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and great to have you along Hello for State Focus lots to get through on today's show. to our Wollongong studios We will be crossing to meet surfer, Phil Macdonald, native of Tomakin on the South Coast now he was born in Canberra, he's a in the world and he's currently ranked 3rd after a huge year on the circuit. this part of the world And we'll also find out why for windfarms. seems to be the hotspot it's always a privilege But right now, on State Focus. to have our next guest And it's been a while too, I think, Aussie sprinter Patrick Johnson. but welcome Thank you Good to have you home. was the worlds in Hil Sinke, Now your last big meet did quite well there? for the future, Yes a good stepping stone in Australia I mean of course, next year, and you know, sixth in the world is the commonwealth games good stepping stone pretty much. in the 200m and I think that's a be? So that's right where you want to Yeah I think it's always - then you always, as they say, once you make the world champ final, and that's where I want to be then you are the best in the world in my own country in Melbourne, and Commonwealth games it's going to be an exciting time. games as a competition? How do you rate the commonwealth big name super stars Considering that a lot of those compete against, that we are used to seeing you won't be there? in the Commonwealth games in sprint, Well the interesting thing it's always going to be tough. You just take out the Americans, the Canadians, the British - but then you've got the Jamaicans, the Commonwealth games so in retrospect, as the World Champs or Olympics, is still going to be as tough a great challenge so, to me it's going to be and I'm looking forward to it, a low profile I think I'm just trying to keep the Commonwealth games. and just head towards focus, focus focus. Yeah as we say here, are you doing the 100m Now your times for the 100, at the commonwealth games for start? I'll be doing both. Um 100m and 200m relay, ahead of me so I've got a fairly heavy schedule the base of my training and that's where probably is going to be pretty intense. and what I do at your times here, Because, we are just looking over the last three or four years which was magic, and aside from that 9.93 there's nothing in those times, for you on race day so what makes the difference when it is a tenth of a second? Sometimes it's - the conditions. or who you are competing against, How fast a track is to compete against say, Asa Power, I mean sometimes if you are going then of course, the world record holder, that the times would be quicker you would hopefully presume and there'e going to be if he has run up to his best some top competitors, it's a hundredth of a second but it's a funny thing in sprinting, and you've lost a race, that you blink an eye lets say 10-1 or 9-9 you've lost running between a medal. and that could be the difference because it's so much of a challenge, And that's why I love it you could lose it. because a blink of an eye, too soon, I mean, You know the danger of peaking hasn't it? it's happened to you before going into the games? Are you worried about that now we've got hindsight on our hands No, we've learnt, the greatest thing and that's probably those trials and tribulations, is you have to go through especially in sprinting. and they've ahead maybe ten years You look at the best in the world in the sport to be number one, leaps and bounds I'm trying to make those and let's say six or seven years, well at this stage, so I think I am going reasonably pushing towards that next level but there is always and I've always got that philosophy limitations on what I can achieve. that there will never be no Shirvington, Ross, Daniel Batman, You know your main rivals, there's all the time, I mean racing the same guys get into their heads a little? do you actually kind of but I think leading up to Well you would hope not, it is going to be very competitive the Commonwealth games a lot of showman ship, and there's going to be especially in the 100m and 200m. you know in some ways, the talking and simple as that. said look my racing will do just before we go, Can we just play sliding doors life when rugby league because there was a time in your could have been your chosen route. not to go for league? Why did you decide go back to league. Well I thought I could always here, I mean, There was a window of opportunity in Canberra I think after that one race here up with Tim Sheens, and I mean I had the cowboys an opportunity there, also had with Mal Meninga, done is a chance I've never actually but I felt well athletics is about, and I think that's what life and you have no regrets, you take those chances I could go to league you know at the end of the day was still that challenge. but athletics what I can still achieve. I don't know what I've done you would still think about? Rugby league is something I've still - Well I am hoping, I feel I've still got the speed. now changed a lot, but, Of course the games when I come down to it. you know I'll cross that path And hopefully the Olympics too? as probably my last, Well I'm looking at Beijing then or 35 actually, I will probably be around 34 opportunity for myself so I think that will be a good with the best in the world. to put myself where I want to be and we won't bother you Well, look, keep the low profile until next year OK. I appreciate that And focus, focus.. thanks for coming in. Patrick Johnson, Thank you

