CANBERRA CITY NEWS DEC 19

“Seven Days” columnist MIKE WELSH reflects on his highlights of a year of life and news in Canberra.

LIGHT RAIL eventually rolled at Easter with near misses involving dopey pedestrians and motorists dominating headlines since.

MLA Shane Rattenbury jumped aboard the “I’ve taken Ecstasy Too” bandwagon amid pill testing debates, while Labor minister Meegan Fitzharris opted “to spend more time with family”. Liberal leader Alistair Coe disingenuously confessed to “needing a miracle” to win the next election, but a more politically astute Andrew Barr snagged underdog status.

ACROSS the border, NSW Nationals boss John Barilaro punched way above his weight telling former party boss Barnaby Joyce to “shut his mouth”. Still on the putting-a-sock-in-it department… tennis great John Newcombe told Nick Kyrgios to “zip it” after the young champ’s big mouth again brought him grief.

BOLLARDS at Hawker shops may soften the precinct’s reputation as a crime hotspot. Olive restaurant was firebombed, Woolworths was targeted by ram raiders, and a similar method was employed to enter the new discount pharmacy.

BURNT-out stolen vehicles littered our roadsides. One stolen car that avoided a fiery end had 3000 kilometres added to the clock and $1850 in fines accrued when found seven days later.

BOB Hawke’s death in May brought many tales including one from 1957 when he was one of “five naked students who in very high spirits, swam in University House’s ornamental goldfish pond” at ANU.

SYDNEY journalist Eddy Jokovich reneged on a vow to “walk nude from Sydney to Canberra balancing a pumpkin on my head” if ScoMo won May’s federal election.

MANUKA Oval’s renovations drew poetic praise from cricket writers with one evoking an idyllic village green: “There can’t be too many venues where you hear batsmen call and church bells on a Sunday”. The venue was again the focus of attention when snow fell on a Friday night AFL match. And across the road a troublesome London plane tree was finally felled after a long battle by locals to save it.

A MODIFIED Fight Club complete with betting was uncovered at one of our more exclusive boys schools before being discreetly closed down.

THE Caps’ broke an eight-year premiership drought, but our adopted AFL outfit the GWS Giants suffered a humiliating Grand Final loss. The Brumbies pushed deep into the international rugby finals and, as for the boys from Bruce, it may still be too soon to discuss the “theft” that allegedly occurred at ANZ Stadium in Oct.

OUR local radio scene was tipped on its head after 2CC opted to network its breakfast program from Sydney, punting Tim Shaw for Alan Jones. And after three years of rising early Dan Bourchier pulled the pin at the ABC’s Triple 6.

DELIVERY drones buzzed around despite a threatened “attack”. An anonymous biblical command posted at Crace warned: “Cease the flying of your wicked, ungodly abomination lest the Lord smite them and bring punishment upon you.”

SEVENTY-seven-year-old Adrienne Carpenter walked from Collector to Parliament House to protest the treatment of local barrister Bernard Collaery, but there was no-one to greet her.

NO such snub for movie heavyweights Hugo Weaving, Rhys Muldoon and Gillian Armstrong who dropped by to lobby for more local content. Pollies of all hues scrambled for selfies.

OPENING doors in the capital took on new meaning after a visiting Victorian MP attempted to kick down a Barton hotel door to get his luggage.

Schoolgirls in uniform present an unambiguous take on climate change at a rally in Glebe Park. Photo: Mike Welsh

CONSTRUCTION giant Geocon’s sexist promotional signage attracted the wrath of feminists. But a sign, waved by four female students in full uniform of a local christian school, presented an unambiguous take on climate change at a rally in Glebe Park.

WHAT two globetrotting Canberra Catholic nuns thought of the protestants’ placard is unknown. Sister Judy Bowe and Sister Therese Mills were far too busy being reality TV stars on “The Amazing Race”.

“SEVEN Days” Doggo of the Year is this helpful hound, snapped aiding his human find a car park at Cooleman Court.

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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