Harsh reality of retail

ALBANY Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Benita Cattalini believes the recent buzz over shops closing on York Street could be rectified by owner-operators and leaseholders being more competitive with their products.

The subject of businesses shutting up shop on York Street has been a hot topic during the past few City of Albany council meetings.

One owner operator contesting an application for a coffee shop in May stated the approval of the shop would cause them to let go of t heir employees due to the competition, while another stated the shop would “create an unfair playing field”.

City CEO Andrew Sharpe said rates for owners on York Street were based on gross rental valuations (GRV) provided to the City by the Valuer General that were reviewed every three years and that the City was not responsible for businesses overheads.

“The last revaluation period reflected a decrease in commercial valuations of 3.62 per cent,” he said.

Ms Cattalini said the biggest issue facing retailers on York Street was the impact of online sales.

“Businesses have to make the choice to stay open,” she said.

“Most businesses on York Street can be open seven days a week.

“Albany is not a small town. Shop owners need to be extra sensitive to what customers want and need.”

The Weekender compared current commercial lease listings with the City of Bunbury to the City of Albany who had populations of 31,919 and 33,145 respectively from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census results from 2016.

Current listings for Albany shops on York Street would have renters pay on average $25,154.88, while Bunbury businesses on Victoria Street, the equivalent retail hub, would pay on average $30,875.

Mr Sharpe said the retail industry was experiencing hardship globally and had been impacting regional areas.

Recent statistics released by the ABS state that over the 2017-18 period, Albany experienced an overall growth of 64 new registered businesses.

According to the ABS, the wholesale trade industry had five new businesses open, retail trade had eight businesses shut, rental, hiring and real estate services had grown by 23, health care and social assistance had grown by 11, and arts and recreation had grown by 11.

Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry President David Kerr said retail conditions in Bunbury were stressful for some.

“There are a lot of variables to how successful a business can operate,” he said.

“One of our issues has been the cost of rent being high.

“For quite a while property owners have been quite reticent to change their rent and support their tenants. We’ve had more owners open to negotiate now but it has been a fairly long and
challenging time.”

Ms Cattalini said Albany’s issue was that businesses were not embracing change and taking the leap to engage with their customers online or utilising their ability to operate seven days a week.

“People in general have less disposable income to spend, which is a significant issue,” she said.

“There’s an opportunity for people to make an absolute killing by staying open during an activation activity like the Christmas Pageant.

“But it’s really important for people to try it and show what they can offer.”

Ms Cattalini said times were hard for some businesses but it was not the case for every business on York Street.

“Some people are providing an excellent experience for their customers in their store and online,” she said.

“We’re offering free training for businesses to learn how to engage with their customers online and on Facebook.

“We don’t tell our members how to operate their business, we suggest that they open seven days and go online.

“Businesses can’t ring and demand we do something because their shop is closing. It’s their choice to be competitive.”

Mr Kerr said the reality of retail was that shops needed to compete with online spaces, so retailers needed to provide vibrancy for their customer’s shopping experience.

“The reality is that retail is a live game, no two days are the same,” he said.

“Opening hours are definitely part of the equation to success.

“Even if you stay closed on a Sunday, the rates and rent still tick along, but on the other hand penalty rates can make it very hard.

“People need to make a judgement call on whether to take that risk.”

Ms Cattalini said introducing deregulated trading would have winners and losers but was not something Albany would need to decide on right now.

“The bigger focus needs to be going online,” she said.

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Quentin takes on Tinseltown


Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino


WE WILL start this off by saying Quentin Tarantino would have to be one of the more controversial directors of our time.

The aestheticisation of violence, the satirical subject matters, the blaxploitation and the frequent usage of a derogatory word (you know which one) don’t exactly put Tarantino in a favourable light.

That being said though, those characteristics found in Tarantino flicks are just as endearing to cinephile’s such as myself.

Cult classics like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill (both volumes), Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight have all produced popular spoofs and tributes in pop culture.

Tarantino fans have been made to wait between each film with the longest stint being a tantalising six years, but each breath held for the film is worth it.