Thank you. Now we don't want to scare anyone but there are just nine shopping weeks till Christmas and if you're aiming to get all your shopping done in downtown Canberra, the biggest challenge will be getting a parking spot. With the construction of several major office, retail and residential developments, parking is at a premium already and our next guest is trying to think ahead for the sake of his fellow retailers, and business men, Emmanual Notaras. Thank you for dropping by. Thank you for having me. Now you're with the city heart business association. Just how badly is local business feeling the effects of what's going on in Civic at the moment? Well Ali, regrettably quite badly, because some of the key parking areas are being decommissioned so to speak, the one on section 84 which is in Bunda street, which is very close to the retail core of the city. So that's the main problem spot that you can see. That is the main problem spot. There was nearly 1000 car spaces there and some of the other developments have taken some out of commission aswell, so that's - and the traders are feeling it. But particularly those traders that rely on day time trade, lunch time trade. So how many spaces have we lost at the moment? I don't have an exact figure but my educated guess is over 1000. A thousand. Now we will actually get those spaces back we hope with the new development, but that's not going to help you, going into Christmas is it? No, it's not going to help us going into Christmas nor towards the Christmas of next year, because the particularly the Canberra centre development is a massive development that may not come on stream until early 2007, so that's two Christmases. So what sort of short term fixes can we look at? Can we get rid of pay parking for instance in those certain areas? Yeah, well the forum that we've conducted has made some recommendations to urban services. The key recommendation is to remove the half day and full day parking that's available around London circuit and in some of the other close in parking areas. Relocate that to the more remote car parks around the lake side side of London circuit and then re dedicate all the inner car parks of London circuit for just short term parking for up to three hours. So we are not saying to get rid of all pay parking? Just reduce it somewhat? Well reduce the opportunity for people to park all day close to the retail **** and I think we will get some good outcomes. Well lets hope you have a bumper Christmas none the less. Thank you very much for coming in Thank you. Coming Up: OK after the break, Learning to love windfarms, the boss of Actew-AGL explains why southern NSW is the perfect place for wind-power. That's next on State Focus.

You're watching State Focus right across the ACT and southern NSW, and now to the subject of wind-farming, and what is it about this part of the world that makes our region a prime candidate for renewable energy investment. John Mackay is the CEO of ActewAGL, which is one of the investors in a $96 million windfarm, which is just been approved by the NSW government for the Tarago area, which is north-east of Canberra. And John, how tough is it getting people to learn to love windfarms? Well it's not the easiest thing you ever saw. People are worried about some of the issues like noise for example, or the idea that they may kill birds, they mess up their radio transmission. But, I think all of those issues can be dealt with. I just don't think they are serious issues and certainly not with this windfarm. So clearly with this wind farm which is at Woodlorn, isn't it? That it has the support of residents It does have the support of residents, but basically it is in the middle of a very large property which one of our investors owns, so it's really not close by to any other home or anything like that. Right, OK, now, just how big is it? It's 25 turbines which is fairly large, that's enough to power 22,000 homes of fully green energy, so it's big and $100 million is a lot of investment for that area. I guess what's in it for the town of Tarago? Because as much as it is a single investor on that one property, the township has got to benefit to some extent. I think it will benefit in a couple of ways. One there will be about 25 jobs when we're constructing this project and we'll try and use as much local labour as we possibly can. There will be some ongoing jobs to run it and again that will be good. This particular property has a ridge that's high enough to support the turbines? It certainly does, the property is smack in the middle of the great dividing range and it is really, probably, one of the windiest spots in NSW. It's unbelievable when you get up on top of this ridge where we want to build the wind farm and so - we've been monitoring the wind now for nearly two years and there is no doubt that it will produce what we need. Well, developers still have to meet fairly strict criteria, even though it's been approved, there's a lot of you know, but you need this and but you need to do this... Are you happy with that criteria? Yes there is no problem with it at all. A lot of the wind farms become controversial because they are near populations, and this one isn't. In fact it's more of an industrial zone that we are building this in, then sort of a classic rural zone because you have got the old woodlorn mine which is now this giant bio reactor where all of Sydneys rubbish gets thrown in this huge hole. So it is already an industrial site and therefore I am not expecting the sorts of problems that others might have encountered. Now you would be happy to have one near you? Well, I don't think anybody would be happy to have one really close by, but there are a lot of people who think they are quite a nice thing to look at. So learn to love them is that what