Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
Today Tonight -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) but the northern and western suburbs
could see some storms tonight. Hobart and Canberra
can both expect a morning shower

while it will become fine
in Melbourne. And Perth is in for
a Christmas scorcher.

On the water tomorrow:

It will stay pretty warm tonight then a cooler and gusty
southerly change will arrive on Christmas morning with a few isolated showers
and a much cooler day. A top of 23.

Christmas will be pretty cloudy
across the suburbs. The showers will clear on Boxing Day with a warm one on Thursday before showers set in. And unfortunately, they will
stick around until New Years Eve. Wishing you and your family
a very merry Christmas. Thanks, Sally. And we have some breaking news now
on Santa's journey to Sydney. Air traffic controllers
are tracking his sleigh's path from the North Pole. He's due to arrive in Australia
in the next few hours on his round-the-world journey. Airservices are giving Santa
up-to-date weather information So, kids, don't forget to leave out
some food and a drink for him and, of course, his reindeer. That's Seven News
for this Christmas Eve. From everyone in the Seven newsroom, I hope you and your family
have a wonderful Christmas. Next on 'Today Tonight',
Australia's best bosses handing out extravagant presents
to their staff.

This Christmas Eve - the companies
where it's not all gloom and doom and where the bosses
are playing Santa. Take care of your staff,
they are your greatest asset. It's fantastic. Every girl's dream. Who are the bosses
rewarding staff with lavish gifts? Plus, Jai's battle
with a rare form of epilepsy. He has 500 attacks every day. And the Telstra confession. How Australia's biggest telco
ripped $30 million off customers by charging too much. Are you owed any?

Good evening. I'm Kylie Gillies. Thanks for joining us
this Christmas Eve. While a certain jolly fellow
in a red suit prepares to make the long journey
from the North Pole, for some lucky Australians,
Christmas has come early. They are the staff members
of companies that show how much
they appreciate their efforts by lavishing them
with expensive gifts and bonuses. Rodney Lohse reports on the bosses
who are happy playing Santa.

There's no greater gift
than to have good staff. So, it's just saying thank you. It's good for morale. Handing out cash and cars, splurging millions
on lavish parties... ..opening up their wallets
and their mansions. Best boss in...the world, I guess! (LAUGHTER) They're our multimillionaire bosses
playing Santa Claus this Christmas. Hutchinson Builders'
Scott Hutchinson is just one CEO who believes this time of year
should be about employee pleasure, not profit. This year was our centenary so we had 15 parties,
1 at each office and the major one being in Brisbane where we flew everybody in -
everybody and their partners. "Look after your workers," he says,
"and they'll look after you." Because they've made Hutchies
what it is, they've made the money. Talking money, just how much
did those 15 parties cost? Probably seven figures, but I've been too scared
to add it up. Oh, it was amazing. One of the best parties
I've been to. I think anything he does is great. We all know flamboyant
Stefan Ackerie for his hairdressing salons but tonight, there's no cutting back
on his goodwill. It's a privilege, it's an honour. It's a great feeling
to be able to do it, yeah. He's handing out more than
500 gift bags valued at $1,000 each. That's over $500,000. (CHEERING) It's fantastic. Every girl's dream. He remembers people's names and is completely appreciative
of how we work and what we're there to work for. Stefan's gifts come on top
of the $1.5 million he's already spent on his staff
this year, including taking 200 of them
to Hong Kong. Anyone that doesn't think their staff are the secret
of their success is living in another world. At Boost Juice, Christmas is about
a role reversal... Normally, I'm working for the boss but it's great having the boss
work for me. Janine, I might have another beer,
thanks. (LAUGHS) ..with company founder
and managing director Janine Allis inviting some of her staff over
for dinner at her Melbourne mansion. Never in my wildest dreams had
I thought that this could happen. It's a million-dollar prize,
isn't it, really? It's nice to just stop
and say thank you because without them, we're nothing. Thank you also including
a ride on a jet boat... (ALL CHEER) ..a game of paint ball... Cover me!

..and a spin round
the go-kart track. Such an awesome day! Definitely experience of a lifetime
today. Also embracing the spirit of giving, Aussie Home Loans executive chairman
John Symond who handed out
more than $100,000 in prizes, including an African safari. They work damn hard, they work really, really tirelessly. Some of them stay here
till all hours of the night. But psychologist Bob Montgomery
warns some grand gestures can backfire, bringing out the grinch, especially for those staff who
miss out on the Christmas bonuses. "I've gone the extra yard but
they got the bonus and I didn't. "They take me for granted." "And down goes my motivation
and down goes my performance." Dr Montgomery says it may pay to reward teams
rather than individuals. Everyone should feel
they've got the same opportunity to contribute to the success
of the organisation. Back at Stefan's, the advice,
like the gifts and champagne, keep flowing freely. So if you want to have
a successful business and you want it to keep going, take care of your staff. They are your greatest asset.

