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OLD NEWS Why retro is the new recycling

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Radio silence protest at streaming bill CANBERRANS who like to listen to the radio on their mobile devices and computers would have noticed the online streams that once carried the local stations now repeat just one unhappy news story over and over: they are no longer available. About 200 regional stations stopped playing online in recent months to avoid paying extra royalties demanded by the recorded music industry, backed up by a Federal Court ruling, on top of what the stations already pay to broadcast the exact same signals using radio waves, at the same time. Michael Jones, the general manager of 2CC and 2CA’s parent company Radio Canberra, says this goes against the system that’s been in place for decades. “It should be of no consequence… how big a station’s audience is,” says Jones, explaining that commercial stations have always paid a percentage of their gross revenue for copyright fees: over three per cent to songwriters via the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and up to one per cent to record companies and recording artists, through the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA). “So,” he explains, “ our revenue grows, their revenue grows.” Jones argues it shouldn’t matter what device listeners use to tune in. “People don’t care what the technology is,” he says. “They just want to have convenience. For somebody in the general

public, listening on their mobile phone or at their computer is no different to listening on a transistor radio or a home stereo system.” The general policy direction of government has been to support this “device neutrality”. Jones says the radio stations have been going along with that for the past 13 years, “...and now it’s turned on its head because of the greedy record companies”. It’s a fight that started in 2010, when the PPCA went to the Federal Court to dispute the commercial radio industry’s interpretation of a Ministerial Determination from 2000, a case they lost and then won on appeal in 2013, but it’s actually just one battle in a much longer war. For years, the PPCA has railed against the legislation that has capped copyright fees paid by commercial radio to one per cent of each station’s revenue since 1969, arguing their members have been shortchanged for decades. The PPCA says it just wants a “fair go” for the relatively small Australian recording industry and Australian recording artists who share the royalties, while Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) sees this as a convenient hard-luck story confected by an organisation that largely represents the interests of massive multinational corporations, keen to maximise

their own revenue. Jones says the intention behind the 2000 Determination of the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Richard Alston, was the opposite to the way the Federal Court ruled in 2013. “The [current] minister, Malcolm Turnbull, needs to reissue the Alston determination,” he says. “Otherwise what they have is the Federal Court overturning standing government policy. [The court’s ruling] wasn’t a decision saying that an online simulcast is not the same as the broadcast, it was a technicality on the wording [of the Alston determination].” Turnbull appears unlikely to budge, and in the meantime the PPCA has set up an interim payment scheme while they await a permanent system to be determined by the Copyright Tribunal a year from now. “Then, when they implement their final scheme, which is going to cost us a hell of a lot more, they will backdate that final scheme to January 31st, 2014,” says Jones, who believes “the minister has swallowed the record industry’s line on this issue”. “We need him to make a determination now. In the meantime, radio listeners suffer, artists suffer because they’re not

Canberra tops liveable list CANBERRA has been named the nation’s most liveable city and, for the first time, beaten Adelaide to the title, according to the Property Council of Australia’s results from the national survey, “My City: The People’s Verdict”. However, while Canberra’s liveability scored highest, respondents believe the ACT Government needs to do more to make housing affordable, supply infrastructure to keep up with demand and set a fair level of taxation when people buy or sell properties.

Radio Canberra GM Michael Jones… “It’s turned on its head because of the greedy record companies”. having their music promoted as well as they could, and record companies are going to suffer. We all suffer.” Canadian megastar Neil Young is quoted as saying that “radio’s the best promotion that [musicians have] got”. That’s true, according to Jones, “it’s just a shame they don’t see it”. “Why would they bite their nose off to spite their face? The more successful that radio is, whether it’s through broadcast, internet streaming or whatever, the more successful they will be. It’s not about them looking after poor, starving musicians, it’s about them lining their shareholders’ pockets.”

Refugee stories FOLLOWING its damning report on Manus Island Detention Centre, Amnesty International will provide the “inside story” on its refugee campaign at two public information sessions at the lower ground floor office, 33-35 Ainslie Place, Civic, 10.30am, on Saturday, March 8 and 6pm, Tuesday, March 11. Attendees will hear verbatim the words of interviewed detainees, the research into offshore processing as well as Amnesty’s six-month campaign culminating in a mass mobilisation on World Refugee Day, June 20.

Deb Carroll TRAVEL EXPO Movement Therapist.

index Arts & Entertainment Canberra Confidential Cinema Dining Garden Horoscope Letters News Politics Puzzles Socials

Canberra’s commercial radio stations have stopped streaming on the internet in protest at paying extra music royalties. STEPHEN EASTON reports


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Cover: Retro is the new recycling. Story Page 4. Photo by Gary Schafer. The 1959 Holden FC provided by Librarian Chic.

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CityNews March 6-12, 2014  3

Women’s health at every life stage: What ACT women should know! The ANU Commons Function Centre (Cnr Kingsley and Rimmer streets)

local health and support services. * Men are welcome to attend. The expo includes information specifically for men about the women in their lives.

Schedule 12.45pm Welcome 1.00pm The Teens: Under Construction 1.30 pm 20s and 30s: Start young to remain healthy 2.00pm 40s and 50s: Dealing with a busy life 2.30pm 60s +: Maintaining your health as you age Browse the expo all afternoon

4  CityNews March 6-12, 2014

Retro is the new recycling Everything old is new again as retro shoppers reuse and recycle, reports LAURA EDWARDS.

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cover story

RETRO has had a “resurgence” in Canberra, says antique dealer Irina McKillop. For more than 20 years, McKillop has been collecting furniture and jewellery dating back to the 1950s for her Kaleen-based antique and collectables store, Ritzy Bits, and says business is booming more than ever. “A big part of the thinking behind retro shoppers is reuse and recycle – they’ll say, ‘why should we go and spend more resources on new furniture, for example, when a unique, old piece of furniture can be rejuvenated?’” she says. In March, local vintage junkies will get their fix at Retro Depot in Kingston’s Old Bus Depot Markets, where McKillop will be one of at least 160 stallholders. It’s a fitting location for the event, given the 1940s-era depot has recently had a resurgence of its own, with $2m spent on renovations. Market director Diane Hinds says the Retro Depot, now in its second year, is set to be a “rum-

mager’s dream” for everything from vintage fashion and accessories, upcycled furniture and homewares. “Last year we had over 10,000 people pass through the doors, and we are expecting a continuing interest in all things retro,” she says. “People might find a Fler sofa or a George Nelson clock. It’s all about taking you back to your favourite era and bringing some delicious retro vibes back into your life.” McKillop says people often get “more bang for their buck” purchasing retro pieces. “Particularly in furniture – the sturdy, hand-crafted pieces from a post-war era just can’t compare to the fragile, plastic furniture of today,” she says. “Furniture designed 50 years ago was made to last – they used better quality materials with better construction methods.” Self-confessed “mid-century mad” Geordie Ferguson, who owns a local upholstery business, will be selling restored and mid-century furniture

