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High-level team to implement housing plan


12 April 2007


Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has announced the establishment of a high-level team to implement the Government’s Affordable Housing Action Plan.

The team will be headed by the outgoing Executive Director of the Master Builders’ Association, David Dawes, and will be staffed by personnel with skills in project management, land supply and planning.

“Last week I announced the appointment of Mr Dawes as a Deputy Chief Executive in Chief Minister’s Department to head the implementation team to drive the reforms and initiatives flowing from the Affordable Housing Action Plan,” Mr Stanhope said today.

“The plan contains more than 60 broad-ranging recommendations relating to all areas of housing, and Mr Dawes’ wide experience in the building industry, his contacts, business knowledge and strategic skills will aid the smooth and timely implementation of the plan. The Government will report publicly on progress with implementation and keep the community informed as initiatives come on line.”

The Chief Minister said the Government, through the implementation team, would:

. review the residential land release targets annually within the life of the Strategy to ensure they continued to reflect projected demand;

. report on progress with implementation and status of the pipeline twice a year;

. review compliance with the pipeline strategy annually to determine whether there was an adverse effect on the balance of supply and demand;

. monitor the market to ensure sufficient diversity of product. Monitoring in the first instance will focus on key milestones such as the trial englobo release, progress with the development of Molonglo and the outcomes of the Demonstration Housing Project; and

. monitor the development of other shared equity models under consideration for the broader community to test their suitability for the ACT.

Statement Ends
Media Contact: Penelope Layland 6205 9777 0438 289 714 penelope.layland@act.gov.au
Paul Kindermann 6205 1690 0403 600 955 paul.kindermann@act.gov.au

Set Theory (Canberra) by Janet DeBoos


Craft ACT Accredited Professional Member Janet DeBoos will present an installation where members of the public are invited to rearrange her work to create their own interpretation of the ‘set’. Each ‘set’ will be documented and at the close of the exhibition, sets selected by the artist from the documentation will be formally exhibited for one day.

Thursday 10 – Sunday 13 May

Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre
Level 1, North Building, 180 London Circuit, CIVIC
Open: Tue-Fri 10am-4pm and Sat-Sun 12noon-4pm
T (02) 6262 9333

PUBLIC DEBATE – The Art of Winning: does culture require a sexy sports marketing make over?


What does 104.7FM Radio’s ‘The Ball Boy’, Tim ‘Tireless’ Gavel of ABC Radio Sport’s Canberra and Carrie Graf Head Coach of the Canberra TransACT Capitals have in common? They all face off with feisty Deb Clark editor of Art Monthly, Dr Craig Bremner, Director School of Design and Architecture University of Canberra and Senator Kate Lundy Senator for the ACT and Shadow Minister for Sport and Recreation, in a battle of epic proportion. Join host Alex Sloan, radio journalist with 666 ABC Canberra, as the rivals in the funding stakes, Arts and Sports do battle over the perception that sport is more popular and arts is always the runner up.

Friday 4 May at 6pm – 8pm
Australian Institute of Sport Theatrette / Leverrier Crescent BRUCE
Tickets available at the door: $20.00 / $10.00 concession and Members of Craft ACT
Contact Craft ACT for bookings (02) 6262 9333



Megan Bottari, Post Modern Tokenism (detail), 2007, lost wax, cast crystal. Photo: Craft ACT
A week-long exhibition event questioning the pesky nature of Canberra’s political identity. Featuring a continuous turnover of ephemeral installations artists will present work that ponders the question of Canberran identity, and showcase craftily honed artistic statements of an unapologetically political nature.

Wednesday 2 – Wednesday 9 May
Craft ACT: Craft and Design Gallery, Lvl 1, North Building, 180 London Circuit CIVIC
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am – 4pm and Saturday – Sunday 12noon – 4pm

And then to get the political juices flowing the Lunchtime Soapbox forum will be an event to mark in your calendar. Running 3, 4, 7 and 8 May in the gallery at Craft ACT, exhibiting artists will lather up and expound extempore upon their work, for the further gratification and entertainment of Craft ACT Gallery visitors.

