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State Focus -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. talk TV program for the A.C.T. as Welcome to State Focus, our weekly

South Wales. well as southern and central New Hello its Guy Sweeting. ...well its looking especially Today: Could the drought be breaking promising in Yass and Orange. skiers on our slopes. Also: a unique Canberra study into Wagga, Batemans Bay and the A.C.T. Then: making poverty history in health of our kids. But first up; two discussions on the fitness program in Wollongong to Later we'll find out about a kids Illawarra kids grow up. help combat obesity later in life as though, with a Canberra based expert We kick start this week's program , there's an urgent need for more on food allergies who has found young children are continuing to research into why food allergies in only increase. Raymond Mullins joins us to explain. Canberra clinical immunologist Dr Welcome to State Focus. G'day. What is your research? What have you been conducting? ago I would see 1 kid per month Well it's interesting that 13 year see 3 or 4 a week so there's walk in with food allergy, now I happening in Canberra @ something funny much time. And that has increased over how 12 - 13 year period About 12 fold over a specific to Canberra? Okay and this is at national data aswell, looking at No not really because I've looked Australia and dangerous allergic admissions to public hospitals in doubled over that period but in reactions or anaphylaxis have actually gone up 5 fold. young children less than 5 they've been able to see first hand in So it's a national trend but you've it has followed a national trend. Canberra, pretty much the fact that always been anecdotal, the water I think so the - but in a way it's that I'm see in more of it these cooler talk, the conference talk

clinics are all full of food days what are you seeing and my turning anecdote into evidence and allergy so this is really just point to say okay now we have a it actually gives us a starting develop strategies to deal with it. problem, we nee to be able to food? And food allergy specifically, what kids the most common triggers are Well if we're talking about little that really hasn't changed over the peanut, Tree nuts, egg and milk and

important to... last decade or so but it's Only worsen. Sorry? Only worsen. it's important to know what food We've become more frequent, but in our society with true food allergy is because alot of people people don't believe that the allergy live in a society where talking about the hyperactive kids condition exists and we're not hang over after too much red wine, after too much red cordial or a or even maybe a baby who's suddenly you're talking about young children to weaned and onto their first who's going from being breast fed suddenly swells up and throws up bottle of cows milk formula, arms at the age of 6 months. and gets a rash in their mothers do they? So they come and see you for that Canberra hospital. Yeah well the allergy services at the causes I guess this is where Alright well they're - moving onto and wanting to get some feedback you're sort of throwing it out there

alike, are there any likely reasons from experts and general people increase in child allergies? that you can think of for the we're short on answers, now the - Well there are lots of theories but hygiene theory and that's been one of the common theories are the that were too clean for our own looked at in asthma and hay fever my teenagers say if it doesn't kill good, germs are good for us or as you it makes you stronger. (LAUGHS) common in developing countries and Allergic disease is not really that eczema are doubled in the last in Australia asthma, hay fever, the new kid on the block but the generation and food allergy is just evidence for hygiene theory and problem is that while there's some respiratory problems literally have germs being good for us for in other countries yet. not been looked at in Australia or influence? Okay could diet be a major we're eating more nuts and peanuts Well maybe the other theory is 30 years ago and you can think of these days and we weren't eating it be but egg and milk allergies have theoretical reason why that might hasn't changed there. gone up too and our consumption might be having the same variety of Has it been put to you that we everything and not enough variety in wheat and the same variety of variety in the things we have of the diet per se or not enough allergies because it's too much of that particular grain causing

you? the one thing, has that been put to actually become more diverse, as I would have though our diet has last year on new food allergens I part of a talk at our conference cookbooks from the 1980s and 70s had to go through some really old the Doona Hay magazines that we see and our diets very different from today the Doona Is our diet worse since then? then? or do you think more diverse since

