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A Personal account of the fight for the Goyder Street libary


Mothers and Others outside the closed Griffith Library at Storytime Read-in
By Sonia Hathaway
When announced in October 2006 that the Griffith Library would close on 1 December 2006, people in the community were stunned, angry, devastated, furious and more. With no consultation, there was little time to do anything about this unpopular decision.

A couple, regular patrons to the library, went there the following Saturday armed with a pile of template letters asking other library users to explain why they wanted the library to stay open. The letters which delivered by hand the following Monday morning to Mr Hargreaves and copies circulated to other ministers.

Energy levels ran high that morning as the community rallied, completing and signing over 200 letters on the first day. The same operation was carried out the following Saturday and just as many letters, as well as a petition, were signed and delivered to Mr Hargreaves.

Mr Hargreaves was very dismissive about the hundreds of protest letters, writing that they were not ‘letters’ but merely templates, despite being personalised content. Ironically, his response letters to the protestors were all copies.

After many more letters and e-mails which were directed at his office, he refused to take calls, was not available for any meetings from concerned citizens. He voted against allowing extra time to debate the issue, and effectively gagged the Assembly, reiterating his views that there was no point in consulting with the community as he already knew that we would vote against closing the Griffith Library because the community wanted the Griffith Library to stay there!!

Many people joined in letter-box dropping information about a rally and the community support for this venture was nothing short of amazing. At the eleventh hour, Mr Hargreaves agreed to attend the rally and take questions.

ABC News estimated that 1,000 attended the Rally. Speakers flawed the closure arguement, hailing it as one of Canberra’s most unpopular decisions, inconsistent with the Government’s policies on improved services for the ageing, improving literacy rates and life long learning, or regard for social justice. It was clear that the closure of the library would impact adversely on significant numbers of people in the inner south including the elderly, school children and various disadvantaged groups. In all these cases, most would consider ready access to a library vital. It seemed such a retrograde step to take away a facility that from a user perspective was working so well, especially against relatively minor savings. The extent of concern and anguish this has caused cannot be over emphasised

The Lunn report conveniently ommitted some of the library’s catchment suburbs such as Forrest, Yarralumla, Queanbeyan, Oaks Estate, and Jerrabombera. Addresses of the letter signatories demonstrated the widespread use of the library. Children from nine schools in the area regularly drop in on their way home from school for homework or leisure purposes. Young mothers with their toddlers came for Story Time. The elderly and people with a disability would not be able to readily travel to the libraries put forward as alternatives such as Woden and Civic.

So started the South Side Community Library Taskforce, from a handful of people who banded together to address this unacceptable situation. Four women started meeting on Friday mornings under the trees outside the library for Story Time. They brought
chairs, ground sheets, books, some cordial and biscuits. A large banner was hung between the trees.

After Story Time each week we would sit in the sun (and sometimes the bitterly cold wind) brain storming what we could do. Numbers were dropping off; it was just too cold to bring little children out now that Autumn was on the way. It seemed a disgrace that here were little children rugged up in warm clothes and sitting outside when the library was still being used by admin staff – we were not even allowed inside to use a toilet.

We came up with many vague ideas, but nothing concrete. We wanted to start a modest library with books, newspapers, magazines, computer access to the internet. We would need shelving, books, computers, insurance and above all MONEY. We were just four ordinary people, plenty of heart, energy and enthusiasm.

Somebody was looking after us. After attempting to rent various venues we were put in touch with the people at Boomanulla Oval – they had a demountable on their premises no longer being used. They were so supportive and although needing some work, we rented the place for six months as an interim measure.

When our story was published in one of the local papers, offers of help rolled in. Weekly meetings moved to daily. Fears were aired but everyone stayed positive. What could we lose? What if nobody came? What if we didn’t get enough books? What if nobody joined or donated to our cause? At least we could say we saw a great need for our South Side community and we did our very best to achieve a solution.