Models Brittany Bell, left, and Mikayla Thomas pictured at the Old Bus Depot Markets. Photo here and front cover, by Gary Schafer. Hair and make-up by Sara Vartuli, of Hair Flair, Dickson. at the depot as well as classic bikes dating back to the 1960s. He says Canberrans have a keen eye for nostalgia-infused goods. “I think it’s the simplicity of that time that really appeals to people – in particular, new bikes today are all very aggres-

sive and dynamic – so there’s almost a romance about the older styles… they’ve become the bikes everyone wants to take to cafes,” he says. Retro Depot, Sunday, March 16, 10am-4pm. Entry is free. More information at

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St Shane of the imaginary animals

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LAST week in Canberra was a corker for all of our imaginary animals; the imaginary pigs in the pig farms that don’t actually exist and the imaginary chooks in the chook farms that don’t exist were celebrating loudly. That was when our sole Greens MLA, Shane Rattenbury, improved the lives of those animals, which don’t exist, by thrusting animal cruelty laws through our Legislative Assembly. He managed to ban the use of sow 5:00 pmstalls in pig farms in the ACT and the Shane Rattenbury use of battery cages in the farming of eggs. The problem is, we don’t actually have any pig farms or battery egg farms. This has as much effect on animal welfare as the carbon tax will have on global temperatures, bugger all! This Bill was so important to Ratters that it formed a part of his agreement to become a minister in the three-ring circus on London Circuit. At the same time that Shane was touting these new laws a great triumph, Alistair Coe, the boy wonder from the evil conservatives, was suggesting that this was nothing more than Greens grandstanding and that the laws were redundant. Does Alistair not have a heart? No compassion for the make-believe pigs of the ACT? Clearly not. Now that this legislative milestone is behind us, I’m pondering what my friend Mr Rattenbury could turn his attention to next.

It´s about time we confront the cruel trade in unicorn horns. I gather that whaling has already been banned in the ACT, which is just as well considering the number of people who want to harpoon the Skywhale. It’s about time we confront the cruel trade in unicorn horns, which authorities have ignored for decades, and Canberra will be a better place if we can run the unicorn horn hunters out of town. And what about the working conditions of Santa’s elves? Has anyone ever sighted a workplace agreement from the toy factory? Are the elves having sufficient meal breaks? Since the disbanding of the CTMU (Christmas Toy Makers Union) after that unfortunate incident involving the misuse of Santa’s sleigh, the elves have been backed into an industrial corner. We wait to hear more from the Greens. Mark Parton is the breakfast announcer on 2CC.


CANBERRA Cats, the local supporters group for AFL team the Geelong Cats, invites visitors to watch the team on the big screen at the Woden Southern Cross Club throughout the coming season. The first three matches are against Adelaide, Thursday, March 20, 7.10pm; against Brisbane, Sunday, March 30, 1.10pm and against West Coast, Saturday, April 12, 7.40pm. Email to receive the weekly newsletter.

… and Tigers THE Capital Tigers, the official Richmond Supporters Group, is welcoming back members and inviting any supporters of the “Yellow and Black” to join them. The group gathers at the Hellenic Club in the City on match days to watch the games on the big screen and will meet there for the round one match against the Gold Coast, 6.40pm, on Saturday, March 15. Membership forms and details at

Cuban fundraiser THE local Australia-Cuba Friendship Society is promising “authentic Irish, Curtinish, Mexican and Cuban food and drinks at gentle prices” during its fundraing event at St James Uniting Church Hall, Curtin, 6.30pm, on Saturday, March 29. Brian Hungerford and Marcos Cruz introduce Irish and Latin American singers, musicians and dancers. There will be poetry and narration in English and Spanish. Entry is $20, children under 15 are free. More information at 6282 4747 or email brilu@ au

Help Lifeline LIFELINE will be the beneficiary of the Rotary Club of Woden’s trivia night at Yarralumla Uniting Church, corner of Kintore and Denman Streets, 7.30pm, on Saturday, April 5. Tables of up to eight are available Cost is $20. Bookings or more information to or contact

Free health forum THE Women’s Centre for Health Matters, the ACT Women’s Health Service and the ACT Health Directorate are hosting a free information forum to provide practical advice about what women need to know about at each life stage to maintain good health and wellbeing, at 12.30pm-3pm, on Saturday, March 15. There will also be an expo with local health and support services providing information on physical and emotional health and wellbeing, sexual health and having a baby. The forum will be held at the ANU Commons Function Centre, Acton. Registrations to or 6290 2166.

Manuka Dental Care welcomes Dr Pegah Noorizadeh Dr Pegah Noorizadeh has joined our dedicated team at Manuka Dental Care. Pegah was a pharmacist, before she graduated with honours from Uni of Sydney in 2006. She has practised in private dental practices and has provided training in implant dentistry at the post graduate level.

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Fight for facts of the front line AUSTRALIA is not at war. Therefore, Lt-Gen Angus Campbell’s treatment by Senator Stephen Conroy is part and parcel of robust democratic process. Estimates committees of parliaments are notorious for giving public servants a hard time. These committees might be frightening, but they are a key element of ensuring accountability. Just because someone wears a uniform does not mean they can dodge political bullets. The general is a public servant implementing the will of the government. As such his actions, within the context of ministerial responsibility, are appropriately subject to close scrutiny by the parliamentary process. He is not alone among senior public servants in taking on a politically charged role. When the conservatives used parliament to feign outrage and indignation in their attack on him as one after another they demanded an apology, they had an entirely different purpose. In politics, as in the military, the old adage applies – the best form of defence is attack. By launching this attack on Conroy the Abbott frontbench was able to drop a smoke grenade to create a diversion from the conflict-of-interest shenanigans enveloping Assistant Minister for Health, Senator Fiona Nash, and the cloud in which her chief of staff, Alastair Furnival, resigned. If she had even a modicum of sense of fair play, Bronwyn Bishop ought to have been comprehensively squirming in her Speaker’s chair. As a Senator from NSW, she built a reputation as one of the most vicious estimates committee attack dogs in the early 1990s when she mercilessly launched attack after attack on the then Commissioner for Taxation, Trevor Boucher. Like Lt-Gen Campbell, Boucher was doing the bidding of the government. For Campbell, it is stopping the boats. For Boucher, at the behest of the government, it was investigating questionable taxation avoidance by big business, politicians and others. The remark by Conroy that the general was “involved in a cover up” pales into insignificance when compared to ruthless and callous attacks on the then Commissioner for Taxation.


Just because someone wears a uniform does not mean they can dodge political bullets. The argument that military tactics should not be exposed to scrutiny is no different from investigations undertaken by the taxation office. There is no real reason why Operation Sovereign Borders should be considered secret military business any more than the peacekeeping operations that the military has so successfully carried out, for example, in the Solomon Islands. Hard questioning is not an excuse for personal attacks on public servants. Senator Conroy’s suggestion of the general’s complicity in a cover up is not difficult to understand. It is hardly unusual when the heat is turned up in these sort of hearings. However, his willingness to withdraw the comment indicates that even he recognised he crossed the line. Military leadership is tough. So is politics. However, even when it gets uncomfortable our political system cannot retreat from the ideals of accountability, openness and transparency. Michael Moore was an independent member of the ACT Legislative Assembly (1989 to 2001) and was minister for health. He was a commissioned officer in the Army Reserve (CMF) in the 1970s.