you are saying? Learn to love them. John Mackay thanks for dropping by State Focus Thanks Ali. Well, also in the ACT this week, there has been a small victory for the developers of the new Tralee housing estate, near Canberra's airport zone. An airport noise standards report says the new suburb would not be subject to excessive jet noise, and planning meets standard regulations. The 15-year-old driver who ran down Canberra Uni student Clea Rose in the city in July, will be sentenced this Thursday in the ACT Supreme Court. They're going to continue trapping wild Brumbies in the Snowies, using salt blocks to entice the horses. And now that it's sourcing its own bore water, Goulburn's Southern Meats is getting back to full production, with 100 workers back on shift this week. On the South Coast, John Howard came to Wollongong, his first visit in seven years only to be met by hundreds of workers angry about the I-R laws. Police in the Eurobodalla shire are looking for a fire bug who's deliberately lit five bushfires in the area. The Lawrence Hargrave Drive bridge will be open on December 11, two months ahead of schedule. And alcohol will be banned on the beach at Broulee this New year's Eve to avoid a repeat of last year's trouble. In the Central West, it's been all about the roads again. The Mitchell Highway's fatality rate is three times the state average, but, it's been ignored for funding for the last five years. Bathurst's Ben Chifley dam is full for the first time since the wall was raised in 2001. And while the locust season won't be anywhere near last year's proportions, hatchings have been reported in 12 sites, including Condoblin and Coonabarabran. And organisers of the Elvis Festival in Parkes are looking for home hosts, because all local hotels are now booked out for the big January weekend. And in the Riverina this week, police were happy with the behaviour of revheads at the first ever Revfest. The party goers at the Bull Riding on the same night, were also no trouble. Farmers at Young want to see at least three months of guaranteed paddock feed before they are declared officially out of drought. The site for the new Wagga hospital may end up being the existing location. And Murrumbidgee Dairy Products is keeping its milk prices the same, despite price hikes by Dairy Farmers. Well all of that spring rain may have been very kind to most parts of the ACT and southern NSW but don't let all the green fool you. The 2005 bushfire season comes with all the baggage of previous summers, and the ACT's Emergency Services commissioner, Peter Dunne joins us right now to get us bushfire ready. Hello how are you? Hi Ali, well thanks. I can't believe it's summer already can you? Are we all ready for the big season. We are ready no question about that. All the training has been conducted, all the surveys have been done, we know what's out there. We're thrilled to bits about the rain and we've been able to delay the season by about a month. That's right, it starts November 1 this season? That's right. Normally the season starts on October 1, but we've been able to delay it to November 1. Is that because there is alot of moisture in the soil and that sort of thing. Exactly, you only have to look around and just see how beautifully green the country side is and see the re growth and healthy bush is good bush. And that's what we are getting back now and if we continue this through the summer even, it will be just spectacular. Yeah, cause we are expecting average or above average rain fall. Do you have a lot of faith in long time weather forecasting? One of the things that we have got to deal with these days is in any emergency management and organisation is the unpredictably. It is quite clear that there has been climate change of sorts. One of the things that we do know is that the weather behaviour is really erratic now and we can't take anything for granted. Now for those lucky people that have a bit of land to their property, they still need a permit to do any hazard reduction burns? Well once the bush fire season is declared, most certainly. And that's a process that we go through with all the land owners to make sure that the conditions are OK for them to burn. So they should actually consult the rural fire services? That's exactly what they do. They are well aware of this, because their livelihood depends on managing fire property on their lands and giving them this extra month where they don't have to go through that administrative process they can get up in the morning and if the conditions are just right, then they can do their burns. So, what we are managing by delaying the season is actually reduce the hazard right across the territory, so that was great news for us when we looked at the weather conditions and said yep, all the criteria as such, that we can delay this for a month. Now volunteers. Have we got enough for the summer? Could we do with some more? We've got a wonderful group of volunteers in the rural fire service, the state emergency service and the ACT fire brigade in the community fire units and yeah, we're recruiting well, we're retaining well, but we still need to grow, so we are still anxious to see more rural fire service and SES recruits come in to the organisation. Terrific. You can get all the details on your website. That's us Fantastic Lets hope we have a cool, wet summer ahead of us. It's a pleasure and I hope so too. Thank you Thanks Ali Coming Up: OK, still on the way, the farmer from Orange who wants to know where all the good women are in NSW. And we catch up with the South Coast's Phil Macdonald the new "it" guy of world surfing. He's next on State Focus.