We are only weeks away from the latest in the anthology, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and I have to say that I’m equally as excited as I am bummed out.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, or OUATIH for short, promises fans a comedy-drama set in 1969 Los Angeles following alcoholic actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), his best mate
and stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), and Dalton’s new neighbours Sharon Tate (Margo Robbie) and Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha).

People familiar with Tarantino’s sense of humour and tone in films could probably see where this is going, but for people not familiar, let me explain.

What you’ll watch will be in all likelihood 161 minutes of the grievously gory reimagination of one of the most shocking murders in history, and an extension of that, one of the most feared and famous criminals and cult leaders of history.

Sharon Tate and Charles Manson.

Now believe me I’m plenty excited to see DiCaprio and Robbie on the same screen again after their brilliant performance in 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street.

I love a bit of Pitt in Tarantino films and I’m beyond intrigued to see what Al Pacino is doing cast in the film.

I mean he’s 79 years old, and probably having an absolute hoot.

But I can’t help but feel like it’s just a bit of a cop out by Tarantino and with this rumoured to be one of his last films, I’m just really bummed.

We’ve already talked about how every production company under the sun is jumping on the serial killer bandwagon at the moment.

We’ve had retellings, documentaries, mini-series, docu-series, films, podcasts, books … you name it, it has been done.

And don’t forget there’s Charlie Says coming out this year as well, another Manson movie.

So Tarantino straying from his purely fictional repertoire to a story with elements of truth with Manson, Tate and Polanski almost seems lazy, and verging on glorification of actual murder.

I could be entirely wrong, and it could be a complete 180 in terms of story, but I still feel disappointed given the amazing stories created in Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight – and how completely different they were from other Tarantino flicks.

Each film Tarantino does simply cannot be compared to the last, simply on the merit that each story and each tone is so completely different despite familiar casting and the trademark gore.

OUATIH certainly fits that bill, but could the move from The Weinstein Company to Sony Pictures changed something elemental in Tarantino’s gift of the gab?

From day dot, Tarantino always said he would only do 10 movies and if film were phased out before then and transferred to digital he would call it quits.

So could it be that now Tarantino has completed his ninth film and approaching his last film, he’s getting sloppy?

Or, it could just be me suffering from Tarantino withdrawals already.

Who knows? I’m hopeful that I’ll love every millisecond in the cinema like I always have though.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is scheduled for release in Australia on August 15.

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Half marathon a trial run

RUNNING enthusiasts will have yet another reason to don their sneakers later this year when the inaugural Denmark Half Marathon kicks off at Lights Beach.

The September 22 event is being put together by the Denmark Running Club with support from the Shire of Denmark and will offer 21.2km, 10km and 2km distance trails for all ages and abilities.

Denmark Running Club President Rebecca Gleeson said while the official route of the marathon is yet to be confirmed, it will take participants through parts of the Munda Biddi and Wilderness Ocean Walk (WOW) trails.

“The WOW trail is a very hilly, twisty course and runners will benefit from the challenge of tackling it in such a spectacular location,” she said.

“We’re hoping participants from far and wide can come and enjoy these beautiful trails … it’s an opportunity for runners in the region to try some-thing a little bit different.”

Ms Gleeson said the event would complement rather than compete with the well-established Elleker Half Marathon, which celebrated its 24th year running in June.

She said the idea to organise an event out of Denmark was informed by a recent survey of the Denmark Running Club’s members.

“We just decided, based on that survey, that we’d organise one big event that our members could aspire to,” Ms Gleeson said.

“This is very much the trial run, pardon the pun. I think there’s such an appetite for different runnning events these days.”

The Denmark Half Marathon will take place more than a month after the Perth Half Marathon and a few weeks before the Perth Running Festival on October 6.

According to Ms Gleeson, the best way to prepare is to just “start running”.

“We run training four times a week and anyone is welcome to join. It’s a very non-competitive, really friendly and supportive club,” she said of the Denmark Running Club.

“It’s a matter of just incrementally building on your distance so that by the time the race comes you’re ready for it.”

