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THE GREAT KIDS’ VIDS GIVEAWAY WIN FOUR CHILDREN’S DVDS FOR CHRISTMAS AT CITYNEWS.COM.AU

NOVEMBER 29, 2012

SOCIALS

MICHAEL MOORE

180

Why a Budget surplus matters to Labor ROBERT MACKLIN

Surrounded by poor relations

familiar faces

Into the spotlight

Make the most of ‘living mulch’

Director Caroline Stacey is ‘CityNews’ Artist of the Year

A thing going on in Kingston

Open 7 days | Free parking

CEDRIC BRYANT

WENDY JOHNSON

MaCQUarie CityNews November 22-28 1

christmas

What charities The “CityNews” giver’s guide to local Christmas appeals – what each charity is most in need of this year and where you can leave it. • • • • •

New toys Clothing CDs Books Toiletry items

Non-perishable food items for hampers: • Tinned ham • Tinned salmon/fish/tuna • Cans of vegetables

• • • • • • • •

Plum pudding Christmas cake Tinned fruit Packets of jelly Custard Bottles of soft drink Tinned/packet biscuits Christmas goodies (nuts, lollies, pretzels, chocolates, etc.) • Tea/coffee

Visit salvos.org.au/contact/find-a-church/ for your nearest donation centre. Kids 0 - 2 • Soft toys • Nursery mobiles • Toys that make noises

Older children • Gift vouchers for shops such as Rebel Sport and The Body Shop.

Kids 2 - 12 • Dolls • Books • Educational games

*The Smith Family does not accept food, wrapped toys, toy guns, make-up and clothes.

Donation Centre: Corner of Launceston and Easty Streets, Woden • • • • •

Clean clothes Useable shoes Useable crockery Useable furniture Books in reasonable condition

• CDs and tapes in reasonable condition • Clean toys – undamaged • Blankets, linen, clean pillows

Visit vinnies.org.au/donations-in-material-national for your nearest Vinnies store to donate.

DISNEY WINNER

DAMANA Madden, of Turner, is the winner of the “CityNews” Disney family experience – a pass for four to “Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show” at the AIS Arena on February 9, plus a special meet-and-greet opportunity with one the characters before the show. Tickets on sale now at 132849 or from ticketek.com.au.

4  CityNews  November 22-28

want for Christmas Toys for children • Boys’ toys are in big demand (any) Gifts for adults • Toiletries • Chocolates • Clothes

Jacqui Middleton, left, from Vinnies, at Colbee Court, Phillip, receives a Christmas donation from Judy Farrelly, of Ray White Real Estate.  Photo by Silas Brown

Adolescent males • Aftershave • Wallets • Men’s gift packs Adolescent females • Perfume • Body and shower packs • Trinket boxes Kids • Educational toys • Picture books • Sporting equipment

Girls, 10-16 • Jewellery • Jewellery boxes • Make-up, perfume • Diaries and pens • Decorative candles • Body lotions • Gift vouchers • Music, clothing • Hair, beauty • Movies Boys, 10-16 • Aftershave

• • • • • •

Electronic games Portable music players Sporting gear Footballs Gift vouchers Surf/sports stores’ clothing

Food hampers • Tinned ham/turkey • Tinned packaged pudding

Cash contributions towards Uniting Care’s Teen Gift Drive, which provides teenagers (who many consider the hardest to buy for) with a gift of two movie tickets and a candy bar voucher at Dendy (pack is $35). Gifts can be left under the Giving Trees at the Belconnen and Civic Target stores or at the Kippax Uniting Community Centre, corner of Luke Street and Hardwick Crescent. For information about cash call 6254 1733 or email Dayna@kippax. org.au

Donation centre: 2 Atherton Street, Downer

index / contacts  Arts&Entertainment 25-27 Canberra Confidential 23 Cinema 26 Dining 27 Home 30 Garden 28 Letters 10 News 4-18 Politics 13 Puzzles 24 Social Scene 19-22 Sport 14 Cover: “CityNews” Artist of the Year Caroline Stacey. Story Page 9. Photo by Silas Brown.

Since 1993: Volume 18, Number 45

Editor: Ian Meikle, editor@citynews.com.au Journalists: Laura Edwards, laura@citynews.com.au Libby Hill, libby@citynews.com.au Kathryn Vukovljak, kathryn@citynews.com.au Arts editor: Helen Musa, 0400 043764 Chief executive officer: Greg Jones helen@citynews.com.au 0419 418196, greg@citynews.com.au Design and photography: Senior advertising executive: Silas Brown, 0412 718086 Ernie Nichols, 0421 077999 Graphic designer: Leonie Fox Advertising sales executives: Contributing photographer: Andrew Finch Rebecca Darman 0411 225169 Sara Poguet, 0415 706758 Accounts manager: Bethany Freeman-Chandler Advertising sales co-ordinator: accounts@citynews.com.au ad@citynews.com.au Distribution and circulation: Sydney advertising sales: Richard Watson, circulation@citynews.com.au Ad Sales Connect, 02 9420 1777

Phone 6262 9100 Fax 6262 9111 GPO Box 2448, Canberra City 2601 www.citynews.com.au twitter.com/city_news facebook.com/canberracitynews

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

CityNews  November 22-28  5

news Libs ‘new ways’ from reshuffle OPPOSITION Leader Zed Seselja has emerged with the new portfolio of Cost of Living in the Liberal’s shadow cabinet reshuffle following the October election. Most of the senior Liberal team have held their key portfolio responsibilities, but the elevation of Vicki Dunne to the Speaker’s chair and the election of two new members to the Liberal team has led to a broad reallocation of smaller portfolio responsibilities. “This Shadow Cabinet takes a different approach than we have before, and introduces a range of new portfolios, new ideas and new ways of addressing the needs of the Territory,” says Seselja. Seselja will also be taking on the Shadow Attorney General portfolio, and grouping it with Police, Corrections, Emergency Services and Industrial Relations. Deputy leader Brendan Smyth retains the portfolios of Treasury, Business, Tourism, Gambling and Racing, but picks up Economic Diversification, Environment and the Arts. Alistair Coe continues as TAMS shadow, as well as Planning and Infrastructure and Transport; Jeremy Hanson retains Health and Veterans Affairs, plus Family and Community Services, Housing and Disability Services, and Steve Doszpot retains Education, and has Information Commnications Technology, Ageing and Sport and Recreation. Newcomers Giulia Jones has Women and Multicultural Affairs, and Andrew Wall will speak for Youth and Indigenous Affairs.

6  CityNews  November 22-28

Lifeguard Dana Simonsen with Royal Life Saving ACT’s executive officer Sean Hodges.  Photo by Silas Brown

Festive fair for city BUNGEE trampolines, camel rides, bumper boats and rock climbing are among the activities to be scattered around Civic for Christmas Carnival in the City. The festive adventure playground promised for Civic Square, City Walk and Garema Place will be free. Presented by Canberra CBD Limited, its CEO Stephen Gregory says: “All we want is for people to come into the city and have some fun in the lead up to Christmas. “It’ll be a great opportunity to entertain the kids during shopping trips to the city, or to just have some extra fun while out and about during the festive season.” Royal Life Saving Australia ACT will be on hand to offer advice on water safety for the upcoming summer months. School and community choirs will perform carols each night, 6pm-7pm. The carnival runs noon-8pm from Monday, December 10 to Friday, December 21.

CityNews  November 22-28  7

‘citynews’ artist of the year

briefly

Stacey steps into the spotlight

Revving up for toy ride

THE 2012 “CityNews” Artist of the Year award has been awarded to theatre director Caroline Stacey. At the ACT Arts Awards ceremony, held at the Canberra Museum and Gallery, composer Prof Larry Sitsky presented Stacey with a $1000 cheque and a contemporary glasswork, “Elements of Landscape,” crafted by Hilary Crawford and provided by Beaver Galleries, of Deakin. The Canberra Critics’ Circle judges singled Stacey out for the award for her outstanding contribution to theatre in Canberra, as a practising director and as artistic director of The Street Theatre, where she has initiated and managed programs including the Hive, Made in Canberra, First Seen, dramaturgy program, actors’ solo work development, and “Solo at the Street”, which focus on encouraging, developing and bringing to performance level new local writers, composers and actors, providing opportunities for local designers and theatre technicians. While also exposing Canberra audiences to exciting out-of-town concerts and shows, including

Helen Musa reports

Paul Capsis’ Helpmann Awardwinning “Angela’s Kitchen”, she found time to plan and host The Capital Jazz Project and to direct a co-production of “Albert Herring” with the ANU School of Music. She also continues to commission significant works by national writers, such as “MP”, by Alanna Valentine; “Cold Light”, by Frank Moorhouse and “Beyond Prejudice”, by Christos Tsiolkas, which provide additional opportunities for local practitioners. Stacey was praised by the judges for more than 100 theatre projects commissioned and overseen by her, for her mature judgment and for having made The Street Theatre “hum”. The awards evening, hosted by the Critics’ Circle, also featured the Circle’s own arts awards and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance’s Green Room awards. The 2012 Canberra Critics’ Circle awards went to: filmmakers Dallas Bland, Christian Doran and John Frohlich, and Kris Kerehona; writers Geoff Page, Bill Gammage, Robert Macklin, Nigel

