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A Current Affair -

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(generated from captions) Tonight - real estate disgrace - of home by a heartless landlord. the battling family kicked out Telstra's forgotten customers, for a home phone. forced to wait months with her cricketing romance. Lara Bingle finally goes public to help make babies sleep. And, foolproof ways This program is captioned live. Welcome to 'A Current Affair'. Hello. I'm Tracy Grimshaw. Also tonight - reveal the tricks alarming claims as insiders

behind 'The Biggest Loser'. being kicked onto the streets But first - the struggling family

by a heartless landlord. will be homeless, The single mum and her kids rental record - despite an unblemished for sending them packing. the owner giving no reason families are now falling victim Unfortunately, hundreds of low-income

to Australia's rental crisis. Majella Wiemers has the story. are going to be out on the street A bit worried 'cause the kids they're going to chuck my stuff out and I'm worries that to get all this stuff. and I've worked too hard a single mother of four, Sharlene Melksham is a battler, nowhere to live. who, very soon, will have sleeping in the car I won't know if I'm going to be with the kids and the baby. we're going to be going I don't know where is going to go 'cause the money - and where my furniture is to get into another place. all I've got left in Brisbane's western suburbs She's been in this house for four years 12 hours a day pay afford the rent - and, at times, has worked in all, more than $40,000. in good nick? You've always kept the place As good a nick as possible, yes. late with your rent? Have you ever been been late with my rent. No, I've never she can. Basically, she's doing the best got this eviction notice in December, So she was surprised when she So she was surpr sed he? she

saying she had to get out. the landlord wants the house back, They've just said

so, I don't know why. given me a reason. They haven't actually Her baby was then just a month old, for a new home, and Sharlene began looking to her newborn, her 9-year-old, as well as being a mum and 20-year-old son. 14-year-old daughter the real estates in between feeds I've been rushing around to all to watch the baby for me. and, when the kids come home a whole pile of applications I've put in

but, when to go see the houses, on a waiting list. you've got to be applications for each property. We're hearing anything from 20 to 60

for one house So you're in a competition you're lucky to get picked and, hopefully, sometimes and I have a gut feeling that over a married couple being a single mum than what I do. has got more of chance So, desperate, Oz Invest, for a little compassion, Sharlene asked her real estate agent, to bridge the gap. for just a week or two any more time. But they won't give me So we went with her to ask why - in the first place. why she's being kicked out to jack up the rent, Is it because you were looking or the owner wanted more rent? No, no, it won't be that. this mother and her family homeless? Then why are they prepared to make it's an owners property. At the end of the day,

they want a notice to vacate issued, If they've given instructions that that's the way it is. before I actually comment. But I want to find out some facts Sharlene has to leave the house, But, just 12 hours before

from the licensee of Oz Invest, and no answers, no extension Melanie White Ross. if I am still here tomorrow? What would happen to me, like,

Well, I've been trying... But, as Sharlene has found, Advice and Advocacy Services agrees, and Lorraine Baycon from the Tenants as this real estate agent makes out. it's nowhere near as easy with more than four kids If you've then got a couple

with two kids, and then there's a couple are going to get the property invariably, the couple with two kids over the larger family. And that's what we're seeing - to find long-term housing. larger families really struggling earlier than my appointment I get there sometimes 15 minutes there to view the same house. and there's 10 other people waiting

rent than they can really afford They're either having to pay more and living with family and friends, or they're moving in and so we're seeing overcrowding. Are you going to stay? I have to. 'Cause I've got nowhere to go on the street. and I'm not putting her I hear from the real estates So I'm going to wait until

they take me to court. and, if they take me to court, Majella Wiemers there.

given until midnight tonight And Sharlene and her kids have been

to move out of the house. to connect a home phone? How long does it take for Telstra and angry customer, Well, for one frustrated it's going to take five months. but it's also proving very costly. Not only is that inconvenient, They are frustrated and angry, they're not the only ones. and, as David Eccleston reports,

I don't understand why they've done

this to me, I've been a loyal

customer for over 13 years, I keep

hitting brick walls. David and his

wife standing up to Telstra. The

pit is 20 metres up here. The house

is 25 metres

is 25 metres away. That's less than

45 metres. That's plain stupid and

ridiculous. They They should be

able to get us a phone out here.