The Griffith Library was the heart of our community. We plan to make the Goyder Street Library that heart.

This exercise will hopefully demonstrate to the Government that the decision to close the library was wrong and if we can get enough people to join our library and use it, perhaps the need for a permanent library for the Inner South will be acknowledged.
Annual membership fees
$20 for a family
$10 for a single member
$ 5 for a child or concession member
People can also become life founding members.
We hope you get behind this wonderful initiative.
Congratulations to the Goyder Street Library and grateful thanks to Boomanulla Oval, Col Williams and Noel Ingram from Ngunnawal Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Canberra Art Workshop Member's Annual Exhibition


Inaugural Tom Parsons Memorial Prize for Portraiture and Life Drawing.
The Canberra Art Workshop member’s annual exhibition will be held at M16 ArtSpace, 16 Mildura Street Fyshwick from Thursday 26th April until Sunday 6th May. The exhibition will be officially opened by Lucy Baker of Artsound FM at 6.30 pm on Thursday 26th. Along with a range of prizes including Best of show and Hangers Prize sponsored by The Art Store, to be judged by local renowned artist Vicki Dabro, CAW will be holding the inaugural Tom Parsons Memorial Prize, for this year in portraiture and life drawing. All entries will be for sale.
For further comment please contact;
CAW president Rick Cochrane 0411 759 838

A home for ACTs Private Library


Glenda James, Sonia Hathaway and Cherry Foward outside Goyder st library
Private Library finds a Home
Historic moment
Indigenous community helps out Southside Community

At 11.30am, Thursday 19th April 2007, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between directors of the Aboriginal Corporation for Sporting and Recreational activities at Boomanulla Oval in Narrabundah and members of the Southside Community Library Taskforce. The taskforce was convened to establish a community library in the inner south of ACT in the wake of the closure of the Griffith public library late last year.

After much searching by the taskforce, the premises on the Boomanulla Oval site were offered as an interim measure. The premises, a large transportable, has had several uses over the years including as a boxing rink. It is sited directly opposite a bus stop. It is an ideal size and is ideally located for a community library and drop-in centre.

The Goyder Street Library, named for its address, will be staffed by volunteers and will offer a modest collection of books provided by donation. There will be a small charge for membership of the Library which is open to anyone.

The Goyder Street Library will open for business Thursday 24th May 2007 for three days a week to begin with, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am until 4pm.

The taskforce is asking for offers of money, books and help.



ACT Government
The 2008 ACT Arts Fund is now open for applications.

The funding categories for 2008 are Key Arts Organisation Funding, Project Funding, Community Arts Funding, the 2007 ACT Book of the Year Award, the 2007 ACT Poetry Prize, and the 2008 ACT Creative Arts Fellowships.

Applications for Project Funding, Community Arts Funding, ACT Creative Arts Fellowships, ACT Book of the Year Award, and the ACT Poetry Prize will close on Wednesday 30 May 2007.

Applicants to the Key Arts Organisation Funding Category must meet with artsACT four weeks prior to lodging an application. Applications for Key Arts Organisation Funding will close on Friday 15 June 2007.

All those interested in the ACT Arts Fund are encouraged to attend two information sessions provided by artsACT, which will outline the type of funding available and provide tips on how to maximise funding success. The one-hour sessions will be on Tuesday 1 May at 12 noon and on Thursday, 3 May at 6:00pm, at the Griffin Centre, on the corner of Genge and Bunda Streets, Canberra City. No bookings are necessary.

More information about the 2008 ACT Arts Fund, including this year’s Booklet and application forms, is available on the artsACT website at www.arts.act.gov.au or call artsACT on 6207 2384.

Guides work as ground crew for the Balloon Fiesta


1st Kaleen-Heydon Guides worked as ground crew for the Liberty Balloon at the Balloon Fiesta
By Nikki Coleman
There were a lot of bleary eyes when the first of the Kaleen-Heydon Guides rose at 4.30am on April 14 to take part in the Balloon Fiesta as ground crew for the Liberty House Balloon. The girls helped launch the balloon, chased it around Canberra and went crazy rolling all over the balloon to deflate it.

