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Meet the Writers


Come along to the Tuggeranong Homestead on Sunday 29 July, 2-4 pm, to meet a group of Canberra biographers, historians, poets and novelists who will talk about their writing and publishing experiences and read short extracts from their work. A selection of the writers’ books will be on sale afterwards. Afternoon tea will be available at the Tuggeranong Homestead Kitchen until 4pm. All welcome, cover charge of $5 per person. Bookings and enquiries to Minders of Tuggeranong Homestead (MOTH) on 6231 5548.

Opening of Nature Trail


Walking down from Cooleman Trig
Cooleman Ridge Nature Trail is open again
Again you are invited to walk the trail of Cooleman Ridge, to see the wide views of the Western ranges from the track and the Canberra suburbs from Cooleman Trig.
Again the brochure boxes will be filled with a re-designed pamphlet telling you about the trees, the plants and the hills.
Again the Cooleman Ridge Nature Trail has been officially opened as it originally was opened in June 1996. This time Mick Gentleman, MLA officiated at the ceremony on June 16. The Nature Trail was originally established by the Cooleman Ridge Park Care Group in collaboration with Canberra Nature Park and Weston Creek Rotary Club.
Mr Gentleman described how the 2003 bushfire destroyed several of the landmarks. A number of posts used to mark features along the trail were damaged or destroyed. Information and notice boards needed to be replaced and part of the trail required re-alignment. The trail is 2.7 kilometres long and circles the northern end of Cooleman Ridge.
With the help of a generous ACT Environment Grant the Cooleman Ridge Parkcare Group and Canberra Nature Park have collaborated to make this occasion possible.
After the opening and refreshments an inaugural walk took place on that beautiful winter afternoon. We walked along the trail having the Nature Park to the left and a stunning mountain view to the right. Behind the Bullen Range the peaks of the Brindabella Range with Mount Corree defined the horizon. Further on we saw Mount Tennant named after one of our local bushrangers from close to two hundred years ago, John Tennent (sic). The peak of Cooleman Trig was climbed, a place where our famous radio show man Rod Quinn arrived at an earlier visit exclaiming “From here you can see the whole world!”. Well, Rod may have been exaggerating a bit but you can indeed see the most important of it, the glorious city of Canberra at your feet.
For the last stretch of the Nature Trail there is now an alternative to the steep and unpleasant vehicle road, instead following the footpath down through an area quite rich with plants, the pictures of which can be seen on the website of the Cooleman Ridge Park Care Group, http://www.coolemanridge.org
Gösta Lyngå

Illustration: Walking down from Cooleman Trig

Motorbike Video Classifieds


Motorcycle Video Classifieds
Are you considering, selling your motorcycle privately? Previous options with print only classifieds, are becoming less successfull and taking a lot longer to get a sale on their own. With costly submissions, longer running times required and less than satisfactory results in getting the best price possible.

One trend that is soon to take off in the United States, closely followed by other countries including Australia. Is video classifieds on the Internet. Imagine how much more information you could relay to people if your print advertisement could direct people to a personal webpage for your bike. Including text, digital photo’s and video files of your pride and joy you have for sale. That you can direct any potential buyers to.

Combining a local newspaper or magazine classified with reference to a link on-line, can help dramatically, with your final sale. You can either create the video/photo/text information of your motorcycle yourself or you could employ someone to do it for you, for under $100, depending on content.

The other option of course is to drop the price of your motorbike by a few hundred dollars, when you don’t get a quick sale.

A local classified is the best way to locate local buyers in your area. Additionally, when your bike is advertised on the Internet as well. You can reach interstate as well as international buyers coming to Australia from overseas. Looking for reliable, two wheel transport, already registered and roadworthy in Australia.

The choice is yours, so make it a good one!

Here is an example of one I have prepared earlier, for my silver Subaru 4WD that I presently have for sale. The same concept can be applied to anything that someone has for sale privately and costs very little to set up. I am mostly interested in doing work for motorcyclists at this stage, with a future interest in recreational aircraft and sailing boats as demand increases.

For further details please view www.citizenjourno.com.au
or contact me by phone when I am in Canberra: 02 6249 8945.

