CANBERRA CITY NEWS DEC 12

“Seven Days” columnist MIKE WELSH finds himself in the middle of the farmers’ protest at Parliament House. 
THREE thousand frustrated Southern Riverina farmers poured into the capital demanding the Federal parliament scrap the controversial Murray Darling Basin Plan. 

Under the bold “Can the Plan” banner they came, the young, the old, with their dogs, and in their trucks, Toyotas and even tractors. 

In weather-beaten Akubras and lived-in Driza-bones, the normally reserved or “quiet” Australians rallied enthusiastically among scores of creative and sometimes crude placards on the lawns of Parliament House in one of the biggest such protest events this year.

As a convoy of more than 200 horn-blasting trucks circled, speakers and entertainers warmed up the crowd before it marched on the forecourt. Organisers pleaded with the protesters to “behave”, but when a small group broke away and penetrated a line of almost 20 AFP officers, the entire group marched to the front doors. 

With extra reinforcements protecting the building the mob chanted slogans aimed squarely at Water Minister David Littleproud and local MP, the member for Farrer, Sussan Ley.

Among the first pollies brave enough to venture down was Bob Katter, but he was quickly elbowed out of the spotlight by One Nation senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts. The One Nation pair swooped on the disenchanted cohort like seagulls on hot chips, keen to exploit angry farmers and regional small business operators, now clearly in the market for another political vehicle on which to hitch their considerable political clout.

THE bowels of motorists travelling along Belconnen Way near Bunnings on Wednesday were abruptly loosened by the disconcerting sight of eight police officers on the side of the road pointing speed guns directly at them. No, it wasn’t a heavy handed pre-Christmas, revenue-raising campaign, but what appeared to be a training exercise involving young officers familiarising themselves with the instruments in time for the holiday blitz.

A battered bus shelter on Commonwealth Avenue. Photo: Mike Welsh

CANBERRA’S bus shelters continue to be senselessly trashed. The shelters on each side of Commonwealth Ave near Albert Hall have been disabled for weeks, with tape wrapped around shattered glass panels. In July police speculated that around 50 bus shelters had been targeted by slingshots. The glass panels can cost up to $1000 apiece to replace.

THE local breakfast radio fare continues to change, with ABC cornflakes man Dan Bourchier on the move. Bourchier is to be replaced in 2020 by Lish Fejer who appears to be taking an intellectual approach, promising “to dive into that hive mind and have some fun” with the “switched on, generous, connected and considered” ABC Canberra audience.

Yarralumla trees festooned with Christmas bows.

THE Yarralumla Residents Association has returned tradition to the area by urging locals to become involved with decking local trees with bright red bows. No tree, no prob. Decorated letterboxes are also acceptable. The association can provide the fabric and instructions for $5.

AFTER more than two decades in the secondhand book caper, former Canberra public servant Ron Robertson is trading the romance of bricks and mortar and ceiling high piles of dusty tomes, for the detached world of the web. Sadly, Ron’s Hawker bookshop must close on December 31. Hawker’s unofficial mayor says the old model of book selling is no longer viable and he will now do business exclusively on his laptop.

IT’S comforting to know I’m not the only pedant in the capital. Posted on twitter: “The Apostrophe Society closing its doors has inspired me to start a foundation for Not Referring to Federal Parliament as Canberra (still working on a name). Its basic goal will be to stop people using ‘Canberra’ when they mean Federal parliament”.

AND the final reference to the bubble this year. As the pollies left town for the summer break, unmolested by a threat to block their exit by activist group Extinction Rebellion, two minor and trivial questions remain unanswered. Did Malcolm Turnbull’s bonk ban transfer to the ScoMo regime and if so has it remained intact? Asking for a friend.

Share this:

CAN THE PLAN CONVOY COMES TO CANBERRA

THREE thousand frustrated Southern Riverina farmers rolled into Canberra demanding the government rips up the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

The farmers had a clear message for Minister for Water David Littleproud and local member (Farrer) Sussan Ley and other politicans. Rip up the MDBP.