Pilot Paul Gibbs was enthusiastic about their involvement “I was a Scout myself here in Canberra, so it is great to be involved again. We really want to encourage grass roots community involvement in the Balloon Fiesta and working with Guides is a great way to encourage that.” The girls were delighted with the event and already eagerly look forward to taking part in the Balloon Fiesta next year.

1st Kaleen-Heydon Guides meets every Tuesday night during term in Kaleen. For more information, contact Nikki Coleman on 6253 8232 or 0405 619 715.

Galilee's School Landscape Transformed


Unveiling a landmark restoration of Galilee''s school grounds
By Naomi Giles
Galilee’s school surrounds which were a barren sight following the school’s destruction in Canberra’s firestorm of January 2003, are now starting to show new life.
Extensive earthworks and landscaping has helped change the environment surrounding the Galilee school at Lions Youth Haven, Kambah. The work has been achieved with funding from the Australian government’s Investing in Our Schools Programme and community support through the CFMEU and Wayne Bobcat.
Galilee school students assisted with establishing the 490 trees and other plants. A full day was spent in autumn last year planting the shrubs and despite the summer heat and drought – they are starting to transform the environment.
Art teacher, Jenni Farrell has worked with students to create a sculpture which was unveiled at a ceremony on April 12 to mark the opening of the gardens.
“We just wanted to express the re-growth and new life after what was such a devastating experience,” says Jenni, “It’s been important to include the students in every process of rebuilding, so they could really own their new building and the surrounds.”
Senator Gary Humphries helped with the unveiling of the statue, saying he was pleased to see the strong recovery Galilee has made following the fire, “I am very proud of what has happened here and how this site has been transformed by many people who have contributed.”
The CMFEU also contributed several large loads of woodchip and arranged for Wayne Bobcat to come and spread it around the site. The CFMEU’s George Wason says they are pleased to be able to support the Galilee School, “This is an excellent program and we are very proud to be associated with Galilee. The landscape is looking great with its drought resistant plants and we need to give credit to all the volunteers who made this happen.”
Galilee School Principal Michael Clancy thanked the students and staff who helped establish the gardens and the volunteers who have been involved in the ongoing maintenance.

Big Belly's Bootie Camps


Bootie Camp Mums
Whether the bulge is small or large, exercise helps all types of big bellies.
Getting fit at some of Canberra’s most enticing sites helps women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or who have just given birth. Some experts recommend that pregnant women without obstetric or medical problems, should exercise at least 30 minutes a day for overall health and to ease pregnancy discomforts. Exercise can also benefit an unborn child’s health and development.
Managing Director of Canberra’s Big Belly’s Fiona McLaren agrees. She says activities like ‘Bootie Camps’ provide a “nurturing and down-to-earth way to exercise. They benefit women finding it difficult to get pregnant, make it smoother for those who have conceived, and help those who want their ‘pre-baby body’ back!”
Just as every mum and bub is different – so should be their exercise programs. “It’s important that individualised fitness training programs are conducted with both mums-to-be and their partners, experiencing the changes, limitations and wonderful development of life together. Getting involved together offers a unique opportunity to truly support each other and share life experiences in a healthy and fun environment – at home, the park or indoors (no gyms).
It’s also important to access peer support – to meet with other mothers and play group mums to share their stories and experience their changing bodies. It’s about working together and sharing their fitness, health and wellbeing goals.
Big Belly’s is a Canberra based business, managed by mums, providing personal training for other mums to enhance lifestyles through fitness. Big Belly’s aims to increase control over and improve health and wellbeing, specialising in personal fitness training for pre/during/post natal women and their families.
Contact Big Belly’s today to learn why “We Care how you Feel!”
More information: 0405 106 219, www.bigbellys.com.au

