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Girls just wanna... get votes By Eleri Harris

THE 2010 election is set to be one for the ladies, with media coverage nationwide evoking gender identity more than ever before: Julia vs Tony, pink worm vs blue worm and issues such as paid parental leave occupying significant space on the campaign trail. In Canberra, we are nothing if not reflective, offering up a bevvy of serious, girl-power candidates; of the nine for the Senate and seats of the ACT, six are women. From Labor Party stalwart and IT it-girl Senator Kate Lundy and slick spin doctor Gai Brodtmann, to Liberal Catholic yummy-mummy Guilia Jones, to the four Greens candidates headed up by poster girl and tea fanatic Lin Hatfield Dodds. ANU Professor Marion Sawer says Canberra leads the nation on female representation in politics, pointing to Rosemary Follett, who was the first female leader of any State or Territory when she was elected Chief Minister in 1989. “Since the 1970s we’ve had strong female representation, from Susan Ryan in ’75,” Sawer said. “We’ve had a strong record of putting women into Parliament in the ACT, both at the local and federal level. Being a woman candidate is not a disadvantage.

ANU political marketing expert Andrew Hughes... “It shows a whole sea-change in Australian politics, which until now has been male-dominated and working class.”

INDEX August 5-11, 2010

Since 1993: Volume 16, Number 31

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

13-16 19 16 18 19 20-21 7 15 3-10 4 22-31 11-12 19

FRONT COVER: Swing dancers Liam Honer and Genevieve Rogis. Story Page 9.  Photo by Silas

“Generally, surveys have found that voters don’t really care very much if their candidates are men or women. It used to be said that voters wouldn’t vote for female candidates, but it’s found not to be true.” Sawer says the parties have different histories of gender inclusion and pre-selection. “The Greens generally have the highest percentage of women and the Liberals usually have relatively few, the ALP comes between the Greens and the Coalition,” she says. “At the last Federal election 39 per cent of all Greens candidates were women, that compares to 32.5 per cent of Labor candidates, 30 per cent of Nationals and 25 per cent of Libs or CLP candidates. “This is reflected in their parties. Across Australia women are 23.3 per cent of Liberal party parliamentarians, whereas 37 per cent of Labor parliamentarians at a state and federal level are women.” During the leaders debate the pink worm, indicating the preferences of female voters, liked what Prime Minister Julia Gillard had to say more than her male opponent, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. The question is whether approval for candidates of the same gender translates into votes and, if Sawer’s comments are anything to go by, they might. “After each election there’s a survey conducted out of the ANU,” Sawer said. “From 2001, 2004 and 2007 women were less likely to support the Coalition than men, and women more likely to support the Greens than men. “It’s not a huge gap but it’s been consistent.” Labor candidate Gai Brodtmann dismisses the significance of public debate over gender in the election. “In terms of the gender thing on the worm, I think that’s just a case of seeing what resonates with women and what resonates with men and trying to get a feel for that. “In terms of the gender issue, I think that we’ve got a fantastic prime minister who has enormous qualifications in a range of fields and I think that she’s got a great vision for this country and the way forward and she’s a great leader and she will be a great prime minister for the future.” But ANU political marketing expert Andrew Hughes says the fact the nation is having a conversation about gender during an election means that it’s long overdue. “Tony Abbott doesn’t want it to be a gender election, but it is,” he says. “Julia Gillard has done what a lot of women in Australia have tried and failed to do – rise to the top. She’s Labor’s best asset. “It shows a whole sea-change in Australian

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‘JB’ in the running

CAMERON “JB” Williams producer of MIX 106.3’s “Cam & Lisa in the Morning” show has been nominated as a finalist in the “Best Show Producer, Entertainment/Music” at the 2010 Australian Commercial Radio awards to be announced in Melbourne in October.

New chief

DR Peter Pedersen has been appointed head of the Australian War Memorial’s Research Centre. The author of seven books on World War I, he joined the memorial as senior historian in 2008. Dr Pedersen is a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, the Australian Command and Staff College, and the University of NSW, he commanded the 5th/7th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, and was a political/strategic analyst in the Australian Office of National Assessments. Greens candidate Indra Esguerra... Policy is more important than gender in appealing to Canberra’s constituents.  Photos by Silas politics, which until now has been male-dominated and working class.” Greens candidate for the seat of Fraser, Indra Esguerra says policy is more important than gender in appealing to Canberra’s constituents. “We’ve got a female prime minister, that’s nice, we can say ‘tick, done that’, but I think it’s more important really to vote for policies that matter. I’d like to vote for a party that didn’t just have a token female prime minister, but that actually developed policies that helped women in the workforce, that provided for more flexible working arrangements and better maternity leave arrangements.”

Trivia for Elise

ELISE Wilson is organising a trivia night at Majura Hall, Dickson, from 6.30pm on Saturday, August 14 to raise funds towards the $10,000 she needs to take up an offer to be a volunteer on the Youth Empowerment Programme in Uganda for seven months starting in January. Entry to the trivia night is $20 and includes nibbles on the table and a free gift. Licensed bar and hot food will be available. Bookings via email to or to 0402 903081.

Editor: Ian Meikle, Political reporter: Eleri Harris, 0414 618493 Lifestyle editor: Megan Haggan, 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

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

CityNews  August 5-11  


federal election 2010

Religion’s elephant in the election room ARCHBISHOP Barry Hickey drew attention to the elephant in the election room when he attacked the secularism of the Prime Minister. In doing so he raised the role that the Catholic faith plays in the life of the Leader of the Opposition. Ironically, Hickey has identified the choice between an inclusive approach offered by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and an exclusive one offered by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. The Archbishop of Perth argued that “many Christians are concerned that someone who does not believe in God may not endorse the Christian traditions of respect for human life, for the sanctity of marriage and the independence of churches, church schools and church social welfare agencies.”

By Michael Moore We know that the secularist Julia Gillard accepts the “Lord’s Prayer” at the start of the parliamentary day; television viewers have seen her being respectful in church services and she makes no attempt to force her view of religion or God on anyone else. This is in marked contrast to Tony Abbott, who as Health Minister attempted to inflict his personal, faith-based view over Australian women’s reproductive rights particularly with regard to the use of RU486. As telling is his participation in

a government which would only allow Australian aid to our Pacific neighbours if there was a guarantee that no family planning material would be distributed. This decision had a major impact on the exponential growth of HIV in places such as Papua New Guinea. His religiously motivated personal reflections on female virginity and premarital sex are also troubling. The Prime Minister has been completely forthright in her attitude, stating: “I am not going to pretend a faith I don’t feel, and for people of faith I think the greatest compliment I could pay to them is to respect their genuinely-held beliefs and not to engage in some pretence about mine.” Her comment reflects respect for the views of others. Contrast the attitude of the

Boring, boring, boring! By Don Aitkin I’VE heard more than one person saying that this is the most boring election campaign they have ever been in. Election campaigns in which I have taken an interest go back into the 1950s, and off-hand I can’t think of a more boring one either. One reason it is boring is that it is empty of connection. It is as though Australia is in some kind of a crystal ball, insulated from everywhere and everything else – one of those mantelpiece glass spheres that you can pick up and shake, and thereby produce a snowstorm falling on a tiny timber cottage. Of course, it’s hard to think of an election campaign that didn’t flood us with precisely aimed promises at target groups – not just more hospital beds, or better super, or regional infrastructure, but a bridge over this creek, or the straightening of this bit of road. But it is the lack of connection in it all – what we used to call “the big picture” – that most irritates me. Take population. If we as a nation decide to limit immigration in a serious way we will be very short of skills. Australia has been looking for skills of almost every kind since 1828. If we are to reduce the rate of growth of our population then we will need to invest heavily in the education and development every baby that is born

  CityNews  August 5-11

here. Have you heard a word of that? Take Afghanistan. Why exactly are we there? Does anyone know? How long are we to stay? Do we have some view of the conflict and its outcome that gives us any sense that we would be more successful in the 21st century than the British in the 19th century or the Soviet Union in the 20th? Is anyone talking about that? Take climate change. This was, only a year or so ago, the most important moral issue of our day – not just for Australia, but for humanity. It is plainly not so any more, not just because of the global financial crisis but because the science is now not as “settled” as it once was said to be. I haven’t heard much about that. Take the world economy. I would think most of us know, in some sense, that we depend for our standard of living in part

on the capacity of other larger countries to make and buy things that originate in our raw materials. How likely are they to be able to do that? The big picture is what our political leaders should be able to give us. That’s, in part, what they’re for. I’m still waiting. An old and savvy friend said to me the other day that when he was young he rather looked down on the electorate, thinking himself to be wiser and better informed. Now he thinks that the electorate gets it right most of the time, and that it can see past the spin. I hope he’s right. What puzzles me is how the voters will act when they do see past the spin. Don Aitkin is a Canberra-based political scientist and historian.

