BY assistant Prof Bruce Baer Arnold
THOSE Mr Fluffy addresses sent shockwaves through the community but Canberrans generally handled the revelations with the maturity and good sense we’ve come to expect.
However, it’s hard to forgive Canberra’s basher-in-chief, PM Tony Abbott, for the miserly response of a $1 billion loan when the tragedy occurred on the Federal Government’s watch.
At the first volley of political buckshot they seem to have cut and run; and Lib Leader Jeremy Hanson should have provided them with a united front.
THE other big expense in prospect is that light rail down Northbourne Avenue. Surely the time has come for our own “Q&A” on the subject. My techo advisers say it’s easy to organise; companies do it all the time with their annual meetings. And the cost would be minimal. It could be held at, say, Albert Hall and streamed to our computers in real time. All it needs is a sponsor, a moderator and (non-political) spokespersons from both sides. There’d certainly be no shortage of questions.
EASY to criticise the nearly $9 million renovations to The Lodge, up from the original $3.2 million estimate. But at least it preserves the historic site as the official prime ministerial residence.
Perhaps they could schedule some open days during winter so we can see what we paid for. We may be sure the current incumbent and family will have departed for the warmer climes of Kirribilli.
THE new convention centre concept on display looked very exciting. The collaboration between Guida Moseley Brown and Massimiliano Fuksas will cost $700 million, which sounds a lot but (unlike the tram) is a game-changing investment.
What is it, I wonder, that attracts all those Italian architects to our fair city? Can’t be the winter weather.
SPEAKING of Italians, the two-part ABC “Four Corners”-Fairfax investigation into Mafia donations to the NSW Liberal Party promised much. But it merely highlighted the absurdity of private contributions to all political parties. And we knew that anyway.
Former Liberal Leader John Hewson wants to ban all business and union donations. He would immediately disclose all others. But why not make a clean sweep and bring a little integrity back into the system?
THE movement for marriage equality in Australia now seems unstoppable, except to Tony Abbott and his band of brothers – not least his Leader of the Government in the Senate Eric Abetz. The Tasmanian lawyer called the recent US Supreme Court decision in favour “bizarre” and asked: “How many Asian countries have redefined marriage?”
That’s the clincher, Eric! Oh, if only you’d spoken up before the justices ruled.
CONTROVERSY erupted over the proposed referendum on Aboriginal recognition in the Constitution with advocates on both sides fearing a poor result. Unfortunately, most Australians have no idea of the historical horrors visited on the Aboriginal people as British settlers appropriated their lands. And the consequences are still with us today.
Truth is, until we have a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to reveal the whole story, simply fiddling with the Constitution is meaningless.