The Telco giant says they have to

wait five months to get a phone

connected. If I could swear you

would hear a lot of words. My

member for Parliament said it's

Third World standards. The couple

have been fighting Telstra for the have been fighting Telstra for the

past five years.

It's incredible.

It's incredible. The stunts they

to anybo y, to anybody, pulled, no service, I can't get on

to anybody, all I get hit with is 4

April. It's not like I live 600

kilometres out of town. I am 2

minutes out of town. Contractors have been out to the Rockhampton

property and claim it's a

straightforward job. Why doesn't telestra turn uppism

telestra turn uppism all I know is

it's a network problem. Can you

hear me, did you pick the kids up.

With poor mobile reception, Glenda

is struggling to keep her mortgage

business she runs from home afloat.

I offer a 24 hour service,

currently from the hours of 6pm to

7am, my clients can't contact me. I

feel I'm letting them down in the

service area. Then there's the young family to worry young family to worry about. If we

have a problem, a medical emergency,

what do I do. Telestra, what do I

do when we have a medical emergency. I've been waiting for my phone to be connected for over two months now, which is very frustrating. I make a lot of overseas calls, which is either not possible or very expensive on the mobile. Since the middle of December,

Fred Brugman has been looking at these cables in his yard and thinking to himself... How difficult can it be? Two wires, connect them, and I've got my phone. Telstra has been a notorious no-show at Fred's place. He's complained, but nothing gets it to turn up. I've actually lodged an official complaint and even contacted the telecommunications industry Ombudsman to make a complaint, but so far nothing has happened. My heart was

My heart was nearly jimping out of

my chest, I was so angry. A Telstra

screw up could have cost a life. In the middle of a mercy dash at sea, Telstra cut the line into their communications centre because of a billing bungle. It's lucky for them the fisherman turned up safe. He just made a funny noise and said, "I don't want to die, Mummy." Rose Boulding blamed Telstra for the death of her 10-year-old son, Sam, who suffered a massive asthma attack. They kept saying, "We know it's faulty and we will fix it." For three weeks, Rose and Barry claimed they begged Telstra to fix their phone. They knew the dangers. If Sam had an asthma attack during the day Rose would be stranded because she's blind. She said, "You have to realise that hours of fixing phones "are from 8:00-4:30 or 8:30-4:30."

I said, "What about my children?" She said, "Well that's the way it is." It should've been there, it should have been working, they knew about the problems, they should have fixed the bloody thing. The Victorian Coroner cleared Telstra of any wrongdoing. They claim Sam most likely would have died even if the phone was working.

Let's hope nothing does happen. If

it does. Can I please have a phone

so my business succeeds, please,

I'm a business, you are a business,

can't I I help your business out,

I'm helping yours. We raised these complaints with Telstra today and, remarkably, it managed to connect Fred's phone within hours and promises to have David and Brenda's up and running within two days. Now, if you have a problem you want some help with, please send us an email or give us a call.

Only a few weeks ago she was accused of being a marriage wrecker, but teenage model Lara Bingle seems to have put that controversy behind her. The face of Australian tourism has finally gone public

with the new love in her life -

cricketer Michael Clarke. Mazoe Ford was there. It was Australian cricket's night of nights, but amongst the red carpet royalty, all eyes were on hot new couple Michael Clarke and Lara Bingle. After rumours of an affair with married AFL star Brendan Fevola

two months ago, Australia was left wondering... So where the bloody hell are you? Last night, the 19-year-old ice-skating bikini babe was back on the arm of a new sporting star. The glamorous couple of the night, you might argue, is joining me now, in Lara Bingle and also Michael Clarke. ..who she definitely upstaged. It's by Lisa Ho and she designed it for me, so it's fresh and new and I think it's great. The game's long-time leading ladies

were also happy to show off their gorgeous gowns.

