Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
State Focus -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Australian model Michelle Leslie Making news on Ten - in Bali this afternoon is due to be released from prison on drugs charges. after being convicted

after a plea bargain. Actor Russell Crowe dodges jail a hotel clerk with a telephone. He pleaded guilty to hitting More than 80 people killed in eastern Iraq. as suicide bombers target two mosques the APEC meeting in South Korea. And more violent protests outside More in an hour.

This program is captioned live.

for another look Hello and great to have you along across our region, at a week of issues in focus this week, especially in our Central west to find out more we'll cross to Orange soon clinic set up in a regional centre about the first Cannabis treatment and how that's working. And then we'll hook-up with Dubbo, has been transformed where Apex Oval motorcross playground, into the ultimate big Crusty Demons show. for tonight's the Crusty's a little bit later on We'll meet Jimmy Blaze from to the ACT road toll But first, more people to drive to survive. and what can be done to get is more than double the number The road toll for the ACT and you can only wonder of deaths recorded for 2004 where things might stand holiday period is over. once the Christmas-New Year us are probably much like the rest of Now our first two guests why the safe driving message - a little at loss as to explain is not getting through have a few theories Robyn Major and Mick Gemntleman welcome to the show. and I will start with you Robyn, have lost their lives this year. So many motorcyclists as far as you're concerned? What are the main causes for any of the fertalities, There is no single cause of sometimes the motorcyclists there has been a mixture have made a mistake made the mistake sometimes it's the other road users, the one thing. so it's very hard to pinpoint at all does there Mick Yeah, it doesn't seem to be a trend it's driver attention, and I mean it's not inexperience, there are so many other reasons. Are you frustrated? Is the government frustrated? we would like to know Well certainly Ali, reason as Robyn mentioned and doesn't appear to be, or the car involved accidents, even with the motor cyclists and you know a particular reason, particular age group there doesn't seem to be a or gender as well the whole range. it has gone right across has suggested a couple of ideas, Now Robyn, the motor cycle council that are worth a look, when you renew your license, especially an on road test so that would be what? say, is it practical? Once every five years, Association of the ACT. This is for the motorcycle riders be as Nirvana, It's our view that there should life assessment for all road users, we should be aiming a through you can sort of see motorcyclists so at the moment to other road users, we are enthusiast, to that generally speaking, life training anyway, so we tend to do a lot of through want to refine our skills, just because we always we can make sure we are doing the best of our own vulnerability. and also because we are aware This is a risky business. driver behaviour aswell. It's changing that we need. And it's cultural change on the open road. Can I just get back to driving like to get out of town a lot, Being in Canberra, we do tend to we go to the coast, we go out West, on the open road, Robyn? are we bad at driving and riders are pretty much the same I think Canberra drivers as they are else where. as they are around town you could possibly think I think generally, because open road, that we may be a little worse off they are twistier, often they are narrower, less overtaking and passing areas very practices, and therefore we are not because generally speaking, Canberra roads are very good to road safety strategies and so really when it comes better roads, better vehicles, when we are focusing on got pretty good vehicles better use of speed, Canberra has and pretty good vehicles. and pretty good speed measures to be working. But the speed cameras don't seem They don't seem to be a deterrent. on the road? Do we need police presence that we could do? Is there something in the budget Put more police on the road? the speed cameras are part of the - Ali, use for road safety in the ACT, a whole suite of measures that we at as a single issue, so they are not to be looked measures that we take to try they are part of a group of I guess and you know and promote road safety but, there's a punitive measure there, not to go past the speed limit sometimes it helps drivers it's a worth while measure. and I think What about this New Year period? that we've got, Looking at this enormous toll people in the back of their minds? do you think that's a deterrent for to the fact that we've got to start No, it really comes back make. think and the decisions that they addressing people and how they of speed cameras out there, SO, it's all very well to have lots poor old police force but what you really want is not the trying to enforce this, the right decision you've got to have people making in the first place if we could introduce and that's where management as a perception, some better forms of risk to think more clearly about getting the drivers impacts of the decisions might be, what they are doing and what the more clearly about, then we might get people thinking be doing for these conditions. well this is the speed I should for two years or 20 years. Whether you've been driving today, I will have to leave it there, Thank you so much for joining us It doesn't matter