Bob Katter turned up to compare lids with the undertaker conducting the burial of the MDBP

Political parasites Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts swooped on the disenchanted conservative country crowd in the hope of picking up some of the votes on offer.

Weather-beaten Akubras dominated the fashions on the field
NO FARMERS NO FOOD
Protecting the fortress from angry farmers
Quiet Australians getting noisy

CITY NEWS SEVEN DAYS NOV 30

By Mike Welsh

http://www.citynews.com.au

AS Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s annus horribilis nears an end, 2018 is already looking to be just as horrible.

Adelaide teenager Ned Richards, who walked from his hometown to Canberra in February challenging Turnbull over his poor treatment of refugees, plans to return. And this time 13-year-old Ned is bringing other youngsters and some grandmothers.

Ned’s father Adam, who joined his son for February’s 1200-kilometre “Refugee Regatta”, says the 2018 walk – in February/March – will begin from the steps of the Opera House in Sydney and finish at the Federal parliament.

canberra-walk-adam-and-ned-adelaide-ave-x-1
Ned (left) and his father Adam Richards walk past the Lodge in February

THE pushing back of the final parliamentary sitting of the year by the Coalition has thrown the plans of many visitors into disarray. In particular the hundreds of school children making their scheduled trip to the capital will leave mostly disappointed. As exciting as Questacon and the Australian War Memorial are, witnessing your country’s leaders behaving like school children is a rare and entertaining treat.

YOU don’t see many Akubras in the hipster hub of Braddon. Especially now that the area has taken on a rainbow hue. As a group of LGBTQI volunteers applied the final coats of paint and glitter to a rainbow roundabout, “benched” Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce was spotted lurking nearby. Joyce, who is opposed to same-sex marriage, obviously subscribes to the Young Farmers’ unofficial slogan: “You don’t have to be one to be one”.

IF ACT Labor Senator Katy Gallagher is superstitious she may be nervous about the “Q&A” curse. The senator – still under a dual-citizenship cloud – could join the list of 11 members who’ve already been forced to seek a High Court ruling on their eligibility to hold office. Nine of the list including Jacqui Lambie, Barnaby Joyce, Nick Xenophon, Malcolm Roberts, Fiona Nash and Scott Ludlam, all panellists on the ABC’s program have been punted. Katy was on “Q&A” in June, 2015.

katie JETS pic

CONFUSING messages and scary noises dominate the local real estate world. According to an ANU report the capital is over supplied with housing properties. And the CommSec’s “Home Size” trend report reveals that apartments in Canberra are the smallest (and getting smaller) in the nation.

Meanwhile the city’s largest apartment developer Geocon has been forced to bring in experts to explain noises in apartments at its Wayfarer site in Belconnen. Residents of the complex say the banging noises in the ceiling are loud enough to wake them at night. And on the “Canberra Notice Board” page on Facebook:  “WANTED… any upcoming homes in the Campbell area or inner-south up to $1500 per week for rent”.

CANBERRANS in their thousands were drawn into the hype surrounding the opening of Australia’s 26th H&M store. Thousands queued well before the Canberra Centre doors to the Swedish fashion retailer opened. Social media stepped up to the plate with Twitter swinging from the cynical “really excited about all the future landfill we can buy” to the blunt “An H & M just opened in Canberra and people are like vultures. I’ll come back when people have some self control”.

CANBERRANS are being asked to choose an official mammal mascot. Problem is the cutest are already taken. SA has the Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat, WA proudly displays the numbat and lucky old Queensland cuddles the koala. So it may just have to be the wide-mouthed territory tailgater (territorus tailgatus). A large, beige, impatient creature, the ‘gater is believed to have evolved in the Tuggeranong Valley after being displaced by construction of the Hyperdome. In recent years it has migrated north where it regularly terrorises motorists on the GDE!