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CityNews March 18-24  

  CityNews March 18-24

CityNews March 18-24  

  CityNews March 18-24


Makeover for main roads

Rotary clubs top the citizen list


North of Barry Drive; Starting March 26.

From March 18 till the end of May, parts of Northbourne Avenue and almost the entire circumference of London Circuit will be upgraded for the first time in 30 years with asphalt resurfacing, adjustments to kerbing and footpaths and improvements to cycle lanes at a cost of $7.6 million. “Work during the day time will be adjacent to the curbs and there will be some lane closure outside peak periods,” Mr Gill says. “From 8pm to 6am weekdays there will be road closures and works should be completed mid to the end of May, depending on the weather conditions.” “It is in a busy location and in terms of the construction activities we’ve asked the contractor to minimise impact on the public.” The contractors are Downer EDI Works and local Cord Civil Pty Ltd for London Circuit and Northbourne Avenue respectively. Works for London Circuit will begin outside East Row and, 600m at a time, will move clockwise, skipping only a small section outside Rydges Hotel. Northbourne Avenue will be upgraded in stages, with the section from Alinga to Rudd Street worked from March 22-26 and up to Barry Drive by around April 5.



Alinga Street to Rudd Street on Northbourne; March 22 to 26.

– Eleri Harris For more information call Canberra Connect 132281 or for weekly updates visit


February March 18-24, 2010 Since 1993: Volume 16, Number 11

Arts&Entertainment Crossword Dining Health&Fitness Home Horoscope Letters Movie reviews News Politics Property Social Scene Sudoku

21-25 31 24 30 26-27 31 14 24 3-15 6 32-39 16-20 31

FRONT COVER: The cover art from “The Australian Women’s Weekly” of June 18, 1938... The National Library is trying to rebuild its collection.  Story Page 10.

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KEY roads in Civic are set to be re-paved but the director of roads Tony Gill promises the process has been designed to limit commuter disruption.


ROTARY clubs of Canberra have been announced as the 2010 Canberra Citizen of the Year at the Canberra Gold Awards. Rotary district governor Michael Pedler said the award was given for the clubs’ long-term commitment to and support of the local community. In his acceptance speech Mr Pedler said: “We are extremely honoured, proud and humbled by this award. “It is a recognition and acknowledgement of the dedication, commitment and effort Rotarians have in supporting our local communities and being part of their fabric. “Rotary is an organisation composed of men and women who are professional, business or community leaders dedicated to service and peace. “An award such as this shows that every Rotarian in Canberra, and indeed in our Rotary world, is living up to our ‘Service Above Self’ ethic. Giving of themselves, giving something back to the community that supports us, to improve the circumstances for others. “Rotary Clubs and Rotarians in Canberra, as well as in our district and elsewhere, are extremely grateful for the support we receive from our families, individuals, businesses and government agencies as well as our project partners. Without that support, we cannot do the work we do to meet the needs of our community and individuals in it.” Mr Pedler told the “CityNews” the award would be inspirational to Canberra’s Rotary Clubs. “I think they’ll feel very proud and honoured and very satisfied they’ve won in this way and might even inspire them to take on new projects and explore new relationships and partnerships.” In congratulating Mr Pedler and his many colleagues, “CityNews” general manager Greg Jones said that the paper was especially proud to be the media partner of the Rotary clubs of Canberra.

Editor: Ian Meikle, Political reporter: Eleri Harris, 0414 618493 Lifestyle editor: Kathryn Vukovljak, 6262 9100 Arts editor: Helen Musa, 0400 043764 Design and photography: Silas Brown, 0412 718086 Designer: Joran Dilucian Accounts manager: Bethany Freeman-Chandler Distribution and circulation: Richard Watson, 6262 9100

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Responsibility for election comment is taken by Ian Meikle, of Suite 1, Level 1, 143 London Circuit, Canberra.

CityNews March 18-24  


Police chief targets anti-social behaviour

Show it and they will come SNAPPER-about-town Silas Brown pulled up with a start at the sight of the weekend queue at the National Gallery as it meandered seemingly over hill and down dale towards the French Masters exhibition. At last, though, the National Gallery of Australia has heard the cries of would-be patrons and, in extending the exhibition

by two weeks until April 18, will also introduce timed entry and limited capacity sessions from April 6. The gallery has also promised to introduce entertainment and external catering to improve visitor comfort while queuing with extended hours on Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday until 9pm.

THE ACT’s new chief police officer has started the job with the promise of a strong police presence after dark in Civic at weekends. AFP assistant commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg’s position was announced by Police Minister Simon Corbell, saying the top cop’s experiences would ensure the capital’s police were well placed to meet law-enforcement challenges. “My priorities are dealing with anti-social behaviour, particularly that which is alcohol fuelled, dealing with property crime, car thefts and break-and-enters, and obviously road safety, particularly reducing the number of road Roman Quaedvlieg fatalities in the ACT and maintaining our focus, our aspiration, to keep the road fatalities to single digits for the annual figure,” says the new chief. “Couple of key planks in my strategy to achieve those priorities; one is to build a modern police force, a modern workforce that is capable of dealing with a range of policing challenges in today’s community. “And the second key plank is to ensure that we have broad community engagement. “Community policing is all about being at the coalface, getting our boys and girls on the front line and visible to the community, particularly in areas where there are high manifestations of anti-social behaviour, and I’m talking about the inner-city precincts at particular times of the weekend at night time. “I have every intention of ensuring that we have the maximum number of police at the front line.”

Converted Joe Hockey comes in from the cold JOE Hockey’s speech to the Grattan Institute may have marked an epiphany for him. The Opposition shadow treasurer has now recognised that his old ways are an anathema to civil liberties and his enlightenment is not unlike that of Saul on the road to Tarsus. He has even conceded that the anti-terrorism laws that he was part of enacting are an affront to freedom. As welcome as the conversion is, there is a huge gaping hole in the argument that Hockey put in this speech regarding the protection of liberty. His failure to understand liberty in terms of protecting against dominance rather than interference, has let him down. Perhaps it explains his failure to protect the liberty of others not only on the anti-terrorism laws, but also when he voted down the ACT’s right to legislate for gay marriages as well as supporting Kevin Andrews’ Bill to remove the right of the ACT and the NT to

  CityNews March 18-24


By Michael Moore legislate for voluntary active euthanasia. Hockey frames his view of liberty within the context that is “inspired by the understanding that we are all the children of God”. At the Grattan Institute he philosophically distanced himself from his leader Tony Abbott, who has no reluctance in imposing his Catholic moral perspective on others. It is hard to believe that through the debacle over the terrorism laws and the Mohamed Haneef case, Hockey was not able to see the implications for civil liberties of the laws that had been enacted by the Howard Government. But then, that is the glory of a true and sudden enlightenment.

Plato, John Stuart Mill, John Locke and Thomas Jefferson feature in Hockey’s philosophy of liberalism. His speech also includes Liberal Party founder Robert Menzies. It is not too late for Hockey to read further and take into account the thinking of some more recent political philosophers. Had he done so, he may well have been able to recognise how he was being dragged into the conservative side rather than the philosophy of freedom that he so keenly espouses. Former ANU political philosopher Philip Pettit argues that since Jefferson’s time the notion of liberty had been hijacked by the conservatives to prevent anyone interfering with their own economic advantage. On moral matters, they seem to have no such reluctance. Pettit suggests that true freedom is actually about dominance. Whether it is governments, monopolies or powerful political forces, he argues, freedom is lost

when one group is allowed to dominate other groups or individuals. This approach provides a sound philosophical basis that justifies the actions of governments to interfere with monopolies rather than the simple Hockey notion “that distinguishes the liberal from the libertarian”. Conservatives constantly attempt to counter government interference by referring to the spectre of the “nanny state”. What they are really trying to do in challenging the interference in this way is to protect their own positions of dominance. Hockey is correct in starting and ending his speech by quoting “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance”. However, true liberty is much more about dominance than it is about interference. Michael Moore is a former member of the ACT Legislative Assembly and an independent minister for health in the Carnell government.


Lundy fights net filter Labor Senator Kate Lundy is prepared to stand up to her own party when it comes to believing in an open internet, she tells ELERI HARRIS ACT Labor Senator Kate Lundy is famous on the internet, not because she’s a total hottie or because she has an awesome blog – although both of these things are also true – but because she has consistently stood up to her own party on the issue of online censorship. Since May 2009, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has been trialling the controversial mandatory ISP filter, which saw public debate reaching boiling point in 2008 when wikileaks published the proposed ACMA black listed sites. Now Lundy faces one of her greatest challenges in Parliament – to convince her caucus to accept the amendments she has suggested for an opt-out system in the mandatory ISP filter policy. Senator Lundy is one tech savvy lady who believes, unlike our dear leader Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, in the open internet. “I see my role as one of, I suppose, helping my colleagues stay briefed on developments. I think it’s really, really important that we have politicians who are able to talk about the technical side of a whole range of policies – obviously telco and IT. “Tech can be really intimidating, particularly at a public policy level where most of the time what’s happening is so new there’s no policy history, so you really are called upon to adapt your position as a party and help develop your party’s policies as those new developments come to the fore.” While the Australian tech community have been critical of her refusal to cross the floor on the issue, Lundy says she can’t stop the filter from going ahead, but she hopes to be able to advocate for free choice and civil liberty. “I hope that the geeks of Australia understand my motivation for putting forward essentially a compromised model,” she says. “It doesn’t really resolve their fundamental objection to the filter, but it does seek to legislate to also protect the open internet, which I think is a principle they would all agree with. “I have quite a constrained opportunity to argue that within my caucus and that is when Senator Conroy brings forward his legislation for caucus consideration I will be able to move my amendments. “But I think it’s a tough one for me to win. “We’ve had the policy in place for a long time

  CityNews March 18-24

Labor Senator Kate Lundy... “I hope that the geeks of Australia understand my motivation for putting forward essentially a compromised model.”