got access to more interesting Oh our diet is more diverse, we've children it's not the exotic that foods but if you're talking about sensitive to it is the same old keeps coming up that they're milk, egg, peanut, tree nut seeds... come up since the 70s and 80s in The other thing that seems to have alot of preservatives, alot of particular I guess is chemicals, that's the reason? additives in our food, do you think I've had in the last week about You'd be surprised how many e-mails it be preservatives etcetera. various conspiracy theories, could even if it is chemicals and Don't know hasn't been studied and unknown action of them on the preservatives is it some bizarre chemicals and preservatives immune system or is it the spoiling and therefore we don't get actually keep our food from pure speculation. as much food poisoning again it's Could it be genetics then? good thing or bad thing, could that Genetically modified food, is that a spur off allergies? decade ago are putting a cashew or Apart from soy and one study over a think into a soy bean, there's not I think it's a brazil nut protein I anywhere even suggesting that and a single case report or paper peanut and the cashews and the again it wouldn't explain the transgenicly modified foods. sesame seeds, they're not all because people are vaccinating I got an e-mail the other day 'it's their kids' sorry guys no evidence.. children having too many reactions I was just going to say too, are

and conditions because of the to an increasing amount of disease that we're giving the children now? widening amount of immunisations fallacies is that there's something No not at all, and one of the many funny about vaccines but the body's immune system - see we all get respiratory infections and other infections all the time, we don't necessarily feel terribly sick but we get them all the time and the... To what an extent it might go back to what you were saying earlier our body needs to build up these immune systems rather than perhaps having too many immunisations or do you think that has something to play? No there's no evidence of influence of vaccinations on making allergic disease more common, worse or less severe or more severe it's a separate issue so the body's immune system handles a vaccine the same way it does handle the actual infection it's just you're not likely to die if you get certain vaccines likely What about - I'll throw one more at you, what about the diet of expecting mothers? Well that's been looked at... Too much alcohol and coke and chips and stuff like that. Well that's been looked at too and in 1998 the UK Government noticed that there was a bit more peanut allergy around and they said well it may not be such a good idea for pregnant women to eat lots of peanut, that might prevent it, apart from the fact that there's clear evidence that most people ignored that advice anyway but those who did compared to those who didn't change their diet no change in the incidents of food allergy either so the problem we've got is that we've got - it seems to be a relatively new phenomenon, we don't know why it's becoming more common and if we don't know why it becoming more common we don't know how to intervene to prevent it or to make it go away. Well we look forward to the research coming out, we're out of time thanks for coming it. Thankyou. Canberra clinical immunologist Dr Raymond Mullins. And what do you think of child food allergies? Is it a problem you are experiencing first hand or know of a family whose children have food allergies? Have your say at our mytalk website. Follow the links. You can also email us. Details again at the end of the program. Still lots to come including a possible end to the drought, especially in Yass and Orange rural areas. But next up, continuing on regional child health issues with a positive way to combat childhood obesity in the Illawarra. Stay with us.

In Bulla, you're watching State Focus. Well still ahead; farmers getting hopeful of the drought breaking especially in the rural areas of Yass and Orange. the program today about the health of young children in our region. Beaton Park Leisure Centre in Wollongong is one of many recreational outlets across our region who are now offering gym classes for young kids in a move which offsets childhood obesity

later in life. Amy Watson is from Beaton Park Leisure Centre and joins us now in our Wollongong studio. Welcome to State Focus Amy. Thank you. Tell me about what you do there at Beaton Park? Um yep, well we have a range of gymnastics programs available for children, starting from 18 months with our Kindy Gym program, that goes up to pre-school age group and then they can pass them on to after school classes from 5 years onwards.

That's great isn't it, getting little kids from 18 months. That must be a lot of fun doing that from that young age. Yeah, yeah it is, and it's with a bit parent involvement as well, so hopefully it leads them to - you know with ideas and things they can take home from that as well. What specifically are some of the exercises you run through? With the young ones it's very much combination of gross motor and fine motor skills, honing mostly on fun, but yeah, jumping, climbing ropes,

developing their basic strength and skills really. Okay, and how long have you been involved with this program? The program at Beaton Park, probably for the last 4 and a half years. Yeah, okay and you're saying from 18 months right up until when? We offer programs all the way up until about 12 years of age. Okay, and how many in each class that you would do?

