F*CK ME NOT THE PLANET

Seven Days columnist MIKE WELSH wonders about the propriety of the climate protest by girls from a northside private school.  citynews.com.au

MOST students attending Canberra’s Global Climate Strike rally skipped classes with their schools’ blessing. But should those in charge at one northside private, Christian school be more engaged in students attending future protests?

In a sea of provocative signs, including one featuring Scott Morrison holding a lump of coal, captioned “Old King Coal was a Merry Arsehole”, four female students from the faith-based school in full uniform proudly held a placard which took the “make-love-not-war” mantra of their grandparents’ era to a new level.

FROM an oversharing generation to a member of one who should know better comes this pre-Midwinter Ball overshare story. Former ABC breakfast TV host Virginia Trioli tweeted: “Travelling from Melbourne to Canberra with a thousand yards of tulle on a nail-bitingly tight flight for the Parliament #midwinter ball. Hair and make-up will be done in the lav: Apologies to all on board”.

Within an hour “The Australian” was reporting an in-flight tantrum, alleging one ball guest had their knickers in a bunch en route about the placement of her $5000 dress. The paper later retracted its reportage and made a personal apology to Trioli.

THERE’S a booze ban at Bruce. As the city turns greener, Raiders players got “on the wagon” from Mal Meninga Medal night onwards in order to be clear headed for Friday’s preliminary final against South Sydney.

A “Sydney Morning Herald” piece on coaches’ eccentricities: “The traits that make the NRL’S coaching kingpins a cut above”, attempts to psychoanalyse Raiders’ coach Ricky Stuart. The article, by Phil Lutton, also speculates on Wayne BennettCraig Bellamyand Des Hasler, suggesting many “are deeply eccentric. Some are superstitious, others make a point of dispensing with the mystical and building their empires on relentless work and dedication”.

According to Lutton, Stuart falls into the paranoia group: “His team v the world when Ricky Stuart, master of the siege mentality, is on deck”.

IT’S been a busy week on the hill with all manner of visitors, including a Peregrine falcon called Floyd. The bird came to the rescue of Parliament House horticulturalists who are again drowning in duck droppings and ducking dive-bombing magpies. Federal Parliament’s pristine gardens and forecourt are under attack and Floyd has been tasked with dispersing the menacing Maggies and ducks with diarrhoea.

Three days walking from Collector to protest press freedom… 77-year-old Adrienne Carpenter and her dog Phoebe. Photo: Mike Welsh

A 77-year-old Collector woman and her dog had a message for Canberra on press freedoms and walked from her home to deliver it. Adrienne Carpenter says: “When I heard about [lawyer] Bernard Collaery, I just had to do something”.

Adrienne and Phoebe pushed her “Freedom of the Press” baby pram 70 kilometres over three days, camping overnight in the snow at Lake George.

LAST September Falun Gong practitioners assembled on Parliament House lawns highlighting the widespread practice of human organ harvesting in China. But their protest was thwarted as inside, political practitioners including senators Derryn Hinch and Pauline Hanson, were slobbering over visiting superstar Olivia Newton-John.

Ditto this week, only this time starstruck pollies were fawning over the likes of Hugo Weaving and Rhys Muldoon in town, again, to lobby for more local content in the local film industry, as the Falun Gong, again, lobbied on the lawns in silence.

SEEMINGLY the country’s first human rights compliant correctional facility, the Alexander Maconochie Centre unofficially goes the extra mile on conjugal visits, with reports of male inmates penetrating the wall between them and the girls since 2017. An internal probe found a male prisoner had jumped into the women’s section in April and attempted to have sex with a female inmate but the action was scuttled after male prisoners watching became overly excited.

THE ABC journalist reporting snow blocking the Hume Highway at Goulburn didn’t put much thought into his piece to camera after Tuesday’s unseasonal weather event. The young man confidently told his audience the “spring dump caused truckies to be severely backed up”!

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WHEN SLOBBERING SIR LES RATTLED THE GATES

By Mike Welsh – July 8, 2019 Share Canberra’s trusted news:

Seven Days columnist MIKE WELSH reflects on a week in the life in Canberra. 

THE gravitas of the office of Governor-General remains safe after the smooth transition from Sir Peter Cosgrove to David Hurley. But there was a time when the sobriety and decorum of the role was seriously disrespected. 

It was the day in 2003 when 23rd GG Peter Hollingworth resigned. A drunken, loudmouthed former diplomat turned up at the gatehouse to Yarralumla’s most prestigious address, demanding to be admitted.

Shouting: “Let me in, let me in”, the dishevelled, slobbering interloper with suitcase on wheels and large media pack in tow, was none other than cultural attache to the Court of St James, Sir Les Patterson, who felt his turn in the vice-regal gig had come. The brilliant publicity stunt was arranged by promoter to the stars Coralie Wood to drum up ticket sales for the Canberra leg of yet another Barry Humphries touring show.

Alan Jones will present the 2CC morning show from July 15.

