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A Current Affair -

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(generated from captions) are being let down First, why Australian children to protect them. by a system that's supposed A staggering 250,000 youngsters - the capacity of the MCG - that's 2.5 times every year. are abused, neglected or harmed

every mother and every father - Tonight, a story that will shock at breaking point. a child protection system # A pocket full of posies... # Take a look into these faces. # A pocketful of posies... # vulnerable. They're innocent, trusting, # We all fall down... # And now they're all dead. should have died. But none of these babies every single case. Child welfare authorities knew about that just doesn't work. They're victims of a system child protection in Australia Tonight, you'll see how has failed its primary goal. parents, imagine what we could tell you and attention like how we adore all your love but in return we just scream. so you scream back. It drives you mad, GROWLING SOUND EFFECT you're glad we're here We just need to feel and that we're worthwhile. to grow up I do - at risk of not being able emotionally stable life. and live a healthy, and daughter. First, a battle between mother is not fit to be a mother, Christine says her daughter in danger. and it's putting her grandchildren Mannon has attempted suicide and substance abuse. and has a history of violence to have the best for your children? Do you blame your mum for wanting No, not at all. (Dog barks) What are the dangers? Moral danger, great moral danger, in the house, and great risk. as far as different men never be seen by a child. You're seeing things that should SOMBRE MUSIC being a teacher. and I've seen a lot of children (Connor wails) hold him, you can't stop him. you can't control him, you can't (Connor screams) and pulling my hair, She had me down on the ground kicking me. screaming, "Stop hitting nanny!" Yes, yes, screaming, I had... I lost the plot. A bit or a lot? I clinically should be dead. Why do you say that? No. That right to a nice start in life? They're not. your mum would prefer Do you think, deep down, Oh, yeah. thinks she can do it better than me. Of course she would because she and look after these children. Change the system SOMBRE MUSIC Are you OK? to save baby Jeremy. but nothing was done the full details The law prevents us from telling you surrounding his death. But one thing's for certain - all the warnings. child protection officers ignored he really was. and it was horrible the way he died. He had such a short life he cried 'cause he was hungry, He was born addicted to drugs, and he lived in filth he was unloved with drugs surrounding him. Four months later, he was dead. It's just not right. Dianne can't be identified. DoCS to rescue baby Jeremy. But she's one of many who begged to throw up. I swear I thought I was going was cockroaches running everywhere, The filth was unbelievable, there dirty clothes, mouldy food, there was dirty nappies, there was filth on the walls, like drugs, on the coffee table. there was tablets, the father, grandmother, Everybody - aunties, uncles, everybody. great grandmother, great auntie - There had to have been 50, 60 calls. overdose, DoCS removed his siblings When his mother died from a drug but left Jeremy in the house. Two weeks later, he was dead. detailed horrific injuries. A medical report They just did not care. DoCS just didn't care. and they just don't. They're supposed to care that little Jeremy died. It's been close to a year now But the little girl, and said, she once turned around to me I had a little brother?" "Do you know I said, "I do." Mummy," and she said, "I know." I said, "He's up in heaven with and that's all she said to me. She said, "I miss him", mother and a dead baby brother. She remembers she's got a dead at night? And that case worker sleeps Because I don't. by a pack of savage dogs. this little girl was neglected. For years DoCS had received warnings I'm just totally gutted to DoCS. people were reporting your wife but... Numerous people were calling DoCS, You were ringing, you were emailing? Yes and... Nothing happened. Right throughout the file 'low priority'. there are words like 'unallocated', Department of Community Services I'd just like to know when is going to go get some priority out there. about the welfare of the children 'Sorry' just doesn't cop it. lack of funding - All the excuses in the world, it's just not good enough. to live in a place like this? Yet in this case in these sort of conditions, they knew they were living but they did nothing. You made 200 phone calls? In two years. was reporting her own family. This woman - we'll call her Lisa - something out of Halloween. One of the boys' rooms was like on your phone? You took some photographs Yes, I did. cockroaches, mice, rats, It was horrible - spiders, it was in there. you name it, It was just horrible. In the bedroom? Yeah, in the bedroom. and gave custody to Lisa. DoCS removed the children at home The children were so badly treated were certain swear words they thought that their names to introduce themselves and it took us months to get them with their real names. both drug users - Unbelievably, those parents - to get the children back. are now trying And taxpayers are footing the bill. Yep. And they have access to legal aid? No. You don't? The children's father has violent tendencies - been to jail a couple of times for domestic violence. If the kids go home and he has one of his blackouts, as he calls them, who knows what he will do to his kids. They could end up dead. Show that we care. We're Australians - we're meant to care for our mates but what about our children? And if you have an issue with DoCS, we want to know about it. Send us an email or give us a call. that sold for the bargain basement price of $62.92. The property was bought during a reverse auction where potential buyers did their bidding via an online service. So we just hand him the keys and we say to him, "Congratulations, this is yours." we even pay the body corporate fees and the rates for one year. a mystery buyer has picked up this $330,000 Gold Coast apartment for the grand old total of $62.92. What we do know about this person is that it's a male from WA and he's in the age group of 18-30. Phyllis Dunn is from lowestuniquebid.com and is here to explain how it all works. Unlike a conventional auction, this can't be passed in because the way we set it up is that it was going to go off on a set date and regardless of how many bids we had. Say you want this $800 mobile phone. Now a whole lot of people bid one cent, a whole lot of people bid two cents, but you're the only person who bids three cents. You've got the lowest unique bid. The phone's yours for three cents. Good call. Each time people place a bid they pay an administration fee and with this particular unit it was $5. He put $200 over that period that he was bidding into his bid bank, so that's what he's spent to end up with this apartment. So it's got some elements of skill but it's mainly a game of chance - a bit like gambling. However, finance