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opinion / mum in the city


From nowhere to ‘nomophobia’

Give tribunal the boot!

I’M not a tech person. Electronic devices have never been my forte and, for more than a decade, a total lack of commitment to my mobile phone has been a bone of contention among my friends. Time and time again, they would call but there would be no answer. My phone would ring out, or it wouldn’t be switched on, or the battery was flat. My friends would text, but I’d reply days or weeks later when I finally switched my phone on or managed to get the thing working. I’ve never really got into texting. I hate trying to type on tiny keyboards. I don’t like surfing the net with a small screen because I can never see things properly. It’s a great idea to have a builtin camera. But I never could manage to get the camera part of the phone working in time to take a good photo. On the rare occasion that I did get a decent picture, I seemed always to lose or accidentally delete it. I would try to keep my phone on and be available for calls, but

I can actually use the touch screen keypad without trouble and I don’t have to squint to read text. each new model seemed to get smaller and smaller. Consequently, I could never find my phone, it always ended up buried at the bottom of my large and over-packed handbag. Even if, by some miracle, the phone was charged and switched on, and I could hear the ring above the hubbub of family life, I’d never manage to find it before the call was long gone. However, things have changed. I now have a new phone, or rather a “phablet” – half phone, half tablet. Mobile phone design has turned full circle. My new phone is big, nearly as big as the clunky mobiles of more than 20 years ago. But this is a good thing. It’s big enough that I can find it in my bag. I can actually use the touch screen keypad without trouble and I don’t have to squint to read text.

And to call it a phone doesn’t really do it justice. It has everything. I can surf the web, read email and work documents without any trouble. It has a calendar that organises me. I’ve finally got all my contacts listed in the memory. It stores and streams all my music at the touch of a button. When I text, it practically writes the text for me. Sometimes I just go with what the auto text suggests. If I don’t want to type, I can use voice activation. I can take and share pictures without any trouble. It’s got great timewasting games to play. And, at long last, I’m actually contactable. Yep, I love my new phone. But with all this comes a new form of anxiety. I’m now

totally dependent on it. I can’t live without it. I have a panic attack if I accidently leave it at home. I’ve found there’s even a diagnostic term for this condition – nomophobia, short for “no-mobile-phone-phobia” or the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. As my 11-year-old and very tech-savvy son says: “Welcome to the 21st century, mum.”

Open government? THE ACT Government has a target of 90 per cent renewable energy by 2020. To generate this from locally installed solar farms would require about 38 times the currently approved capacity. The concerns of Uriarra residents about a large scale solar farm across the road would become the concerns of almost every ACT resident. Virtually all available space will be needed for these large scale industrial sites. Consultation with residents is not part of the plan. Please contact Government members and demand that the impact on communities be considered before plans are completed. What happened to open government? Siobhan Reid, via email

Goodbye ‘latterati’


What’s wrong with this picture? Tax, of course IT is 2014 and Canberra is embarking on its next century with population set to soar, targets set for inner-city growth and affordable and sustainable housing, and a light rail system planned to link new suburbs to the city centre. What’s wrong with this picture? Despite these strategies, development taxes, fees and charges will continue to stifle investment and that old, hoary chestnut, the lease variation charge, remains a significant tax on redevelopment. Contrary to the Territory’s positive policy to increase urban density, the LVC

Catherine Carter property

almost forces new development into greenfield subdivisions or on to vacant residential sites in established suburbs. This is not the stuff of development folklore – rather, the facts show that in the first year following the introduction of the tax, the number of development applications processed in the ACT fell by 56 per cent as projects were delayed or abandoned. In its current form, the LVC could effectively

put an end to urban infill and adaptive reuse of old commercial buildings in Canberra. The same is true of commence and complete fees. Initially introduced as a disincentive to “land banking” of residential blocks, these fees have been extended to cover commercial, mixed use and multi-unit sites. In the current economic climate, some owners have no choice but to “weather the storm” as they wait for new tenants or bank finance. The fees – which in some cases can be hundreds of thousands or even

IT is time the ACT Remuneration Tribunal was disbanded, preferably before it grants yet more pay and allowance increases to members of the Legislative Assembly. The Tribunal’s membership comprises Anne Cahill Lambert, Dr Colin Adrian and James Smythe, all from highly-paid executive backgrounds. There are no members from the lower/ medium income sector or representatives from the large charity organisations or disadvantaged groups. So, no wonder the tribunal’s determinations almost always produce salary and entitlement gains that are orders of magnitude above the norm or indexes such as the CPI and AWE. And to make things worse, its determinations cannot be disallowed by the Assembly and its decisions invariably flow through, not just to the proposed increase in members of the Assembly, but to judges, magistrates, statutory officers, public service executives and members of various tribunals, boards and committees. The ACT cannot afford such largesse from a body funded by our tax dollars. Ric Hingee, Duffy

millions of dollars – unreasonably penalise these owners, jeopardising Canberra businesses and the future of our construction industry. The Government’s soon-to-bereleased “stimulus package” has the potential to resolve the obvious and unnecessary barriers to positive investment in Canberra, freeing industry to once again respond to the needs of our community and to set a new standard for future innovative urban development. Catherine Carter is ACT executive director of the Property Council of Australia.

ROBERT “The Gadfly” Macklin surely didn’t realise it, but when he excoriated (he thought) our PM Tony Abbott, quoting him as saying, re his boxing bout, “I just attacked. I never stopped. I just attacked and attacked until I’d worn him down and beaten him… until I won,” he was actually praising what most Aussies think of the true Anzac spirit, that indomitable will to keep on fighting, to never surrender until the battle is won. We’ve had too many politically correct “latterati politicians” who ignored the plight of rural Australians, the people who put our food on our tables, in favour of a privileged minority. “I’m appalled,” wails Robert, “by our relations with Indonesia and China” – well, mate, as an Asian-born Australian, let me enlighten you, we’re on pretty sound territory with both these neighbours. The Indonesians know all about “shadow theatre” diplomacy, the Chinese couldn’t be happier with the prospect of a “Flying Pandaroo” in coming days. I urge Robert to stop blustering and recognise reality before it hits him over the head. Christina Faulk, Swinger Hill

Fringe benefits? JORIAN Gardner should book Merkel and Netanyahu for next year’s Fringe Festival, or has that already been thought of? “Pierre the Lair”, via email

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Canberra Confidential Welcome to the obesogenic world

Going lovingly to the dogs

“NEVER in mankind’s history has it been so difficult to keep healthy and fit,” bemoans Olympian and local hero Rob de Castella. He says the new word to explain the junk food, sedentary world in which we now live is called an “obesogenic” environment. Deek has been doing biffo with childhood obesity for 15 years through his health promotion charity, SmartStart for Kids, and is looking for adults who beat the bulge to help others by telling their story. “These Health Heroes might have tips, suggestions and ideas that many of the experts might never have thought of,” Deek says. Call him at 6260 5750 or email

WE must be getting soft, but a book landed in the office called “Beautiful Old Dogs – a loving tribute to our senior best friends” (Pan Macmillan) and, despite a guffaw at the title, its essays from a group of distinguished writers about the dogs in their lives has had us snuffling. But the real stars are the tender photographs of senior mutts by Garry Gross, a New York fashion snapper who, after becoming a successful dog trainer, turned his lens to “dogs with soul in their eyes”.

