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State Focus -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. Welcome to State Focus, our weekly talk TV program for the ACT as well as southern and central New South Wales. Hello its Guy Sweeting. Today: fostering comedy talent in the Illawarra and Riverina. Widening Gundagai's Sheahan Bridge to properly cope with Sydney to Melbourne traffic. The Anglican Bishop for Canberra and Goulburn retires. Narooma's upcoming Great Southern Blues and Rockabilly Festival. And we'll head down to Floriade to see two Canberra icons like they've never been seen before. But first up; there are predictions ACT Greens Senate candidate Kerrie Tucker could pose a real challenge for the incumbent Liberal Gary Humphries Senate seat. It would be nothing new to either of them who are former foes in the ACT parliament: The Legislative Assembly. Kerrie Tucker joins me now. Welcome to State Focus. Good morning. Okay what difference would you make if you became and ACT Senator? Well the really interesting thing about the ACT seat is that if Senator Humphries were to lose his seat so me then you would immediately see change in what the numbers are in the senate so you'd see a tie basically and it only takes that one seat to go and the other really interesting point is that the territories are different to the state in that if I were to win that seat I would take it immediately so as soon as the poll was declared I would take up my seat and that's significant because it makes a huge difference to the first 6 months because the other state senators have to wait until July, the newly elected senators to take their seats. How likely is that? Election analyst says that you're a 50/50 chance so is senator Humphries losing a bit of support? Well the Morgan polls that we've commissioned have certainly indicated that his vote is down, it's around 20% now the quota he needs to get is 33%, I'm polling around 15% so that means we're both well bellow quota and so preferences would obviously be critical, the other really interesting thing about this poll is in 2004 you saw the vote in the senate, the liberal vote in the senate higher actually than in the house of reps but this time it's the other way round and so liberal voters are obviously concerned about what's happened over the last 3 years with the coalitions controlling the senate and they are voting strategically in the senate and I believe that you know no matter who is in Government wether it's Labor or Liberal it's not good to have the senate controlled by either of the major parties because you want to have the opportunity in the senate to have real opportunity for diverse opinions to be brought in for diverse And speaking of opportunity in the senate from a voter level I suppose and say you get in there what difference will you make? What will you do? What do you want to achieve? Well I think my work in the assembly has indicated that I'm very keen on proper process and that I like to see the legislation or the proposals of Government scrutinised carefully, I like to involve community in that scrutiny so I'm very keen on the work of committees in the senate as I was in the legislative assembly where I chaired committees, I think clearly the Greens have a very strong perspective on climate change and we will continually hold whoever is in Government to account on the question of climate change. Thanks for coming in today. Thankyou. ACT Greens Senate candidate Kerrie Tucker. And what do you think of the prospect of one of the ACT senators being from The Greens? Have your say at our mytalk website. Follow the links. You can also email us. Details again at the end of the program. Still ahead; Eurobodalla mayor Neil Mumme joins us to talk about the upcoming Great Southern Blues and Rockabilly Festival for Narooma. But now to: a Wollongong comedy club that has Irish origins but aims to foster comedy talent not only in the Illawarra but also in the Riverina. Martin Henchion is the founder of the Craichouse Comedy Club in Ireland and since immigrating to Australia he has set up a local chapter. To find out more we're joined by Martin in our Wollongong studio. Welcome to State Focus. Thankyou very much. Tell me about the Craichouse club. The Craichouse club began about three years ago in Ireland, I arrived back from my first visit to Australia and there was no real place to do comedy in Cork city which is where I'm from and I figured there must be other comedians around Cork city looking for a place so I started one, within about 3 or 4 months we'd gone from I think showing once a month to having five show on a week. Okay. Which is pretty big, that's going really strong now and when I came to Australia back to Wollongong a year and a half ago I started up the same - basically along the same lines and that's pretty much gone from strength to strength and now there's... @ from st Tell me how you've taken that to the Riverina and other outback areas and more rural areas. I've done quite a bit of work with a guy called Sean Flag, he liaises with quite alot of clubs out west, he's from Wagga himself and he sets up quite a few gigs out there so we pack up early on a Saturday morning and head off for a ten hour drive do a gig for 2 hours then back in the car and get the hell back to Wollongong as quick as possible. That's about the size of it. Alright is there alot of funny people out there? I think there's a hell of alot of characters down west you know, we've done a few gigs around the Wagga region and