commentator Tom Elliott says the odds here are better than the lottery. For instance, I understand that about $80,000 people bid on the house so you probably had a better than 1 in 80,000 chance of winning it. That's certainly better odds than winning $1 million in Tattslotto, for example. We all know how difficult it is to break into the property market and it's just becoming harder and harder all the time Up for bids tonight are a $52,000 Holden ute, a $600 Nokia mobile phone a $300 Apple Ipod a $700 Playstation What'll they sell for - one cent, $1, $10 - who knows? If this is well marketed - if you get photographs and interviews with people who have won cars, won houses and so forth The results, in fact, are already there - some who've bought Gold Coast holidays, others who've bought plasma TVs. Then there's Wendy, who bought a new MP3 - all for an annoying handful of change. It's absolutely like getting something for absolutely nothing - 63 cents - you may as well say it's free. Then they post it out to you for nothing, so it's pretty much free change from $1. He's the man behind the Ultra Tune empire - a hair restoration business - and he owns the Australian racehorse of the year, Miss Andretti. But businessman Sean Buckley has been linked to accused murderer and drug baron Tony Mokbel. Newspaper reports today claim Buckley handed over large sums of money each week to Mokbel allegedly up to $50,000 at a time. I spoke exclusively to Sean Buckley late today from Hong Kong. What was your reaction when you heard these allegations? I was pretty horrified. I was shocked about the extent of them. How well do you know Tony Mokbel? I bought a farm often. He then went to my hair Studio a month later to get here treatment. So you never had any dealings with them prior to 2004? That's correct. The Herald Sun has spoken to your staff who have detailed cash drops of up to $50,000 that he picked up weekly from your hair treatments along. Did that happen? That was a lease agreement but my lawyer's, the drip of a book Prosecutions and the bank negotiated that I pay him to lease the property until the purchase was settled. Was it paid in cash? Yes it was paid in cash and also in check. Wasn't up to $50,000 in cash? I do recall $50,000 but it was a high magnitude. Why didn't you pay in cheques or transfers? There was some cheques given to him. Out of all the money paid, probably 75 % was check and 25 % was cash. Your staff have talked about coffee meetings when he'd turn up with or without a bodyguard see collectors cash and you'd sit there and have coffee or maybe lunch and talk about him as your mate. Did that happen? I did have lunch at the Monday after he got his hair treatment. I was sitting next door in the cafeteria and he walked out and had a cup of coffee with me and a sandwich. Did you consider your friends? No, not friends. He was an agreed - an acquaintance I was doing business with. We're not wary about forming a relationship with them? I wasn't wary but I had to buy him money for the least of the farm. Some people would think it curious you had to meet him in person to pay him the money. Would you agree there are a lot of coincidences here? He by his horse property, he comes you for here treatment and he owns an apartment above yours and you both have extensive links to racing. He had an apartment well before me and I didn't know I'm at the time I bought my apartment. Have these allegations damaged your reputation? Of course they've. But I'm an honest businessman and I don't do anything wrong. I've made mistakes in the past denied us move on and do what I've to do. against the 'Herald-Sun' newspaper. Retired entertainer John Oakes loves being Santa Claus. But the 70-year-old has been sacked from his dream job for saying, "Ho, ho, ho!" Christmas without "Ho, ho, ho!" is like strawberries without cream. Ho, ho, ho! I think it's ridiculous. Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas! John Oakes is a bad Santa, sacked for saying, "Ho, ho, ho!" That was the reason you were given? And also I was singing 'Jingle Bells' for Christmas for the kids so they could smile on the camera so when they had their photograph taken... So what was your reaction to that - that you were sacked for saying, "Ho, ho, ho"? Last month talent agency Westaff, which hires out Santas, caused outrage when it suggested that it was no longer appropriate for Santa to say, "Ho, ho, ho!" It was considered that "Ho, ho, ho!" might scare the kids and so Santas were told to say "He, he, he!" instead. He, he, he? That's OK, I suppose. It's not quite the same, though, is it? If they get me back again and I could get reinstated, I'll say, "He, he, he." Commonsense says, "Leave Father Christmas alone!" Youth worker Father Bob Maguire thinks sacking Santa is madness. It's just un-Christmassy. It won't make his Christmas and he got sacked for what - saying "Ho, ho, ho"? "Ho, ho, ho!" John was in his fourth year as Santa at Myers in Cairns, Far North Queensland, when he was sprung for breaking the rules. You're kidding, aren't you? No. No, that's not right. Ho, ho, ho! Does that scare you? No, it makes us cheerful. He's a universal character of good sense and good fun and that's what we need these days. It was also suggested, wasn't it, that because 'ho' is slang for 'whore' these days that that was inappropriate, but... That's inappropriate, yeah. ..do you think most of the kids understand that? No. I don't think so. So do you think this is political correctness gone mad? I think it's gone round the bend. Round the bend? Yeah. ALL: Ho, ho, ho! (Laughs) And today, Westaff refused to directly answer any of our questions but did admit the company will now allow its Santas to say, "Ho, ho, ho!" Ridiculous, isn't it? That's too little, too late for John Oakes. Now to the mum who's made an art form of appearing on TV game shows. Alison Gill has lost count of the number of prizes she's won on various programs over the last 20 years. And Australia's game show queen has pocketed a small fortune along the way. Light it up, please. Winner! My big one, 'Price is Right', $112,000 in prizes, CROWD ROARS I absolutely freaked out. I screamed and my friend was out there and she and Larry went to hug and they actually bumped heads and Larry ended up with a huge welt on his forehead. The agony and ecstasy of quiz show queen Alison Gill. I absolutely love being on TV. I love the adrenaline that it gives me, so that's my whole motivation for going on. I don't really think about the prizes, or what's at the end - I just focus on the fact that I've got to think on my feet. For 20 years this Newcastle mum, hairdresser, and quiz show addict has been bringing home the loot. But her career start was quite modest. OK, the first one was Supermarket Sweep, a $100 voucher to a seafood restaurant in Sydney. Ally has gone off with her second trolley! I absolutely loved running around the supermarket grabbing all the groceries. I was actually throwing groceries and Ian Turpey nearly got hit with one and I just absolutely loved it. Alison Gill is joining us on 'Wheel of Fortune'. The second one was 'Wheel of Fortune' - about $3,500 in prizes.