# You're lovely.. # Stuart Clarke. Cricket's a distant relative to glamour tonight and it's all about the ladies looking great. Nathan Bracken's wife, Hayley.

I designed it myself and I had a lady in Newcastle make it for me - Jennifer Rose.

What was the inspiration? Um, a 'Sex and the City' dress. I thought the fashions were spectacular. 'Sunday Age' fashion editor Rachel Wells.

In terms of sporting red carpet events,

the AFL Brownlow Medal Count is obviously the big one on the calendar, but I certainly think the Allan Border Medal is starting to rival that. Model Rebecca Twigley and that dress set a sporting red carpet benchmark that is being met. Shane Watson's partner, Lee Furlong. We hear a lot about the Brownlows and the ladies at the Brownlows. I think you guys are rivalling them tonight. Thank you. That's very kind. Big compliment because they always look stunning, every year.

Mel Gilchrest. I think we've picked up a little bit more this year, yeah,

we always love to get our hair and make up done and things like that, it's good fun, but I think maybe this year there's a little bit more glam about it. Tell me about what you're wearing. It's a little boutique in Bondi and Nic Cerroni has provided the jewels,

which have to go back tomorrow, unfortunately, so. Something you'd love to hold on to? Absolutely, but I've been angling all afternoon but he's not paying attention, unfortunately.

I'm playing the wrong game, that's for sure. But playing the wrong game very, very well. And now he's an Allan Border medallist

for the third time, wife Rianna might just get the jewels. As they say, behind every good man, is a great woman.

Obviously our sporting heroes have a big profile in this country, primarily for their on-field performances, but if they can show they've got the entire package, including the glamorous girlfriend,

then their marketability increases even further.

Mike Hussey knows that well. The unconditional love and support that we get from those guys, yeah, we couldn't do it without them, there's no question about that. Which makes a night like this their night too.

Jane McGrath, who's bravely battling cancer,

had been looking forward to it for a year. I'm very excited about tonight, seeing as I couldn't make it last year,

so I thought tonight I wanted to make it special. Special for Jackson and Brooke Warne as well. You have a lovely little date for tonight. How do you think she looks? Yeah, she looks very nice. Myer have dressed her up very nicely and done her little necklace.

Thanks to Andrew Symonds.

Yeah, she's looking lovely. She's very excited and I think we'll have a nice night. I've told half the friends in my class. And where's Simone watching from tonight? Um, at home. Enjoying it from the couch?

Probably. Mazoe Ford reporting there. Still to come - insiders spill the beans on the weighty tricks of 'The Big Loser'. And foolproof ways of making babies sleep. he e

There are ways you can survive. Those stories coming up. Last night Elise Mooney brought you the story of a family left stranded after its car was written-off by vandals. To make things worse, its insurance company used a technicality to avoid parting with its cash. We were overwhelmed by your response to the family's situation, and today there was a special outcome to the story. Totally raided it. All of the clothes and stuff are gone, They've taken everything out of there. Unbelievable. Karly Victorsen had been left stranded. Someone's keyed in here, they've slashed the tyres, they've smashed in the windows, taken everything out of my glove box. There's a whole heap of clothing on the back seat that's gone. This is unbelievable. The unemployed single mum of three had her car trashed by vandals but, in a double blow, her insurance company left her high and dry, claiming she wasn't covered for vandalism. What's more, Karly says GIO even cancelled her policy because she'd missed a payment. I don't know what answers you are looking for at this stage.

