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(generated from captions) listeners? So that's what's irking your clearer than that. I don't think it could be any more see it, I mean that's as clearly as I can cars in the cold Canberra winter, and there are people sleeping in list, when there's such a huge waiting in public housing it's more like a politician living or the Greens, It's not an assault on Deb Foskey of public interest? is a case like Deb Foskey's Now Mike I'm going to start with you, and from ACT shelter, Kerry Tucker. of housing ACT, Martin Hehir, as is executive director Well joins us now is Mike Welsh as is my right. but meanwhile I'm in public housing, I may look at something else, When my circumstances allow it in public house is doing. 13% of Canberra people What I'm doing is just what I think I do set an example. Can't you? You can set an example, can't you? you can free up a home. You have the means, because they haven't got the means. a home there are people who can't get into Well the housing policy is, about housing policy anytime, and I'm very happy to talk to you life over the air waves, I'm not prepared to put my personal interview. and this is just a little of that talkback radioman Mike Welsh, However, she did speak with Canberra but she declined the opportunity. Focus, We did invite Deb Foskey on to State government house. she has every right to stay in her she believes as a full market renter, of $86,000, and despite an annual income in the Canberra suburb of Yarralumla, is living in public housing Deb Foskey from the Greens Party after it was revealed ACT politician spotlight this week, The system has been back in the for public housing in the ACT? eligible To the issue of what makes someone But first - rates in our region. is really making an impact on birth $3,000 baby bonus because we're going to see if that addition to the family stick around now, if you've recently had a new

public housing and they believe in the role of financially viable, which they want to see remaining housing system But if anybody supports a social I'm speaking for shelter. and I don't speak for Deb Foskey, to a social housing system Well, I think if you're committed as far as example, Kerrie? would you agree, of a politician, but I think there is more expected we can't judge that, and say that's fair, herself in the mirror every morning whether or not she can look at that's up to the politician herself, but however, I'd have to say unfortunately, which is the issue? in public housing, that there's a politician I think the thing is the fact housing, isn't it? Public housing is to get people in the capacity to move out. Public housing tenants don't have somewhere. so that would have to come from $12 million, I think the loss would be about pulled out, And if those market renters were 19 millions, that's a big figure. About $19 million. what would that be, Martin? Which is a dollar figure of... the revenue going into Housing ACT. are responsible for about 30% of at the moment But that 13% who are market renters but arguably also socially. in the current situation, economically Yeah, they're certainly crucial market? to a good healthy public housing You believe that there crucial system. that full market renters play in the let's look at the role Now Kerri Tucker, Mike. she's admitted that too, actually, Foskey would fall into, And that's the percentage that Deb have a rebate is about 13.6%. The percentage of people who don't rented out. As part of our valuation process of properties. So yeah, that's quite a lot Eleven and a half thousand, roughly. too? And we've got a lot of properties, We do that through a spot process every one of our properties. Each year, we go out and we value actually undertake. by looking at the process we It's probably best to describe it What does it exactly mean? market renter". let's talk about the term "full director of Housing ACT, Martin Hehir, you're executive which has garnered this many calls. and a half years, since I've been in Canberra two on air I don't think I've had an issue of listeners. Yes, an extraordinary number

or those even waiting for it. What about income testing? Is there somewhere in there we could say a house for life, or until circumstances change? I would say the circumstances of Deb's have changed drastically. Is there something in the act or criteria there which would allow that to be enacted? I guess Martin's not a politician, he just enforces the policy. At the moment the policy is that it's security of tenure, which would mean that as their situation changes, then that's fine, they're entitled to stay in the property. housing are, most people in Canberra in public on probably three times the income but she happens to be a politician we hate to get back to Deb Foskey the case of Deb Foskey again: Of course it should be, Mike? Should that be possibly reviewed, the government's position. Yes, security of tenure is still market? to the Canberra public housing still relevant Is the policy of a house for life there basic. kitchen are just that, and the basic fittings in the properties, or carpets in a lot of our curtains For example, we don't normally fit in the commercial sector. less than what is available that would lead it to be valued at property and fittings associated with the and probably of fixtures of amenity, Generally