Robyn Major and Mick Gentlemen I appreciate your time, Thanks Ali Thank you Well this time last week the town of Molong was recovering from its worst flooding in more than 50 years, and we thought we might give Cabonne Shire Mayor John Farr a quick call to see if life is getting back to its drier self He's on the line, HI John. Good morning Ali Good morning, just wanted to see just how much businesses have been able to salvage out Molong way? Yeah, well certainly a week after the event, the sun is shining in Molong thank goodness, things have dried out 90%, there is 35 businesses that have actually had to close their doors, but I am pleased to say that the chemist shop was able to open for business this morning. Alright, what about the Newsagent because he didn't do very well did he? the most damage, a complete brick wall fell in and he's out of action for quite a long time, he would be lucky to be back in business in his own premises inside 12 months, but I do believe he's setting up a interim business in the old sqaush courts Ali, Oh good on him, now the Molong districts, itself was declared, well the whole shire was virtually declared a disaster zone, what does that mean John as far as financial assistance for people? From a point of view of businesses, and farmers only there's up to $130,000 low interest loan from the government and that might sound a bit rough but at 2.7% that's not too bad and for the first two years, there's no payments and no interest, so basically they are giving the people a couple of years to get back on their feet with no costs what so ever and I think that's pretty good actually because there are alot of farmers that have lost their fences and livestock and crops and all sorts of things Cause it was very quick the water wasn't it John? Yes it was Ali, the four inches came in in about three hours and it rose quickly and we have done a lot of stream de-snagging and the water, we received about three inches of water prior to that, so everything was already damp, it run off quickly and it rose in about two hours and it rose to about four and a half to five feet, so it's never been seen like that before and it used to rush in in one door and back out the other, Oh goodness, well look good luck with the clean up and it will be some great stories to tell, lets hope it doesn't happen for another 50 years, So do we Ali and thank you very much. After the break how Canberra's Islamic community is coping with the media spotlight on terror suspects And we'll meet the woman helping cannabis addicts break the habit. Didi Killen joins us next on State Focus. You are watching State Focus and now to beautiful Orange, treatment clinic is up and running, giving support to those who want to get off the dope for good. It's the first time they're trialling such a clinic in a regional area. And co-ordinator Didi Killen who's been working very hard to get it all up and happening is with us now from Orange HI Didi how are you? Hi Ali, I am well thanks. That's good to hear. You are getting plenty of community support for the clinic I hear. There is very good support from a wide range of intresectual agencies. Would you say Didi, that perhaps there is a cannabis problem within the central West? There is a cannabis problem, problem over previous years, but unfortunately NSW over the last couple of years the use of cannabis is decreasing but it's still at quite a concerning level. What areas is the clinic servicing? What particular region? The clinic is based in Orange but it will also be providing outreach services to surrounding towns such as Bathurst, Cowra, Frobes and COndobolin. Right, now tell us what kind of support people can get from the clinic. Well the overall aim of the clinic is to assist with the reduction of health social and legal consequences of cannabis abuse and particularly problematical high end cannabis use that we are looking at assisting are the parents of young people who may or may not be using cannabis or the parents of young people who are concerned about their young peoples cannabis use and also other people from their teens up to say their 40's or 50's who would be using cannabis at a problematical level and the other group is people who have a dependency on cannabis but who also have a coexisting mental health problem. Didi this isn't somewhere you go where you check in and you go cold turkey is it? It's not that kind of treatment clinic is it? This is an out patient clinic and how it would work through the help line and once they have made an appointment to see the councillors, the specialist counsellors that we have, the counsellor would work with them to determine their actual level of dependency was, so fully assess their individual situation and work collaborately with that client to develop the plan or collection of strategies that they might put in place to address their problem. Well look it's terrific, good luck with the trial Didi, appreciate your time today and let us know if we can help in anyway. Thanks alot Thank you, thank you very much Ali. And if you do want to find out some more information about the Central West Cannabis Clinic there is a 1300 number you can call, it's right there on your screen. OK time to see what's been in focus in other parts of our region First the ACT, and not everyone is happy about the two extra public holidays over the Christmas-New Year break. Fewer Canberra bars and restaurants may open because bosses say the extra penalty rates may not make it worth their while. Yass Valley Council will again ask if it can tap into