THE ACT Motorcycle Riders Association’s 32nd annual Canberra Toy Run will be held on December 8 in support of the Salvation Army and St John’s Care Christmas appeals. Riders will rally at Old Parliament House at 10am for the mass ride around the city, ending at the National Carillon. Prizes will be awarded for the best-dressed riders, pillions and decorated bikes, largest corporate group, the largest club attendance and the club supporting the largest Christmas theme. More information at mraact.org.au/

Christmas lights treat

“CityNews” Artist of the Year Caroline Stacey... praised by the judges for more than 100 theatre projects commissioned and overseen by her, for her mature judgment and for having made The Street Theatre “hum”.  Photo by Silas Brown Featherstone, Kaaron Warren and Alan Gould; dance artists Adelina Larsson and Jordan Kelly; musical theatre artists Krystle Innes, Stephen Pike, Rose Shorney and Dick Goldberg; The Capital Jazz Project; Canberra Versailles Association; The Australian Rugby Choir; musicians John Shortis and Moya Simpson; Christopher Latham; Michael Sollis; Timothy Kain; visual artists Trish Roan, Masahiro Asaka, Dianne Firth, Bernie Slater, Alex Asch, Rachel Bowak and Robert Guth; theatre

artists Everyman Theatre, Canberra Repertory Society, Caroline Stacey, Chrissie Shaw, barb barnett and Gillian Schwab, Hannah McCann, Jarrad West, Ronnie Flor and Naone Carrel. The MEAA Green Room Award was presented by union member Andrea Close to actor Raoul Craemer for his strong theatrical work this year, especially for his role in the play “Kabir”. The 2012 MEAA Peer Recognition Award went to Stella Wilkie for her total dedication to theatre in Canberra.

QUEANBEYAN Council’s Mayoral Christmas Lights Tour around Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra for senior and disabled residents will be held on December 18 and 20. Buses will gather at The Q for Christmas carols and light refreshments before leaving in convoy to view decorated homes. Bookings to 6285 6505.

One big aim for kids SERVICE One’s Christmas toy appeal will again go towards this year’s Barnardos’ Gifts for Kids appeal. New and unwrapped gifts can be taken to any Service One Branch until Friday, December 14. More information on drop-off locations at somb.com.au/locate.

Call from a special club THE Quota Club of Canberra is inviting anyone interested in a women’s service club to its next meeting at the Catchpole Room, Southern Cross Club Jamison, 6.30pm, on December 11. The club has been active for more than 50 years in support of projects for disadvantaged women and children and the hearing and speech impaired. More information at 0439 447428.

CityNews  November 22-28  9

news

letters

Online deals trip young travellers

Well done, Moore

With shopping on the internet increasingly becoming the norm, LAURA EDWARDS discovers, it’s not always smooth sailing when it comes to booking overseas holidays LIKE many people her age, Louise Pye, 25, had travelled extensively without ever setting foot in a travel agency. So, when it came to her sixweek honeymoon in Asia, the tax office employee and Ngunnawal resident chose to book all her accommodation and flights – as she usually did – online, through various holiday websites. One of the purchases she made was through Asian daily-deal website Jigocity, for four nights in a Seminyak resort in Bali. But a few days before her flight was due to leave, Louise received a brief email from the resort. “It stated that they were cancelling our accommodation, despite us confirming twice with Jigocity that it was still okay,” Louise says. “We believe there was a mix up between Jigocity and the resort. But we couldn’t get on to Jigocity at all to query why this happened; it was impossible to reach them. “We didn’t even get a reason for the cancellation, it was just ‘sorry, there’s nothing we can do’. It meant we had to scramble around looking for another place at the last minute, in peak season, causing a lot of unnecessary stress we didn’t need when we were already planning a wedding.” Jigocity closed its Australian operations in April, announcing it was “going through a period of consolidation”. Louise says she will continue to use websites for holiday deals, purely for the convenience – “but only ones I’m sure are reliable, and I’ll definitely be more careful next time.” And Louise isn’t alone – according to travel analysis company PhoCusWright, Australia has the highest online travel penetration rate in Asia Pacific, and travel websites represent one of the most visited internet categories in the country.

10  CityNews  November 22-28

The online share of the market is expected to reach 38 per cent this year, up from 28 per cent three years ago. And while most website purchases run smoothly, thousands of dollars can be at stake if things go awry. The Office of Regulatory Services reports that in the last four months, they received three enquiries and one formal complaint relating to online accommodation bookings from ACT residents. Common issues involved cancellation and refund policies, as well as changing dates previously booked. Chloe Holland, of Palmerston, was one of the unlucky locals who encountered problems when booking a holiday online. With a mortgage and part-time university fees, the public servant Unhappy honeymooner Louise Pye... “We had to scramble around looking was keen to get a good deal when for another place at the last minute.”  Photo by Silas Brown she was asked to be a bridesmaid for her friend’s destination wedding in Phuket, Thailand, in Janu- dates at all, and that we should “take extra precautions” if bookary 2013. have booked earlier. ing online this holiday season. Through daily deal website “After many follow up phone “People should avoid using Living Social, Chloe purchased a calls, they finally agreed we could payment methods such as money $999 deal for return airfares and travel in April with an extra $200 transfers, direct debit or providfive nights’ accommodation at a fee to pay because we ‘booked ing bank details in an email,” resort, with the conditions stating outside the allocated allotment pe- Abul says. bookings must be made through riod’. This obviously was no good “Only make bookings on a Asian budget travel site, Travels- to us, given we had to attend the secure website – one that has an moove. wedding in January. So we ended ‘https’ address or a locked padlock “I thought I had come across a up having to book two trips – one in the browser. great opportunity,” she says. of which we didn’t actually need. “Travellers should always en“But after purchasing the deal, “What made it more difficult sure that the prices quoted are in I tried to redeem the vouchers to was also that Travelsmoove were Australian dollars so that their travel in January, and the Trav- a foreign, virtually uncontactable holiday is not more expensive elsmoove site said there were company. I definitely wouldn’t than they expected... there could no available allotments for that book with an online deals website be additional charges. month – it suggested to try an- for any overseas trips again.” “There is a risk that a cancelother date. “CityNews” tried to get in lation will result in the loss of a “I phoned Living Social, who contact with Travelsmoove for deposit or the full payment, so it’s advised me that even though we comment numerous times without important to read all the fine print could only travel in January, we success. when making bookings and to would not be entitled to a refund Deputy Secretary of Digital keep copies of all receipts.” as there still should be dates avail- Economy and Services at the Deable that we could travel instead. partment of Broadband CommuniFor more tips on staying smart But when I phoned Travelsmoove, cations and the Digital Economy, online, visit www.staysmartonline. I was told there were no available Abul Rizvi, says travellers should gov.au/summer_holidays.

THANK you “CityNews” for publishing Michael Moore’s article “Time for the Libs to grab the needles” (CT, November 20). It is welcome news that the Iranians, too, found benefits from providing sterile injecting equipment in prisons. Perhaps this is evidence that the language spoken by prisoners is irrelevant when it comes to managing infection and risk behaviours behind bars. Like the Iranians, a Spanish evaluation has demonstrated compelling outcomes after 10 years with a needle exchange at Pereiro de Aguiar prison in Spain. There the prevalence of HIV infection decreased from 21 per cent to 8.5 per cent, and hepatitis C infection decreased from 40 per cent to 26.1 per cent. These are stunning numbers. Our prison, the Alexander Maconochie Centre, has very high rates of hepatitis C infection accompanied by all the usual prison transmission risks. This is the reason why the ACT Government has recognised the importance of better management of blood-borne viruses, including through the availability of sterile injecting equipment. I look forward to evidence from the ACT adding weight to this already-strong evidence base that underpins this important health initiative.



John Didlick, executive officer, ACT Hepatitis Resource Centre, Turner

Remember the past RIC Hingee laments that Canberrans did not elect a Liberal government in 2012 (letters, CN, November 28). Perhaps we remember the excesses of the Carnell Liberal Government and were not impressed with Zed Seselja’s conservatism and arrogance or taken in by his big rates lie.



Patricia Saunders, Chapman

Cars kill vista

IS there a better place in Canberra to see the Walter Burley Griffin-inspired Garden City than at Belmore Gardens? Probably not, but in a few months time that won’t be the case. What bureaucratic madness has allowed approval of a car park for 30 cars at one end of the Belmore Gardens vista? ACT Heritage should be ashamed to be a party to this decision.



E A Swain, Barton

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

CityNews  November 22-28  11

12  CityNews  November 22-28

politics

Why clinging to a surplus matters to Labor dose of dorin

The political chatter suggests Labor will call an election, possibly in March, to avoid going to the polls with a Budget deficit. But political writer MICHAEL MOORE spells out why the party needs a surplus TREASURER Wayne Swan and Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s surplus-at-all-costs approach seems out of sync with Labor ideology and philosophy. It is simply pragmatic politics. The usual Left-wing goals of the Labor Party in pursuing equity and social justice seem to have been lost in this bloody-minded pursuit of a positive fiscal outcome. The truth is that Labor is caught in a bind and young Canberrans in particular suffer with stringent controls on employment in the public service. On the one hand, they have been elected to deliver on the principles that drive the philosophies of their party. On the other, if they are not re-elected these philosophical goals will be lost to Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party, that he has taken down an ultra-conservative path. An even worse outcome! Maintaining a surplus is not as much about an ideological commitment to fiscal responsibility as showing Labor can manage the Budget at least as well as the Liberals. It would be just as fiscally responsible to run a small deficit at a time when expenditure is needed to meet the needs of those who are most vulnerable in our society. When the Government announced initiatives such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme, it understood the costs would be considerable and would have a major impact on the Budget. The money has to come from somewhere. It boils down to two choices – savings or taxation.