Third party insurance? Not covered for vandalism, policy cancelled, because she missed one direct debit. Can't answer that. I think they are absolutely heartless. Well there's nothing heartless about the response we received from viewers last night - hundreds of emails and calls from generous Australians offering to donate their car to Karly and her kids.

While the overwhelmed mum couldn't accept all of those offers, there is one that will help get her back on the road. Thank you so much. You are a really, really lovely person. Lawyer Corinne Jones is a single mum too. She's dug deep into her own savings, shelling out $7,000 for some second-hand wheels. She needs to be helped. You can't change the world, you can't help everybody, but every now and then, if you can help one person, you can change something and that's what it's about.

I have been selling cars for 30 years and have never come across this. I think she is such a generous lady. Sort of an inspiration to everybody, I think. Brian Duke car dealership has thrown in $500 worth of free petrol, too. I am really overwhelmed. It's really special. Nice to have a happy ending.

A shame GIO didn't come to the party, too.

Now to a disturbing insight into what goes on behind the scenes of the weight loss show 'The Biggest Loser'. This comes as health experts and other TV dieters

condemn the show's practices, warning that they could be life threatening. Howard Gipps reports.

The challenges will be bigger, The challenges will be bigger, the temptations.

Wow. They'll be impossible to resist. I mean, it's like a zoo. I mean, they call it reality. It's not real, mate.

Whose heart can take the pain.

You think you know who we are going through, you don't. It's just a circus, it's an absolute farce and it's just ridiculous. It is so far away removed from reality it's a joke.

Warning! Straight from those who know - if you have a weight problem and watch 'The Biggest Loser' for inspiration, you could end up losing a lot more than kilos. Don't forget that these guys have had medical check-ups, so they're relatively safe but, hey, if you and me, fat, start to do these things to ourselves, we could die. Dr John Tickell is an authority on weight loss and he's worked on some of those so-called diet-shows.

Now, as the new series of 'Biggest Loser' hits the small screen, even some who work on the show have broken their silence, voicing their grave concerns.

The thing that upsets me the most Lhe thing that upsets me the most The thing that upsets me the most

is the elimination, because you

have, let's say, a woman that

losses 5 kilos, but she's losses u kilos, but she's n t losses 5 kilos, but she's not won

the weigh-in, and is considered a loser.

Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, personal trainers on 'Biggest Loser', have just come out on radio with their worries about the shows ethics.

And then instead of

And then instead of being able to

create a sort of support system wit n

within the house, they have to can

abalise one another, that's

opposite to what I teach people, or

what Bob and I preach. It is a contest, so the heavyweights on the show must undergo what seems to be must undergo what seems t be

an endless circus of physically questionable activities - from a giant pig out to absurdities like pulling planes -

their shame, which is their weight, is there for all to see. Nothing like a bit of public humiliation! I mean, people want to see depravity, people like other people's downfall, they like to see them downtrodden. Sean Kirsten lost 41 kilos on the fitness/reality show 'Overhaul'. He says the lack of good health re-education on the 'Biggest Loser'

could have dire consequences once the show finishes. As soon as you put them back into society

they've got to deal with their mental issues and they've also got to deal with their vices as well, too. The first thing that I would do if I was locked up in the house, I'd be straight off to the pub.

As far as the contestants are concerned they lose weight the wrong way, it's too quickly - too much, too fast

and I don't believe that psychologically and also physically that it is an actual a good thing. Fellow 'Overhaul' contestant Anthony Sumbati.

Having psychologists and obviously h vqng di tYtians and obviously having dietitians and trainers on board is probably the better way rather than turning the whole weight loss thing into one big saga and one big Cirque du Soleil of watching these whole, fat people

stuffing their faces, losing this weight and yo-yoing up and down. For many people who struggle with their weight, it's the first thing they think about when they wake up, it's the last thing they think about when they go to bed. But the harshest critics of the 'Biggest Loser' are the overweight viewers surveyed by Monash University's Dr Samantha Thomas. I think the message that they think that this show merely is perpetuating the societal disapproval of people with obesity and I think for most people with obesity that's a very sad message to be portraying. Howard Gipps there. Coming up - help for parents. We tell you the best ways to get your baby to sleep.