Under the bridge HERE’s a piece of public art that would melt the heart of any graffiti hater, well, maybe. Spotted by CC’s becycled upper north shore snout, this enormous flash of artistic skill is to be seen under the Ginninderra Drive Bridge, over Lake Ginninderra. It’s a gigantic caricature of the TV newsman character, Ron Burgundy, of the “Anchorman” comedy movies.

Moore or less IT was a joke, right? The Australian War Memorial’s media flack puts out an alert headed “Official war artist views works one Moore time” to draw attention to 99-year-old Alan Moore, one of only two remaining World War II official artists and the only Australian official war artist working in Germany to directly capture scenes of the Holocaust, being invited to view an exhibition of his work before it closed last week.

Count on us!

Bob’s big bike ride

THE phone hasn’t been ringing, but we’re fessing up, anyway. Last edition, reporter Stephen Easton wrote that scientists reckon there are likely tens of millions of insect species in the world, made up of somewhere around a “quintillion individual six-legged beasts. That’s 1 with 19 zeroes after it”. Oh, no it’s not! Mortified, he lurched from sleep the other night, having subconsciously deduced that a quintillion is a million, million, million, that’s 1 with 18 zeros after it.

LOCAL archaeological photographer Bob Miller is going for a bike ride on Saturday, March 22 but won’t be home till late May. The retired lecturer from the University of Canberra is dedicating his cycle ride from Perth to Sydney, then back to Canberra to raising funds and awareness for BridgeWorks, a charity working to prevent exploitation of children and youth of the Hill Tribe people in Thailand. Bob, 60, leaves Hillarys Beach in WA for Bondi Beach, where he is expected

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12  CityNews March 6-12, 2014

Know something? /

57 days later on May 17. Then on to Canberra for a hero’s welcome at Gorman House Markets on Saturday, May 24. Bob Miller More information at or

Hmmms WITH the ACT beset with difficult employment conditions, the Chamber of Commerce has just thoughtfully held a “Difficult Conversations” workshop for the bosses. THE Incredible Shrinking City Spinner David Pembroke’s weight loss challenge marches relentlessly on. The Content Group’s big banana is getting smaller with eight kilograms of his 31.5-kilo target lost and 23.5 to go by August 9. Former “Canberra Times” editor Mark Baker, who left Fairfax Media late last year, has been appointed the 43-year-old Melbourne Press Club’s first CEO. He has been its president for the past three years. THEY thoughtfully left the house lights half on for ‘60s band, “The Searchers”, at The Auditorium, Erindale, the other night, doubtless to give security clear access to break up any fights among the capacity sexagenarian crowd. SURPRISINGLY, more than half of the membership of the Australian Monarchist League is under the age of 40 and, the league says, “our young members, in particular, are all looking forward with great enthusiasm and excitement towards the [Royal] visit.” Really? FROM the Old Jokes Home: “Sex at 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope” – George Burns.

scene / around canberra

invite us /

At ‘Safe Passage’ opening, ANCA Gallery, Dickson

At ‘Priscilla: 20th Anniversary’, Film and Sound Archive

Amelia Zaraftis, Karen Cromwell, Jacqueline Bradley and Hanna Hoyne

David Sequeira, Dr Carolyn Smith and Ben O’Reilly Wendy Hare, Carol Walker, Robyn Burgin and Rosemary Dupont

Kay Whitney, Gary Smith and A-M Turner

Ruth Robinson and Pam Nicolson

Sarah Rice and Stuart McMahon

Cherylynn Holmes and Annika Harding

Kit Scally and Julie Finch-Scally

Carmel McCrow and Liz Coats

Neil Doody and Amanda Biggs

Nicky Dickson and Julie Bradley

Nina Frykberg, Janet Berenyi and Denise Cardew-Hall

Michael Loebenstein and Rebel Penfold-Russell

Saskia Morris and Georgia Brook

Jody and Richard Taplin with Paula Jones




Drew Sheldrick and Toby Seymour



CityNews March 6-12, 2014  13

scene / around canberra At Insurance Industry Dinner, QT Canberra

At Future Leaders Committee, wine night, Arboretum

Rikki Dunbar, Coralie Young, Nick Tyson and James Brosnan

Sally McGuinness, Brendan Cockerill and Jacquelyn Curtis

Dimple Grewar with Matt and Renee Creech

Donna Winterbone with Rob and Rima Sawkins

Raechel Fowler, Lauren White and Jema Chick

Carmen Fras, Craig Moorfoot, Deborah Hall and Jeanine Fras

Jarrod Bowditch, Kelly Nield and Dan Crowley

Fergus McGhie and William Bruce

Mitchell Herrett, David Franklin and Stephen Heppenstall

Elizabeth Lee, Mark Everingham and Leonie Small

Chris Perry, Max Cullen, Navin Lal and Mateusz Jakubaszek

Emma Molloy and Helen Carvosso

Jill Brajkovic, Megan Andrew and Michelle Bernie


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scene / around canberra At ‘Garden of the East’ launch, National Gallery

Faith in their Future enriched by a Spirited Learning Community



4.30 - 7.00PM


We invite you to experience the exciting range of study options and activities THURSDAY available at St Clare’s.

Annabelle Strang and Anna Bull



Hester Gascoigne with Robert and Rosalyn Deane


The Principal, Staff and Students will outline the features of St Clare’s.

Sharina and Andy Smith

Rosie Wagner and Laura Kemp



Michael Baldwin and Maurits De Graeff

At the Horticultural Society’s Autumn Flower Show


Find out about the many courses and leadership opportunities available for senior students at St Clare’s.

