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Stateline (ACT) -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) and the 1812 jeefr tur at last

night's spectacular Beating of

the Retreat Ceremony at the Australian war mem more yell

here in Canberra. Enjoy your

long weekend and thanks for joining us. Goodnight.

Captions produced by joining us. Goodnight.

Captioning and Subtitling


This program is captioned live

Hello and welcome. I'm

Philip Williams. Later in the

program, we go 'On The Buses'

and play cricket on a table.

But first - the fire season has

begun already, and summer is

inquiry into the still months away. The coronial

inquiry into the 2003 bushfires

has yet to produce its

findings. But in the meantime,

can we be certain that sufficient lessons were learned

from that disaster? Stateline

produced an award winning

documentary in 2003 called 'Where There's Smoke', and we

thought it timely to revisit

some of the issues and the

people we spoke to at that

time. And find out just how

ready is the community for

fire? another summer and another

From this ... to this.

Houses, trees, lives may have

regrown from the ashes, but for

all the pain, it seems not all

the lessons of that terrible

day have been learnt. The ACT

day have been learnt. The ACT

Government has placed that

concern below the concerns of

budget and money. And I think

that's a very serious

mistake. I believe that this

should have much priority than

many, many other things in the

ACT budget. What's the

risk? The risk is death and lot

of home. Four years ago Garth

Bryce and his neighbours

defended their Chapman homes

with a garden

with a garden hose and a


that again. They won't be caught like

The whole idea is that we

defend our homes in a bushfire

situation like 2003, where the

fire brigade has sort - the 500

homes under threat, they only

had sort of a dozen or so fire

units, they request go to a

dozen fires, they can't

dozen fires, they can't put out

community fire unit. 500 firs at one time. Hence the

How much better prepared are

you now than you were in

2003? Well, 2003, we defended

this area here, which was under

total fire attack, by people

standing around in shorts and

T-shirts with garden hoses.

From Simmonds Place point of

prepared. We've view we are 1,000 times better

prepared. We've had training,

we're in protective clothing,

we know how to use a hydrant

and we know what we're doing.

We know know when to get oust

way of danger and when to come

back in. There is an an amber

protect that proceeds the fire.

You're out there stopping the

spot fires. When the fire is

coming you get out of harm's

coming you get out of harm's

way and then when the fire

passes you come out and put

spot fires out. We're here to

protect our homes, solely and

simply. Okay. The problem is,

while some frontline suburbs

including Chapman are protected

by around 30 of these

neighbourhood units, many more

are needed. That's not to say

enormous progress hasn't been

made, giving residents the

training and the hardware to

training and the hardware to

fight back. Is it scary doing

a lot of this sort of community

work? No, it's pretty fun, actually. Gets everyone

together. Everyone gets along,

brings us all to the same kind

of place. How about you? With

the right training I think

that's useful, and you feel

better about things being more

confident in knowing how to

react and assist in a fire situation. Could you ever have

situation a few imagined yourself in this

situation a few years

ago? Never. Never before the

fires. But the positive of the fires has been that it's

brought us all together, and

we're working together to make

sure we're a safer

community. And gives you more

confidence in case of a fire? I

think, so yeah. With the

training and back-up support, I

think it's good. And childhood

dreams of becoming a fireman are more realistic than ever. Does this look like

ever. Does this look like

fun? Yeah. Why? What would you

like to do? Um ... turn the

hose on. Yeah. Let's hope

you're not needed? Well,

there's been eight major fires

in the last 60 years according

to the bushfire management

plan. It will come again. There

is no question of that. It's

just a matter of time. The

shortest time between major

longest time fires is five years, the

longest time is 20 years. It's

an issue of time, not if, it's when. It's totally and utterly

when. So we must use this time

to prepare. To get another 60

units into place will take

three years. It's 20 units per

year is the rate that they can

sort of train them and equip

them. So we need three years to

reach our full capability. We

have three years. Do we have

have three years. Do we have

three years before another

major fire is the question? I

assume the government thinks we

do. I'm not so sure about that.