Anyone interested in joining the group or signing up for the half marathon can visit www.denmarkrunningclub.org.au or the run’s Eventbrite page.

Ms Gleeson said people with questions can contact her on 0412 802 608.

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Petition past 500

A PETITION to save Denmark’s beloved John Clark Memorial Bandstand from demolition was tabled at last week’s council meeting.

The document was signed by a total of 513 people and called on councillors to “revoke” decisions made at a June 18 council meeting to pull down the structure and forgo public consultation (‘Bandstand to fall’, June 20).

Earlier this year the Shire conducted an independent assessment of the bandstand following a routine inspection and deemed the building structurally unsafe.

Former chairperson of the Denmark Historical Society Beverley McGuinness, who collated the petition’s signatures over a period of three weeks, said many community members felt very strongly about the issue.

“A lot of staff and even some of the councillors have not been here for very long and I just don’t feel that they appreciate heritage the way other people do,” she said.

“We’ve got so very few buildings of heritage value left and you don’t want our town to be just like everybody else’s town, it makes it unique.

“It’s also supposed to be part of council’s policy that they do consult with the community on issues and they chose not to this time.”

It was outgoing Deputy Shire President Peter Caron who moved an amended recommendation precluding the issue from going to the public for comment.

“It’s with deep regret that I make this recommendation,” he said at last month’s meeting.

“The bandstand is in a terrible state and it would cost more than $100,000 which we can’t afford … it would be wasteful to look at options that are not feasible.

“I have consulted with the Denmark Historical Society to salvage parts of the bandstand to be preserved.”

Ms McGuinness said she had been approached by a number of builders since council’s decision who told her while the building “does need some work”, it did not necessarily have to be demolished.

Addressing Cr Caron at last week’s council meeting, Ms McGuinness advised alternative options to demolishment could include refurbishment and external funding.

“I think [the Shire] just took the word of the engineer that they engaged to look at it,” she told the Weekender.

“I would love to see the community have some input and council take on board what people are saying … I don’t know what they’ll do about it at this point.”

Shire President Ceinwen Gearon was contacted for comment.

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Self-checkout thefts

TWO women sentenced for stealing groceries from Woolworths in the Albany Magistrates Court over the last two weeks committed the offences by going through self-service checkouts.

One of the women pleaded guilty to stealing $120 worth of groceries from the shop at the Dog Rock Shopping Centre on April 10 and told police she “forgot to scan” the items in question.

Prosecuting Sergeant Peter Yaswuk told the court at the July 11 hearing that the woman “systematically scanned” only half of the items in her trolley, with the act being caught on security

The woman’s defence counsel Graeme Payne said his client had been struggling with grief, self-esteem and mental health issues at the time of the offending and supplied Magistrate Richard Bayly a list of positive references.

The second woman fronted Magistrate Martin Flynn in Albany Magistrates Court last Thursday.

The 39-year-old was found to have stolen a total of $50 worth of groceries from Woolworths on two separate occasions in October last year.

Prosecuting Sergeant Alan Dean said “while the accused scanned a majority of the shopping items” in her cart at the self-service checkout, she did not scan everything.

The act was also captured on store security cameras.

Duty counsel Wendy Stewart told the court her client “was having financial difficulties” at the time of the offence.

She added her client had just been divorced from her partner, was raising a five-year-old son unsupported, was on Centrelink and suffered from stress and anxiety.

Magistrate Flynn told the woman he accepted that she was in “financially desperate straits” and that her “judgement was impaired” when she stole the items.

Both women were handed suspended fines and granted spent convictions.

A Woolworths spokesperson told the Weekender they did not have figures about how often thefts via self-service checkouts occur or how much the company loses to self-service theft each

“From time to time, we see customers scan the wrong items, so we’ve turned on weigh scales to help shoppers validate the items are going through,” the spokesperson said.

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Thousands support Racewars 2020

IN JUST over a week a Facebook post announcing Racewars 2020 was a go has garnered more than 2500 people pledging support for the event to run.

