Mike Welsh

A parliamentary inquiry chaired by Greens leader Shane Rattenbury has released an options paper and called for public submissions.
While the anti-corruption body’s powers are debated, its name needs to be closely examined lest the acronym for the obvious, ICACT, draws ridicule.
A UNIQUE acquisition by the Australian War Memorial has added a feather to its already distinguished cap, but is expected to draw fire from critics.
The military museum purchased at auction, exclusive rights to two images from a series of chilling shots, taken by Associated Press photographer Richard Drew, some of which depict people jumping to their deaths from the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001.
Known as the “falling man” series, the photos were deemed too graphic for general release in the years since the 9/11 terror attacks but AWM director Brendan Nelson says “failing to recognise their significance is to dishonour the 42 Australians who died in Afghanistan and those diggers who continue to fight terrorism”. The images go on display next month.

CHIEF Minister Andrew Barr’s pessimistic prediction for a new sports stadium may return to bite him. With the Brumbies now seemingly tethered to the capital and rumours circulating of a consortium ready to back a Canberra-based “A” League outfit, Barr’s no-“A”-League-no-Brumbies-no-stadium stance is on shaky ground. Though ever the savvy political operator, Barr clearly has a plan B.
A makeover at Bruce, with some minimal moving of goalposts could provide a practical and politically satisfying solution. But those with a long memory would know a “coat of paint” at Bruce can be political suicide.

A REAL live princess, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, recently dropped in on patients and staff at Canberra’s Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.
The princess, wife of the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was in Australia to watch her team play the Socceroos in a World Cup qualifier in Sydney. Enchanting the young patients, staff and families, the princess was clearly impressed with the facility’s “atmosphere and energy” and was keen to develop an ongoing relationship.

STILL on royalty, our newly crowned town crier Joseph McGrail-Bateup has had a royal seal, of sorts, bestowed on him by the Queen.
McGrail-Bateup posted royal correspondence, signed by a minion, on Facebook in which lady-in-waiting
Phillipa writes, HRH “was interested to learn of your appointment as town crier for Canberra and wishes you all the very best”. Just goes to show how far a hyphenated moniker will get one.

THE local arts community is not sure if Minister for Arts Gordon Ramsay is demonstrating his creative side or simply employing his creative accounting talents. Ramsay is boasting the arts community will receive its “single biggest funding increase since self government” but won’t reveal “the precise amount which is subject to Budget consideration”. Artists are demanding a lift in funding of $500,000 in the Budget.

CELEBRATIONS and confusion reigned in the capital with a win for our water and an iconic watering hole mysteriously closing.
The Best Tap Water competition saw our drop narrowly nudge out the Hastings (Port Macquarie) to take the trophy. Judges of the blind test competition said: “Canberra’s water does not have an underlying chemical taste and was almost sweet tasting more like pure water.”
However, the sudden closure of a live music venue in Civic has left a bad taste in the mouths of a few. A notice pinned to the door of the Phoenix Pub in the Sydney Building suggests to some that time may have been called on the East Row pub. The note stated: “Due to unforeseen circumstances the pub is shut until further notice. Hang in there, see you on the other side.”

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