Photo by Silas now, lots of debate, as time goes on there’s not an overwhelming response to public rallies and things like that and I think that the case against the filter hasn’t been particularly well handled. “A lot of people have allowed their passion to drive their advocacy and I think that’s allowed some of their arguments to be exposed as unsustainable, so I think it’s quite challenging to win, but I’ll try.” Lundy says her constituents have a problem with mandatory filtering and agrees with ACT Liberal Senator Gary Humphries’ assertion that Canberra as an electorate is highly politically literate.

“I think we’re really lucky to have a constituency like Canberra. As a politician it’s wonderful to be able to have a sophisticated conversation with your constituency about a range of complex issues,” she says. “ISP filtering really quite a technical issue, but also one embedded in principles of free speech and open information. “They’re issues that I think are particularly relevant to Canberra, I think there’s another layer in that they’re issues that are also relevant to the rest of Australia, but we just have a sharper focus and more detailed conversation about here.”

environment By Tanya Davies

Celebrating everything organic THIS year’s Canberra Harvest Festival, the second of its kind, is a celebration of all things local, organic and delicious, and features an array of local community groups with a strong focus on local food and produce. Last year’s festival, organised by the Canberra Environment and Sustainability Centre, was such a success that they have decided it will be held annually. The festival, to be held at the centre at the corner of Lawson Crescent and Lennox Crossing (by the museum) noon-5pm on Saturday, March 27, will also feature a line-up of demonstrations and workshops including a live bee exhibit (complete with honey for sale) and practical demos such as how to build an outdoor pizza oven and a fox-proof chook shed by the Sustainability Learning Community. “We know people are recycling and doing things like switching to low-energy light-bulbs, but now we want to help them get to the next level. We want to help them think about ways to reduce their car use and how to eat more locally produced food. Things that are a bit harder,” says centre director Robin TennantWood. “The message we hope people will take away is that they can eat more locally grown foods. There is a great diversity of foods available within the Canberra region. We don’t need to import food.” With Bungendore’s Greenhill Farms exhibiting again and Mulloon Creek Natural Farms added to the guest list this year, it will be a good reminder to consumers that there is good quality, ethically produced food available from the region. Sue Armstrong, of Greenhill Farms, says people last year were very interested in learning about biodynamic farming methods, and hearing that Greenhill’s cows are grass fed. For this year, she hopes more people will become aware of buying locally produced food. “We only sell at the EPIC farmers’ market and through our website,” she says. As well as the serious messages, there’ll be plenty of fun with live entertainment and even a qualified child care worker to lead children‘s activities. Anyone interested in their garden, their taste-buds or how to limit their carbon impact will find something on offer at the Harvest Festival.

CityNews March 18-24  

cover story

Library appeals for old ‘Women’s Weeklys’ By Kathryn Vukovljak

GOT any old copies of “Australian Women’s Weekly” lying around the house? The National Library of Australia wants to know! The NLA is in the process of digitising the iconic magazine’s first 50 years, from June 10, 1933 to December 15, 1982 – from its inception as a weekly magazine to when it started being published as a monthly. While the library has begun scanning a full set, it doesn’t don’t own the lot in hard copy. The scanned issues come from a combination of its own collection and some from the State Library of NSW – which will be returned once the scanning is complete. “We did have a full set once, but over the years they’ve been loved to death,” says Marian Hanley, project manager of the “Australian Women’s Weekly” Digitisation Project. “We used to keep copies in the reading room, and you name it, well, we had bits torn out, the crosswords filled in, kids scribbling on them, and some just disappeared.” Marian has been tracking down missing copies from all over Australia for the library’s collection, as part of her yearlong project. “We would love to fill the gaps in our collection,” she says. “We’re the leading collection institution and the hard copy holds a lot of value, in terms of things like the quality of the paper, pagination – things you just can’t tell from a digital version. Things that make it a historical document. Sadly we’re missing quite a few – around 450 issues. “It’s mainly the run-of-the-mill editions that we need, not the special Coronation ones.” Marian says that people have been overwhelmingly generous. “So many copies have come in, more than 70 just in the last week, and mostly in excellent condition,” she says. “We’ve had people who’ve kept a copy for sentimental reasons, like one woman whose mum was featured in it for winning a cookery competition, and another who had a letter published. They seem to get handed down through generations, like family heirlooms.

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Marian Hanley, project manager of the “Australian Women’s Weekly” Digitisation Project... “It’s mainly the run-of-the-mill editions that we need, not the special Coronation ones.”  Photo by Silas “Even with an attachment like that, people are still willing to donate copies to us.” The magazine is a wonderful social record and resource, according to Marian. “So much has changed over the years, I’ve really enjoyed looking back at the old copies,” she tells “CityNews”. “On the covers in the ‘30s and ‘40s there are women doing progressive, exciting things like white-water rafting, then in the ‘50s it gets more conservative, with women in frilly aprons and the Royal family taking precedence. “I particularly love the wartime recipes. Obviously people were just using whatever ingredients were readily available to them, so there are things like rabbit and banana loaf, devilled lamb’s head stew, curried cheese and pineapple, and peanut prune steak. And the amount of pretend food – like sham potatoes, made from flour and dripping, and mock fish, made from egg and potato. Just so interesting. It’s an era that’s gone.” The “Australian Women’s Weekly” is currently being digitised by two separate processes – scanning and optical character recognition (OCR) processing. It should be online and available to all Aussies midyear, says Marian.

March 18, 1944. A full list of the missing issues, and details of where to send them, is at au/digicoll/australianwomensweekly. html

children Mum in the city By Sonya Fladun

When kids go into work

IT was worldwide media story: An air traffic controller brings his young son into work and lets him have a go at directing aircraft at one of the world’s busiest airports. Pretty scary and, hopefully, just one of those bizarre, “only-inAmerica” tales. But it does raise the issue of taking children to work. In our increasingly busy age, it’s hard not to bring children into work at some time. Today’s small family unit often just doesn’t have any extended family available to help out with pick-ups, illnesses or every school holiday. Bringing the kids to work is not something I’ve ever liked to do. Having one of my children in the office is totally exhausting as the mother, employee and control freak in me all fight for supremacy. There can also be issues with one’s colleagues. Many people love kids and make a great fuss of any little visitors to the office. But some people can be really freaked out by the pitter-patter of tiny feet behind the filing cabinet. Consequently, there are some protocols one should always try to follow: Always check with your boss first and follow his or her guidance; talk to your colleagues and explain the situation; never bring in a really sick or contagious child; bring plenty of things – books, games, puzzles – to keep your child entertained so they don’t distract other people from their work; check if your workplace has a child-friendly work room set aside where you can work and your child can watch DVDs or play with toys. Obviously there are some workplaces where children should not be for safety and other reasons and some occupations just don’t lend themselves to the presence of children. Moreover, even in the most benign office environment, one needs to be watchful for risks including power cables, unsteady shelving and open doorways leading to treacherous stairways. A quick check of legal opinion suggests that the liability issues for employers and parents can be complex and potentially expensive. In my experience, employers are becoming more family-friendly with crèches and more commonly allowing work to be done from home. However, if you do take junior into work, please, no matter how clever you believe your child to be or how much they nag – “please, please, please let me have a go’’ – never ever hand over any of the controls. And also always remember at the end of the day, no matter how indispensable you think you may be in the office, you are so much more so to your child.

Two-year-old Sophie... “We get so many comments that she’s very articulate for her age,” says mum Kylie Neighbour  Photo by Silas

Little Sophie laps up a new language By Kathryn Vukovljak KYLIE Neighbour’s two-year-old daughter Sophie was 18 months when she started Italian classes – because Kylie’s sister is relocating to Italy. “When she started she was so little – as my husband pointed out, she couldn’t even count to 10 in English,” says Kylie, who moved to Canberra earlier this year. “But within two months, her language had come on in leaps and bounds.” Sophie went to lessons at AlphaTykes in Brisbane. AlphaTykes is a foreign-language program designed for children, aimed at families who don’t speak a foreign language at home, and offers lessons in French, Spanish and Italian. “Birth to six is really the golden age of learning,” says AlphaTykes’ marketing and business development manager Sandra Cottam. “The brain is like any other muscle; the more it’s exercised the stronger it will get. And learning a foreign language is a great way to do that – it exercises grey matter like no other activity can do.” Learning a foreign language at a young age can improve a child’s confidence, communication and social skills and cognitive development, she says.