Thursday 3, Friday 4, Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 May at 12noon
Craft ACT: Craft and Design Gallery, Lvl 1, North Building, 180 London Circuit CIVIC

Designing a Capital: Crafting a City


In the lead up to Canberra’s centenary celebration in 2013, Craft ACT: Craft and Design Centre announces the launch of Designing a Capital: Crafting a City, a compact annual program of events developed to probe and expose Canberra’s identity.

Events include exhibitions and installations, a public debate, conversations with local artists, professional practice seminars and a bingo extravaganza. Kicking off in May, the events run from 2 – 13 May.

For further information contact Diana on (02) 6262 9333 or diana.hare@craftact.org.au

Canberra International Chamber Music Festival


The T''and Quartet from Singapore, performing on Friday and Sunday at the Canberra International Chamber Music Festival
The Canberra International Chamber Music Festivals continues to Sunday night (13 May). There are special after-work concerts at 6pm on Thursday and Friday evenings, with concerts and special events for children and young people throughout the weekend.

There’s even an Autumn Promenade – a free concert at the National Gallery of Australia from 11am to 2pm on Sunday. For details, please visit www.cicmf.org.

Gungahlin records a warm, dry April.


Gungahlin''s unofficial weather Guru - Darren Giles
The WORD on the Weather .
by Darren Giles
Gungahlin Weather Centre

Gungahlin records a warm, dry April.

Weather conditions across Gungahlin during April were generally warm, partly cloudy and dry.

Nights were cool, with an average minimum of 8.3 degrees; well up on the average of 5.2 degrees recorded during April 2006. The warmest night for the month occurred on April 4, when the temperature was a mild 12.5 degrees, while on April 26, it dropped to a colder 4.3 degrees.

Days were generally warm and partly cloudy, with an average maximum of 21.7 degrees; up on the 18.3 degrees recorded last April. The highest temperature for the month was a warm 25.8 degrees, on April 3, while on April 27 cloudy skies and drizzle combined to keep Gungahlin’s maximum temperature to just 15.9 degrees.

Winds at the Weather Centre averaged at just 1.9 km/h during April, with the strongest gust for the month 38.6 km/h from the NW, recorded on April 29.

After some promising signs towards the end of March, Gungahlin recorded just 29.7mm of rain during April, over 6 days. The majority of this total falling in the final days of the month. In fact, no rain fell in Gungahlin for the first 21 days of April. Proving just how dry it has been over the past few years, the 29.7mm recorded made it the wettest April in Gungahlin since 2000.
Falls in other parts of Canberra were similar, with 27.6mm recorded at Canberra AP, 34.0mm at Tuggeranong and 38.2mm at nearby Tidbinbilla. Gungahlin’s total rainfall so far in 2007 stands at 113.3mm, down slightly on the 129.6mm that fell over the same period last year.

Around Canberra – April 2007

Gungahlin: ave min: 8.3; ave max: 21.7; low temp:4.3; high temp: 25.8; rain: 29.7mm.

Canberra AP: ave min: 7.8; ave max: 22.1; low temp: 3.6; high temp: 26.5; rain:27.6mm.

Tuggeranong: ave min: 7.6; ave max: 22.0; low temp: 2.9; high temp: 27.4; rain: 34.0mm.

Tidbinbilla: ave min: 7.0; ave max: 21.1; low temp: 4.5; high temp: 26.5; rain: 38.2mm.

Canberra’s May outlook: Current indications are for warmer than normal conditions to continue well into May. Daytime temperatures should average at around 17 degrees, and nights at 4 degrees. There are promising signs on the rainfall front, with Canberra set to receive at least 50mm of rain during May.

Darren Giles
Gungahlin Weather Centre

Fair Trade in Canberra


If you want to understand Fairtrade, now is your chance. You can find out what all the fuss is about in Fairtrade fortnight from 28 April to 13 May. From the consumer’s perspective fair trade is about how you choose to spend your money; it’s your opportunity to help growers and producers who find it hard to participate in large global markets. From the producer’s point of view, fair trade helps achieve a sustainable livelihood and can help alleviate poverty.

