You will hear two colleagues, Marcus and Ella, discussing a work project.
Marcus: Okay, Ella. As you know, the deadline for this project is the end of the month, so we’d better plan it well.
Ella: Yes, I’ve already been thinking along those lines, and I’ve decided we should divide this project into three phases: the Pre-phase (Example), then Phase 1, and then Phase 2, with strict deadlines involved for each one.
Marcus: Given that we have to finish this quickly, that sounds good. Tell me more.
Ella: The Pre-phrase is the simplest. We just need to allocate a space or a place to do our planning, and this space will need to be quite big.
Marcus: Sure, and we have to decide on the equipment (Q1) needed as well. Remember the last project, when we didn’t have enough projectors to present our ideas? We lost lots of time there.
Ella: Yes, that was a bad start. That’s why, after the Pre-phase is finished, I’ve allocated a mere three days for Phase One.
Marcus: That will involve drawing the plans. We’ll need Jenna to help us.
Ella: And Marco.
Marcus: Yes, but not Susan. Susan is just far too busy to participate, as much as I’d like her in the team.
Ella: Let’s just take Fred (Q2) instead. He’ll do.
Marcus: Sure. Fred’s not as experienced as Greg, but I agree, he’ll do fine for this job.
Ella: Then it’s straight into Phase 2, collecting, collating, analysing, and preparing the final report.
Marcus: Can we do that in five days?
Ella: I think that’s optimistic, which is why I scheduled six (Q3).
Marcus: That’s almost a week! Do we have that much time?
Ella: We do, and with the right people, six days should see the job done.
Marcus: Who are the people for this phase? Arthur and Rob, right?
Ella: No, Arthur’s got other things to do, and Rob’s on leave, so Mike (Q4) alone will be the main man on this part. He’s done it before, so it should be fine. But he may need some help with the smaller tasks. Someone who is good with detail and procedures.
Marcus: Hmmm. Peter’s not free at the moment, so I can arrange Leo (Q5) to chip in some time and advice. Leo’s very useful, particularly under pressure. And that’s everything sorted! Well done Ella. This report should certainly be ready in time.
Marcus: Okay, Ella, you’ve done a good job with the basic timeframe of this project, but what about specifics?
Ella: What sort of specifics?
Marcus: Well, things like information gathering. Are we going to use questionnaires like we did last time?
Ella: I was thinking of using the Internet to ask people to give their views, but you often get such silly responses when you do that. I’m of the view that the best way to find out things is to ask people directly (Q6), so that’s what we’ll do.
Marcus: Okay, but that will take longer. We’ll probably even have to do some of the work at home.
Ella: No, I don’t think so, as long as we stay back at work for some afterhours meetings (Q7).
Marcus: Well, that’s better than coming in early. No one functions well in the morning. Also, the final report will need at least two appendices.
Ella: Not only that, we’ll have to attach a small booklet to the end (Q8), containing printouts of the relevant parts from all the foreign websites we accessed.
Marcus: That will take even more time. Are you sure we can meet this deadline?
Ella: Yep, I’ve worked it all out, and I’m confident we can do it. Phase 1 should be finished by the 5th, leaving Phase 2 to begin about the 8th or 9th. Now, there’s a public holiday on the 10th, meaning that everything should be able to be submitted on the 15th (Q9), and after that, we can relax, and celebrate on the 25th when the Design Division gives us approval to go ahead.
Marcus: Hah, you’re assuming that the Design Division will approve this, and that’s not guaranteed at all.
Ella: Oh come on Marcus, be positive. You know this should be approved—in fact, I’m even planning the celebration when this is all over.
Marcus: Oh yeah, what’s on the agenda, then?
Ella: Well, we definitely don’t want a party in the office, do we? We’ll want to get away from this place, and we’re all too busy with our own lives and families to find a mutual time free for a dinner party, so I thought we’d just buy some nice expensive gifts (Q10) for everyone who participated. We can just give these to the people here in the office.
Marcus: That sounds fine to me, but make sure they’re not too expensive. The Budget Department will never approve the cost.
Ella: Don’t worry; I know how much I can get away with.
Marcus: Alright. I’ll leave that with you.
You will hear a maintenance worker talking to a university officer about some recent storm damage to the main building.
Worker: Hello there. I was asked to tell you about the extent of the damage to the main building, caused by the recent storm.
Officer: Oh, that’s right. I take it that most of the damage is just to the main building?
Worker: It is indeed, since the building is so old. However, luckily, the damage is minor, and all of it can be fixed in one day, given that we have five people in our team.
Officer: What will you be doing first? I understand you start at 8 in the morning.
Worker: That’s right, and we were going to remove the fallen tree, but we’ve been told there are exams that morning, and I’m sure the sound of those saws and other heavy equipment will disturb all the students, so instead we’ll fix that leaky roof (Q11). That’s a four-hour job, since it involves substantial repair, not like fixing broken windows, which can be done quite quickly.