Not so slippery slide


A grate slide!
What a grate kiddies slide!

Calwell and Wanniassa Community Bank® Branches Continue Support for the Respite Care Client Holiday Scheme


Bendigo Bank behind community respite care
The Calwell and Wanniassa Community Bank® branches will this week continue to provide people with a disability a unique way to improve their quality of life. On Friday 22 June, presentations will be made to four clients of Respite Care ACT who have severe disabilities to enable them to enjoy a holiday outside the ACT with the paid assistance of their support workers.

Tuggeranong Valley Financial Services operates both branches and Chairman Matthew Coleman said that knowing there are people who live on a disability pension, receiving a high level of care, who rarely have the opportunity to go on a holiday but now can due to the Client Holiday Scheme, reinforces the importance of the Community Contribution grants that are provided by the Community Bank®.

“We are pleased to continue to support this worthy program and facilitate an additional four clients of Respite Care ACT to enjoy holidays with their paid carers this year,” Mr Coleman said.

Respite Care ACT is an independent, incorporated association that provides support to frail aged people, people with disabilities, people with mental health issues and their family carers.

Respite Care ACT Executive Director Paul Bartholomew said the first participant selected last year will be holidaying on the NSW South Coast and this will be their first holiday out of Canberra for more than 10 years.

Paul Bartholomew said “The funding that Respite Care ACT has received and will continue to receive from the Community Bank® over the next two years has been a major bonus for our clients who are selected to participate in this holiday program. In addition to receiving the basic support services they need just to be able to continue living at home, these people will now be able to enjoy a proper holiday that they could not possibly afford themselves. ”

Funding for Respite Care ACT of $15,000 over three years follows the Community Bank® branches’ $25,000 commitment to the George Gregan Foundation, and $4000 to a breakfast program for children.

“To date, we have returned more than $75,000 worth of profits to the local communities we serve. With the continued support of our customers, and any potential new customers, we can look forward to these contributions growing and continuing to help our region prosper,” Mr Coleman said.

For more information, please contact the Calwell Community Bank® Branch on (02) 62913385 or visit them in the Calwell Shopping Centre.

Or, to contact the Wanniassa Community Bank® Branch phone (02) 6231 9024 or visit them at the Wanniassa Shopping Centre.

No dual flush toilets! No way!


Is it time to dob in a building owner? Too many buildings in Canberra don’t have dual flush toilets. There are buildings that have hundreds of people working (and flushing) in them and not a single dual flush cistern in sight.

Should we be shaming those building owners/managers into some action? If you think we should, then reply by telling us all which buildings you know of that send litres of water down the loo unnecessarily.

Nature lovers receive Budget boost


The Government’s investment in the 2007-08 ACT Budget to improve access to Canberra’s nature reserves is great news for nature lovers in the region, Labor Member for Brindabella Karin MacDonald said.

$130,000 has been allocated to develop new walking tracks at both Mt Taylor and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

The new track on Mt Taylor will be built on its eastern face and will replace the closed Richmond Fellowship Walking Track.

“The existing track is very steep, highly eroded and unsafe for walkers. Past attempts to stabilise it have been unsuccessful due to its steepness and as a result the track has been closed and will now be rehabilitated to a natural state,” Ms MacDonald said.

The new track will follow a gentler grade in the same general location and will conform to best practise in terms of grade, surface and water diversion.

“The development of a new walking track will provide the community with better access to this wonderful natural resource,” Ms MacDonald said. “Many people climb the mountain each day and the new track will allow them to continue to do so in a safer, more enjoyable way.”

New walking tracks will also be built in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and a further $2.6 million over four years has been invested in the new Tidbinbilla Nature Discovery Centre.

The Centre, due to open in early 2008, will be a significant visitor and environmental education facility, delivering programs, wildlife collection management and more intensive land management at the site.

“The additional funding will help to provide a stronger educational emphasis on Indigenous history and cultural associations with the region,” Ms MacDonald said. “It will also support the development of a significant volunteer program to provide visitor interpretation and education in areas of natural science, animal husbandry and cultural history. This will provide a fabulous boost to ecotourism in the area.”