Oh with our Kindy Gym classes, probably have a range of between 10 and 25 children in those classes and then the after school ones have no more than 10 in each group, but we have about 3 groups running at any one time. And has more talk over the last few years about childhood obesity and that sort of thing - has it become more popular to get kids enlisted in this sort of thing? I think so, and it's only one hour each afternoon a week that they've

got to do and they come in and you know it's full on and it's good fun with - I think that's a really important aspect to base it around, a lot of fun. And it's great social interactivity amongst the kids as well. Yeah, yeah, you see kids develop, you know, that come over - you know, a term period or a year period - who have friends from different schools and even different age groups slightly as well that they've met purely through afternoon sport. You talk about addressing fine motor skills and that sort thing but what are the specific activities you go through; is there some running and some jumping and some push ups? Or what exactly do you do there? Yeah a lot of running and jumping and a bit of, you know, forward rolling and tumbling and things, but we incorporate all aspects of gymnastics which these days includes rhythmic gymnastics with the balls and ribbons and thing, and trampolining and sports acrobatics as well as the old, you know, beam, bars, you know, and floor and vault aspects as well. And does this sort of add on to what they do at school, is it sort of recommended by teachers? Are there teachers in schools who sort recommend you as well? I think so, I think a lot of schools these days run, you know, basic gymnastics programs, so we kind of just, yeah, extend from what they do at school and a lot of schools have gross motor programs as well that, yeah, we're kind of the next step up from those. What do kids think about it? Oh they seem to love it. And mums and dads? Mums and dads seem to love it too and they sit there with their coffee on the sideline. Okay, and tell me about the staff that run it, how many people involved? We've probably got about 8 staff or so with the gymnastics at Beaton Park. Most of them are, you know, high school students and University students, but all have gone through, you know, proper gymnastics qualifications, and most have been involved in gymnastics themselves, you know, for the last, you know, quite a number of years. And that's in your situation as well? Ah yes, yep. Okay, and how many years does it take to qualify to do that sort of thing? To become just a gymnastics coach it's about - it's a 2 day course - and then you've got to do quite a few practice hours. But all in all, it's a couple of weeks process really B And kids from all across Wollongong? How far and wide do you take the kids in from? Oh I think we've got one from the northern suburbs down through, you know, Shell Harbour and Dapto way as well. Okay then. Well, thanks very much for coming in today to tell us all about that. No worries, thank you very much. Amy Watson, from Beaton Park Leisure Centre's kids gym, joining us in our Wollongong studio. Well still ahead; a Canberra University health test on snow skiers which may help reduce the amount of accidents on our snowfields. But now to good news for many of our farmers, especially in the rural areas surrounding Yass and Orange, where it seems the drought isn't quite over but things are starting to head in the right direction. Phil Graham is a normally Yass based Sheep and Livestock officer, but is joining us on the phone right now from Orange. Welcome to State Focus, Phil. Thank you. Things looking up in the area surrounding Yass? last 6 weeks, things are green, it's lifted everyone's spirits, things are starting to head in the right direction - they're not there - but they're heading the right way. When that does happen, from a sheep and livestock point of view, what's the next step? I suppose the major thing that it's provided is green feed; people have been able to either stop or cut back their supplementary feeding. So that's had a big effect on workload and also the amount of money leaving the business. So that's starting to look better, but there's other things that - impacts from drought - which don't change over night. You know everyone's still very short of water in dams and creek systems so it's going to take rain over many months to fix that And continued follow up rain, obviously. Yeah and to really nail this we need it right through, people need a good spring to get crops in - you know, grain - in silos and in the storage system again, replenish hay and silage reserves and the biggest impact of drought - which will last for a long time, up to 2 to 3 years - is the financial impact on people, and it's only good production help the financial side get better. And I'm taking it at least the rain we've had so far can allow graziers to think to themselves: well at least there doesn't need to be any methodology behind having to get rid of stock, it can now be held on to a good deal more than considerations given to that sort of dismal future. Yeah, exactly. The issue of de-stocking seems to have disappeared, even though some people still might be feeding, they know it's for a finite time period now whereas the rain come it's unknown. And in some areas which are a bit warmer it'll come away a bit quicker, some people are starting to see a feed surplus and starting to think about buying stock to get their numbers back up. So that's in the minority... And it must be good for you guys in your line of business, because you start to get a positive vibe from people on the farm now. I think it's not only for in my business but any business in a rural town would have noticed the difference over the last 6 weeks in just dealing with the people walking through the doors. Now your area - Yass - does stretch right out to sometimes as far as