Canberra's water supply, despite getting a no from the ACT. Blame skippy for spreading around Patterson's curse but as yet, the weed is not over running horse paddocks like previous seasons. And nothing but the bare facts for today's open day for the ACT Nudist Club but you can only get location details via the website atcnc.net To the South Coast and an intersection in the Wollongong suburb of Unanderra has been rated one of the worst for crashes. The NRMA has found the Five Island Rd intersection of the Princes Highway was the scene of 41 crashes last year. The ACCC is looking into a complaint from Ulladulla man John Lippman who is fed up with having to pay around $1.39 for unleaded petrol, when it's 15 cents a litre cheaper in Nowra. Bega Shire Council has turned down the idea of a showerhead swap for residents, saying the money can be spent better elsewhere. And turning saltwater into drinking water they're doing just that with the wave Energy machine sitting off Port Kembla. In the Central west, Dubbo internet users have the evidence to back up their frustration. A government report finding Dubbo has to wait the longest for internet connection access. Smoking is to be banned completely at Orange public pool. Gp's in Parkes are bulkbilling more, with a 5% rise in the bulkbilling rate. And Orange has missed out on a NRL exhibition match at Wade Park in February, but may get a lookin for 2007. And in the Riverina this week, the focus has been on getting more people to move to Wagga. New residents will be offered lifestyle discounts of up to $10,000 to move to the area. Local Mp Daryl Maguire is looking at his legal options after a newspaper alleged his recent o-s trip was a junket. Rex airlines says it's had a good response from the Riverina from people wanting to buy shares in the company. And here's to the power-of-one. Retired teacher Kevin Farrell from Ard-lethan who went to Canberra this week, to stage a silent protest against the Howard Government at the front of parliament house. One of many protestors in the nation's capital this week. Well, our nightly TV news has been very much dominated by those police raids to catch suspected terrorists, and our local Islamic communities have inadvertantly found themselves caught up in the spotlight. Ahmed Yousseff is the president of the Canberra Islamic Centre and thanks for making some time today. It's great to have you here. How large is the Islamic community in the ACT? I think it is between 4,000 and 6,000. OK, so what percentage of our population would that be? It is about, less than 2%. Officially it comes up about 1% or so, there are certain nationalities who would not put it in the sensus. Are Muslims in our area in fear of a backlash over what they are seeing on the TV screens? Yes They are? Have you personally heard of any incidents that you would describe as victimisation? Not yet, but people are apprehensive that it could happen at any time and the arrests are nearly and people can disappear for so many weeks and it just makes them feel uneasy. Is this a result of these new terror laws? What are your main reservations about what you see John Howard doing with the terror laws? I don't think that it is the solution for the problem. It could help in building up the apprehension and the anti-muslim feeling. Whatever the politicians can say about we are not targeting this group or that group, it is very clear that it is aimed at the Muslims. Do you believe that should Australia suddenly step out of Iraq, that there would be less of a fear factor there for Muslims? I think this was one of the big mistakes that was done and it could make it a little bit easier, but it would never eradicate the feeling that Australia is always ready to be on the aggressive side. Do you as a community leader, an Islamic community leader, feel some level of obligation to go to authorities should there be some suspicious activity within your own community? Is that something you are comfortable doing, or would be comfortable doing? No, I don't think that in our community, there is any specimen which they are looking for. We have an open community, we open our doors to visitors, for the people who would ask questions who want to learn, so we have no fear what so ever and we invite other groups to come. We are in the interface as representatives for more than 12 years. So for us there is nothing to fear and Islam is not a mysterious religion, it is absolute common sense. If the people study it, it is like a big mosaic which fits together. The more they know, the more they approach it with relaxation. There is nothing to fear. But you are still shocked at what you are seeing on the TV screens, as much as the general, the broader Australian community - This has nothing to do with Islam and we said it from the beginning. You see if you have read the Koran, there is a verse in the Koran which says, whatever kills us all, without a valid reason, it is like killing the whole of humanity. So how can we put this with killing innocent people in their offices or children in a bus, or whatever it is, it doesn't fit. Well Ahmedd I will have to leave it there, let's hope that the people up on the hill have vision for all Australians for a safe Australia. Thank you Appreciate you coming in today. Thank you very much. We'll be back after the break with the fully-sick, trick turning, dirt-shredding motorcross maniacs they call the Crusty Demons. That's next on State Focus.

FOXTEL's 10th birthday means a big deal. For a limited time, you can get FOXTEL Digital installed from just $10 in metro areas.

