Four Corners

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###Supplements and Safety: The hidden dangers of vitamins and health supplements

Monday 16 May at 8.30pm

Supplements and Safety: The hidden dangers of vitamins and health supplements
"We love the notion of a magic pill. It’s something that makes it all better." - Dr Paul Offit, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

It’s the multi-billion dollar industry selling health supplements and vitamins - over the counter pills and capsules bought in enormous numbers by consumers.
“I really want to say, ‘Show me the data. Show me the evidence.’” - Dr Joann Manson, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

But do they do you any good?
“You can sell something without any evidence that it’s safe or effective.” - Dr Pieter Cohen, Harvard Medical School

Should you take vitamin D pills? What about vitamin E, multi-vitamins and fish oil?
“There is no compelling evidence that taking fish oils protects against the first heart attack, or a second heart attack. And so people who are advised to do that, or are doing it, are wasting their time and their money.” - Dr Andrew Grey, University of Auckland

In this joint investigation from the New York Times and the PBS Frontline program, the report asks leading clinicians and researchers for their assessment of these products and whether the claimed health benefits can be proven.
“The crazy thing about the dietary supplement world is there are none of those studies, and the studies that are done say the stuff doesn’t work!” - Dan Hurley, Author, Natural Causes

And some of these supplements and vitamins may actually be doing you harm.
“You actually can increase your risk of cancer, increase your risk of heart disease. I think few people know the risks they’re taking.” - Dr Paul Offitt, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The program raises troubling questions about the quality and safety of vitamins and dietary supplements.

Supplements and Safety, from the PBS Frontline program and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 16th of May at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 17th May at 10.00am and Wednesday 18th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview.


###Money and Influence

Monday 23 May at 8.30pm

Money and Influence: the shadowy world of political donations.

“We have a system where giving money can influence outcomes and that’s a soft form of corruption.”
As we head into the third week of the election campaign, Four Corners investigates just how transparent the political parties really are when it comes to revealing who their donors are and what is expected in return.
“What’s at stake is simply the quality of our democracy and the ability of people to have faith in their political institutions.”

It’s a world that operates far from public view with a patchwork of donation laws around the country. A variety of methods are used to keep the identities of donors secret, leaving voters hard pressed to find out just who is funding whom.

“Those sort of enterprises are very useful to people because they enable money to be channelled into political interests without full disclosure and in circumstances where the public can’t clearly see that there may be an outcome by virtue of those donations.”

Reporter Quentin McDermott, talks to influential figures operating in this world, who speak candidly about their experiences.

“I’ve spent a significant part of my life raising money in this way… (It) will always be a serious accident waiting to happen.” Fundraiser

“I think we were fairly standard in terms of organisations that were seeking to curry favour with our political masters…I think it was fairly plain that that bought access.” Donor

“I don’t think he gave out of the goodness of his heart, that’s for certain.” Politician

And in an exclusive interview with Four Corners, the regulator withholding more than $4 million dollars of funding destined for the Liberal Party breaks his silence.

Money and Influence, reported by Quentin McDermott and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 23rd May at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 24th of May at 10.00am and Wednesday 25th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at

Monday 23 May 2016

###The Baby Business

Monday 30 May at 8.30pm

The Baby Business: Are women being sold false hope by the IVF industry?

“All our savings go to IVF…Then you get that negative pregnancy result. There’s another $6,000 gone.” Grace
Grace is one of the tens of thousands of Australian women who have put their faith in fertility treatments to help conceive a much longed for baby.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m a fraud of a woman. I look like one, but my body just isn’t doing what I want it to do, which is to fall pregnant and have a child.” Grace
At 42, she’s been through six unsuccessful rounds of IVF. The physical, emotional and financial toll is huge.
“One of the hardest things is knowing when to get off the bus, like knowing when to stop, because I think there’s that ‘what if it’s this next time’, one more time?” Grace

Julia too, had dreams of becoming a mother, undergoing 8 rounds of fertility treatment.
“I had this longing to have a child…I was hopeful that I would be one of the lucky ones.” Julia
And while she willingly put her body in the hands of fertility specialists, she struggled to get a clear answer on just what her chances of having a baby actually were.