Budget Advances Status of Women


The 2007-08 ACT Budget has continued to deliver on the Government’s commitment to advance the status of women and girls in the ACT, Labor Member for Brindabella Karin MacDonald said.

As a group, ACT women are, in many ways, better off than women nationally. However, across both the social and economic spheres, many inequalities still exist between men and women in the ACT, and between different groups of women.

“The Government has recognised inequalities do still exist in our community and have addressed these through a variety of initiatives,” Ms MacDonald said.

To increase women’s representation and recognition within the community and to honour the first female Chief Police Officer in the ACT, Ms Audrey Fagan, the Audrey Fagan Foundation Scholarship program will be established.

The Scholarship provides $60,000 per annum and will be open to Canberra women in leadership positions working in law enforcement, care and protection, allied health areas or providing professional or social support in areas involving domestic violence or victim support.

As women are at a greater risk of experiencing poverty than men, economic security and access to opportunities are critical in supporting lifestyle choices and decision making. A grants program for women from Indigenous, culturally and linguistically diverse or low-income backgrounds will be established to support their return to work. Up to $1000 will be provided to women returning to the workforce after having a child.

“The Return to Work grants program gives eligible women the flexibility to prepare to return to work in a way that best suits their lifestyle,” Ms MacDonald said.

The initiatives announced in the Budget are linked to the six key themes of the ACT Women’s Plan:

. representation and wellbeing;
. good health and wellbeing;
. responsive housing;
. safe inclusive communities;
. economic security and opportunities; and
. flexible education and training.

“The Government has again made significant investments in health, education, housing and crime prevention services for the women of the ACT,” Ms MacDonald said. “Improving the status of women and girls is key to achieving our vision of the ACT as a strong, inclusive community, supporting opportunities for all.”

Record Investment in Health


Canberra’s health system received a significant boost in the 2007-08 Budget, with record levels of funding invested in a wide range of health services.

Funding increases will benefit a number of services, including the provision of critical care and acute beds, more support for aged care health services, improved access to elective surgery, better management of chronic disease, increasing mental health treatment capacity, providing more dental care to needy Canberrans and improving service and support systems for vulnerable children in our community.

“The ACT Government has invested more than $800 million into the Territory’s health system, which clearly shows its commitment to providing high quality, timely and accessible health care,” Labor Member for Brindabella Karin MacDonald said.

“Key areas of need in our community have been identified and these areas have been addressed. I am particularly pleased to note the increased funding for mental health services, neonatal intensive care services, cancer services and the Dental Health Program.”

Over the next four years $12.6 million will be spent on improving mental health services such as community-supported accommodation as alternatives to hospitalisation; enhanced access to community mental-health care; additional qualified and skilled staff; and greater inpatient capacity. More than $4 million has also been allocated for forward design work for a 40 bed adult Mental Health acute inpatient unit and a 15 bed secure Mental Health unit.

“Funding has been provided to increase the number of beds, surgeries and services in Canberra’s hospitals. This will help address demand and ensure that Canberrans with the greatest clinical need get rapid access to surgery and services,” Ms MacDonald said.

Almost $2 million was also provided to expand the Junction Youth Health Service in Civic and for improvements to youth health services in Tuggeranong, Belconnen and Gungahlin.

“Two new Youth Health Nurse Coordinators and two Youth Health workers will be employed and they will focus on identifying young people at risk and improving the health and wellbeing of all young people in target areas. This is great news for the youth of Tuggeranong and all of Canberra, as they will be better able to access the support and advice they may need,” Ms MacDonald concluded.

Ms MacDonald also welcomed the announcement that $29 million over two years would be spent on a new multi-storey car park at the Canberra Hospital.

Education Boost for Brindabella


Education has received a huge boost in the 2007-08 Budget, with record levels of funding and capital investment provided for every ACT public school.

From July 2006 to June 2011, more than $350 million will be invested in the infrastructure of ACT public schools, which will ensure that ACT students have access to consistently high-quality learning environments.

Tuggeranong students will benefit from a new, state of the art P-10 school, with an additional $50 million allocated in the Budget for the design and construction of the school. To be built on the site of the current Kambah High School, the new building will provide flexible, modern, high-quality and environmentally sustainable educational facilities to the Tuggeranong community.

