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Stateline (ACT) -

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(generated from captions) that became valid after a landmark ruling in the High Court today. And that's ABC

News. Stay with us now for

Stateline with Chris Kimball

coming up next. And we'll leave

you with a new exhibition in

Brisbane on fashion designer

Valentino. Have a great

weekend. goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI.

For us, it's a bit daggy, but it has a lot of great memories.

We would be very, very sad to

see it go. p

Stateline. I'm Chris Hello and welcome to

Kimball. Coming up - today's political shenanigans on the

campaign trail and we meet the candidates in Canberra's

northern electorate, Fraser.

old Canberra landmark, McGregor First the end is near for an

hall. Official dum calls it a

run down safety risk, standing

in the way of a modern city.

Those who use it see a valuable historic and community asset.

The 60-year-old McGregor hall was closed last week due to asbestos. It is scheduled to be demolished soon to make way for

the next stage of the ANU exchange development.

A lot of people wouldn't

know what is here F they came

past and saw some of the

community groups and usage that

the hall has and what's going

on, I think they would be

pleasantly surprised. For us,

yeah, it's daggy, but that's

what makes it so great. It has

a lot of great memories. We

would be very, very sad to see

it go. It really feels like

home for us. hall bubbling away with life McGregor Hall is this little

and vitality on the edge of the

city centre. It's not a

concrete construction. It's not

a little box that has been made to accommodate community groups. It is something that

has evolved over time. You kind

of get a feel that there is a

bit of life here. Life support

may be more appropriate. Home

of the Canberra pensioners club

for many years, McGregor Hall

has been used more recently by

community groups like the jump

town swing dancers. The day after Stateline filmed this

session, the hall was locked

up. The fact that it has been

raised now as opposed to

raised now as opposed to last

week or last month is

incidental. It's part of the process we've undertaken. I don't think there are any conspiracy theories. David Lamont is the director of the

office of the ANU

exchange. What has the ANU

the city? The overarching exchange done for this part of

tenant of the master plan tenant of the master

developed in 2004 and 05 was to

integrate the activities of the

university into the city in a

vibrant hub. The next stage of

the $700 million development will house several thousand

existing users out in the cold. students. But will leave some

I think I have some sympathy

for a number of them. We have

assisted and attempted to

assist as good corporate

citizens to find alternate venues, short-term and

long-term, particularly for the

Canberra musicians group who

acknowledged in write together

ANU exchange they were aware

five or six months ago that

they started to use this venue

that the venue would in fact be demolished and would people come here, almost demolished and would go. When

unanimously people will say at

the end of the gig, this place

has to be saved. It's not for

me to ascribe reasons why some

of them are doing what they are

number of doing. I think there are a

number of other agendas that

don't relate solely to McGregor Hall. This is an aerial photograph of the area around

civic in 1955. It shows the turner workman's hosel and

splendid isolation between the

Melbourne and Sydney Buildings.

It's a different picture to

today. Alan has published

several books on Canberra's

hostel period. Chris, this is

the remnant of what was called

the turner workman's hostel. It

was built in 1949 as part of a

great move in Canberra to entice

the city after the Second World to Canberra to help kick-start

War. Almost 3,000 men lived in

seven hostels across Canberra.

260 of them were housed in

McGregor hall enduring winters

in tiny rooms with no heating.

As an historician, I would

feel it is important to have

some recognition of the fact

that it is a final remnant of

an important part of our urban an important part of our urban history. History that's repeating. Just like the 1950s,

Canberra is in the midst of

another development boom. This

one has an inevitable impact on the remnants of the old city. The community is now

realising that so much of

disappearing that it has become a real significant issue. Is

the battle lost for McGregor

Hall? I don't think. So the

building is still standing.

While it is still standing, I

think there is hope. Having it

appraised and considered and

assessed as having heritage

value is probably the only thing that will save it. Anomination has it. Anomination has been lodged

with the ACT Heritage Council.

The council inspected the hall

recently and a recommendation is expected this month. Pip

prepared the application. This

is the side of the building

that faces Barrie drive on the

corner of Marcus Clark street.

It is the side of the building

that everyone sees when they

drive down into the city. It's

the entrance into the city on the gateway there. What's interesting about this

elevation is it has very, very

high integrity. By that I mean

it is very similar to was like when it was first

built. Each of the timber frame

windows related to each of the little bedrooms occupied at the

time. The agreement was quite

clear that McGregor Hall was always to be demolished to make

way for further development. I

don't think there has been

anybody that suggested in any

part of our consultation that it should have been retained.