well facial hair is pretty big out there, I'm a big fan of that myself so... As we can see. ... So good work lads, keep it up keep that goat going it's good for the winter out there. Yeah I reckon there's alot of characters out there and people aren't afraid to abuse you either, they really appreciate that you know. Yeah that's the one thing about stand up comedy you can never know just when you might get heckled, how do you cope with that? Bring it on I love the heckling, I'm a pretty lazy sort of comedian after a while so it's pretty hard to write material - coming up with material it's easy enough but it the next morning when you wake up it's finding a person who was sober last night that can remember it that's the real hard part so for me when somebody heckles it just can lead off on a tangent where I'm not even prepared for and I like it like that because it comes across really natural and really fresh. And you love the spontaneity. Oh absolutely yeah, bring it on more heckling. And do you sort of base your comedy acts on real life situations and things that annoy you like alot of comedians do? Yeah pretty much I just take inspiration from the things around me, most of my comedy is about drinking, living in Wollongong, living in Australia, being from Ireland, drinking and living in Wollongong. It's a good place for the comedy, I live in the city centre and on Saturday nights you don't even have to watch the TV you just go out on the balcony and oh it's great drama it's wonderful, you should check it out you should get you cameras down there. I'll produce it it'll be great. Okay if people want to find out more about your comedy club what can they do? Well you'll have to come along basically, come along to the Master builders the last Thursday of the month and also we have a competition running in Albion park in the Tullimba inn and that's every 4 weeks aswell. Okay sounds like alot of fun thanks for coming to talk about it. Thankyou very much Guy. Cheers. Wollongong comedian Martin Henchion joining us in our Illawarra studio. Greg Matthews has enjoyed his first week as Dubbo mayor, but he's no stranger to the city's top civic job, having been the mayor once before 5 years ago. Mayor Matthews has promised to have a more open mayoral office. Possibly the most important inland highway in Australia from Sydney to Melbourne has still got a long way to go to simply become two lanes each way for the entire journey. Up next, we find out the next step in eventually moving towards that reality, with a significant bridge at Gundagai being widened. Back shortly. In Weedallion, you're watching State Focus. You might not think Forbes would need it, but late night violence and vandalism has prompted a three month trial of two security guards at the Templar street taxi rank on Friday and Saturday nights. The trial has the backing of Forbes mayor Rhonda Keane who says they'll not only protect taxi drivers from attacks but innocent people waiting for a cab at the rank. Just ahead; Canberra and Goulburn Anglican Bishop George Browning joins us to talk about his retirement. But now to the next crucial stage in working towards widening Australia's most important inland highway from Sydney to Melbourne: The Hume. A major hurdle in widening the road to be two lanes each way is with Sheahan Bridge near Gundagai. To explain what's now going to happen we're joined by Federal Nationals Riverina MP Kay Hull. Welcome again to State Focus. Thankyou Guy. We had you on last time for the Coolac bypass, this is a little bit further up the road duplicating Sheahan bridge. What time and effort is required there? Well this is an exciting advancement on the duplication of the Hume highway, the Sheahan bridge will be duplicated you will have a 1.1 kilometre bridge that will be south bound and that will take all the southbound traffic. So the existing bridge will be north bound? The existing bridge will be the north bound traffic, the new Sheahan's bridge will be 1.1 kilometres and it will be southbound so you'll have a 1.5 kilometre stretch of road works that will lead into that new bridge and it will be commencing in about 3 months time so it's a really exciting duplication. And it's sort of significant to know that the Sheahan bridge the original one was built in the late 80s was the first bypass in New South Wales of any town in this case being Gundagai, along the whole Hume highway in New South Wales. that's exactly right Guy, it was in fact Gundagai was the first town bypassed and it was a catalyst for all of the other bypasses and Gundagai has done a fabulous job of keeping itself viable in the community you know really really get behind all of the aspects of duplication because they believe that that gives them a fast and effective safe exit and entry into Gundagai community so the duplication of Sheahan bridge will be enormously beneficial for the Gundagai community not only in the fact that it will provide work opportunities butt he construction going on there will certainly attract many more visitors into Gundagai communities. Once Gundagai bridge is duplicated how much more of the Hume highway needs to be duplicated after that? In it's entirety there's about 100 kilometres of the Hume highway. It's still a bit. It's still quite a bit but it's going very very fast these duplication at Sheahan bridge will be ready for use by 2009 and when you look at the magnificent structure that has to be put in place, 1.1 kilometre of bridge work over a flood plain you see how quickly we are now able to