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Stateline (ACT) -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) And before we go, a brief

recap of our top story tonight.

The Prime Minister's $10

billion rescue plan for the

Murray-Darling is looking shaky

with premiers demanding more

money and more detail. And

that's ABC News. Stay with us

now for 'Stateline' with Philip

Williams. Have a great weekend, goodnight. Closed Captions by

CSI

CC This year I have to say

there's an absolute dire

straits of shortage of rental

property, most definitely. This

is really above the norm.

Hello and welcome to

Stateline d first for the year.

I'm Philip Williams, it's great

to be back. Well coming up -

the high cost of housing here

in Canberra and a crucial piece

of Australia's history gets

mapped. But first the word on

everyone's lips - water. The PM

has held his summit with the

premiers but no real agreement

was reached. The ACT was reassured that the Federal

Government isn't about to take

over the Territory's water

supply but there's still a

question of who owns the

Googong Dam. The Feds think

it's theirs but the ACT says they're dreaming.

When Chief Minister Jon

Stanhope and ACTEW boss Michael

Costello flew over the Googong

Dam a few years ago, they were

in no doubt - one day soon this

would be theirs. Like a

mortgage on a house they

thought they had a deal and the

from the Commonwealth to the dam would soon be transferred

ACT. There was never an

intention on the part of the

Australian Government to hand

that asset over to the ACT

Government. There was never a

decision made by the Australian

Government to hand it over and

Graham Richardson stated in the

Senate when he took the legislation threw specifically

that asset would not be handed

over. So after paying $60

million off a loan the ACT

Government thought included

payment for the dam d

Commonwealth Government, at

least part of it, says the dam

is not and never has been for

sale. Canberrans should be

frightened tonight that the

Commonwealth has done a deal

with the NSW Liberal Party for

the purposes of shoring up

Peter Debnam's chances in the

next election of Goulburn.

They're prepared to put at risk

the water security of the

people of the ACT. How is it

that one of Canberra's most

valuable ation sets could go

missing? The water, the dam,

it's there alright but the real

estate is firmly and it seems,

inextricably in federal hands.

And for that you may blame or thank Special Minister of State

and local MP Gary Nairn who

wrote to the Prime Minister

months ago arguing any transfer

should be stopped. Stanhope's

initial reaction is you're

stealing my water. I'm sorry,

it's not his water. This is

water for all Australians. Gary

Nairn says it's time geen beian

rights to Googong water and and the region were given equal

that the ACT has used water as

a weapon to stifle competition

the Territory land sales. A as

a consequence of that, we've

which has really hurt seen spiraling land prices

everybody. It's a sentiment

echoed by Queanbeyan mayor

Frank pan gel o who wants to

take the ACT Government to

court over charges from water

from a dam he say s was always

meant to be shared. They

haven't not been very, very neighbourly in relingss to

water, certainly with geen

beian and I believe that this

action by the Commonwealth

Government to maintain control

of this dam has been brought

about by the stubb born ab

attitude of the current ACT

Government. The politics in the

valley of the dammed is so

contradictory, so confusing it

bears a lit m scrutiny.

Remember the Federal Government

says the dam was never for

sale, something Liberal Senator

Richard Colbeck told Jon

Stanhope late January. There

hasn't necessary been a deal. They've been making claims over

a number of years that they had

a deal and they haven't

actually paid for it. Yet one

of Senator Colbeck's proceed

sessors as parliamentary

secretary to the finance

minister did discuss the

transfer of ownership in a

letter to the then ACT

Treasurer Ted Quinlan. She made

a response to a claim made by

the ACT. So was it also a

mistake for the Territory's

Minister Jim Lloyd to

acknowledge in this memorandum

of understanding that "The

ownership of the Googong dam

area is currently in the

process of transfer from the

Commonwealth to the ACT

Government ACTEW. This transfer

will mean that the Googong Dam

area and neighbouring Commonwealth freehold land will

become freehold land owned by

the ACT." It's signed Jon

Stanhope, NSW Premier Morris

Iemma and the Honorable Jim

Lloyd dated 17 August 2006. I

would not be surprised that people find it bizarre because

I find it totally bizarre. How

can you sign a document six

months ago that says yes, we

intend to complete the process

of transferring this asset to

the ACT Government, many other

documents in the last several

years saying that, many other

documents over the last decade

saying that and yet suddenly

announce well we've changed our

mind. Senator Colbeck say s

it's a fuss over nothing. The

taps will still turn on the

water still flows. If this

changes nothing, why are they

doing it? From ACTEW's point of

view, of course, we believe

we've paid for this. It's a

major asset on our book, it

will be a significant change to

our balance sheet and our

financial situation if we no

longer own it. While ACTEW is

heading for the lawyers what

does it mean for us bill

payers. If the Commonwealth is

right and therefore the ACT

Government doesn't own it, do

they then have the right to

licence you to charge us for

the water. In other words,

should we be paying our water

bill? Well, my friend, the

answer is nobody knows what it

means. With all this confusion,

time to go to the top.