T: 02 6260 9400 F: 02 6239 6015 Robert Mercer and Elwin Notley

Darien Poore, Cedric Bryant and Merylyn Condon

1 McMillan Crescent Griffith ACT 2603


Shane Reid and Eric Wu

Jo and Elise McMillan with Deborah Guster

John Le Mesurier and Tony Davis

At Business After Business soiree, National Press Club

Susan Denman and Debra Beerworth

Kathy Kostyrko, Merylin Newman and Zoe Carroll


Steph Norton and Sheree Kahlefeldt

16  CityNews March 6-12, 2014

Lachlan Abbott and David Franklin

Sidney Newman and Leonie Greenwood

Catholic Schools Week / advertising feature

Week to raise awareness CATHOLIC Schools Week is about raising awareness and celebrating the strength and distinctiveness of Catholic schools. This year the week will be held from March 9 to March 15 and will involve Catholic primary and secondary schools across NSW and the ACT. The week is about strengthening relationships between everyone

Environmment of confidence STUDENTS at St Clare’s College learn how to be confident, articulate and influential through their involvement in a community of empowered and self-assured young women. The Catholic school has a proud history of academic, cultural and sporting success, and offers plenty of opportunities to lead. “The girls have the potential to be considered as a pastoral care captain, be on the Student Representative Council, the captain of one of the 26 St Clare’s sports teams, a house captain or take on one of the five senior leadership roles,” says principal Paul Carroll. Inspired by Jesus and the example set by St Clare, the school cultivates an environment of acceptance, forgiveness and reconciliation, a sense of hope for the future, and generosity and compassion through charity work for the less fortunate. “The girls-only environment provides the opportunity to build their confidence without socially imposed barriers to hold them back,” Mr Carroll says. “The expectations are clearer for them in a college that has students from year 7 to 12 all growing, learning and working together for their mutual benefit and the benefit of society generally.” St Clare’s College, 1 McMillan Crescent, Griffith. Information nights: Thursday, May 1, 4.30pm-7.30pm; Tuesday, May 6, 6pm-7.30pm (year 7); Tuesday, May 13, 6pm-7.30pm (year 11). Call 6260 9400 or go to

Celebrating MacKillop’s mission DURING Catholic Schools Week, St Mary MacKillop College will celebrate its mission to be a school for students from different faith, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds, from the most academically gifted to those who need extra assistance to be their best. School captain Claudia Holland says students like the diversity and “the fact that you can be yourself” at McKillop. “Mary MacKillop dedicated her life to educating all kinds of students – those on the margins, indigenous students, and people from many different cultural and religious backgrounds – and her work continues at our school,” Claudia says.

who has a stake in Catholic schools – students, staff, families, priests, parishioners, and members of the wider community – by showcasing what happens in the schools everyday. In this special feature, “CityNews” discovers what some of the best Catholic schools in the ACT have to offer. Her fellow school captain Reece Inkpen has enjoyed the wide range of opportunities available to students. “When I started in Year 7 I discovered that I could play sport, be on the SRC, be in variety nights and musicals, choose from a range of languages, meet so many new people, and enjoy a wide range of teachers and classes,” says Reece. “I know a lot of schools offer similar things, but it’s the welcoming environment and the school’s genuine desire to be a Catholic school for all that I love about this place.” Saint Mary MacKillop College, Mackinnon Street, Wanniassa (Years 7-9) and Ellerston Avenue, Isabella Plains (years 10-12). Information nights: Monday, May 5, 6.30pm at Wanniassa (year 7) and Wednesday, May 14, 6pm at Isabella Plains (year 11). Open day Friday, May 9 for year 6 students. Call 6209 0100 or go to

Positive and happy school ST MICHAEL’S Primary School, in Kaleen, is staffed by highly trained professionals, committed to providing the best of Catholic education with a strong partnership between home and school. Principal Judy Walsh says St Michael’s is committed to providing a high quality, well-rounded education based on the values of Jesus, with a particular focus on literacy and numeracy. “St Michael’s is an exciting, challenging and happy school, which lives out our values through a schoolwide behaviour program based on positive affirmation and reinforcement,” Mrs Walsh says. The school’s spacious and well-kept grounds feature extensive and varied playing spaces, and its sequential K-6 curriculum is enquiry-based, comprehensive, progressive and in line with the Australian Curriculum. St Michael’s also makes good use of information and communication technology, with networked computers, interactive whiteboards, laptops and iPads for teachers and students. St Michael’s Primary School, Tyrrell Circuit Kaleen. Open Days: Tuesday, May 6 and Wednesday, May 14 with guided tours at 10am, 2pm and 5.30pm. Call 6241 4022 or go to

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INFORMATION EVENING Tuesday 13 May 6.00pm-7.15pm Enrolment forms will be available.

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INFORMATION EVENING Thursday 15 May 6.00pm-7.15pm Senior Information Handbooks will be available.

Visit our website at or contact Ms Trish Ryan, the Enrolment Officer on 6243 4102 The Merici College Restaurant will be open. Lunch: 12.30-2pm, Dinner 4.30pm-7pm. Bookings preferred, telephone 6243 4100.

CityNews March 6-12, 2014  17

Right now in


there’s a whole lot of fun to be had. The run around looking for childcare is driving us all mad. But there’s a solution. With more than 200 places available in Goulburn, you and your child are in the driver’s seat. And all just a short drive to Canberra. But it’s the feeling you will have on Friday afternoons that will seal the deal. The anticipation of all the open spaces to play in.

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arts & entertainment Prince of the chorus line

Wendy Johnson Heavenly, exotic and vibrant

You Are Here and so are they Helen Musa arts editor

Baritone Sitiveni Talei… “I’m always the friend, the uncle or the baddie.”

By Helen Musa

IF you think your career is taking a while to get into full swing, spare a thought for rising baritone Sitiveni Talei. He’s the imposing Fijian-born, ANU School of Music graduate who’s won a swag of singing awards, including the famed Marianne Mathy scholarship, named after June Bronhill’s teacher. But he’s an opera singer, and that means it takes years before he’ll come into his maturity, and he’s only 31. As well, when you’re a baritone, you pretty well never get the girl – “I’m always the friend, the uncle or the baddie,” he says. But there’s good news. Talei will soon play the principal role of Prince Yamadori in Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s next extravaganza, “Madame Butterfly”, starring Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura. Yamadori, suitor to the tragic heroine Cio Cio San, is admittedly only a small part, but a prominent one. The Nagasaki prince, Talei explains, has other wives, but wants the ravishing “Butterfly” as his number one wife after the unthinking American sailor, Pinkerton, deserts her.

Yamadori offers her a way out, but she says “no”. It’s a tragedy, after all. “My main role in the opera is to show her love of Pinkerton is overriding,” he says. It’s a step up for the imposing Talei, who studied at St Francis Xavier High, Orana, Canberra Grammar and the School of Music. He’s already been with the WA Opera chorus for seven years, occasionally getting top roles such as Ford in “Falstaff” and Zurga in “The Pearl Fishers”. Then came the offer of a place in Opera Australia’s chorus in Sydney, and – as his ANU voice teacher Angela Giblin once said – “if any of you can get into the full-time chorus, you’ve succeeded in this industry”. Yamadori is something of a break from the demanding work that can see him doing seven choruses a week. “Imagine, some people do it every week for 40 years,” he says. “Who knows? I might still get a major role… in the end, it’s up to the powers that be.”