we have a lower standard is actually a like property or not. The question is whether the should be exactly the same. property The full market value for alike value to those commercial rents? How comparable is the full market between $345 and $420. which is where Ms. Foskey lives, in Yarralumla, A three bedroom, one bathroom home it's a well know website in Canberra. I looked up rents in Yarralumla, When I looked at, in Canberra who's homeless. That doesn't help somebody tonight housing. who want to move out of public of the number of people and see what that means in terms in the private market, the last few years even, plus look at what's happened over housing authorities, at the decline in revenue to last 10 years I think you need to look over the "Well, we're not doing very well", But on your point, entitled to make. then that's a decision their and the importance of the home,

They do move out of the system, and when they do so, they do free it up. But they're moving out slower, is that what you're saying? Absolutely, it used to be 450 per year, it's now down to 200. And certainly that does reflect that people can't access the private market easily. Well I am going to have to leave it there, it's quite a complex issue, perhaps I'll get the Chief Minister in to answer some of the tougher questions. Thankyou so much for joining me this afternoon. Thank you. has Treasurer Peter Costello's baby bonus been in getting Aussie couples to boost that national fertility rate? The $3,000 one-off payment has so far seen $440 million handed out to new bubs, born since July last year, but the ACT fertility rate remains the lowest in the nation, at 1.5 children perwoman. Joining us today is Phil Lowen who runs one of Canberra's biggest private hospitals, John James Memorial and Jill Hall is the ACT branch president of the Australian College of mid-wives. Phil I'll start with you. Did the baby bonus meet your expectations? Have you got some figures to prove it? It could be a baby boom, or it could be a baby bubble, but from April which is nine months after the introduction of the initiative, we've suddenly seen a record month of a 110 births and we've got very solid bookings all the way through to October at the current time. So you're probably looking for the next three months of figures to give you a good idea? Well that's what we have to do, we have to plan the resources ahead. We are so booked that we have had to consider varying some people's leave arrangements, looking at shortening length of stay, looking very critically at midwife deployment over the next three months. Jill Hall, lets talk about resources, because it's all fine and well for a baby bonus to lead to a lovely baby boom, but the thing is, the government has to come through with resources. Do you feel they have a responsibility? Absolutely. around the time of their birth, and particularly afterwards, once they go home. If there's going to be an increase in the birth rate, we need to have the midwives there to provide that care. Absolutely. there are shortages of midwives aren't there? There are. Yass Hospital closed its maternity ward. Yes, and Batemans Bay and Moruya have merged their birthing services. So yes, there certainly are great concerns for it, and not just in NSW, but in all of Australian rural areas there's a lot of issues around maternity services, it's a big problem. Now, the number of births in Wagga between July and April, looking in the public system, 585, private 496. Now compared to that period for last year, they were around about 665 for last financial year. So they're expecting a very similar number of babies. So clearly it's showing that the baby bonus is not the incentive at this point. Are your midwives are they willing to work the longer hours, to do the extra prenatal classes, the post-natal classes? Unlike elective surgery where you can schedule operations, babies seem to have a mind of their own. So resources can peak and trough a lot during the period of a month. Well I'll just leave it there, but thankyou so much, let's see what comes of those figures in the next three to four months. Thankyou very much, Phil and Jill, for joining us. Thank you. After the break we meet two Canberra breast cancer survivors who know exactly what Kylie Minogue is going through that's next on State Focus. well the news that Kylie Minogue had breast cancer came as a mighty shock to many young women. The star who has it all, was as vulnerable, as the 30 other Australian women who are diagnosed daily with the disease. The stats say 6% of new breast cancer cases are in women under 40 and the survival rate for all age groups is about 78%. And two of those survivors join us right now Lorraine Eckermann was 29 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, 21 years ago and Kerry Glover was 31 and pregnant with her twins when she discovered a small lump in her breast and their with us today. Hi girls how are you? Good thanks Ali. I'll start with you Lorraine. What was going on in your life when you were diagnosed with breast cancer? I had two young children, they were 18 months apart so I'd had a fairly busy five years. I had just settled my youngest one into school. My husband had his own business and I was getting involved in that. So life was pretty good for you, very busy? It was busy, but it was good. So how did