How does your workplace compare? Let us know via our website: Or on our Facebook page,
or send us a tweet. Epilepsy is a condition that affects
more people than you might think. 500,000 Australians
have the disorder which scrambles messages
from the brain. But most only suffer mild effects. For Jai Whitelaw,
it's a very different story. Neil Doorley reports
he's constantly under siege as barely a minute passes
without him having a fit.

What's wrong, Jai?

Jai? He has seizures all day,
all night, 24/7. It's an extreme disease and desperate diseases
need desperate measures. Michelle Whitelaw doesn't get
the chance to have nightmares - she's never asleep long enough. Besides, her waking hours
are far worse than anything she could dream of. He doesn't get a break -
he's just constantly seizuring. Jai, are you alright? In the past two years, the longest she's slept
is three hours and here's why. (MACHINE BEEPS) Those jerky movements mean
her 7-year-old son, Jai, is having yet another seizure. He can have up to 20 an hour -
that's nearly 500 a day. I don't think
there is one type of seizure we haven't seen or he doesn't have. Jai was five when he suffered
his first seizure while on a family holiday
in country Victoria. He's been diagnosed with
two different types of epilepsy. One was LKS,
which is Landau-Kleffner Syndrome. The other one is CSWS, which is
continual spike waves syndrome. It means Jai can be playing
his computer game one second, then on the floor the next,
suffering a drop fit. Depending on where it happens,
the falls are potentially fatal. Someone has always got to be there
all of the time. About 1 in every 120 Australians
suffers from epilepsy. In half of all cases,
the cause is unknown. There are more than 40 types
of seizures, which usually begin
between the ages of 5 and 20. Early recognition,
getting in with the treatment early, and having a really good supportive home team, school team
and hospital team makes for the very best outcome
possible. Doctor Kate Sinclair
is a neurologist at Brisbane's
Royal Children's Hospital. She says Jai's epilepsy is one of the most severe cases
she's tried to treat. I've looked after other children
with Landau-Kleffner, and I think that Jai is probably
the most challenging child I've had to look after so far. And his epilepsy
won't just cause him to fit.

The girls are on a modified diet. High-fat.The girls are allowed to lead protein-rich foods but suites are a definite no-no.What you like the most?Toast.You like French toast.While it might be good for them, sometimes it might not look that good. They don't look like muffins but they do the trick.They do. I soak them in egg and cream, cinnamon and the Number and fry them in butter then put a source on the top.She says the results of the Monotype -- modified diet were obvious within a few weeks and the twins seizures have been reduced to a handful a day. They can only dream of better days. His entire family is a constant watch. His 18- year-old sister is trained in first aid and has given him CPR.That one was over 15 minutes. That was fairly long.He relies heavily on medication. How many tablets will he have today?Today's total is 35. The pills have not stopped the seizures and his only hope could be radical brain surgery.With that, I know he will be one of the first here that would have that type of surgery if it is possible at all. Until then, the best treatment could possibly be his mother's love.

Very tough
for any mother to cope with. We can only hope Michelle and Jai
get some respite over Christmas and some long-term help
in the new year. Now to Telstra's
embarrassing admission that it's been overcharging
customers for the past six years. To its credit, Australia's biggest telco
initiated the audit on data roaming charges, that found it had taken
$30 million it shouldn't have. And while it's volunteering
to reimburse the money, the blunder raises questions about
other charges and other companies. Madeleine Kennard has more. It's definitely highway robbery. I was shocked.
Upsetting, angry at the same time. The $30 million overcharge... I don't know where to get the money
from to pay this $12,000. I've got three children to support. ..gouging hundreds of thousands
of Australian customers. Since 2006,
Telstra have been overcharging as much as five times
on some customers' phone bills. I could have gone to New Zealand
six times over or stayed in a resort
or gone further overseas. Tom Williamson
is one disgruntled Telstra customer who knows what it feels like
to be stung by excessive
overseas roaming charges. When I opened it,
I remember seeing it and seeing four figures before
the decimal point on the phone bill. You're just not used to it. We've all got call caps now. We don't expect to see
$1,000-plus phone bills. During a visit to New Zealand, he was charged almost three grand
in three days. I didn't download movies or music
or apps or anything else. It was just pretty much emails, maps
and a little bit of social media. Global roaming is when
you use your phone overseas so, you're using overseas networks but it's being billed back
to your provider at home. Customers are charged a fee
of around 50 cents at the start of each data session. Telstra has been charging this fee
multiple times during one session, equating to more than $30 million
in the past six years. Telstra have admitted
there was a problem with the way
international phone companies were recording people's usage
on Telstra phones. In a statement, they said:

