Home' InDaily : September 10th 2010 Contents September 10 - 16, 2010
The Independent Weekly hear'say
There s gee, haw and mush, and
without those three commands
mushers couldn t mush.
Mushers race teams of sled dogs
in Alaska and Canada, and if you
want to spend a weekend with some
of the most successful mushers
in the world, go to the 23rd annual
Alaska Dog Mushers International
Symposium being held next month
Champion mushers Rob Downey,
Egil Ellis, Hans Gatt and Lance
Mackey will be there, feted like
Brownlow medallists are in
But mush is also a scientific
debate. Should gilled fungi such
as Swiss browns or shiitake be
classified as a vegetable? Absolutely
not, say biologists. All vegetables are
plants, and mushrooms are neither
animal nor plant. They re in their
own separate kingdom, Eumycota.
SA Agriculture and Food Minister
Michael O Brien disagrees.
"Mushrooms are now the second-
most valuable vegetable crop in
Australia after potatoes," he says,
"with a farm gate value of $250
million and a retail value of almost
$500 million nationwide."
SA will soon be growing "super
mushrooms" fortified with
O Brien says research into the
new super mushrooms will bolster
the expanding mushy market. The
state already grows $88 million
worth of mushrooms each year.
"The mushroom industry has
been identified as one of the three
fastest-growing crop industries
established in Australia since the
1950s," O Brien says.
The industry employs 300 South
Australians and 40 per cent of
production is transported
Still, we re mere spores compared
with China, the largest edible
mushroom producer. It grows half
the world s cultivated mushrooms.
One billion people each eat almost
3kg of fungus every year.
But it still isn t a vegetable.
On any single day in Australia, one
in every 20 hospital beds is occupied
by a patient with a foot problem due
"This is a potentially avoidable
situation because we know that
a podiatrist can prevent up to
85 per cent of amputations and
associated hospital admissions,"
says Australasian Podiatry Council
president Brenden Brown.
"Patients with diabetes are
entitled to only a maximum of five
Medicare-funded appointments with
a podiatrist every year, when up to
12 podiatry visits may be required.
As a result, patients with diabetes
are being hospitalised with complex
foot problems. This situation is
ludicrous and false economy. A
patient with a major amputation
such as a foot or lower leg costs the
system around $100,000. In com-
parison, 12 podiatry appointments
through Medicare costs $600."
According to Brown, politicians
ignore podiatry and Medicare,
but with an estimated one million
Australians having diabetes, that s
a million votes which could have
swung the election.
More than 700 patients at the Royal
Adelaide Hospital had a pleasant
surprise with their lunch last week.
Their sandwich and cup of tea also
came with some food for the soul.
The Friendly Street Poets used to
perform live poetry in Rundle Mall
as part of National Poets Week, but
felt it wasn t cutting through to the
Convenor Maggie Emmett, a
former intensive-care nurse, said
they decided to collate their work
and donate it to the RAH. Sad and
depressing verse was banned. "We
thought it would inspire people, make
them feel really good and let them
have a little laugh," says Maggie.
Rhyme with reason
Environment and Conservation
Minister Paul Caica has not been
conserving the urban environment.
He s removed Adelaide University s
Union Hall from an interim State
"The Minister has acted against
all expert advice and I believe
undermined his own department,"
said Save the Union Hall Group s
Andrew Cawthorne. "All the
expert advice says this building is of
great heritage significance."
Dr Ross Thorne, former
Professor of Architecture at Sydney
University, has said the hall ranks
as one of the best modest capacity
theatres in Australia. He thinks it
should be recognised for its national
"The Minister s just completely
ignored that and I would be very
worried for the future of heritage
protection in our state if that s the
way the Minister s going to act," said
Caica said it was a "difficult"
decision. In an interview with local
ABC radio s Sonya Feldhoff, the
Minister used the word thrice, but he
said he acted "in the public interest".
