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Stateline (ACT) -

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(generated from captions) Hello and welcome to Stateline - I'm Kathleen Hyland. a ballet competition - Later in the program, Sudanese refugee - Adut Atem. and we'll catch up with young story of Peter Spencer - To begin, the confronting a farmer from Shannon's Flat. native revegetation laws - He first fell foul of the NSW of most of his land. losing the use and the ongoing drought. Then came the 2003 fires This week saw the first snow falls until the spring. and no hope of growth shot some of his sheep - And on Tuesday he but Peter Spencer says that put them under the gun. its the politicians and not nature Emma Renwick reports. that they've eaten it down to. You can see the level means they'll start to go Now to leave them in here of collapse and drop dead - into a complete state died in this paddock. there's 11 already From starvation? yes, they've already died. Starvation - you get the front end loader. I'll get the extra bullets see because Peter is a proud man It's been devastating to project, especially the sheep. and he has put a lot into this taken a battering in recent years The pride of Peter Spencer has into this gut wrenching position. and now he's been cornered You know yesterday we thought they $20 a head for them, were going to give us they'd only take a few of them then they rang back and said the rest they didn't even want. and only give us $4 for those, final straw for this grazier. The drought may well be the the extremes he faces for ourselves. Over two days with him we saw the first winter snow, The second day brought until the spring thaw. nothing will grow now is the winter's now hit What you see now of grass until the Spring comes, and we will have no more production later than the rest of Australia. and that usually comes a month until we see growth now. So it'll be October, November began mounting decades ago. But his problems of state legislation, Firstly in the form his land by stealth. which he says has taken about 20% of farms It impacted probably that you could not clear and what it meant was certain types of land. cleared it and put your fences, Even if you had already built your shearing shed. built your farm, you couldn't go back If this regrew back and clean it up again. that you had your freehold land So it meant that after the fact your right to use it. if fact you would lose carbon credits for the government This revegetation buys no compensation. but farmers receive where we are now down to here So it comes to the point we can't survive. and with the drought areas to feed our stock. We can't move into these drought relief, We don't want from the government, I'd rather have no help to give us back our land. we just want them in NSW's high country, The Spencer's stud, 'Saarahn Lee' Namadgi National Park in the ACT. borders the southern boundary of years of drought The 2003 fires and kangaroos and feral dogs have meant that

in search of food. have been leaving the park so my sheep can't get in there, They fence for sheep and cattle animals getting out but they do not stop their and that's the injustice. So that's a massive breeding ground to go right across the landscape. which allows the animals

is being totally destroyed. My business enterprise up with was we're trapping - So the only solution we came electric fences, we've got boom guns, people have left the land but because so many so the dogs have focused on us. we're one of the few left desperate that Peter The situation now so wethers to the dog slaughter. is now offering sacrificial were killing in that paddock The dogs came right down and we lost 9 or 10 in one night attack this low down and we've never had them to take a 100 of the cull ones so we decided and put them in that paddock and not our good ones. so they would chase them they're waiting to be eaten. These are some of the bait, up to get pasture replenishment The moment we lock something fallowing it's called, or let it go to seed stock, or management practice which is sound business for sustainable land care, in and devastate it. the roos would come We lost our winter feed. drove the sheep out The dogs followed the roos, that eat the regrowth and they are the only ones so then that gets worse. both nature and bureaucracy, Fighting a losing battle against remaining useable acreage the Spencers had to make their

much more profitable. We have a tremendous history here. This is were we live - survive - so we decided if we were going to this injustice to keep on fighting we would have to have less animals a much bigger income. which produced per animal achieved turning an animal Two years ago we'd finally $200 and that was just the start. that returned $30 into Wool is measured in microns. the finer the wool, The smaller the micron, profitable the fleece. the more and the University of New England With the help of the CSIRO of the finest wool in the country. this farm is producing some to it's comfort factor it is 100%, It's very soft, in regards it has no prickle whatsoever. a very limited market It is very rare and has to develop genetically. and it takes many, many years all but worthless with the drought. But this once valuable clip became produce finer wool in standard sheep Ironically the harsh conditions and so until the drought breaks market is flooded. Peter's once narrow of thousands of kilos Well, there was hundreds sitting on the market. $200 to $300 a kilo Our market which was $4 or $5 dollars a kilo. dropped down to which is Lupins, Then the price of our feed, rose from 150 - jumped to 500, 450, 400. So we had to increase the feed which was four times the price and our income plummeted. Setback after setback led to that inevitable foreclosure by the bank. I think it's been so long for me I don't see it as a toughness, I see it as a lifestyle - that's how it's always been - just sort of gradually getting a little bit worse all the time. The end result was the property value plummets, so that you might have a house

where you've borrowed half a million dollars from the bank

with a valuation of 600,000, and then with the regulations the government brings in the valuation drops to $50,000 or 10% and now the bank says, "Oh, we've loaned you half a million, give it back". You try and sell the house and you can't. Instead Peter Spencer borrowed money from his extended family but, not having a bank loan, meant he was ineligible for drought assistance.