Prime Minister with that of Archbishop Hickey who launched his thinly veiled political wedge with the comment “while there is no indication that the present Prime Minister will undermine the special privileges that churches enjoy, some wonder what the future will bring. This may well influence their votes.” He has asked voters to consider religion in the coming election. Insofar as decisions are taken at Prime Ministerial level, the choice the bishop identifies is between the evidence-based decisions of Julia Gillard or the faith-based decisions of Tony Abbott. Michael Moore is a former member of the ACT Legislative Assembly and an independent minister for health in the Carnell government.

Candidates share darkest secrets! AS we head to the Federal polls, I’ve been snooping around to find out some things about the local candidates that you may not have known. And have I found some dirt! For example, which of our political candidates do you think is often mistaken for an ageing drag queen? When this stuff gets out, it’s got the potential to be bigger than any of these Laurie Oakes cabinet leaks. I’ve discovered that Giulia Jones, Liberal for Canberra, had a reputation in her teenage years… as a queen of fashion. Those close to her then have revealed to me that, on some memorable occasions, she was known to accidentally put shirts on inside out. As far as little-known facts go, this one is a doozy: Andrew Leigh, ALP for Fraser, spent some of his primary school years as the only white kid in his class. At the time, he was living in Bandah Aceh, Indonesia, where his parents were aid workers. If you were looking for a reason to support Darren Churchill, the Democrat’s Senate candidate, this may be it: He proudly boasts of being an enormous Bay City Rollers fan! He has all their albums on

By Mark Parton, 2CC breakfast announcer vinyl and, believe it not, downloaded on to his iPod. Greens Senate candidate Lin Hatfield Dodds has many musical band-playing friends, but they tell me she doesn’t have a musical bone in her body. Sometimes they get her to stand off-mic and shake “the egg”, which is a percussion instrument. Labor Senator Kate Lundy is an accomplished painter. She paints watercolour birds and flowers and she’s not bad at it. She’s been asked to do a painting for the Capital Arts Patrons Organisation auction in November. As a girl, Gai Brodtmann, ALP for Canberra, did have aspirations of a representative career, but to play volleyball for Australia. She did play at rep level and played badminton at rep level as well. And as far as the ageing drag queen, Liberal Senator Gary Humphries’ staff tell me that when they’re booking accommodation for him, motel staff often mishear his name. They don’t hear Gary Humphries… they hear Barry Humphries!

CityNews  August 5-11  


Brickworks cling to a future Last month, the crumbling Yarralumla Brickworks was listed in the ACT’s top 10 most-at-risk heritage sites by the National Trust. ELERI HARRIS wonders why it is left to moulder SILENT, red and crumbling slowly down to the bush, the Yarralumla Brickworks stands alone in the sunshine, the occasional crash and hum from Thor’s Hammer Recycled Timber echoing through its open kilns. It was Canberra’s first factory, manufacturing the very foundations of our city, from 1913-1976, but now it is left to ruin on the fringes of one of the most affluent suburbs in the most highly paid jurisdiction in the country. ACT National Trust president Eric Martin speaks carefully, word by word about the rusted, cemented structure with its bricks gradually loosening from ceilings and falling to the ground. “The Brickworks is a very important industrial site, it was here they made the bricks for Old Parliament House,” Martin says. “It’s really important to actually recognise that, and the brick-making technology here, is pretty much unique in Australia.” Over the years, tiles have been pilfered, random metal and timber abandoned within caverns and graffiti artfully splashed across the back wall of a kiln where the homeless and disaffected youth have camped out. The Brickworks has been on the lists of the most-at-risk heritage sites in the country for the last few years, last month named in the ACT’s top 10 by the National Trust. In 2008 the ACT Government called for expressions of interest in development; community backlash inevitably ensued

  CityNews  August 5-11

Yarralumla Brickworks... Canberra’s first factory, manufacturing the very foundations of our city, but now it is left to ruin. Photo by Silas and was followed up with consultation, classic Stanhope-style. Two years later a “Conservation Management Plan” for the site was created by the Government and endorsed by the Heritage Council in May, with the Government set to deliver up a series of options for community comment this month. “Any future use for the Brickworks site has not yet been determined,” Chief Minister Jon Stanhope told the “CityNews”. “The Canberra Brickworks and Environs Planning Strategy is underway which will ultimately present a preferred option for the conservation and adaptive re- use of the Brickworks, as well as the development of the surrounding area. “The continuation of current tenancies held on site [Thor’s Hammer and use of space by two artists] is yet to be determined. This will become clear once a preferred option for the site has been selected. The ACT Government is committed to finding an optimal outcome for the site, which balances conservation with appropriate development.” The National Trust think the Chief has been sitting on his hands. “Our concern is, even though it may have a ‘Conservation Management Plan’ under preparation, until they get the formal

ACT National Trust president Eric Martin... “It was here they made the bricks for Old Parliament House.” Photo by Silas statutory protection and until they actually get an active use or active conservation work done, they are still at threat,” Martin says. “While the Government may say: ‘Oh, well, we’re doing something’, at times ‘something’ in a bureaucratic sense or an administrative sense doesn’t necessarily mean physically conserving the fabric on the ground. And that’s what we’re really concerned about. “The best way to conserve a building is to use it, there’s no value in mothballing sites.”


a dose of dorin

Not following the rules

CATHERINE Carter (CN, July 29) states that we shouldn’t worry too much about parking issues for new developments, as we can find a way around parking problems. While we don’t disagree with this sentiment, we have noted that several recent development applications for the inner north and the city do not meet even the minimum parking requirements. When the minimum parking requirements are not met, then this places and exacerbates existing parking issues. Planning rules and regulations are developed for a purpose, and if minimum standards are not met or not enforced, then what is the purpose of developing such rules and regulations? Why don’t we just let developers do whatever they please and we can live with the consequences?

Geoff and Susan Davidon, Braddon

Clunkers bonkers

CAN we survive the electioneering promises? The latest one is the ALP’s “cash for clunkers” promotion. What a waste of money this is. Firstly, research indicates that having a new car is likely to considerably increase the number of kilometres driven. Secondly, Australia’s CO2 emissions in 2007 were about 374 million tonnes so the estimated cut in emissions of the “clunkers” promotion

Needles are wrong

MIKE CROWTHER, a prison officer for 19 years, during which time he suffered two needlestick injuries, is opposed to a needle exchange in the Alexander Maconochie Centre

would be a mere 0.025 per cent (ie one tenth of one quarter of one per cent!). I hope commonsense returns once the election madness departs.

the water, the white tip to the tail is a distinctive identifying mark.

Simon Kaminskas, Giralang

Ric Hingee, Duffy THE picture accompanying “Rain-

Rat gets bad press I WRITE about your article on introduced rats and mice (“Raining rats and mice”, CN July 28). While these introduced species are indeed vermin, the animal in the picture included in the article was NOT introduced vermin. That animal was a native water rat. They are one of the few native animals in the Canberra region that have survived European settlement well, and are often seen swimming at dusk in Canberra’s urban lakes and ponds. Apart from swimming in

ing rats and mice” (CN, July 29) was captioned “a swimming rat in Belconnen” as if it were a common brown rat (Rattus norvegicus). Unfortunately, this was actually a picture of a rakali or water-rat (Hydromys chrysogaster), Australia’s largest native rodent. I have seen a rakali at Lake Ginninderra myself – they’re surprisingly large and have many whiskers. That Ginninderra Creek is home to native mammals is not a bad thing, and a couple of moments in Google would have made its identity plain.

Simon Wall, via email

IF the media is to be believed, community opinion overwhelmingly favours a prison-based needle exchange. This is not surprising as, apart from the pedestrian “drugs are bad” view, any rational and informed arguments against the proposal are generally ignored by the media. “The Canberra Times”, which has published any number of feature articles supporting the proposal, seems particularly vigilant in ensuring that submissions outlining the case “against” never see the light of day. That same publication recently trumpeted the findings of a conference that called for a needle exchange to be implemented. This result was hardly surprising given that all three of the invited speakers were in favour and no speakers against were invited. The two groups who will actually bear the brunt of any exchange program are the correctional officers (forbidden from making public comment on Government policy), and non-IV-injecting inmates who, lacking a lobby group of their own, tend to be voiceless. Proponents of the plan entertain the cognitive distortion that a criminal who uses a blood-filled syringe as a weapon will, through a combination of happy thoughts and white light, refrain from doing so once in custody.