Last week the Racewars Facebook page posted the 2020 event would be back and better than ever, with organisers citing “unfinished business to attend to”.

Event organiser Jon Murray said the easiest thing would have been to walk away after the fatal crash that occurred on day two of this year’s event.

“That would have been detrimental to grassroots motorsport and to the local community which benefits from the event,” he said.

“On a personal level it’s no secret I had intended to make RW19 my last event.

“We believe in what we’re doing so we keep doing it.”

Mr Murray said Racewars 2019 could be remembered for the death of Albany raised Brody Ford, but said he felt it was an inaccurate representation of the weekend as a whole.

“We were on target to smash our weekend attendance record, we broke more national records than I can remember, we put on a damn good show and it ran really well,” he said.

“The fact we were able to gather ourselves up on Monday morning and successfully deliver the inaugural Racewars Sprint after all that happened and under intense scrutiny shows we were on the right track in 2019.”

During a City of Albany council meeting on May 28, Council voted to request Racewars to submit a business case for the 2020 event.

Mr Murray said a case had been submitted to the City and that the proposal was in line with statements made earlier in the year that the event needed commercial and government sources of funding to go ahead into the future.

“The City is naturally being very prudent and wants us to have secured commercial support before they also secure the event so a lot of things are poised ready to roll once we chew through the last of the due process and due diligence,” he said.

Mr Murray said he had discussed with the City to start promoting next year’s event despite approval for Racewars 2020 still pending.

“It was agreed that it was in everyone’s benefit for it to proceed and bring back some confidence around both Racewars and the City’s commitment to doing all it can to ensure Racewars continues in Albany,” he said.

“We’ve also made it clear we’re not taking a cent from anyone until pens are on paper.”

Mr Murray said the crash this year was nothing short of an absolute tragedy, something that no one could have foreseen and “almost impossible to prevent”.

Mr Murray said it could take years for the Coroner’s case into Mr Brody’s death to be finalised.

“We will of course learn from 2019, of course we never want to see anyone at any motorsport event get injured or worse and of course we will do all we can so our competitors can go racing and go home afterwards,” he said.

“To suggest we do nothing but sit around and wait is to my mind counterproductive to what we stand for.”

City Acting Chief Executive Officer Susan Kay said they would be conducting additional due diligence checks and would seek an independent review into Racewars 2019.

“Racewars is fully aware that a decision to support the event from the City’s perspective will not occur until all required information is available,” she said.

“Albany has a long history of supporting motorsport events and we want to continue to encourage and grow safe and responsible motorsport events in the region, however City officers must ensure Council has all the facts about Racewars to ensure it can make a considered decision.”

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Rate hike approved

ALBANY homeowners will be subjected to a 2.95 per cent rate increase this financial year after City councillors voted 10 to two in favour of the change on Tuesday night.

The 2019-20 budgeted rate rise is expected to raise $38.4 million in revenue with an additional $18.1 million raised from “fees and charges”.

The budget also includes a wage increase for Mayor Dennis Wellington and the City’s 12 councillors.

Mr Wellington’s wage will go from $135,915 to $137,269 annually, Deputy Mayor Greg Stocks will go from $53,625 to $54,117 annually, and councillors will receive $31,678 annually plus sitting costs and travel allowances.

Mayor Wellington, Cr Stocks and the remaining councillors are claiming the maximum allowable under the Local Government Act and were paid more than their counterparts in the City of Busselton and Bunbury in the last financial year.

During public question time, previous Albany councillor John O’Dea presented himself before council and said he was dismayed to see the City going “backwards” in terms of community awareness.

“When I was a councillor we knew exactly what was going on in our community and every query was answered,” he said.

“I don’t know if you know what is going on in your community.

“You’re too busy and you just don’t know. You need to be aware.”

Mr O’Dea said he thought people should not be paid more than what they were worth.

“I think the City of Albany is getting a bit top heavy and you need to cut costs,” he said.

“You need to bite the bullet and realise that we can’t afford to pay your rates.

“You have to cut costs and realise that the economy is going down, not up. You’re going backwards. We want things to start booming.”

