BARELY hours after PM Scott Morrison called a Federal election for May 18, news teams were on the streets of Queanbeyan – the heart of the once bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro – feeling the pulse. 

Mike Kelly’s touched-up teeth outside his Queanbeyan office. Photo: Mike Welsh

At the same time, across the border the streets of Manuka were alive with the colour green as half a dozen Greens volunteers hit the ground early, handing out material on behalf of the party’s candidate for the seat of Canberra, Tim Hollo and ACT Senate hopeful Dr Penny Kyburz.

MEANWHILE back in Eden-Monaro, incumbent Dr Mike Kelly’s teething troubles have been fixed. Months ago, an unknown wag blacked out a couple of his pearly whites in Kelly’s enormous image plastered on the outside of his Monaro Street office, giving the good doctor an imbecilic look. But there’s nothing like an election to bring out the best in people and Kelly’s beaming smile has been restored with the unsubtle application of white paint.

Kingston Foreshore local Tia meets Hercules, the therapy alpaca. Photo: Mike Welsh

OUT among the people this week was popular therapy alpaca Hercules, still grieving the death of partner Mimosa, killed last month in a dog attack. He’s back to doing what he does best, participating in selfies with his legion of fans. Handler Nils Lantzke says Hercules spent a few days after the attack waiting by the gate for Mimosa to return, but is back to his regular gig of visiting patients at Clare Holland House.

IN local politics Liberal MLA Mark Parton is indeed a brave man. Taunting animal rights activists has been a free-for-all this week, but as a public figure Parton is certainly inviting strife. The former radio man tweeted: “If you wanna be vegan, all power to U, but DON’T FORCE IT DOWN MY THROAT. Don’t trespass on to hard-working farmers’ homes and properties. And leave meat workers the hell alone”.

Meat Lover Mark

WHEN I first worked in the northern industrial suburb of Mitchell, early 2003, there were probably three or four coffee shops, a bakery and a Greasy Joe’s fast food outlet. The area now boasts many fine coffee brands, impressive pastries, an award-winning craft beer brewery, IT and production houses gaining national reputations and a tram-shed full of shiny red Spanish trams. The suburb has just taken a massive technological leap as a potential Tech Hub, housing the launching pad for the world’s first drone delivery service by Wing, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet.

And for those who may be wondering exactly how this delivery service works, online site simplified the process: “Customers place an order for popular items like food, coffee and medicine through Wing’s app. Minutes later a drone arrives with the goods at their doorstep.” The company initially plans to deliver into Gungahlin, Harrison, Franklin, Palmerston and Crace by mid year. The company predicts by 2030 there could be more than 10,000 drone deliveries each day in Canberra.

LATEST stats reveal the capital is now officially the most expensive city in Australia in which to rent, with houses here around $30 higher a week than in Sydney. And to make matters more stressful for renters entering the market, scammers are also active. One newcomer to the region applied for a rental property in Lyneham, only to be told they needed to shell out $2400 via bank transfer before being able to inspect the property. He quickly smelt a rat and notified AllHomes, which took the apartment off its listings. The property later reappeared on, again being quickly deleted.

OUR northern suburbs’ snout “Pete” was recently left incredulous after discovering the National Press Club, which also houses the ACT/NSW NBN office, does not yet enjoy the benefits of the political football that is the national broadband network.

A bit of snooping by “Pete” revealed 16 National Circuit does have a cable – of sorts – passing its front door but no connection has yet been made. He’s been assured a hook up is “imminent”.

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