We're leaving here ...

Eucembene Drive in Duffy was a

hell that day. More than 20

houses lost as the nearby

forest exploded. Mark Douglas

stayed and managed to save his

stayed and managed to save his

house. There was no community

fire unit then, and there still isn't. Did you expect when these community fire

arrangements were put in, that

you'd be amongst the

first? Well, we thought that

that might be a fair chance.

We've heard very little about

it since. There was some - a

flurry at the beginning and it

seems to have just died a natural - and we've heard

nothing more. This is a

nothing more. This is a street

which is about - more than 20

houses were burnt out in this

place, and you're right, there

isn't a community fire unit

anywhere to be

seen. Curiously, if you take a

street like Dryandra Street in

O'Connor, there are two units

there. Similar situation,

similar size. Why O'Connor and

not Duffy? Nobody knows.

Another unknown, the effect of

Another unknown, the effect of

of emergency services back the ACT Government's absorption

under the Justice Ministry. Not

what the McLeod report

recommended, and around here at

least, a feeling the government

has got its priorities

wrong. Do we need a prison,

would be one thing I'd say,

given that we lost four people

and 500 homes here and they

don't seem to have taken it

much further than that, and

much further than that, and

even cut back spending on it.

Just over the ACT border,

south of Tharwa, grazier and

bushfire brigade stalwart Mike

Lonergan warns that failure to

properly manage the mountain

forests with controlled burns

means less than four years on,

the danger is real and increasing. We're

increasing. We're denying

nature if we don't burn, and we

don't turn regularly, and substantially, and Canberra

will burn again. That's not to

say nothing's been done since

the fires. It has. We've got a

new community hall and fire

shed and it shares between the

community uses and the bushfire

brigade and we've got new

trucks and it all came about

after the 2003

after the 2003 fires by great community effort and it's just been terrific, and it's an

asset to our community. We've

got our own bushfire brigade.

We're independent. And we're

self-reliant and we haven't

lost a house yet. While the

new shed and equipment is an

enormous boost, some problems

remain. One of the major flaws

exposed by the Canberra fires

was the communication systems -

or lack of them. The

or lack of them. The ACT and

New South Wales firefighters,

unable to Radio One another,

the ACT system jammed. This is

how Mike Lonergan described it

back in 2003. On the Friday

night, by the end of the night,

that is, about midnight, the

ACT radio system was virtually

in tatters. As it was from

about 10 o'clock to 11 o'clock

on the Saturday morning, it was

producing a whole series of

static, and very few

messages. It has been improved,

with the expenditure of a large

amount of money. Some would say

an excessive amount of money,

but it has been slightly

improved. The official control

centres of each service can

talk to each other, and the

trucks can talk to each

trucks can talk to each other

if they drop off their own home

frequency. So that your radio

is exclusively one

conversation. So it's one or

the other? It's one or the


Mike Lonergan says the lack

of a clear budget for Rural

Fire Services in the ACT so far

is hampering preparations and eroding staff

eroding staff morale and that

the absorption of the emergency

services under the Justice

Department is a mistake. In the

ACT, the place has improved

enormously. It's developed in

the corporate vision and was in

the process of doing that

before the government torpedoed

it by putting it under a

department. There is no

escaping a simple fact:

Canberra will have to contend

with another big fire in the

future. It's just a matter of

time. And with the Weather

Bureau predicting a season

every bit as bad if not worse

than 200 #3, it's a reality Justice Minister Simon Corbell may have to deal with.