These are some of the blinds that I won. 'Catch Phrase', and 'Price is Right'. which my husband was really happy about getting a bike. She's fantastic. 'Baby' John Burgess of 'Catchphrase' and 'Wheel of Fortune' fame believes Alison's determination is a large part of the reason for her success. She would have to go through quite a lengthy process to get on, and queue up a lot and sit around and contemplate her navel, so I admire her for that. And her first tip is: that's more my style. I mean, you've got to be twice your personality, so if you're already a bit quiet, you're really going to have to put it on and sell yourself and act like you're just the most fantastic, entertaining person that they've ever met. You've got a show a bit of personality, have a bit of life in you. It's no good having somebody saying, "Oh, g'day," so you know a bit of sparkle and a bit of pizazz. and you've got to be able to think straight. about producers controlling or limiting the outcomes and prizes in shows like 'Bingo'? I'm not sure how much influence producers have over who wins and who doesn't. I'd like to think they're not producing me as a win, that I've done that by myself, um, but you never can be 100% sure about that. Lastly, about those beautiful prizes - if they don't suit your lifestyle, sell them and get something that does. Alison flicked the Alfa for a new kitchen and airconditioning. Her hubby loves his bike. Anyone can be on a quiz show, but it's good to prepare yourself properly for it. And for more information on Alison's story, visit our ninemsn website. After the break - Aussie TV survivor, Alan Dale. At Franklins, we love to save you money! With Christmas specials! Like... 2kg Ingham Turkey Breast Roast: 825g Goulburn Valley tinned fruit or 3 x 140g varieties: 1.25l Coca-Cola soft drink varieties: Franklins is also about what makes 'Christmas' Christmas! Like celebrating big time! So, merry Christmas from Franklins! To his legion of fans, Alan Dale is best remembered as Jim Robinson in 'Neighbours'. Since those days the actor has carved a big career in the US. Back on Aussie shores, filming for the next series of 'Sea Patrol', Alan Dale has become one of our biggest exports. Doesn't really compare, does it? I had a speech all prepared for you, mate, but you've heard my speeches before... This is how his older fans may remember him. But it's been 15 years since Alan Dale left 'Neighbours'. And, in that time, he's been a very busy man.

