Canberra Confidential / Power words to the people

WE loved the innocent spin to Actew-AGL’s thumping price rise announcement last week.

Coyly headed: “Changes to ActewAGL’s electricity and gas prices”, the company blusters about how the regulator has saddled them with a 4.3 per cent rise in electricity, then two thirds down the missive is the lumpy news that the unregulated gas price is leaping a staggering 14.5 per cent. But that’s not their fault, either; it’s the “increasing influence of international markets on Australia’s gas prices”.

Perversely, for the nail-biting public servant clients, the only hope of price relief is if Tony Abbott reverses the carbon price, which ActewAGL promises “to pass on to our customers in full”. We’re all rooting for the PM, then?

On tour at home

TourdeloungeONLY days now until the Tour de Lounge starts, with cycling fans around Australia gearing up to pedal along with the Tour de France peloton from July 5.

In aid of the Leukaemia Foundation, participants pick a challenge  – Tour de Lounge, 1000kms; Rouleur’s Dream, 500kms or Sprinters Cup, 250km – saddle up their exercise bikes in front of the telly and get spinning. Participants can clock up their kilometres during the 23 days of the Tour de France in their lounge, on the road or in the gym.

Sign up or donate at

World Cup floweth over

WORLD Cup fever seems to have disoriented journo Henry Belot, whose “Canberra Times” guide to where to watch the Brazilian event included “The Turner Bowls Club in Barton”. The Barton-based Rugby Union Club owns the Turner Bowls Club, but we understand they like to keep it in Turner.

tableBUT if you can’t find the TBC in Barton, why not stay home and simulate all the World Cup excitement with table football? Pictured is the Teckell Cristallino table from UK luxury lifestyle store Chaplins, made with crystal and polished aluminium with a sleek design and a snip at only £11,995 (around $A22,000) excluding postage.


Guilty secrets?

IN Belconnen, the WeightWatchers’ franchise sits right next door to The Cheesecake Shop.


Paul Keating hmmms…

“THE Book of Paul”, a waggish little volume devoted to the wit and wisdom of former PM Paul Keating, bounced into the in tray this week reminding CC of how much his turn of phrase is missed in today’s House of Reps.

Remember when Keating had this to say:

Of John Howard: “The old coconut’s still there, Araldited to his seat.”

Of Peter Costello: “The thing about poor old Costello is he is all tip and no iceberg.”

Of Andrew Peacock: “What we have is an intellectual rust bucket.”

Of John Hewson: “[His performance is] like being flogged with a warm lettuce.”

Of Tony Abbott: “If Tony Abbott ends up the Prime Minister of Australia, you’ve got to say, God help us.”

Of Joe Hockey: “‘The Shrek’, whoever he was on the television this morning. What’s his name?”

“The Book of Paul” (Black Inc.), rrp $9.99.


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