THE You Are Here Festival is now about to run for the fourth time, but its organisers can’t help billing it as “one of the pre-eminent experimental and emerging arts festivals in the Australian arts calendar”. Artspeak aside, it’s an annual cultural bunfight involving young musos, theatricals, hoofers and visual arts whizzkids of all kinds. At a launch last week in one of the CBD venues, Smith’s Alternative, members of the curatorial collective spoke of “urgent, much-needed improvements” to the event that would, among other things, include a clever renaming of the former ANZ building The Money Bin on Petrie Plaza to become the event’s new hub for 2014. A Mr B. from “The Benevolent Ministry of Art” ( assured those present that “every single performer is approved and every event is safe for normal

Mr B. from “The Benevolent Ministry of Art”... shouted down by the “true artists”. people” before being shouted down by the “true artists” in the crowd – a sure sign the big event would be anything but what the hecklers called “McDeadly.” Among the more normal features of the launch were thanks to Robyn Archer and the Centenary of Canberra team for having given the

festival a boost, to Canberra CBD for allowing the use of vacant shop fronts and to places such as Gorman House, Ainslie Arts Centre, Canberra Museum and Gallery and Smith’s itself, which would become the main hub for touring and local theatre. The festival, which sees 120 events running for 11 days from March 13-23, we hear, would feature “fantastic artists with fantastic concepts.” CMAG director Shane Breynard smiled on benevolently as the curators talked up the planned arty sleepover at the gallery on the night of March 15. Other important arts community events include a continuation of NewActon’s “Art, Not Apart” day, also on March 15 and the indy publication fair at Gorman House on March 23. “You Are Here” is a co-curatorial affair that features no fewer than five producers – Delatovic, Sarah Kaur, Vanessa Wright, Andrew Galan, and writer and producer Adelaide Rief – as well as a formidable team of managers in operations, technical and design. “You Are Here”, Canberra CBD, March 13-23, program at

Opera on Sydney Harbour, Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquarie’s Point, March 21-April 12, bookings to buytickets/book_tickets

Alive with the sound of music Helen Musa arts in the city

ANOTHER impending extravaganza is “The Empire Strips Back – a Star Wars Burlesque Parody”, which takes the characters from “Star Wars” and “drops them” into the world of burlesque. Canberra Theatre Centre, Friday, March 14, bookings to canberratheatrecentre. or 6275 2700. SUPA Productions is taking no chances either, promising “comedy, drama and horror” with “The Witches of Eastwick”, at the ANU Arts Centre from March 14-29. Bookings to 6257 1950 or Productions/WE14/Performances NEWCASTLE upon Tyne actor and playwright, Luke Taylor, has won the 2014 “Stella” award, named in London after the late Canberra theatre identity, Stella Wilkie. The play shows a desperate mother trying to reach her past through her son’s future and of it, Taylor says: “We are all in drag, in one way or another, it’s just that not everyone chooses a feather boa.”

Free Rain Theatre’s “Forbidden Broadway”... guess who the characters are. RISING young Canberra pianist, Andrew Rumsey, plans to get by with a little help from his friends, James Huntingford on piano, Matt Withers and Ciaran Edwards-McKeown on guitar and Maddie Anderson (voice) as he inaugurates the “Rumsey & Friends” concert series at Wesley Music Centre, 7.30pm-9.30pm on March 15. Bookings to trybooking. com/EJOU CANBERRA Potters Society is looking for a vibrant director to help them become a vibrant arts hub. If that’s you, visit au/c_director_position.html THAT indefatigable entrepreneur

and DJ, Frank Madrid, is at it again, with his Puravida Roadshow joining The Street Theatre and The Embassy of Colombia to showcase “hip-shaking, carnival-punk”, with Colombian musicians such as La Chiva Gantiva and Frente Cumbiero. Street 1, 6.30pm, March 11, bookings to 6247 1223 or



‘TIS the season for musical entertainment in Canberra, and it all starts with a laugh with Free Rain Theatre’s satirical revue, “Forbidden Broadway”, at The Q until March 22. Bookings to 6285 6290 or


WEEREEWA – a Festival of Lake George is going political, with ABC presenter Chris Uhlmann and journo Steve Lewis hosting a literary dinner at Café Wood Works in Bungendore on Sunday, March 9. As well as being very funny, they’ll be giving a sneak preview of their next book. Bookings essential to 6238 1688. CityNews March 6-12, 2014  19

arts & entertainment


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A main course of fine rice flour strings, which are squeezed through a cane mat with steamed beef and mild curry.

Heavenly, exotic and so vibrant THE world is such a small place. Wendy Johnson With food, this means easy access dining to incredible produce and methods have originated in Turkey or Persia, but it now of cooking – from every corner of has an international presence and you simply the earth. cannot count the number of ways it is

10-12 APRIL 2014

‘Feel the Beat’ winners

THE lucky winners of double passes to the Enlighten Festival’s “Feel the Beat” performance at Questacon on March 8 are: Elisa Trevarthen, of Karabar; Teresa Tu, of Belconnen and Tara McIntosh, Isabella Plains.

On the menu at Camellia is Sri Lankan cuisine with its heavenly aromas, exotic spices and vibrant colours. The name comes from “Camellia sinensis”, a superb tea species grown in the rich soil of the Sri Lankan mountains. Opened in Manuka towards the end of last year, the restaurant is located where Saffron used to be, next to the cinema (Saffron needed a larger home and is now on Kennedy Street, Kingston). It is an intimate space, with crisp white tablecloths adding a touch of class, and excellent service that, on our visit, included a warm hello from the chef who came out to see how our meals were. Entrees include thin crepes with aromatic fish potato filling ($14.90), a sensational sweet chilli baby octopus with young garlic beans and toffee almond ($15.90) and an intriguing prawn onion and sweet pineapple curry with housemade roti bread served warm ($16.90). Vegetarians are well cared for at Camellia and gluten-free meals can easily be prepared. For mains you cannot go wrong with traditional Biriyani – long grain rice cooked with spices and tender lamb curry that comes with cooked egg, mint coconut sambol, crispy pappadam and a cool, yoghurt cucumber salad ($27.90). This dish is said to

prepared, including by chefs who hold secret recipes near and dear to their hearts. This version was mighty fine. My mild beef curry, another traditional dish, was super tasty but I found the meat disappointingly tough and wished it had been slow cooked for much longer. You can order the dish with fish or chicken if you prefer and can no doubt ask the chef at Camellia to ramp up the intensity of the curry. The Basmati rice was light and fluffy. If you are not enamoured with more fulsome curry flavours, Camellia serves up dishes such as pan-grilled salmon with wild lime chili ginger glaze ($27.90) and a grilled striploin with creamy cracked pepper sauce ($32.90). Sri Lankan tradition carries through to the desserts with steamed treacle spice cake on the menu and Watalappan, a famous custard made with rich, condensed milk, and spices such as cardamom, nutmeg and cloves. Love chocolate? My bet is the dark truffle cake with berry compote is super decadent (all desserts $9.90). Camellia offers banquet menus and is open for lunch. The restaurant is licensed, although the selection is not extensive or super interesting from my point of view. Camellia. Shop 8, Capitol Theatre Centre, Franklin Street, Manuka. Call 6295 2756.