Officer: So you’ll fix the broken window after that, from midday?
Worker: We could do that, but since we’ll be working in the ceiling, it’s more logical to get rid of those birds’ nests there (Q12). It’s a small job but will require crawling inside the ceiling cavity, which is not an easy exercise, so that will take about an hour. But this is good, since by that time the exams should be over, and we can address that tree which has been blown over (Q13), after our one-hour lunch break of course. It will be quite noisy dealing with that, but it will be finished by three o’clock. Some of our staff will then leave to fix things on another site — an office nearby needs a new window — but two of us, including myself, will remain here to paint over that discoloured patch of wall (Q14) in your office.
Officer: Oh good, it looks so horrible at the moment.
Worker: Well, we’ll certainly make it look good once again, and in the last hour of our working day, we’ll fix up that problem with the wiring (Q15). Apparently the power doesn’t go to one of the classrooms. Probably some water has gotten into the fuse box, so we’ll just change a few wires, and clean up the moisture, and it should be fine.
Officer: I certainly appreciate all the effort you and your team are taking to fix things here, but I do have one request.
Worker: And what is that?
Officer: You said you’re going to paint the back wall in my office. Will it be the same colour as before?
Worker: Yes, we’ll make it a nice white colour.
Officer: Well that’s the point. I’d prefer it to be yellow (Q16), to match the furniture. The furniture is orange, actually, but I think yellow is a nice match.
Can you do that?
Worker: We can certainly do that. Yellow it is. Certainly a prettier colour than just plain white, or the blue in my kitchen at home for that matter. And we can leave the paint can with you, in case you need to do some touch-ups, or if the stain reappears. I’ll just leave it in the garden shed (Q17), the one next to the main classroom. And incidentally, about those birds in the ceiling. I was just investigating, and I heard the chirping of little baby birds in there, so there must be some young ones in a nest. I just thought you’d like to know that we can give them to a wildlife reserve (Q18). There’s one in the next suburb, so that should not be too much trouble.
Officer: Or you could give them to one of our teachers. I have a colleague who can raise them.
Worker: I would say the wildlife reserve is a better option, since the people there are used to dealing with animals, and as for that fallen tree, we’ll cut it up into small pieces and that can be firewood (Q19) in my house, so that won’t be wasted either—although the smoke will cause some pollution, but I have a special licence for my fireplace, so no one can object to that. I’ve noticed also that the university has a garden bin, for the smaller items — leaves and sticks and bark, and so on, so we can dispose of material in that, also. You do have some waste piles out the back, but a proper garden bin (Q20) means that the material will be recycled, and that’s better for the environment, so you can rest assured we will use that.
You will hear three students, Steve, David, and Susan, discussing the different courses they attend.
Susan: Well gentlemen, we’ve almost finished our second semester at this university. What do you think of all the courses we attend?
David: On the whole, I’d say they’re quite good, apart from Social History, which I find to be a little too inexact.
Steve: Yes, the lecturer’s style is also very very dull.
Susan: I certainly agree with you there, although I would say that the textbook is more interesting. ‘Welfare State (Q21)’. The subtitle says, ‘An examination of social development in the 20th century.’
David: Yes, ‘Welfare State’ is a good book, but look how many pages it has. 458!
Steve: I agree. It’s just too long to be easily read. Far too long (Q22), although it’s certainly well written in parts.
David: Yes, and if you compare it to the textbook for Cultural Studies—what’s it called?
Susan: ‘Inner Views’, I think.
David: No, that’s the book for Media Studies, and we finished that subject last semester. The book you’re thinking of is ‘In Perspective’ (Q23).
Susan: Sorry, you’re right. ‘In Perspective’. And the subtitle says, ‘A comparison of social groups.’ Somewhat interesting, wouldn’t you say?
David: Well, mildly so, as is the subject, dealing as it does with such a wide variety of issues, but the book itself certainly oversimplifies (Q24) a very complex subject.
Steve: I agree. I also got annoyed at its constant oversimplification. Life is more complicated than what it suggests.
Susan: Yes, but what you call ‘oversimplifying’ may well be considered ‘clarifying’. Look at this other textbook, ‘Government in Action’. Some may say that it also oversimplifies, but it must do so in order to present a coherent picture of an equally complex subject.
David: ‘Government in Action’? Which subject…?
Susan: It’s the textbook for ‘Political Theory’ (Q25).
Steve: Oh, I hate politics. That’s why I don’t like the ‘Active Leadership’ subject, either. And most of the stuff in that ‘Political Theory’ textbook is based on the American system. You see, it’s written by Americans, so it’s not even relevant (Q26) to us here.
David: I’d agree with you there — it’s not relevant to us at all, since our government uses the Westminster system.
Susan: Yes, I suppose that is a problem.