Yesterday acting ACT Chief

Minister Katie Gallagher was reassure ed by the Prime

Minister at the water summit

that the Commonwealth didn't

want to control urban water.

But what about the dam? Prime

Minister, Jon Stanhope has

accused you of well ching on

the deal of the Googong Dam. I

haven't well ched on anything

and the matter was not raised

today at the meeting. The

Acting Chief Minister did not

raise it. So it couldn't have

been hanging too heavily on the

ACT. Is ownership of Googong

Dam negotiable at all? The

ownership of Googong Dam, well

isn't it something that has been dealt with already? When

you say is it negotiable? Well

the ACT claims that they've

paid at least partly for

it? Well I can assure you that

if the Chief Minister wants to

talk to me about anything he's

always welcome to do so but we

have not welched on any

deal. The ACT Government

suspect it's about proping up

State Liberal candidate Pru

Goward in Goulburn. The

government denies a consircy.,

it's in a different State. It's

in NSW, it was brought by the

Australian Government to

provide security over the land.

We own that land.

The elements of this amazing

story of a misplaced dam will

now include lawyers, politics,

elections and business, just

add water. A magical ingredient

that has the power to nourish,

divide and confuse. Well

Canberra's in the midst of an

accommodation drought. At the same time we're trying to

recruit people to come here and

solve the skill shortage. But

with house prices so high, few

people can afford to make the

move. The competition for

rentals is now so hot that rent

auctions are taking place.

Industry groups say it's going

to get worse before it gets

better. Joanne Shoebridge

reports.

Front up to an open house in

Canberra at the moment and the

chances are you'll be one of

scores of people, all cashed

up, all needing somewhere to

live. So have you been looking

for a place for long? Yeah, six

months, I suppose. We're still

living at our mum's and dad's

house so it's pretty hard. The

prices in general are very high

in Canberra. For a single

renter, not a chance over 300

unless you're earning very big

money. I'm here on a job

placement so I have to look for

a property to live in. From

Melbourne, I came from

Melbourne so it's been very

difficult. I didn't expect it

like this. It's definitely very

typical, we're getting 60, 80,

94 people at at our open

exhibitions. Properties for

rent are at an all-time

premium. While this time of

year is a difficult one to find accommodation, even long-term

ACT property watchers are

saying it's never been this

tough. There is a real problem.

The most recently people have

been talking about there being

a vacancy around 1%. In recent

days I've checked with a number

of our members and they're

telling me they've got vacancy

rates of 0 or 0.3% for another

quite large agency. After

recently separating from his

wife, Dan Fernandes is looking

for a place where he can have

his two children visit. He's still making mortgage

repayments on the family home.

Today he's looking at a small

three bedder in Calwell. Prices

for this property I think is

quite fair but for other

properties I've been to I

wouldn't have thought so given

that I can see the infrastructure's falling around

you and maybe they can get it

because the market will bear

it. And you can only do so

much. You can put your hat in

the ring and say you'll do this

and that you're a good person

and you've of reasonable good

character and hope that they

choose you. So I suppose you're

putting up your hand saying

"Pick me, pick me.". Would you like to take an

application? Yes. He's not the

only one desperate to find a

place soon. The houses

advertised at $295 a week and

more than 50 people have shown

up to the inspection. Quite

surprising actually. Thought

there would be one or two, not

64. I'm guessing it's hard I

suppose. Money's not the

easiest thing to come by. Itself expensive.

Especially in Canberra. It's a

lot cheaper down the coast. Pay

$220 for a house with a pool

and a spa bath but you've got

to go with the work is. This

year I have to say there's a

dire straits of shortage of

rental property, most

definitely. This is really

above the norm. We would

normally have 20 people perhaps

but this is really extreme. For university

students, many who come from

interstate or overseas, the bat

toll find a place can be even

harder. Two bedroom for two

office accommodation together

but it's very difficult, you

know. That's the bottom line. That's the same phone

number. We are on the waiting

list and there are a whole load

of applications there already

applied, so everyone is on the

waiting list so God knows what

will happen. Students aren't

high on landlords priorities.

Often students aren't organised

enough to get in there with

their application as they go to

do a viewing. I've heard

stories of 60 people attending

a 15-minute opening. If you're

not ready to pounce the mid

minute you walk in the door you

don't have much success. The

ANU predicted it would be a

tough year, especially for

second years moving off campus.