When we went for drought assistance, which we thought we'd get because we were declared exceptional circumstances, we were refused because the value of our land dropped so much because of all the different impacts, the bank wouldn't support us, they called up our loan. My family who - it is their farm their roots are here, my nieces and nephews they paid out the bank but they said you're not commercially viable because you couldn't get a bank loan so they knocked us back. Shannon's Flat attached to Cooma is a small community, you have to face it all the time when things aren't right - do you know what I mean? It's hard to pay the bills. Those people you are around all the time and the words they spread around. But people have been very patient with us, and I suppose it's the same for many other farmers around here. The Spencers do have to pay their mounting bills, and so they came to this desperate point. But had they been allowed to farm even just half of their land they would not have to face the possibility of leaving it forever. If I can farm my land without having all these problems I do not need any drought assistance at all. I'm happy to farm and put up with the ups and downs of the climate, the drought, the rain, the snow. But if I get my hands tied and I can't access my land and can't apply proper management principles - we let the land rest, we do all the right things, we haven't clear-felled our property. We have good timber resources, it's a wonderful, wonderful farm, but, if I can't farm it and manage for drought, I can't survive. We'll let you know what happens. I think we need something to cheer us all up. The Australian ballet was recently in town with its production called "White".

Two of the dancers are from Canberra - and they have both been nominated for the Telstra Ballet Dancer of the Year Award. It's the highest accolade of its kind for Australian ballet dancers and comes with a cash prize of $20,000 dollars. Paul Knobloch and Lana Jones will find out in September whether they are winners in the competition. But they already look like winners on the stage.

Well I started dancing when I was 12 inspired by what I had seen on television really. Mikhail Barishnikov and all the great dancers of that era kind of inspired me to take up dance. I started with theatrical training jazz ballet, tap, and modern dance before getting into classical ballet and never kind of looked back since then. Paul is one of the most unique dancers of our company. He's so tall and he has the most amazing flexibility. It's the sheer excitement of the movement that captured me. The excitement of being able to perform live on stage and entertain people - reach out and touch them in so many different facets, different ways. You can tell he just loves extending his body and finding new ways of moving but also he's got a fantastically beautiful classic technique. I've always been a powerful dancer - strong. I'm good at turns and the jumps -

I'm a classics girl, yep, I love the classical ballet side of it. I like contemporary as well. I've always been a powerful dancer - strong. I'm good at turns and the jumps - umm, I'm not very good at saying what I'm good at rather than what I am bad at. I'm a classics girl, yep, I love the classical ballet side of it. I like contemporary as well. I love moving and getting into the ground but ultimately the ballet - Lana is such an amazing dancer! She really is. She is incredibly professional, she is tenacious, she works exceedingly hard, she loves taking risks. I think it's the challenges really - I'm the type of person that loves a challenge - get a good go at things and see results as well so definitely that determination side of it. It's something that individually you need that drive determination and dedication to succeed within yourself to grow and develop as an artist - technically and artistically. when you are in teh dance world the only boy among a room full of girls The award started in the 20th anniversary of Telstra sponsoring the ballet it is a great honour to be nominated amongst a league of elite dancers it was a great honour and that you are on your way it is an award they can use any way they like it is a significant amount of money you can use to set up your life The fact that you have come that far and have been rewarded it will be great on the CV a wonderful achievement to have the rewards are dancing for Australia and getting the applause I aspire to be a principal dancer with the Australian ballet Rosa Ducic produced that story. You may remember our stories about young Sudanese refugee, Adut Atem. In 2003, we first reported on her journey and quest to reunite her family. She has come a very long way and amidst the sadness there's been a lot of good news. So a catch up with Adut shortly - but first a reminder of her story so far. She said, "Oh, this is amazing, you are a grown up girl now and I cannot imagine how you've grown to be this big." She said that she was very happy. She did not know that she was going to see me as this big girl. She was still thinking that I am that little Adut. The last time we saw Adut, it was one of the most bittersweet moments to witness - young Adut being reunited with her mother after 11 years. FRIEND CALLING: "Here they are - Adut."

And she saw again several cousins who she had to leave behind in a refugee camp when she came to Australia.

But Adut's mother had arrived just in time to see her husband Dau, who was in Canberra Hospital and terminally ill with cancer. Well, it's been two nights and Akur has spent both those nights in the hospital with Dau and the decision was made yesterday morning - in combination, the whole family together - to bring Dau home. The doctor agreed and so he's been brought home by ambulance to have palliative care doctors and nurses come to the home. It is very hard to describe and it is very emotional because he was very sick

and he was not even able to say hello to her and not even able to say "Welcome to Australia". My Mum just broke down in tears and what he said was - "If you find me like this the worst thing that maybe you could have seen is maybe not to see me again - but you've seen me now you don't have to cry. When the ambulance pulled up he went like this - which meant God be praised! He was home - and he's happy to be back here too. been possible, I don't think, And that wouldn't have without Akur. for only four days Akur had been in Australia when her husband Dau passed away. to have seen him again She was grateful with her children. and to have been reunited GUNFIRE had been separated Adut's mother and father since the civil war in Sudan that had been home to their family came to the southern village and forced them to scatter. was 8 years old, Adut who, at the time, so she took responsibility could not find her parents cousin and walked to safety - for her brother and a walk that took 2.5 years.