transform highways and move them along with the new technology and the way in which we've advanced so I think that this 100 kilometres will see them rolling out very very quickly, we rolled out Coolac bypass it's well on the way to duplication and so now we've got Sheahan bridge that's well on the way, all of the heritage issues have been resolved with Sheahan bridge and that's the way you'll see the project unfold into the months ahead. And speaking of in the months ahead of the time ahead after that what will be the next duplication after that just the joining up roads will be duplicated? What will be the next project? I suspect the next project will be beyond Tarcutta in between Tarcutta and Holbrook, that will be... Further south ...yes further south that will be the next project. When you consider the Sheahan bridge has at the moment about 7,000 trafficking movements across it, 4,500 of those are heavy vehicles, it is a very big task to reroute much of that traffic in order that a duplication can take place and so it is a significant logistical job but I think that one that has been carried out with precision and timeliness and without great destruction to the passing motorist. Okay we look forward to the day when the Hume highway is 2 lanes wither way Sydney to Melbourne, we're a little step closer thankyou for coming in. Thankyou very much Guy. Federal Nationals Riverina MP Kay Hull. Congratulations to a Cooma man who has won a million dollars in the lotto. He's sensibly decided to remain anonymous in case he gets too many new friends from his new wealth, but it has been revealed he is a well known cook. The owner of the local Cooma newsagency that sold him the ticket says it will be good to see the money going back into the local community. Still ahead; we head out to Canberra's Commonwealth Park for Floriade and see: not only flower displays, but creativity in the sand. But now to Canberra and Goulburn Anglican Bishop George Browning who's decided to retire after running the diocese since 1993. He'll now spend some time in the UK but has written a special message to his young grandchildren for them to consider when they're older. He joins us now. Welcome again to State Focus. Thanks Guy. Time to call it a day? Well time to call this chapter a day yes I don't suppose that I will ever completely give up ministry but I've been a bishop for 23 years, I'm the longest standing bishop in Australia at the moment and I've been ordained for 42 years so it's time probably to let go of running an institution and doing things that give me energy like preaching, teaching etcetera. Is there a particular point where that mist happen or is that your decision? In our diocese 65 is the age and I'm 65 this month. Right okay well happy birthday for when that happens. Thankyou very much. Now wanting to get into your age aspect so much but you're not going to retire in the full sense of the word you're going to move to the UK and have some association there with Sussex area is that right? Yes I' actually going to take a parish in the diocese of Salisbury and I have a number of interests particularly with theological education and environmental interest, they're two not necessarily the same but I'll be lecturing there I'll be leading a conference in Oxford or London prior.. confer Sorry you did mention Sussex there that was where you were born. Yes. People know Salisbury because of constables painting the very famous painting of Salisbury cathedral but I'll be living in that part of England @ I'll Yes and when will you move over there? Post Easter next year. right and you're not retiring till February 2008 so not happening for a little while yet. No I'm running a national senate here in Canberra in October and there are a number of other major responsibilities I have that will see me through to February. and just on your letter to your grandchildren, Jessica and Benjamin. Why write that letter? Well it was an interesting way of conveying a message to the diocese really and because I could write personally which I would not otherwise be able to do and I do feel quite strongly that this generation needs to think very carefully about the heritage we're leaving to the next generation particularly from the point of view of climate but not simply climate and the challenges that the young children being born today face in my view are more difficult to cope with than the challenges I faced in my life. And I guess they've got to think in terms of what kind of heritage will they be leaving for their grandchildren when the time comes. Well they have yes we all make choices and I don't regret any of mu choices and I love being in the ministry for 42 years. Alright I've just got to say thankyou very much for coming and telling us about that today. Oh it's a pleasure. Thankyou very much. Canberra and Goulburn Anglican Bishop George Browning. Parkes is hosting a Drought Rural Crisis Summit on Tuesday. The conference, organised by the state's Local Government and Shires Association, will look at support for farmers entering and leaving the industry. Other issues will be exceptional circumstances funding and the impact of drought on cropping areas. Next up, we head to the south coast and find out what's in store for this year's Great Southern Blues and Rockabilly festival in Narooma. Stay with us. (Turkish accent) I have seen this place where it rains in colour. Where a single second can last a lifetime.

And fingernails are food! (Chuckles) And men reach for the sky and pull themselves into the clouds!