“It’s regrettable that I got the more optimistic answer. I would’ve just preferred a more accurate answer.” Julia
This week’s Four Corners looks at the booming business of fertility, where the industry pulls in more than half a billion dollars in revenue, and asks whether clinics are giving women clear, unambiguous advice about their chances of giving birth.

“I think with the commercialisation of IVF that’s occurring, there’s a pressure in every single clinic to use IVF more and IVF brings in more money for a clinic.” Fertility Doctor
Many fertility specialists say it’s up to individual women to decide how much treatment they can take.
“Embryos are like mud. You keep putting embryos on the wall of the uterus, eventually one will stick.” Fertility Doctor

But as this program shows, there are concerns, even from industry insiders, that some women undergoing IVF don’t actually need it. Others warn against the practice of upselling – where women are sold expensive and unproven treatments that one doctor says is akin to snake oil.

And disturbingly, they also have concerns about the potential harm fertility treatments could be causing women - including potential links to cancer.
The Baby Business, reported by Sarah Dingle and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 30th May at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 31st May at 10.00am and Wednesday 1st at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at


Ripped Off

Monday 6 June at 8.30pm

How taxpayers money is being squandered, leaving remote communities feeling exploited and betrayed.

“There are weasels out there that just know what to look for and can infiltrate.” Indigenous CEO
They’re amongst the most disadvantaged people in Australia. The residents of our remote communities who battle chronic unemployment, terrible health problems and third world living conditions. It’s why billions of dollars in taxpayers money has been poured into Indigenous programs aimed at “closing the gap”. So it’s extraordinary to think anyone would want to exploit such vulnerable people.

“How could you do that to us? We trusted you, we had faith in you. I just feel real sad, not ashamed, but sad that this guy could just come in and blind us.” Community Board member

On Monday night Four Corners exposes how millions of dollars have been ripped out of remote communities, leaving a trail of broken promises, unfinished work and a burning sense of betrayal.
“We bust arse to try and improve the lives of Aboriginal people and you know there’s this despicable act going on, it was just absolutely gutting.” Indigenous CEO

In some cases, communities have been the victims of out and out fraud:
“(We) were taken in by someone that was extraordinarily clever…It’s hard to describe somebody who would use people like that for some scheme for their own ends.” Former Community CEO

In others, it’s a case of sheer incompetence:
“I just cry out when I see people living in poverty, in destitute situations. And yet they’ve got Aboriginal corporations that have multimillions of dollars there that’s supposed to be there for their own benefit, and it’s not reaching the ground and helping them.” Indigenous leader

Reporter Linton Besser goes on a 4000km journey to some of Australia’s most remote communities and finds evidence scattered all around, from abandoned constructions sites and dilapidated buildings, to state of the art facilities, locked up - because there’s no money left to run them.

He investigates who’s to blame:
“Linton Besser from Four Corners. I’d just like to ask you some questions…”

And finds communities determined to speak out and demand action:
“It’s taxpayers money and we’re saying taxpayers money is being wasted here, surely that’s government business, to come and work with us to sort it out.” Community Elder

RIPPED OFF, reported by Linton Besser and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 6th of June at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 7th of June at 10.00am and Wednesday 8th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at


###The Miracle of Kobani

Monday 13 June at 8.30pm

The Miracle of Kobani: Life After Islamic State

Four Corners host Sarah Ferguson is available for interviews to talk about this remarkable film.
“We’re the mothers of those who were kidnapped and of the fallen heroes. We’re not afraid of ISIS anymore.” Kobani mother

On the shattered streets of this Syrian border town, almost wiped off the map by ISIS, something extraordinary is happening.

“You see this door behind me, the one people exit to go to Europe? I just came back from there, to Kobani. I feel like this is the most wonderful day of my life!” Returning Kobani refugee

Streams of people, young and old, are flowing back to the town they fled when it was first besieged, then occupied by murderous ISIS forces.

“You won’t find a single family who was left untouched here. My 25 year old son was killed here in the battle against ISIS. There was this old Muslim man who stayed behind because he didn’t want to leave his home. They beheaded him to instil fear in all the rest.” Kobani father

The battle to rescue the once obscure town of Kobani became a defining moment in the Syrian conflict and made headlines around the world. The eventual retreat and defeat of ISIS by Kurdish fighters, with the assistance of American airstrikes, showed that ISIS could be beaten.