The only other member of the public to speak on the budget, Val Green, read a short news article on rate rises in other areas across the state and asked Mayor Wellington if he would like to respond to it.

“No,” he said.

Recommendation One that included the rate rise was moved and seconded by councillors Emma Doughty and Paul Terry.

Cr Doughty said every time it came to rate rises the City would be compared to other councils.

“The analogy does not do justice what we do in the City of Albany,” she said.

Cr Doughty proceeded to rattle off in quick succession that the City was responsible for more than 1700km of road, 353km of pipe, 250km of pathways, maintained the National Anzac
Centre, the visitor centre, the airport, Centennial Precinct and more.

“The ramifications of not doing a rate increase would be devastating,” she said.

“The 2009-10 and 2010-11 budget had a rate increase of nine per cent.

“We understand the climate and acknowledge the increase may be difficult to deal with, and we take into account that hardships exist.

“But commercial businesses closing are not the responsibility of the City of Albany.

“We need fiscal responsibility to develop a better town.”

Cr Terry said he supported Cr Doughty’s statements and said there had been lots of social media comments in regards to the rate rise.

“Media are making councils into scapegoats,” he said.

“I have to wonder if it’s about driving extra traffic through their websites with click bait.

“The average rate payer pays roughly $2000 so the increase makes an extra $20, rural rate payers are quite a bit higher though.”

Council voted 10 to two on increasing rates with councillors Alison Goode and John Shanhun against.

When Recommendation Seven was brought forward that addressed an increase in sitting fees and allowances received by council members, Cr Terry said he was aware there had been some comments made in relation to the amount councillors and the mayor were allocated.

“I think we get paid quite reasonably for what we do,” he said.

“We give as much as we can and there was no increase last year.

“It’s only a one per cent increase which is a $4000 increase.”

Cr Goode proceeded to vote against the remaining seven budget recommendations and stayed silent when questioned by Cr Terry if she intended on voting for any of the recommendations.

“Please speak to the item and not Cr Goode, Cr Terry,” Mayor Wellington warned.

Council passed all recommendations 11 to one.

Mayor Wellington, Frederickstown Ward’s Cr Stocks, Kalgan Ward’s Bill Hollingworth, Yakamia Ward’s Anthony Moir, Vancouver Ward’s Cr Shanhun, Breaksea Ward’s Cr Terry, and
West Ward’s Sandie Smith’s terms all expire this year and are up for re- election in October.

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Refugee activists united

A UNITED front of activists will march up York Street tomorrow morning to join hundreds of their peers around the country calling for an end to the “indefinite offshore detention” of asylum seekers.

The synchronised demonstrations come exactly six years after former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced new laws declaring that asylum seekers arriving by boat would never be settled in Australia.

Members from Albany and Denmark-based refugee advocacy groups will converge at Albany Town Square at 10am where they will share poetry written by current and former detainees before walking to the office of Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson.

Activist Irene Montefiore said the Friday protest event showed refugee advocates were “trying anything and everything” to bring more public attention to the issue.

“We will be providing a letter to Rick Wilson who has made it very clear he supports his party line and doesn’t really have a great deal of empathy for the plight of asylum seekers,” she said.

“In many ways our message is to the people, to the community, to say stop and see these people have died and others are in desperate straits.

“It’s not illegal to seek asylum. They’re being held as hostages as an example to deter others and that goes against so many international conventions.”

The Albany activist group has been meeting outside the town hall every Saturday since November 2017, an effort mirrored by their Denmark counterparts who have held consecutive Friday vigils for the past 84 weeks.

According to Ms Montefiore, supporters from both groups regularly communicate with asylum seekers in detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru via phone calls, texts and messenger apps.

She said a lack of adequate medical care, poor government handling of emergency medical transfers and Labor’s loss at the Federal election in May exacerbated feelings of despondency in
the centres.

“There is sheer desperation … there is more urgency,” Ms Montefiore said.

“Even the men who were being strong and supporting the others, because they get very little other support, are themselves now beginning to just fall apart.