“The new P-10 school will provide students and teachers with a high-quality learning environment,” Labor Member for Brindabella Karin MacDonald said, “It is another example of the Government’s commitment to giving all Canberrans the opportunity to have the best possible start in education.”

The preschool at the new school will be closely linked to the primary school to form an early childhood school integrated within the school complex and the Canberra Institute of Technology’s involvement with the new school will also be examined. It is expected to open in 2011.

Under the capital investment, significant improvements will also be made at a number of schools including Calwell High School and four new P-2 early childhood schools will be created at Isabella Plains, Narrabundah, Lyons and Southern Cross Primary School.

The Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector has also received a boost with an extra $6.2 million allocated over four years. “This funding will continue to ensure that VET remains strong in the ACT and the community is provided with the opportunity to undertake nationally recognised training courses.”

ACT Budget delivers for Brindabella


Labor Member for Brindabella Karin MacDonald MLA has welcomed the handing down of the 2007-2008 ACT Government Budget, stating it is a budget for the future that supports our growing city, community and economy in practical ways.

The Budget delivers an operating surplus of $103 million in 2007-2008 and provides funding for the second largest capital work and upgrade program since self-government.

“The 2007-08 Budget really is a budget for everyone. It puts in place a number of initiatives and programs that will be ongoing and benefit the community well into the future,” Ms MacDonald said.

“Many initiatives of the Budget will benefit all Canberrans, such as new education, health, environment and capital work programs, however there are a number of Brindabella specific funding allocations. Some of these include:

. $50 million in additional funding for the design and construction of a new P-10 school in Tuggeranong. To be built on the site of the current Kambah High School, the preschool will be closely linked to the primary school to form an early childhood school integrated within the school complex. The school will be constructed with a commitment to environmental sustainability and is expected to open in 2011. Canberra Institute of Technology’s involvement with the new school will also be examined.

. $4 million to upgrade the Lakeside Leisure Centre in Tuggeranong, with work to include retiling the 50-metre pool and the reconstruction of the heating/ventilation/air conditioning system and the roof/ceiling structure. The Centre will also be painted inside and out.

. $9.5 million to build the new Tharwa Bridge over the Murrumbidgee River at Tharwa. The bridge will be single-lane, with a bike and pedestrian lane and will provide safer access for residents and essential services such as fire and ambulance.

. $2.8 million to upgrade and improve playgrounds and parks across the Territory. The playground at Eddison Park in Woden will be expanded, a new exercise track will be built and the pond area will also receive a facelift. Playgrounds in Chifley, Wanniassa, Gowrie, Fadden Pines, and Gilmore will all be upgraded and work will also take place at the Kambah District Park and the Point Hut Pond District Park. Two Liberty swings, which enable people with a disability to experience the sensation of swinging, will also be installed in Tuggeranong and Gungahlin.

. $3.4 million to duplicate Athllon Drive from the Anketell Street south roundabout to connect with the existing duplication adjacent to the Australian Archives Repository. The project will also include the upgrade of the Athllon Drive and Barr Smith Avenue intersection and the Scollay Street, Pine Island Road and Estate Road intersection. These works will result in better traffic access for the proposed residential development in Bonython West.

. An additional $2.6 million over four years for the new Tidbinbilla Nature Discovery Centre. The 30-hectare Centre is expected to open in early 2008 and will provide unique outdoor and environmental education experiences for Canberrans and visitors. The funding will assist in the delivery of visitor and educational programs, wildlife collection management and more intensive land management. It will also help to provide a stronger educational emphasis on indigenous history and cultural associations with the region.

. $130,000 to develop walking trails at Mt Taylor and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. A new track will be built on Mt Taylor to replace the closed Richmond Fellowship Walking Track and will conform to best practise in terms of grade, surface and water diversion. New tracks will also be developed in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve.

. $300,000 to develop two recreation areas devoted to dogs and their owners in Tuggeranong and Belconnen. One ‘Dogs’ Park’ will be established at Lake Tuggeranong and another at Lake Ginninderra. The parks will provide the opportunity for dogs to socialise and exercise off-lead.