“That’s the leg of an ISIS fighter. They came to Kobani and thought they’d finish us off, but this is how they ended up.” Kobani resident

Israeli film-maker Itai Anghel journeys to Kobani to meet the people rebuilding their lives in the rubble.
“For the first time, after six months of fighting, the people here can step outside without fear, walk slowly and think. They can think about those they lost here. There’s no end to the pictures of the dead which cover all of Kobani.” Itai Anghel, reporter

He finds many who, despite the monumental destruction around them, are determined to stay.
“I think this place is much better than Europe. Much better! I prefer to stay here in my home with my wheelchair.” Kobani resident

In the ruins of a bombed out house, he finds a Kobani local, Abdullah Kurdi, who spends his days visiting the graves of his wife and two boys. One of those boys was three year old Alan Kurdi. The image of his lifeless body washed up on a beach stopped the western world in its tracks and paved the way for Europe to take in huge numbers of Syrian refugees. Abdullah recounts the family’s ill-fated attempt to reach Europe.

“They died in my arms. We were all together. We were all huddled together.”Abdullah Kurdi
Despite the immense suffering of the people of Kobani, their story is also one of hope.

“For us, living in the ruins of our home is better than living in Europe. Now we have to rebuild. We have to rebuild and restore life to our home. If we leave our land, no one will do this for us.” Kobani woman
Four Corners host Sarah Ferguson is available for interviews to talk about this remarkable film.

The Miracle of Kobani, reported by Itai Anghel and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 13th June at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 14th June at 10.00am and Wednesday 15th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST and on ABC iview.


###The Deputy and the Dark Horse

Monday 20 June 20 8.30pm

The Deputy and the Dark Horse: Barnaby Joyce vs. Tony Windsor in the contest that could bring down the Deputy Prime Minister.

He’s one of the best known politicians in the country with a gift for publicity and a unique way with words. In political parlance, he has “cut through”-- so much so former Prime Minister Tony Abbott praised him as the best “retail politician” in the country. He’s the member for New England, Barnaby Joyce.

Just five short months ago he fulfilled a lifelong ambition when he was anointed leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister. In country politics, it doesn’t get any bigger and better.
But it could all come crashing down.

“He will need an unbelievably strong primary vote in his own right. If he doesn’t get it, the way the preference gaming goes on these days, he could lose it.” Former National Party Strategist

With only two weeks to go in the Federal Election campaign, Barnaby Joyce is fighting to hang on to his seat.
The man getting in his way is the Independent, Tony Windsor. He’s been a thorn in the side of the National Party for 25 years and he’s come out of retirement for one more crack at winning the seat. And he’s in with a real chance.

“This seat is winnable. It is winnable. I have absolutely no doubt about that. No-one has it won yet.” Tony Windsor

Four Corners has spent weeks behind the scenes, on the campaign trail, with both men as they’ve crisscrossed the electorate in one of the most hotly anticipated contests of the election campaign.
“The only way you can do it at a time like this, is work flat out. And that’s what I’m doing.” Barnaby Joyce

It’s a very personal contest and the antipathy between both men is clear. And it’s a contest that’s dividing the electorate and even families.

The Deputy and the Dark Horse, reported by Ben Knight and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 20th June at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 21st June at 10.00am and Wednesday 22nd at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at


###Future Proof

Monday 4 July at 8.30pm

Future Proof: Are we preparing our children for the workplace of the future?

Regardless of who wins the Federal election, the major issue facing Australians is the future of work.
There are startling and credible predictions that more than five million Australian jobs will simply disappear in the next 15 years, as a result of technology. That’s 40% of the jobs that exist in Australia today.
What do you want to be when you grow up?

Answering that question is only going to get harder as many of the jobs our kids will do haven’t been invented yet. And if parents believe that steering their kids towards “safe” professions like accountancy will guarantee them a job, they’re in for a shock.

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence in particular are actually solving jobs that we thought traditionally were very highly qualified jobs, people like lawyers and doctors and accountants and bankers…It’s eating out the middle of the job market.” - Robotics Pioneer

There will be winners and losers in some surprising areas as more and more jobs become automated or operated by intelligent computers.

