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the Canberra News team And Craig Allen and at 7:00pm. will be back here tomorrow night

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live.

Hello and welcome to

Stateline. I'm Catherine

Garrett and I'll be keeping you

company for a couple of weeks.

Coming up on this edition of

the program - a dragway for the

Majura Valley. "Not in our

backyards, say local residents.

Speaking of backyards, some

fairies have been found at the

bottom of the botanical

gardens. First - last week

marked 40 years since the the

Battle of Long Tan in Vietnam.

There was retro spection and recognition but what happens

after the pomp and ceremony

have died down, when the

marching is done? Veterans

have to go back to live wing

the memories they can only

share with each other. Siobhan

Heanue went to a Vietnam

veterans' drop-in centre in

Queanbeyan to find out how they

cope after the fanfare is over.

I was a strapping young

20-year-old and can now I'm 61

so it's gone very quick, you

know. We still - a lot of us

younger veterans still remember

and there's things that will

never go away. As time goes on

you get a lot of things that

happened back in the past in

your service life that you

neglected then but now is

coming out and destroying a lot

of lives and that's a problem.

You get a phone call in the

middle of the night from the

wife and she'll say, "He's

carrying on strange and he's

down the back on the wood heap.

Would you come and talk to him?" All these men share

something in common - visions

they can't forget and memories

they don't talk about except in

the safety of this room. You

can talk to anyone in this room

here and you've all got the

same feelings inside. The

majority have got the same

problems. It's a common bond.

A common bond, yeah. 40 years

on, there's still no-one to

talk to, no-one who really

understands what they've seen,

what they've done, except each

other. For many, public

commemorations open up old

wounds. I hate Anzac Day

because of the strez that

builds up a month before and it

builds up and up and up and my phone calls increase and

mileage increases and the

stress levels inscrees and the veterans' alcoholism sometimes

gets out of hand and as soon as

mid day Anzac Day comes it

stops. The same thing comes in August with the Battle of Long

Tan day or veterans' day and

Vietnam veterans day it builds

up again. This centre is not

just for Vietnam veterans, men

who have served in many

conflicts come here. I think

if you look around the room

here at the moment, you'll find

there is the greatest mixture

of servicemen you could ever

see. Take World War II digger

Keith Brown for instance. His

mates were there for a special

milestone this week. There's

no blonde gonna jump out of

that. What must seem like a

lifetime ago, he was held

prisoner of war at Changi.

He's been through hell and look

at him, he's happy as a bird.

Doesn't tack about it but we

know, we know what he's been

through because we've read

about it, heard other people

talk about it but keelth

doesn't. He keeps it all

bottled up and whatever it is,

it's there. You can see it in

his eyes sometimes, the memory

goes back. He just sort of

shakes his head and starts

laughing and giggling again and

he's right, he's OK. Every

Wednesday he comes in, he

toddles in with his walking

stick and shakes hands with

everybody and does want want to

let the hand go. He wants to

hold the hand all the time and

I think it must be part of his

past experiences that he

doesn't want to let anybody go.

He's probably seen so many of

his mates so that he doesn't

want to see any of us go, if

you can understand what I

mean. But others have chosen to

let go. I've also had seven

people commit suicide, which

knocks you about. That was a

very, very sad occasion for us.

That devastated our little

group for a while. Vietnam

veterans have a - are one of

the groups who commit suicide

at a great rate and I believe

we've been able to avoid that

here in the main, but most

recent one that Richard talked

about was here, that did hurt.

That hurt me a lot. The situation was that they promise

you to look after you when you

come home and his application

for pension dragged on from the

day I met him till the day he committed suicide was four

years and nine days. The

pension came through three

weeks later. John and Richard,

unpaid and in their own time,

often takoon the cases of

veterans who find dealing with Veterans'Affairs overwhelming.

They say many men are on 30% of

the available pension when they

first drop in for a cuppa. They

walk out a few weeks later with

100%. From time to time they

hold nutrition and art classes,

even cooking classes and that

one's paid off. I want that

bit with no cholesterol in it.

No, no, you'll let it all go to

your nose. I don't want the

bit with cholesterol. The group

is keen to point out that not

all veterans can be relegated

to walking sticks. There's a

new breed coming through but

they're harder to reach

according to the old guard.