Welcome back to State Focus now just before we go to Wollongong to meet surfer Phil Macdonald, there's another young bloke we'd like you to get to know. 33-year-old Geoff from Orange is one of a handful of farmers from southern NSW who has made the shortlist of the "Find A Farmer a Wife" campaign which is running in this month's Australian Women's Weekly. Now we've managed to drag Geoff away from his cattle property in Orange for a break and he's on the line right now, Hi Geoff How are you Ali I'm very well thank you You must be wondering where on earth are all the good women are in the central west? They're all around there somewhere. And this is the reason that you've decided to go in this competition for one of a better word? Yes, yes, I'm sure there is one out there, it's just waiting, yeah. There are so many beautiful ones around. Oh you are very smooth, you will go a long way. Alright, let's have a look at your vital statistics OK. You are 33 years old, a cattle farmer, but you do a little bit of internet work on the side do you? Yes I do. A little bit of marketing for a - Analysing Agriculture and it's just to do with the rural around Australia and international too. OK, you are a busy boy. Now your good points are you are honest Ah very honest And committed, we like that word Geoff Committed. Yes, definitely You're into Sci-fi movies and you like travelling and you looking for - your ideal woman a happy, non smoker. Yes, yeah, non smoker definitely. Have you come close at all to finding her? Close? Well I am really just about to break the surface. I haven't gone out looking for one at all. Alright let's talk about a couple of other bachelors that are also from the Southern NSW area. Now we have got a fellow from Dubbo, that's Greg. He's a sheep farmer from Dubbo and he's love motto is - Love is an electric blanket with someone else in control of the switch Good luck there Greg, and also Richard is a cattle farmer from Lake Bathurst he's near Goulburn. He is looking for an energetic brunette in her 20's. Do you think you are willing to make some sacrifices in your lifestyle to fit in a woman? Make sacrifices? Oh, definitely. Women come first they do, I believe. Yes, so they come before the sheep and the cattle and the cattle yep, they do, they do. And what if she is not a country girl? I'm sure if she's not, she'll become one definitely. Yeah OK, she doesn't have to have a licence to ride a tractor or anything, no? No Oh that's alright. Well. look, goodluck in love there Geoff. Thank you Ali Yeah, the odds are pretty good you know. They have had five weddings out of this particular campaign. Yeah I read about that, that's fantastic. And..if he does sound like your kind of fella, you can contact him by going to the Women's Weekly website

Well we've yet to hear of any campaign to find a surfer a wife but I'm pretty certain our next guest is not in the market for marriage anyway. The South Coast's, Phil MacDonald, is pretty busy these days travelling the world contesting the waves to win him the World Championship. But he's back home for a spell and with us in our Wollongong studio. Hi Phil, how are you going? Good thank you. Just to make it clear, not in the market for a wife? Nah, not really looking for a wife at the moment. I'm pretty happy travelling the world being single, young guy. Oh there will be broken hearts up and down the coast, saying that. Now, you were born in Canberra were you? Yeah, I was born in Canberra. It always seems like a myth. I've seen a few newspaper reports saying I am from Canberra, but I was only up there for a couple of days, me and my brother were twins and they weren't ready to do twins down at Batemans bay so. Alright, let's talk about the last twelve months. They have been pretty big for you. What was the turning point do you think? I dunno. I think the last two - three years, I've gradually been improving my ratings and making finals and this year, I always aim to get in the top ten and I think I started off in ninth in Queensland and didn't do very well in two events got unlucky, but then, you know, your luck kind of changes and I got a fifth in Fuji and I think the big turning point was I got to the final in Reunin Islands, Ripcurl search, WCT and you know, I was beating guys in the top five and I was kind of out surfing them I suppose, and I think that really just gave me the confidence I knew I could beat all these guys. How do you describe your surfing style Phil? My surfing style? I suppose I grew up in powerful waves and I'm a pretty short stocky type of guy and I've always grown up trying to surf as hard as I can and I kind of like the bigger stuff so, I'm probably an aggressive power surfer, but that's the cliche that they call me. And of course, Kelly Slater, six times world champion. You have been up against him quite a few times lately. Do you think he is ever going to give it away? I hope so cause he is winning too much at the moment but, yeah, he's an amazing competitor. We've had a couple of really good heats this year and we were in the final together in Tressles and I was winning the whole heat and then he got a nine at the end and it was a little bit controversial but yeah, he's amazing for the sport and you know, I remember five years ago having him on my wall and now I'm competing against him, at the end of the day you have go to beat them. And now you know, I'm surfing against them and beating these guys and I go into a heat against Kelly and I think I am going to beat him and if you want to beat the guys and be at the top, they can't be your heroes anymore they have got to be your rivals. You have to want to take them out. Yeah for sure. So you are currently third in the world. What's the game plan for say, the next twelve months to possibly win that championship? Yeah, well I suppose the thing this year was for me to get into the top ten and to get the top five, that's like the elite of the elite. It's pretty hard to get in the top five and this year there is two contest levels so I just want to hold down third position. I can't get to second and I can't win the world title but next year, I just want to start really strong, even stronger than I did this year and just keep continuing but be up there and improving my surfing and who knows, going for a world title. Well, look, Phil MacDonald, all the best. Let us know when you beat Kelly Slater. I am sure we will hear about it anyway. Yeah, hopefully I will beat him next time. Alright, thanks a lot for joining us. Thanks No worries there. Well, that is just about our show for today. Next week we'll catch-up with Canberra's Paralympic ski champ Michael Milton, and hear all about his recent adventure going up a mountain, rather than down one. The emotion of getting to the top of Mount Kiliminjaro. Here we are at the top of Mount Kiliminjaro, 5896 meters. Oh yeah, and apparently. Michael Milton's next challenge is the Kokoda trail can nothing stop this guy? We'll find out next Saturday when we'll be back at our regular time slot of 12pm. Until then, enjoy all the Gold Coast Indy action and we'll see you next week on State Focus. Live captions by Southern Cross Ten, Canberra.