“What’s happening is the same thing that happened to blue collar work in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties is going to happen to white collar work…People need to start understanding the impact that it’s going to have on them.” - Management Consultant

It’s good news for baristas and personal trainers, but not for real estate agents. And the days of long haul truck drivers may be numbered.

“I think the first thing on the agenda is really going to be driving autonomously between Sydney and Melbourne on the highway. It’s not hard to imagine and indeed the technology exists for dedicating a lane and saying this is going to be for autonomous trucks.” - Robotics Pioneer

The loss of these jobs will be challenging for the existing workforce as there may simply not be enough jobs to go round. But the greater fear is that we’re not preparing our kids for work in this technological age. Schools and universities are churning out students with qualifications for jobs that won’t exist, instead of training them for the ones that will be created.

“We’ve had incredible education in this country, but there is no-one that genuinely really thinks it’s fit for purpose now and into the future…Australia is, right now, not prepared.” - Youth Advocate
We meet the kids giving up their weekends to learn the computer coding skills they say they’re not being taught at school.

“I believe that coding is the next layer of literacy.” - Coding Teacher

And explore the schools who believe they’re unlocking the future with innovative teaching methods and an emphasis on the so-called STEM skills, maths and science.

Many are arguing that we must act now to change the way we educate our kids or risk them sleep walking into a world they won’t be equipped for.

“We could start working with 12 year olds today. By the time they’ve done six years of high school and they’re 18, we could genuinely have changed their trajectory if we focused on some of these education changes that need to happen and set them up and Australia up for a very different future." - Youth Advocate

Future Proof, reported by Geoff Thompson and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 4th July at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 5th July at 10.00am and Wednesday 6th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at


###Soldiers of Allah

Monday 11 July at 8.30pm

Soldiers of Allah: Going undercover with an ISIS terror cell.

“With a tiny hidden camera, I am going to try to show what happens … to show what is really going on in their heads.”
For six months this intrepid reporter infiltrated and secretly filmed a terrorist cell as they made plans for an attack.
“You won’t see my face. You won’t hear my real voice…I am a Muslim and a journalist. I can go to places that my colleagues can’t.”

Deep undercover, posing as a fellow follower of ISIS, he joined this group of young men who called themselves “Soldiers of Allah” and he captured it all on camera.
“I have to be careful, one mistake and I’ll be found out.”

Meeting in parks and fast food restaurants, they declare their hatred for anyone failing to follow their version of Islam, especially other less fanatical Muslims.
“I want to throw myself upon the infidels. I want to kill them and I want to die afterwards. I want Allah to make me a martyr.” Oussama

The group sets about turning those words into action. Using guidance from an ISIS handler recently returned from Syria, they start sourcing weapons and drawing up a list of targets. The priorities: military bases and television broadcasters.

“Blood needs to run. It needs to run a lot. They have to die in their thousands.” Oussama
This extraordinary film from France takes you deep inside the minds of these angry young men who have little understanding of the religion they claim to fight for.

As the planning escalates, the undercover reporter finds himself sent to rendezvous points where messages are passed hand to hand with chilling instructions to prepare for a suicide mission.

The authorities swoop and he cuts off contact, but not without one last communication from the group.
“After six months of infiltrating the group, I received a message that made the consequences clear, “you’re dead”.

This film starkly exposes the challenge facing authorities the world over: How to combat the threat posed by young men determined to wreak violence.

Soldiers of Allah reported by Said Ramzy for Canal + and presented by Sarah Ferguson goes to air on Monday 11th July at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 12th July at 10.00am and Wednesday 13th at 11pm on ABC & iview. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST and on ABC iview.


###The Race to Dope

Monday 18 July at 8.30pm

The Race to Dope: The elite athletes blowing the whistle on how they cheated the system.

When athletes take to the track and the field in Rio in just a few short weeks, they will be competing for Olympic glory. But they won’t be competing against the athletics powerhouse of Russia. The team has effectively been banned from international athletics competition.

“Many champions are not gods or great talents, they are just liars. That’s what disgusted me: the lies. These people are admired, but they’re just liars and cheats.” - Yulia Stepanova

Russian athletics has been brought to its knees by one of its own, 800m runner Yulia Stepanova.
“We all knew that everyone was doped. Everyone supported it.” - Yulia Stepanova

On Four Corners, she speaks out, with extraordinary candour, about her decision to reveal the systematic doping within Russian athletics.

