Macklin / Emergency call among the ambos

“Surely Katy Gallagher won’t be pocketing that $30,600 ‘resettlement’ package for moving from the Chief Minister’s office to the Senate,” writes Seven Days columnist ROBERT MACKLIN

WHO would have thought it – under that wonderfully helpful exterior, those lovely people, the ambos, are at each other’s throats.

Robert Macklin.

Robert Macklin.

This past week we learned that the whole ACT ambulance system is in the grip of “bullying, blame, distrust verging on paranoia and poor, ad-hoc and erratic management”.

It’s not only the ACT; similar charges have been levelled at the NSW branch. Surely this has to affect their performance on the job? The report, by O2C Solutions, is a clear warning to the Government. And if it can’t be released in full for legal reasons then Minister Joy Burch should order an open judicial inquiry. Something must be done before it leads to a tragedy in the field.

LOOKS like it’s practically a done deal – we’re going to get the Gungahlin light rail (with a branch line to Russell Hill) whether we like it or not. News that construction is down to two bidders – both international consortia – means that contracts will almost certainly be let before the next election.

The Libs will be giving it everything they’ve got in the campaign, but it does look like the horseless carriage has bolted.

UP on the Hill our pugilistic PM Tony Abbott found two more targets for sideswipes this week – the Jews and the Irish. The St Patrick’s Day message was just embarrassing, but to compare Bill Shorten to Joseph Goebbels was a genuine low blow. And I think he knew it the moment it landed.

Actually the PM showed himself a pretty dab hand at the propaganda arts himself when he told us that “Labor’s debt and deficit emergency” was now a thing of the past. Last year’s Budget had fixed it despite the “feral” senators voting down $30 billion in savings.

And we didn’t even notice.

TERRIFIC idea from fellow “CityNews” columnist Tim Gavel for our own unique Canberra Games each year. He had some excellent suggestions for the events such as canoe/kayaking on the lake. Another possibility, I reckon, is ping pong. It’s a fantastic sport for all ages and great for spectators, especially if we were able to get top players from the region (especially China) to compete. That would certainly complement the Barr Government’s push to China.

WHAT an awful gob-full of newspeak Chief Minister Andrew Barr delivered in his attack on “concessions” for seniors.

“We must ensure our concessions system is financially sustainable in the long term, while providing the best support for those most in need,” he burbled.

It was worthy of Joe Hockey at his most dissimulating. Seems that at the hint of a Budget squeeze, first to get the chop is the old and the poor… anything but raising taxes from the top end of town.

SPEAKING of the more privileged, surely Katy Gallagher won’t be pocketing that $30,600 “resettlement” package for moving from the Chief Minister’s office to the Senate. Sounds like a perfect sum for donating to a worthy cause – such as the “resettlement” of a few Vanuatuans perhaps.

THE publicity hounds at the NGA scraped the bottom of the barrel this week with their “naked tours” of an April exhibition. Forget the art; the exhibitionists would all be looking at each other!

robert@robertmacklin.com

 

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