CANBERRA CITY NEWS SEVEN DAYS DEC 10

https://citynews.com.au/

THE season of goodwill to all is slow to arrive in the capital if the selfishness of some Action bus passengers is any indication. 

Four males rudely pushed past women to get on first. With the bus full, the two three-person bench seats at the front – which have clear signs for younger passengers to give up seats for pregnant, disabled and elderly travellers – contained three millennials on one and a man and his large parcel on the other. 

A request from the female bus driver for someone to give up their seat for an elderly passenger was ignored.

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison fired the starter’s pistol on the election campaign with a ferocious Question Time spray at the member for the bellwether seat Eden Monaro. 

Morrison accused Dr Mike Kelly of cockiness: “I notice the hubris I’m hearing from the member for Eden-Monaro. He’s walking around his electorate. He thinks it’s all over bar the shouting”. 

ScoMo warned the former soldier: “You’re in for a very big fight, the Australian people do not want $200 billion of higher taxes in the mortgage belt of Queanbeyan or down the south coast”.

STILL in campaign mode and bellwether seats, straight-talking NSW Nationals’ leader John Barilaro has ripped into the Federal Liberal Party over damaging infighting. The member for Monaro told local radio: “The ‘Hill’ was sucking all the oxygen out of politics” which was denying NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and him the clear air they need to get their message out before March’s state poll. The Deputy Premier bemoaned, “politics is bad at the moment”.

ANYONE who knows the ‘Poeys – ACT Brumbies vice-captain David Pocock and his wife Emma – knows the pair does things differently. Although the committed Christian couple had a commitment ceremony in 2010, they pledged not to marry until Australia’s same-sex marriage laws changed. The activist pair has now officially tied the knot, announcing the news on Twitter.

David tweeted: “Married my best mate yesterday”, with pics of the pair in the bush under a gum tree with only a celebrant and an Esky. Emma tweeted: “I endorse this tweet”.

I WON’T be reading superstar Jackie Chan’s memoir “Never Grow Up” in which he describes himself as a nasty jerk, but some Canberrans may be interested. Before superstardom, Chan spent some of his adolescence in the capital. Jackie’s parents were employed at the US embassy, with the teenage Jackie joining them for a period in the mid-70s. Jackie also learnt English at mature-age student ESL classes at Dickson College.

Actor Samuel Johnson… edited letters for “Dear Santa”. Photo by Mike Welsh

A NEW book with strong Canberra connections is actor Samuel Johnson’s latest work. The Gold Logie-winning performer enlisted some of his famous friends and their friends to submit letters to Santa for “Dear Santa”Johnson edited the Christmas correspondence of Missy HigginsMolly MeldrumDeborah MailmanGrant Denyer and many more. The actor has helped raise more than $10 million for the charity Love Your Sister, which he established with his sister, Canberra mother-of-two Connie, who died in 2017 after a long battle with cancer. Some proceeds from the book will go to cancer research.

JOHN Howard has raised an old bugbear with some Canberrans. With the release of the 1996-97 Cabinet files, the former PM says he has no regrets choosing to live in Kirribilli House in Sydney rather than on Adelaide Avenue. The Liberal Party elder statesman accepts many locals were offended by his choice of digs while in office.

LIVING in The Lodge does have its advantages though as the four Keating siblings will attest. With the passing of former US president George H W BushKatherine, Patrick, Caroline and Alexandra won’t forget January 1, 1992, and the thoughtfulness of the visiting Mr Bush and First Lady Barbara, who invited the Keating kids to join them on Air Force One on a flight from Sydney to Canberra.

WHEN THE CANBERRA BUBBLE GUM BLOWS UP IN YOUR FACE

By Mike Welsh

I have been talking about the word/phrase of 2018 for a while.  This from my City News Seven Days Column https://citynews.com.au

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison’s recent Queensland bus tour seems to have unleashed his inner Trump. ScoMo’s constant negative reference to the “Canberra bubble” has the US President’s “drain the swamp” written all over it. Morrison’s double thumbs up gesture and glib and dismissive responses to journalists’ questions are also more than a little Trumplike. But the real test for the born-again bonza bloke from the Shire will be ockerising his dog whistling on immigration policy borrowing the Don’s “we have some bad hombres here and we are gonna get them out”.