We're starting to get Gulf War

chaps. There's newer veteran

s. Timor and things like that,

we're starting to get them

coming in and seeing us. Both

male and female. It is hard

to get them to come out of the

woodwork. Why is that? You

have to go back to the old

Second World War blokes, they

had problems for years and

no-one looked after them. The

RSL was there but never projected itself as looking

after these people, although

they did to a certain degree.

Now you have places like us

where we're projecting

ourselves out and saying to

people, "If you have a problem,

come and see us, join us for a

cup of coffee and meet new

mates and things like that.

We're trying to get the younger

people out of the community who

have sunched overseas and bring

them into this

community. Whilst the men are

dealing with their own hurt,

they stop to tend the wounds of

their fallen comrades. I think

we have to move forward and

upward and learn not to just be

takers but to be givers in our community. It's the highlight

of the week for many of us,

that we can come over here and

laugh and joke and tell each

other lies and whatever and

then we go home feeling all

nice and squeaky. It's good.

Then we wait till next

Wednesday, yeah, and Tuesday

night we think, "Tomorrow we

can go over and do it again and

see all our mates and have a

chat and coffee and tell them

more lies," and we're all happy

again. Now to an issue that's

been brewing for a while,

indeed fur meanting heat on

both sides, a proposed dragway

in Majura Valley. We've seen

the "I voted for a dragway

bumper stickers," so we know

there's support out there. The

ACT Government has committed $8

million. What of those who live

in the area who they they'll be

forced out or forced to block

their ears? It is likely to go

from the church school there

over this rocky outcrop here,

down across the wetlands over a

deep creek and you'll see in

the distance those poplars and

that's where it will finish. It

is the new dragway proposed for

this site in the Majura Valley.

(Engines fire up) For more than

two decades the Brogen family

have run a farm on the 200-acre

property. Now this place they

call home is that the centre of

the raging debate. There's no

turning back, is there, once

it's ripped to shreds. The

motor sport community of the

ACT say their time has come.

This is a development that will

provide a very far-reaching

benefit economically and

socially to all of Canberra. It

is very unfortunate but the

planning strumentsz clearly

display that. It is a land bank

reserved for the future

development of

Canberra. Unaware the land was

earmarked for a new dragway,

the Brogens were approached to

sign a new lease well before

the current one expired. They

did. And it allows just three

months' notice to evict. The

couple say they never would

have agreed to the deal if

they'd known about the

dragway. We haven't been

keckmpensed for the property

yet but it's not of our

concern. We're thinking of the

long-term for the valley. It is

a unique valley, it is

something of beauty people

should look at as they drive

along. Meantime, the former

site has been sitting idle

since 1998. The then Government questioned its responsibility

for the lease, resulting in its

event ual closure so it remains

under Commonwealth control and

a no-go zone. Mr Devlin says

the Government must rein-State

a community. We've suffered

and lost eight years of

activity and reven new we used

to provide into the Canberra

economy. Majura Valley has been

named as the only suitable

place in the ACT for a new

dragway. Unfortunate ly it's

not going to just wreck this

property, it is going to

destroy the whole valley

because people like the winery

which is just a little bit up

the road and Pialligo the other

side, they're all dependent on

the tourist industry and I

think as one Minister pointed

out, it's really just shifting

- creating one business and

taking away from another so I

really can't see the benefit.

There's obviously strong views

held on both sides. The Government's position has been

that the dragway has to both be

economically viable, no more

money from the Government other

than the $8 million capital investment upfront to ensure it

could be built. The operation

of the facility would have to

be of a commurmings basis with

no cost to taxpayers and if it

doesn't stack up on

environmental grounds, it will

not go ahead on that site . So

this is by no means a guarantee

this dragway will happen? No,

absolutely not. Given the tough

budget we've had, could the $8

million be better spnt in the

meantime? It is a capital

one-off, it is important to

distinguish between capital and

ongoing expenditure. Just

because the majority of

citizens don't agree, it

doesn't mean there's not a case

to argue. Not everyone uses

Canberra Stadium or other

capital works ACT Governments

have funded in years past. It

is a whole of Canberra issue

because it takes $8 million of

public funds which every single

rate payer in this territory is

asked to pay for and this is in

a time when 39 schools are

being shut. Why did the dragway

survive? You didn't know about

the proposed dragway when you

signed that new lease, did

you? We knew nothing about the

dragway. Dragway away spokes

woman Jenny says there's been

little consultation with the

community over the site. A

recent Government-commissioned

report said the dragway would

need large subsidies to keep it

operating. Jeff Devlin says the

report is out of date and

incorrect. The ongoing costs

are not an issue. We operated

for two decades without our

hand out to Government. We have

proven that to Government.