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Bookings phone 6255 6965 • 2 Watson Place, Watson 20  CityNews March 6-12, 2014

cinema Flight of the fanciful thriller JAUME Collet-Saura’s film tries hard to get its technical bits correct in telling this rather fanciful thriller-actionairline message movie. Message? Well, it doesn’t emerge until few opportunities remain to examine the tensions and mysteries of a plot about a London-bound airliner on board which undercover and armed US Air Marshall Bill (Liam Neeson) is seeking out the passenger who has threatened to kill somebody on the aircraft every 20 minutes if $US150 million hasn’t been paid into a numbered account. The screenplay by John Richardson is his debut feature after a career editing TV. “Non-stop” has the texture of a telemovie, which would have been the better place to release it. You can’t win ‘em all. Richardson keeps us in suspense for 90 per cent of the film, offering a selection of motives for the threat. The back stories of the key characters are unconvincing. Julianne Moore, an actress capable of much more than merely the passenger sitting next to Bill, gets second billing right after Neeson. Her function in the plot is to become an unwilling helper in scrutinising the TV screens covering every seat in the cabin to identify anybody who looks suspicious! And the message? It canvasses an in-flight situation arising from human frailty rather than evil. Blink twice and you’ll miss it. By then, ”Non-stop” will have so exhausted your credulity that you will yearn for the A330 aircraft to land, life-threatening wounds and all. At Hoyts, Capitol 6, Dendy and Limelight

“The Wind Rises” (PG) HAYAO Miyazaki’s animated films generally combine innocence, romance, fantasy, tension and palpable affection for his audience. Australia has seen “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Arrietty” (both of which he wrote and produced). A running time of 127 minutes doesn’t diminish the satisfaction of his perceptive portrait of Jiro Horikoshi. Nor does it open the scars left by Horikoshi’s greatest achievement, designing the Zero fighter aircraft that served Japan so well until late in World War II. Acknowledging but not aggrandising the military achievements of the Zero, Miyazaki’s film portrays a man whose defective eyesight prevented him from achieving his childhood ambition to become an aviator. He settled for the next best thing, leading aircraft design into the all-metal era. It depicts Japanese middle-class lifestyle in the interbellum years little different from ours. It tells of the love between Jiro and Nahoko, who met after a major earthquake and moved apart until after he graduated, by which time Nahoko was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The film’s dream sequences about the influence of Italian aircraft designer Caproni on Jiro’s professional development offer some wonderful fantasy images of early attempts to develop aviation beyond its military role. The rest is direct narrative affectionately told using sub-titles. At Dendy

puzzles page Joanne Madeline Moore

General knowledge crossword No. 444

your week in the stars / March 10-16, 2014

ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20) An impasse on the home front gets a nudge mid-week. Jupiter has switched gears and you accelerate towards a long-awaited goal. Regaining the upper hand has a transforming effect on your disposition. Buoyancy returns and inspiration bubbles back up to the surface. Having someone to yourself for the first time in weeks is icing on the romantic or relationship cake.

TAURUS (Apr 21 – May 20) Soul-searching comes easily. You reflect on mistakes of the past and ponder what can be done differently. Sentimental solar forces work in your favour and give you a newfound sense of self. You get credit for compassion shown towards others, and demonstrate composure in the face of adversity. Even the most mundane acts of kindness shine a spotlight on your personality.




LEO (July 23 – Aug 22) Your world pulsates with pent-up energy. Mars suggests you release it through physical activity, while Mercury prefers a talk-fest. Either way, a much-needed respite comes later in the week. Leos are in the final phase of a journey of self-discovery and your more assertive self will soon re-emerge. Someone in your close circle makes the switch from detractor to die-hard fan.

VIRGO (Aug 23 – Sept 22) You are firm but fair. While others change their tune you stick to the same song book and steer situations in the right direction. What began as a partnership is likely to end with you in total control. Meanwhile, Mars marking time in the material zone compels you to curb spending and start saving. Your challenge this week is to find happiness in life’s simple pleasures.

LIBRA (Sept 23 – Oct 23) Keeping the faith is your biggest test of character. Persistence pays off eventually but in the meantime, self-belief sustains you. Stubborn stars see you taking one step forward and two back, gaining wisdom along the way. Your learning curve has been steep recently but you are now more mature and empathetic. Repay acts of kindness to balance the karmic scales.

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CANCER (June 22 – July 22) You excel at platonic relationships but shy away from intimacy. Friends are less emotionally demanding, while loved ones grow needier by the day. Venus chills the air and the closer you come to people, the faster resentment against them grows. Your maxim this week comes from Cancerian writer George Sand: “Admiration and familiarity are strangers”.



GEMINI (May 21 – June 21) Mainstream issues are your bread and butter. Hip stars in the learning sector keep you abreast of pop culture and the latest high-tech devices. You communicate through the ether rather than face-to-face and glean information the same way. Your opinions are certain to chop and change but an authoritative air gives you credibility. Gullible types will lap it up.


Solution next week



4  Who created the comic strip “Ginger Meggs”, James ...? 7  One who travels, especially on foot, is said to be a what? 8  What, in cricket, is a call to the umpire for a decision? 9  Which epithet of respect is applied to a minister of religion, etc? 11 What do we call one who practises religious austerities? 13 One from another country is considered to be what? 15 What are spiders, ticks, centipedes known as? 17 Which term describes a person who lives apart from society? 20 Name the large seawaves caused by underground earthquakes. 23 Which horse won the 1946 Melbourne Cup? 24 What describes a prolonged blood feud? 25 What is a period of ten years?

1 Name another term for destiny. 2  To have lost vigour is to have become what? 3 Name the southernmost of the Great Lakes. 4  Which nails have their heads projecting on one side only? 5 Name the son of one’s sister, or brother. 6 What is a dull yellowish brown colour? 9  Name an Australian tennis player, and US Open champion 1997, 1998, Patrick ...? 10 Name another term for governesses. 12 What is an official enumeration, etc, of inhabitants? 14 What is the liquid part of blood called? 16 Which glassy substance is used as a coating? 18 Name a musical composition intended mainly for practice. 19 What is another term for a rung of a ladder, chair, etc? 21 What do we call the bone from the elbow to the wrist on the side opposite to the thumb? 22 To have enthusiasm for something is to be what, to it?

Sudoku medium No. 122

SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 21) The art of compromise comes with practice. You are put to the test having to meet people half way and sacrifice some of your own needs. Doing deals with the devil is a step too far but making allowances for an adversary is doable. Your popularity is high in social circles but muted with family members. Focus your energy on mending fences by any means.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22 – Dec 21) You are ambivalent about resolving a personal problem. First you want to fulfil a long-held dream, and then allow destiny to take its course. Friends and family continue to enable you, but their patience is probably wearing thin. An innate tendency to avoid unpleasantness means choices are often made on your behalf. The trade-off is loss of control over your future.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 19) All-inclusive stars demand equal treatment for everyone. Hence, you stop judging people on status and adjudicate instead on character. Capricorn has an inbuilt sense of right and wrong, but aloofness often masks your goodness. Take more time to listen, learn and love selflessly. Children’s author A.A. Milne (born January 18) astutely said: “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them”.