LISTENER reaction to 2CC’s shock decision to outsource its breakfast show won’t be known until October when results from GfK’s Canberra radio survey are released. The struggling station will simulcast Alan Jones’ 2GB breakfast show from Sydney. Dislodged breakfast host Tim Shaw moves to drive (3pm-6pm).

The move is smart business. Jones is a brilliant broadcaster and, in my humble opinion, second only to John Laws, with daylight third. Given Shaw’s soft ratings, Jones (who will be much cheaper) will rate highly and provide his GB stablemate Ray Hadley with the greater Canberra lead-in audience he’s been demanding for years.

Goodbye to the “Human Headline”, Derryn Hinch. Photo: Mike Welsh

FORMER shock-jock and now former Justice Party senator Derryn Hinch has left his mark on the capital. The “Human Headline”, who has returned to TV and SkyNews, has had the pathway to his favourite Canberra bar named in his honour and made safer.

Before leaving Canberra, he cut the ribbon to “Hinch Way”, a new, improved path to Ostani Bar and Restaurant at Barton’s Hotel Realm where he had a fall in the dark last year.

TRANSPORT Canberra is dexterous in disciplining staff if nothing else. The body managed to slap the wrist of an employee’s heavy handed approach to a suspected light-rail fare evader. TC has apologised to the teenager who was booted off the tram after failing to produce a student ID. Executive group manager for Transport Canberra Judith Sturman mitigated the incident, explaining staff are on a “learning curve”.

CANBERRA renters may have stumbled upon an inexpensive method of keeping warmer this winter. Local renters are bubble wrapping their windows to retain heat. Advocacy group Better Renting, which offers the home visit scheme “Home Truths”, says the DIY insulation can cut heating bills by up to 50 per cent.

The homeless campsite in Civic. Photo: Mike Welsh

AND spare a thought for those forced to sleep rough during a harsh Canberra winter. A campsite has materialised just metres from one of our major traffic thoroughfares. It’s possibly the same camp that until recently was briefly located in Glebe Park across from building giant Geocon’s city office. But any awkward juxtaposition was eliminated when the camp moved to West Basin before relocating to its present Civic site.

THE ANU AFL club won’t forget a recent road trip to Batemans Bay quickly. Three players ended up at the local ED, with two requiring some serious needle work after a clashing of heads in the final seconds of a game against the Batemans Bay SeaHawks. A hospital official said it had been a quiet afternoon until the wounded Griffos landed

CANBERRA CITY NEWS NOV 1

A CANBERRA man who has been suffering for more than 60 years on an almost daily basis from the effects of sexual abuse, says the National Apology speech “finally got it”.

Raped by a Catholic teaching brother in Tasmania at the age of eight, 71-year-old Chris was anxious and undecided about attending the historic event. He’s now glad he did.

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Chris said the speeches by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Bill Shorten – which brought him to tears – “captured the mood”, and while the pain of abuse will never fade, attending the event enabled him to “climb another mountain”.

AFTER the official ceremony Morrison visited Parliament House lawns where he moved comfortably among hundreds of sexual-abuse survivors, their families and supporters, chatting, hugging and patiently listening to their painful stories.

As his minders became anxious, the PM had run way over time, ’70s pop heartthrob Daryl Braithwaite came to the rescue. The former Sherbet front man and his band rocked into the first bars of their set giving ScoMo the cue to move. With a quick nod to Braithwaite the PM and his posse were gone.

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A TWEET from independent senator Derryn Hinch – also a child sex-abuse survivor – perfectly captured the mood on the lawns of Parliament House. Hinch tweeted on @HumanHeadline: “Today was one of the most humbling days of my life. Walking around Parliament House lawns after the National Apology from Morrison and Shorten was amazing. The pain in grown-men’s eyes said it all.”

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A LITTLE over 24 hours later the PM’s behind-the-scenes-crew went above and beyond to prepare a Mitchell small business for a visit. At 9.30pm Tuesday Pure Gelato owner Zoltan Tolgyesi agreed to host Morrison and a media pack of 30 early the following morning, but was concerned his shop wasn’t prime ministerial ready.

“No problem,” said the advance crew, “meet you there in 20 minutes”. Sleeves were rolled up, rubber gloves employed and by 11pm the showroom was ready for the PM’s “energy requirements” visit. Zoltan is still shaking his head at their professionalism. And ScoMo’s fave gelato? Boysenberry Cheesecake.

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IN a week of apologies, another politician issued one of his own. Frustrated Liberal MLA Mark Partonposted a two-minute video aimed at “individuals languishing at the end of a long public housing waiting list, struggling to afford private rental.”

Parton claims his Land Tax Amendment Bill would have “eased the rental affordable crisis in the ACT” but without support from Labor and the Greens it failed. A defeated Parton offered the heartfelt mea culpa “I’m sorry, we tried”.

SEEMS like the cynics may have had a win on the Light Rail project.

Many scoffed at the “coming in 2018” slogan plastered on promotional material draped along the route. It has been confirmed the project is lagging several months behind schedule.