FOR those struggling with the precise parameters of the “Canberra bubble”, Canberra freelance writer Angela Shanahan has made the task more difficult. In a piece in “The Australian” on the territory’s eliminating legal exemptions to the anti-discrimination laws pertaining to freedom of religion, Shanahan accuses the Barr government of “living in a world of their own” referring to the ACT as a “little socialist republic”. Given the size of the territory and Angela’s special insight into the “bubble”, is it too much to ask she shed light on where the “world of their own” ends and the “bubble” begins?

CITY NEWS NOV 22

ONE solitary rainbow roundabout in a city of roundabouts is nothing more than a lonely landmark. That’s according to spokesperson for BURT (Braddon United Retailers and Traders) Kel Watt.

A year on from the “Yes” marriage equality postal survey, Watt says: “There are multiple roundabouts in Braddon, with two less than 100 metres from the Rainbow Roundabout” that “could also become symbols of adversity, challenges and triumphs for other causes”. 

The BURT mouthpiece says rather than being the “butt of jokes by the rest of the country” Braddon’s roundabouts could become “celebrated icons”.

PENIS-owl envy is alive and well in the world of controversial public art. Seems Belconnen’s owl, the one that apparently looks like a penis, may have a doppelganger. Pictures have popped up on social media of a piece of public art recently unveiled in the northern Serbian town of Kikinda, prompting many “eagle eyed” Canberrans to make a comparison between it and the phallic structure standing proud at the end of Benjamin Way.
SOME Canberra Liberals are seriously questioning Zed Seselja’s political judgement with the ACT senator inviting former PM Tony Abbott to an upcoming fundraiser. For $150 a head ($60 for members) supporters can enjoy drinks and canapes with the member for Warringah at Menzies House in Barton, Tuesday, November 27. Senior Liberal and longtime Abbott pal Michael Yabsley recently said: “The Liberal Party’s healing process would be accelerated if Tony Abbott were to vacate”.

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison’s recent Queensland bus tour seems to have unleashed his inner Trump. ScoMo’s constant negative reference to the “Canberra bubble” has the US President’s “drain the swamp” written all over it. Morrison’s double thumbs up gesture and glib and dismissive responses to journalists’ questions are also more than a little Trumplike. But the real test for the born-again bonza bloke from the Shire will be ockerising his dog whistling on immigration policy borrowing the Don’s “we have some bad hombres here and we are gonna get them out”.


FOR those struggling with the precise parameters of the “Canberra bubble”, Canberra freelance writer Angela Shanahan has made the task more difficult. In a piece in “The Australian” on the territory’s eliminating legal exemptions to the anti-discrimination laws pertaining to freedom of religion, Shanahan accuses the Barr government of “living in a world of their own” referring to the ACT as a “little socialist republic”. Given the size of the territory and Angela’s special insight into the “bubble”, is it too much to ask she shed light on where the “world of their own” ends and the “bubble” begins?


Alan Jones’ loyal Canberra listeners have been forced to wait to see any change to his presentation. The man they call “the parrot” reportedly had his wings clipped by management for a number of on-air indiscretions but has been forced off-air with a bad back. The 78-year-old, syndicated through 2CC, was apparently in strife for, among other “sins”, uttering the “N” word, being found guilty of defaming three Queensland brothers at a cost of $3.7 million and for his ungentlemanly conduct during a recent interview with Opera House CEO Louise Herron. Speculation among Sydney radio types is that with the Nine/Fairfax merger (which includes 2GB) kicking in soon, Jones’ long-term future is unclear.

Loneliness is an unloved Airbike on a traffic island on Commonwealth Avenue. Photo by Mike Welsh

CANBERRA’S six-month trial of a dockless bike share is almost over and it appears Canberrans have treated the scheme with more respect than other jurisdictions. While there is no evidence of Airbike bikes finishing up in lakes, many are drifting outside the “dedicated bike parking zones” and slipping under the “geo-fencing technologies”. One bike spent days leaning outside the public toilets at O’Connor shops, another was spotted parked on a traffic island on Commonwealth Avenue and a third has been buried in a hedge near Black Mountain School for most of the past two weeks.

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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.