AlphaTykes is opening its first ACT centre in Narrabundah in April. The concept started in Brisbane and new centres are also opening in Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast. “We get so many comments that Sophie’s very articulate for her age,” says Kylie. “The other day we were at swimming class, where we shout ‘5-4-3-2-1 blast off’ before diving into the pool, and she suddenly shouted it out in Italian. She can flip easily between both languages. I can’t even remember now which language she first counted to 10 in. “I really wanted Sophie to learn a second language at a young age, as I believe it helps with brain development and long-term learning abilities. It’s more than just learning a new skill.” Enrolments are open now, with the first term starting on Saturday, April 24. Classes are taught in 55-minute lessons for children aged three to 12. Thirty-minute AlphaTots classes are offered for children aged 18 months to three, with a focus on storytelling, arts and craft, songs and games. Call 1300 612288 or visit

CityNews March 18-24  11


Mum on the run in heart-stopping rallies By Kathryn Vukovljak

BATTLING with nerves, carsickness, delivering spot-on life-or-death instructions and travelling at high speeds on dirt roads is Carolyn Wilson’s dream way to spend a weekend. “My daughter was doing show-and-tell at school recently and she asked me ‘what do you like to do, Mummy?’ and I thought, well, there’s the shopping and cooking and washing and ironing. Okay, maybe it’s time I got a hobby!” she says. During the week Carolyn, 36, works as an IT project manager, but at weekends it’s all about volunteering as a navigator for dirt rallies. “Co-driving challenges my physical and psychological self as well as every controlfreak bone in my body,” she says. “The fact that I can’t read a map to get to Sydney doesn’t seem to matter!” Carolyn and her driver Jon Waterhouse are competing in the ACT Regional Rally Series, which kicks off with the Appliance Installations Stage on March 27-28. There will be a total of seven events in the Canberra region on forest roads around Cotter and Blewitt’s Forest. They have nominated themselves for the categories of gold cup, silver cup, century cup and novice. “The novice category is just for me, as I’ve done less than three events,” she says. “Jon is an old hand, having been driving for 30 years. I feel very safe with him.” Navigating for a rally driver is nothing like reading a map, Carolyn explains. “There’s lots for me to remember and not much time,” she says. “We have a speedo control so we know exactly when each turn or direction will happen, and I subtract the times in my head so I know when the next instruction is coming.” The navigator, or co-driver, uses a computerised odometer and a road book to tell the driver what lies ahead. No one knows the route beforehand. “The driver then processes each instruction, while travelling at high speed, to judge the speed and angle to enter each turn or crest. So there needs to be great team work between the driver and co-driver to achieve good results,” she says. Carolyn and Jon clearly have great chemistry. “It does help that we have a good connection,” she says. “On my first

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Rally navigator Carolyn Wilson... “The fact that I can’t read a map to get to Sydney doesn’t seem to matter!”  Photo by Silas run, I completely froze as soon as I got into the car. I just couldn’t speak. It was just so overwhelming, I felt totally out of my comfort zone. I thought I knew what to expect, but it’s different when you’re actually in the car. I was off the book, didn’t know where I was. It’s testament to Jon’s skill that we survived!” Mum to Annika, four, and Toby, six, Carolyn says one of the reasons she loves navigating is because it’s something that’s just about her. “It’s my time out of family life,” she says. “Perhaps the only Rally driver Jon Waterhouse. downside is the flame-resistant jumpsuits we have to wear, which are not very attrac- checked beforehand. “It’s still a very excittive and are even less fun in the portaloos. ing sport. “Still, I’d be hard pushed to find a better “There’s a saying that goes, ‘Circuit hobby. I just love it. It’s an amazing sport racers see 10 turns 100 times, while rally with great camaraderie and full of pas- drivers see 1000 turns 1 time’. They really sionate personalities,” are amazing. Everything’s been done to minimise the “Now, I think I’d make a pretty great risks, she says, and the route is thoroughly show-and-tell.”


Akha hilltribe girls show off their new traditional costumes.

Locals help with dresses By JULIANNE COWLEY, a volunteer who has just returned from Northern Thailand CANBERRAN volunteers have been helping with the teaching of Akha hilltribe girls in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand, in how to make traditional outfits. Supported by the Australia-Thailand Institute, the project was based at the Ayui hostel, established by ex-Canberran Sumalee Milne. It supported elders to visit the hostel and teach the girls how to make traditional outfits. The children at the hostel live with hilltribe house parents and attend a nearby hilltribe school to help preserve their traditions. The girls sang an Akha welcome song to volunteers when they arrived and dressed up to show off their beautiful clothes. Given the work involved in each of the outfits, it had been expected that only one or two pieces would be completed, but the girls were so excited that they finished all their outfits with metres and metres of stitching and beading. Four other Canberrans visited the hostel during the project. Kate Wilson and Suzanne Dagseven were able to stay for a few days, but Annette Pilloni and Bruce Millar volunteered at Ayui for four months. The Ayui Foundation supports the teenagers

Julianne Cowley with Meenoo. from poor families to attend school and preserve the Akha heritage. “Volunteers teach the children English, arts and crafts and do sporting activities”, Sumalee said. “It’s a cultural exchange. It’s great for the kids, too. They love our volunteers and really miss them when they go.” For more information visit

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CityNews March 18-24  13


What’s with Tony’s religion? WHAT has Tony Abbott’s “aggressive physicality” got to do with him being a Catholic (Robert Macklin, CN, March 11)? Why does being a Catholic have relevance to “his blasting of climate change”? And I thought that religious bias was a thing of the past!

Letters are invited from “CityNews” readers. Let loose to ed@citynews. or write to the editor at GPO Box 2448, Canberra 2601. Letters of 200 words or less stand a better chance of publication.

Sheila Duke, Ainslie

No more pollies RE Greg Cornwall’s article (CN opinion, March 11): What else would one expect from an ex ACT politician? No thought about making the Assembly operate more efficiently and effectively for the sole benefit of the community. Bipartisan actions by political parties are few and only when of advantage to themselves, not necessarily the community. Opposition means just that and political arrogance reigns supreme. More politicians means no better performance, but greater cost.

big player in the city’s future. Yet it takes only a little reflection to appreciate that if excessive or thoughtless development of the city – the central area particularly – continues as it has been recently, it will lose the uniquely different (and oncecherished) character it had when we arrived. Certainly not good for Canberra’s wider private sector in the longer term. One thinks that is what his criticisms are about!

Darrel Killen, Garran

Ban religious people

John W Hawke, Pearce ON “Q&A” (ABC TV, March 8) they had a

Enrico is right IN criticising the “rotten” state of our planning, Enrico Taglietti (CN, March 4) no doubt offends many developers as well as planners. Enrico can go back here about as far as I can. I spent many decades in the development industry and its councils. We have seen the private sector go from being puny and disregarded to a

well-known atheist on the panel. The audience was full of obviously imported Muslim and other religious new Australians. I didn’t see too many Australians there. They gave the atheist a bit of stick, but he handled it. Also on the panel were three politicians. Guess how many were Christians? Three out of three. One was Labor, one was Liberal and one was an independent. One was also a creationist who didn’t believe in evolution. It was revealed that [PM Kevin]

Rudd carries a bible in his top pocket and it isn’t unusual for him to produce it and start preaching. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I consider all religious people to be genetically, mentally disabled. There’s absolutely no way I want someone with a mental disability having any say whatsoever in how I live my life. Religious people must not be allowed to participate in politics on any level!

Frank Brown via email

Hot and cold I WONDER where “CityNews” dug up its figures for summer averages in the article “Hot City” (CN, March 4)? A summer maximum average of 22.2 deg C? That is remarkably low. If “CityNews” is to believed, we may have had a record cold summer, not hot! But yes, temps were actually above the 27.1 degree long-term summer average, with December, January and February coming in at 28.8, 31.6 and 27.3 degrees respectively, with an average of not 22 but 29.3. Which is 2.2 degrees above the long-term average. But you did get the night time temperatures close enough (2.7 and 2.5 average at 2.6). So while the article was actually correct, it has indeed been a bit warmer than previous years (actually, February was 0.7 degrees cooler than last year) the figures used to back it up are more than a little bit inaccurate!

Brendon, O’Connor

Enforce the road rules

SO the Greens are going to ask for funding to improve relations between drivers and cyclists (CN, March 4). One sure fire way to improve relations is to enforce some of the road rules for both cyclists and drivers. I can’t count the number of time I’ve seen cyclists riding without lights, helmets, not signalling when turning or riding up between cars that have stopped at lights. Probably the worst thing is when cyclists are riding on the road when there is a perfectly good, and purposely built, cycle path only two metres to their left! The article does make the point that Canberra will need an infrastructure overhaul. I know it has been said many times before, but wouldn’t the Greens be better off seeking funds to improve Canberra’s public transport? Canberra has for many years toyed with the idea of light rail and the longer we talk about it the more expensive it’s going to be to build. Perth seems to have the right idea. They have the main train lines running down the middle of the express ways with bus interchanges and car parking at the main stations, perhaps this is something the ACT Greens should be looking at rather than wasting money trying to improve relations between two types of road users that realistically will never really get along.

Mark Rowley, Kambah

Dumb, lazy voters ANOTHER perceptive article by Michael Moore “Toughing it out is the name of the game” (CN, March 4). The fault in relation to lack of ministerial responsibility lies not with politicians like Stanhope, but with the ACT electorate as a whole which does nothing to enforce responsibility and accountability on ministers, MLAs and high-level bureaucrats. When voters allow such people to get away with

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errors of judgement, mistakes, poor governance, excessive spending and the need to have a duty of care towards both individuals and citizens in general, then it is natural and normal for people like Stanhope, other Ministers, politicians and bureaucrats to “tough it out”. As one who majored in both politics and economics at the ANU in Canberra, it distresses me to see how much of the so-called “intelligent” ACT electorate can be so dumb, lazy and apathetic. This in turn results in a decline in the standard of governance in areas where Canberra should properly be held up as a shining example for the wider Australian community.

Ric Hingee, Duffy

Last word on fish SHANE Jasprizza (CN letters, March 11), is right, of course – I do a lot of reading on animal issues. Most recently I’ve read that scientists are now confident that fish not only feel pain, but have a complex emotional life, too. Saw that in a “Daily Mail” (UK) review of the new book titled “Do Fish Feel Pain?” by marine biologist, Dr Victoria Braithwaite. The author states there is “no logical reason why we should not extend to fish the same welfare considerations that we currently extend to birds and mammals”. Given this, the current level of recreational angling – especially catch and release fishing where the animals are not quickly killed and kept for food – is animal cruelty on a horrendous scale. I hope Shane will read this book as soon as it’s published here.