Governments invariably balance the two in establishing how to pay for the priorities that are guided by their ideology. In the past, Labor governments have lost elections as the Budget has become more demanding, and rather than increase taxation or slash services commensurate with spending on new initiatives, they have borrowed excessively. The approach provided fertile grounds for very conservative governments elected to viciously slash spending as did Jeff Kennett in Victoria and, more recently, Campbell Newman in Queensland. There can be little doubt that Australia’s ability to maintain a strong financial position through the global financial crisis was strongly influenced by the surplus established by Treasurer Peter Costello and the Howard Government. However, ordinary, working Australians were also fortunate that a Labor Government was prepared to use the surplus for appropriate spending to maintain jobs and support businesses through the worst of the crisis. The media plays an important role in painting a picture regarding the fiscal calibre of a government. In selling the message of fiscal responsibility, the Gillard government has chosen a catchphrase that the community has no difficulty comprehending – Budget surplus. For Labor, the maintenance of a Budget surplus removes any compelling need for the community to feel the need for a change of government. It identifies Labor MPs as responsible financial managers.

No matter how hard Labor works towards a surplus, some will still find a way to be critical. “The Weekend Australian” recently blared a front-page headline “Budget splurge spending up $32bn” and in a later section: “Budget monster out of control”. The message was clear in the first few paragraphs – government was spending too much and could not be trusted with our money. The editorial intention was blatant. Labor is caught in the middle. The expectations of their own constituency to deliver on better health outcomes, a fairer social deal, more effective education and more equitable community cannot be achieved without expenditure. However, they are in an ideological battle with conservative forces pushing for a reduction in taxation, smaller government and more vigorous slashing.

The deep cuts being made to the public service in Queensland will allow the Premier, Campbell Newman, to rebuild the public service in terms of his own priorities without additional expenditure. He is slashing and hacking in the first year of his term so that his growth in expenditure in a couple of years’ time will allow a surplus and the pain to be forgotten. There is no need to guess whether or not an Abbott government would start with the same level of cuts to devastate the public service and employment in Canberra. Joe Hockey has made the intention of the Coalition government abundantly clear. Michael Moore was an independent member of the ACT Legislative Assembly (1989 to 2001) and was minister for health.

CityNews  November 22-28  13

Sporting Confidential with Tim Gavel

FIT for success “ONLY in Canberra” is a derogatory expression often used by people who don’t live here, but not always as a put down. In the case of Canberra’s Females in Training it is very much the latter. FIT started 12 years ago as an organisation to encourage women who approached exercise with a certain amount of trepidation and allowed them to run in a non-threatening, encouraging environment. Many had given up exercise while raising a family. FIT then started teaching women how to cycle and swim, resulting in first-time triathletes, which is remarkable in itself. Of the 500 or so who have been through the FIT program, some are now competing in iron-woman events, others in marathons. A number of other centres around Australia have tried to replicate Canberra’s FIT, but it hasn’t taken off. The dedication of women in the ACT wanting to help others become involved in sport is a major reason for the success in Canberra. Well done to all involved in this great program.

Titles out of town HARD to believe, but the ACT Track Cycling Titles have been staged in Sydney for the past two years. Canberra has a rich history of developing track cyclists. Between 2002 and 2008 every Canberra cyclist

14  CityNews  November 22-28

who competed at the World Juniors competed in track cycling. So why would you stage the ACT Track Cycling Titles in Sydney? The reason is twofold. The velodrome at Narrabundah is unsuitable for competition; it is fine for training, but needs money spent on its four corners. The other reason for staging the titles in Sydney is to attract riders from outside Canberra to compete. A few years ago a new velodrome was on the master plan for the Lyneham precinct, but it appears to have disappeared. The cost of building a new velodrome seems to be prohibitive. Surely something can be done then to improve the existing facility?

Loose lips... MORE often than not, the best sport stories are to be found away from professional sport and the back pages of daily papers. The ACT Boys’ Under 16 Water Polo Team presents one such story. The team is coached by David Brady who is deaf, but with a hearing aid can hear reasonably well. However, major competitions present a cacophony of noise. This is where his assistant coach takes over. It’s a system that obviously worked during the National Titles in Brisbane last month. The team finished ninth in a field of 26 teams with Tim Reeves making the Australian squad. There is clearly an upside for David in being able to read the lips of the opposing coach or players.

opinion Homes to last a lifetime Catherine Carter property

WHEN life throws something new at us – a baby, an injury, a disability, even old age – often our homes can’t keep up. While all new housing must meet targets for energy efficiency, there are no standards for liveability or universal design. However the Liveable Housing Design Guidelines, developed as part of a national partnership among industry groups, the community and governments, are about to change that. The guidelines give three voluntary performance levels – silver, gold and platinum – and introduce core design elements to make a home safer and easier to live in. At the silver level, the principles are commonsense – at least one level entry (step-free) into the house, an easy-to-access toilet on the ground floor and reinforced walls in the bathroom (for installation of grab rails, if needed) just to name a few. Put simply, the design should allow for safe entry and easy navigation, and cost-effective adaptation so that the house can respond to the changing needs of its occupants. International studies show it is 22 times more efficient to design a home for change than to retrofit later. And with the family home accounting for 62 per cent of all falls and slip-based injuries (costing around $1.8 billion in public health expenses), it makes sense to build a home that will be easier and safer to live in. The ACT Government has already set a target for 2015, when 50 per cent of all new detached housing has to meet universal design guidelines (this will rise to 100 per cent by 2020). Let’s see the ACT lead the charge to be first to adopt the new guidelines – ensuring that Canberrans have access to new homes that last a lifetime.

Our poor relations IT’S not easy for Canberrans being surrounded by NSW. It’s a bit like a nice, well-educated family displaced by some climate-change disaster, waking up to find itself surrounded by the poor relations… except in our case there’s no prospect of reprieve, ever. We’re stuck here. And getting out – even to visit our beach house or friends on the outside – is a real ordeal. This really struck home last weekend when we headed out to Sydney on the worst rail line in Australia. It’s so bad that a journey that takes a bit over three hours by car requires a full four and a half by train. That is outrageous. The driver is never able to travel at full speed; he stops at the most ridiculous places – Tarago, for instance, where no one has boarded or alighted since 1963 – and when he does put the foot down the carriage springs go berserk. Honestly, they sound like the screaming of a sow giving birth to a litter of giant piglets. And when you complain – which I did – the conductor says: ‘We report that every day, sir.” I mean, how hard is it to buy a can of WD40 and squirt the under-carriage? Or take the road to the coast – the Kings Highway. How long has it been since you made that journey without being pulled up at least three times by some bloke with a stop/slow sign while NSW council workers make piddling little repairs and add yet another overtaking lane? When will it end?

Robert Macklin the gadfly

Ever? Yet this unease of access doesn’t stop them – the NSW denizens – from coming in their hundreds to use our facilities – hospitals, schools, etcetera – at bargain-basement prices. Our problem could hardly be better illustrated than by two recent events – the ICAC hearings into corruption in the NSW Labor Government; and a truly outrageous decision by its Liberal successor. It seems that for the last 10 years at least, the Labor right wingers have been engaged in a massive plundering of the State’s finances. I wish I could say this comes as a surprise, but really it’s just NSW doing what it’s always done. However, I do admit to a frisson of wonderment at the decision by Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell to give the green light to a housing development on the Canberra airport flight path. This is the same Barry O’Farrell who wants Canberra to be Sydney’s second airport. I wish I could think of a solution to our dilemma. Perhaps as we approach our centenary we could formulate a plan to join up with our Jervis Bay enclave. That at least would give us independent access to the civilised world without having to pass through the NSW netherland. Meantime, spare a thought for poor Katy Gallagher and her ministers having to deal with their State equivalents – for them, it seems, it’s either cupidity or stupidity, take your pick. robert@robertmacklin.com

More information on the Liveable Housing Design Guidelines at livablehousingaustralia.org.au Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia.