Fairtraders can now be recognized by the Fairtrade logo that marks their products. Oxfam Shop is one of Canberra’s leading suppliers of certified Fairtrade products, but Oxfam Shop has sold fairly traded products for over 20 years continuing its committment to economically marginalized producers and crafts people across the world. The Fairtrade certfication label is independent verification that a product has been produced and traded in accordance with Fairtrade standards and Oxfam Shop in Canberra sells a broad range of commodities including coffee, tea and chocolate, rice and quinoa as well as soccer and rugby balls that all carry this label.  Countries represented include Peru, Thailand, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka Colombia, New Guinea and East Timor. Oxfam shop however also works with communities of crafts people who are part of a network of producers called the International Federation of Alternative Trade (IFAT). Oxfam is a member of this organization which is committed to: fair trade, transparency in business practices, ethical workplaces, EEO, concern for people and their environments and education about and advocay of fair trade. Craftspeople marketed by IFAT and Oxfam come from a broad range of countries and include, Indonesia, Peru, Gahna, Bolivia, Inda, Nepal and Madagascar. One of the most successful relationships for Oxfam Shop in Canberra is with Batsiranai Craft Project in Zimbabwe. Many Canberra customers have bought a “Twin Doll” from Zimbabwe.  These twins are handcrafted cloth dolls retailing for $29.95. This investment has a double fair trade benefit. The purchase of one doll here provides meaningful employment and training to women economically marginalized in Zimbabwe. In addition to this however, another doll is made and given to a handicapped child in that community. This project is a great example of alternative and fair trade at work. It is also a great reminder of the social and emotional benefits of doing business in a way that puts people first. Oxfam shops in Canberra are located at 112 Alinga St, Civic (Sydney Building) and Level 3 Westfield Belconnen.

The Four Life Stages of a Family Business




Australia’s premier organisation for family businesses, Family Business Australia (FBA) says it is essential for family businesses to understand where they are at in the life cycle of their business, so that they are able to put the appropriate strategies into place for its future sustainability.

ACT Chairman of FBA and owner of Urban Contractors, Mick Burgess, says a family business generally experiences a progression of four different life stages, or growth cycles, as it passes through the generations. These life stages may occur smoothly as the business progresses from one generation to the next, however, the life cycles may also be repeated if adequate attention is not given by family members of any generation to planning.

The typical four life stages of a family business include:

1. Survival
o this is the initial stage of any family enterprise and is characterised by the struggle for financial stability
o the business is typically owned and operated by a single person or a couple
o the business represents the majority of the owners net worth

2. Stable
o characterises an enterprise that is still owned and managed by one person or a couple
o has a stable product and customer base
o has been profitable for a number of years
o the owner has begun to build net worth outside the business but its principal bank guarantor is still the owner

3. Professional
o an enterprise in this phase has taken a fundamental step in a new direction
o ownership is spread among siblings or relatives who, although all involved in the business, understand the distinction between their ownership and their management responsibilities
o fairly dramatic growth is led by a blend of family and non-family managers
o wages are still the main revenue source for family participants
o they are no longer the principal bank guarantors for the business.

4. Institutional
o the business is still privately held but now has a mix of family and non-family shareholders
o family members may or may not be involved in management as their talents and interests dictate
o a board of directors will almost certainly contain family members, however t will also have management and independent representatives
o dividend income is the principal revenue for family members but they also have significant net worth exclusive of their family business stock interests
o preserving the businesses capital structure and avoiding tax dilution during future generational shifts in ownership are now the focus of the family shareholders

For further information on planning the life stages of a family business and FBA go to www.fambiz.com.au

Where to from here?


Canberra Business Council
By Dr Neil Primrose

Canberra has done very well from the information and communications technology (ICT).