Mike O’Shaughnessy, Spence

Editor’s note: I think we’ve just about exhausted the fish-do/don’t-feel-pain debate for now, thanks Mike and Shane.

news focus

It’s the plan that’s missing the bus! ELERI HARRIS looks beyond the scandal of the city’s empty buses buses and discovers the problem isn’t new – it has been lavished with six years of reports and recommendations and all but one have been ignored.

SHOULD we be surprised by the Chief Minister’s revelations that Canberra’s public transport system is inefficient? Since 2004 the ACT Government has aimed, on paper, to revamp the city’s people-moving capacity – from cars to cyclists, pedestrians and buses. Yet to date the “Sustainable Transport Plan for the ACT 2004”, “The ACT Integrated Transport Framework 2008” and the still in progress “Sustainable Transport Action Plan 2010-16” have delivered much talk and next-to-no-action on public transport. In six years the Government has produced a series of reviews, studies and reports on Canberra’s public transport, but when asked about the tangible outcomes of these plans Chief Minister and Minister for Transport Jon Stanhope consistently points solely to the REDEX bus service introduced last year. “The ACT’s biggest challenge in delivering an efficient public transport system is the geographic spread of the city, which is attributable to the Y-Plan.To address this issue, the Government is developing a comprehensive Sustainable Transport Action Plan, which will guide future investments in our public transport system. The

plan will integrate investments in transport infrastructure and services with land-use planning. “This is a less sexy and visible part of the major investment in sustainable transport.” “As long as the ACT remains primarily a low-density city it will be difficult for any public transport service to be genuinely efficient,” Stanhope said following the revelation that ACTION buses run “dead” (or empty) services at an irrecoverable cost of $161,186 a week. “The Government is attempting to address this issue by ensuring all new developments are designed around public transport routes.” “An example of this can be seen on Flemington Road, where medium density housing is being

developed on the REDEX route, which provides a maximum 15-minute wait for a bus to the Gungahlin Town Centre or Civic.” Stanhope’s comments are in line with the “Sustainable Transport Action Plan 2010-16” progress report for November 2009, which recommends pushing higher-density housing and business in areas with existing “Frequent Network” public transport: “If you want good public transport in the long term, locate on the Frequent Network,” it states. The Chief Minister says Government efforts to transform Civic into a traditional town centre are vital to improving the bus network. ANU urban environmental and regulation policy expert Professor Patrick Troy says although

the Government’s efforts are worthwhile, it is just not enough. “There is always a simple solution to a complex problem – and it is always wrong,” he says. “This applies to those with simple-minded nostrums such as the nonsense that the physical determinists pursue when they aver, with no evidence, that if you only increase density you’ll sort the transport problem.” The announcement that the Government would reopen a bus depot at Phillip and and a new one in Mitchell brought the issue of Canberra’s city design to the fore – an issue already identified in the “Greater Canberra City Area Co-ordinated Action Plan” draft in February. Liberal MLA Alistair Coe told “CityNews” Canberra’s public transport system is struggling to cope with changing demographics in the network area. “I’m not going to pretend Canberra’s designed for public transport, it’s not, but you can make it more workable. The problem is a lack of political will.” Coe says ACTION buses have been neglected and that in nine years of Labor Government, six with the “Sustainable Transport Plan”, there had been no real changes to the system. “We have a hugely expensive subsidy of $30,000 a day, yet still patronage is nowhere near where it should be,” Coe says. “It’s important not to just look at sustainable transport in terms of environmental concerns, but also economic costs.” The ACT Opposition say with no statistics available on how people travel on buses in Canberra, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact issues with the system.

Why ‘Ratters’ rules the airwaves...

FRANK, the cleaner, asked me last week: “Why 2CC’s breakfast announcer is it that you tend to have ‘Ratters’ on your radio program every couple of weeks, but I just MARK PARTON shares a about never hear ‘that Hunter woman’. Isn’t she couple of radio moments... supposed to be leader?” Meredith Hunter is the convenor of the ACT Greens, Frank; get it right, the convenor. breakfast announcer Ross Solly does. That aside, I think it was a fair question and I Speaking of my good friend Ross, I should endeavoured to answer it. This is what I told mention that the Chief Minister Jon Stanhope him. and I have a deal in place. In simple terms, Shane RattenI find Jon to be one of the true bury is better radio than Meredith gentlemen of the Assembly, but Hunter. I think he communicates sometimes he can get into a bit better in that instant, live media of a flap on air, as he did recently than does his convenor. That on my radio program. Jon called doesn’t mean that he’s a better or me Ross, not just once or twice, worse MLA than his leader, it’s just but six times! I pulled him up on that he’s often a better option for it a few times, and he apologised us. He engages. You can have a profusely, but on it went. His laugh with him. He listens and at apologies got more heartfelt and least seems to consider differing drawn out. After the sixth time, I view points. cut in and said: “Jon, what do you Meredith seems to treat radio drink ?” interviews in the same way that I The chiefly one hesitated, Shane Rattenbury. treat rides at the Canberra Show. I cautiously wondering if I was hate rides and I would much rather not go on about to accuse him of being intoxicated them. When I’m on a ride, I just close my eyes while undertaking his leadership role, but and wait for it to be over and I don’t enjoy a eventually he said: “Well, um, er... I don’t single moment of it. That’s exactly what I sense tend to drink much during the week, but on when we have Ms Hunter on the radio. She the weekend I occasionally enjoy a bottle of gives responses to questions, but she doesn’t red or white.” really engage. She’s always worried about fallSo I put a deal in place then and there. Every ing off the ride, so she hangs on for dear life. time I call Jon, Zed I owe him a bottle of red... It’s my understanding that Meredith always and every time he calls me Ross, the same fulfils the ABC “three-way turf talk” thing that applies. I can’t wait till next time. CityNews March 18-24  15


More photos at

At the Canberra Star Ball, Hotel Realm, Barton

Rebecca Di Bitonto, Kylie Harvey and Tracey Ryan

Jenny Tiffen and Philip Kouvelis

Phoebe Holland, Sarah Mason-Jones, Kim Thorpe and Sophia Mobbs

Ashleigh Johnston, Elizabeth Kennedy and Melissa Matthews

16  CityNews March 18-24

George Bunt, Kyralee Urquhart and Adrian D'amico

Andrew Byrne, Jodi Shepherd, Terry Ring and Helen King

Gareth and Ayesha Perry

Craig and Bernadette Blade with Llani and Steve Kennealy

Luke Job and Belinda Condon

CityNews March 18-24  17

scene At the Matilda Bay craft beer dinner, King O’Malley’s, Civic

Peter Barclay, Scott Vincent and Mark Usherwood

At the Maria Selleck Properties launch, Hotel Realm, Barton

Vickie and Nick Gouvoussis, host Maria Selleck and MLA Alistair Coe

Nik and Jodie Kiermaier with Gordon Selleck

Matthew Stephen, Paul Morgan, Mark Bailey and Christoph Zierholz

Matthew Hooper, Ellen Williams, Penny Hewett and Lewis Montgomery

18  CityNews March 18-24

Debbie Hewitt, Rebecca Selleck and John Klose

Brad Coelho, Grant Cussin, Sebastian Wilson and Gabriel Tributh

Tania Bennett and Michele James

Ken Roberts with Adriana and Henry Tabisz

Margaret Robertson, Jacquie Reedy with James and Gail Robertson

Aurora Blums, Ken Batterham and Michelle Sherd

Invite us at

At the FlipArt launch, New Acton


At ‘Starry Nights’, Pol Roger Bar, National Gallery

Jai Tongor, Natalie Hyde, Chris and Jenna Breaden, Agapy Efkarpidis and Jolanta Gallagher

Sue Leed, Fiona Mitchell, Steven Tupper, Veronique Gouneau and Helen Cruzen

Melissa Messulam, Karrina Nunez and Andrew Bartlett

Diana Alvaro, Paola Lasso, FlipArt artistic producer Frank Madrid, Saori Shibata and Francia Gamboa

Emma Ryan and Stephanie Clunies-Ross

James Carey and Anne-Marie Britton

Lauren Black, Maria Delosangeles, Mario Gordon and Becky Fleming

Genevieve Jacobs and Linda Staite

Katherine Quinn and Angela Menz

Julie Butler and Kerry Dart

Phone Dubois and Millie Monei

Rebecca and James Lyle

CityNews March 18-24  19

scene at Canberra’s birthday breakfast

Centenary mood takes the cake WORDS: Eleri Harris PHOTOS: Silas Brown

be a new variety of Correa, which is actually a native shrub with red and cream, bell-shaped petals, set for commercial sale in 2012. THE 97th Canberra anniversary breakfast at the The common name for the flower will be Balloon Spectacular saw the unveiling of the capital’s birthday cake, flower and a logo for the “Canberra Bells”. Then, of course, came the birthday cake upcoming 2013 centenary event. (not for this birthday, the one in three years). There was supposed to be a symphony, Sourced only from local produce within 100km too, but it got lost amongst the parents with pancakes, circus performers in glittery costumes of the capital (not actually true) the “Canberra Cake” is made from carrot, apples, ginger, juggling hoo-la-hoops, children blowing honey and walnuts – healthy and delicious. The bubbles, a jazz band, a giant hot-air, balloonshaped kookaburra; baseball-capped, bow-tied, recipe was developed by Canberra celebrity chef, the Ginger Room’s Janet Jeffs. sneaker-wearing turtle and house-sized Archer displayed inflatable tampon box. considerable narrative The breakfast was attended by MLAs Mary Porter, Meredith Hunter, Alistair Coe, Zed Seselja, skill to describe the logo creation process, Shane Rattenbury and Senator Kate Lundy, detailing how talamongst other Canberra folk of note. ented young Australian For the record, Senator Lundy thinks it would graphic designers be better if all the hot air balloons on display were sought out and were native animal, not tampon, shaped. brought to Canberra The ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope introfrom the four corners of this great nation for duced Centenary of Canberra creative director a workshop exploring the city’s history and Robyn Archer to give the goods away and she culture, where from the hot coals of their used amusing anecdotes about yodelling in imaginations was spawned (drum roll, please) Parliament to verbally convey her commitment to our nation’s capital and role in the special 100 “100 Canberra 1913-2013”. year city birthday. The “Canberra Cake” recipe can be found at The centenary flower, kindly displayed in fishbowls on every table at the breakfast, will