So the move to heritage list it

is quite a new phenomena. It is

the only building of this

scale, form and function still surviving within the civic

precinct. Everything else has

been knocked down, pushed over,

replaced by high-rise office

buildings. Barring a heritage reprieve, this ugly duckling of

the Canberra cultural scene

faces lition. The ACT Government says

similar venue s groups can use,

but the dancers and musicians

say none can match the

location, cost and community

amenity. The building looks

tatty because it hasn't been

maintained for some period of time. The scale and form of the building is very good. This

building would respond really

well to a bit of architectural

TLC. It would come up and be a

delightful little icon. I

believe what's being replaced

here is more significant than what was here. Grass growing

in the gutters can be cleaned

out. A few cracked walls can be patched and mended. But what

you can't fix if you knock this

place down is what it is and

what it reminds us of.

Well, the ABC's election

guru, Antoni Green, calls the

electoral of Fraser a very safe

Labor seat. But none of the

candidates seem willing to

agree. Fraser includes most of the ACT north of the lake,

including civic, Belconnen and

the growing suburbs of Gungahlin. Long-time local

member Bob McMullan delivered

Labor a 15% margin at the last election. He's retiring,

leaving a group of unfamiliar faces scrambling for the seat.

Craig Allen met them on the hustings.

(Sings) # You don't know me

at all... # Letter boxing. A

lot of letter boxing, actually.

(Sings) # You don't know me... # I'm standing for the

Greens in Fraser. I'm a candidate in the next Federal election. Are you voting this

time around? Yeah. I'm not

thinking about the margin so

much. I'm more focussed on getting into the

community. I've got a very big

task ahead of me. I think there

is a big opportunity now that

both Annette Ellis and Bob

McMullan have left the people

of Canberra to new candidates

in Canberra who the community don't know. Would you like Greens information for the election. Greens is OK. You

must have known it would be an enormous challenge that has

traditionally been safe for

Labor. Absolutely. I

acknowledge this election will

be a tough and close fight. It

is more important we make sure

Canberrans have a choice when it comes to polling day. I

dislike the phrase safe seat.

The reason Bob McMullan got

such a strong margin is because

he's worked hard on a local

level, really gone out there

and appealed to people and done

the work to deliver for them on

the grassroots of Canberra.

Canberra voters are pretty opinionated lot. Well

informed, and understand their

politics. I don't think many of

them would want to support a

candidate who walked in and

claimed this is a safe seat. I

would like to have the margins

Bob has, but if I have them it

will be because I work hard, not because I take voters for

granted. Would you be happy to

peg back the lead, even if you

don't win it? Absolutely. To be honest, if we can make this

seat marginal, I can guarantee

that area would receive more

attention from the

Government. They will have to put more attention into the

seat to try and hold it. How do you rate think you have a realistic

chances of winning the seat? It

would be great to win the

seat. Love to win the seat. How is the campaign going? Pretty

busy. Selling raffle tickets.

We think we will elect people who will take action on climate change and when it comes to the

hard decisions if there is no

global consensus and we know

that global consensus is very

hard to get, then we won't do

anything. Then to come back and

put 150 people in a room and ask them what they think about

it when, people voted for

action at the last Federal election it

election it is disappointing

people. As an economist who has

fought along these issues and

you've argued strongly for

these things, were you

disappointed when the ETS was effectively put on the

back-burner? We were all

disappointed when the Greens

and the Liberal Party blocked

the ETS legislation in the Senate. I mean that real turning point in the

debate and the challenge is now

how we get back that momentum.

I very much believe that this

is an area which markets can

help us to deal with the real environmental challenge. We

have to be honest. Global warming is a

facing the planet and we can do

something bit. Your own party

has shelved it

effectively? Labor is committed

to putting a price on carbon.

The challenge is how we get the

consensus to get that

done. Labor has put us into a

huge deficit. We need to cut

Government spending. A lot of

people are tightening their

belts. We need to tighten ours

as well. They are saying that

12,000 jobs will be lost.