Export Lead Growth


CBC logo
In Canberra’s now predominantly private sector economy, exports are increasingly driving our growth.
Development of an export culture isn’t surprising, given Canberra’s strong international orientation as Australia’s national capital and the strong and extensive work of the Australian Government internationally in both policy and operational work.
That policy work has included working with the governments of our trading partners to reduce barriers to entry and open their markets to Australian products and services. Since the mid 1980s, this has seen the development of highly successful partnerships between Australian Government and business to grow our national income from overseas trade.
And the contribution of Austrade to the development of local businesses succeeding as exporters in the face tough international competition has been huge.
It’s pleasing the see the ACT Government also engaging in an increasingly effective partnership with local exporters, working alongside them at they move into fresh markets to help overcome official indifference and to open doors into new relationships with customers and business partners.
This kind of partnership between government and business is far more important in overseas markets than many people at home realise. Business people in other countries tend to accord significantly greater respect to the position and stature of visiting government ministers than we’re used to doing in Australia. Hence the significant role that successive ACT Chief Ministers and other political leaders have been able to play in support of local businesses opening up overseas markets.
The present Chief Minister, John Stanhope, was particularly effective in his leadership of the recent ACT Trade Mission to India. He paved the way for numerous introductions to Indian business leaders that would not have happened if the ACT businesses had not had such visible and official support in the person of the Chief Minister. We ought not to underestimate the value of governments working in partnership with local businesses.
The participants on the Trade Mission to India are now busily engaged in following up their contacts and the business leaders are very appreciative of the role the Chief Minister played. Those who are planning to be in the forthcoming trade mission to China need the same support and are looking forward to the Chief Minister working with them as the leader of Team ACT.
The bottom line for the community is that growth in exports from the ACT creates additional jobs in the ACT, as well as bringing new skills into our economy. It ensures our companies operating overseas are operating at world best practice. This high standard flows back to local operations, so increasing competitiveness even of those businesses that are not exporting.
The general increase in business activity also flows back to the community through increased GST returns that go to pay for our facilities and services, such as schools, hospitals, parks and all the other things that are paid for from the ACT Government’s revenues.
So our growing export culture benefits all of us.
On another matter, as foreshadowed in the March article, the Council’s paper on the taxi shambles has been submitted to the ACT Government and is now posted on the Business Council’s website at www.canberrabusinesscouncil.com.au
Dr. Neil Primrose chairs the Action Agenda Co-ordination Group of the Canberra Business Council and its kindred organisations.

AUSSI ACT What is the AUSSI?


What is the AUSSI?
The Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI) is a partnership of the Australian Government, the States and Territories that supports schools to work towards a sustainable future.
The AuSSI is a whole-of-school approach, to improve the school’s management of resources and facilities including energy, waste, water, biodiversity, landscape design, products and materials. It also addresses educational, social and economic issues associated with the sustainable management of a school and the school community.
The national website is www.deh.gov.au/education/aussi
What is the AUSSI ACT?
AuSSI ACT is the name of the AUSSI being implemented in ACT schools. The AuSSI ACT is managed by the Department of Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS) in partnership with
. ACT Department of Education and Training
. Catholic Education Office
. Australian Independent Schools Association
A Sustainable Schools Coordinator works closely with schools to encourage a whole school approach, set measurable social, educational, environmental and economic outcomes and develop a school environmental management plan (SEMP).
The AUSSI ACT website is www.sustainableschools.act.gov.au

AUSSI ACT Pilot in 2006
The AUSSI ACT began as a pilot in 2006 which was a cross sectoral initiative involving Department of Education and Training, the Catholic Education Office and the Association of Independent Schools

Thirteen government and seven non government schools were involved in the 2006 ACT pilot Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI)

In 2007, the initiative is open to all ACT schools

The Sustainable Schools Initiative has five focus areas: curriculum, water, waste, energy and biodiversity and complements the new Curriculum framework for ACT schools Preschool to year 10

The twenty pilot schools were supported to conduct water, waste and energy audits and to use the information from the audits to develop a School Environmental Management Plan (SEMP)
Schools include the following in their SEMPS:

– Principals message
– School vision
– Curriculum
– Waste
– Water
– Energy
– Biodiversity
– Community Partnerships
– Purchasing

Schools were also offered professional development for staff on educating for sustainability aligned to the new ACT Curriculum Framework.