We're not a bunch of

fly-by-night people coming to

town with a dream and a wish

and putting our hand in the

Government's pocket. As far as

capital goes, I recognise the

Government has committed $8

million and that will deliver a

good facility for Canberra. The

drag racing fraternity has good

contacts from several

industries and we are able to

add to that to get a facility

which will be a premium

facility for the Canberra

marketplace. What about that $8

million of public money? If

you're going to single out the

dragway, you better single out

the $6.5 million bike path

that's built or the hockey

centre or tennis centre, they're all Government-funded. If you

look at the people opposed to a

dragway, they're from the leafy

suburbs around Hackett. Sorry,

it's not just me. There are

thousands of people that live

on the other side of the hill.

There are thousands of PMal

that use the Canberra nature --

of people that use the Canberra

nature park and really enjoy

the peace and quiet and beauty

that nature reserve offers us

so close to the city. What

about the tens of thousands of

youth and younger folks who

supernowhere where to express

themselves throuz their motor

vehicles in a facility with no

cost to the taxpayer. There was

a petition some years back

calling for the Government to

rein-State a dragway which held

8,647 signatures, the

third-largest in the history of

the assembly. Andrew Bob Carr

expects to make a decision

before the year's end. I'm

hopeful the Government will

wake up and listen to the huge

number of people in the territory, voters, contich

wnts, who are saying we don't

want this dragway. I think

the evidence itself will

display the impacts will be

minimal. We need to let the

process complete itself and

we'll be able to make informed

decisions about where we head

in the future. I bet you

didn't know Canberra has the

largest and most active sled

dog club in Australia.

Recreational mushing is growing

in popularity in Australia.

Formed in 1996, the Canberra Sled Dog Classic has developed

into an internationally

recognised event. The sport

basically involves a dog of any

breed pulling someone along on

a scooter or small bike. Chris

Kimball joined the annual event

last weekend. (Dogs howl)

What do people say when you

tell them you race sled dogs?

Quite often they laugh and then

they start to call it a hobby

and then we insist that it's a

serious sport. Classically

these Nordic breed dogs were

bred to work in the snow and

pull the sleds through the

snow. It's challenging in

Australia when there's little

snow around but the sport is

encouraged and people are keen

about it as well. You always

get the response, "But there's

no snow out in Canberra," so

you have to explain it is

actually a scooter, not a sled.

People are surprised, I think.

Not many people know about the

sport. They know about it in

north America, the sport's most

famous event is the Iditarod,

it covers more than 1300km

through Canada and Alaska,

commemorating a medical mission

from 1925 when Alaska had an

outbreak of diptheria and dog

deems were the only way to get

medicine to isolated communities. The Australian

version swaps the snow for

forest trails and a series of

sprints.

No race is the same. No run

is the same. It's totally

unpredictable because you might

have a kangaroo that jumps in

your track. Clem Bittendorfer

started sled dog racing after

moving to Australia from

Austria 13 years ago. I loved

the look of the dog and when I

bought the first one they said,

"Why don't you come along - we

run them in harness, why don't

you give it ago." They warned

me it was addictive and I ran

two puppies that were six

months old and said to my wife,

"I have to do this." They were

named after ABBA because when

we decide to get them we were

watching 1 of those

documentaries on ABBA. That's

Frieda, that's Benny, then I've

got a Bjorn and Fernando

because we didn't have another

girl. Yeah, that's my ABBA

team. From a breed point of

view they are actually an

Alaskan huskey line which is a

sort of real running dog. I

always compare it to the V8s

and the Formula One. That would

be more down the Formula One

alley. If Clem's team is

Formula One, 6-year-old Emily

Hall is still on her L plates.

I have one and it's always my

oldest girl. Her name is Silla.