Driven by the Australian Government strategy in the late 1980s of improving efficiency by putting a computer on every desk, and then boosted by its outsourcing of all ICT services, the Canberra high technology economy was born and has boomed. New firms came to town. Redundant public servants found local competition tougher than they expected and were forced to turn to markets outside Canberra for their services.

Canberra’s export of high technology and services was launched, riding on the back of demand from defence and the security sector

The effective partnership between the ACT Government and the ICT industry, along with the ANU, at NICTA and the City West precinct is an example of what can be done when interested parties work together.

But ICT is now a maturing technology.

Where do we go from here to sustain the continuing growth that we need to afford to maintain our city and our lifestyles?

Complaisancy is not an option. Comfortable as it might be to rely on the present mix of jobs, we will lose people and an opportunity to other centres in Australia and overseas if we rely on our past successes to sustain us into the future.

Numerous enquiries and conferences have dealt with innovation and creative cultures. Kate Oakley’s visit last year put the issue squarely on the public policy agenda. But progress hasn’t been sparkling. Everyone seems to be waiting for someone to do something.

Identifying the future drivers of our economy is primarily a task for the business community.

In the past, we/ve waited for governments to do that for us.

However, it’s business investors that have the most at stake in assessing where new markets will develop. It’s business that are best at assessing the investment risks. It’s business leaders that make sure their investment pays off.

Governments and community groups have a role to play, as partners. Theirs is the task of ensuring that the right conditions exist for business to thrive and for the wider community to benefit from that.

In an economy where government is still the biggest business in town, the buying behaviour of both the Australian and ACT Governments has a significant effect on the competitiveness of business in competition with other regional centres and the metropolitan capitals. We need their co-operation.

In particular, we need a business-aware ACT Government. That’s not to dream of WA Inc. That would be bad for everyone, including the business community. We need political leaders and public servants who understand how business operates, how crucial it is to the lifestyles of everyone in Canberra and who are committed to provide a legislative, regulatory and policy conditions that supports private sector growth.

The Canberra Business Council, with its kindred organisations, is leading the work to identify what next wave of innovation might be that will fit with Canberra’s unique characteristics and situation.

Executive Director bowing out


Canberra Business Council
After more than five years in the job, Canberra Business Council executive director, John Miller is leaving to take up a new post as the executive director of the Master Builders Association of the ACT.

In making the announcement, the Council’s chairman, Mr. Craig Sloan said, “The Canberra Business Council has been extremely fortunate to have had the benefit of John’s energy and commitment over the past five plus years. He has made an outstanding contribution to the Council, its members and the business community at large during this time. Whilst we are losing John’s services his new role means that there will be a continuing relationship with the Council and his experience will not be totally lost.”

“The Council is undertaking some significant changes and John’s departure will provide an opportunity for a new person to arrive at a time when they can have an early influence on the shape, future direction and activities of the Council as a result of the changes. It will also mean that the new executive director will enter the role with the Council in a strong position in its relationships with key stakeholders,” said Mr. Sloan

The Council’s major work over the past couple of years has been around their Action Agenda Report: Eyes on the Future, including promoting Canberra as an international city, meeting the challenges of skills shortages through the establishment of the ACT Skills Commission and the push for new convention centre facilities for the National Capital.

Outgoing executive director, John Miller said, “Obviously I am looking forward to my new role at the MBA and all the challenges that go with that. Equally, I depart with a heavy heart believing the Council to be entering an exciting new stage in pursuing necessary and important objectives in having Australia and the world recognizing Canberra as an international city and, including the region, recognizing this area as an economic growth centre.”

“Despite lots of challenges we continue to see Canberra and the region grow but it can be better and it should be made a whole lot easier for the benefit of the entire community. If we want to prosper as a community it means that business needs to be able to perform. To do that they need to understand what the vision is for the future, have confidence in terms of the planning and regulatory environment, and be able to access people. In my time at the Council the “Live in Canberra” campaign has been a highlight of how government and business can work together with common objectives in mind.

“I have been very fortunate over the past five years to have met and worked with so many good people from the private sector as well as the public sector and those within the political world. I look forward to that continued contact and developing those relationships to see a stronger Canberra and region,” concluded Mr. Miller.