“That’s showing itself in the form of desperation, self-harm, attempted suicide and in some cases actual suicide.”

Denmark musician and advocate Dawn Barrington has visited Manus Island twice to play music and speak with asylum seekers and to produce a documentary about the situation.

She said she was deported two weeks into a trip in February “for talking to refugees” but still remained in contact with asylum seekers on Manus Island and at a “rundown” hospital for outgoing patients in Port Moresby through WhatsApp.

“Yesterday one of the guys asked me whether I could help him. His friend had just set fire to himself,” Ms Barrington said on Tuesday.

“Another guy who was on Manus two nights ago [also] tried to set himself on fire. He poured petrol on himself and his friend stopped him, he’s just totally lost the will to live.”

Ms Barrington said the asylum seekers she communicated with were well aware of the upcoming six-year anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s announcement and the marches taking place as a result.

“They know the date, they can all tell you exactly when they arrived and when the policy changed,” she said.

“[One asylum seeker] said to me the only thing that keeps the guys going is knowing there’s so many people on the ground in Australia that do care.

“The first four years, when they had no mobile phones, they actually believed that all Australians were like those Wilson security guards at the centres.”

According to the Refugee Council of Australia, 4,177 people have been sent to Nauru or Papua New Guinea as part of Australia’s offshore processing arrangements since August 13, 2012.

A total 3,127 of those were sent after the policy shift on July 19, 2013.

As of March 26 this year, 915 people remained in detention on Nauru and in Papua New Guinea.

Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson told the Weekender that while he respected people’s right to protest about what is important to them, he stood by the government’s approach.

“I stand by our strong border protection policies which have stopped deaths at sea, closed 19 detention centres and removed all children from detention,” he said.

Mr Wilson did not say whether he would meet with the activists when they deliver their letter tomorrow.

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Cult film for fans of Arnie

Film review

Last Action Hero

PG 13+

Five out of five stars


LET’S talk about guilty pleasures.

We’ve all got one, or maybe more than one. Whether it’s chicken nuggets with tomato sauce, Willy Wonka Nerd Rope, obscure Victorian soft drinks that no one in Western Australia seems to know about, eating Nutella from the jar, or smashing through a tub of hummus in one sitting.

I’ve been there, I’ve done that – and I definitely have the t-shirt.

But my one time, ultimate guilty pleasure is sitting on the couch, turning the lights off, cranking the volume and watching Arnie movies.

To clarify, I’m talking Arnold Schwarzenegger before the steriods and years of heavy spray tan usage starting to creep up on him.

And definitely before he became the Governor of California.

I’ll settle for any Arnie movie, but the one that holds a special .44 Magnum sized space in my heart is 1993 action fantasy flick Last Action Hero.

When I mentioned to a work colleague that Last Action Hero was being released on Netflix, and my subsequent giddy excitement, I was met with the blank stare of ‘huh?’.

I couldn’t blame him though. Of all of Arnie’s films this one definitely slides to the wayside and into the realm of obscurity.

When Last Action Hero first came out it was met with plenty of negative reviews and was also competing with Jurassic Park for airtime.

But in my eyes, this film is an action masterpiece of epic proportions.

You have Arnie dressed as Hamlet making a cameo; you have Charles Dance as a bad guy (also known as playing Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones for those Millennials out there), Tina Turner pops in for about three seconds, Danny DeVito voice acts as an animated cat, and Ian McKellen appears as Death.

It’s a wild ride in terms of actors, that’s for sure.

But what gets me excited and more than a little confused is that this incredible film was directed by the one, the only, John McTiernan.

Who is John McTiernan you may ask?

Well, let me rattle off a few film titles. Predator, Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October, Die Hard with a Vengence, The 13th Warrior, The Thomas Crown Affair … if you hadn’t guessed by now, he directed all of them.

So why the film is more of a cult classic instead of an outright hit is absolutely beyond me, and with a CV like that, you should be at least tempted to flick over and watch Last Action Hero this Friday night.

If that doesn’t get your engine started though, let me go further.