That's a big saving. And you get your first month for just $10. Very big. Plus, with a choice of offers on 6, 12 or 24 month plans, there's never been a better time to get FOXTEL Digital. A deal this big only comes around every 10 years. FOXTEL Digital. Call 131 787 now. And welcome back to State Focus. Well, it's going to get a little bit crazy out Dubbo way tonight when a bunch of motorcross maniacs called the Crusty Demons bring their Outback Assault show to Apex Oval and one of the 2-wheel thrillseekers is with us right now Mr Jimmy Blaze Hi Jimmy how are you? I am doing excellent this morning. Do you think Dubbo is ready for you guys? Ah whether they are ready for us or not, we are here, we are ready to do this show. I mean it's not easy for you guys to bring your show to smaller towns like Dubbo, just how much dirt do you bring with you. Actually in this show we are bringing mechanical landings and mechanical ramps, so it's pretty easy set up, it's just logistically speaking it's tough because we are in the middle of nowhere and we are coming to these outback towns and we don't really know anything about these towns, so that's kind of only the tough part, but every where we have gone, the community and the people have brought together and helped us set up, it's been actually really, really a wonderful tour. Alright, what's your speciality Jimmy? I ride the snow mobile, I'm the snow mobile guy, that's my job I come out for the show for a couple of jumps and flip my snow mobile upside down. Alrighty, I mean the show just satisfies all the senses for the fans, do you find what makes a big show for you personally. When do you know you have got it right? When I don't wreck. When I don't wreck or nobody else in the show wrecks, I think that's when we got it right. You know the fans also, is a really big part, if our announcers get the crowd into it and they are screaming and yelling, then that pretty much makes a good show, when everybody is safe and the fans are happy. Yeah, the risk of injury is always there though, how often do things go wrong for you guys? Well usually, we've been doing this for quite a while now, so we've been pretty safe, but you know the tricks that we are doing are really, really tough, you know, everybody is flippin; upside down, everybody is doing variations of flips now and every time you turn around, somebody is - all it takes is a fraction of a second on timing and everything can go really wrong, really fast and so- we've been pretty lucky this tour, but there has been some mishaps but hopefully this weekend here in Dubbo. Yeah for sure. You know, you guys have got quite a few world records haven't you. I mean is that part of what you do? Are you continually pushing your own boundaries? Yeah definitely, we got another world record show here in April or May in Sydney for another day of records, so we will be breaking some more, but yeah, we've got quite a few record holders right here on tour, so yeah all the fans get to see all that, it's pretty cool. Yeah, well look they are coming from all over the Central West to see you guys, just a personal question here, what do you consider a risky job, considering what you do? What I do, there is no where else in the world that I'd do this, you know this snow mobile flips to a mechanical landings, nobody else in the world does this and that's pretty much the only thing that scares me in my job right now, is having to wake up in the morning and know that I got to flip my snow mobile upside down and if I mess up a little bit, I'm coming down on a whole bunch of steel and wood and metal and that's the thing that scares me right now. Look my husband also wants to know are the girls part of the tour this time around? Oh yeah, actually we got some good Crusty girls, some good dancers for this tour, it's actually been really good, a lot of quality - in each city that we've gone to, we've gotten to pick two local girls to be guest Crusty girls and so it's been pretty good, we've actually got to meet a lot of new people and gets the whole community involved in stuff that we are doing. Yeah keeping it strictly professional too, Jimmy, no doubt? Oh of course, of course. Look it's wonderful talking to you. Good luck with the show, I know you are going to get a packed house. Alright well thank you and I look forward to seeing you guys on Saturday. Alright thanks a lot Jimmy and you can still get some tickets for tonight at the gates. Gates open at 4.30pm and the crusty.com website has details on the local shop outlets in Dubbo which are still selling tickets aswell. And just before we go a quick mention of the plight of the Koomarri charity group based in Canberra, which does terrific work for the disabled community. You may have heard Koomarri's brand new premises in Woden were the target of a firebug recently, and the damage bill is going to be around a Million dollars. Margaret Spalding and her team have been gutted by the fire, and it's put them out of business for about 6 months. A special appeal is up and running for Koomarri and already there's been some donations from the big end of town, but every little bit will help. Just drop into your local branch of any Westpac bank and they'll have the appeal details. The fire is expected to leave Koomarri about $500,000 out of pocket. That's the show for today next week, we'll catch up with Hi-5 while they're playing shows in Canberra and Wollongong, and ACT pro-golfer Brendan Jones will drop by to tell us how his year on the US PGA tour has been and it's been a real learning curve for the boy from Moruya Enjoy the rest of the weekend and we'll see you next time on State Focus Live captions by Southern Cross Ten, Canberra.