We are dramatically improving

the types of things that have

been done since

been done since 2003. I need to

point to the fact that behind

me here a new operations centre

here at the emergency services

authority so we can manage

bigger incidents. We've put in

place new radio communications

networks, trained more

firefighters, we have new

vehicles for our firefighter

activities but most importantly

we've done two things. The

first is a very active fuel

management program to reduce

fire fuel loads and the other

fire fuel loads and the other

thing we've done is I think raised community awareness about the fact that dealing

with a bushfire and facing a

bushfire is a shared

responsibility. One of the

success stories appears to be

the community fire unitses set

up to basically protect local

homes. There are about 30 of

those units. We're told we need

up to 90, and it would only

cost $1.5 million to

cost $1.5 million to cover that

gap. Why haven't we got those

extra units in place? There is

no set figure for community fire units in terms of the

number we need. Community fire

units are an important part of residents preparing themselves

in the event of a fire on the

urban edge. We have funded 28

of those units. That's over 550 volunteers just in the

CFUs. Why not extend it, though, cover that

though, cover that whole

interface? We'll continue to

roll that program out, but I

don't think think it's

realistic to expect you will

have every inch of the urban

interface covered with such a

unit. Isn't it true that the

only thing really stoping a complete network of community

fire units along the urban edge

is money? Well, everything is

about money, but it's about

priorities in each and every

priorities in each and every

season, and making sure that we

are meeting the main priorities first and then going down the

list in order of pry --

priority. It's lower down the list? It was this year,

yes. The the radio network,

criticisms from fire brigades

in New South Wales that they

still can't readily talk to the

still can't readily talk to the

ACT? One of the key issues

following 2003 was the need for

inter operatability. I've seen

that working myself first-hand.

There is no doubt that the new

TRN radio network that we've

put in place does allow us to

communicate with New South

Wales units. It's my

understanding it's either one

system or the other? No, that's

not true. The arrangement is that

that when it comes to a task force from New South Wales

coming into the ACT, the issue that you need is the commanders

talking to the commanders. You

don't need every vehicle having

to be able to talk to every

other vehicle. It's about

maintaining the chain of

command and making sure the

commanders can talk to each

other. You're quite sure that's

in place? Absolutely and I have seen it work first hand myself. Let's look at the the budget for the Rural Fire Service here in the

Service here in the ACT. I'm

told there is still no

allocation, that the firies on

the ground don't know how much

money they can spend? We've

said we can't afford to have

our emergency services agency

blow its budget every year as a

waive doing its business. That's what's happened for the

last three years. That's why

you reabsorbed it back into

your department? That's why we wanted to

wanted to she greater levels of

accountability in terms of the

management of the organisation.

I expect to see within the next

two weeks a finalised budget

for the year that deals with

the $5 million overspend and

make sure it works within its

budget. Are you confident you

could stop a 2003 bushfire

developing with the same destructive force on

Canberra? I'm confident that we

are better prepared

are better prepared and

equipped with better communications and better systems for warning the

community in advance of an

incident. But if a fire starts

on an extreme weather day, with

very high winds and very high temperatures, all the experts

recognise it's extremely

difficult to manage a fire,

even with absolutely all the resources possible.

(Haunting violin music plays)

Those pictures rather a

chilling reminder. Now, do you remember 'On The Buses'? It was

a pretty awful British comedy.

But according to the drivers on

the ACT's buses, life is just

pretty awful. Anyone who catches the city's

catches the city's only means

of public transport would know

there was a recent strike. Many

might also think there are

simply not enough services

anyway. Drivers say they've been forced into industrial

action, and the issue is far

bigger than just their pay

packets. Catherine Garrett has the story.

Morale has gone downhill a lot in the last

lot in the last two months,

three months. I don't think the

timetable runs very well, and

the routes don't seem very

good. Like Canberra's so

widespread, I don't think it's a sufficient transportation


It's not good. Yeah ...

nobody's happy, obviously.