Queanbeyan mayor Tim Overall, deputy Sue Whelan, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope and centenary creative director Robyn Archer

Prof Don Aitkin and MLA Mary Porter

20  CityNews March 18-24

Michael Costello, Opposition Leader Zed Seselja and Mark Cartwright

Andrew Cappie-Wood, Christine Magner and Chris Peters

Garry Watson with Speaker Shane Rattenbury

MLA Andrew Barr and Jeremy Lasek

all about arts

news | french film festival | theatre | cinema | reviews | dining


Is it really possible to stage a major French film festival without including Gerard Depardieu, muses arts editor HELEN MUSA?


Non show without M. Depardieu Gerard Depardieu... starring in three films in the French Film Festival


”Non”, says Philippe Milloux, directorgeneral for the Alliance Française in Australia. And certainly not when you’re talking about the Alliance’s 21st French Film Festival, showing in Canberra until March 31. And, oui, he’s right. I ploughed through the extensive program noting the 36 films chosen from 44 for Canberra consumption by artistic director Jean Jacques Garnier and Milloux and found three starring Depardieu, including one of the two kids’ films. Beyond that, there is an extraordinary balance of family films, comedies, love-at-firstsight stories, thrillers and Resistance films, the latter telling us, according to French Ambassador Michel Filhol, “no, no to the injustice of a system... no to oppression and yes, yes to human rights, to the freedom of thought and to dignity.” Among all these nons and

ouis, there is plenty of plain oldfashioned entertainment. Most of the films are at Greater Union Manuka, though the gala opening was at the National Film and Sound Archive’s Arc Cinema (with “Micmacs,” a comedy about misfits by the director of “Amelie,” Jean-Pierre Jeunet) as is the official closing on March 30 with “Gainsbourg,” about the life of troubled activist and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. But the end is really screening of the revolutionary romance “Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky” on March 31 followed by a Q&A session with director Jan Kounen. Visit www.frenchfilmfestival. org/home/canberra.aspx

The official closing film “Gainsbourg”... about the life of troubled activist and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg.

Art gallery coup for Braidwood HERE’S something impressive. The 95year-old Society of American Graphic Artists is holding its 77th Annual Show “Bridge: SAGA Comes DownUnder” in Fyre Gallery, 84 Wallace Street, Braidwood, 11am-4 pm, March 26 to May 10 (Thursdays to Mondays). Quite a coup for gallery director Cheryl Hannah. EVERYMAN Theatre members are saying they’re going professional, following ArtsACT coming up with a unique definition of professionalism in a new report. Now Free Rain Theatre has announced the formation of a theatre school, to be run out of the old Currong theatre (now the Embroiderers’ Guild Studio) at Gorman House. It’s looking good, with credible tutors in Jordan Best and Erin Gordon. Auditions are on April 8, expressions of interest to “THE Bally” is Canberra’s new touring venue, not unlike the famous Spiegeltent, and is a venture launched by local circus sisters Elena and Julia Kirschbaum during the recent Flipart season. The idea is for the little performance dome to join the touring festival circuit. Inquiries to THE Marsden Arts Group’s new exhibition runs until March 29 and gives each artist a notional “block of land” 750mm x 2.5m in which to create a visual representation of what suburbia means. It all happens at the Front Café and Gallery in Lyneham, fair in the middle of suburbia. AND in brief: Philihellene and 2009 Strathnairn Artist in Residence Michael Winters has an exhibition of “Chocolate Box Landscapes and Prints” at the Homestead until March 28; and Oriana Chorale will stage “Songs of Sundrie Natures” at St Paul’s, Manuka on March 27 and 28 at 5pm.

CityNews March 18-24  21


Intimacy amid the action Theatre

“Richard III” By William Shakespeare, directed by Duncan Driver, Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre, until March 20. Reviewed by Helen Musa TRIMMED by director Duncan Driver to about two hours, including interval, this is a tight version of Shakespeare’s theatrical warhorse. Played in a corridor arrangement with the audience flanking the action on both sides and groups representing the opposing York and Lancaster factions, Driver’s cast achieve something of the intimacy of the Elizabethan theatre. Duncan Ley plays the murderous hunchback with more verve than subtlety, preferring slapstick to Machiavellian manoeuvring. A superfluous touch was to drench him in stage blood – the script makes it apparent enough that he is a “bloody dog”. The same superfluity was shown in changing the stage lights to red for the Queen’s taunts to Richard. With lots of doubling, those who don’t double stand out. Ian Croker, as the Duke of Buckingham, plays this deep-revolving conniver convincingly and Helen McFarlane gives us a superb mix of political expediency and maternal anxiety as Queen Elizabeth. Thomson Quan Wing, as Catesby, intimidates and Jim Adamik, as the doomed but poetic Clarence, is genuinely touching. This production stands and falls on several scenes – the dream of Clarence, Richard’s reptilian attack on Hastings, his successful seduction of Lady Anne (a strangely sexless scene) and the apparent persuasion of Queen Elizabeth (watched over by the mocking Alice Ferguson as Queen Margaret) and the menacing dream scene.

“Battlefield”... simple and affecting live art. Photo by ‘pling

Chenoeh… with words “BATTLEFIELD” is an elegantly simple and affecting piece of live art; a term defined by director (and designer) Chenoeh Miller as performance created in front of an audience, incorporating improvised responses to audience energy and feedback. “Battlefield” aims to combine Japanese Butoh with ‘80s style dance in a piece that looks at inherent human desire to conform and a child’s need for paternal approval. Over the past three years, Canberra audiences have witnessed the development of Miller’s work, beginning with the awardwinning “Six Women Standing in Front of a White Wall”, a performance installation in which the audience was instructed to touch the performers. “Battlefield”, Miller’s first piece to incorporate spoken text, similarly instructs the audience by way of a sign that says “please do listen”. The show began with performers lit starkly

“Battlefield” Canberra Youth Theatre and Little Dove Theatre Art, Gorman House, season closed. Reviewed by Simone Penkethman and dramatically behind the invisible forth wall that divides performers from audience. Each performer had a repertoire of stylised movement and a whispered story about a child/father relationship. Electronic music drowned out the words so the stories were experienced visually at first. As curiosity grew, the audience walked through the forth wall to interact with performers and listen to their stories. Each story articulated both a father’s love and his imperfection. The show closed with a humorous and touching dance routine to Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield”.


“Blaze 4” Canberra Contemporary Art Space Gorman House Reviewed by Anni Doyle Wawrzynczak


“A Day on the Green” Centennial Vineyards, Bowral, March 8. Reviewed by Ian McLean

22  CityNews March 18-24


In a ‘Blaze’ of humour

Big quality, small quantity

AN overturned truck created gridlock, which meant a four-hour journey to Bowral. Add in rain, excessive restrictions on entry items and breaks between acts extending to two hours (so sole food and beverage providers could be suitably patronised) and this day did not live up to expectations. Quality-wise the music was wonderful, but quantity was certainly lacking. Melody Gardot was sublime in her short (four-song) set and Madeleine Peyroux beguiling

drawings. In each, a small draughtsman-like representation of a local Ainslie house is surrounded by explosive swirls of grey inks. Other sculptural works belie their materials. Adam Veikkanen’s large glass platter “Blue (Colour fast Colour circle)” is made from bubble wrap and three amusing, biomorphic forms turn out to be reworked giant, exploded scotch tape rounds. Tye McBride’s large wall mandala “Sprinkle”, that references the structure within the cells of a seed pod, and her perspex and light sculpture titled “Pod”, are complex and charming.

and enchanting as she waltzed and played great blues. Diana Krall (pictured) and her fantastic band outstandingly and effortlessly sang and captured styles from Nat King Cole to Jobim and all in between. She even cleverly included “Singing in the Rain” in her first improvised piano solo and was absolutely charming with the audience. Someone told me such concerts are more of a social, than musical, occasion. Damn it, I went for the music! I was left wanting so much more than the fare on offer in the breaks.

CURATED by CCAS’s Serge Bodulovic and Yolande Norris, “Blaze 4” is alive with tongue-in-cheek humour. Eleven young, emerging Canberra artists, six of whom were awarded 2009 CCAS studio residencies, have produced edgy works that surprise and excite. Video artist TJ Phillipson’s “101 ways to make contemporary art” is a laugh-out-loud compilation of 101 very short scenes. Phillipson’s hypermobile face and absolute commitment to each scene is hilariously paired with his dry, bemused, art-school student persona. Photographer Erica Hurrell’s “untitled”, 20 cinematically coloured photographs in five sets of four, are mini movies in the making. Each photograph reveals an incomplete fragment in the everyday of contemporary youth culture. Benjamin Forster has produced four arresting

Benjamin Forster’s “16 Collicot Circuit” (2009).