The Word on Snoring & Apnoea


Tess Graham
By Tess Graham
Breathe right to sleep right
Every time John stopped breathing during the night, Bronwyn would lay awake wondering if this was the big one. After 2 years of sleep disrupted by loud snoring and sleep apnoeas Bronwyn eventually moved to sleep in a separate room. Even so, John’s snoring was so loud it could be heard through two closed doors and the sleep apnoea episodes were increasing. To make matters worse, John would suffer from drowsiness during the day and was often fighting to stay awake at work. Eventually, Bronwyn insisted that he visit the doctor.

John’s doctor confirmed that he was suffering from sleep apnoea. Surgery or a machine to help him breathe were the more radical options to help control his condition. However, there was a natural method that could help him by addressing the root cause of his troubles: – the way he was breathing.
Snoring is disturbed breathing, in fact ‘over-breathing’. It causes a loss of carbon dioxide from the lungs. Carbon dioxide is very important for normal bodily functioning; it is logical to assume that the body must have some way to prevent losing it. In a person with sleep apnoea, this defence mechanism activates to stop you breathing when the carbon dioxide level declines too much. Another mechanism by which snoring can lead to apnoea, is when the excessive volume of air passing the swollen tissues of the throat, sucks the airway shut temporarily.
The Buteyko breathing method works by helping patients regain control of their breathing volume and restoring normal levels of carbon dioxide. Practising Buteyko, John put an end to his disrupted sleep for good and regained control of his health and his marriage!
Do you snore or suffer from sleep apnoea? Do you experience restlessness, excessive movement while asleep? Do you wake up groggy, un-refreshed or get drowsy during the day? Left unchecked these symptoms could lead to more serious health problems. Take control of your health and address your sleeping problems now. Buteyko Health Solution is a physiotherapy clinic specialising in breathing related problems in adults and children. Come and find out how we can help you.

New training opportunities


Under an arrangement with the ACT Department of Education a series of courses are being conducted to assist emerging, new and existing small business owners and operators. All of the courses run through a small business networking group will result in successful candidates receiving a Statement of Attainment toward either a Diploma or Certificate IV. For more information about these courses contact Will Lewis on 02 9420 4322 or 0430 296245.

Free listing for Business


Disability ACT and the Citizens Advice Bureau are currently undertaking a joint initiative in developing a new online ACT Disability Services Directory.
The new directory will be a fully searchable database, which will provide easily accessible information to people with a disability, their family, carers and support agencies, with regard to disability services in Canberra and its surrounding region.
Disability ACT and the Citizens Advice Bureau would like to invite local businesses to be a part of this valuable web-based resource. The businesses we seek are those who “go that extra mile” by providing for people with a disability, for example wheelchair accessible cafes, restaurants, hairdressers and health providers.
The listing of accessible businesses will be free of charge and will assist people with a disability and their carers in finding ‘disability friendly’ businesses in our local area. We can be contacted for information on this new venture at the Citizens Advice Bureau. Contact: Kaye Dudderidge on 6257 1687 or
email: kaye@citizensadvice.org.au

Do you have available funds to place into super?