Canberra's bus drivers have been taking

been taking action of the

striking kind this month. At

issue, proposed cuts to


Up to 400 runs on the

weekends, and a reduction of

the buses running during the

interpeak periods during the week. Klaus Pinkas says

between 10am and 2pm about one

third of Canberra's buses will

be taken off the road. That's

bad news for passengers. You

bad news for passengers. You do

get a lot of elderly pensions

and elderly people who want to

catch a bus around on the

weekend. Normally their pay

week is on a Thursday or

Friday. So they do their

shopping on the weekend. It's

not fair, not when you're

looking at older people that

may need to get a bus to the

doctor and they might have to

wait an extra hour. If there is

a breakdown in a bus, it might

a breakdown in a bus, it might

be up to two hours. On Sundays

especially weekends they don't

have very many services running. It's difficult to get

to places, there is an hour

gap. And a big hole in the pay

packet for workers. Mother of

five, bus driver Leonie Jones

relies on weekend work to

balance the books and home

life. How will this effect the

family budget? It will

family budget? It will affect

it greatly. I usually work 9 to

10 hours on a weekend. That's a

lot. I don't know how many

weekends will be available to

me when it starts but I would

imagine it would be maybe one

every three weeks. I'm using

one every single week. I may

have to go back to chasing

overtime in the morning, which is hard, because of

is hard, because of my

children, because I work at

2.30 every afternoon, I don't

see them when they come home

from school. If I want to chase

overtime in the morning, I don't see them before they gl

to school. So that's really not

good. It affects everybody in

different ways. You've got full

timers, part timers, those who

rely on weekend work, those who rely on overtime during the

week. Everything's going to be affected.

affected. It's just how much.

The latest strike action was

prompted when drivers were told

they could be working split

shifts followed by night shifts

on a rotating weekly basis.

That would involve a morning

roster, leaving work during the

middle of the day, then

returning to work the same

night and the following week

driving the evening shift.

Skewing time to a minimum at

home, and a point where the

union says many members were prepared

prepared to resign. You didn't

have a good day? I did. I

didn't. I won't get to see my

wife or anything until the

weekend. That will be basically

it. The weekend only. What the

drivers objected to was that

some of the comments if you

like in the media were about

dollars. This has never been

dollars. It's about lifestyle. About drivers being able to

talk to their families. See

talk to their families. See

their families at dinnertime or

in the morning. What about

you? We got to look in the

van. Negotiations between the

union and Territory and

Municipal Services have taken

place throughout the week. The government concedes some ground

on the issue of rotating split

shifts. We were quite happy to

accommodate a tweaking to those shifts to make

shifts to make sure that the

leisure time that bus drivers

have with their families is not

jeopardised by that. The

minister confirms the

reductions in weekend and

offpeak weekly services but

says they will be offset by the

introduction of some new

routes. We have to cut some of

our services. Some of them,

they're not being used. So it

is reasonable to apply those

resources to other parts of the

town that are crying out for

them. At the same time, we will be putting forward new services

be putting forward new services

in the suburbs of Harrison, and

there will be a new service out

to the Eye Hospital which

doesn't exist at the moment.

We're trying to match more

closely the bus routes and the

timings so what the travelling public are actually asking

for. The new network will begin

December 4. While the union

will meet with members between

now and then, and is not ruling

out further industrial action.

In the meantime, Action drivers

are urging the public to keep

buying tickets. We are trying

to fight for a better system.

Yeah, do try to persist with

us, but it's not the drivers'

fault. We can't help what's

going on. In the past couple of years, against an Australian

benchmark, we have been paying

so much more for the provision

of the services that we are providing, when nobody is using them. Those services have

them. Those services have to be

reduced. For the bus-travelling

community caught in the middle,

the protracted dispute has done

little to improve confidence in

the city's sole means of public transport. It's very difficult

to get people to catch public

transport. Basically everybody

uses their own car. So it's

hard to put on something at a

loss. Then they jack the prices

up and even less people like

me, I'm paying $3 to get on the

bus or something, don't want to

use them either. So as they cut

services, the problem - it's a

worse service as a

result. People only hang around

for a certain amount of time,

and they're not going to keep

catching buses if the buses

aren't there. It's not a case

of people saying "They're going

to tweak the bus routes, we

won't catch the bus any more."