She details her own cheating, using EPO, testosterone and steroids. And takes aim at the entire Russian athletics system, alleging that Russia’s coaching staff and anti doping authorities were complicit.

But as this program makes clear, the Russians are not the only ones under a cloud.

“I thought I’d never be caught. I figured that others would be caught before me and that I’d always be lucky and slip through the net.” - French Athlete

This investigation talks to three world class athletes about the inducements to cheat and how they thought they could game the system.

“It was a lot of money…but I agreed because that year, I could become European champion. The fee would pay for itself.” - Italian Athlete

It’s a rare and honest insight into the world of doping.

"It’s the only medal I have today that, more or less, I won without doping.” - French Athlete

This investigation, across multiple countries, uncovers the source of many of the illicit drugs used and shows how easy they are to obtain.

But the cost of speaking out about doping in sport can be steep.

“We are afraid for our lives, afraid that someone might try and kill us. We don’t know how far this story will go.” - Yulia Stepanova

The Race to Dope, a film by Xavier Deleu for Arte France, and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 18th July at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 19th July at 10.00am and Wednesday 20th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, and on ABC iview.


###Australia’s Shame

Monday 25 July 25 at 8.30pm

Australia’s Shame: The brutalisation of children behind bars.

It almost defies belief but right here in Australia there is a prison system that locks up 10 year olds and places children as young as thirteen in solitary confinement.

“This is barbarism, this is inhumane, this is child abuse.” - Lawyer

Children have been confined to an isolation wing with no access to sunlight or running water.

“Those cells were ghoulish, they were something medieval.” - Lawyer

Some held for weeks on end, deprived of basic necessities.

“We all sort of looked at each other in shock … there were signs of life in there but we didn’t know who was in there or what was happening, or how long they’d been there.” - Lawyer

Deprived of hope.

“What’s going on with children in detention here is a deliberate, punitive, cruel policy.”- Lawyer

On Monday night Four Corners reveals the shocking truth about the treatment of children behind bars, where young offenders have been stripped naked, assaulted and tear gassed.

“They had absolutely nowhere to run…Those children were afraid for their lives.” - Children’s Advocate

Held by a system that seems bent on breaking children instead of reforming them.

“If I treated my children like that, the authorities would take my children from me quite properly because I would be behaving cruelly to them.” Lawyer

Reported by Gold Walkley award-winning reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna.

This confronting investigation will send shockwaves around Australia.

Australia’s Shame, by Gold Walkley award-winning reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 25th July at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 26th July at 10.00am and Wednesday 27th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at


All I can say about tonight’s episode is what the fuck.


Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told ABC Radio this morning that a royal commission would be held on juvenile detention in NT as the result of last night’s episode. So more shocking truths will be revealed.


This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


Oh fuck off right now.

Being locked in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and being tear gassed (which creates a sensation like you’re going to die) is not how you treat 13 year old boys whose only crimes were petty theft or drug possession. These kids won’t be rehabilitated by the system, they’ll become lifelong criminals.

I’m sure nursing homes also face similar issues, so I’m sympathetic to your concerns, but really this is on a whole new level of awful I cannot fathom why anyone would want to just ignore it.


Four Corners journalist Mario Christodoulou is joining Fairfax Media in early August as an investigative reporter working across the Sydney and Melbourne news rooms. He had worked on Fairfax-Four Corners joint investigation on the Commonwealth Bank financial planning and insurance exposes.


###Insult to Injury

Monday 1 August at 8.30pm

Insult to Injury: How the system damages cops with PTSD

“I’ve gone from being a high ranking commissioned officer in a police force to basically being treated like a criminal.” Greg, former police officer

Across Australia the number of police suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is growing, damaged by the extreme situations they’re repeatedly exposed to. And untreated, they can be a danger not only to themselves but others.

“If you’re a cop with a gun on your hip walking round the streets full of that much anger, it’s just not safe.” Greg, former police officer

But when they put their hand up for help, many of these police officers are being subjected to humiliating and harmful practices employed by insurers.