Elise Davidson from the Australian Communications
Consumer Action Network says if you've been with Telstra
at any stage in the past six years, you might be eligible for a refund. If customers do get
an unexpectedly high bill, the first thing you should do
is contact your provider and try and find out
if those charges are correct and if you can't afford
to pay that bill, have a conversation with them
about what has happened. Australians made a record
8 million trips overseas last year and according to the Telecommunication
Industry Ombudsman, mobile roaming complaints
have soared by 40% in the past nine months. It really is a real minefield
out there when it comes to trying
to have real control over those
international roaming costs. Matt Farmer from Globalgig claims he has found the answer
to overseas roaming charges. He's developed
a portable wi-fi hot spot that allows you to stay connected
while in Australia or travelling overseas. You can connect
up to five devices simultaneously and with the device you can,
for one price, stay connected when you're
travelling in the US or the UK. We have two phones on the same plan so, when we get our bill
it's normally $300 the max unless there are overseas calls and then it will be more than that. But the global roaming issues
don't explain Melbourne mother-of-three Lita's
excessive charges. The allowance I can use per month
is 3GB. According to them I've gone over.
The extra I've used is 5GB. Last week, she received
a phone bill for more than $12,000, charges, Telstra said, were
the result of excess data usage. I've been put through
to four different people. The last person I talked to, no-one can explain to me
what happened. Like its embarrassing
$30 million admission of guilt. After we contacted them
about Lita's bill, Telstra is backflipping again. They concede this is another error
and are waiving the bill. Australians love a safe bet so we spend $2.5 billion
on gift cards and vouchers every year. The bulk of that gift card spending
has been done in the past few days and we're being warned
there are traps. During a recent Qantas sale, Sharon Wait tried to book flights
online using her $200 gift voucher but found she couldn't purchase
the $69 sale fares with it. The $69 fares were $159 when you go through the
redeem-vouchers area on the website. The fares jumped $90
and we were disgusted by that and thought it was very unfair. It pays to complain. Sharon and others
have forced Qantas to review
its voucher redemption system Dianne Stafford
has gone off gift cards after giving her son
and daughter-in-law a $200 Westfield gift card each. When they tried to redeem them,
the cards came up empty. Turns out there was a problem
activating the card. The customer support guy was
very flippant and very dismissive and said, "Oh, well,
you've been given a dud card, mate." Diane only got a refund after complaining
to New South Wales Fair Trading. Fair Trading Minister
Anthony Roberts says all gift cards should have
clearly written on them the amount they are worth,
an expiry date and any terms and conditions. Businesses already make a fortune out of people
who don't use these cards or only use a certain percentage
of them. That's why it's in their interest to keep the card expiry period
to 12 months. He's pushing for
that 1-year expiry period to be increased to five years. Of course,
the big advantage of gift cards is the extra buying power they have
during the post-Christmas sales. We're heading to a break now. When we return - where have our manners gone? Having bad manners
is like having BO. Nobody wants to tell you
and everybody avoids you. Are your children's manners
on the nose? Getting them back on track -
that's next.

Welcome back, as we ask the question do today's children and teenagers
have the worst manners There's growing concern that etiquette
is being tossed out the window and the children of today
don't mind their manners. Jackie Quist reports.

We've lost etiquette
over the years. They've not been dead manners, haven't been dead
but they've been very ill. Having bad manners
is like having BO. Nobody wants to tell you
and everybody avoids you. Etiquette queen Patsy Rowe
is convinced grooming, manners
and proper conversation are relics of the past.

It's only common courtesy, Chuck. Well, children today
lack good manners. You can see it everywhere you go. You see it in supermarkets
and on aeroplanes and in trains. They don't stand up for adults. We put the theory to the test with the help
of great-grandmother Emilie Temple. I don't think they've got
as much respect as we did. On a crowded tram,
67-year-old Emilie hangs on, the two students alongside her
remaining comfortably seated, another pupil oblivious. This young girl refusing
to acknowledge Emilie, studying her lap intently. And watch this lady
pushing her pram up a big step, the young man to her right
not even offering to help. At the crowded railway station,
Emilie is again forced to stand while students
are hogging the bench. So, who's to blame? I left it up to the TV or I left it up to the teachers
to teach him. I really didn't have any idea. Teaching manners to her son
wasn't even on the agenda. I didn't really pass that on. I was just trying to survive
and get through the day. 21 years later and full of regret, Annie is determined not to make
the same manners mistakes with her second son, Zedekiah. There you go.
Thank you. That's alright. Without doubt it needs to come
from the parents. They need to show the children
from a very early age to use the "pleases"
and "thank yous" and show courtesies to the elderly
but to everyone, really. And children learn from example and it is really hard to get them
in their 20s 30s. We have executives come in who have never been exposed
to table manners, for instance. Donna Leigh is CEO of the Suzan Johnston
Training Organisation, which now includes
a finishing school for children.