A thriller in need of pace THEATRE

“Flatspin” By Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Geoffrey Borny for Canberra Rep, Theatre 3, until March 20. Reviewed by Helen Musa THIS is an unusual work by Alan Ayckbourn, part of the series called “Damsels in Distress” and first seen on stage in 2002. What makes it unusual is that an apparent situation comedy rapidly turns into a dark and cynical thriller. With a tight cast of seven, including two very strange vignette performances by Liz St Clair Long as a courier (or is she the Avon lady?) And Robert de Fries as a dim-witted Cockney bodyguard, director Geoffrey Borny battles a minefield of theatrical challenges to bring the night to its ambiguous ending. The action is played out on an appropriately austere, stylish set designed by Andrew Kay. The perpetually baffled, sexually frustrated Rosie (Lainie Hart) plays the damsel in distress to her affable opposite number Sam (Ross Walker). Hart’s tension rubs off on to us throughout, almost too much, but both are upstaged and underplayed simultaneously by Jerry Hearn as the mysterious “good guy” Maurice and Erin Pugh as his thuggish sidekick Tracy. Steph Roberts opens the play as the manager Annette with an exaggerated English accent completely at odds with the others we are to hear. It makes for a slow opening to a slow first half. Borny is normally the master of timing, but this show needs to pick up pace. I predict that it will.


Celebrating the winds of change IN a formidable coup for the fifth “Weereewa – A Festival of Lake George”, businesspeople and artists from the region have come together to celebrate the “Winds of Change”. That’s the official theme of this year’s event, whose major sponsor is Infigen Energy, the firm that runs Capital Wind Farm on the edge of Lake George. General manager of Infigen’s Business Development Unit, David Griffin, says they plan to be in the district for a long time and will sponsor the Weereewa Sculpture Prize, worth a total of $6000, and a “Plein Air” outdoor painting weekend. The festival’s high-profile patron, secretary to the Treasury Ken Henry, flanked by “Windwash” screenprinted tea towels from Megalo Print Studio, revealed that he had long been fascinated by the prehistoric lake because he lived in the area “east of Canberra”. Dr Henry praised local artists for promoting the region through an enticing mixture of arts, food, science and even a “beneath the wind farm” bike tour. Highlights will include a scientific conference Sponsor David Griffin, left, and festival patron on climate change at the Silver Wattle Centre, Ken Henry. short story and photography competitions, “Shortis and Simpson Live at the BBC” (Bungen“Weereewa – A Festival of Lake George” dore Bowling Club) and a gala concert with the runs in and around Bungendore until March environmental musician and visual artist Colin 28. For all program details visit Offord. –Helen Musa

CityNews March 18-24  23


Does George’s mum get her man? “My One and Only” (M)    DESPITE his sizable filmography – network TV series characters and supporting roles in real movies – you’d never put George Hamilton in the front rank of movie actors, or even the second. George does not appear in “My One And Only” but he produced it, telling about the several months in 1955 when he, at 15, drove a beigegreen Cadillac Eldorado convertible across the US with his pretty, blonde mother Anne and his older half-brother Robbie while Anne sought another husband to replace George’s band-leader father Dan whom, arriving home unexpectedly early one afternoon, she found having a matinee with a brunette. The film is chiefly about Anne (Renee Zellweger) whom some might rate as a high-grade ditz. If Charlie Peters’ screenplay speaks the truth (as well it might with George vetting it), she was also a southern princess fiercely protective of her sons, self-sacrificing and morally unshakeable. On screen, she is rather a pain whom Zellweger presents with great conviction in a portrayal not


By Dougal Macdonald

fidelity, particularly a prime collection of Detroit gas-guzzlers and landscapes rural and urban. Is it worth seeing to learn whether Anne finds a husband? For folks in the right mood, that’s not such a bad thing to do. At Dendy and Greater Union

“Green Zone” (MA)   

Renee Zellweger plays Anne Deveroux. to be disparaged. Briton Richard Loncraine has directed this lowfriction US road movie with some nicely-judged minor performances and a keen eye for period

INEVITABLY, some people will compare Paul Greengrass’s Middle East military actioner with “The Hurt Locker”. They may even read significance into the four stars I gave the latter and its Oscar, compared with what “Green Zone” gets. Comparisons unsupported by verifiable statistics are at best subjective and of little relevance. Soon after George Bush and Tony Blair initiate this century’s least-justifiable war, army warrant officer Miller (Matt Damon) is getting really pissed off because his team rushes hither and yon around Baghdad and environs following shonky intelligence on dangerous wild-goose chases in search of WMDs. The story, from a book by Rajiv Chandraseka-

ran, makes Miller the pawn in an internecine conflict between Pentagon intelligence represented by civilian Poundstone (Greg Kinnear) seeking an outcome providing his political masters with justification for the war and local CIA chief Brown (Brendan Gleeson) seeking a preferably truthbased one that’ll benefit Iraq. The film offers vigorous military enterprise – Hummvees careering down narrow alleys, fire-fights profligate of ordnance and verging on hysteria, airborne electronic battlefield surveillance and tactical control. Separating its factions is often difficult. Clothing often fails to distinguish sides when Iraqis are confronting each other or, shock horror, Americans are gunning for Americans! The difference between the two films is that one avoids politics while the other’s American inter-agency political conflict dominates its military events. It’s best to consider each on its own merits or lack thereof because comparison really isn’t productive. And the closing shot of a distant oil refinery has a wordless eloquence. At all Canberra cinemas

Painting sale supports Red Cross THE Australian Red Cross will be the beneficiary of a weekend art sale of 350 paintings at the refurbished Albert Hall. Organiser Kevin Hill is returning to Canberra with his “Top 10” Australian artists to support Red Cross fund-raising. Last year the show raised thousands of dollars for the Red Cross’ bushfire appeal. Admission is free. He said the exhibiting artists had donated 11 paintings with 10 to be won throughout the show. Every visitor would receive a free door ticket. The Red Cross was raffling an Otto Kuster Painting valued at $2000. “One of the really exciting aspects of this sale is the opportunity to not only meet most of these talented Australians but to talk to them about their paintings and the inspiration that drove them to create these great works as well,” said Mr Hill. The artists include Ian Hansen, who has won the international Thomas Wells’ Award in the US for the second time. The exhibition will be open Friday, March 19 and Saturday, March 20, 9am6pm and Sunday, march 21, 9am-4pm.

24  CityNews March 18-24

Exhibiting painter Ian Hansen and his work “Quiberon Bay”, which depicts a scene from the seven-year, 18th-century war between the British and the French.


The gnocchi is dynamite! By Wendy Johnson THE hospitality industry can be ruthless and only the strong survive, especially when you’re trading in one of the busiest trading districts in Canberra – Woolley Street in Dickson. But my bet is that Firestone pizzeria and bar will be with us for a while. It was my first visit, even though Firestone has been around for about three years, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The fit out is trendy and includes a kind of psychedelic wallpaper you wouldn’t want to stare at for too long (especially after a glass of wine). All up, the place is warm and inviting. We visited on a Saturday afternoon and sat towards the front – me on the pumpkin-coloured cloth bench and my friend on the other side of our square, dark wooden table. We were both impressed with the menu – the place specialises in wood-fired pizzas (23 varieties to be exact), but there’s lots of other dishes to enjoy, including several sharing plates. Many of the pizzas are out of the ordinary and they were tempting, but in the end we selected two pastas. My gnocchi with braised rabbit and porcini mushroom in a cream sauce ($22.90) was dynamite. I’m not a big cream

HUNGRY ADERS RE advertise your cafe. advertise. * McNair Ingenuity Research 2006

6262 9100

Firestone pizzeria... “the fit out is trendy.” sauce fan – it’s usually too rich, but this was lighter and more subtle and it suited the tender rabbit very well indeed. The gnocchi, which I usually don’t order either because I’ve had bad luck with it being over or undercooked in many eateries, including those that say they are “oh-soItalian”, was la perfezione. My friend’s dish had more gusto – thick strands of fresh pappardelle with flaked osso bucco in rich beef and red wine gravy ($19.90). This is not a dish for the fainthearted. However, it looked enticing and tasted fabulous. We shared a rocket salad with parmesan and balsamic. It was disappointing and we didn’t really dive into it too much as a result. The rocket was by no means the freshest; it was smothered in the cheese and drowning in the balsamic. Our only other constructive comment was that the

amount of the pasta in each of our dishes was huge for lunch (and perhaps even dinner). It’s nice to see Firestone so generous, but massive amounts of food can be challenging for many diners. If we had the room we would have indulged in one of the several sweet pizzas to end off our meal, which are all $11.90 and include a strawberry, marshmallow and white chocolate, an apple, cinnamon and mascarpone and an apricot, pear and vanilla bean ice cream. Yum. Firestone also has take away and two-for-one pizza on Monday and Tuesday nights. We liked the place and wouldn’t hesitate to pop by again. Firestone, shop 1, 14 Woolley Street, Dickson. Open Tuesday-Sunday for lunch and Monday-Sunday for dinner. Licensed with bar. Call 6247 4447.

‘Beatlemania’ winners “CityNews” winners of five double tickets to see “Beatlemania on Tour” at Canberra Theatre on March 21 are Jacqui Britton, of Isabella Plains; Tracey Hanlon, Dunlop; Steve Marks, Kambah; Will Freebairn, Harrison, and Luke McLachlan, Kaleen.