. More than $700,000 to maintain and upgrade several art facilities in Canberra including the Tuggeranong Arts Centre. The well-used facility will receive new signage and the floor will be resurfaced.

. $1.9 million to expand the Junction Youth Health Service in Civic and provide for better youth health services in Tuggeranong, Belconnen and Gungahlin.

. $50,000 to build a jetty on Lake Tuggeranong for Sailability ACT. Sailability ACT plays an important role in the community, particularly for community members who have a disability. Half their members have a disability and they provide these members with the opportunity to experience the excitement of sailing. The construction of a jetty will greatly assist members to access the boats and also reduce the stress and pressure placed on volunteers.

“The Government has identified the key areas of need in our community and has addressed these areas through significant capital work programs and upgrades and additional support programs and services,” Ms MacDonald said. “I am pleased that Brindabella has received significant funding in this year’s Budget and congratulate the Treasurer Jon Stanhope on his second Budget.”

Mediterranean World Music Workshops and Concert


Musician at work
Sat 16 June & Sun 17 June
Ainslie Arts Centre, Elouera St Braddon

Captain Corelli’s Songbook: vocal workshop with Parissa Bouas
Explore the captivating songs of the Greek Ionian Islands
Darrabuka Drumming: drumming workshop with Ilias Ellis
Try your hand at exotic rhythms from Greece, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt
Gypsy band music: clarinet & saxophone workshops with Linsey Pollak
Discover this exciting style of traditional Macedonian music
Music For Everyone presents a wonderful weekend of world music-making on 16 & 17 June, exploring the music of the Mediterranean. Three different workshops with outstanding visiting musicians offer opportunities for everyone to make music, in workshops for adults and youth on clarinet and saxophone, singing and drumming. This fun-filled weekend of music will be the first major community event to be held in the repaired and soon to be re-opened Ainslie Arts Centre, closed down by hail damage since the super-cell storm of 27 February.
Award winning singer PARISSA BOUAS from the band The Hottentots will visit Canberra to lead her latest vocal workshop “Captain Corelli’s Songbook”. Anyone who loves to sing will enjoy this journey through the traditional songs of the Greek Ionian Islands, sourced directly by Parissa from her visits to the islands that featured in the well known book and movie. These islands in the Ionian Sea have a secret – hundreds of years of Venetian rule left a musical legacy with a strong Italian influence not heard in other parts of Greece. Parissa will share these unique songs and her own family’s musical heritage for the first time in Australia at this workshop.
This vocal workshop is for adults and youth from 16 years, no previous experience necessary except a love of singing! The sessions will also include voice warm-ups and exercises – Parissa has many tools in her kit for developing and maintaining safe and strong singing, encouraging people to free their voice and express a range of sounds.
Renowned world music performer and workshop leader ILIAS ELLIS will lead an exciting weekend workshop in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean drumming. The Darrabuka Drumming workshop with Ilias is open to adults and youth from 12 years, with no previous experience required. There’s also a separate children’s workshop of fun drumming & percussion activities just for kids aged 7-11yrs.
The main drum used will be the darrabuka, the versatile and compact drum used throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and Music For Everyone will have drums available for hire at the workshop, or you can bring your own if you have one! This will be great workshop not only for beginners, but also for those with some drumming experience, from elementary to advanced, who are interested in the rhythms, styles and techniques of Middle Eastern drumming.
LINSEY POLLAK returns to Canberra for his special workshop in Gypsy Band music, for adults and youth who play saxophone or clarinet. Linsey is well known to Canberrans for his performances of his one man instrument-making shows at the Folk Festival, and his Gypsy Band Workshops have been a recent highlight of that festival and also at Womadelaide.
Participants in Linsey’s workshop will learn how to play and improvise in this exciting style of traditional music with one of Australia’s most creative musicians. This workshop is ideal for adults and youth who already play clarinet or sax, from an intermediate through to more advanced level, with no previous folk music or improvising experience required, although experienced folk musicians are welcome to join too. For people who already play in a band or just want to explore some really different and addictive music, Linsey’s workshop will be an inspirational experience.
At this three-workshop weekend, participants will also get the chance to combine and work on some special music together. The three workshops for singers, drummers and clarinet and saxophone players will culminate in a fun finale concert of Mediterranean music on Sunday 17 June at 4pm, with the first performance of music specially written by Linsey just for this event.
Bookings are essential for all workshops: visit www.mfe.org.au for details of session times, costs and booking form. And book by Monday 4 June for special earlybird discount prices.

