By Mike Welsh

PM Malcolm Turnbull’s bonk ban was begging to be ridiculed from its very conception, but it does offer the ACT a radical marketing opportunity.

The presence of, say, “Canberra – the bonking stops here” billboards at the border and the airport would be  guaranteed to put the territory on the map. Just a thought.


AND just how many “Bonking” Barnabys will be painted for next year’s Bald Archies exhibition is unclear, but it’s certain the member for New England will hang prominently in the irreverent art competition.

This year’s 25th staging of the so called “eccentric icon” of the art community – showing at the Watson Arts Centre until March 12 – is dominated by same-sex marriage with portraits of Labor Senator Penny Wong, conservative MPs Tony Abbott and Cory Bernardi, and actor Craig McLachlan who stands accused of sexual misconduct during his time on the “Rocky Horror Show”.


HAWKER locals are unhappy over the passing of a favourite local. “Tom” the tomato plant had been growing tall and strong through a crack in the footpath in front of Olive at Hawker restaurant but was the victim of a government weed-spraying program.

Olive at Hawker owner George Yianoulakis said many villagers had been following the progress of the late-blooming Romaes variety, some even watering it. One local delivered a gnome named “Ollie” to fill the void created by the botanical blunder.

Curiously, “Tom” was initially  replaced with a large potted capsicum, but in recent days, a new “Tom” has turned up.

THE Alexander Maconochie Centre continues to punch above its weight in negative news commentary. On top of achieving the unenviable mantle of being (statistically) among the worst prisons in the nation for prisoner-on-staff assaults, CM Andrew Barr has been forced to defend his Corrections Minister Shane Rattenbury. Opposition corrections spokesperson Giulia Jones says: “Escapes from the prison and Canberra Hospital, the accidental release of a prisoner and two recent deaths in custody had brought Mr Rattenbury’s performance under question.”


THE post-election allegation of sexual assault by an ACT Greens volunteer has apparently forced the party to implement training.

“The Australian” reports it received a leaked email that reveals volunteers will be required to undertake consent training. The newspaper says the email – sent to Greens members by ACT Co-conveners Emma Davidson and Penny Kyburz – “details three complaints made during the 2016 election campaign relating to workplace bullying, mismanagement of a volunteer’s mental health and an alleged sexual assault.”

FORMER Hit 104.7 breakfast co-host Tanya Hennessy is back on Canberra radio. The comedian and emerging multimedia star who abruptly quit the capital in November will host the Hit network’s national weekend 7am-9am slot. Hennessy, a finalist in “Cosmo’s” 2017 Woman of the Year and winner of the Video Junkee Breakthrough award has also written a book, out in June.

CELEBRITY spotters had a field day with a host of famous faces in town for the Ricky Stuart charity pro-am golf at Royal Canberra. Dual Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Jimmy Cassidy teed off with Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Shane Warne in the event which raised more than $100,000 for the Ricky Stuart Foundation, launching its second respite facility, Emma Ruby House – named after Stuart’s daughter Emma Stuart – later this year.

RARELY far from controversy the annual National Multicultural Festival tossed up a few new “issues”. One festival goer posted on social media “extremely disappointed, disheartened and offended to find out there was an anti-abortion [Right to Life] tent”. Another says they felt “conned and misled” upon entering the “Human Rights” tent to discover it was staffed by Church of Scientology members. Festival organisers say they will review stall holders for next year after complaints were received over the Right to Life stall.

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