arrived at Camp Kakuma in Kenya. Eventually, she and the children On the way in the forest of animal will attack you you will never know what kind kinds of animals in Africa and there are many different and bad animal that can eat people that are really, really big must be a missing child so every single day there can who ever can do something? just kidnapped by animals but who

Nobody can do something. were just walking with the barefoot. The journey was that long and people surrendered on the way - Some people they said, "I can't go anymore." you just remain there And if you surrendered come back and take you. nobody will animals will come and attack you. You will just die or the safety of Camp Kakuma, But they did reach the remained for the next 8 years. where Adut and her cousin and brother Dau also found the camp Eventually, their father with his children. and was reunited for several nieces and nephews He also took responsibility have been killed in the fighting. whose parents were assumed to

Good boy! Yeh! granted refugee status by Australia Adut's immediate family was then and came to live in Canberra.

here when they heard, They had only recently arrived after all this time, that their mother Akur was alive way to the Kenyan camp. and had also found her reunion at Canberra Airport - And that's what led to this emotional of the nieces and nephews when Akur and several behind in Camp Kakuma, who'd been left big, extended family. again became one, and we be happy and God is willing. God join us - maybe we stay together

other now and talk more Maybe we'll get to know each and get to learn from each other. to a future in Australia. Back then, Adut was looking forward In the two years since, she has finished high school at the University of Canberra, and begun studying medical sciences SHOUTING AND CLAPPING as well as become part of the vibrant Sudanese community in Canberra. Adut has also been the subject of a book written by Sydney high school student and friend, Sophie Weldon. A book which has led to both young women being named as Australia's first ever Special Youth Representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In that role, they'll speak at schools and community groups to promote understanding of the plight of refugees. Do you feel nervous about going into schools and talking to children about your own personal experience? It's, sometimes you feel scared but, at the same time, it's worthy to talk to them, to let them know what does it mean to be a refugee 'cause most of them don't understand who is a refugee and why someone come to be a refugee. Most of the time, people don't understand that when you're a refugee, you did not want to be a refugee but something force you to be a refugee, So I think I'm happy to explain to people if I can make it clear

that a refugee is a different person from any other immigrant

that is seeking for economical resources other than being a refugee who had nothing and because of the situation, that person had to go. So, I think I'm looking forward to it. Now, a lot of people in Canberra will be interested to hear how you're going, because it's been 18 months since we last spoke to you. So, what's been happening in your life? Well, since that time when I finished my high school and I started my university course, medical science degree, and, yeah, I'm now at university in my second year and doing a medical science degree. with my family, we are all settling in, getting to know each other again and still thinking of the rest and trying to get them here as well. How's your Mum been settling in, because you had a long time without her.

How's that been going? Oh, she's doing all right, but although she had to have a couple of problems with the kids and everyone else, but, yeah, it's really going well and I think she's going good with being in Australia and she's happy. Only that she maybe feel,

sometimes if you come to a new place it's so lonely. Yeah, but she's settling in all right She goes to school at CIT, comes back in the afternoon, visit my nephews and nieces around in Flynn and yeah, she keep herself busy every time. And what's Akur learning at CIT? She was doing English course - just the basic English and hopefully next time she will do something more than English. And what about your own relationship with your Mum? How are things now that you're back together again? It's fantastic.

It's going all right. We're trying to know each other again like mother and daughter. And the last time we were speaking to you, you still had some cousins in Camp Kakuma. Has that situation changed? Well, not much. The situation has not changed at all, but, yeah, we're still hoping to get them over here. It's still hard. There have been insecurity problems in the camp itself and there is not enough food most of the time but, yeah, we're just praying hard and trying hard with the Department of Immigration

to try and get them here. I heard your brother say that being a refugee is his legacy, that he'll always be the boy who came out from Sudan. Is that how you feel too? Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's part of you, being a refugee. You know, in human development you have that stage, and when you pass through eight or 10 years in a refugee camp it's like part of your life and you get to adapt whatever it is there. And you will always look back to it So it's part of somebody that you cannot really forget and it's part that you need to remember anyway in your life. So, we always look back and say, "Yeah, this is home" and "this is this", so, yeah.

Last time, I asked you what the future held for you and you said you just wanted to get to know your Mum again. What do you think the future holds for you now? Oh, like any other person, I guess, yeah, I think the future is quite bright and I can see it's changing and life's not the way it used to be. And that's almost it for the week - Next week an extended interview with Member for Fraser, Bob McMullan. To finish this week,

an exhibition at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre. Three photojournalists who were living at Camp Kakuma showing their pictures of the people forced to flee Sudan. Until next week - goodbye. Captions by Captioning and Subtitling International.