Rhyme Time


Choons for Charity
With 9 hours of music, 2 stages and 24 acts, Rhyme Intervention is back in 2007, bigger and better then ever.
The ANU Bar will play host on Saturday 19 May to the hip hop charity gig, which hopes to better the $3600 raised last year for The Cancer Council ACT.
It’s shaping up to be a huge event, with festivities starting at 3pm, and carrying on until 12am. For those keen to kick on, the official after party will be held at Transit Bar.
Revelers should head to the beer garden stage to see the freestylers in action, and to take in the graffiti demonstrations, which will happen throughout the afternoon. The demonstrations are fully supported by the ACT Parks and Places Government Department, who have been working with local graffiti artists and the Police and Community Centres to promote legal walls for these artists to express themselves. Rhyme Intervention is a great opportunity to promote these schemes, and to showcase some local talent.
The inside stage will provide space for the 20 odd crews who will be performing throughout the event. The artists are all highly supportive of the cause, and are performing for free, with most also paying for their own travel and accommodation. It’s a great opportunity to experience what Australian hip hop is all about.
All proceeds will go to The Cancer Council ACT, helping them to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer in the ACT region.
Tickets are $25, and available at the door (over 18’s only) or at http://nurcharecords.com/tickets.htm
For more information go to www.myspace.com/rhymeintervention07

Heart and Soul of entertainment in Canberra


Canberra''s Heart and Soul!
A review of Casino Canberra.
By Peter Cursley

Casino Canberra, long recognised as one of the better destinations to take visitors or friends for a special night out, has re-vamped its entertainment, dining and gaming services to offer something for everyone. Better yet, it’s amazingly good value.

To start with, live music is back, and big time. Experience the best live musicians Canberra has to offer, who have been handpicked by Ian McLean, the Director of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. You’ll hear world class jazz, sultry Latin, or sizzling swing, all free of charge.

The live entertainment is staged just next to the Main Bar, with a superb range of beers, wines, cocktails and spirits on hand, plus the restaurant nearby. It’s a great place to relax and unwind with sensational live sounds. Fridays and Saturdays from 8 to 11pm.

Next there’s The Party Pit, located near the Live Music at the Main Bar. A great place to get into casino gaming, it offers some great new games (like Three Card Poker) as well as casino classics, like Blackjack. It’s designed as a fun, welcoming place with no pressure and lots of friendly staff. And for all us social players, games like Roulette start at just $1 a bet. How good is that? That’s not too far from a decent gaming machine bet, it’s a lot more social and the odds of winning are better too.

Of course, you’ll want a good value meal if you’re heading in for a night on the town, and the new approach by Casino Canberra caters for that as well.

ACES Buffet in The Grill Brasserie offers tremendous value and a wide range of delicious options ever Friday and Saturday evenings. Just twenty seven dollars fifty (or twenty five dollars for Casino Club members) ACES Buffet really has to be on your list of favourites. You can select from a range of great entrees, move into mouthwatering mains, and there’s a dessert layout to die for. Bookings are recommended as this buffet has become extremely popular.

Lastly, for all of us who have been watching the Poker Tournaments on TV, there’s a place to try your hand at the game for real.

Casino Canberra has opened a new, expanded poker lounge featuring more tables and more chances to play. To play Texas Hold ’em, as seen on TV, a great way to start is by entering one of our regular tournaments. Full details at the Poker Pit or at www.casinocanberra.com.au

So that’s the new approach fro Casino Canberra; it’s warm, welcoming, great fun and one of the best value nights out in town. It’s no longer a place just for serious gamers, but a place where everyone is welcome and catered for. Put it on your list as a must visit and you won’t be disappointed.

Canberra Jazz Pizzazz?


Photo by Eric Pozza
In the dusky light of candles and fake chandeliers the ensemble of ANU Jazz school lecturers and local musicians tentatively arrange their instruments amongst conversation and tinkling of cocktails. Occasionally they speak into each others ears whispering in-jokes and encouragements-a little ritual it seemed.

