Canberra Confidential: The member takes a wife

THE Centenary year is proving a big personal one for Liberal MLA for Ginninderra, Alistair Coe. 

First he has greatness thrust upon him and is elected Deputy Opposition Leader after outgoing leader Zed Seselja decides to take a run at Gary Humphries’ Senate spot and, next month, the young member takes a wife when he marries delightful fiancee Yasmin Burraston, 28, a double-degree ANU graduate and champion rower, who lists on the Rowing Australia website, among other things, that her favourite movie is “Dirty Dancing” and her nickname is “Yas”.

Beware of imitations

“‘CANBERRA Confidential’ is a journey through the dark, chilling and frequently unbelievable tales of power-broking and deceit from inside the nation’s capital.” Hard to believe, but that is not a description of this paper’s compelling weekly column but of some televisual filmic outing on the ABC on March 14 that’s shamelessly ripped off this column’s moniker.

Apparently, journalist Annabel Crabb goes about the town in a trench coat (que?) in search of Canberra’s secrets over the past century.
“Her exploration into the city of secrets – how they are kept and how they are uncovered, now and in the past – goes to the heart of any functioning democracy. In celebrating the Centenary of Canberra in 2013, there’s no better time to lay bare its past sins and secrets.” Right, but we want our name back.

Julia in the dark

WHAT to do after you’ve announced a billion-dollar employment policy in Melbourne? Head straight to Canberra to see the splendid play “The Secret River”. Such is the lot of the PM Julia Gillard, who slipped in, almost unrecognisable sans specs, as the lights dimmed on The Playhouse matinee finale on Sunday afternoon.


Ray Martin

The cast of the play, which prophetically climaxes with a massacre of an incumbent tribe, had respectfully wondered if they could have a post-show photo, but it was not to be as C1 cruised away from the theatre moments after the curtain came down. Duty calls, we guess.

Meet Ray Clooney

RACHELLE Towart, CEO of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre, gets to the microphone swooning after Ray Martin introduces her to the Order of Australia Association’s national symposium at the Lakeside, saying being welcomed by Martin was beyond even her bucket list and describes the TV legend as Australia’s answer to George Clooney.  Gentleman Ray rewards her with a peck on the cheek and a “with respect” line that her description was being unfair to Clooney!

Sorry, Kevin’s off

CC’s spy at the Healing Foundation’s “The Apology – Five Years On – Heal our Past, Build our Future” ceremony and concert  on the Parliament House lawns celebrating the anniversary of the apology that the then-PM Kevin Rudd gave indigenous Australians in 2008, reports from backstage that: “Ruddy pops in, gets photos with EVERYONE, has a quick speech and bails without saying cheerio.”

“Times” is ticking

WHILE  the newly reorganised and reduced editorial staff cling to their digital platforms, “The Canberra Times” newspaper continues to sink.
And yet, despite another extraordinary loss of circulation and readership in the latest figures (that would surely have its advertisers queuing for refunds), the paper is coy to volunteer its digital circulation numbers, unlike most of the nation’s other major titles (it becomes mandatory in September).

Having done a masterful marketing job in training Canberra to take for free on a tablet what it used to pay for, little wonder the latest circulation and readership figures are woeful.

The once mighty flagship Saturday edition has slumped another 10.5 per cent down to 43,641 copies sold. Weekdays lost another 7.6 per cent to average a woefully low 27,974 copies and Sunday showed an 8.3 per cent  loss to 27,717.


EMAIL to us… “I am qualified English teacher and writer based in Scotland. I am due to travel to Australia on July 9 for a year on a working holiday visa. If I can, I would like to find writing work. I seen your advert for an online copywriter…”

CANBERRA Airport has an oddly compelling webcam of its building site showing little, hard-hatted, Lego-like workers and trucks criss-crossing the screen. Google “Canberra Airport webcam” to see what they’re up to.

PUN… a rubber-band pistol was confiscated from an algebra class, because it was a, wait for it, weapon of math disruption.

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