Supporters of custody-based needle exchanges cite positive overseas experience. Unlike Europe, in Australia “dobbers”, even in the general community, are generally viewed with some level of disdain. However, in prisons they are dealt with most brutally. An IV-injecting inmate may very well try to do the right thing and keep “their” syringe in its approved container. However, if forced to hand it over for others to use in acts of bastardry, they can’t even report it missing without being labelled a dog, a permanent and dangerous appellation that no prisoner can afford to have on their CV. The real issue is not whether the Government should facilitate the consumption of street drugs, but whether those who have demonstrated their inability to act responsibly to such a degree that a court has placed them into state care should be permitted to keep potentially lethal equipment in their custody. That said, the ACT is no stranger to policy driven by political correctness and feel-good philosophy and, for this reason, I have no doubt whatsoever that the ACT prison will get its cuttingedge needle-exchange program. Michael Crowther was a Community Alliance Party candidate at the 2008 ACT Assembly elections.

CityNews  August 5-11  


‘Giant-beater’ box By Eleri Harris ACT telecommunications provider TransACT has launched a new set-top box called eHub, designed specifically for a future National Broadband Networked capital. TransACT CEO Ivan Slavich says new fibreto-the-premise customers will automatically receive eHub and existing customers in the FTTP areas of Forde, Crace, Bonner, Franklin, Harrison and the Flemington Road corridor will be able to swap over. “It’s available in fibre-to-the-premise areas, so that’s the northern suburbs of Canberra, so there’s 1000 of them now connected, but there will be 12,000 homes connected to the service,” Slavich said. “As the NBN rolls out across Canberra, this box will be made available to all residents in the ACT. “It’s just an awesome box. This is an amazing new technology. “It’s a new IPTV high-definition set-top box and it has over 60 channels. It has a hard drive, so it has all the trick technology like pauses, fast forward, rewind. It’s got an electronic program guide so you can record programs into the future with a series or on a regular basis. It’s got video on demand. “One of the differences is other boxes trickle the content on to the box, whereas what we do is play it out of our head hub so all that content is actually held at TransACT. “So when someone presses play on the remote control, it plays out of that head hub, while others are saved to the box itself. “We’ll become a retail services provider on the national broadband network, so as the na-

  CityNews  August 5-11

TransACT CEO Ivan Slavich... “We beat the giants and we’re first to market on this product.” tional broadband network gets rolled out, the product will be available via TransACT. “We beat the giants and we’re first to market on this product. “There are other competitors, but we believe this is the best product out there at the moment.”

cover story

Swing is the thing! By Shereen Charles

DESPITE the cold, around 250 swing dancers will be spinning around town in vintage dresses and top hats from August 5-8 for Canberräng 2010: A Swing Odyssey, according to its founder Liam Honer. Liam, president of Jumptown! Swing, Canberra’s own swing dancing organisation, introduced the dance festival in 2003, to “spice up the swing-dancing scene in Canberra”. “There was a huge swing-dancing revival in the ’90s in Australia, but Canberra only caught on to it in the mid-2000s,” he told “CityNews”. “We wanted to help grow the scene, while showcasing Canberra as well.” Held annually, Canberräng 2010 is modelled on the famous Swedish swing dance festival, the Herräng, and the local version has gained a reputation for becoming one of the top swing dancing festivals in Aus-

mum in the city

Weighty matter that’s food for thought Whatever the weather, Canberräng 2010: A Swing Odyssey will be dancing across town. Photos by Silas tralia, he said. Dancers don’t just dance in a hall, but go to various locations around town to showcase their artistic prowess, according to Liam. “We love Canberra! People often give Canberra a hard time, but there are so many interesting locations around here, and we want to show people that,” he said. The event attracts dancers from interstate and internationally. “People love the friendly environment; that’s why they’re willing to make the journey here,” he said. “We want them to walk in and be completely comfortable in Canberra.” Locations this year include Parliament House, Garema Place, Lake George Winery, Albert Hall and Regatta Point. While the swing dancing scene in Canberra is still relatively new,

swing dance teacher Philippa Reville said it’s definitely growing and that the major draw is the fact that it’s a social dance. “Swing dancing is really fun and it’s a good way to meet people,” she said. “It’s simple, and yet, when you really get down to the technical details of the steps, there’s a lot to sink your teeth into.” For Ricky Lloyd, who’s attended two Canberrängs, being part of the event adds a whole new dimension to swing dancing. “Canberräng just brings it all to life,” he said. “When some 200 dancers from across the country come together, you get to dance with a massive group of friends, and new faces together. It brings a new flavour into the dance.” For more information visit www.

By Sonya Fladun MY four-year-old daughter won’t wear her really cute, tartan, Pooh Bear pants anymore. “They make my bottom look big,’’ she complains as she turns around to show me how the fabric bunches a bit around her tiny toosh. She doesn’t have a weight problem, but her insistence that she mustn’t be or look fat, and that thin is best, is a scary taste of things to come; and it’s again got me thinking about health and body image issues. As we all know, childhood obesity is a serious health issue, as are the related problems of low self-esteem and poor body image that afflict all-too-many girls and increasing numbers of boys. A recent study published in the “Medical Journal of Australia” says: “All of the available data show strong and consistent increases in the rates of combined overweight and obesity over the past 20 years, such that these now affect around one in every four schoolchildren.’’ The story seems to be pretty much the same elsewhere in the developed world. The larger-sized youth clothing market in the US is worth more than $6 billion a year and brands such as Old Navy and JC Penney are stocking largersized kids clothing. In the UK, Marks & Spencer has recently announced that it

is bringing out a new range of largersized school clothing for preschoolers and up. In Australia, school-clothing providers are apparently also experiencing an increase in special orders for much larger sizes for children. At one level, this is a necessary response to children needing clothing that fits and allowing larger kids to look more like their thinner counterparts. But it’s obviously not a welcome trend. It’s another indicator that the battle against obesity is not going all that well. One factor not helping, I’m sure, is the superficial and sensationalised treatment of such issues in the media and advertising. And what a pity that in the midst of the Federal election campaign, where the media focus too often turns to weighty issues such as the size and shape of Julia Gillard’s ears and Tony Abbott’s budgie smugglers, we couldn’t hear some thoughtful proposals on how our governments and society might tackle the ticking health time bomb of childhood obesity. Maybe we could see a significant commitment to new programs aimed at building self-esteem and positive attitudes towards body image, accepting diversity and encouraging healthy lifestyles. Would that be asking too much? Well, it’s food for thought.

CityNews  August 5-11  

campaign trail

federal election 2010

Face his fortune as Gary battles Greens ‘Hi, Gary,” is the catchcry for Liberal Senator Humphries as ELERI HARRIS discovers he’s a popular figure on the campaign trail GARY Humphries knocked on his first door on Lambrick Street, Fenner, in 1984 when he unsuccessfully contested the seat of Canberra. “I was so nervous, I think I was a gibbering mess,” Humphries said. “But I got into the swing of it quickly.” Roughly 40,000 houses later, Humphries has won five elections in the ACT Legislative Assembly and two in the Australian Senate, spending the last 21 years in office as a public representative for the Liberal Party. This month he’s contesting his Senate seat for a second time against wild speculation of a Greens win. Political lobby group GetUp! have targeted the ACT race on the basis that Canberra Australian of the Yearturned-Greens-candidate Lin Hatfield Dodds could give Humphries a run for his money. But the 52-year-old former Chief Minister is confident he will come out


10  CityNews  August 5-11

Campaigning Gary Humphries... “I won’t win on what I do in five weeks, it’s what I’ve done in the last two and a half years.”  Photos by Silas on top. Why? Because people know who he is. A seasoned veteran of Canberra’s political scene, Humphries says his greatest asset is recognition and a twominute walk through Civic with the man confirms this easily. “Hi, Gary!” pedestrians call out at each turn. “How you going, Gary?” they ask. Half the businesses he walks into know Humphries immediately by sight.

“In Canberra, people feel like they know me because they see me all the time, on the television and so on,” Humphries said. “For me, it’s the trouble with remembering their names!” In Civic, Curtin and Campbell, Humphries greets people who openly say he has their vote. “Curtin’s a Labor place, so I’m really glad to see you,” one middle-aged woman tells Humphries as she grips his arm. “I’m the only one who votes

Liberal in our street!” “I think the Greens are the worst party you can vote for,” one business owner says, repeating the Liberal mantra that a vote for the Greens is a vote wasted. Gary does little to dispel his constituent’s misunderstanding of Australia’s preferential voting system. “At best, it’s a vote for Labor,” he tells him, the conversation evoking Humphries’ occasionally misleading tactic of discrediting his eco-friendly opponents.