you discover your tumour? Well, I didn't discover it, actually, my husband did. That's a recurring theme I think. In a moment of intimacy, I mean it sure killed the moment of intimacy, but it probably saved my life. So he insisted, go to the doctor? Yes, definitely, and of course, being young, the GP thought it was probably hormonal, go away, come back in a month. And I wasn't going to, of course. But my husband insisted, and on a mammogram it showed up, that yes it was cancerous. Now Kerry Glover, pregnant with twins when you discover this lump in your breast. Your immediate reaction must have been shock, fear. What did you feel? It was shock. I'd read an article in the paper about another young lady who had been diagnosed with breast cancer while she was pregnant. That prompted me to do a check and it was just amazing that I found a lump at that time. Where was your focus at that time? When so much was going on? For me it was just knowing the whole time that the twins that I was carrying were safe. The staff from the maternity ward came in and put the heartbeat monitor on, and just hearing both heartbeats at that moment, that was a really big relief. The Kylie Minogue case, her diagnosis was crucial that it was early. And nine times out of 10 it is okay, because the hormones are racing, and generally it is okay. But there's no point burying your head under the sand, and thinking, "No, it's not", because what would have happened to me if I hadn't gone back? Exactly, Kerry, you'd agree totally? Totally. about breast cancer, if you do need some more information in NSW you can get on the web to the Breast Cancer Network or in the ACT, but remember, your GP is probably your best point of contact for any changes in the shape or appearance of your breast. Thanka a lot for coming along today. Thank you Ali. starting with the ACT - And community fire-fighting groups are looking at their future. The 28 units in bush suburbs like Duffy and Chapman have lost funding in the ACT budget. Canberra airport is thinking about enlisting the Protect-a-Bag people, who can shrink-wrap your luggage. Queanbeyan Council has offered to pay some of the cost for the removal of loose fibre asbestos from 60 homes. And Canberra will not be bidding for the World Rally round, because it can't afford the $10 million to underwrite the event. On the South Coast this week - There's been plenty of rage over rate increases. Councils are putting their wishlist to the state government, with Bega wanting to increase rates by as much as 14%, and Wollondilly Shire Council after 10%. The NRMA has actioned an economic impact study on upgrading the Princess Highway. Berrima residents on the Southern Highlands are not happy about plans by Sydney's biggest cemetary owners, to find a large acreage for a new graveyard. And the Shoalhaven water system continues to benefit thirsty Sydneysiders, with about 800 megalitres of water pumped per day from the Tallowa Dam. In the Central West - The Prime Minister says he was quite shocked at how bad the drought is in West Wyalong. Cabinet is working on the finer details of a plan to reduce debt for farm families. The Dairy Farmers restructure will cost nine jobs at the Orange depot. While the new Wellington jail project is going to create about 200 full time jobs when it's finished. And Cabonne Council is taking a look at local road improvements, with stats showing that 26 people have been killed in accidents in the shire in a four year period. And in Wagga - The city council is also testing the water for a rate rise. With an $80 million budget, rates will rise by 3.5%, and a sewerage and garbage fees will go up by 10%. The cold weather has brought more mice indoors, but there is not a plague on the way. Fruitpickers and other seasonal workers will soon have a new visa to allow them to stay longer in regional areas. And the 800 seat grandstand from Eric Weissal Oval may end up being moved to Wagga's cricket ground. It's been 10 days since the drought summit in Parkes, as well as the Prime Minister's quick visit to the area, and farmers are still waiting to see if there's some action behind the words. Only 4% of NSW is free from drought and many farming families are on the brink emotionally. Bill Sweeting knows just how tough some people are doing it. As rural chaplin with the Salvation Army in Southern NSW, Bill travels constantly to listen to the fears and frustrations of farmers and we caught up with him ahead of the Salvos Red Shield Appeal this weekend. Well, it's extremely tough because it's been so long now, and this is making records as a hundred-year drought. There's just nothing you can do to prepare yourself for one so long as this. Do you find that when you talk to people that are on the land, do you find their most agonising dilemma at the moment with the drought is "Should we sell up, do we hold onto the dream", what do we do? Well, that is a big one, and it's a worrying one because of tradition, the farm being in the family for a long time. So they have that tension of the debt building, and saying well can we reduce the interest as well as carry on. And it takes more than one year to recover from a bad drought. That's the hard part. Does the Aussie man on the land still bottle things up? Oh yes, absolutely. Do you worry about that? I do very much. Sometimes the little trick is to go