BY Mike Welsh
AT any given time a courier motorcycle zipping around Canberra may have among its payload the highly sensitive details of our leading public servants.
A “Sydney Morning Herald” article highlighting frustrating delays associated with moving paperwork for security vetting has revealed sensitive information is often moved by private couriers.
At a hearing of the Public Accounts and Audit committee, Labor MP Julian Hill claimed “sensitive personal information of Australia’s most senior public servants – including sexual behaviour, financial, medical, drug and alcohol issues – is being whizzed around on motorcycles. For all we know, they may be using Deliveroo.”
IT would appear despite the digital age, little has changed in how highly sensitive information is transported between secure sites.
Almost a decade ago a parcel containing the medical details of 70 Canberrans was handed to me after being scooped up from the roadside near Canberra Airport. A local pharmacy had paid a premium for a contractor to securely dispose of a batch of filled prescriptions but the sensitive information had been tossed on the back of an open truck with other rubbish.
A PHOTO taken by a Canberra public servant on a Greek Islands holiday has won him a return trip to the idyllic destination. Hobby photographer Brian Woolley took around 2000 shots during a recent stay on Mykonos and entered a Qatar Airlines social media competition. Woolley’s photo of the colourful backstreets of the island destination scored him return flights and three nights’ accommodation.
THE much hyped Sky News on WIN has landed in Canberra. Through a groundbreaking deal with WINTV, the pay TV channel is now available free-to-air to 30 regional Australian markets. Non-subscribing news junkies had been primed for a tsunami of right-wing views with nighttime programs in particular promising to pack the strongest punch. Big hitters Andrew Bolt, Paul Murray, Alan Jones and Peta Credlin all feature prominently in most discussions about Sky News.
ANDREW Bolt issued a stern warning at the top of his “Bolt Report” after “warmly” welcoming regional viewers. The commentator said “viewing this show could change the way your mind works”. Bolt then gave the new audience an example of the fare regularly served up by delivering a withering slapdown of the ABC and the “left bias” of “The Drum” and “Insiders” in particular. Author John Birmingham’sdescription probably gives a clue as to the sentiment of Sky News critics: “Sky News after dark isn’t a news operation, it’s a digital Nuremberg Rally.”
AFTER the first month of a six-month trial of dockless bikes in Canberra, promoters are slightly concerned. Initially confident that Canberrans would embrace the bike-share concept wholeheartedly, AirBike chief executive Angus McDonald says the number of people using the service was lower than anticipated. So far there have been no reports of bikes ending up in lakes or parked in trees as has been the major problem for bike-share schemes in other cities, although where the bikes are docked after use is important.
DESPITE the recent spike in allegations of a toxic culture and rampant misogyny pervading politics, disqualified senator Katy Gallagher is preparing to re-enter the hostile fray. The former ACT Chief Minister, who lost her seat after the High Court found she failed to renounce her British citizenship before the 2016 election, says her non-adversarial approach has served her well. Ms Gallagher, who was endorsed unopposed to the lead spot on the ALP Senate ticket told a local radio station she often resisted advice to “show her inner-political mongrel”.
AND students at a local primary school had a rolled-gold VIP drop by for a visit. Four-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Dawn Fraser visited the Brindabella Christian College at Lyneham and spoke about her brilliant career, including winning gold at the Melbourne, Rome and Tokyo Olympic Games. Ms Fraser – who has grandchildren at the school – posed for selfies and signed autographs.