“Here I was trying to get my health back, mental, physical, everything, keep my family together, and all they were doing was tearing it apart.” Greg, former police officer

Claims for compensation and psychiatric treatment are being met with scepticism, resistance and lengthy delays.
“I just can’t fathom why anybody would want to treat anybody like that. It’s madness!” Father of former police officer

And insurers are going to extraordinary lengths to avoid payouts.
“They’re about saving money and about profits. And I think that potentially drives what I would see as being unethical behaviour.” Psychiatrist

Four Corners has spoken to police around the country who have been spied on, their privacy invaded on an astonishing scale, with both physical and electronic surveillance.

“To learn that for 80 hours some guy in a car with a camera followed me around and took photos of me, followed my wife, took pictures of my kids at the beach, is absolutely humiliating.” Greg, former police officer

“It can happen at any day at any time. We’ve recently had a car sitting out the front taking photographs… We have cameras around our house. We have six foot walls to try and keep some privacy but still they persist.” Wife of former police officer

For these police, the aggressive tactics exacerbate their mental illness, sometimes with awful consequences.
“What I won’t accept is how the insurance companies drove me to a sense of no hope.” Brendon, former police officer

And psychiatrists are calling on insurers to change their approach.

“These organisations see this as simply a problem of compensation. This is not just a problem of compensation. It’s about how humankind can only tolerate so much reality.” Psychiatrist

Insult to Injury, reported by Quentin McDermott and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 1st of August at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 2nd August at 10am and Wednesday 3rd at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at


###Man on a Wire

Monday 8 August at 8.30pm

Man on a wire: How long can Malcolm Turnbull survive?

On Four Corners, key members of the government speak out about the fault lines within the party and challenges facing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“Our demise, if there’s such a thing, can only be brought about by ourselves.”

With the Coalition government returned to office on the slimmest of margins, the Prime Minister will not only have to woo and cajole a disparate group of cross benchers to vote for his policies, he’ll have to hold his own team together.

“Your biggest problem frankly, when you’re in a situation like this, any one or any two of your own side can either make or break a particular legislative issue.”

Within the party room resentment lingers over the controversial policies taken to the ballot box:
“A lot of us held our noses, sold it, during the election campaign.”

There’s barely contained anger from those who feel they’ve been marginalised by the Prime Minister:
“I would like to see a rapprochement. I have seen no signs of it.”

And there’s factional warfare breaking out in the state branches:
“I think it’s time for the serving faction leaders to vacate the field.”

Adding to Malcolm Turnbull’s woes is the question: what are Tony Abbott’s intentions?
“I don’t think Tony plans to be a backbencher for the rest of his life.”

Man on a Wire, reported by Marian Wilkinson and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 8th August at 8.30pm on ABC & view. It is replayed on Tuesday 9th August at 10am and Wednesday 10th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at


###Milked Dry

Monday 15 August at 8.30pm

Milked Dry: The awful price being paid by Australian dairy farmers for the milk we drink.

“We’re locked in to produce milk for three years to this company that has shat in our face.” - Dairy Farmer
They’re the farmers who get up at five in the morning, day in, day out, to provide milk for the dairy products we eat and drink every day.

“You wake up and you just rack your brain about how you’re going to save some money to survive.” - Dairy Farmer

The shock decision by Australia’s biggest dairy company, Murray Goulburn, to cut the price of milk paid to farmers has left many trapped in a nightmare of debt and despair.

“The very minute that we got the letter that said that’s what the price is going to be, we decided, no, we can’t keep going like this, that we would finish up.” - Dairy Farmer

Four Corners visits the farms where it’s costing farmers more to make the milk than they can get for selling it. The situation has become so desperate that some farmers are selling off their prized cows for slaughter, others are walking off their farms for good.

“They’re telling us to take a pay cut, why don’t they take a pay cut?” - Dairy Farmer

Many of these farmers were already angry after the company locked them in to supply $1 supermarket milk.
“It sent the message to farmers that what we produced was worth less than water and that did an incredible amount of damage to our self-worth and more importantly to the worth of milk.”

But that’s nothing compared to the fury they feel now.

“I don’t know what they thought that our reaction would be, that we would all go, ‘oh that’s okay! We’ll keep milking for this bullshit price!’” - Dairy Farmer

Four Corners investigates the mismanagement that’s led the dairy industry into such despair.