CityNews  November 22-28  15

16  CityNews  November 22-28

news

New is not always better A NEW standard allowing manufacturers to increase the sun protection factor in sunscreens from SPF30+ to SPF50+ and adding improved UVA protection was recently set by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), but the Cancer Council says SPF 50+ sunscreens offer only marginally better protection than 30+ products. Chair of the Cancer Council Australia’s Skin Cancer Committee, Terry Slevin, welcomed the new standard, but warned consumers not to overestimate the new level of protection. “Despite the big difference in SPF numbers on the label, in fact the new SPF50+ sunscreen offers marginally better protection from UVB radiation, which causes sunburn and adds to skin cancer risk,” he said. “SPF50+ filters out 98 per cent of UVB radiation compared to 96.7 per cent blocked by SPF30. It’s not a suit of armour; it needs to be applied just as generously, reapplied every two hours, and used in conjunction with protective clothing, a broad-brimmed hat, sunglasses and shade.” The new standard for SPF50 offers the same protection against sunburn, caused by UVB radiation, as the current SPF30, but is required to have higher UVA protection in order to be labelled broadspectrum. The sun’s UVA wavelengths are responsible for the sun’s ageing effect on the skin and also contribute to skincancer risk. Mr Slevin said there was no need to

New SPF50+ sunscreens are expected to hit the shelves after Christmas, but are they any better than what we’ve been using?

throw away your current sunscreen. “Any sunscreen of at least SPF30, which is labelled as water-resistant and broad-spectrum, offers good protection. Manufacturers will be allowed to continue producing and selling their current formulations that meet the old standard. The new standard applies to new products only and is simply a little better, and offers the consumer more choice.” Meanwhile, international skincare company Nivea says the regulation is an important step forward for the Australian sunscreen category, making Australia consistent with the highest protection standards internationally for sunscreen. But they say SPF50+ offers a greater level of protection only if people continue to follow the existing safe sun practices

and apply the recommended amount of sunscreen, regularly. The recommended amount is one teaspoon for each limb, your face and neck and the front and back of your body, at least every two hours or applied immediately after swimming, towelling, and/or exercising. Nivea scientific and regulatory affairs manager Ken Lee says SPF50+ does not in any way negate the well established sunsafety messages. “To put it into context, if you use the right amount correctly, a 200mL bottle should last around seven applications. So if your 200mL bottle is lasting you all season, you are evidently not using enough. “Ultimately, the best sunscreen is not necessarily the highest SPF, it is the sunscreen that is actually used and is used sufficiently,” he says.

What do the changes mean? • Raising the limit from SPF30-plus to SPF50-plus • Introduction of a definition and new method for determining “broad spectrum” • New classification categories on product labelling

Kelly Meyan, Erin Barry, Michel Johnson, Carrie Graff, Jason Barry, Suzi Antunes, Nikki Galeff and Kellie Woodward.

The coach and some champs RENOWNED local and national basketball coach Carrie Graf was the guest speaker at this year’s Rotary Club of Canberra South’s annual Vocational & Community Service Awards night at the Hotel Realm. Award winners were selected from nominations from club members, employers, businesses and community contacts of volunteers and employees who demonstrate commitment and excellence either in the workplace or the community. The Vocational Service Award winners are, from left, Kelly Meyan (of Reis & James Travel Associates), Erin Barry (Evo Health Club), Michael

Johnson (Active Leisure Centre), guest speaker Carrie Graf, Jason Barry (Evo Health Club), Suzi Antunes (Gail Freeman & Co Pty Ltd) and Nikki Galeff with Kellie Woodward (both of Reis & James Travel Associates). Community Service Awards were made to Chris CreechLenard (Smith Family) and Dr Rhodanthe Lipsett. The John Scott Memorial Community Service Award was made, for the first time to a club member, to Tony Jurd. The awards night was sponsored by Senetas, the Australian-based, international high-speed network encryption technology company.

CityNews  November 22-28  17

news JON ENGLISH TICKET WINNERS Winners of the three “CityNews” passes to see Jon English’s “Rock Revolution” show at the Canberra Theatre on Friday, December 7 are: Lyn Sands, of Kambah; Mario Bucetti, Downer, and Lauren Roche, Philip.

Malcolm Noad restores Morris cars by collecting parts from eBay or “word of mouth” – with two of his cars, the older one circa 1925.  Photo by Silas Brown

Morris cars rally for a shared centenary They’ve seen better days, and only reach a maximum speed of 65kp/h, but it will be a rare sight and a nod to the golden-age of motoring when more than 100 vintage Morris cars come together in Canberra, writes LAURA EDWARDS THE first Morris car came off the production line in Oxford, England, in April, 1913 – one month after Canberra was first named – and will celebrate its centenary with the capital next year. In April, rare models from around Australia and NZ will be taken out for a spin for the Morris 100 Canberra celebration and tour. Created by William Morris in England, the Morris series of motor car models range from the 1913 “bullnose” Oxford to the 1961-1971 Oxford VI. The cars that will tour Canberra have been lovingly restored, part by part, by members of Morris Registries from around Australia and NZ. Tour organiser Malcolm Noad, who is based in Royalla, restores Morris cars by collecting parts from eBay or “word of mouth” – with one of his cars, circa 1925. He says the oldest car in the rally is from 1913, and the newest “probably around the 1960s.” “It’s pretty amazing, you get a pile of rusty bits – because that’s all that’s left of them nowadays – and just build a car from it,” he says. Malcolm says he wanted to bring the rally to Canberra “because we’d never had anything like this before.” “I think people will like the historic value of them, the look of them,” he says. “They were pretty popular in Australia, but more so in NZ. The Australian ones had to be modified with larger radiators to cope with the hot climate. “To drive them is a bit of a challenge for us

18  CityNews  November 22-28

because they’re so much slower than modern traffic, you’ve got to be pretty careful – the top speed of the earlier cars is about 40 miles an hour [about 64kp/h], so we only drive them on organised rallies. They’ve got very skinny tyres, the brakes are pretty ordinary, but I enjoy it all.” Morris says the cars aren’t too popular for weddings, despite their classic looks: “We did have one wedding but the poor bride could barely fit her dress in, they’re a bit too small.” Convoys of the iconic cars will congregate at strategic locations across Australia and travel in informal convoys to arrive in Canberra on April 19. The weekend program, hosted by the Morris Register of NSW, includes two celebratory dinners, scenic drives around Canberra and a display for the public to see the cars up close. More information at morris100.org.au

UK cars on parade Terribly British Day vehicle display will be held at the Treasury car park, Langdon Circuit, cnr of Commonwealth Ave, on the south side of Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, 10am3pm on Sunday, December 2. More than 350 British-made vehicles will be on display, from Austin to Zephyr. The featured marque this year will be the MGB which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Terribly British Day is organised by the Jaguar Car Club and the British marques clubs and entry is free.

scene

B ROUG YOU BY

H T TO

Canberra’s only locally-owned Subaru dealer

ROLFE SUBARU

At ‘The Women Who Made Canberra’ opening, CMAG

At Children’s Medical Research Institute luncheon

British high commissioner Paul Madden with wife Sarah and MLA Brendan Smyth

Jacqui Schofield with Margaret and Bethany Corr

Denise Lyon, Carole Radnedge, Maureen Keating, Jane Shelling, Margaret Hall and Sally Millner

Jan Goodall, John and Judy Stevenson and Meredith Hunter

Rosemary Follett, Marion Halligan and Harriet Elvin

Shima Masoumi, Peter McGee and Megan Spedding

MLA Yvette Berry and MP Gai Brodtmann

Finnish ambassador Maija Lahteenmaki with Dr Nestor Vargas

Merrilyn O’Sullivan, Betty Richardson, Prue Friend and Carol Taylor

Jennifer Philps, Evan and Robyn Rees with Maragret Sullivan

Asha Ferris with Bianca and Jemima Brady

Clancy and Michelle Grigg

Kate Cairns and Elissa Northrop

Carolyn Forster, Esther Stutz, Barbara Boehm-Boeck and Ana Carlota Meirelles

CityNews  November 22-28  19

scene

ROLFE SUBARU AT PHILLIP & BELCONNEN

At Tourism Awards, Gandel Hall

At Avant Garden VIP night, rooftop of ZOO Advertising, Kingston

Kerry Meaghan and Michelle Van Lier

Daniella Morr and Venna Griffiths

Liesl Bouwer, Sebastien Wilson and Mary Coustas

Charlotte Stewart, Jiawa Liu and Janette Lenk

Simone Luker, Simone Lucas and Zoe Braithwaite

At Duesburys Nexia 60th birthday celebration, Federal Golf Club

Sarah Nicole with Shehan and Sarah Jesudason

Amy Stewart, Sam Ceravolo, Luiz Gomes and Debra Beetham

20  CityNews  November 22-28

Lucy Nguyen and Isabell Rolla

Natalie Bussenschutt and Carol Scott

Kalista Pakkiy, Orlando Di Iulio and Catherina Koopman

Saidu Kamara and Pete Maher

Nikki Van Diemen and Kelly Brown

Simone Hogan, Dino Vido and Niki Livingston

Bob and Lyn Barlow with Russell Brown

Annette Vincent and Ross Greenwood

Cathy and Max Spencer

scene At ‘Voices in the Forest’, Arboretum

At Indonesian ambassador’s welcome, Red Hill

Brian Martyn, Keith Cantlie, Joanne Martyn with Serina and Joseph Cardone

New Indonesian Ambassador Nadjib Riphat Kesoema with wife Nino Nadjib Riphat

Dhani Wibowo, Ana Guterres and Yulita Wibowo

Thai ambassador Maris Sangiampongsa with wife Kokan, Linda Rahmanto and Nisa Riphat