With only a couple of weeks before the Federal election, Humphries claims to have knocked on nearly every door in 25 suburbs, arguing that face-to-face meetings with constituents can push his votes up and over the line. “We’ve tracked a 10 to 20 per cent increase in our vote in suburbs we’ve doorknocked,” Humphries said. “It doesn’t last long, but it is valuable. It makes a difference. People who doorknock well, it always works in their favour.” On a hike through the leafy streets of Campbell, Humphries is greeted positively on every front porch, but he admits he’s on favourable ground. “This is the only suburb in North Canberra that votes for the Liberal Party,” Humphries told “CityNews”. His volunteers say Humphries and his team have been handing pamphlets out at supermarkets for 18 months. “You’ve got to be out every day, pounding the pavement. It’s a tremendously useful way of keeping your ear to the ground. I speak to 20 people a day, every day, during the campaign period. “I’m up at 7.30 at bus interchanges and in car parks. “If the weather’s not good, I’ll get on the phone. But I won’t win on what I do in five weeks, it’s what I’ve done in the last two and a half years.”

special feature


More photos at

At ‘Winter Wine & Unwind’, The Brassey, Barton

Mark Huck, Megan Wilson, Marie-Louise Corkhill, Amanda Walker and Frances Corkhill

At Business after Business, Westpac, Civic

MLA Meredith Hunter and Denise Small

Belinda Ayers, Greg Castle, Louise Hughes and Nola Shoring

Anne Moore, Kath O'Brien and Cath Feehan

Sean Trenoweth, David Pike and Laura Mulherin

Christine Waring and Valerie Sellers

Caroline and Peter O'Clery

Suzette Bailey and Shar Gribe

Mook Clifford and Justine McDonald

Panny Anastasiades, Brad Griffin and Jan Bush

CityNews  August 5-11  11


More photos at

At Spastic Centre luncheon, Eastlake Club, Griffith

Jodi Shepherd, Melita Flynn, Chris Farrey and Wendy Shepherd

Andrew and Jane Currie with Peter Horsley

Prue and John Reynolds with MLA Mary Porter

Ron Maginness, Anthony Ratcliffe and Lachlan Kennedy

Kate Gallegos, Louise Gleeson and Jessica Paral

Geraldine Walters and Margaret Reid

At High Tea, Rydges Capital Hill, Forrest

Stacie Kaczmarek, Heather James and Carmel McBride

Megan Foley, Miriam Witteveen and Candice Beale

12  CityNews  August 5-11

Betty Kell, Tania O'Rourke, Pat James and Nicole Tyrie

Sonya Davidson, Sue Cougar, Martha Soto and Lesley McGovern

all about living

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Antonia brings passion ‘home’ By arts editor Helen Musa

“I THINK it is a shame the Australian Ballet doesn’t come to Canberra any more,” 23-year-old ballerina Antonia Hewitt tells me. You can say that again! For years ACT dance lovers used to pack in annually to see Australia’s flagship ballet company performing classical ballet and, as Hewitt says, “bringing dancing to amazing heights”. Strangely enough, it was with the ascendancy of Canberra-born dancer, the late Ross Stretton, to the directorship of the Australian Ballet that Canberra tours stopped. Well, we’re about to experience balletic excitement in the form of the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s “Romeo and Juliet”, in a gritty production choreographed by Englishman Christopher Hampson, which toured to China last year. The Canberra Symphony Orchestra plays the thrilling music of Prokoviev. Hewitt, 23, born in Wellington, but raised since she was tiny in Canberra, is a graduate of the Kim Harvey School of Dance and Canberra Girls’ Grammar, where she knew another young Kim Harvey dancer, Caitlin Stawaruk, who won the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland this year. Hewitt, not related to the Canberra mandarin Sir Lennox Hewitt, left Canberra for Wellington (“very arty,” she says) in 2004 when she won a place at the NZ School of Dance, later gaining a spot in the Royal New Zealand ballet where she is now entering her fourth year, dancing roles in “Don Quixote”, “Tutus on Tour” and “La Sylphide”.

Ballerina Antonia Hewitt... plays Romeo’s first love, Rosaline (“very sexy,” she says).

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s “Romeo and Juliet”... a gritty production choreographed by Englishman Christopher Hampson. For the latter, the “National Business Review” critic wrote, “Antonia Hewitt’s dancing shone through with a lustrous richness”. “La Sylphide’s” success was a surprise to the company because the classical

white ballets are not well-known in NZ. It drew about $150,000 more in box office than expected. Back in Canberra with the 32-strong company, she plays Romeo’s first love, Rosaline (“very sexy,” she says), then

joins the chorus of street girls in the second act. It’s all pretty athletic, to which end, she says, most of the female artists dance in “character shoes,” not on points. Christopher Hampson’s choreography is deliberately violent and dark if compared to the Sir Kenneth MacMillan and John Cranko versions of the same ballet to Prokoviev. And, as Hewitt tells me: “There’s a lot of fake blood on stage.” Hewitt gets to understudy the role of Juliet. She’s already doing well for a young dancer, but this “wonderful opportunity” is a well-trodden path to stardom for an aspiring dancer. Who knows, we might even get to see her play the star-crossed Juliet here in Canberra. “Romeo and Juliet”, Canberra Theatre, August 10 to 14. bookings to 6275 2700.

It’s a ‘Boy’ thing for ambitious Philo

Jeffrey van de Zandt sings “I Honestly Love You”... the most touching moment of all.

By Helen Musa CANBERRA Philharmonic Society is about to embark on one of its most ambitious productions with “The Boy from Oz”. Directed by Carissa Campbell, it stars Canberra actor Jarrad West as the ill-fated Australian singer-songwriter Peter Allen, composer of “I Honestly Love You “ and “I Still Call Australia Home”. With more than 25 songs in the show, almost all composed by Allen, he is still remembered as a giant of Australian popular music. Overseas, his reputation may have been dimmer, as performer Bronwyn Sullivan agrees. She’s playing Allen’s mum Marion Woolnough, and has her gravest doubts about just how he is remembered in the US, except as the husband of Liza Minnelli and co-composer to the Oscar-winning “Arthur’s

Theme (Best That You Can Do)”. Sullivan, one of the leading ladies of the Canberra musical stage, sees Woolnough as “a typical country lady – salt of the earth [who] adored her son and protected him wherever she could.” Woolnough died only last year. Her role was originally created by Jill Perryman in the Todd McKenney version before Hugh Jackman took the role to Broadway. Sullivan gets to sing “Don’t Cry Out Loud”, sung after Allen’s father commits suicide – “it’s a beauty,” she says. So how much does the world care about Peter Allen these days? Sullivan notes that he was “rather small-time” until he met Judy Garland, who introduced him to Liza Minnelli, whom he married. After that he sang with the Rockettes at Radio City before crashing in his own

musical “Legs Diamond”, where he was criticised as “a screaming Aussie queen as a butch gangster”. Sullivan’s been entertaining Canberrans for years, singing lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager, and was astonished to find out just how many of those songs were co-composed by Allen, not least “Everything Old is New Again” and “I’d Rather Leave.” Campbell’s production will be “big and glitzy” and “very, very poignant,” with Jeffrey van de Zandt’s rendition of “I Honestly Love You” in the role of Allen’s lover Greg Connell the most touching moment of all. As for Allen, Sullivan says: “One thing is certain, ‘I Still Call Australia Home’ will keep him alive forever.” “The Boy from Oz”, Erindale Theatre, August 13 to September 4, bookings to 6257 1950 or


