“Andrew Barr’s half-hearted contrition over his comments only serves to enhance his reputation for political aloofness and arrogance,” writes Seven Days columnist MIKE WELSH
AT last, the boys and girls of the Class of 2016 arrived to run the country from the House on the hill… and immediately revved up the band for the Mid-Winter Ball.
Head Boy Malcolm Turnbull looked a bit crestfallen at the Newspoll that saw his popularity dive to a mere 34 per cent. But it did put a gleam in the eye of leadership hopeful Scott Morrison.
Bill Shorten continued to pretend that he’d won the election, despite the voters deserting his Labor Party in droves for a bunch of ragtag independents. Nevertheless, he did embarrass the government with three defeats in the House; while behind the scenes Anthony Albanese was patiently gathering his forces for a challenge.
Ah yes, boys will be boys.
LABOR’S Sam Dastyari embarrassed himself by having a Chinese company pay his travel costs; but that only highlighted the millions of dollars both major parties accept from various foreign sources. Why, why, why!?
THE more sensible action was closer to home as ACT Lib Leader Jeremy Hanson pledged to support 100 per cent clean power by 2020. Happily, this takes climate change out of the political arena and shows how good politics should be conducted. Then he promised two new hospitals by cancelling the Gungahlin tram.
CM Andrew Barr finally released his own government’s report to justify the tram’s business case. A rapid transit bus lane, it says, would cost much less and provide a good financial return. For the tram to be financially comparable, the land for 1000 metres each side of Northbourne Avenue must become vastly more expensive so its taxes would help pay for the operation. He then announced the sale of a block on the light rail corridor for a massive $40 million to prove his point.
Point taken. But here’s the rub: if all these huge investments are made in the glittering Dickson-Braddon area, will the rest of us be left with the Manuka Oval/football club developers? Oh, and guess whose electorate – Molonglo – covers Dickson-Braddon?
MEANWHILE, the junior partner in the Labor-Greens government announced plans for testing pills and other drugs at local music festivals. Both Labor and the Libs officially demurred, once again revealing the whole country’s cockeyed “war on drugs” policy that makes alcohol legal and other mind-benders illicit.
GOOD to see local businesses like Poachers Pantry supplying the new Singapore Airlines flights. However, we reckon that’s a mere bagatelle compared to what’s in store when some Chinese airlines expand their operations to direct Canberra flights.
HOW terrific it’s been to watch the Canberra Raiders as giant-killers all season. It’s been a long time between premierships, but this year we might just be a show. Pity the Brumbies have lost their way. But in the AFL our adopted GWS (well, sort of) are also providing a thrilling September for all us Aussie Rules fans.
SHOCKING photos in the local media of the dead kangaroos beside the Monaro Highway. In the other direction it’s wombats that sadly litter the verges of the Kings Highway. However, on the bright side, on our last trip to the wonderful Tuross Head, we spotted a Spotted Quoll just out of Nelligen. And it was alive!