace If you're playing cards, right, got the joker. Alright! I think Alana, unfortunately, still got his sense of humour. It's good to see Molly's we brought you late last year Now to an update on a report with the devastating prospect about an Australian mum who was left of her baby son Jaidyn of having to fight for the custody in the United States. a happy ending to that story. As Gavin Alder reports, there's been The situation is, basically, taken away from me I'm going to have my son to the United States with him. if I do not return When we first met Kellie, she was just days away from being arrested by Australian Federal Police, and forced back to the United States with her baby son, Jayden, in an American court. to fight over custody

I'm actually really scared and to think that they can't help me with my baby, I'm upset. for me live in my own country I'm very disappointed. But all was not hopeless. took up Kellie's cause, Friends and family starting petitions, rallying support

to politicians. and writing countless letters on Today Tonight, And, after our story took up Kellie's case, a Brisbane law firm her and Jayden back to the States. appealing the decision to send when she left her partner, Kellie's problems started a New York resident

just a few months and a man she'd known when she fell pregnant to him. She returned to Australia to have her child because her partner had become abusive. They wanted to see the baby. And did you want to go back? No. Eight months after Jayden was born, a New York court ruled he was a resident of the United States

and effectively kidnapped by his mother. even though he was born in Townsville and had lived all but three months of his life in Australia. Today, Kellie's been given the news she's waited 18 months for - that that decision by the US court has been overturned. can stay in Australia. and she and Jayden The landmark decision means wants to contest custody, if Jayden's father not the USA. he'll have to do it in this country, Mummy! Oh, mummy! Oh, kiss! Mwah, mwah!

for you. We'll keep an eye on that story

Coming up - raising kids. We visit a family with no rules and a family with all the rules. So how tough is too tough? Well, judge for yourself. on the weekend? So what are youse gonna do more or less. They can do anything they want here,

I've been exposed to. This is the most open household who are poor at parenting. There are many parents gonna stay the night? Is the boyfriend JOYOUS MUSIC SONG: # Yes, sir, that's my baby # No, sir, I don't mean maybe # Yes, sir... # for muscle and bone strength With protein and calcium and carbos for energy, of a balanced diet Nutri-Grain as part helps build them up into iron men. But in Mum's eyes... Oh, Mum. ..he'll always be her baby boy. FRIEND: Oh, come here, give us a hug. # That's my baby now. # Now to the tale of two homes. The first, where rules simply don't exist and just about anything goes, where the mother allows where the mother allows her 16-year-old daughter's boyfriend to sleep over and they're allowed to drink alcohol and use drugs. And the second home where the parent is very strict. Nicolas Boot was invited inside both these homes to see how these two very different parenting styles work. So what do you think? Well, take a look. I have no rules in my house, you know. I'm open with the kids. Occasionally we do have a small party where we drink and smoke. Tonight - when is young too young? Where the family home has no rules and teenagers can do just about anything they like. Say, if there's a special occasion where we would like to have something to drink, we can do it here, whereas we wouldn't be able to do that at another friend's house because their parents seem to think it's a bad idea for people our age. So what are youse gonna do on the weekend?

Single parent Tania Gore vowed she would never be like her strict parents, but the pendulum has certainly swung the other way. With her daughter Ashley, who's 16, Tania has made a rule to have no rules. This is the most open household I've been exposed to. They're the no-rules family. I don't want them having sex here. They all sleep here, but they don't have sex here. Ashley has her friends, including boys, sleep over in the same room, alcohol is allowed, it's an open house where experimentation is condoned. I didn't want 'em hanging around the streets. I prefer 'em to hang out here at home 'cause they're too young to go to clubs and pubs, or whatever, and if, you know, they can do anything they want here, more or less, you know. So we have an open relationship. As a blanket rule, you'd have to say what's going through the mind of a parent who says to their children, at 16 years of age, "It's alright to have your boyfriend come and sleep over at night-time "and I won't raise any objection to it."