CityNews March 18-24  25

all about living garden | home | health&fitness | puzzles

Where history, charm and beauty combine

26  CityNews March 18-24

WORDS: Kathryn Vukovljak PHOTOS: Silas Brown LAMBRIGG is a spectacular parkland garden dotted with areas of cool shade and warm sunny spots in a calm, peaceful setting – and even houses mature oaks that owner Peter Gullet planted when he was a boy. The property on Tidbinbilla Road, Tharwa, will be open on March 27-28 as part of Australia’s Open Garden Scheme, a not-for-profit organisation promoting the pleasure of gardening, and will also host the scheme’s annual plant fair, which brings together specialist growers of the most interesting and garden-worthy plants with everything from bulbs to trees, natives to exotics as well as garden art, tools and guest speakers. This historic property, now owned by Peter and his wife Kate, was built by wheat-breeder William Farrer in 1891. Although he planted extensively, not much survived by the time the Gullet family moved to Lambrigg in 1949. The three Himalayan cedars at the front gate, an English oak in the front paddock and a few Lebanese cedars are all that’s left. Peter’s parents established the garden that’s here today. It’s a sheltered oasis with mature conifers and deciduous trees framing views to the Murrumbidgee River. A series of stonewalls create terraces and shady garden rooms. As the trees have matured they have provided cover for dogwoods, azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias and many other shrubs and plants. A mixture of conifers and deciduous trees provides welcome shade from the summer heat. The pin oaks along the driveway and the beds on the southern side of the house were established by the Gullets first. Then the garden on the northern side was created and planted and some time later the rose gardens by the front gate and below the tennis court were cultivated. “It’s a very soft, sweet, spring garden,” says Kate. “We’d love people to come along, wander around and find the little secret spaces that make this garden so magical.” The plant fair at Lambrigg will be open 10am-4.30pm, March 27-28. Entry is $8 and children under 18 admitted free.

Owners Peter and Kate Gullet... “We’d love people to come along, wander around and find the little secret spaces that make this garden so magical,” says Kate.


Kids in the kitchen

Crocodile jaw tongs, $8.99, Kinderkitchen Kuhn Rikon (1800 650 601).

By Kathryn Vukovljak

Get the kids excited about cooking with these cute, bright utensils designed specifically for little hands.

Kids’ Kitchen mini red spatulas, $14.95, Little Sprout.

Fox Run mini potato masher, $3.45, Little Sprout.

Mouse measuring cups with spatula, $22.90, Kinderkitchen Kuhn Rikon.

Cool Kids Cook by Donna Hay, $32.95, Borders. Kids’ Kitchen mat and cookie cutters, $21.95, Tupperware.

Kids’ Kitchen Hearts and Stars cupcake moulds, $14.95, Little Sprout.

Cute but sushi and kids...not sure Sushi train set, $89,

CityNews March 18-24  27

Seniors Week March 21-28

Big week discovering the variety of life GLIDING, lawn bowls, bush dancing, sailing, croquet, golfing and table tennis are among the activities on offer as part of ACT Senior’s Week, March 21-28. The theme is “Variety in Life”, and with around 200 events and activities available, from active sports to leisurely morning teas, from music concerts to a range of educational talks and craft classes, variety is definitely on the cards. Seniors Week provides an opportunity to learn, discover different aspects of the community and understand more about Canberra. Attempting a new sport or recreational activity, learning more through a lecture, participating in the Seniors Expo Day or attending an open day at a club or community organisation all provide possible new insights. Every activity in Seniors Week demonstrates the role of seniors in Canberra. Economic and social interactions are associated with all the events and activities. For example, you may fill up with fuel on the way to an event, catch a bus or simply wear out some shoes on the way. All of these have an economic and social impact on our community. Similarly, an event such as a breakfast or function is important to the major clubs, their staff and the facilities. Many smaller voluntary organisations also contribute time and resources. Another example is the Seniors Expo at the Old Bus Depot. For many people, gaining appropriate and relevant information assists them to make more informed decisions. The expo also helps community organisations and businesses target an important group of consumers and contributors. Seniors Week provides the opportunity to participate in new and different activities. Becoming involved demonstrates that ACT Seniors are contributing to our economy, our social fabric and our community. The one message we can take from Seniors Week is that older people are an essential component of the community and they do not neglect the rest of Canberra. Visit for the full program of events, or call 6282 3777 with any questions.

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Concert stars RMC band THE BAND of the Royal Military College Duntroon will be play two sessions at the “Chief Minister’s Concert” on Wednesday, March 24. The RMC band is the official band of Australia’s Government House, Parliament House and Royal Military College. The “Chief Minister’s Concert” will be held at the auditorium, Vikings Erindale, Ricardo Street, Erindale, with the RMC band

sessions running at 10.30am and 1.30pm. The band is a foremost and respected participant in the arts life of Canberra. In addition to concerts at many national institutions, it is well known for its regular “Music at Midday” series in the Canberra Theatre. In more than 100 performances in this series since 1992, in excess of $200,000 has been raised for scores of local charities. Call 6121 2131 for information. Booking is essential.

Seniors Week March 21-28 Breakfast with Dr John ACT Senior Australian of the Year 2010 Dr John Buckingham (pictured), a well-loved breast cancer surgeon whose patients endorse his warm bedside manner and caring nature, will be the guest speaker at the official launch of Senior’s Week at the Chief Minister’s Breakfast on Monday March 22. Dr Buckingham pioneered the sentinel node mapping technique which enables diagnosis of lymph node involvement with breast cancer diagnosis. He was involved in establishing Breast Screen ACT and is currently national president of the Australian and NZ chapter of the American College of Surgeons. The official launch will be held at Ainslie Football Club, Wakefield Avenue, Ainslie from 7am-9am. Call 6282 3777 for information. Booking is essential.

Expo at the depot COME along to the Old Bus Depot on March 25 for the opportunity to talk to representatives of 105 participating organisations on health, government, leisure and lifestyle issues affecting seniors. Held at the Old Bus Depot on Wentworth Avenue, Kingston, from 10am-3pm, the Senior’s Expo features entertainment, stalls, presentations and talks in the gallery. On the lower stage there will be all-day entertainment, with the opportunity to meet 2CC presenters, enter a prize draw for a trip to two to Bateman’s Bay including accommodation, meals and a river cruise. On the main stage, it’s song and dance all the way. Minister for Ageing Joy Burch will officially open the expo at 10am, followed by a show from the Canberra Old Time Dance Club, specialising in old time, new vogue and modern sequence ballroom dancing. Demonstrations from the Silver Soles Cloggers, Folk Dance Canberra and the Taoist T’ai Chi Society will get everyone moving. Songs from the Heart and Soul Singers, Sing Australia and Outreach singing by children from a local primary school, who will sing songs from 1910-1950, will round off the entertainment. Coffee, sandwiches and drinks will be available in the Foreshore Room, with ice-cream and milkshakes on offer outside the main entry. A free sausage sizzle will take place at the entrance.

Lots to do in multi-day events Walking weekend

Senior real estate advisor

Table tennis

March 27-28, 7.30am to 4pm. Participate in Canberra’s International walking weekend and enjoy the company. Walk both days for the Canberra two-day walk medal or one day for a personalised certificate. Control centre, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, cnr Blackall Street & Kings Avenue, Barton. Cost: two days $25, one day $20. Download entry form at or call 6288 6401.

Monday, March 22 to Wednesday, March 24 March and Friday, March 26, 9am to 5pm. Free information, advice and in-home appraisals from a housing advisor specialising in seniors’ requirements. In home appraisals contact: Gwen Davies 0418 977 098. Booking is essential.

Monday, March 22; 9.30am to 12.30pm, and Friday, March 26, 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Table tennis with morning or afternoon tea at Belconnen Senior Citizens’ Club, 24 Chandler Street, Belconnen Cost: $3

Studio tours

Thursday, March 25, Friday, March 26 and Saturday, March 27, 10am to 4pm. The library is promoting Seniors Week – all welcome. Tea and coffee available. Goyder Street Library, Goyder Street, Narrabundah. Cost: $5 concession for new members. Phone: 6295 8380

Glider joy flights Saturday, March 20, Sunday, March 21, Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28 March, 10.30am to 5pm. Joy flights in modern, two-seater sailplanes with qualified experienced instructors. Bunyan Airfield, Monaro Highway, 15km north of Cooma. Contact: Bruce McKenzie 0421 040116. Cost: 2500ft $100, or 4000ft (deluxe) $150. Bookings:

Photographic exhibition Every day from Sunday, March 21 to Sunday, March 28 March. The exhibition highlights entries from the annual photographic competition run by the ACT Office for Ageing which promotes positive images of older Canberrans. Canberra Centre, upper level glass floor exhibition area.

Every day from Monday, March 22 to Friday, March 26, 10am to 4pm. Be guided by volunteers through the ArtSound Broadcasting studios, recording studio and music library. Artsound FM Community Radio Station, Manuka Arts Centre, Manuka. Contact: Isobel Griffin 62957444, bookings: limit 10 per tour

Indoor bowls Tuesday, March 23 and Friday, March 26, 9.30am to noon. Indoor bowls with morning tea at Belconnen Senior Citizens’ Club, 24 Chandler Street, Belconnen. Cost: $3.