Seek advice as soon as possible to save tax and meet the 30 June deadline
If you want to build up your super and save tax, you have a once in a lifetime opportunity to contribute up to $1million dollars of post-tax money into super – but you only have until 30 June this year.
From 1 July 2007, the level of money you can place into your super fund (post-tax contributions) will be limited to $150,000 per financial year*, potentially restricting the amount you will be able to save for your retirement. After this time, if you go over the $150,000* limit, your contributions will be taxed at the highest marginal tax rate 46.5%!
Wayne Byrne, an authorised representative of Count Financial suggests now is the time to consider placing greater amounts into your super fund to minimise tax and save for retirement. Seek advice if you have funds available from:
– The sale of a property, business or other investments;
– An inheritance, windfall or payout; or
– Any surplus money.
If you are waiting on funds from a sale, you may also be able to borrow money over the short-term to place into super to meet the 30 June deadline – seek advice on your situation.
For further information, Wayne may be contacted at Vanzwan Accounting Plus at 80 Emu Bank Belconnen or on 02 6251 4888
Wayne Byrne is an Authorised Representative of Count Financial Limited, an Australian Financial Services Licence Holder (No. 227232) and Australia’s largest independently owned network of financial planning accountants and advisers.
The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it, we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, objectives and financial circumstances.
*$150,000 per person aged 65 and over, who meet the Work Test (per financial year), or $450,000 averaged over 3 years for those under 65. This applies to post-tax (non-concessional) contributions made into a super fund.
The $1million dollar limit currently available includes post-tax contributions made into super from 10 May 2006 – 30 June 2007.

Governments are in business


Whether political leaders and public administrators know it or not, they’re all in the business of growing Canberra and the Capital Region. And a business that’s not growing is in decline.
We are in tough competition with innovative and entrepreneurial regional cities, such as Geelong, Newcastle and Wollongong whether we realise it or not..
We’re in competition for people, investment, cultural and sporting fixtures, infrastructure, quality of lifestyle and all the things that go to make one city a location of choice for people and businesses.
And Canberra lags well behind.
Our population base is too small to sustain the amenities and lifestyle to which we’re accustomed. We’ve lost our AFL team. We’ve lost the women’s tennis championship. We’ve lost the Australian Ballet. We’re losing our youth. Our public infrastructure is getting ragged and we can’t afford to maintain it.
Notwithstanding the current commercial building boom and the impressive building program by the Australian Government, we have below average population growth and our municipal services under increasing strain. And we can’t be complacent that the current boom will last for ever. It’s not the norm.
And let’s not get caught up in a barren debate on marginally fluctuating numbers. We have a problem – let’s turn our minds to solving it together.
Canberra, with the Capital Region, needs growth for its long-term health as a vibrant community.
The basis of growth is more people and more jobs. At this point in time it is simply more people to fill the jobs we already have.
Certainly, growth needs to be well managed for our future to be sustainable. But we must have it. And “well managed” doesn’t mean the detailed official control of a centrally planned economy.
It means partnership between governments and the wealth creators, in consultation with a wise community. Which may sound idealistic. But our city is still small enough and smart enough to achieve such partnership and to be a leader in designing a post-modern democracy.
At the moment, the biggest impediment to growth is the increasing contradiction between the old style of detailed government control and the burgeoning private sector economy that is the driver of our export-led economy.
Old mindsets about raising public revenue are forcing up house prices, creating tensions with our neighbours in the Capital Region, restricting our ability to fund public infrastructure and hampering investment in new products and services. Those businesses that succeed in Canberra do so in spite of the prevailing “control mind set”.
Much committed and earnest work is being done by our governments, but we are lagging behind our competitors – our governments’ competitors – because we are stuck in the mindset of the past.
We urgently need a robust public debate among serious people about:
. population growth;
. the role of government in partnership with the private sector;
. a different approach to raising revenue for the ACT; and
. different approach to the funding of government services.
The Canberra Business Council, with its kindred organisations, is preparing a series of position papers and public forums throughout this year to address these issues.
The first of these is on the taxi shambles. This is crippling Canberra’s reputation as a place to do business. It’s a major problem for Canberra residents. The position paper is soon to be published on the Business Council’s website at www.canberrabusinesscouncil.com.au
Dr. Neil Primrose chairs the Action Agenda Co-ordination Group of the Canberra Business Council.