At Green Associates gala dinner, National Portrait Gallery

Teone Nutt and Sean Mullins

Hyung-Tae Kim, Mi-Ram Kim, Kyung Im Lee and Dae-Hee Ahn

Brian and Gabrielle Pettit

Emma De Landre and Myra Dickson

Nick Tebby, Lesley Taylor, Lesley Richards and Tony Smart

Val Holbrook, Gordon Stone with Sue and Peter Harrison

Marian Gillespie and Tim Brown

John and Fiona Doyle

Sue Camm, June Lawrence, Tony Green with Sabrina and Aska Moir

Judith and Joe Hlubucek with Michelle Fraser

Jasmine Del Villar and Con Koromilas

CityNews  November 22-28  21

scene

ROLFE SUBARU AT PHILLIP & BELCONNEN

At Hands Across Canberra lunch, Gandel Hall, NGA

Ginette Snow, guest speaker Dick Smith and Alex Sloan

Ian Goudie, MLA Shane Rattenbury and Diane Kargas

Liesl Centenera, Meredith Whitten and Adam Stankevicius

22  CityNews  November 22-28

Claire Petelczyc, Rachael Eggins and Janet Tweedie

At Cerebral Palsy Alliance ACT ‘Celebrity Charity Apprentice Challenge Dinner’, Hellenic Club, Woden

Carlie Atkins, Andrea Jones, Amy Warby and Michelle Dzakula

Greg Shaw, Kruno Bokulic, Leah Clarke, Amanda Jervoir, Katherine Meagher and Cveta Siljanovska

Nerida Clarke, Steve Baker, Milli Dukic and Deb Hicks

Tony Tonks with Jenni and Sean Brennan

Alex Hoitink, Belinda Warner, Jess Giampaolo and David Warner

Les and Dawn Boag with Gerd King, Elizabeth Susic and Linda Treharne

Zuzana Schindlerova and Evan O’Hanlon

Sean Hubbard and Elly Crawford

Shirley Tonkin and Christine Hawke

Grant and Mandy Lalor with Edie and Peter Stubbs

Canberra Confidential Know something? / confidential@citynews.com.au

Kazzie Mahina, centre, with a bevy of young mermaids.

Have fin, go ‘mermaiding’ “CC”, always at the cutting edge of social change, pronounces “mermaiding” as this summer’s Big Craze. To engage in mermaiding, you’ll (probably) be female, preferably near water and attired in a Merfin, a one-piece flipper (promised to

“enable swimmers to look and feel like a mermaid”) designed over seven years by Kazzie Mahina, herself a professional mermaid from Batemans Bay. Kazzie developed the Merfins from the handmade tails she has used for

Music to their ears THE much-heralded “Voices in the Forest” concert was blessed with wondrous talent, a rock-solid sponsor and perfect weather for its four hours of stirring and soaring music deep in a hillside that is the National Arboretum amphitheatre. Patron Bob Winnel and his Village Building Company deserve every praise for sponsoring and organising it (the show and probably the weather), for the talent was peerless: soprano Amelia Farrugia sang like an angel and big tenor Stuart Skelton was as affable as Farnsy. But the star of the night was Korean soprano Sumi Jo, whose extraordinary performance was preceded by a stern request from gushy compere Alex Sloan that parents restrain the small posse of oblivious kids shouting, rolling and running down the irresistible turfed hillock either side of the stage. Music to their ears, this drew a spontaneous ovation of approval from the thousands of off-duty and over it grandparents.

G’day mate AT an intimate Red Hill tummyrub, after presenting his credentials to the Governor-General, the returning Indonesian ambassador Nadjib Riphat Kesoema told his new diplomatic besties, over a slap-up, celebratory Indonesian feast, that he was glad to be back after 10 years, affably confessed to having missed people calling him “mate” and rejoiced at the sight of Vegemite on the supermarket shelves.

Go Mo-rici girls! GO the girls at Merici College, Braddon, who supported Movember with a fundraising day in support of two big health issues men face – prostate cancer and male mental health. Each year students take part by dressing up as men for a gold-coin donation. The best-looking “bloke” was judged Miss Mo-rici. Acting principal Ann Cleary, praised the initiative saying: “I am delighted at the enthusiasm of the girls in an all-girls school to raise awareness for significant men’s health issues. It’s a real example of our ongoing commitment to community engagement”.

Makes you go, hmmm 1. WHILE “CC” agrees there is no place for violence against women in our society, our black sense of humour was tickled by this paragraph in a White Ribbon Day missive from the media team at the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations:

years swimming and working all over the globe, including in films. Living in Style, in Manuka, sold out of its first shipment but fear not, mermaidions, more Merfins are on their way, with guaranteed delivery for Christmas.

“Around 80 staff joined the around 57,000 other Australians who have already taken the White Ribbon pledge, swearing never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women at a morning tea.” Nor lunch, dinner, breakfast and everything in between one hopes! 2. HERE’S something that got a gasp from the thick hides at “CityNews” – pet photos with Santa! No, true, but all part of a fun day for dogs and a fundraiser for The Orangutan Project and the Riverina and District Animal Rescue at Oatley Court, Belconnen, 10am-4pm on December 8. There’ll be a sausage sizzle, wildlife merchandise stalls, a reptile display, a dog hydrobath display, activities for dogs, paw paintings and the toughest, bravest Santa in town.

A kiwi toilet? BEEN too long since we’ve had a decent silly sign. To be getting on with, here’s a typo (not that we can throw rocks in that department) on a development notice for a Watson property, clearly proofread by a New Zealander.

Dry argument NAUGHTY “CityNews” snapper Silas Brown was banged to rights (well, almost) at the recent announcement of the “Christmas Carnival in the City” beside the fountain in Civic Square. The absence of camels and the presence of suits left the lensman aiming at a couple of decorative lifesavers attending the media moment. Looking for a bit of action, he inveigled them into the fountain (lifesavers, water, geddit?) only to be undone by promoter CBD’s business liaison manager Alicia Doherty, who declared their presence in the water illegal and rescued them back to dry land.

Fete worse than... PR laugh of the week: “Branding expert Paul Everest has weighed in on the fete of the Rabbitohs claiming the team’s lack of success relates to little more than its logo.” This howler is the work of Nicole Madigan, of Stella Communications, who reissued the release with a straight face and not a whisper of gratitude after “CC” wrote and suggested her client looked a goose.

CityNews  November 22-28  23

puzzles page Joanne Madeline Moore your week in the stars / December 3 - 9

ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20)

Many Rams will feel rather edgy this week, as Jupiter jump-starts your restless gene. Plan plenty of outdoor activities – and do all you can to avoid being bored. Compromise is the catch-cry for the weekend, as the Moon moves through peace-loving Libra. Have you been experiencing relationship problems? Perhaps it’s time to take a little less and give a lot more?

TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 20)

Jupiter boosts your business brain, as you feel more positive about your financial future. Joint ventures are also favoured, but avoid going overboard on expensive purchases (especially online). Attached Bulls – resist the temptation to keep a big secret from your spouse. Singles – Saturn encourages you to search for a partner who is mature, responsible and wise.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 21)

Mars and Pluto are activating your lust and loot zone, so get ready for a fiery week. You can expect a hot and heavy romantic encounter; or a heated argument over joint finances. Twins are terrific at talking – but not so good at putting words into action. Pay attention to the wise words of Walt Disney (born on December 5): “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”

CANCER (June 22 – July 22)

When it comes to new work projects, aim to be adventurous, as Uranus encourages you to think outside the square. Weekend problems won’t be resolved by curling up in your shell and being defensive. You’ll need to face communication hiccups head on. The Libran Moon favours connecting with family members as you converse, communicate, consult and cooperate.

General knowledge crossword No. 388 2 To expel a tenant, is to do what? Across 3 The Emerald Isle is descriptive of 4 Name the flesh of a deer. 8 To drive a car backwards, is to do what? 9 In which cylinders do many women set their hair? 10 What is an accumulation of work, etc, awaiting attention? 11 Name early harem attendants. 12 When one submits to a superior power, one does what? 14 What do we call sheets, exhibiting information in tabulated form? 18 Name a person who disbelieves the existence of God. 21 Which W Californian seaport is on San Francisco Bay? 22 Which person is authorised to examine accounts, records, etc? 23 Name the entertainment usually held in the afternoon. 24 What are funeral vehicles called?

Down 1 Name the practice of valuable consideration for corrupt behaviour. 1

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VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22)

Thursday and Friday are your best days this week. With the Moon in Virgo you’ll feel right at home, plus positive planetary aspects bring out your smart, studious and sociable side. So it’s the perfect time to pick up new information from a wide variety of people. On the weekend the focus is on money, as you research new ways to make your finances go further.

LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 23)

The Sun encourages you to have the confidence to promote your talents within your neighbourhood. Your motto for the moment is ‘think global, act local’ as you work hard to support worthy causes in your local community. The weekend is all about companionship – but don’t let a loved one manipulate you. Show them that laidback Librans can bite back!

Solution next week 4

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22 23 24

Sudoku medium No.94

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

With the Sun and Jupiter stimulating your sign, your Sagittarian playfulness and sense of humour are highlighted this week. So you’re keen to amuse others, as you play the role of the ribald raconteur. But remember there’s a fine line between being funny and just being plain offensive! When it comes to relationships, resist the urge to be bossy and over-bearing.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

This week, aim to get the balance right between your powerful professional persona, and your more private side. Some quiet time for rest and relaxation is just as important as networking and burning the midnight oil. On the weekend, don’t let your Capricorn curiosity (and obsessions) cloud your judgment. Step back and see things from a wider perspective.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

The Sun’s shining in your career zone (until December 22), so it’s time to display your versatile Piscean talents for all to see. Plus make your dreams as big and beautiful as possible. Be inspired by Walt Disney (born on December 5): “All your dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them.” The home/job juggle is a challenging one, but you can do it.  24  CityNews  November 22-28

Daily astrology updates at www.twitter.com/JoMadelineMoore Copyright Joanne Madeline Moore 2011

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With va-voom Venus vamping through your sign (until December 16), you’re at your seductive Scorpio best. So it’s the ideal time to call in an old favour – or go looking for love. Thursday is super for all forms of communication and social networking, as you have the power to influence others in positive ways. But resist the urge to be a control-freak on Saturday.

PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

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SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 21)

Communication and conversation are the buzz words this week as you share opinions, soak up overseas influences, learn a new skill or pass on valuable information to someone else. Make sure you give your brain cells a thorough workout. When it comes to your social life, don’t take your close friendships for granted. Put aside time to help a friend in need.

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LEO (July 23 – Aug 22)

Capricious Cats – you won’t appreciate others telling you what to do this week! Jupiter activates your adventurous side, so you’re in the mood to explore, experiment and enthuse. The focus is also on friendships, as you reassess your current peer group. Be inspired by birthday great Jim Morrison: “A true friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.”

which country? 4 Name a church official who acts as an attendant. 5 Who is renowned for his paintings of the Australian outback, Sir Sidney ...? 6 Which Gulf is on the coast of South Australia? 7 Which organs afford passage for air in respiration, etc? 13 Name a spine-covered insectivorous monotreme mammal. 15 Name an Australian Olympic swimming gold medallist, Grant ... 16 What is a very small quantity also known as? 17 What are disturbances of the normal condition of the atmosphere? 18 To embarrass someone is to do what? 19 What do we call tittles, or jots? 20 What, collectively, are animals known as?

Solutions

Crossword No.387 B R A S T T F A N I S T A L A I C R S

O N I A G E R R I L A O U V E R E A S

Z E L E D E E R S M A L G N D A T U E

A A C R M A R A D O F A S E C O U E R T A R E S I

E O S T C H E T P E E N C N I W E S T

Sudoku hard No.93 S S E A E S I C C K R E S M A N T E R

Solution next week

arts & entertainment

Wendy Johnson There’s a thing going on

The ‘Camel’ flowers into prince of music Australian singer Kamahl started out imitating Nat King Cole, until he heard the celebrated American bass-baritone Paul Robeson. The rest, he tells arts editor HELEN MUSA, is history WHEN Kamahl was a schoolboy at Kuala Lumpur’s famous Victoria Institution, the kids called him “camel”, but his actual name, Kamalesvaran, comes from “kamal” or “lotus flower” in Tamil.

“So, I guess I’m the prince of the flowers,” the popular singer tells “CityNews”. Kamahl, 78 years old and still going strong, has been in the news lately, with a performance of Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” at the ANU in September and his new triple CD, “Heart and Soul”, is just out. “CityNews” readers now have the chance to win one of 10 triple-CD packs – the first CD features romantic songs and the second his old hits. But it’s the third CD that really interests Kamahl. “That one’s more inspirational,” he says, and it’s got the “Gettysburg Address” in it, 140 years old on November 19. “I feel I have an affinity with it,” he says, “I met Barack Obama on November 16 last year… I think I started to learn the address on the 19th and then recorded on July 14, believe it or not.” The US ambassador Jeff Bleich, he says, heard him recite the “Gettysburg Address” on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation at the ANU and he’s sent a copy of Kamahl’s recording to the White House. “It means more to me than some of the songs I’ve recorded… I hope other people might share in something that moves me,” he explains.

But to millions of Australians, the name Kamahl doesn’t conjure up American rhetoric, but an unforgettably resonant singing voice, of which, he says: “It’s not so much the depth of it, but the colour of it”. Kamahl says he wasn’t a natural. “I started out imitating Nat King Cole, whose voice was soft… it was hardly audible,” he says. Then he heard the celebrated American bass-baritone Paul Robeson, while touring Australia. “When I first heard Robeson, my first reaction was, ‘his voice is like a cow

When I first heard Robeson, my first reaction was, ‘his voice is like a cow mooing,’ it was so big, then I realised how magnificent it was mooing,’ it was so big, then I realised how magnificent it was,” he says. Meantime, Kamahl had fallen foul of immigration authorities. “But the university saved me by inviting me to sing… I sang ‘Silent Night’ à la Nat King Cole at their Christmas concert.” Rupert Murdoch heard him, tipped him £10, teed up a six-week season for him at the Hotel Australia and, together with his first wife Pat, who remained a close friend until her death, put him up at their home for two years. Years later at an Opera Australia fundraiser, Murdoch’s sister Helen and her husband paid $12,000 to have dinner with Kamahl. “There was something incongruous

about that… but sadly, she didn’t live long enough to have the dinner,” he recalls. To Kamahl, success came with hard work. Prof John Bishop, from Adelaide’s Elder Conservatorium, found him a proper singing teacher who “heard me croon ‘Nature Boy’ and said: ‘I think you should stop this, and gave me Handel’s Messiah to learn”. Apologising for the pun, he says: “I couldn’t handle it, but I learnt the bass parts for ‘The Trumpet Shall Sound’ and ‘But Who May Abide’ and ended up singing at a couple of the local churches.” Kamahl considers himself a bassbaritone like Robeson, whose voice he says was “a voice the earth would have if the earth could sing.” He most certainly was never a fellow-traveller with Robeson’s Communist sympathies, believing “he was hoodwinked,” so it’s odd to hear his concluding words… “I’m as well as I can be at my age… when your fellow-travellers are not travelling so well, you carry on and enjoy the view.” Win a copy of Kamahl’s latest album “Heart and Soul” at citynews.com.au

Kamahl... “I started out imitating Nat King Cole, whose voice was soft… it was hardly audible.”

‘Rent’ gets off to a rocking start I’M still humming the tunes from the late Jonathan Larson’s “Rent”, the modern rock-andAIDS-age answer to Puccini’s “La Boheme”, after Everyman Theatre’s rocking media launch at the Front Café and Gallery last week. Vanessa De Jager, as Mimi, will be confronting that age-old problem of singing with vigour when you’re supposed to be dying. Jarrad West’s coming production looks like a beauty. At the Courtyard Studio, December 6-22, bookings 6275 2700 or www.canberraticketing.com.au THE Cuban embassy and the Australia Cuba Friendship Society know how to party. They’re staging “The biggest party of the year” from 7pmmidnight on Saturday, December 8, at St John’s Church in Reid. The idea is to support the Cuban cultural gift to Canberra for the Centenary. You can buy Cuban beer, Cuban rum, Cuban mojitos, Australian wine and Cuban empanadas with “Revolution sauce”. Just turn up, it’s $20 at the door. JON English will be here soon with his latest

Nick Valois and Vanessa De Jager, tragic characters in “Rent”. show, “Rock Revolution”. With a younger cast than  Photo by Family Fotographics. usual, he’ll be throwing us a bit of Rolling Stones,

Helen Musa arts in the city

The Who and Deep Purple et al. At the Canberra Theatre, 8pm, December 7. Bookings to 6275 2700 or www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au PRIZE-winning photographer, Basia Meder, left town years ago to spend time in Africa and her native Poland. She’ll be launching her book of amazing African faces and scenes, “Granny Backpacker in Africa”, at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre, 6pm, on December 6. All welcome. A CONCERT celebrating Croatian folklore and song and presented by The Living Instrument, will feature a work by Croatia’s president Ivo Josipović and performances by Croatian music specialists and western classical soloists. “Domovina” at Llewellyn Hall, 7.30pm, Wednesday, December 5, pre-concert talk 7pm, tickets at the door. CANBERRA New Music Ensemble, in a welcome return to the stage of the NGA’s Fairfax Theatre,

will present pianist Margaret Legge-Wilkinson performing a selection of Shostakovich’s beautiful preludes and fugues. 3pm, Sunday, December 2, Tickets at the door. GOOD news that the Canberra U3A Recorder Orchestra has reached the finals of national awards presented each year by the Music in Communities Network that recognises creative ageing through music, one of only 15 groups from a field of nearly 100 Australia-wide. A DISTURBING psychological drama featuring a woman locked in a room full of exotic birds will be Lexx Productions’ premiere of Rachel Hogan’s “The Bird Man’s Wife”. At Belconnen Theatre, Swanson Court, December 4-8, bookings to lexx. prod@gmail.com SCUNA, the ANU Choral Society, conducted by Andrew Koll, will perform “Celestial Harmonies: Music for Contemplation and Celebration” in St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Forrest at 8pm on December 8. Bookings to trybooking.com/ CBGB or tickets at the door. CityNews  November 22-28  25

arts & entertainment / reviews

The wonder of Bond, James Bond Dougal Macdonald

book review

cinema

“The Invisible Thread: One Hundred Years of Words” Edited by Irma Gold, Halstead Press, paperback, 256 pages, $28.95 Reviewed by Helen Musa

“Skyfall” (M) THERE’S a freshness about what director Sam Mendes has done with Neal Purvis and Robert Wade’s fifth Bondfilm screenplay. Same pudding as its 22 predecessors, but with ingredients from different suppliers, so tasty that not until after it’s over do you wonder how that or this or whatever else came about. The fantasy continues. The plot framework is essentially unchanged. Evil forces threaten Britain. A computer disk carrying the names of all the secret service’s field agents has been stolen. When last seen, James Bond was falling into a fast-flowing European river with a bullet in him fired by his assistant Eve (Naomie Harris) on the insistence of M (Judi Dench). In London, his belongings get sent to storage and his apartment sold. Then former service agent Silva (Javier Bardem) starts executing five service fieldmen a week until he can get to M, his real target. How could any mortal survive what Bond experienced? The film doesn’t bother to explain. We next see him in a tropical, beachside bar, watching a TV news bulletin of a terrorist bomb in MI6’s headquarters that energises his patriotism and professional ethic enough to send him scurrying back to London to resume work from the Service’s new location in Churchill’s war room, deep under London, where a new and improved Q (Ben Whishaw) and Bond’s best pal Tanner (Rory Kinnear) deal with field problems and political displeasure. The rest is, as they say, future history delivered in exotic locations and improbable stunts. No digital clock counts down to a final humungous explosion (although there is a big and fiery bang when Bond lights a fuse connected to a domestic gas tank). “Skyfall’s” humour is more subtle and its gadgets are less incredible than previous Bondfilms. The Aston Martin in storage starts first hit to send Bond and M north to Scotland and snippets of Bond’s family history and home as it moulders away in a desolate valley where loyal family servant Kincade (Albert Finney) joins them in a vigorous and noisy defence against Silva’s henchmen.