That's not 12,000 jobs lost in the ACT. That's nation-wide. How many do you

think would be lost? I think would be lost? I couldn't

comment. Wouldn't know. I've been eight or so weeks and a lot of

people are surprised to see me

out there, especially

considering an election hadn't

been called yet. There is a lot of people in the community that

legitimately concerned about

how Labor handled the issue of

Kevin Rudd, how they assassinated him within

24-hours and Julia

stepped up. Do you get into political conversations with people? People are showing

their dissatisfaction with the major parties. God, I can't

imagine having a Liberal Government with Tony Abbott as

PM. I think that is a shocking thought for a lot of

people. People are pretty

disappointed with the Labor Party. They tell us. I don't like the other two major

parties. I think they are just

as bad as each other. That's my

opinion. Thank you. You've got

my vote. See you later. I'm

certainly campaigning as hard

as I can. The way to do that is

to get out and connect with voters. Out there door knocking, street stalls and

letter boxing. The key issues

are the broadband. That's a

highlighted issue. We really

need to make sure that we make

people aware what Labor is

doing for them. Fridget magnet.

Thank you. And the NBN is the

important thing

there. Absolutely. How are you

finding the campaign as a first

time candidate? I wish I did it

about ten years ago to be

honest. I'm loving it. Getting

out into the community. Talking

to people and knowing what

their concerns R We can sit in

an office and write policies

and get into the background of

it all, but it's more important to get into the community and

see what people are concerned

about. Will we see you in

Parliament in 20 or 25 years

like Bob McMullan? If I'm

fortunate to be elected once,

that will be terrific. I will

work hard to get elected a

second time. Who knows beyond that. It's a seat with a low turnover. It has that turnover. It has that history.

(Sings) # You don't know me

at all... #

On the national front the

campaign hasn't been much fun for Julia Gillard. With

damaging cabinet leaks,

ridicule over the new Julia persona and the ever present spectre of Kevin Rudd to

contend with. Now a report into

the schools stimulus program

has been released casting doubt on the value for money

taxpayers are getting from the building scheme. Political editor Heather ewatt reports.

We made a judgment to invest

recession. Waste is never justified. Waste is never

justified. We have received

254 complaints, 2.7% of all schools. It was one of those days when the business of

Government merged with the election campaign. Can I election campaign. Can I start

by saying that I welcome this

report. I welcome the scrutiny

that this report brings. It has

14 recommendations and the

Government accepts them all if

re-elected. We will implement

each of them. An interim report

on the Government's school building stimulus program, building stimulus program, BER

by former investment banker

Brad Orgil was released this

morning and dominated

questioning of Julia Gillard on

the campaign trail. Did some

things go wrong? Yes, they D I've acknowledged I've acknowledged that

publicly. The insulation scheme became a

became a mess. I wanted to make sure we had more

of a focus on value for money in building the education revolution. That's why I

created the task force led by Mr Orgil. The majority of

complaints raised, in our opinion, valid concerns,

particularly about value for money and school level

involvement in decision-making. He concludes

that the valuid complaints by

schools are in the order of

2.7%. Now, sure, not all

schools have complained about

their project. But that doesn't

mean that value for money has

been achieved. In the scheme of things, complaints by 2.7% of

the 9,000 schools around the country doesn't sound a

lot. But in an election campaign it's apparently still

enough for the Opposition to

make this claim, it will repeat

right up until election

day. The Orgil report seems demonstrate that Julia Gillard

is not fit to be a minister,

let alone the PM of this

country. If you can't be

trusted to manage a $16 billion

program properly, you certainly

can't be trusted to can't be trusted to manage the

$350 billion a year $350 billion a year Budget of the Commonwealth properly. But

there is one very crucial point

- the Opposition Leader ignores

and the one the Government can

rightly be relieved about.

Despite the complaints, the report makes this conclusion. The overall

observation is the program is

delivering much needed

infrastructure to school

communities while achieving the primary goal of economic activity across the nation. Of

course from this report we have

learned some lessons and the

lessons that we've learned go to

to the execution of the program, execution for the

future which is where Mr Orgil's recommendations

in. But I want to say this very

clearly - I made a judgment

about saving the country from

recession by investing in

schools. I stand by schools. I stand by that

judgment. And I would make it

again today. Of the 2.7% of

complaints, half were about NSW schools. The complaints are very concentrated in the NSW

system. If you look beyond

that, 80% of the program, there

is very few complaints. The implementation looks to have

gone smoothly. With that the campaign moved on. Product

placement. Julia Gillard was in her home town of

Melbourne. Very dramatic the

choice for the 21st of August. Hanging out at the

back. Having a barbie. I'm not

sure the bosses are agreeing

with that. Oh, my shoe. Can I

put your shoe on? Thank you.

You have a lovely day. I hope

you win . I think it's time for

a cup of tea. Tony Abbott was on the trail in Tasmania. These

cauliflower ears are not the

result of too many scrums, but

his teeth chewing my ear.