Old time/new vogue dancing Wednesday, March 24 and Sunday, March 28, 12.30pm to 4pm. Dancing with morning or afternoon tea, Belconnen Senior Citizens’ Club, 24 Chandler Street, Belconnen. Cost: $3

Goyder Street Library

Internet for seniors Tuesday, March 23, 10am to 11.30am, and Saturday, March 27, 2pm-3.30pm. Introductory lessons on using email and internet searches. Queanbeyan library, 257 Crawford Street, Queanbeyan. Bookings essential. Phone: 6298 0210.

Independent Living Centre Every day Monday, March 22 to Friday, March 26, noon to 2pm. Drop into the centre to view and try the assistive technology. Discuss your options over a cup of tea with an occupational therapist. Independent Living Centre, 24 Parkinson Street, Weston.

CityNews March 18-24  29


Get riding but don’t follow Lisa! By Kathryn Vukovljak

ALTHOUGH Canberra radio personality Lisa Ridgely goes to the gym regularly, she hasn’t actually taken her bike out of the shed for a few months – not that it’s stopping her entering the Gear Up Girl cycling challenge on Sunday, March 28. “I do spin classes, does that count?” laughs the Mix 106.3 breakfast show presenter. “I’m not worried about the fitness aspect, but last year I was in a group that got lost, so staying on the track is my main priority!” Gear Up Girl 2010, a womenonly event to raise funds for the Oncology Children’s Foundation, will proceed along two routes, the 30km Yarralumla Loop and the 60km Belconnen Loop for more experienced riders. Lisa, who’s the patron of the event, will be cycling with a group of girlfriends. “I love that it’s just a nice easy ride – if you

30  CityNews March 18-24

Ride patron Lisa Ridgley... “Last year’s event was so much fun”. take the shorter run around the lake, like I will be – and that anyone who has a bike can join in. “There’s no competition, there’s no pressure to get to the top of Black Mountain or anything like that – which would be wonderful, but it’s not something I’m capable of!” This is the second Canberra Challenge, following a successful debut last year. Nicole Whelan, from event organiser Bicycle NSW, says the Canberra challenge raised almost $15,000 of a total of $40,000 combined with the Sydney challenge. “Canberra’s first challenge last year was a great day,” Nicole says. “It was wonderful to see so many different ladies out on their bikes, some who have been riding regularly since they were kids, and some who had dug their bike out of the garage for the event for the first time in years.

“It’s just great to get everyone out, no matter what their level of fitness, to do this. Cycling is so popular in Canberra, with such fantastic cycleways, and we want to promote that. Our aim is to get novice riders out there on their bikes.” Nicole adds that Bicycle NSW still needs more volunteers for the event, and that men are welcome to volunteer, although they can’t ride. Route marshalls and ride crews who can carry out basic repairs are required. “Last year’s event was so much fun,” says Lisa. “I might just check that my bike is still in good working order before the ride though, I have no idea.” The Gear Up Girl Canberra Challenge is presented by Netti and will raise funds for the Oncology Children’s Foundation; “CityNews” is a media partner of the event. For more information, visit au or call 9218 5415.

your week in the stars With Joanne Madeline Moore March 22 - 28 ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20) Love and duty are linked, so accept relationship responsibilities with a smile. Keep your heart turned towards the future, rather than dwelling on problems from the past. With three planets in your sign, you’re at your energetic, enthusiastic best. Pace yourself, or there’ll be tears – and tantrums – before bedtime (especially on Thursday).

TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 20) Don’t dismiss your dreams as just frivolous imaginings. Dreaming by day – and by night – is a wonderfully creative thing to do and will provide you with amazing ideas and inspiration that are hard to obtain in other ways. As Gloria Steinem reminds us: “Dreaming is a form of planning.”

GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) There’s no denying that talkative Twins are curious creatures. You thrive on constant conversation and garrulous gossip. This week, resist the urge to be the neighbourhood nosey-parker. Group activities are favoured as you amp up your networking skills and expand your social circle, both face-to-face and online.

CANCER (June 22 – July 22)

general knowledge crossword No. 253 ACROSS

There’s pressure on you from all sides this week, as your personal and professional lives battle it out for supremacy. It’s time for cautious Crabs to make a stand. Don’t cave in to the unreasonable demands of others – or avoid confrontation by scuttling off sideways. You need to be a confident Cancer and face issues head on.


LEO (July 23 – Aug 22)


Lions are full of life at the moment! If you harness your energy in positive ways – through creative projects or dynamic leadership - then you’ll have a positive and productive week. However, if you morph into bossy-boots mode (especially on Friday) then you can expect draining dramas and pointless power struggles.


1 Name the second book of the Old Testament. 7 What was the given name of Dickens' character, Scrooge? 8 Which horse won the Melbourne cup in 1946? 9 Which medicine assuages pain? 10 Name the agricultural implement that turns over the soil. 11 The unmasking of a crime etc, is known as what? 14 What do we call weapons that can be thrown, bowled, or shot? 18 What are flocks of geese, in flight? 19 Which vessel carries the admiral or the like? 21 Name the novelist who wrote "1984", George ... 22 What do we call the sovereign representative in an Australian state? 23 What is a dissertation presented by a candidate for a diploma?

1 Name the rare-earth metallic element, symbol Eu. 2 What is the circular plate, thrown by modern athletes? 3 What is the home of a marine mollusc? 4 A collection of elephants is called a what? 5 Name the bunks in a ship. 6 Which amphibious rodent is noted for damming streams? 12 Which document grants people permission to visit foreign countries? 13 What is another term for letters? 15 Name the dome-shaped Eskimo huts, made from hard snow. 16 What is a small seal, as in a finger ring? 17 Which bird is also known as a magpie lark? 20 What is an alternative name for a female red deer? Solution next week







9 10 11



VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22) Confrontation is likely on Friday, as others resist your attempts to improve their performance. Your high standards aren’t shared by the majority of the population, so concentrate on your own work and leave others to their individual approaches. Sunday is the perfect day to tackle projects that require skill and attention to detail.




17 18


20 21

LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 23) Love, friendship and companionship are all highlighted, as you encourage loved ones to follow their dreams and reach their full potential. Getting the balance right between what you want and what others need is a constant juggling act and you might drop a few balls this week, as your multi-tasking skills are put to the test!

SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 21)

22 23

Sudoku hard No.27

Solution next week

You’re no flash-in-the-pan! Whatever you do, you’re in for the long run. But if something isn’t working out, don’t be too stubborn to discard your old plan and change horses mid-stream. You want things done your way on Friday, but others will resist your efforts to control them. Compromise is the key.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21) With mighty Mars charging through your adventure zone, it’s time to take some calculated risks – both emotionally and physically. Why not take a chance on love, or travel somewhere off the beaten track? Be inspired by Erica Jong (born on March 26): “If you don’t risk anything, then you risk even more.”

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19) This week, your business-like attitude works well with customers, clients or professional colleagues, but it won’t go down a treat with frazzled family members. Have you been neglecting your nearest and dearest? With Venus in your domestic zone (until April 1) it’s time to pamper loved ones with some extra TLC.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18) You have an eclectic array of talents but they won’t truly blossom until you nurture them with the help of a mentor or teacher. Expect communication problems this week but don’t worry about what sort of response you receive from others. You’ll never fit the mould of what they think you should be. Enjoy being uniquely Aquarian!

PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20) Money tends to run through Fish fingers like water! There’s a need to reign in spending this week – especially if you are using credit or other people’s money. By all means think big, but make sure your plans are financially realistic. On Sunday it’s all about close relationships, as you share emotional insights with others.

Copyright Joanne Madeline Moore 2009.

Solution Crossword No.252 H L A I R E D D D H E D G E O E S U N R I T E G D I A R I M E M A R T Y G E F E L L O


Solution Sudoku medium No.27


CityNews March 18-24  31


Time to be brave for city’s future WITH only three years to Canberra’s centenary celebrations, it’s time to take stock. Canberra was established to settle a dispute between States and clear the way for founding a nation. It became the very reason for Australia’s establishment for a nation. A big idea, indeed. And there is no reason why we shouldn’t celebrate its centenary with another big idea – to incorporate everything we know about building cities to make Canberra into the best capital city and home in the world. It is time to be brave, time to grow up, time to move into the future knowing our city epitomises quality, intelligent design and responsible and informed planning. It is time to be the best we can be. We need to change the current system of confused governance. At least four ACT Government agencies are involved in infrastructure, economic, transport and population planning and development – and often they pull in different directions. Until these issues are resolved, we will not be able to agree on the one item necessary to making a splendid vision into an equally splendid reality – an integrated and strategic plan for the city. In the Property Council’s vision for Canberra, it is a city which counts in the eyes of the nation, a showpiece and hallmark on all matters to do with design, construction and energy efficiency.

32  CityNews March 18-24


By Catherine Carter It should make Australians proud of their country, and like the rest of the nation, it should be culturally rich and economically diverse with a population of half a million by 2030. It should offer a 24/7 lifestyle, centred around the city and its lake. It should be economically prosperous. In this future Canberra, the Federal Government demonstrates its confidence in the city by investing in it. The city itself offers a viable lifestyle alternative to Sydney and Melbourne, which draws people who want to come here for that lifestyle. The community will create opportunities for itself, being the most talented, educated, creative and innovative workforce in the nation. And, importantly, the community will still be involved in the city’s processes – still participating in lively and informed community debate. It will take a lot to get there, and some major issues must be resolved before we can start. We need a strong and specific vision – one we can all agree on – and we need educated debate. Catherine Carter is the executive director of the Property Council of Australia (ACT).

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Canberra CityNews March 18-24 2010  

HOW about this cover? It's from a 1938 front-page illustration for the "Australian Women's Weekly". The National Library is digitising the o...

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