26  CityNews  November 22-28

The talent of Canberra

Daniel Craig as James Bond in “Skyfall”. Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem make a fine pair of antagonists. Judi Dench is, as always, without peer. At all cinemas

Three adults transplanted into a new cultural and linguistic environment offer scope for farce, evoking Woody Allen at the height of his New York period, but with a French flavour, hurtling along at breakneck speed, noisy, uninhibited, perceptive and threatening “2 days in New York” (M) to disrupt Marion and Mingus’ tenuous relationship. AS well as a stellar acting career on both sides of the The film characterises American and French urban Atlantic, Julie Delpy has directed seven films. lifestyles and societal behaviours with Marion and In this one, Delpy, who also wrote the screenplay, Mingus as its core protagonists. Alas, their relationship plays Marion, an artist photographer living in a small, is hard to believe in or find comfortable. That inhibits New York apartment with Mingus (Chris Rock) a radio the film’s other elements in doing their principal task talkback host and writer of magazine articles. – convincing us of their credibility and comic validity. Marion’s French family is coming to visit – her sister This is regrettable. The two societies in Delpy’s film Rose (Alexia Landau), Rose’s partner Manu (Alex Nahon) deserve satirisation more than most. and Marion’s father Jeannot (Albert Delpy). At Capitol 6

SOME Canberra writers will be seething, for the monumental task undertaken by Irma Gold and her editorial team of eight in covering 100 years of writing emerging from the ACT region has inevitably meant the omission of many writers. And yet this tribute to the talent of Canberra (it is by no means “about” Canberra), is extraordinarily representative, a selection of verse and prose that looks back to Miles Franklin and C E W Bean and forward to contemporary writers such as Marion Halligan, Geoff Page, Jenni Martiniello and Jack Heath. “CityNews” columnist and author Robert Macklin is one of the 75 writers represented. Gold’s approach was to group works under the thematic headings “Looking Backwards, Looking Forwards” and “Looking In, Looking Out” while seeking, what Halligan calls, “writing that sings”. It has become a cliché to say that Canberra writing punches above its weight. Gold’s anthology adds weight to that reputation. With four delicate illustrations by Judy Horacek, it begins with prose that “sings” in historian C E W Bean’s “Anzac to Amiens”. Later, we encounter the provocative simplicity of “Counting in Sevens” by Judith Wright” and A D Hope’s “Meditation on a Bone”. That is just the beginning of a book most readers won’t read cover to cover, preferring to jump around names and titles. The clearly-marked edition makes that easy. I tackled the poetry first; others will go straight to the prose. And with writers as eloquent as John Foulcher, Francesca Rendle-Short, Sara Dowse, Rosemary Dobson, Bill Gammage, Suzanne Edgar, Blanche d’Alpuget, Ric Throssell, Kate Grenville, Manning Clark – these are a tiny sample – this anthology will be essential reading as we head for the Centenary of Canberra.

/ dining 

/ review

Good thing going on in Kingston

Bending the rules of farce

Wendy Johnson

theatre

reviews

“Improbable Fiction” By Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Corille Fraser Canberra Rep, at Theatre 3 until December 8. Reviewed by Len Power.

ME and Mrs Jones. It’s a soul song, written many moons ago, about an extramarital affair. And it’s the name of a warm, intriguing dining establishment gracing the corner of Kingston’s Giles and Kennedy Streets. Me and Mrs Jones swung open its fire-engine-red doors, complete with classy brass plates, last week. Unlike the lovers, I didn’t arrive at this corner café prompt on 6.30pm, but rather at 9am for breakfast. The morning menu isn’t “same old, same old”. Yes, you can get toast and muesli, but you can also fuel your body with a white bean cassoulet, speck lardons, and baked eggs ($19), smashing avo, Persian feta, soy linseed toast and poached egg ($16), or the delightfully presented tortilla ($16) – stuffed with fluffy scrambled eggs and served with roast corn, black beans and guacamole. My next visit was lunch (I’ll arrive one day at 6.30) when I fell in love with chilli and lime-dusted calamari, a super fresh dish with glass noodles, fresh micro-herbs, dainty pea sprouts and housemade nam jim. The health conscious will adore the bean and pistachio falafel ($18) and quinoa tabouli, with a dollop of beetroot pesto ($18). Another fave was the braised rabbit pappardelle – the baby capers, olives and rich tomato concasse flavours build as you work your way through.

Frozen yoghurt parfait, fresh stone fruit salad and pistachio crumble.

Me and Mrs Jones... a warm, intriguing dining establishment gracing the corner of Kingston’s Giles and Kennedy Streets.  Photos by Silas Brown Other lunch items include burgers ($17 to $20), with the vegetarian (chickpea and pistachio patty) and classic beef winners. Other mains are eye fillet and duck confit (both $36). Many gluten-free, vegetarian and dairy-free options are available. The pastry cabinet showcases the work of Canberra’s Tony Muscat. Mums and bubs relax through the day with cups of tea and coffee and something small to delight, like macaroons. Daniel McConnell, who worked at Sydney’s Quay Restaurant, heads the kitchen brigade. Front of house is gracious Simon Spence. Branding is by graphic designer Sophia Kochinos. The fitout at Me and Mrs Jones takes you back in time – perfect given Canberra’s Centenary. Every inch of this 1927 building tells a story. The private function area exposes original brickwork, complete with a crack zigzagging up one wall and bits of old newspaper articles uncovered. The strapping under the outside awning has been meticulously reproduced. Everything is custom made or carefully sourced. The floor is from a North Queensland barn and table tops made from Australian recycled hardwood. The exquisitely decorated tiles are from Europe, authentic caged light

Tortilla with scrambled eggs, roast corn, black beans and guacamole. fixtures from an old mine and the massive clock from a Czechoslovakian railway station (check out the time on both sides). Me and Mrs Jones has a thing going on – a good thing, indeed. Me and Mrs Jones, open seven days breakfast, lunch, dinner. Giles and Kennedy Streets, Kingston. Call 6162 3355.

Written by Alan Ayckbourn in 2005, this prolific British playwright’s play focuses on a dysfunctional writers’ group where none of the members seem to have much talent for writing – in fact, a couple of them don’t seem able to knuckle down and write anything at all. Well-meaning and mild-mannered Arnold convenes the meetings in his home, spending much of the time refereeing for the members of the group, who don’t much like each other. And that’s just the beginning; it’s a hilarious roller coaster ride, Ayckbourn-style. Director, Corille Fraser, has produced a fine production with an excellent ensemble cast, ably led by Jerry Hearn as Arnold. The enormous Tudor-style living room set, nicely designed by Wayne Shepherd, who also composed the original music, takes on a life of its own with ingenious changes as the plot thickens. The set is complemented by Miriam Miley Read’s fun costumes, moody lighting by Chris Ellyard and atmospheric sound effects by Michael Moloney. Watching the nimble and expert cast play out this jumble of deliberately bad writing – clichéd Victorian melodrama, futuristic science “friction”, incomprehensible Agatha Christie-style murder mystery and cheesy musical with an occasional instruction manual thrown in – is a delight from start to finish. The strength of Ayckbourn’s writing is displayed both in his finely drawn, only-toohuman characters and his ability to bend the rules of farce without breaking them.