West Wyalong, you can be in contact with people and get a hold of what's going on in those areas as well. Yeah some of my responsibilities move just out of the immediate district and I work a few wider areas, so over the last months I've seen a fair bit of the south of New South Wales and just about every where I've travelled things are looking positive.

during April and May for the first time in a long time were general rains. People, you know - it came through as a general front whereas before either got it or you missed it. Yeah, oh well let's hope for more of that soaking stuff to land on our precious farmlands. Thanks very much for your time. Thank you very much, bye. Okay, that's Yass based Sheep and Livestock officer Phil Graham joining us on the phone from Orange. Well still ahead; making poverty history in the ACT, Bateman's Bay and Wagga during the coming week. But next, a Canberra University study monitoring health levels of skiers to cut down on the rate of accidents on our snowfields. Back shortly.

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From Dunedoo to Delegate, this is State Focus. Well still ahead; driving the 'Make Poverty History' message through several of our centres including Wagga, Bega and Narooma. But now to unique research on our snowfields by the University of Canberra. fields. The research is to help people who ski socially and its already been discovered that skiers who have accidents are more likely to be dehydrated or fatigued. To tell us more, we're joined by doctor Tracey Dickson from Canberra Uni as well as Gordon Waddington. Welcome both to State Focus. Thank you. First of all to you Tracey: tell me a little bit about the research. The research is building on some research we did last year where we were looking at people presenting at a medical centre and we asked them questions about how much they had been drinking and eating in the previous 24 hours before their injury, and what we found was generally they were drinking more caffeinated drinks, they were drinking more alcohol, but less other drinks, and as a result we're sort of assuming that they are probably dehydrated. So we're building on that project to get more data around that and hence try and look at things that contribute to the injury, so instead of waiting until we need to use wrist guards of helmets, is how can we prevent people from falling. How can we help with their balance, and so with Gordon's help and with Steven's help we're looking at hydration and using the ski patrol this year as our subjects. Okay. Gordon, what would be your role? I believe a lot of the research will be done at Perisher. That's correct. Basically it's a really nice interdisciplinary project, we've got Steve Thrathen - the designer - working on the process of how the equipment's used, my role is looking at the actual measurement of balance and exercise capacity of the ski patrollers who are involved in the research project, and we're looking at how, over the day, their exercise capacity varies as a result of fatigue and hydration level, and also how their movement capacity varies over the day, affected by how much fluid they've got available to them. We've got 2 different types of process of providing fluid: we have fluid that's provided through a backpack system as well as just the normal intake of fluid that they'd have by drinking whatever drinks are available have And you're going to be comparing some who just do what they do normally with people who get the added hydration, and make some comparative studies there. That's correct, that's correct. As is the case with all research, we have, if you like, a control group and an active group, and in this case the control group is just their normal level of water uptake and the intervention group will be those wearing the backpack in their normal ski patrol gear. Let's have a look at the backpack, it's something that you attach to the back of your ski gear and so forth, and you can put it into your mouth and just take some as you need it throughout the skiing. Ski patrol have got new uniforms this year where they've actually got a pouch in the back of their jacket where a hydration pack like this will slide into it, and then that just comes up over their shoulder and as they're going along they can be drinking it while they're on the lift, even, you know, when they're just sort of standing around. only way they can access a drink is if they go into their huts or if they go into any of the shops and so we're looking at the difference in terms of being able to rehydrate throughout the day as opposed to when you've got a break in your work. Alright, interesting research, thank you very much for coming in today. Thanks for your time. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. Alright, that's Dr. Tracey Dickson from the University of Canberra along with Gordon Waddington. Well the 'Make Poverty History' message has been presented to world leaders by high profile entertainers including Sir Bob Geldof and Bono, but now the message is coming to a town near you. The Oaktree Foundation has organised a national bus trip to highlight how local communities can do their bit to make poverty history and will pass through many centres in our region this coming week including Canberra, Wagga, Bateman's Bay, Narooma and Bega. Oaktree Foundation Founder Hugh Evans speaks now with Judi Hogan from our State Focus team. Hugh, why Zero Seven? Well the whole idea behind Zero Seven came about because in the year 2000 all the world leaders came together and for the first time in history they agreed upon this plan to half extreme poverty by the year 2015. So on the 7/7/07, which is taking place in a few days time, that's actually going to mark the halfway point to achieving the millennium development goals by the year 2015, and so it's called Zero Seven because it's marking that halfway point on the 7/7/07 and also because we're calling on the Australian government to commit to just 0.7% of our budget in foreign aid by the year 2015, which is a promise that the Australian government made many years ago and something we hope they'll keep. Now did you meet Bono, did you spend some time with him? I certainly did, yeah. So what happened last year is Dan and I spent the day backstage with Bono, just talking to him about our ideas of actually running this year's road trip right across the country, and I shared with him the idea and he punched me and he goes "Hugh that's awesome, I want to see how it turns out!" And so a couple of weeks ago Dan and I - it was