By Helen Musa

Young dancers leap back into town A TALENTED group of young former Canberra dance artists have formed themselves into a collective called Autumnal and are returning to their hometown to present their premiere work, “Exciting a Blush”. Most started out in “Quantum Leap” and will perform in QL2’s Gorman House Studios from August 12-14. Bookings to 6247 3103. FORMER Canberran Danie Mellor has been selected as a finalist in the $40,000 Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award. He won it last year and this is the ninth time he’s been shortlisted. We’ll know how he goes in 2010 when the award opens in Darwin on August 13. PETER Nichols’ celebrated play “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg” is coming to the Q, Queanbeyan (August 11-14) with popular former Canberran Jonathan Gavin (pictured) and Julia Davis in the lead roles of Bri and Sheila, a young married couple caring for their daughter whom they call Joe Egg, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Improbably, the play is full of bubble and wit. Bookings to 6298 0290. FREE Rain Theatre will stage Tennessee Williams’s pièce de résistance “A Streetcar Named Desire” at the Courtyard Studio from August 12-21. Faded Southern belle Blanche Dubois will be played by Jordan Best, and her brutal antagonist and brotherin-law Stanley Kowalski by Chris Zuber. I can’t wait. Bookings to 6275 2700. DEEPBLUE is said to look like an orchestra, act like a band and its performance resembles watching theatre or a live movie. It will be at the Playhouse on August 13 with “The Dream”. Guess what? The performers want you to leave your phone on so you can SMS them during the show. Bookings to 6275 2700. AUSTRALIAN organist Sarah Kim, now studying in Paris, will perform J.S. Bach, Brahms, Saint-Saëns and Widor at Wesley Uniting Church on August 15 at 3pm. Tickets at the door. DAN Banks Band’s “She Got Me” Canberra single launch is booked for 9pm on August 14 at Transit Bar. Guitarist Dan and saxophonist brother Jules Banks are former prize-winning Canberra musicians who moved to Melbourne in 2008. CityNews  August 5-11  13


Alex turns out the lights By arts editor Helen Musa “THE Canberra Theatre is a great training ground,” stage-lighting guru Alex Sciberras says. Nick and Emanual from Nova Multimedia, lighting designer Chris Neal and Alex Budd from Opera Australia all started there – he could name many more. Sciberras is retiring from the Canberra Theatre Centre after 45 years and counts off the directors he’s worked under – Terry Vaughan, Christopher Bedloe, George Whaley, Simon Dawkins, David Gration, David Lawrance, Malcolm Leech, David Whitney and Bruce Carmichael – nine. In 1965, when Sciberras was a young apprentice with Canberra Electricity Supply (now ActewAGL), he and a mate trotted over to the new theatre centre to see what was happening. Before he knew it, he was told “work that followspot!” He was hooked, and once his apprenticeship was up, he joined the theatre company as a full-time electrician. Terry Vaughan ran a tight ship. “You did work for your money,” Sciberras says, describing the old-fashioned lighting boards of pre-computerised days and how he coped, on-the-job, with the changing technology. Tough it may have been, but the technical staffing was good, with four electricians, two mechanists and four full-time cleaners. Sciberras is now an expert lighting designer and looks back on some favourite productions by Canberra Philharmonic, such as “The Mikado”, “South Pacific” and “Les Miserables”, which he lit three times. He lit dance shows for Jackie Hallahan, Kim Harvey and Michelle Heine, and the

Alex Sciberras... now it’s time for “the usual retirement things”.  huge Ausdance schools and colleges’ festivals, where he sometimes lit 60 separate dance numbers at short notice. Now it’s time for “the usual retirement things”,

Photo by Silas

such as a river trip from Amsterdam to Budapest. Born in Malta, Sciberras migrated with his family at age six. This is where he belongs and, yes, he’ll still call Canberra home.

Enjoyment guaranteed THEATRE

“The Girls Unadulterated Cabaret” Devised by the cast, directed by Dianna Nixon, at The Street Theatre. Season closed. Reviewed by Joe Woodward THE Street Theatre guaranteed an enjoyable evening of theatre by placing four talented women on stage to sing, dance and create beautiful imagery. This devised performance utilised the considerable skills of Dianna Nixon, Lear Baulch, Hanna Cormick and Hannah Ley. Singing in perfect harmonies and integrating comedy with pathos, the production balanced the underlying tensions of four women’s lives. It combined original music by Nixon and the cast members, with an eclectic mix including songs by Brecht/Weill, Nick Cave, Carol King, Tom Waits and others. The opening-night audience was transfixed, with smiles of recognition and empathy for the plight of each character. This is not to suggest the work was totally lightweight; there were moments of opening the darker worlds of the psyche and revealing less-defined aspects of women’s journeys and survival. Unfortunately, the contexts and circumstances were more hinted at than exposed. A tendency towards platitudes at times weakened the impact of the production through its generalisations. A heightening of specific contexts and situations would have challenged the characters to face more in the mirrors that were placed strategically around the stage. This was beginning to happen as Lear Baulch and the cast performed “Easy Money”. Hopefully, the work will be revisited and performed again to wider audiences.

Listen carefully, and enjoy A COMPLEX relationship between father and son is depicted in this brilliantly verbal play by John Mortimer, creator of “Rumpole of the Bailey”. Director Ross McGregor picked up on the difficulties posed by the script and guides John McCarthy, playing the narrator’s father, into a rounded and humane portrayal of an intolerant old man. With a subtle witty script, the laughs come in intermittent gurgles, but it is thoroughly funny nonetheless. Zach Raffan, playing the son as an adult, emphasises the sympathetic aspects of the relationship, not easy considering the father’s propensity for putting him down. Pippin Carroll playing the son as a boy, invests the role of a little more scepticism. Liz de Totth, as the long-suffering mother, introduces an element of


“A Voyage Round My Father” By John Mortimer, directed by Ross McGregor for Canberra Repertory at Theatre 3, until August 14. Reviewed by Helen Musa normality to what might these days be considered a dysfunctional family. Vignettes worth mentioning are Oliver Baudert as a demented headmaster trying to lecture his schoolboys on the dangers of sexual intimidation and a lovely scene with a bunch of grandchildren where the father shows his skills as a raconteur. One has to listen carefully to the words, but it’s well worth it.

‘Night.Time’ was the right time “NIGHT.TIME” is a collaborative effort by Canberra’s QL2, (Quantum Leap’s auditioned youth dance troupe) and guest dancers from across Australia and Thailand. Four guest choreographers, overseen by artistic director Ruth Osborne, present their interpretations of night time – from the rituals of preparing for bed, the tranquility and peace of sleep, the activities of the brain during sleep, to the nightlife and mischief on the street and the shiftworkers in the early morning hours. The performers are involved in all aspects of the creative process. The teamwork and awareness of each other on stage was clear from the start, giving the pleasant feeling of watching a big group of best mates dance together. A tedious beginning picked up to climax in Jodie Farrugia’s “Night.Stir”. It was the standout ensemble piece, with its contemporary 14  CityNews  August 5-11


“Night.Time” Choreographed by Ruth Osborne, Anton, Jodie Farrugia, Adam Wheeler and Marnie Palomares for QL2 Dance Centre, at The Playhouse, season closed. Reviewed by Samara Purnell. hip-hop portrayal of insomnia. The choreography was sharp and uniform, the dancing strong, costuming effective and the production elements executed smoothly. Tighter “editing” of choreography would have helped to pack more punch. At times, the synchronicity between the boys was noticeably poor, but “Night.Mind” and “Night.Life” showcased some strong individual work. The show ended with well-executed, fun piece by Osborne when the transition of night roadworkers mingled with morning traffic. It had a distinct familiarity of Canberra mornings.


Delight of doing Welles CINEMA

By Dougal Macdonald

“Me And Orson Welles” (M) THIS delightful film – not of, but about a production of a Shakespearean play – may sound nostalgic and antiquated but that’s no justification for not seeing it. The 1937 Mercury Theatre production of “Julius Caesar” propelled Orson Welles out of the CBS Radio studio on to a stage where he was visible as well as audible. The rest was history. Richard Linklater’s film uses Holly Gent Palmo’s adaption of Robert Kaplow’s novel that mixes known facts about the produc-

“The Special Relationship” (M) RICHARD Loncraine’s film tells how Tony Blair got into political bed with Bill Clinton (to their mutual benefit) and George W Bush (a relationship that led to their political downfalls). With an impressive track record in this genre (“Frost/Nixon”, “The Queen”), Peter Morgan’s screenplay offers verve, careful observation of recorded events, nicely judged humour and a sense of intimacy that may be partly invented but which loses none of its merit on that account. Playing TV mega-stars, who held the fates of their own and other nations in their hands, requires special skills. Michael Sheen reprises Blair with ease. Helen McCrory is sharp as Cherie Blair. But the highest performance honours lie on the other side of the relationship. Dennis Quaid’s facial similarity with Clinton is remarkable, he has the voice down pat,

Zac Efron and Claire Danes in “Me and Orson Welles”. tion with ephemera about a stage-struck, high-school student (Zac Efron, great in and his oratorical style accurately reflects the genuine article. Hope Davis steals every scene in which Hillary appears, whoever else is in it. Politics is a grimy profession that gets grimier as the office rises higher. To plagiarise a lyric that Irving Berlin wrote for “Annie Get Your Gun”, “There’s no interest like self interest”. Mixing self interest with political power destabilises expected outcomes. Those moments form the film’s major tensions, all the more alarming because they were real. At Greater Union