Warrior is a - battlelines is

a very good book I

recommend. Can I have a

cuddle. I think she is thinking

to herself why am I surrounded

by all these funny people. And

political leaders of day's gone by seemed to be everywhere. Please believe that

we can win this election. APPLAUSE Please believe that. Is the Coalition ready for Government? No. No? No. Are you frustrated you have had

distractions, the Rudd factor, constant questions about Kevin

Rudd. Has that taken away

valuable time and where do you

go from here? I'm vigour and fight. Whatever the

views of the campaign after a

High Court decision today more

Australians will now be able to

vote on August 21st. That's

because legislative changes brought in by the Howard

Government to force the closure

of the electoral roll on

day election writs are issued

have been ruled

unconstitutional. There are

100,000 people who will now be

on the roll that wouldn't have

otherwise been there. And in a

very tight election scenario,

that could absolutely make the difference. Could that explain

why the Opposition is very

luke-warm about the ruling and Labor is celebrating? Moving

on from political business, now

forget the 'Lord of the Rings',

the debate over the real hobbits from the Indonesian

island of Flores has proven

stranger than fiction. In 2003

a diminutive human-shaped

Known as Flores Man and

nicknamed the hobbit, the

discovery divided the

scientific community. Recently

a Canberra anthropologist published research supporting

claims the hobbit is a unique

species of human . I spoke with Professor Colin Groves about his fascination with human evolution and hobbits. The

picture we have now of human

evolution is pretty complete. Each new discovery

adds another brick to the

story. We can place it. But

this thing, it was so unexpected that something as

primitive as this had survived

to nearly the modern age. It

caused a revolution. It caused

new chapters to be written in

the textbooks to such an extent

that some of my colleagues,

unfortunately, couldn't believe

it. Why was the discovery so

fascinating for the

scientific community? The idea

that human evolution was not

inevitably onwards and upwards

towards us fine fellas with a

striding gate and with a large

brain and with brain and with fire and television sets and moon

rockets. Our ancestors diverged

- one of them ended up on Flores whereas the other one,

us, took over the world. Flores

Man was nicknamed famously the

hobbit, which resonated with

the international media. You

had some involvement in the

naming of this great discovery

as the hobbit? The ABC wanted

to interview somebody about it

so we went into a radio - we

went into a radio studio and I

in Canberra, Tim Flannery in

Adelaide and before to us we chatted to each other

over the airwaves. Somehow the

word hobbit came up because it

was the age of Peter Jackson's

'Lord of the Rings' and at

first I thought is it like a dwarf in that. No, the dwarfs

are different people. Hobbits.

It's kind of like a hobbit. Has

the name the hobbit been a help

or hindrance when it comes to a

discussion about Flores Man? For scientific research

neither, I think. But in the

popular imagination it's helped to popularise it. Who can

remember the long words around

Flores? The hobbit, yes, there were hobbits and humans. They

had - I can illustrate here from the skull, very small

brain. It had brow ridges. It had a flat, middle facial

skeleton. The nose was not very

prominent. Small people, I

guess. Maybe a metre, one metre ten in height. Very short

legs. So the arms reached down

to the knees. Very large

feet. You have an article published in New Scientist

which goes some way to settling

one of the old disputes in the

Flores Man debate? The idea I

was specifically attacking is

it is a Chretien. Chretiens are

people who have insufficient

iodine in their diet and they

produce insufficient thyroid

hormone so don't grow. I can't

understand why people persisted in thinking that the first

specimen to be discovered, this

one is some kind of

pathological modern human. It is impossible I'm afraid. I've done

done studies to show that it is impossible. Somehow, I don't

know people's minds are contrary. They remind me of

climate change deniers and

creationists. They are

deniers. They are not sceptics. They've gone beyond

scepticism. There is no denying

that almost the program that almost the program for

another week. All our stories will be available on the

Stateline website tomorrow.

We'll leave you with the images of a snowy Namadgi National Park. Goodbye. Closed Captions by CSI.

THEME MUSIC Hello and welcome to Collectors. I'm Claudia and with me are Gordon... Evening. ..and Adrian. Hey. Now tonight, guys, it's exciting. It's fashion tonight! I know. I'm excited, but I don't know about Gordon. Well, I quite like that jacket in a funny sort of way, Adrian. You do surprise me, honestly. I've been after one of these for years. It's an early '70s number and I got it from an op shop. $15. Wow! 50 bucks! What a bargain. Op shops - a great way to recycle. Tonight on Collectors, it's all about the highs and lows of fashion. 'We meet a designer who dots his i's and crosses his t's.'