Milked Dry, reported by Debbie Whitmont and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 15th August at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 16th August at 10.00am and Wednesday 17th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at


###Children on the Frontline

Monday 22 August at 8.30pm

Children on the Frontline: Escape from Aleppo

Next on Four Corners, Children on the Frontline, one family’s extraordinary story of life in the rubble of Syria and their escape to a new life, told through the eyes of four children.

“We’re here and, at any moment, the army could attack us.” - Helen, 10

In the Syrian city of Aleppo, 10 year old Helen and her siblings live and play in the ruins of their city as war rages around them.

“The other day a bomb exploded inside the warehouse down in the garden.” - Farah, 7
Along with their mother, the children have chosen to stay in the city as their father commands a group of rebels fighting against the Assad regime.

“They want to stay with their dad. I tried leaving with them for two months and I suffered a lot with them because they wanted their dad.” - Hala, mother

The camera captures life for these children, as they wait in fear at the sound of incoming artillery, how they keep up with their schoolwork, and pick their way through the shattered apartment blocks to fill in time.

“Take them inside because of the firing. Come on!” - Abu Ali, father

Filmed over three years by award winning director Marcel Mettelsiefen, this family’s story dramatically documents the price being paid by Syrians as the war continues.

“Daesh (ISIS), the ugliest word I have ever heard in my life. These people have stolen our entire lives.” - Hala

As ISIS enters the war, life becomes intolerable and their mother makes the tough decision to leave Syria, and join the millions of refugees fleeing the country.

“How do you spell Germany?” - Farah

The film chronicles their journey to safety and their grief for what they’ve left behind.
“I took a piece of my heart and put it on the door of our house for him, for daddy.” - Sara

Children on the Frontline, a film by Marcel Mettelsiefen and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 22nd August at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 23rd August at 10.00am and Wednesday 24th at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST and ABC iview.


###Cyber War
Monday 29 August at 8.30pm

Cyber War: How hackers are threatening everything from your bank account to the nation’s secrets.

In a room, deep inside a Las Vegas hotel, the world’s best hackers are gathering.

“You have to go into a backroom … there you’re going to find about a dozen teams playing against each other, no more than a hundred people. These are really the world’s cyber elite.” - Artificial Intelligence developer

They’re here to compete against each other and they’re being watched by cyber warfare agencies the world over, not for prosecution, but for recruitment. They have the skills needed to wage espionage and warfare in the modern age.

On Monday night Four Corners takes you into the world of cyber hacking, where the weapon of choice is computer code.

“In WWII we bombed and destroyed the electrical infrastructure of our enemies. Now we have the ability through a cyber attack to just shut the grid down.” - Former CIA Director Michael Haydon

Featuring an interview with the former head of the CIA and the NSA, Michael Haydon, he explains how the intelligence business has changed with young hackers parachuted into sensitive operational activities.

“Right ok, take out the power grid…Red Team power is going down, what I want you to look at now, do as much damage as you can.” - Australian Cyber Trainer

We take you into the cutting edge facility where Australian soldiers are being trained in the arts of cyber warfare – where their computer skills can be used to shut down a power grid or cut off a city’s water supply.

“The Australian Government knows it needs to protect these things… and will continue to strive to stay ahead of whatever the threat environment is.” - Australian Govt Cyber Adviser

And will reveal the strategic Australian companies and institutions that have found themselves hacked.

“They’re so deep inside our network it’s like we had someone sitting over our shoulder for anything we did.” - IT manager

It’s not just nation states that are in the hacking business, it’s also criminals, and as the program demonstrates, it’s frighteningly easy to hack our lives. If you have a smart phone, if you use internet banking, if you store your information “in the cloud” then you are at risk.

“Cybercrime poses one of the greatest challenges to law enforcement this century. No longer do we have that individual who carries a firearm and wears a balaclava to disguise their identity. It’s a lot more profitable and a lot easier for someone to pick up a laptop, sit in the comfort of their lounge room behind the anonymity of the internet and take the bank for millions of dollars.” - Australian Police Officer

Cyber War, reported by Linton Besser and presented by Sarah Ferguson, goes to air on Monday 29th August at 8.30pm on ABC & iview. It is replayed on Tuesday 30th August at 10.00am and Wednesday 31st at 11pm. It can also be seen on ABC News 24 on Saturday at 8.00pm AEST, ABC iview and at