"I would say it s in the in the
public interest to protect our herit-
age," responded a clearly distressed
Only once before has a minister
removed a building from the
Heritage List. That was Liberal
Environment and Heritage Minister
Dorothy Kotz, who de-listed the
former John Martins-David Jones
building in Rundle Mall almost 20
Degrees of difficulty
Multiple world championship
medallist and Commonwealth
Games gold medallist Kerrie
Meares has joined the Cycle4Sam
charity bike ride for children with
Cycle4Sam aims to raise more
than $60,000 for targeted services
at the paediatric palliative-care
unit of the Women s and Children s
It is a biennial charity initiative
launched in Adelaide in memory of
the young Sam Roberts, who passed
away aged four from a rare genetic
illness in 2005.
Meares has generously donated
two mint-condition Melbourne
Commonwealth Games relay batons
for auction at a Cycle4Sam fund-
raiser tomorrow. Cycle4Sam will see
12 riders start from the Victorian
Highlands, ride 1200km and arrive
in Adelaide on October 4.
If you ve been listening to Bob
Francis on FIVEaa lately, you ll
have heard that in between calling
people wankers and worse, he s
taken calls from our own former
Atko mostly rings in late at night,
so when the call came in just before
midnight we turned up the volume
to hear the Member for Croydon say
he s on the Greek island of Ikaria in
the eastern Aegean Sea.
"It s a place where successive
Greek governments sent rebels and
Communists into exile. So oddly
enough, the three municipalities
on the island are the only munici-
palities in Greece controlled by the
Greek Communist Party," he told an
enthralled Adelaide audience.
"Why are you there? To learn
more things about the Communist
Party just in case it comes back?"
"Oh, no. I ve learned a lifetime s
worth of that," Atko reassured us.
"I m just about to go off to
Ethiopia before coming back to
"Why are you going to Ethiopia?"
"Because I don t think any other
South Australian politician has
ever been there," the globe-trotting
(A cross-party coffee break with
MP3 and MP4)*
MP4: Mind if I park myself here?
MP3: Not at all. Coffee?
MP4: Thanks. Hey, you look pretty
MP3: I had a dream.
MP4: Tell me more, Luther King.
MP3: It seemed as if my whole
life had come together at one
MP4: A Damascus moment? You ve
MP3: From negativity? For a while,
MP4: You found the secret to
eternal political life? Where, how?
MP3: Sometimes you just feel
you re in the right place.
MP4: As of now I m in the right
place enjoying a taxpayer-funded
coffee in Parliament.
MP3: Yes! It seemed to be happen-
ing here, in the centre of
MP4: You re not making sense, my
MP3: In this dream I felt ... a sense
of integrated design!
MP4: That s lovely. What did you
do in this dream?
MP3: I was following the leader.
MP4: Rann, Foley, Conlon or
MP3: Dunno, but he was showing
me how it all fits together, how city
MP3: It was beautiful. First we
visited new bubs in the railyards
MP4: And he gave them free party
MP3: Then we passed kids on
the skatepark and saw teenagers
and young people in Hindley
MP4: Beating each other up and
MP3: We had lunch at the
convention centre and met young
businessmen and women.
MP4: Freeloaders from interstate
at a conference?
MP3: And they took us to a
revamped casino which is making
so much money it s a beacon for
everyone in the state to follow.
MP4: And lose all their savings in
MP3: Then we walked across the
footbridge for a night game at the
MP4: Now that must have been
MP3: Er, when I said it all fitted
together, I might have overstated
it a bit.
MP4: How so?
MP3: Well it turned into a bit of a
MP4: Aw. And things were going
MP3: We all came out and I was
looking for my car.
MP4: And you couldn t find it?
MP3: I asked someone where the
MP4: Let me guess.
MP3: No carparks! It was
MP4: That s the trouble with
MP3: That s when I woke up.
MP4: Now that you re awake, guess
MP4: They re still planning the
*(MP3 and MP4 are worried that,
like themselves, the integrated
riverbank vision is a bit of a
Alice wonders how a caterpillar can smoke a hookah on a mushroom.
Michael Atkinson prepares to hunt
R-rated gamers in Ethiopia.
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