Solution next week

Daily astrology updates at Copyright Joanne Madeline Moore 2014

Crossword No. 443




Sudoku hard No.121

Solutions from last edition

PISCES (Feb 19 – Mar 20) You gladly trade refuge for freedom. Sun in your sign catapults you out of a rut and into more exciting territory. You achieve independence in the context of close relationships through open communication. To keep loved ones in the loop, you express heartfelt needs and desires out loud. Your well-rehearsed lines help squeeze every drop of sympathy from a receptive audience.

ANDREA rang to say her tax refund had been reduced because of the health fund rebate and was a bit confused. “There are a number of new measures in relation to healthfund offsets and medical expenses which apply from 1 July 2012,” I told her. “These clearly affect you. “For the first time, in 2013 health-fund rebates have been means tested based on what is known as your ‘income for surcharge purposes’, so the 30 per cent rebate no longer applies to everyone. “Income for surcharge purposes is your taxable income plus reportable fringe benefits, total net investment losses and reportable superannuation contributions. “As you are under 65 and have no dependants, if your joint income for surcharge purposes is between $168,001 and $194,000 then the rebate is reduced to 20 per cent. If it is between $194,001 and $260,000, then it is reduced to 10 per cent and if it exceeds $260,001 there is no rebate. “It appears that you did not advise the health fund that your incomes would exceed the threshold and they continued to give you a 30 per cent reduction in your premiums. “As your joint income for surcharge purposes is $212,000, your premium reduction should have been at the 10 per cent rate. “Lodging your income tax return is the mechanism for the Government to be repaid the amount that was given to you to which you are not entitled under the legislation.” Clearly underwhelmed by this unhappy news, Andrea wanted to know why her health fund hadn’t reduced the amount it was giving her. “They might have sent you a letter and you may not have realised the significance of it,” I reassured her. “Certainly, it is hard to calculate your income for surcharge purposes. Not only that, but the figures are indexed in 2014 and your salary will go up so it is not clear which tier you will be in. “Therefore, I suggest that you do not claim any premium reduction from the health fund and you will receive it back through the tax system at the end of the year.” Andrea agreed to take that advice and then asked me to outline the changes to medical expenses rebates. “Firstly if your joint ‘adjusted taxable income’ exceeds $168,000, then your medical expenses offset is calculated at a different rate using a different threshold,” I advised her. “Also, adjusted taxable income is not the same as income for surcharge purposes, so it is a little confusing.” “In your case the threshold for net medical expenses is $5000 and not $2120, and the rebate is paid at the rate of 10 per cent not 20 per cent as it was formerly. “In addition, if you did not make a claim in 2013 then you lose your right to claim the medical expense offset in the future. So it is really important that you make a claim in 2013.” If you have any questions on any tax-related matter, contact the friendly team at Gail Freeman & Co Pty Ltd.

AQUARIUS (Jan 20 – Feb 18) You continue to ride a wave of change. Venus, the planet of friendship, helps you form new alliances with supportive people. Self-imposed seclusion gives way to a satisfying social life and amusing entertainment. Witty one-liners make you laugh and sentiment worms its way into your heart. The only negative this week is a propensity for over-indulgence.

Health rebate gets some tax surgery

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w w w. g a i l f re e m a n . co m . a u Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter @gailfreemantax CityNews March 6-12, 2014  21


Canberra’s online nursery

The joy of perennial favourites

n plants and Quality Canberra grow to your door. ed er liv de garden goodies

THE soft ground from the wonderful (and so welcome) recent rain makes it an ideal time to dig and divide perennials.


As opposed to annuals and biennials, perennials will last for many years. Some are evergreen and others will die down after flowering and re-emerge the following season. Perennials are one of the most useful groups of plants for any garden, for several very good reasons. Many, such as Campanula persicifolia “Telham Beauty”, illustrated here, flower for an extended period. This is one of a large group of Campanula commonly known as “Canterbury Bells”. Ours started flowering in mid spring and, despite all the extreme heat, are flowering still. From now and over the next couple of months perennials should be dug up and divided. Normally, just one perennial grown for a couple of seasons when dug and divided will give you at least 10 extra plants. When dividing, I suggest you replant the largest of the group back into its original position. All these extra plants are ideal for filling in gaps in the garden beds. I always replant in groups of threes, fives or sevens for a more effective display providing bold groups of colour. If you do not have room for these extra plants, simply pot them up in a premium potting mix for your next school or church fete plant stall. Once potted, keep them watered and apply Maxicrop Seaweed Plant Nutrient every few weeks to promote extra root growth. Another plus is that most perennials produce an abundance of seed. To collect the seed when the flowers are almost finished, place a brown paper bag over the flowers and tie round the stalk. Do not use a plastic bag as the condensation inside will rot the seeds. You may think the paper bag will fall apart in rain, this is not the case. When you can hear the seeds rattle in the bag, simply cut the flower stalk. Do not forget to write the name of the plant on the bag. Once again, scatter the seeds in your garden or give to the plant stall. Another group of perennials are the Alstroemerias pictured here. They come in a wide selection of colours. I planted one from a pot and, within one season, it has spread by half a metre.

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22  CityNews March 6-12, 2014

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The stunning ground cover Alstroemeria “Princess Zsa Zsa” This is a great low-growing, long-flowering plant with the flowers lasting well as a cut flower. This is a favourite sold in flower shops. During the recent heatwave, ours suffered and looked pretty awful. So I cut them to ground level with not a leaf to be seen. Now, three weeks later, the leaves have regrown and they have flowered again for autumn. They look just as effective in a container or a hanging garden, if you only have a balcony. Now is a good time to select a range of autumn flower perennials from your local garden centre and plant out. You can then enjoy the flowers over autumn and into winter. By next autumn they will be ready to divide. Let me give you an example, a few years ago our then 10-year-old granddaughter and I dug up a range of perennials from our garden for fund raising. I was doing the digging and keeping the barrow full of potting mix. Rebecca was doing the actual dividing and potting. In several hours, over two weekends, we potted up 1080 perennials! The only cost being the plastic pots and potting mix. At the end of the day, you could not see where we had taken them from in the garden. What a bonus for filling in gaps in your own garden or for the plant stall.


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The long-flowering Campanula “Telham Beauty” Other autumn perennials now in flower in garden centres include Anemone hupehensis or Japanese wind flower, Chrysanthemums, Asters or Michaelmas daisies, Sedum “Autumn Joy” and Salvias of every colour. Jottings… This week my advice is to simply get out into the garden and start dividing perennials once they have finished flowering.

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MARCH 9 2014















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140306 citynews  

IT’S 2014 and, as the world lurches technologically forward, 200 Australian commercial radio stations – including all of Canberra’s – have s...