“Killers” (M) SEVERAL years ago, Aussie-born Robert Luketic made “21”, quite an acceptable thriller. “Killers”, a rom-com actioner, while not totally unacceptable, does little to advance his reputation. It’s in two unequal parts. In Nice with her parents (Tom Selleck; Catherine Keenan doing a restrained comic routine with liquor in its infinite variety), Jen

the role) and his hopeless love for Welles’s PA (Claire Danes, luminous as always) who has ambition to get to Hollywood and a key to Welles’s New York apartment. Nuff sed about Sonja. Welles was difficult to work for or with. Christian McKay plays him with remarkable verisimilitude. Other real people in the story who later acquired fame include young Joseph Cotton, George Coulouris and John Houseman. Palmo and Linklater showed commercial courage by filming this story. It’s got no spaceships, vampires, hot-rods, rock stars or animals. But lovers of theatre or 1930s jazz won’t mind that. The clips from its modern-dress production of Shakespeare are powerful. And it’s genuinely, thoroughly, entertaining. At Greater Union recovering from a failed relationship falls in lurv with Spence. Three years later, they are lovingly, lasciviously, married and he runs a contracting business. Happy-ever-after seems inevitable, until his business associate tries to terminate him in his kitchen. Jen gets quite pissed on learning that Spence has lied about his previous profession of secret agent with, as of that day, a $20 million bounty on his head. Dealing with these two issues takes about 65 per cent of the film‘s time and most of the supporting cast. Ashton Kutcher, playing Spence, would benefit from diction coaching, although here it doesn’t greatly matter because he says little worth hearing. Katherine Heigl, as Jen, says much, little of it logical, with clear diction. Occasionally recalling great mid-20th-century Hollywood comediennes, she shows that blonde does not always mean dumb, only sometimes. Behind the camera, Luketic happily and skillfully wreaks destruction on every hand. At all cinemas

CityNews  August 5-11  15


Tilleys... a “hang out kind of a place”. 

Photo by Silas

Home of the casual vibe TO say that Tilleys is a Canberra institution is an understatement. It is a dear friend of music lovers, coffee lovers and those who live near the Lyneham shops who adore just popping down to a local for a meal. Tilleys has a

pleasant, casual vibe. Always has and always will. Tilleys made its entrance on January 20, 1984, and is still run by the same family that opened it. It is famous for its breakfasts and serves wonderful

By Wendy Johnson bread from Brasserie Bread in Sydney, including a sourdough handmade with organic wheat and no preservatives. Begin a visit by ordering at the bar and then relax. The relax bit is especially true when Tilleys is busy (the menu even warns that your patience is appreciated). At breakfast, there are a couple of interesting options such as the special porridge served with genuine maple syrup, pistachios, dates and thick, double cream ($12.50) – “A moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips,” I thought. We visited for lunch. The Thai fish cakes were packed with minced fish mixed with Asian herbs and spices and served crisp with a dipping sauce that had a bit of a bite ($16.80). They were okay – perhaps a bit dry, my friend thought. My salt and pepper squid ($16.50) was not the best I’ve had but not the worst, either. Made with fresh chilli, sea salt and coriander, the squid was tender and the aoli lovely and creamy. However, my poor rocket salad was overly dressed. Tilleys décor hasn’t been overhauled for years. Dark reds and browns predominate

the colour scheme and the old-fashioned booths and eclectic mix of furniture are truly well worn, but this somehow adds to the charm. Tilleys still offers quality live music (over the years it has introduced musicians across a range of genres who have gone on to achieve great things). During the day you will enjoy soft jazz from the ’20s to the ’50s piped through a superior sound system. And did you know that Tilleys was the first licensed outdoor venue in Australia, as well as the first bar to ban indoor smoking, even before legislation dictated it? The name is a play on the infamous Sydney madam – Matilda “Tilly” (without an “e”) Devine – who came to Australia as a war bride and promptly clocked up just under 70 convictions for criminal activities, including a 1925 razor attack on a man. People of all ages and walks of life hang out at Tilleys, and with good reason. It is simply a “hang out kind of a place”. Tilleys, 54 Brigalow Street, Lyneham, open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner (except no dinner Sundays). Call 6247 7753.

all about


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16  CityNews  August 5-11

best hairdressers

advertising feature

What’s hot for healthy hair KEEPING hair in good condition is vital to it looking good, says Wendy Lee, the new owner of Urban Hair in Yarralumla. “It’s important because if it’s not kept in good condition, hair looks dull and lifeless,” Wendy says. “It’s harder to make it look good when you’re cutting it or putting in a colour. “What we want is for the hair to look shiny and healthy, and this enhances a cut or colour so that the hair has nice movement and body, and looks glossy.” Style at the moment is all about two main looks, says Suzi Zeman, of Vibe Hair: the concave bob, and long lush hair. “So many women are going for the concave bob, which isn’t

going away any time soon,” Suzi says. “Bobs are so versatile, and the concave bob is one of the easiest hairstyles to maintain. “The only thing you need to do with it is the front, and the back takes care of itself; you can mess it up a bit or still curl it for a lot of different looks. “There’s also a lot of girls who want really long layers, often with extensions: long, full, rich hair.” As for colour, Jo Hall from Jo Hall Hair in Civic says that warm tones are currently big around town. “We’re doing a lot of blondes – I have a huge white-blonde clientele, but warm blondes are also very much in fashion.”

Hair enhances beauty

Suzi gets the vibe

JO Hall has been cutting, styling and colouring for more than 13 years and won numerous awards for skills ranging from blow-drying to creating up-dos. Now in its second year of operation, her business, Jo Hall Hair, employs a senior hairdresser as well as a first-year junior. Jo says she specialises in the latest look, keeping ahead of trends in women’s and men’s hair. “A lot of the current trends are ‘whatever goes’ in fashion at the moment,” she says. “There’s a lot of punk styles happening, too.” More information on 6257 9111.

all about

Brooke Shields WIN one of five copies of “Who Do You Think You Are? USA”. Simply go to citynews. competitions and follow the instructions.

NEW to the team at Vibe Hair is Suzi Zeman, who has been hairdressing for six years in the city. Suzi has extensive experience and knowledge of cutting and colouring to suit different face shapes and skin tones. “Hair-ups and colouring are my biggest passions, which is great for the upcoming formal season,” she says. Vibe also now uses Inoa, an ammonia-free permanent colour with 100 per cent grey coverage, which leaves the hair as soft as a semi does, and won’t stain, smell or leave the scalp irritated. The salon is offering 20 per cent off Inoa colour on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. More information on 6247 2644.

Focus on condition

URBAN Hair at Yarralumla is under new management, with new owner Wendy Lee taking over two months ago. “We have a real focus on keeping hair in good condition, with fashionable cuts,” she says. Urban Hair are colour specialists, says Wendy, who is also a cosmetic tattooist with years of industry experience. More information at or call 6282 0718.

CityNews  August 5-11  17


Breeze into blue

Naomi Levi Eel Fold clutch in Laguna, $69.95.

Kagi Bluemoon necklace, $175.

LouenHide Baby Rhombo Bag in Cornflower, $94.00

BLUE is the perfect colour for spring - it’s cool, placid and relaxed. Said to promote relaxation and tranquility, blue works this season with gold and silver highlights, with studs, chains, quilting and other unusual finishes for a real breath of fresh air. Miss Rogers Heels, $240.

Orient print scarf, $34.95 from, Laura Ashley.

O’Hara Designs Miss Sydney Top, $260.

Missco 6726 clutch, $29.99.

18  CityNews  August 5-11

Daisy chain cardigan, $149, Laura Ashley.

your week in the stars

With Joanne Madeline Moore August 9-15

ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20)

The New Moon’s in fellow fire sign Leo, so you’ll feel like being creative, sporty or just super social. If you’re lacking motivation, look to a child or friend to provide the inspiration you need. Make sure you fulfill your relationship responsibilities this week. Single Rams – are you solo because you have a fear of commitment?

TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 20)

You may feel overwhelmed by extra responsibilities. Saturn increases your work load, but don’t expect any praise for your efforts. The rewards will come later. Saturday is about togetherness, as you share good times with family and friends. The Moon moves into your love zone on Sunday, when you’ll feel more passionate – and possessive.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 21)

Do your relationships feel as if they’re on auto-pilot? This week’s New Moon urges you to find fresh ways to connect with those around you – whether at home, at work or at play. Expressing yourself in writing (or by discussing issues in your local community) sees you networking like a pro as you get your message out loud and clear.