It’s jazz night at the Hippo Bar, a corridor shaped venue where patrons hugged the corner of the noir-esque setting. As the septet began playing energetic grooves, the audience chatted and continued to talk throughout the performance. The quiet appreciation displayed by some frontbenchers wasn’t adopted by the rest. Soon Miroslav Bukovsky, School of Music lecturer, trumpeter and leader for the evening, muttered into the mic “all the people here who are talking, can you just piss-off”, but no one seemed to care.

Canberra it seemed was a cultural loop-hope in appreciation of jazz. As metal-heads mosh, ravers dance and popster’s sang-along, casual jazz goers are left simply to, well, talk. This attitude raises an important question within the community: what was proper modern jazz etiquette?

It was an issue 23-year old Niels Rosendahl, saxophonist and ex-School of Music student, thought was important to audiences. “If we were playing in Melbourne it [would be] better,” he said. “The band will be introduced, we’ll all get up and there’s a talking area out the back. Here there are people who want to listen, but they’re overcrowded by the general public who just want to drink cocktails and sit and talk.”

To jazz hipsters it may be sophisticated back-ground music to a cosy atmosphere, but for young players like Rosendahl, jazz is their life. Although for some experienced musicians a talking crowd is part of the job sometimes.

“People do tend to talk a bit,” says Mike Price head of the Jazz area at ANU, who has been teaching guitar in the faculty since 1990. “But at the same time I’ve seen people play up there who are really high level, and people don’t talk that much.” Price has played with his trio-the Mike Price Trio-at the Kurrajong hotel every Friday for the past 10 years, aware of his keen fans. “There’s a committed bunch of people who come each week, who just sit down and listen to it, week in week out.

It’s debatable whether Canberra jazz falls solely upon the School of Music and the few dedicated venues, such as the Hippo Bar, or its listeners for its mild success. Musicians find it near impossible to rely on performing for financial support, which drives them to other avenues for income, like corporate functions and restaurants. Inevitably it restricts creativity that is seen in committed venues.

“Almost every ‘performance’ gig that I’ve played in Canberra results in the venue staff asking to turn down the volume when people can’t talk over it,” said Rosendahl. “You really want to do it for the love of it, but that passion is sometimes hard to keep ignited when you’ve got a really disrespectful audience.”

It’s difficult to answer if this is inheritably a Canberra trait, as jazz nationally has been through some tough times. In 1998 the strategic Jazz development plan boasted to increase recognition of jazz nationally, and make it “increasingly possible for Australian jazz musicians to build financially viable careers in jazz.” It failed following its release, subsequently crippling Australian jazz.

Dr Richard Letts, Executive Director of the Music Council of Australia, points out his theory as to why it failed. “I can only speculate about why the plan was not adopted. Reasons might include an unwillingness to accept ideas that come from outside a state, and the antagonisms between states at the time. My personal impression was that there was some lack of openness to the possibilities.”

Never the less grass roots associations like SIMA (Sydney Improvised Music Association) and Jazzgroove that were born from the aftermath provided musicians the support they needed. Ex-ANU students flocked to Sydney or Melbourne to take full advantage of the organisations that helped in getting gigs and release CD’s.

As Graduates of the Music School rarely stay in Canberra and usually go aborad or move to greener pastures, committed scholars of Jazz and enthusiastic Canberra based students (like Niels) help establish a rapport in Canberra jazz.*

“It’s getting better. It’s not the best environment, but it’s got potential,” says Rosendahl.

Price hopes that eventually jazz will be seen like European classical music- a respected art form- to shake off old views held 30 years ago and stabilise the serious nature of the music. “We want to see jazz music seen as the art music that it is. We’re keen to see our art form being taken that seriously, because it should be. It’s that good.”

And still has no problem with chatty listeners? “In terms of the audience in Canberra, I really think they’re great, yeah, they’re great. Sometimes they talk a bit-no problem.”

* (Niels Rosendahl now lives in the UK)

Photo taken by Eric Pozza (www.canberrajazz.net)