It's that they have a different

social pattern to their lives

which is manifesting itself in this. We

this. We still think those

people should have a public

service provided for them. There has been school

strikes, been a lot of strikes.

The ACT Government, for

whatever cost that costs,

clearly don't perform that

strongly in providing basic services, I would've thought.

They could do a better job. A

lot of pissed-off people out

there, you know? And many who

will be wondering if it's just

easier to walk, bike, cab it or

take the car to get from A to B in the nation's capital.

A case of on your bike! Now

from the beach to the backyard,

cricket is part of the

Australian summer, but the game's complex skills mean it

can be limiting for people with

special needs. Now, a new form

of the sport is bringing the

sport's basic joy to players of

all abilities. Table cricket

has already been an enormous

success in England and this

week, children from Canberra's

special schools were the first

in Australia to give it a go.

Chris Kimball joined in the


In the shadows of the

greats, a new cricket tradition is being forged.

Have you been having

fun? Yes! What's the best part

about it? Um ... cricket! Whack! Whack! Whack!

Who's the best player in

your school, do you reckon? Are

you the best? I'm the best.

What do you think the best

thing is about a day like

today? Just having fun. Table

cricket was designed for young

people who have physical or

intellectual disabilities. It

retains the main aspects of

cricket, batting, bowling,

fielding and tactics and it's the perfect place to emulate

your heroes. Do you watch the

cricket on TV and this is your

chance to have a bit of a

go? Yes! Who's the best at it

out of you guys? Um ... Brett

Lee. What do you like about

him? He bowls really hard. He

hits the ball. He runs like


Do you reckon you can bowl

like Brett Lee one day? Yes!

What do you think the other

kids at your school will say when you tell them you got to

play here today? Um ... gonna

be happy. It's gonna introduce

cricket to a whole new lot of

people who probably may not get

involved ever or even take an

interest. The ball is delivered

from a launcher and the batsman

scores run by hitting into

different target areas. What's

the best bit, batting or

bowling or both? Both. How do

you bat ? How do you do

it? Like this.

(Inaudible) Well, when you use

the bat ... When you hit it,

you're gonna hit it like that. And when you hit the

ball, you have to ... um ...

roll the ball like that. If you

hit the red, that's out.

Supported by Cricket Australia,

this game could feature at a

future Commonwealth Games. It's

part of our vision for Cricket

Australia or cricket in

Australia is to make cricket

Australia's favourite game.

That means favourite by

everyone, so not just those

that are physically able to

play or can go to the games,

but so it's basically inclusive

and all-embracing for all

people. Table cricket very much

fits that bill. How many runs

did you score? 5. Do you like

the batting or the bowling? Batting. Like the

batting. How do you do it? How

does it work? If you get 6

points you get 6 points and if

you get 4 points, 4 points. If

you get 2 points you get 2

points. Yep and if you get 1

point, what does that mean? I

don't know. I don't know!

Significantly, the smiles on

faces are more important than

the scores. Most of the time,

anyway. What's the best past

game, batting or bowling or a

bit of both? The best thing I

like about the game is winning!

(Laughs) Sorry, but yeah. What

will you say to your mates at

school about playing this sort

of cricket? It's fun. Good

work, boys! Well done! Thanks!

Well done, alright! How's

that?! That's Stateline for

another week. If you get a

chance over the weekend, drop

into the Albert Hall for the annual exhibition of the

Artists Society of Canberra.

There are 700 paintings to see

and most of them are for sale.

See you next week. Goodbye. Captions produced by Captioning

and Subtitling International

Hi, I'm Andy Muirhead, and welcome to another Friday night here on Collectors, the show that celebrates ordinary Australians and the extraordinary things that they collect. THEME MUSIC

Hello, guys. Hey, Andy. We've got some great stuff on tonight's show. We sure have. Well, we all love Japanese design, right? Well, this week we've got a collector of Soba Choko. MAN: It began a journey for me to find out more about what these are, where they came from, what soul these had -