CANCER (June 22 – July 22)

Have you been talking about purchasing a big ticket item – like a car, holiday or house? With the New Moon activating your finance zone, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and start saving ASAP. Home sweet home is where you’ll find happiness this weekend, as you play Domestic Goddess (or Handyman Hero) to the hilt.

LEO (July 23 – Aug 22)

The Sun and Moon join up in your sign, so it’s time for lively Leos to shine – which is just the way you like it! Your motto for the week is from birthday great Julia Child: “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” Diplomacy is not your forte, but the buzz word for Friday and Saturday is “compromise”.

VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22)

It’s time to re-discover your Virgo vigour and verve! Take a break from the madness around you and escape somewhere quiet and private, where you can relax and rejuvenate. Money matters are on your mind on Friday and Saturday. Make sure all bills are paid and resist the urge to spend extra cash. Instead, squirrel it away for when times are tight.

general knowledge crossword No. 273 Across 1 Name those devices used for moving heavy weights. 8 What do we call a person who is older than twelve and younger than twenty? 9 Which individual is responsible for the content of a newspaper or the like? 10 Name the colourless, volatile, flammable ketones used as solvents. 11 Which monkey has a doglike muzzle, large cheek pouches, and a short tail? 12 Name the extinct flightless clumsy bird formerly of Mauritius, etc. 13 Which imperial dry measures are equal to the fourth part of a bushel? 16 Name those parts of the head through which we breathe. 19 To force down by repeated strokes is to do what? 21 What is another term for a writer? 22 To be exercising sovereign power is to be doing what? 23 What describes that which is of, at, or near the North Pole? 24 Name another term for a North American turtle. 1



SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 21)

Are you reaching your full professional potential? With the New Moon stimulating your Brilliant Career zone, you need to create work opportunities and explore all your options. It’s also a fabulous time to do research and dig up information that is hidden in some way. Your forensic eye detects facts that other less observant signs miss.


2 To emit rays, as of light or heat, is to what? 3 What is a group of affiliated radio or TV stations? 4 Which other term describes a tress of hair? 5 What is the act of anointing, especially as a religious rite? 6 What are lists of matters to be brought before committees, etc? 7 Describe wall or ceiling paintings. 13 To which orders of birds do cockatoos etc, belong? 14 What refers to the diameter of a bullet? 15 What are groups of lines of verse, commonly four or more in number? 17 Name an alternative word for visual. 18 What is a conceited, boastful person? 20 Irreligious or heathenish people are known as what? Solution next week





8 9 10 11 12 13


15 19




20 21


LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 23)

Saturn and Pluto throw a wet blanket over relationships early in the week. Demonstrative displays of affection are out, to be replaced by moody behaviour and cool criticism. Take it in your stride Libra – and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Be inspired by Julia Child: (born on August 15) “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.”

25 Name a gymnastic feat of separating the legs until they extend at right angles to the body.

23 24 25

Sudoku hard No.37

Solution next week

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

Keep your ego (and enthusiasm) in check this week. If you impulsively jump on your Sagittarian high horse, you’ll arouse the opposition of others. Friends and finances are also a messy mix at the moment, so try to keep the two separate. Spontaneous shenanigans could backfire, so take the time to think things through.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

This week’s stars highlight your leadership qualities, and your control-freak tendencies. Don’t dictate to others – the best way you can lead is by example. Patience and persistence are your greatest allies. Draw inspiration from birthday gal Annie Oakley: “If you keep on aiming and keep on trying, you’ll hit the bull’s eye of success.”

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

A close relationship heads into exciting territory. You enjoy sharing common interests but you can also strike out on your own, as you explore new hobbies and adventures. You’re in the mood to ruffle a few feathers on Friday, as your restless spirit goes looking for fun. Be careful who you target though – some people will not be amused!

PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

When it comes to career or health issues, your established routine may not be working. Perhaps it’s time to tune into the energy of the New Moon and try a different approach? Avoid the urge to be indecisive on Friday and Saturday. If you constantly avoid issues, then other people will just step in and make the decisions for you.  Copyright Joanne Madeline Moore 2010.


Crossword No.272 R R E F Q U G E L E A C A K E N Y S I





Sudoku medium No.37 O T H O R U N S T A S M P L S I F Y Y

CityNews  August 5-11  19


Bathroom bliss AN organised bathroom delivers a sense of space with toiletry products, hairdryers and towels economically stored, yet accessible for use, says Cathy Player, from Howards Storage World. An organised bathroom can reward us by shaving a few minutes off our morning routines, she says. “Whether your bathroom is a hive of activity in the mornings, or a source of relaxation as you ease into a soothing bath after work, one thing is paramount: space,” she says. Storage solutions need to be stylish, she adds. According to bath ware supplier Paco Jaanson, the bathroom’s becoming the ultimate private sanctuary, hence the need for elegance alongside practicality. “More than ever, bathroom accessories are a key consideration as modern bath ware design dictates that the sum or the parts make the whole,” she says. –Megan Haggan

Bamboo Shelves, from $72.95, from Howards Storage World.

Annabel Trends Duck Shower Cap, $11.95.

Hampton baskets, from $14.95, from Howards Storage World.

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20  CityNews  August 5-11

Fantini Mare Basin Mixer in White, $515 from Rogerseller.

Ascension glass shelf, $130, from Paco Jaanson.

Ascension glass holder, $75, from Paco Jaanson.


Informal romance stirs for spring WHEN visiting Piccolo, at Bungendore, this spring, you’ll find a romantic garden that’s just waking up. Marcia Voce is happy to open the garden as the first in the Open Garden Scheme’s program for the year, even though it won’t be in full summer flower. “There’s still lots to see and experience. And there will be plenty of spring flowers coming into bloom – daffodils,

Brian and Marcia Voce. Photos by Silas

environment By Tanya Davies

hellebores and violets,” she said. The garden will be on show alongside her former garden Birchfield, which sits right next door, and visitors will be able to see both during their tour, using the gate that joins the two properties. Marcia and her husband Brian, lived at Birchfield for many years and ran a large, thriving herb garden on what is now the site of her current house. But when the time came for a change the couple subdivided, sold Birchfield, and built a house on the site of the herb garden. “The entrances to the house are in exactly the same places as the entrances and exits to the herb garden. It still feels very much as though it is here,” she said. Instead, she now has an informal garden with many separate spaces within it.

“I like the feeling of cloistered areas. I like the sense of having gardens within the gardens,” she said. And she has done this very successfully at Piccolo. As well as an enclosed eating courtyard the garden also features a rose walk and the seashell garden, a small circular gravel area filled with seaside treasures that instantly conjures pictures of childhood games. There is also a kitchen garden and nursery area. Everything about the garden feels informal. “There are no paths,” said Marcia, “we let the plants decide where the edges should be.” The garden is also filled with Brian’s handmade hazelwood gates and fences, old garden equipment and hand tools, and chairs made by their sculptor son. Marcia has a long association with the Open Garden Scheme, as well as many years experience designing gardens and herb gardens. Piccolo and Birchfield, at 36 and 34

Turallo Terrace, Bungendore, will be open on Saturday and Sunday 28 and 29 August between 10am and 4.30pm. $10 gives entry to both gardens, and Marcia will give talks at 11am and 2pm. Children under 18 are free. For more information at

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all about new houses & land Home, sweet (new) home FOR most of us, a home is the biggest financial commitment we’ll ever make. With land releases, both greenfield and urban infill, a significant focus for the ACT Government, newly built houses are an increasingly available option. It’s a commitment which requires research, budgeting and planning – so “CityNews” spoke to some of the experts around town...

One-stop building shop “WE predominantly work in new-land areas in new, developing suburbs, but we’re also getting a fair bit happening in knock-downs,” says Peter Hawkes, from Gracious Living. “These are situations where people have an existing house, and want to upgrade. “There’s been a marked increase in these recently, as folks like the area they’re living in – all their family, work and social life might circle around where they’re already living

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– but they’re looking to change their lifestyle. What better way to do it than knock down the existing home and build a new one?” Gracious Living caters for a range of needs, Mr Hawkes says, from first-home buyers to empty nesters and those looking for a luxury home. “We’re a one-stop shop,” he says. More information at www. or call 6241 0544.

Focus on set designs SET design is becoming a strong focus for Pavilion homes, says the company’s Boris Planinac – as is providing a turnkey service for investors. “If people missed out in securing a block in the ballot, or they think that they would like to go down a simpler path, rather than going through the process of putting their name in the ballot and seeing if it comes out, that’s where we come in,” he says.