Susan: Well, it seems we all have certain criticisms about the textbooks we’re using, but at the same time, we all like some elements, at least, of the subjects we’re studying. What’s your favourite subject, David?
David: I’m not sure. I like Political Theory, but…
Steve: Cultural Studies is by far the best (Q27), even better than Political
Theory, which I also like, but just not as much.
David: Why do you say that, Steve? I was thinking, perhaps, Social History is worth considering as best.
Steve: Social History is good, but I made my choice because the subject is relevant to this modern society.
David: But so is Social History, and I like the historical element, which the other subjects lack (Q28). Even Political Theory examines history only briefly, and in a very narrow way, so I’d say Social History is the most rewarding for me. What about you, Susan?
Susan: I think Social History is certainly very good, but Political Theory is, in fact, the best (Q29), since basically, every human system boils down to politics. So, despite a certain irrelevancy in the details, the basic message remains as relevant as ever.
David: Oh Susan, you can’t be serious. Let’s ask Olive, again. She’s over there.
Olive! Which subject do you think is the best?
Olive: Ah, a difficult question. I’m very interested in culture, so Cultural Studies is certainly my cup of tea, but I’m politically active also, and hope to pursue this as a career, so Political Theory would be the one I’d pick (Q30).
David: I don’t believe it. Even with that irrelevant textbook?
Susan: Don’t listen to him, Olive; you have a right to your own opinion.
You will hear a lecturer talking about the movement of population towards cities.
If you consider the farms of old — the type your father or grandfather grew up on, they were small and labour-intensive, requiring lots of workers. In addition, they often had a diversity of products, be that animal or vegetable — say, cows and sheep, or oranges and lemons, with some peaches, and a few chickens on the side, for the production of eggs. The many workers involved raised their families, who needed products and support services, such as medical clinics and schools, so the small country towns had mercantile activity, store fronts, and community participation (Q31), with all ages present and a distinct town culture.
And how it has changed! Travel to any small country town in virtually any developed country, and you will often see that these places arc now somewhat forlorn and deserted, lacking life and vigour. Many of the residents have long since moved towards the big cities, so the country areas have become depopulated, and their downtowns empty. This phenomenon is so predictable and widespread that it even has a name – rural flight, or rural exodus – and it has produced some fairly predictable problems (Q32).
As for the causes of rural exodus, the most obvious is the industrialisation of agriculture. This comes in two aspects, one of them being monocultural farming practices (Q33). What this means is that it is now more efficient to have one product, and focus on its needs almost exclusively. So, for example, animal husbandry will usually involve a single type of animal, say pigs, but with huge factory farming techniques, or, in other words, the second aspect: economies of scale (Q34). This means instead of 200 pigs, there’ll be 2000, tightly fitted into small pens or cages, with high density waste disposal and automatic feeding systems (Q35). Yet despite this huge size, it can all be controlled by just a dozen farm workers pushing the right button. You might not like it, but in a competitive market, the cheaper the overheads, the better, and one can’t argue with market economics. It’s simply the way of the modern world, and it has changed the face of rural districts, mostly for the worst.
We can talk at length about the problem of rural exodus, but what about solutions? Well, there is certainly some cause for hope, since many are now feeling the negatives of increasing urbanisation, negatives which the countryside generally does not have. Thus, tourism, for example, is certainly one avenue of revenue and revitalisation. The most important consideration here is that the local residents themselves participate (Q36) in developing such initiatives and deciding what happens, since outsiders, be they state government or city-based planners, do not fully understand the local settings, the possibilities which may be on offer, or the town culture, since even small rural areas can be highly distinctive from neighbouring ones. For example, the Daylesford area has developed a tourist industry based on the natural springs (Q37) there, putting forward the angle that this water is relaxing and revitalising for the health. There has been the development of spas, saunas, and small-scale accommodation within its picturesque hillsides.
And another solution is to utilise the predominant local product (Q38). This takes advantage of the fact that many city-people are developing a dislike for factory-produced and packaged foodstuffs. They are becoming interested in products that can be sold directly to them, at a cheaper price, while preserving all the freshness from the tree or animal. It is important here that the country area is not only characterised (Q39) by a specific product, but markets this idea well. For example, many areas of country Victoria have developed widespread grape-growing and winemaking facilities, and encourage wine tasting tourism—now a thriving industry, with an international patronage. Similarly, Harcourt is famous for apples, Shepparton for mature cheeses (Q40), and Mildura for its citrus products. Such strategies, done well, give hope that rural areas can revitalise somewhat, and once again be lively and interesting places to live in.
3 6/ six days
17 garden shed
18 wildlife reserve
20 garden bin
21 Welfare State
22 too long
23 in perspective
25 Political Theory
26 not relevant
33-35 B, C, E
37 natural springs
38 local product
39 characterized/ characterised
40 mature cheese(s)