“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
IT was certainly a great day when same-sex marriage was finally legalised in Australia, albeit after millions of dollars were spent for a plebiscite (sorry, mail-in survey) that told our politicians exactly what dozens of opinion polls had already told them.
You knew, I knew and I think in their heart of hearts even the staunchest opponents of same-sex marriage knew that parliament should have got on with the job much faster and earlier. History will show that they didn’t, but now it’s done, so can they please now return to the task of actually running the country?
If you wish to dispute this, that’s fine, but first tell me this: other than same-sex marriage, what achievements will our Federal politicians be remembered for when 2017 is examined by the historians?
And, no, continued disharmony among the ruling party doesn’t count. I’m sure there’s something substantial, there has to be, they couldn’t have had all those sitting days without getting something done, could they?
It escapes me what it might be, but if you know, please put your answers on the back of a postage stamp and get them in to me.
At least they got one thing done. But can an argument be mounted that getting something done is actually overrated? (Memo to self… Try that with the boss. In 2018 do nothing but collect salary and have it count as an achievement).
Before you scoff, think of the NSW government. It decided to do something, but it seems the something it has chosen is the wrong something.
Yes, there’s a big mess in Macquarie Street because of the announced rebuild of not one, not two, but three football stadiums. This move has generated massive amounts of negative feeling. So massive that a petition against the decision to rebuild two of them drummed up more than 100,000 signatures in a matter of days and the count is still rising.
One of the arguments put by the many opponents of the stadium rebuild is that they are rarely full in their existing configuration. This is usually countered by comment that the money could be better spent on schools, hospitals or public transport. Funnily enough, they’re often full or too full.
So how could a government take the eventual lessons learned from same-sex marriage discussion and the stadium-rebuilding debacle and come up trumps on all fronts?
Well, there could just be something in this for Canberra. While our rainbow roundabout in Braddon is a nice tribute, how about something bigger, more easily spotted from a distance, and longer-lasting than a multi-coloured lick of paint?
Bear with me, because our GIO Stadium is now 40 years old and in need of a facelift. Or a rebuild. So here you go, Chief Minister, your get-out-of-criticism-free card. Bulldoze it. Have it flattened. But don’t replace it with just a sports stadium. Have it festooned with permanent wedding decorations and when it’s not being used for sport, make it the National Same-Sex Marriage Centre!