Event summary follows

For all media inquiries and interviews, or more photos contact:
Vivienne Winther: director@mfe.org.au 6230 7190 / 6232 4082

Why the ACT government should install water tanks in every house.


Like water of a roof''s back
For more than 10 years we heard State Governments talking about water crisis and from time to time about water tanks. The response to the problem has been subsidies for water tanks, water usage restrictions and a lot of talk. Now we get more threats of worst restrictions, fines and looks like we’ll be drinking filtered sewarage water, that’s all we get. How much we have been offered in compansation to reduce our consumption of water and to let our lawns and gardens die? Nothing! At least of the Federal government proposal of $10b for the Murray Darling, $3.1b would go to pay irrigators.
Federal Labor policy of “loans” for home owners to improve the efficency of their homes, that includes water tanks, is limited to 200.000 dwellings, and who will be using these loans? Probably people that could have done the improvements anyway without any help; but most of the people struggling to pay their mortgages could not afford even the generous repayment plan and the zero interest loans, and finally not many landlords will bother to do it. Anyway, 200K dwellings out of millions of dwellings in the country, make this good will policy look like a band-aid.
Rudd said in his reply: “We must capture as much of this precious resource as possible and use it carefully and wisely”. If the roll out of water tanks to every suitable house in all the cities was started 10 years ago, by now it could have been completed and our water reserves would have been in a better shape and we would not be talking about water restrictions level 4 by July, and 5 or worse in the near future. Now we could have been talking about making every house a mini solar power station.
Of course if we had water tanks and solar power in every roof in the country, the water and power will cease to be attractive to privatization. I was reading with disbelief ACTEW’s add in the paper about the options for the solution of the water crisis and one of the options considered was rainwater tanks, but they said that “it is expensive and dependant on rainfall”!! and then continued: Rainwater tanks can store runoff from your roof for garden watering!! The idea is to use the water from the water tanks to service the toilet, laundry and shower, and then the gray water to be used in the garden. The reality is that rainwater tanks could get us more than 50%, and depending on rainfall, up to 80% or even more of our domestic needs.
ACTEW ACKNOWLEWDGE THAT THE COST TO PUT RAINWATER TANKS TO ALL ACT 110,000 dwellings is estimated to be between $300m and $540m. That’s not much considering that this could reduce dramatically the domestic demand for water, saving at the same time all the beautiful gardens. Just with the last rains we would have all the rain water tanks overflowing. Anyway it shouldn’t be about just cost, but about emergency and need. It’s just a common sense policy.
“Rainwater tanks collect and store water far more efficiently than dams, especially in times of drought. As the climate changes we should be installing tanks to take advantage of the rain that does fall on our roof tops.
If governments systematically installed rainwater tanks in Australia’s major cities, we would secure as much water as the planned Kurnell desalination plant in Sydney, the Tugan desalination plant on the Gold Coast, and the stage one of the Traveston Dam proposed for Queensland’s Mary River”

VC Connect


Register now for VC Connect!
Register today for VC Connect ACT – a dynamic conference that brings Australia’s leading Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs together!

VC Connect educates attendees on understanding the VC process, how to win VC backing and recognise the right VC firm to meet their needs, with plenty of time for networking.

Speakers include:
+ Bill Bartee, Managing Partner, Southern Cross Venture Partners
+ John Grimes, Managing Director & Founder, Perpetual Water
+ Ian Maxwell, Partner, Director & Founder, RPO
+ Nick McNaughton, CEO, Blue Cove Ventures
+ And many more!

Event Details
Date: Wednesday, 25 July, 2007
Time: 11.45am – 5.30pm (followed by drinks & networking)
Venue: The Federal Golf Club, Redhill, ACT

For more information & to register, visit: www.slatteryit.com.au/vcconnect2007 or call 1300 651 485.