and talk to the wife first and get the truth, and then the husband comes in, and we drag it out of him in the next two or three hours. Depression is big, talking about depression and dealing with that. You've got to steel yourself up against it, and therefore not go into it all the time. If you were able to get into John Howard or John Anderson's ear, for just 10 minutes, what would you tell them? I think I would thank John Howard for exceptional circumstances and all that, and Bob Carr for DOCS help and the support that is given, and to keep it up. And to try to keep active and pro-active. It's taken the weight off the Salvation Army and other agencies, for them to have help. Exceptional circumstances funding is definitely working. Well, it goes some way in helping to pay the household bills and takes the pressure off us as well. And this weekend's Red Shield Appeal is going to assist many of our local farm families. The Salvos will come a knocking today and tomorrow but you can also donate online at, Stay with us, up next - and we preview the brilliant new Queen tribute show coming soon to Canberra and Wollongong you're watching State Focus. You're watching State Focus well, Canberra drivers are going to notice a few more of those white speed camera vans on the roads. The Traffic Liason Committee has added 10 new suites for the mobile vans which will bring to just over 60 the number of locations where your speed will be checked. And then next month they'll decide on which intersections will be the home for two new fixed red-light and speed cameras. The committee is also looking at the idea of allowing those mobile speed vans to chose a site at random anywhere in the ACT but before you start raising the old eyebrow and think of the word revenue. Of the two million drivers who pass by one of the white vans in March, 2,649 were caught speeding, now that's .14%, in just one month. And if you want to check out the exact locations of speed and redlight cameras, just go to the website,, Well think of the Top 100 rock songs of all time and Queen's 70's Bohemian Phapsody is probably within the top 5. And while rock god himself, Freddie Mercury has long since left us, the essence of the man is alive and well in the Australian tribute show called Queen. It's a Kind of Magic which is coming to Canberra and Wollongong in the next few weeks. In our Newcastle studio today is Peter Freestone, who was a close friend and confidante of Freddie, and Peter this Queen tribute show, is it the best you've ever seen? Yes, it really is. some are very good. Come on, tell us how bad they can get. You really don't want to know, you wouldn't realise they were singing Queen. I could imagine you would be offered a lot of opportunities to endorse certain Queen events and productions. What made you choose this one? Basically because it is the best that I've seen. Craig, he's Freddie to his fingertips. Craig is such a huge fan of Freddie, I don't think there's one inch of video tape he hasn't seen. When he puts on the stage show, when they perform, he is Freddie. There were times when I was getting goosebumps when I saw the show. That doesn't happen very often for me. For it to have actually happened, this was the show to talk about. Does it encapsulate a certain part of the Queen history, a certain period of Queen? Basically it's a show of the Eighties, which gives the Queen fans something else to listen to, because so many tribute bands will only do the later music. Translating Bohemian Rhapsody into a live situation, it's easier said than done. It's not an easy song to do live. No, not at all. Even Queen would always put on a tape for the operatic section. Someone told me, But they never ever performed the operatic section live, they always gave that to tape. Your friendship with Freddie, was he a difficult person to deal with at times? Freddie difficult, But we just got on so well, it was just we meshed so perfectly, the difficulties just disappeared. We knew what was expected of us, people who worked for Freddie, we knew what he expected, and provided there was no stupidity, and that we did to the best of our ability, then he was very appreciative. He was the most kind, generous, loyal friend a person could have. Just with the occasional temper. Yeah. But as I say, this we sort of expected, and went with the flow. He was brilliant, he would shout and scream at someone, but it was over and done with in a minute or two, and it was never mentioned again. Part of the job was to be there as his shouting board for him to release the tension. Peter can I ask you, do you think Freddie would approve of a tribute band like this? Would he get into the gig? Maybe one of the problems with many of the tribute bands is that they take themselves a lot more seriously than Freddie ever did. The thing with It's a Kinda Magic, when you're at the show, you see how much they love the music, and that's why they're doing it. Thanks a lot Peter, appreciate your time today. Thankyou very much. And having seen this show last time around, you too will be amazed at the attention to detail. You can book tickets through Ticketek for the Canberra Show on June 5 and the Wollongong show on the 8th. That is our the show for another have a terrific weekend, and we will see you next Saturday on State Focus. Live captions by Southern Cross Ten, Canberra.