From Merrygoen to Carrowidgin, this is State Focus. Oberon's improved swimming pool complex will be open on November 9 after a one hundred and 45 thousand dollar upgrade. It comes after a mammoth upgrade to Bathurst's swimming complex which now has an indoor Olympic pool open all year. Just ahead we'll head out to Commonwealth Park for a new display at this year's Floriade, bringing a new perspective to some of Canberra's icons. The Labour Day long weekend means a well deserved break for most, but in Narooma each year its when they put on a fresh dose of Blues and Rockabilly. This year's Great Southern Blues and Rockabilly festival is on at Narooma's Smyth Park from September 28th to the 30th. And the festival producer is Eurobodalla mayor Neil Mumme who joins us now on the phone. How are you going? Very well thanks. Nearly locked away all the organisation for the festival? Yes we're in the final stages now, we're definitely at the pointy end but I guess you could say it'll be totally prepared once the gates open 5:30 on Friday night. What are some of the feature acts this year? Feature acts we've got 9 from overseas, all over the world, Australian wise we've got another 27 odd acts including the Black Sorrows Tex Perkins, Renee Geyer, it's a very broad eclectic line up of contemporary and roots music. Yes Brian Cadd and Chain I noticed aswell. What are the times of the festival? Times are Friday night from 5:30 to midnight and then again from Saturday at 11:30am and Sunday from 11:30am through to midnight. Okay alot of people come along to enjoy, pick up a CD of the artist they're hearing or just seen perform and want it signed by them can you organise that? That's a very strong part of our festival is when artists do sell their CD's to festival goers there's a big artists signing and it's very popular and very crowded all weekend. Okay and the good thing is alot of people who make the journey to go there actually camp there. Yeah we have some camping on the festival sites, the town is obviously fairly heavily booked for that weekend because it's not a big town on the New Sought Wales south coast but certainly the town transforms into a major festival atmosphere for the whole weekend and there's people all over town all weekend and it's a very exciting time. And how many stages do you have there? We run three stages and they're all under big circus marquees so it's an all weather event but it's all contained on one festival site. Now while there's various concerts going on at ones there's also lots of other things to do if you're in between isn't there? Oh yeah there's lost of markets, you know we've got all sorts of - alot of different flavoured food markets, there's alot of traders come with clothes and jewellery and all that sort of stuff, it's very festive atmosphere and there's plenty to keep you bury all weekend. How long does it take to organise? If you condense the time down it's probably 6 months but it is a 12 months yeah operation. Yeah and how long has it been in Narooma? This is our 12th year. Okay and it looks like a good future for years to come? Yeah I think it is, I think we're a fairly well established brand now we get people from all over Australia and indeed we've sold about 100 tickets overseas this year which is a big improvement we've sold quite alot in New Zealand and there was some ticket orders come through from the United States orders com Alright so if you've got nothing to do head down to the south coast for the weekend and enjoy the blues and Rockabilly festival Narooma. Thanks for your time today. Thankyou. Eurobodalla mayor Neil Mumme joining us on the phone. Still on the south coast and The Batemans Bay Sailing Club is having its first race day of the new Spring and Summer program today starting at 11am at the Tuross Centre. Sailors are expected not only from Tuross and Batemans Bay, but also Moruya and Narooma. There'll be seven races for sailing dinghies and catamarans before Christmas and eight afterwards, which tend to be on every second Sunday. Floriade is celebrating all things Australian this year, but the theme's not just reflected in the flower displays. Amanda Abate from our regional news team shows us two icons like we've never seen before: Old Parliament House and The Australian War Memorial, carved in sand. Sand isn't something that we see alot of here in Canberra so this is the perfect opportunity to see it in it's finest for intricately carved into two of our most spectacular icons. (Voice Over) The man you see here shaping 30 tonnes of sand into the Australian war memorial is Jino Van Brunessan he earns his keep travelling the world with a bucket and spade and a whole lot of patients. Now how did this all start for you? How did you learn the craft? I was actually a sculptor for many years for a theatre and film and theatre and they asked me at some stage many years ago to do a sand sculpture in Sydney and that's basically how it started off. So this is your first time at Floriade though? Yes my first year at Floriade. Expecting alot of people to head down and check it out? Yes definitely I heard there was about 30,000 - 40,000 people coming on the weekend yeah that's fantastic @ on So how long does it take to sculpt something like this? We have 5 days basically to - from beginning to end to do this piece the warm memorial. And so how many are working on the project? Just Christine and myself with the war memorial and Clive and Leo are doing the old parliament house. And what kind of sand are you using? This is called bricky sand and we make it quite moist and the we compact it, we put it in foam wear and we compact it with a wacker - highly compact it and then we start carving into it. So it's not just your standard type of sand you'd find at the beach? No you can carve in beach sand but you cannot go as dramatic as we do here like with the sheer drops and things like that. (Voice Over) And unlike beach sand it wont crumble if the skies open up. If it's just a shower or two showers it's quite alright but if there's constant rain eventually things are start falling apart - it get's so saturated it just goes. Now come October 14 when Floriade finishes up for another year all of these flowers will be sent off to local nursing homes, the beach shacks will be auctioned off but what will become of the sand sculptures? A contractor comes in with a bobcat or a bulldozer and they just pick up the sand throw it in the truck and take it away. Is that devastating though to see? Yeah I think part of the fun of sand sculpting is that you can create something very nice, very beautiful and then after a while people enjoy it. That is a big part of the fun and then after that just get rid of it and make a new one. Start from scratch. Start form scratch. Amanda Abate from our regional news team with a unique aspect of this year's Floriade festival in Canberra. And there's plenty on at Floriade which runs through until Sunday October 14. Among today's highlights at Commonwealth Park there's a children's program at 10 o'clock, country singer Troy Casser-Daley in presentation at 3 o'clock. Before we go, our viewer feedback contact details. You can have your say on our website or email us That's as it happened this week. I'm Guy Sweeting. Join us next week for State Focus. Live captions by Southern Cross Ten, Canberra. We apologise for the temporary loss of captions. Normal service will resume as soon as possible.