So before we can reach our full potential - our destiny, if you like - there are three fundamental questions we have to ask ourselves. "Where are we right now in our lives?" 2, "Where do we want to be?" And 3, "How do we get there in the most effective way?" This bloke's onto something. (Sniggers)

Welcome back. Parents can lose hundreds of hours sleep in the first year after their baby is born. It's tiring just to think about it and worse if you're in the thick of it. Well, help is at hand. We've asked Australia's baby sleep experts to show us their foolproof ways to make sure the little ones get to sleep. He might be nice now,

but give it half an hour after he's been put down, he'll be awake again.

It's nearly 3:00 in the morning and mum Casey Peters is waking to her nightly nightmare. It's OK, bubby. I go to work and come home and get to sleep for a couple of hours

and I'm back up and, yeah, it's, yeah, you know.. I just need sleep. Baby Miller refuses to sleep for more than a few hours at a time. Like many new parents it's left Casey sleep deprived. It's very draining, exhausting, find yourself almost staring at the brick wall at times. That's not surprising. A recent survey has found new parents lose an average of 500 hours sleep in a year. I believe it, I believe it. I don't think you're really aware of it until you're in that position It's the middle of the night and you're looking at your baby who's bouncing around, thinking, "All the things I have to do tomorrow, "how am I going to get through that "with only a couple of hours sleep?" Dawna, Casey, Larissa and Leanne are a sleepless mothers club.

They say they've tried all sorts of ways to get less of this. (Baby cries) And more of this. SILENCE We've tried putting him in a cot beside our bed, we've tried having both boys go down at the same time, we've tried lots of different things. He sleeps in our bed with us in between mummy and daddy,

don't you? And that's the best way that we found we can get the most sleep. Babies are doing what babies do. Yes. Author Pinky McKay has been helping parents rest easier for years.

She says you should start by giving some "womb service". Keeping your baby's room warm and comforting.

Know your baby's cues. Know the tired signs - when is a baby sleepy?

It gets that glassy look in its eyes, it loses interest in things, it may get jerky movements, it may be a bit uncoordinated if it's an older baby. That's the window of opportunity to take that baby to bed. Pinky says you should develop some before bed-time rituals:

I recommend the 20-minute rule. Don't go in until 20 minutes have passed. Psychologist and author of 'How You Can Be Boss of Bedtime', Dr Janet Hall, says parents need to let their babies cry so they don't learn bad habits. Parents do have to be tough, tough with themselves. Don't think you have to be a super parent who has to be there at every beck and call of your baby. Learn that if you don't pay up every time, they will respect you for it. Pinky doesn't agree. There's more and more evidence that the stress hormones that are produced when a baby is left to cry it out actually alter the stress regulation mechanism in the baby's brain. Jodie says she's finally experiencing a silent night with baby Shaun after following Pinky's tips.

SILENCE I'm feeling so much better, nearly half-human now. And Julie, who hadn't had a wink's sleep since James was born five weeks ago. We have gone from 2.5 to 3 hours of sleep at a time, to one big stretch of seven hours, touch wood.

The joys of parenting far outweigh sleep deprivation at the end of the day. Ben McCormack reporting there, and you can find out more about how to make babies sleep at our ninemsn website. Still to come - how high-tech gadgets are catching out cheating partners.

Suspicious spouses right around the country

are turning to the latest high-tech spy gadgets to catch out their love rats. And the success rate is pretty high. With all the technology that's around today, it's very hard to cheat and get away with it. This, in fact, is a live bug. Cameras can be cached in something as small as a matchbox. Good old fashioned trust went out the window. Catching the cheats - that's tomorrow night.

Thanks for your company. Goodnight. Supertext Captions by the Australian Caption Centre