Macklin / Canberra’s sad echo of the Dreamworld horror

“If the theme park owners think they can reopen and expect business as usual they’re kidding themselves. The ride should be dismantled forever,” writes Seven Days columnist ROBERT MACKLIN

THE echoes of the Dreamworld tragedy will reverberate around Canberra for a very long time.

Robert Macklin

Robert Macklin.

Popular public servants Roozi Araghi and Luke Dorsett and Luke’s sister Kate Goodchild – together with Cindy Low from Sydney – perished in the most terrible circumstances. One can barely conceive the pain of Kate’s 12-year-old daughter Ebony who was a witness to the carnage; and the horror of her husband David who plunged into the water in a vain attempt to save his wife.

If the theme park owners think they can reopen and expect business as usual they’re kidding themselves. The ride should be dismantled forever.

NO surprise to find the dedicated conservative, Alistair Coe, elevated to the ACT Liberal leadership in the wake of the election loss to Labor, despite his pious opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. But what were they thinking in selecting Nicole Lawder who admits she’s from the “far left of the Party” as his deputy?

It’s a recipe for rupture.

SPEAKING of which, Attorney-General George Brandis seems to have developed a remarkable facility for getting almost everyone off-side.

The resignation of solicitor-general Justin Gleeson was only the latest in a series of showdowns beginning with Brandis’ ham-handed intrusion into arts funding that ended with his losing the portfolio. Anyone watching his performance in the Senate Estimates hearings would be forgiven for thinking the man a shameless, pompous ass.

OTHER revelations from the hearings included the mea culpa from IBM in taking “full responsibility” for the complete stuff-up of this year’s Census collection.
But here’s the rub – not only was no one sacked, but the American giant still has its hand out for the full $9.7 million it says it’s owed from the ABS. By last week, the Bureau had still not paid its field workers the estimated $30 million they earned for fixing the mess. If “full responsibility” means anything, maybe IBM should be picking up that cheque.

REGULAR readers will recall our dismay at the appalling state of Woden’s Callum Offices for early and absentee voters. Well, it gets worse. We’ve learned that the grubby joint houses Canberra’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service that sees very distressed and disturbed young people, their families and carers. It says something about what and who we are when this is “good enough” for vulnerable young people and those who work with and for them.

BUT enough of the gripes and groans. At last the soon-to-be-published “New Oxford Shakespeare” credits Christopher Marlowe as a collaborator with young Will in at least three early plays previously attributed wholly to the Bard. This brings to 17 of the 36 plays to be properly regarded as collaborations. And those of us who have made a study of the matter reckon there are still more to come.

GUILTY Secret time: We watched that awful “reality” show “Survivor” and the finale with the three contestants battling to remain standing on narrow poles as the sea crashed around them was riveting viewing. And we surely didn’t pick Kristie Bennett as the deserving winner. But one sure winner of Logies galore is TEN’s truly delightful “Wrong Girl”, the classiest Aussie production we’ve seen in many a long year.

robert@robertmacklin.com

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