and mine is this, what I do is I choose the ones that are offered to me. Beauty! Everything will change once Mr Bauer calls. Did you set out to conquer the States or was this just something you tripped upon? Well, sort of. I set out to go and see what happened and I didn't expect much, but it's worked out really well. Interesting decorating motif. I did - thanks for mentioning it! Does it make it harder or do you like keeping busy? I love being busy. I don't know if it's harder 'cause I've never worked this hard in my life! I do get tired, but I work out in the gym and do what I can. COLDPLAY'S 'FIX YOU' PLAYS trying to kill you off with heart attacks? Maybe they find out about me and say, "Let's get rid of him." How can we do that? Well, usually he dies of a heart attack quite well. to the 'Guinness Book of Records' for the actor that's died of a heart attack most on television. So, 'Ugly Betty' fans beware - Bradford Meade may have a dodgy ticker. Who knows? But probably it will be a heart attack. We've talked a bit about your acting career but can you tell us about this? They were glass when I used to deliver them and I could carry five, I think, in each hand and I used to run down the road carrying them. It was from that that I got started 'cause I was driving along one night at 4:00am delivering my milk and so when I finished the run I went into town and met the people and said, "That guys was terrible. "How about you give me a go?" And they did. And, as they say, the rest is history. Not bad for Jim Robinson. Do you think Aussies will never let that go? What I find is every journalist that ever talks to me brings it up, so it's not likely that it's going to disappear, is it? And, hopefully, we'll see more of you on Aussie TV. I hope so. Belinda Russell there. And Alan Dale returns to our screens in the Nine Network's 'Sea Patrol' drama early next year. Still to come - the fast food diet.

is all about loyalty.

Join Franklins Loyalty Club today. We're offering Loyalty Club Christmas bonus points on selected items. Hey, where's my Christmas bonus, big fella? Check out this week's catalogue and Merry Christmas! all on a diet of fast food. I researched what was in each meal, I researched where the calories were. I like takeaway and I like the sugary taste and I like the convenience. Thanks for your company. Goodnight. Supertext Captions by Red Bee Media Australia www.redbeemedia.com.au PREVIOUSLY ON "MEN IN TREES"... I'M MARRIED, AND I LOVE MY WIFE. YOU KNOW PATRICK? HE'S MY SON. WHAT?! WE'RE STILL FRIENDS, RIGHT? FRIENDS WHO ARE MARRIED AND LIVING TOGETHER, DATING OTHER PEOPLE. I'M KEEPING AN EYE ON YOU.

NOTICE ANY DIFFERENCE? YOU ALWAYS LOOK GOOD TO ME. IT'S HARD FOR ME TO TRUST A MAN WITH ANYTHING. TRUST IS A 2-WAY STREET. (ship horn blows) (man) # TALK TO ME, BABY, IT HAS TO BE MAYBE # # IT'S LOVE # # AHH, AHH, AHH # # EACH TIME I SEE YOU, I JUST WANNA... # (Marin) I THINK I'M GETTING ATTACHED. I-I KNOW IT'S TOO SOON, BUT I-I CAN'T HELP IT. THIS BOOK IS... SO DIFFERENT THAN ANYTHING I'VE WRITTEN BEFORE. IT'S... NOT ABOUT FINDING A MAN. IT'S ABOUT FINDING YOURSELF. I'VE ONLY FINISHED A FEW CHAPTERS, BUT... I THINK IT COULD BE BIG. CAN'T WAIT TO READ IT. IT'LL BE A WHILE, BUT I'M FEELING INSPIRED BY ELMO. YEAH, IT'S HARD NOT TO BE. HMM. (chuckles) WHAT'S THIS? PANOPEA ABRUPTA. MM. FANCY. (chuckles) YEAH.

THAT'S A GEODUCK. IT'S THE OLDEST SHELLFISH IN THE WORLD.