She's my oldest one. They look

cute and cuddly but these dogs

are bred to run. What might

work on the big screen doesn't

work in the backyard. A lot of

people see the dogs with the

popularity of movies and TV and

think they'd like one but then

they think it isn't what they

want. They're very different

and fit in the lifestyle

they're imagining. This is the

lifestyle these dogs are bred

for, to be active and run. They

haven't been bred to sleep on

the doonah, that's for

sure. That's a problem many new

dog owners encounter and people

like Chris Proctor often

provide a new home. I have

huskey and Alaskan malamutes.

Some of them have come from

homes where they couldn't keep

them any longer and they

contacted me and I was lucky

enough to be given them and we

have a good time. It's a

12-month commitment, like a

full-time commitment, not like

a pair of football boots or a

set of cricket gear you can put

away at the end of the season.

It is a dog's life but they're

worth it. They're worth it.

Aren't you? Yes. Was that a

yes? That was a yes. Good boy.

If Australian orchestras

don't play music by Australian

composers, who will? That's

the view of new artistic

director and chief conductor of

the Canberra symphony

orchestra. His name is Nicholas Milton and he takes up

appointment next year. In the

meantime, he visits regularly

and Melissa Polimeeni spoke

with him on his recent visit.

The greatest thrill for me is

having the success of being charged with that

responsibility, that musicians

who basically choose their own

chief conductors, have said,

"This is the guy we'd like to

be our chief conductor," and

therefore it's his

responsibility to see where the

orchestra's going over the next

three to five years. The basic

vision for the Canberra

symphony Orchestra, I guess,

would be to make it is a jewel

of this community. It's very

necessary for the orchestra to

make an impact on young people,

not just for audience

development but in the notion

that the arts are an incredibly

important aspect of our society

and will help the growth of our

young people. In the short-term

what that means is I've

instituted a number of new

initiatives for the 2007

season, for example, a Sunday

afternoon series because this

orchestra until now has never

really done a lot in a Sunday

afternoon timeslot.

I think the way a conductor

conveys his passion is simply

by being sincere about what he

wants and about his love and

his dedication to get the best

out of the performance and if a

conductor can do that and be

absolutely honest and act with

complete musical and personal

integrity, an orchestra will

oiing that sincerity and that

commitment -- will oiing that

sincerity and that commitment

and dedication and they will

respond to it. If the

orchestras in this country are

not sincere about programming

and finding ways to

successfully present Australian

music, who's gonna do it? So

we in the Canberra symphony

will find ways to incorporate

Australian music into our

offerings in such a way that

our audiences actually enjoy it

and are fascinated in what

we're doing and I'm convinced

we know thou to do that. I'm

confident that we can

incorporate Australian music

successfully and at the same

time I'm confident that the

next three years will see not

only a dramatic increase in the

activities of the Canberra

Symphony Orchestra but will

also see a dramatic improvement

in the standards, in the

mentality and humanity and

artist ic integrity of our

organisation. I believe this

appointment in Canberra

promises it be incredibly

exciting for me personally but

also for this city for for the

organisation. One of the unique

things about the Canberra

symphony orchestra is the fact

that it's an orchestra that

really has drawn for its

membership upon a range of ages

and experiences and in our

ranks we have some of the most

distinguishes sole wss of the

Australian music scene and

what's fantastic for me is the

notion that in addition to

those players and some

fantastic string players we

also have the opportunity, like

many orchestras, to incorporate

into our ranks some people, I

guess, who you could say have slightly less experience. I

think the fact we're

incorporating some of these

young people into the orchestra

also has advantages to us as an

organisation because they also

bring an incredible enthusiasm

and energy into the orchestra.

Well, that's it for this

week. I'll be back with you at

the same time next week. To

finish the program, an

exhibition of photographs on

display at the botanical

gardens called 'Bare Winter'.

The photographer is Kirsty

Pilkington and she might make

Captioning and Subtitling now. Captioning provided by you believe in fairies. Bye for

International.

This program is not subtitled THEME MUSIC I'm Andy Muirhead. Welcome to the show. And this is Collectors, and the things that they collect. the show that celebrates people collection of people. And to do that, we have our own And tonight, collector of just about everything, it's professor of sociology and avid Adrian Franklin. Museum curator and historian Niccole Warren. And antique dealer, restoration expert and lover of all things old, Gordon Brown. So let's see what's on tonight's show, Niccole. We meet a man who stumbled across a time capsule of old remedies.