Votes with musical count By Helen Musa

THE inaugural MusicACT Annual Music Awards (“the MAMAs”) are now open for public voting. Everyone’s invited to have their say about favourite Canberra musos who, MAMAs organisers are saying, have “battled hell and high water… slogging it out night after night after night”. The event manager, David Caffery, describes the MAMAs as “less a competition and more a celebration,” adding that there are four public vote categories – Artist of 2012, Youth Artist of 2012, Live Performer of 2012 and Live Venue of 2012. To vote, visit MusicACT.com.au then click on “finalists”. Peter Bayliss, from MusicACT, tells us that different judges chose the same finalists for Artist of 2012 and Live Performer of 2012. As well, the submissions of Readable Graffiti, Super Best Friends and The Aston Shuffle were rated the top three in both categories by

Mamas compere, Mikey Robins. different judges. Next, the organisers say, buy a ticket for the big “night of nights”, hosted by TV personality and comedian Mikey Robins, on Friday, December 7, in Albert Hall, full of music, dance and, of course, the presentations. Bookings to musicact.com.au/ mamas/tickets CityNews  November 22-28  27

garden

Making the most Cedric Bryant

RUN OFF

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gardening

AS the days warm, mulching is vital and now is the time to do some lateral thinking – or perhaps I should say horizontal thinking. Let’s consider ground cover plants as a “living mulch”, as opposed to organic mulches. Ground covers provide greenery and flowers and still keep the ground moist and reduce weeds. In addition, they are excellent for erosion control on sloping sites. For starters, Myoporum parvifolium is a dense ground cover with dark-green leaves and masses of small, white flowers. This is great for larger areas with a spread of at least 2m x 2m. Thymus serpyllum, or carpet thyme, ranges from white to pink or purple flowers, T. s. “Magic Carpet” is a perfect example. For a culinary thyme, I suggest Thymus “Westmoreland” or turkey thyme. All these can be grown in wonderful combinations with other ground covers such as Convolvulus mauritanicus “Moroccan Beauty”.

Carpet thyme used as an effective “living mulch”. IF you prefer variegated leaves, how about Euonymous fortunei “Gaiety”, with dark-green and cream-marbled leaves or E. f. “Emerald and Green” with rich, golden-yellow variegated leaves. Or Phylla nodiflora is a fastgrowing ground cover with white, daisy-like flowers from now through most of summer. I have used this for small areas as an alternate lawn. Check out the rich colours of

Scaevola “Mauve Clusters” or blue flowers of S. aemula “Summer Blues”. And not to forget Rosmarinus prostratus, which is useful for culinary purposes. Parahebe lyallii “Oxford Blue” flowers in winter and is evergreen through summer. I have listed only a few of many dozens of varieties of ground covers, but do consider them for small areas as an alternate mulch.

20% O FF

Bauble s Thurs 1 5 Nov til Sun 25 Dec

Register for GardenSmart and we’ll send a horticulturist to your home to help make your garden more sustainable and healthy. Advice on permaculture, plant selection and practical tips for saving water are included in the program.

Rece

ive a

*

$50 Reba

te

To register call 13 22 81 or visit actsmart.act.gov.au * Available only to ACT residential properties connected to ACTEW Corporation’s water supply network. See website for full program details. 28  CityNews  November 22-28

Indoor design heads out

It’s time to get cracking

• PLANT summer annuals such as petunias. They may take up to eight weeks from planting to full flower providing they are fed and watered regularly.

• PRUNE deciduous shrubs such as Kolkwitzia, Philadelphus and Deutzia once flowering is finished. Cut up to, but not more than, a third off the plants at any one time.

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The Canberra region’s largest range of locally-grown plants – grown on site for local conditions.

sts in Bink Cement Products • growers of drought and Spec frost iali resistant plants will this year celebrate tolerant 50 years of business in the Canb • BESSER BLOCKS • erra newand garden creations surroundin g regionand . We garden makeovers believe in sustainable business practices • SMALL • sustainable garden design which is why and advice & LARGE FORMAT PAVERS our raw materials are sourced locally and • STEP TREADS we manu facture solution • providing a value for money locally. Bink Cement has the ability to • CONCRETE CURBS supply all scale of Wed to Fri projects from large commercial to small Nursery open 9am to •5pm FENCE POSTS er residential. We 10am to 4pm Weekends. supply the building market, sand and soil • CHOKA BLOCKS yards as well as Burra 2620 • COMME South RCIALNSW -East NSW with our superiour products. 314 Plummers Rd, PROJECTS Interior design elements, such 17

• STRAWBERRIES can be affected by Botrytis • HANG pheromone traps in apple trees to cinerea or Grey Mould. Remove any affected monitor codling moth. These are available from plant parts or fruit immediately. Remove old most garden centres. leaves regularly to allow good airflow and avoid overhead watering, preferably using a drip ir• SOW basil and coriander every two to four rigation system. Pick ripe fruit daily or you may weeks for a continuous supply. lose it to snails. Use Multiguard Snail and Slug Killer, which contains no dangerous poisons, so • IF you have not already done so remove all it is safer to use around pets and native animals foliage from spring bulbs, a real harbour for such as blue-tongue lizards. snails.

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most relaxing deadheading jobs in the garden. Naturally, once the rhododendron gets very large, this is impractical. By this stage there are enough new branches to produce plenty of flowers each year. Azaleas, which are of the rhododendron family, should, at the same time, be given a light trim with garden shears. Incidentally, rhododendrons can be cut back or reduced in height quite dramatically. Many gardeners are afraid to cut back rhodos that are growing out of control for their allocated space. I have reduced rhodos in height from 3m tall down to 1.5m with the garden owners thinking I had lost the plot and ruined their special plant. And yet, within weeks, the new shoots start to appear on the bare stems.

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HOW do I deadhead rhododendrons? Why do I get fewer flowers in some years? The answer to both these questions is simple. If rhododendrons are not deadheaded once the plant has finished, flowering the old flower heads will develop into seeds with all the energy going into seed production at the expense of next year’s flowers. The first of the two accompanying photos shows a flower that has finished flowering. To deadhead, first hold the stem just behind the flower head with the index finger and thumb. With the other hand, gently snap off the old flower head as in picture two. In this picture you will notice the newly emerging buds. The time to do this is now and is one of the

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and after dead-heading.

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Rhododendron before dead-heading...

The trend for being able to enjoy our outdoor spaces regardless of the weather looks set to continue, with attractive outdoor rooms, containing more decorative design features such as weather-proof artwork, wall-hung plants or “green walls” and sturdy outdoor rugs, growing in popularity. “Outdoor living is no longer just having a drink or enjoying a meal around an outdoor table,” she says. “We’re seeing homeowners and renovators incorporate the design elements of their interiors outside.” People are choosing elements such as built-in seating, kitchens and bars, as well as freestanding outdoor tables in durable materials such as woodgrain-effect laminates for their outdoor room. “Offering the look of timber, but without the maintenance required to keep it looking its best, we have a range of mid-toned woodgrain-effect laminates to create outdoor tables, seating and a whole lot more for an alfresco area fit to entertain family and friends,” says Joanna.

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THE idea of the outdoor space as an extension of the home is more popular than ever, according to Laminex marketing manager, Joanna Baker, who says that the line between indoor and outdoor design is blurring.

• Metal & Poly tanks • Raised garden beds • Everything plumbing P • Brand new display room 7 HONE DA

Canberra building news edition 1 - 2011

of ‘living mulch’

hand picked traditional live

26 April Thoroughbred Park - Free Entry Come and enjoy the day, catch up with Jack and the boys and cheer on the Gungahlin Jets AFL Sprinters!

Christmas Trees

Email: binkmit@bigpond.net.au www.binkcement.com.au

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great selection of Norway, Korean and Blue Spruce

Wollemi Pine

from 40cm gift size to 2m native Christmas tree

real

Truffle Tree a gift for folks with acreage

Weston Park,

Yarralumla CityNews  November 22-28  29

17

home

Savannah One-Hand Smart Tongs, in red, are available nationally from leading independent kitchenware retailers at $24.95 each.

It’s kitchen inspiration By Kathryn Vukovljak

Clever tongs

These cool tongs won’t pinch hands and can be used on all food types, including slippery spaghetti and fiddly olives. Savannah’s One-Hand Smart Tongs are shaped and scalloped, can reach into the tightest corners of a pan, and one tip is like a spoon, so is ideal for basting whereas the other is slotted and perfect for serving and draining.

Cubed delights The Rice Cube is a nifty gadget for making bite-sized snacks and appetisers. Place together the two red parts to form a well, then fill with pre-prepared food and close the gadget to compress. Try using cheese, meat, potato, falafel, beans, polenta, chick peas, lentils, dumplings, risotto, brownies, fudge, biscuit bases or dried fruit.

Rice Cube, $19.95, is available from Robin’s Kitchen, House and independent kitchenware stores. Visit www.ricecube.net. The Woll Diamond Plus collection of dishwashersafe cookware is available nationally from leading independent kitchenware retailers, from $199 for a 20cm pan.

Can stand the heat The Woll range of Diamond Plus saucepans is an exciting new arrival as it is the world’s first and only high-heat, non-stick pan – and the surface is extremely hard-wearing. The Woll pan can also be used in the oven to temperatures of 450°C and features a convenient detachable handle.

The Smeg FAB10H retro Happy Bar, in red, black and cream, retails for $2990 and is available nationally from electrical retailers and specialist appliance stores. Go to www. smeg.com.au

Get happy 30  CityNews  November 22-28

The family of beautiful FAB retro fridges has a new addition – the FAB10 Happy Bar. It comes in red, black and cream and stands just 960mm high.

Vintage timepiece With the deep, circular casing reminiscent of vintage wall clocks, the Zeal retro-style clocks feature clear, black graphics on an antiquewhite face, with a pop of red in the second hand.

The Zeal Retro Wall clocks are available nationally from leading kitchenware retailers for $54.95.

CityNews  November 22-28  31


Canberra CityNews November 29