It organised seminars last

December and encouraged

students to lease properties

before the holiday period. Seth

Parker qualified for a place on

campus but he's married and

there were no couples quarters

available. It's a bit daunting

arriveling and saig I want to

rent a place and having people

look at you saying "It's really

tough." I don't suspect you'll

get anywhere before three our

four weeks. That seems to be

the general consensus from Canberrans. Another unfortunate

consequence is some agents and

landlords have taken advantage

of the situation. Again they

have to have reasons under the

tenancy legislation. The

tenant's Union says there's

been an increase in unfair rent

increases. Ten nants are more fearful now because they think

if they get thrown out of their

home that there's no where to

go. So we're seeing meem being

- people being a lot more

fearful of actually asserting

their rights, even to the

extent of saying we need urgent

repairs done. Around the

country there's less public

housing available than ever

before as governments

increasingly leave the

provision of low-cost housing

to the private sector. The

people who are always worse

affect ready the low income

earners because they have the

least capacity to deal with the issue. Anybody who yould

normally be looking at some

form of discrimination against

them in a private rental market

when it's healthy are in the

worst possible situation now

because they're competing

against people who have jobs,

look like a landlord or a real

estate agent want them to look

like and possibly the pressure

is on them when they're in

their tenancies as well and there's no where for them to

go. There are also signs the accommodation shortage is

having an even wider impact on

the Canberra economy. We're

experiencing a skills shortage

anyway and businesses are

having trouble find ing people.

When they then find someone who

wants to come to Canberra,

wants to work in the position

but can't afford to come

because of housing

accommodation, that's

particularly frustrating. What

could happen out of that for

Canberra is the Federal

Government may make decisions

to put people in orcities around Australia rather than

the first preference being here

in the capital. Most capital

cities are experiencing similar problems, but the situation

here is acute. There's been an

increase in the federal public

service of 5,000 people. The

Defence Force is set to grow by

an extra 1,000 people.

Meanwhile, the high cost of

property, stamp duty and comparatively low returns have

triggered an exodus of

landlords from the market at a

time when the population is

booming. Because of the rental

crisis, rebts have gone up

quite considerably so the

return is greater than it was

previously. However we have

seen a lot of people leaving

the market, a lot of people

putting money into super and

we've also seen people steering

away from the ACT because of

our land tax that a lot of other jurisdictions certainly

don't have. There are also

demographic factors at work. Canberra's population is

rapidly ageing but whereas many

retiring public servants once

left Canberra, most now

consider it home. Broken

families mean fewer people under one roof. Young people

who would once have been buying

their first home have been

priced out of the market. The

median house price in the ACT

is now $439,000. Some live at

home, but most are forced to

rent. Then there's the issue of

land supply. Despite the

release of an extra 500 blocks

before Christmas, the Real

Estate Institute of Australia and Housing Industry

Association say the ACT

Government has been too slow to

respond to Canberra's growth.

180 home sites released at

Forde over the Australia Day

long weekend sold out in just

two hours. While building

approvals in the ACT for

December fell by 64%.Fewer new

homes and fewer homes for sale

mean fewer places to rent. The

demand side can change so

quickly and yet it takes a long

time to then be able to get

that land on to the market. So

we might have a huge increase

in demand and yet it takes us

6, 12, 18 months to get that

land to market which is clearly

too long. The ACT Government

has launched a taskforce into housing affordability due to

report next month. It's the

second taskforce in the past

three years to look at the

issue. With revenue heavily

reliant on the property sector

and a major water

infrastructure project set to

soak up any spare cash, the

Government may find the

solution unpalatable. In the

ACT, the ACT Government

controls the government charges

and it controls the land. What

I would like to see them doing

something in those two areas to

make it more viable to people

to be able to purchase their

own property. So that means

reducing their take? It does,

but I mean the alternative is

that we have a problem that

could have other economic

ramifications if we spoke about

earlier, about people maybe not

coming to Canberra to work here

if government departments don't

come here. This is a very

complex area, the solutions are

not only not simple but the

time lines are long. For, if

one was to reduce the land tax

that would have an immediate

impact tomorrow but all the

other options are two, three or

five years down the track. If

we do nothing about it now, the

problem will only get worse and

we will lose perspective ACT residents that really could

look at the ACT as a home.

We've seen the Government

commit to spending considerable

funds through the Live in

Canberra campaign, which is a

great initiative, but if those

people can't come and reside in

Canberra then it's a bit of a

waste of tiesmt we're hoping that they're looking to

Canberra's future and if we are

looking to the future of

Canberra then they're going to

need to make some hard

decisions and they're going to

need to make them now.

Joanne Shoebridge with that

story. Now there's much more to

maps than your local Gregories.

The early map makers were often

both adventurer s and artists.