Pavilion Homes’ display house in Clay Street, Bonner. “A lot of the time, people who were successful in the ballot also feel pressured into picking a block which is not their first preference. “For example, you might end up with a corner block and so need to customdesign the house, going through a whole design process. “You don’t know what fits on the block, you don’t know whether the ground is sloping, how much the home

will cost… a whole bunch of things that by going for a set design package, you can avoid. Basically it’s: ‘This is the design, this is the cost’. “It’s simply easier. We also focus on investors – they often want a turnkey package, something they know works, whether it be a townhouse, house or apartment, and we provide that service.” More information at or call 6255 4411.

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new houses & land Dealing with the details

all about

Matthew Broderick WIN one of five copies of “Who Do You Think You Are? USA”. Simply go to and follow the instructions.

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A LOT of stress can be involved in building a house, says Denver Shoemark, managing director and senior sales consultant at Ray White Braidwood – “as well as hidden costs that can blow even the best budget. “Buyers really need to weigh up the pros and cons of building versus buying an existing home. “The advantages are all the benefits of the latest requirements with insulation, being solar passive, and newer green products, as opposed to an older home that may be harder to heat, may have defective materials or construction and most likely have little sunlight, as most of the older homes in Braidwood face the wrong way! “New buyers need to study the development control plan for the area in which they wish to build. Some councils place restrictions on what types of homes can be built, as well as fencing and construction type.” Home buyers considering building need to take into account what type of home they would like to build, what their budget is, how long the building process will take and other associated costs which may occur, such as council application fees, soil reports and so on, he says. Ray White Braidwood sells “all kinds” of real estate, “be it existing vacant land or new developments. “The benefits of living in Braidwood are varied: next to no crime, a great community, close to Canberra and the coast. “At Ray White, we work closely with our buyers, ensuring they go into each purchase with their eyes wide open, and that each buyer makes the country transition with ease.” More information at or call 4842 2046.

advertising feature Making the most of the Meadows BRADY Countrywide, of Bungendore, is offering for sale a range of 700sqm to 1000sqm blocks in Bungendore Meadows, a new estate minutes’ walk from amenities such as shops, schools, playing fields and more. Nicola and John Brady are encouraging Canberrans to make the most of being able to purchase in NSW, paying no stamp duty, yet remain only 30 minutes’ commuting time from Canberra. “It’s a rare opportunity to be able to purchase vacant blocks of land in the original village, and at these competitive prices, the blocks are selling quickly, with more than half of stage one already sold,” says sales agent John Brady. Brady’s Countrywide Real Estate, in conjunction with AV Jennings, have also released house-and-land packages that include a range of three, four and five-bedroom homes. John says these well-priced packages have been designed to meet the

Styled to sell HOMESTYLERS founder and principal Erica Smith offers several services to Canberra homeowners, including a home-styling service for those who are selling and want to increase the sale price, by professionally staging the home ready for sale. “The service we provide is geared to transforming the seller’s home into a space and lifestyle that’s appealing to the buyer, which might be quite different to the taste and style of the seller,” Erica says.

A block at Bungendore Meadows. requirements of today’s families who are looking for more growing space, as well as investors. “With over 15 designs to choose from, these homes will appeal to most families looking for a quality new home,” he says. “Each home has also been designed to take advantage of these exceptionally well-priced and easy-to-build-on blocks.” More information at or call 0422 132240 or 6238 1600 (Brady’s Countrywide); and or 0429 309299 (AV Jennings). “There’s a lot of competition out there, regardless of whether it’s a buoyant or a softer housing market, so it’s important that homes are presented to show off their best features. We stage the furniture and present the home in a stylish way.” Homestylers also offers home makeovers, as well as a downsizing service for elderly or retired people who are changing residence. More information on or call 6241 2551.

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new houses & land Realising the dream HOME ownership is the dream of most Australians, and to help Canberrans realise that dream, the Affordable Housing Action Plan has been developed, according to the multi-award-winning Land Development Agency (LDA), which develops and sells land on behalf of the ACT Government. As part of that plan, the ACT Government has brought record numbers of dwelling sites to market with more than 12,000 sites having been released over the last three years. Another 17,000 are planned for the next four years, a record since the ACT achieved self-government in 1989. Not all sites will be greenfield developments: of the sites to be released, 40 per cent will be for urban infill, with the remaining 60 per cent new estates. Over the next 12 months land will be released in Bonner, Wright, Coombs, Ngunnawal and Casey. While many Canberrans continue to prefer the traditional free-standing house on a suburban block, there is a growing demand for more medium and higher-density housing options, and the LDA plans to work with the community to develop high quality urban infill developments to help contain the growing urban sprawl. As part of the Affordable Action Housing Plan, the ACT Government has recently increased the mandated level of affordable housing in all new greenfield developments to 20 per cent, up from the previous 15 per cent. One of the initiatives of the Affordable Housing Action Plan is the Land Rent Scheme. Under this scheme, Canberrans are able to rent the land on which they build their home, reducing the amount they need to borrow. More information on, or call 1800 777 952.

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advertising feature Get innovative

Houses for all budgets SOLID Constructions build houses to suit all budgets and lifestyles, according to principals Mark Porreca and Corey Karl: from compact, energy-efficient first homes or investment Solid Constructions’ properties through to display home at Bonner. executive homes. All homes are individually designed to the exacting requirements of the home seeker, they say. “All homes built by Solid Constructions are carefully and meticulously constructed by a builder whose hands-on approach has made them a first choice by Canberra home seekers, and established a most enviable reputation within the industry.” Between them, Mark and Corey have more than 36 years’ worth of building experience. More information at www.solidconstructions. or call 6242 9185.

INNOVATIVE Building Projects, founded by brothers Miko and Dane Kasunic, says it occupies an exclusive niche within the construction industry as a premium designer and builder of new homes, extensions, multi-unit developments and commercial projects. The company says its dedication to high-quality design and construction is paramount, whether working on a low-budget project or high-cost residence with complex technical specifications. More information at www. or call 6162 3635.

Both ends of the spectrum LIFE’S busy at PBS Homes, says sales manager Angela Penhallow – the awardwinning builder is involved with projects from affordable homes to luxury homes, commercial projects and everything in between. “We’re principally concerned with design and construction of homes. It’s across the A former display home by board: we help people PBS Homes, in Forde.

with moderate incomes with housing, and are part of the [Land Development Agency’s] OwnPlace scheme. “We also build luxury homes for individual clients. So our market’s across the board, depending on lifestyle requirements and budget constraints.” PBS Homes has been building in the Canberra area for more than 35 years, and is a family-owned company. “Our commercial arm has seen us involved with major projects such as the War Memorial, the apARTments at New Acton and more.” More information at or call 6101 9800.


Keeping our cities healthy By Catherine Carter AMONG the many things humans have in common is our dependence on the built environment; we live in man-made structures, we travel using man-made infrastructure, we meet in man-made meeting places and we trade in man-made marketplaces. Of course, the sophistication of these places varies, but we all use the built environment one way or another. During election times, we have a right to ask politicians what they are planning to do with the built environment to make it economically and ecologically sustainable. How they are preparing for future changes in demand and what they are doing to ensure that our future environment enhances and serves the community inhabiting it? The majority of this country’s economic activity is carried on in cities, and while the States and Territories have the right to represent their constituencies, as they have been elected to do, the Commonwealth also has a responsibility to ensure the Australian built environment is as it should be. If cities lose their economic

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viability, so does Australia. So it is a national issue to keep our cities healthy, and that means planning for the future. A new Property Council briefing paper on the important issues for the Federal election recommends the appointment of a Minister for Urban Affairs and Population who can, for example, relate immigration policy population targets according to economic criteria. Considering that economic criteria have been used to justify calls for greater populations, smaller populations and static populations, it seems only sensible to consider them when deciding immigration policy.

The paper also calls for Commonwealth help with the housing affordability crisis by addressing the chronic land shortage. COAG agreed on a set of criteria for city planning in 2009. It’s time the States and Territories used their own criteria in their city planning. We suggest that infrastructure funding be tied to compliance with these criteria. And it would be helpful at the more grassroots level to tie funding to other issues, such as the speed of assessing development applications. Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia.

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Canberra CityNews August 5-11, 2010  

IT’S election time: DON AITKIN says it’s boring; MICHAEL MOORE is seeing elephants; MARK PARTON discovers dark secrets and GARY HUMPHRIES be...

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