In July I reported that while the project may well be completed in December, first passengers would not be carried until the first quarter of 2019.

COULD the still-knotted, navy blue, handmade, silk, designer-label necktie I picked up from the gutter on Commonwealth Avenue be indicative of Canberrans adopting the national trend of a more casual dress code for the office? According to corporate fashion consultants “casual is in and stuffiness is out”. The trendsetters say men are “ditching ties and women are showing shoulders.”

THE penny has finally dropped at Canberra radio station Mix 106.3.After countless efforts to import talent to snag a greater slice of the local audience local lad Nigel Johnson is returning to breakfast radio. Installing one half of the hugely successful FM 104.7 duo of Scotty and Nige has always been a “no brainer’. A truism in radio is that localism wins. Blow-ins constantly mentioning “Tuggers” or “Charnie” or Mooseheads will fail dismally against the genuine local “cred” of Johnson and those of his radio ilk.

‘GREASE’ IS THE WORD WHEN IT COMES TO CAUSES

SINGING superstar Olivia Newton-John and more than a 100 Falun Gong practitioners separately visited Canberra.

Newton-John was in town to lobby the Turnbull government for more funding for cancer research while the yellow-jacketed adherents to Falun Dafa wanted to highlight the widespread practice of human organ harvesting in China.

The “Grease” star was warmly welcomed into the Turnbull inner sanctum and felt the love of starstruck Senators Hinch and Hanson. But after two days of getting physical on the lawns of Parliament House, the Falun Gong had to settle for a quick word from a little-known Greens senator. I guess it’s a case of horses for causes.

STILL on Senator Hanson and it’s safe to speculate that her Senate-stopping burqa stunt may have forced an upgrade of her personal security back to that of 1997.

In her 2007 autobiography “Untamed and Unashamed” the One Nation leader recalls “the intrusion” of being shadowed by two or three AFP officers from the moment she stepped from a flight at Canberra airport. Senator Hanson wrote: “I was told by the AFP that the threat against me was higher than against any other politician, including the then PM John Howard”.

WHETHER ACT Liberal Senator Zed Seseljavolunteered or drew the short straw to appear on “Q&A” is unknown. The Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs would have known he was the Christian being fed to the lions on the Monday night panel show. The conservative senator was strategically positioned between philosopher AC Grayling and Israeli politician Merav Michaeli – both of whom believe traditional marriage is sexist and should not exist in its current form. The father of five acquitted himself well despite being booed by audience members for his intention to vote no in the SSM postal survey.

MEANTIME, some same-sex couples in Canberra claim to be just plain weary from the debate. One woman who has been in a same-sex relationship for 30 years says she is simply “exhausted” and “exasperated”. Worn down by the relentless pressure of being the focus of attention, she says: “The issue is sucking the oxygen out of the room as it’s the only thing people are talking about”. And she is exasperated by the negative comments of the National Party leadership and the non-binding element of the survey outcome.

CANBERRA’S Crows’ supporters are in a state of excitement. A healthy and well established Adelaide Crows AFL supporters group – consisting of between 50 and 70 mostly ex-pats – has been gathering at each other’s homes to watch the Crows’ games. The group even has its own Facebook page, CrowACTive. The pride of SA in Friday’s preliminary final and warm favourites to win their first flag since 1999 – the year the Canberra support group formed.

ICONIC Civic cafe Gus’ has sprung back into life and, if the long queues on opening day were any indication, Canberrans certainly missed the Bunda Street establishment. Famous for being at the vanguard of al fresco dining in the 1960s, the revamped Gus’s Place has given Garema Place the nostalgic touch it is sadly losing.

WHILE the coffee house’s refurbishment was popular, construction at another iconic Canberra location has been broadly criticised. Within hours of the first metal panel of a new security fence on the lawns of Parliament House being set in concrete, criticism began to flow on social media with veteran press gallery writer Michelle Grattan tweeting “it’s appalling”. The 2.6-metre grilled fence is the centrepiece of an estimated $126 million security upgrade for Parliament House.

TWO large, handwritten banners on a house on Belconnen Way at Page are confusing some passersby. Seemingly set for demolition or a major renovation, the property bears two signs which boldly claim: “NOT A FLUFFY”. Is the owner/builder making a political statement on the controversial ’80s insulation or simply maintaining the real estate value of the surrounding area already dotted with Fluffy houses?

HINCH ON SEX OFFENDER’S SEACHANGE

By Mike Welsh

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I had the HUMAN HEADLINE on radio today to talk about his fears of a convicted child sex offender living amongst us here in Coffs Harbour.

Chris Calcino from the Coffs Advocate alerted locals to the possibility of 62 year old KEVIN HOWARD ‘s sea-change to the Coffs Coast after completing his latest prison term in October. The local backlash was savage and swift via a Facebook page and online petition.

Derryn Hinch wrote a piece on his blog HumanHeadline  “HARBOURING A MONSTER” yesterday warning of the consequences of this man living in the community.