Last Action Hero is the perfect combination of cringe, comedy, self-awareness, fourth-wall-breakage, homage to action, celebration of kids idolising their movie heroes, and of course Arnie one liners.

From the opening to the final credits we see explosions, glass eyes that honestly make no sense, plenty of bullets, and fast cars.

But when you look past the action film tropes, what really gets you hooked is watching every unsuccessful attempt made by Austin O’Brien’s character Danny Madigan attempting to convince Arnie’s character Jack Slater that he is in fact a fictional character.

Without giving too much away (I’m not in the business of spreading spoilers), Danny manages to transport himself into his favourite action film of all time and then joins his hero, Jack, on a crime fighting adventure.

By the end of the film both Danny and Jack learn something new about themselves, they evolve as characters and learn that there is more to life than being an action star.

So in conclusion, do yourself a massive favour and watch Last Action Hero.

First person to laugh when I say “rubber baby buggy bumpers” because they know where it’s from gets a gold star.

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Comic to mock PC

HE COINED the term for Australia’s most popular adage DILLIGAF, he lived next door to Alan and was best mates with Mick the master farter and he’s in Albany on Saturday night.

Kevin Bloody Wilson has been performing his bawdy ballads across the country and overseas since the 1980s and said it all started when he performed a couple of songs to his mates during their “pleasant Sunday mornings”.

“My mates nudged me into a studio saying I should record some of my stuff and they would buy the tapes,” he said.

“And they bought them in the absolute thousands.”

Wilson said he spent a good portion of his year on tour but never saw it as a job.

“I look at it from a hobby point of view,” he said.

“I’m a professional hobbiest. There have absolutely been publicists that have tried to tell me when, how long and where to go on tour, and I’ve told a few of them to get f…

“I want to go out and work. I want to tour.”

Wilson said he always looked forward to touring as it meant he would be with his wife, Betty Bryant, as well as his bawdy musical comedian daughter Jenny Talia this time around.

When asked if he ever dreamed his career would bring him to the point where he won an ARIA, had his music inducted into the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra, or toured internationally he responded quickly.

“S… no, I never thought I would do any of it,” he said.

“This is way beyond anything I could dream of. My daughter is my supporting act, my wife is the tour manager and I’ve even got the grand daughters over from Chicago.

“We work together. It was meant to be, and it all just fell into place. I’ve been very, very lucky.”

Wilson visited Albany around three years ago while on tour and said performing at the Albany Entertainment Centre was “pretty special” and that he enjoyed performing for the locals.

“It definitely comes from the fact that I lived in Kalgoorlie,” he said.

“When I was in Kal as an electrician I would watch the planes flying over with singers and comedians and think ‘why don’t you play here?’.

“It’s not necessarily up to the artist to choose where they perform. But when I really got big I decided bugger it, and insisted on doing country areas.

“Albany is definitely big in terms of country towns, but I get my rocks off doing what I do. The more blue collar, the better.”

Wilson said his F.U.P.C Tour is about what you would expect from a comedian who took pride in not being politically correct.

“Everything has swung far, far left when it comes to political correctness,” he said.

“I think I’m one of the few comedians left that doesn’t toe that line. One of my new songs is about the #metoo movement.

“Australia is the only country in the world where your mates are c… and your enemies are mates. God won’t punish you for our vowels.

“It’s really all about your inflection.”

Wilson said he was looking at adding America to his list of touring destinations.

“I’m a big fan of comedians like Jim Jefferies and Hannah Gadsby,” he said.

“On a business level Jim has put his finger on the pulse in America and learned what p… everyone off. And Hannah tells a great story.

“I’ve certainly never subscribed to political correctness, so when I write my jokes and my mates laugh at it – it’s good enough for the Sydney Opera House or the London Palladium.

“The wife is a good litmus test too. If she rolls her eyes, I know I’m onto a good one.”

Kevin Bloody Wilson’s Albany leg of the F.U.P.C Tour with special guest Jenny Talia will be at the Albany Entertainment Centre on Saturday from 8pm.

Tickets are available at the box office.

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