The company's been going
for 51 years and its the biggest 12 months,
18 months, that we've ever had in history, so it's been extremely popular. What are you teaching them? How to deal with bullying,
how to be assertive, definitely table manners
and knives and forks, how to eat nicely, closing their mouth
when they're eating, not talking when they're eating through to "pleases"
and "thank yous". We've finished our soup
and it was delicious. Do we lick our bowl at the end? No!

Natasha's laughing.
It's pretty silly, isn't it? I use table manners when you're
asking for stuff, manners. I've learnt how to sit properly
and use the correct etiquette

Jayme, we should have one foot
behind the other. Back to the train and while legs and bags
are everywhere, Emilie's faith
in the younger generation is partially restored. On the train it's a obstacle course but children
quickly make way for her. Despite there being empty seats, a young man leaps up,
giving his seat to Emilie. Boarding another train, eager schoolboys shove past Emilie,
oblivious to her age. Schoolgirls do the same
as she tries to get off. But two boys do make room for her
on the station seat. I think gave up their seat
and they moved their bags so I was definitely
pleasantly surprised. I nearly got knocked over
getting off the train once Manners are actually a licence
to popularity and success and that's how we're going to
win people over. You see, Chuck, whatever you do,
wherever you go, it's all about
putting your best foot forward. And, of course, it's good manners to wish one and all
a very merry Christmas and we'll have some very special
Christmas messages after this break. We'll be right back.

The great thing about dogs is
watching them grow by your side. As they grow,
their dietary needs change, which is why OPTIMUM offers
tailored formulas for dogs of all ages, giving them the nutrition
they need for life.

SONG: # Look at me
Look at me... # For an impressive website that helps deliver
more customers to your business, from only $32 a month, call Yellow Pages, and we'll build one
that's right for you. # Look at me... # Call 13 20 56 today.

Every day until Easter, Coles is doubling your fuel discount. Spend $30 in store to get
a massive 8 cents per litre off fuel at Shell Coles Express every day until April 1st at Coles. Conditions apply - see in-store or

There's no-one youer than you. That's why there's Youi. We save you money by insuring you
for how you use your car. So if your car is
mostly at home during the day, we could save you lots
on your car insurance. Call 13youi or go to

Tomorrow night, the 9-year-old boy
enjoying his best Christmas ever. Thanks to the sacrifices
of his parents, now he can say four simple,
but important, words - "I love you, Mum". Nana! It was something we were
throwing around for several years and looking into. Since returning from China, Flynn has shown the ability
to sequence sounds in words. To hear him this year say,
"I love you, Mummy," it's enough to bring tears
to my eyes. A wonderful story of faith and
determination overcoming the odds. Thanks for your company.
I'm Kylie Gillies. Have a great day tomorrow, stay safe
and I'll see you tomorrow at 6:30. Merry Christmas from all of us here
at Today Tonight and the Seven Network.

We want to wish you a Merry Christmas.Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.Higher, everyone. Have a happy Christmas.What is up, guys? We're wishing you a

# The Lord is my shepherd # I shall not want # He maketh me
to lie down in green pastures # He leadeth me # Beside the still waters

# Still waters. #

So, Jim, who do you think is
the greatest pop group of all time?

No-no-no... Nolan Sisters.

I agree.
The scintillating sisters of sin. And the greatest all-round
entertainer?No-no... Noel Edmonds. Obviously.Of course. And the greatest
metaphysical philosopher? No-no-no... No bloody idea at all.

Sorry we're late.
Family business to attend to. Right. Item one...
What family business? Father's put the house in my name
as a tax dodge. " a tax dodge." The meeting hasn't started. Yes, it has.
You said "Item one" and Hugo said, "Father's put the house
in my name as a tax dodge."

Do you wish to say anything else
before we vote? Vote on what?On this tax dodge. All those in favour
of the tax dodge?

All those against?

It's not a tax dodge. It's
a legitimate tax avoidance measure. All those against the legitimate
tax avoidance measure?

All those who think the legitimate
tax avoidance measure is just
a poncy way of saying "tax dodge"?

Item one...Sorry I'm late. I was watching a documentary
about Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. I fell into a coma.

As I was saying, item one... Actually, before item one,
can I inject an item 0.5? No.Thank you. I wanted
to say that this Christmas
is slightly special to me. Does anybody know why? Good God! Is Carry On Camping
going to be on the telly? I don't know, Jim, but that's not...
I know.Good, Hugo. My guess is that Jesus
is actually going to be born again, but this time he's going to
whup everyone's arse
and turn hatred into love.