What sort of model of parenting is that? The reality is is that it's a valueless model that sort of says, "Well, I don't care what you do." Family First Association's Damien Tudehope calls it "picnic parenting". Sure, there's no conflict in the Gore house but that's because Ashley gets her own way every time. But according to Damien, it's detrimental parenting. By creating no boundaries, the message that you're sending to those children is is that in every aspect of your life there are no boundaries and that you're this free spirit who can reject society. Well, that's not the way it works, unfortunately. The issue is - do they sleep over and have sex? I don't think that is appropriate. I don't think it's appropriate because it sends messages to the child which interfere with the way in which the child is going to learn about respect for themselves, respect for others, issues about their vulnerability as a sexual object and also issues about exploitation. Child psychologist Dr Chris Lennings is horrified parents are no longer setting boundaries. A survey by Girlfriend Magazine found almost 20% of the readers aged 13 to 17 were allowed to have their boyfriends sleep over. We're talking about teenagers - 13, 14, and 15. Is it appropriate for them to have sleep-overs? No. I don't think that's appropriate at all. It's not appropriate, legally, so the parent is being complicit in breaking the law in doing so. Secondly, it's not appropriate

in terms of what we know about the maturity of children to make those kinds of decisions. Once they become 18 years of age I will allow them to have a lady or a male friend over, but they will not be sleeping in the same bedroom. If they break that trust, then it will never, ever happen again - it's as simple as that. Mark, you can help your sister do the washing. Mother of five children aged six to 12,

Tammy Wilesmith says it's her parental duty to set rules. Everything seems to work like clockwork. That's because she's strict.

The kids do their homework and chores before they're allowed their own time. If I ever found out that my kids were doing drugs, I'm not saying I'd disown them, but I'd tell you, they'd break my heart, and they'd get one chance of going into a drug-rehab program and after they broke that, I'd never want to see them again. It sounds pretty tough, yeah, but I didn't have my children and I didn't bring them up the right way in order to disrespect me and not make something of themselves. But Tammy's parenting style is unfortunately becoming less popular as more parents find setting rules too cumbersome. Dr Lennings says parents too easily bow to pressure from their children but without rules, kids suffer. I certainly feel there are many parents who are poor at parenting and both their children and the greater society will pay the cost of that. We have an open relationship. She tells me everything that she does. She doesn't hide - she has no reason to hide anything from me. Damien Tudehope says parents like Tania Gore believe, unconditionally, they're doing the right thing but to function in society, kids need boundaries because later in life everything they do is governed by rules. There is that sort of superiority approach to parenting,

is that "Because I have this great relationship "I'm, somehow, a superior parent." Well, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and if you're allowing your children, for example, to use marijuana when they're 16 years of age are you doing them any favours? I think the majority of people would say No. Why would you introduce your children to the physical harm that marijuana - can use without any sanction whatsoever, without any suggestion that perhaps this isn't the right thing to do.

We'd like to know what you think of those two parenting styles. You can leave your comments on our web site.

Coming up - how we're becoming a nation of finger-pointers always blaming someone else. SIREN WAILS I think people don't want to take responsibility. We are very comfortable playing the blame game.

We've got a brand-new warehouse located on Belconnen Way. We've closed the old store down and we've moved to bigger premises. At Belconnen warehouse, we'll make shopping a lot easier.

We've got wider aisles and we've got a larger range. We've got DIY clinics. State-of-the-art paint department. We offer more products and more choices. SONG: # Bunnings Warehouse. # Lowest prices are just the beginning. Now to tomorrow night and the blame game -

how we're becoming a nation of finger-pointers and excuse-makers where no-one wants to take responsibility for themselves. SIREN WAILS We are very comfortable playing the blame game. "I wasn't speeding. I was overtaking." "I've just got some work done to my car, "I just wanted to test it out." It's somebody else's fault. I'll have that story for you tomorrow night. So thank you for your company tonight. And until tomorrow, I hope you have a great evening. Please take care, and goodnight. Captioned by Seven Network.