very fortunate - we were given a MTV music award and Bono gave us a personal message live from the UK, it was very funny actually, he goes to us, he goes: "Next time Bob Geldof calls me up and asks me to do, you know, Live 9 or 10 or 11, I'm going to give him your number." Now you've got bands in Canberra, what's going on in the ACT region? Well in the ACT region we're going to be going to Queanbeyan, Bega and also on to Batemans Bay there's going to be a big concert in Batemans bay featuring evermore, little birdie, this is going to be a huge concert but in addition to all those concerts our ambassadors, I caught up with them a few days ago and they are so excited to be able to be out there on the streets all across the region campaigning and spreading the message to make poverty history. And you've got the South Australia leg coming through Wagga aswell? That's right yeah so the South Australian leg will be firstly going through Mildura and then through Wagga and in Wagga there's going to be a whole lot of campaigning activities that are taking place in the centre of Wagga and then finally that team will also be heading on to Sydney. Now the ambassadors have already been selected, they're aged between 16 and 26, how can young people get involved? What can they do to help? There are so many ways that people, young and old, can be involved, and

the best was is just firstly if you want to come along to one of the 'Make Poverty History' concerts, then you can go to our website, which is or go to actually involved and come along to a concert @ invo But there are other ways as well, what we're doing is we're launching this campaign this week which is called 'Face Up To Poverty', we're trying to 70,000 people to face up to poverty by the 7/7/07

as always, it's a wonderful work you're doing. All the best with the tour. Thank you so much Judi. Thank you. woosh Oaktree Foundation Founder Hugh Evans speaking with Judi Hogan from our State Focus team. A quick check of our local NRL teams in action and the Raiders are at home this afternoon to the Wests Tigers with kick off at 2 o'clock, while the Dragons are playing this afternoon at their Sydney home ground against the Sea Eagles with kick off at 3 o'clock. Before we go, our viewer feedback contact details. website: or email us check our Mytalk digital TV channel for local information and highlights of State Focus programs. And great to get lots of reaction during the week to our discussion last week on wind farms. Well that's as it happened this week, I'm Guy Sweeting. Join us Live captions by Southern Cross Ten, Canberra We apologise for the temporary loss of captions.

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