The first charts of Australia

were drown by the devuch and

the significance of the tales

they tell has come to the

attention of curator Martin

Woods who takes up the story.

This is a very special item

in the library's collections

for several reasons. One of the reasons probably the most

important one is that there are

only five handdrawn maps of Australia by the Dutch. The

Dutch, as we know, chartered a great deal of the Australian

coastline, particularly Western

Australia and South Australia,

and the north, but very little

is left in Australian hands and

what we've now got is two maps

here of the Western Australian

coastline that tell the story

of William de Vlamingh's voyage

here in 1697. Vlamingh's story

was a tragic one in one sense.

They spent just two months

here. They were here to prevent

wrecks. He succeeded in

charting the coastline but

didn't succeed in his other

mission which was to find

spices or gold or riches or

people to trade with. The local

people avoided him at every

opportunity. Whenever they were

sighted, all they found were

smoking campfires and huts

abandoned, footmarks in the

sand. Only once did they ever

sight a group of - a

substantial group of Aboriginal

people. The cartush on the map

says discover I bd Vlamingh .

He arrived at the bottom of WA

or below Swan River and kept

working and kept recording the

important physical features.

Remember his job was to cut out

the chance of ship wreck. So

you can see along here a number

of the physical features

mentioned and then noted up

above so that if there was a

particularly dangerous shoal or

reef or if there was water to

be found then this could be

relayed back to other ships

eventually who were sailing

under the ownership and

authority of the Dutch East

India company. This is a

characteristic rosette of

Vlamingh and the cartographer,

handdrawn and paints. Quite a

beautiful object. It's really

the only vivid colour on the

map but it's extraordinary this

olive colour meant to depict

the land and the sandy doll

colours meant to despickt the

sandbars and shoals have been

retained throughout the period.

It's a well recorded, well

constructed and well preserved

map. From every angle an

important acquisition for the

library. He lost a bit of

interest towards the end of the

map and after their two months

they were thoroughly sick of

the whole experience. They'd

found no-one to trade with,

they'd found no riches, they

did find eucalypt oil, they'd

managed to find a few swans but

they hadn't communicated with

anyone. So it's no wonder that

when they left his first

officers said this most

desolate land. They'd not found water. Whenever they landed

they were faced with high

cliffs. They just seemed to be

incredibly unlucky. And this is

in essence the story of the

Dutch discovery of Australia.

The ironic thing about this map

is that it was eventually

published in 1753 over half a

century after Vlamingh's

voyage. But by then the Dutch

had lost interest and the

British were coming on the

scene and before very long

they'd discovered what they

thought to be much richer

pickings on the east coast. So

the work of the Vlamingh was

lost for 200 years and rarely

recorded on any known maps. Obviously not everybody can

come and visit the library.

There are 115,000 of these rare

maps that we're aware of and

400 atlases that we hold here

and we have a lot of visitors but we're now trying to

photograph as much as we can of

the collection so that

everybody can use the maps.

They tell us a lot about

Australia, about its history,

who we are, who we were and

perhaps who we might be over

time.

Incredible artwork, isn't it?

The fine detail done by hand,

not a machine touched that

paper. Arthur Hill produced

that story and for the

enthusiasts, there's a map

conference at the National

Library from Sunday until

Wednesday. All of our stories

an related links will be on our

website on Monday. That's www.abc.net.au/stateline. To

finish this week's program,

local music group Meatbee will

be performing at Saturday's

brumbies match. They've come up

with a cheeky way to get a film

clip. They offered a prize to Canberra-based animators for

the best interpretation of

their music and lyrics. The

winners were the students at

the Academy of Interactive

Entertainment. This is their

clip. The song is called 'Just

For Me' and from me until next

week, goodbye. Closed Captions

by CSI

(Sings) # You are both shaken

# You have seen the very least

of me

# And you didn't scare at all

# Still come back for more

# This is not for you

# This is just for me

# Now I must say do you want to

lose put hand lock in my tea # Tonight I die

# You believe in faith and

truth and love

# It's apparent to me now

# You can see

# The good in everything

# And I'm shore that makes me

miss you more

# This is not for you

# This is just for me

# Now I must say do you want to lose

# Put a hem lock in my tea # Tonight I die #

# There's no difference if its

when I'm with friends I'm alone #

Hi, I'm Andy Muirhead.

And wherever you're watching right around Australia, welcome to another big episode and another big year here on Collectors. THEME MUSIC Hello, panel. Welcome back. Did you have a good break? GORDON: Great time, thanks. NICCOLE: Absolutely. We start the series this year with a collector who's got the biggest item we've ever had on the show. Yeah, that's right. You're talking about Paul and his wonderful big Golden Fleece truck.