Welsh / Chris and Gai rise in the power stakes

Mike Welsh

Mike Welsh.

NEWS of Chris Uhlmann’s ascension to Channel Nine’s chief political editor – replacing the legendary Laurie Oakes – has almost certainly catapulted the one-time trainee priest and his wife of 20 years, member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann, to a loftier spot on the Canberra power couples index.

Uhlmann and Brodtmann were ranked at five on the 2016 list, which was headed by a well-known power couple who occasionally flop in a freshly renovated Adelaide Avenue residence.

“Weird cat” Andrew Leigh? Photo by Mike Welsh

MEANTIME Ms Brodtmann’s Canberra comrade, member for Fenner Andrew Leigh, has been the butt of some “weird” national name-calling. Speaking on 2GB, Immigration and Border Protection Minister  Peter Dutton slipped uncharacteristically into “hip” lingo to describe Dr Leigh as “a weird cat” and “a weird dude”. Dr Leigh said he was “more concerned over Minister Dutton’s treatment of the people on Manus Island than any schoolyard bullying”.

CANBERRA may well be the gay capital of Australia if the stats published in “The Weekend Australian” are any guide. The piece profiles Canberra couple Emily Jehne and Ellie Filler who are among 31 same-sex couples who married when gay marriage was briefly legal but ruled unconstitutional by the High Court days later in the capital in December, 2013.

Canberra has a large LGBTI community with a ratio of one same-sex couple to 179 residents compared with Sydney (1-198) and Melbourne (1-219).

And an estimated crowd of 3000 turned out for the weekend marriage equality rally in Civic, with organisers declaring it the “biggest LGBTI rights rally in Canberra’s history”.

The rally heard speeches from politicians including Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Andrew Leigh.

Crowd at the equal marriage rally in Garema Place, Civic. Photo by Mike Welsh

DESPITE being under a dark dual citizen cloud, Labor Senator for the ACT Katy Gallagher is maintaining a sunny disposition by swathing her office in the rainbow hues of the LGBTI community.

The former ACT CM has been sucked into the constitutional farce after information surfaced that her mother – a British subject – was born in Ecuador. Labor Senate leader Penny Wong has had the last word (for the time being): “Katy Gallagher is not now and never has been an Ecuadorian citizen. End of story.”

The R U OK? Convoy… in town to spread the message. Photo by Mike Welsh

THE colourful R U OK? Convoy rolled into the capital to promote R U OK? Day (Thursday, September 14). After travelling more than 15,000 kilometres through the NT, WA, SA and Victoria, the convoy of four, yellow, Audi SUVs set up camp on the grounds of the Department of Treasury with a message “for all Australians, regardless of their location, to check in with anyone in their world who might be struggling with life”. Later in the day the Convoy was hosted by Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove at Government House.

CANBERRANS are being invited to be part of a project aimed at making the city more carer friendly and improving the lot of an estimated 40,000 unpaid carers. But potential volunteers may be spooked by a verbose explanation of the Carers Voice Panel concept.

In a press release Community Services and Social Inclusion Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith succeeds in totally complicating the message, out-Humphreying Sir Humphrey Appleby of “Yes Minister”: “The ACT government will use deliberative democracy processes, which embrace collective decision making, as an innovative consultation method that supports informed discussion and broad consultation”.

WHILE the Raiders’ season is officially dusted, former Green Machine stars continue to dominate headlines. Besties Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson face fresh allegations of trashing a hotel room in the lead up to Origin 11. And there is talk of the original Bruce bad-boy Todd Carney heading back home to the NRL. The Goulburn-bred star has been in the UK playing Super League since being cut for bad behaviour by the NRL in 2014.

OUT Gungahlin way the sisters are doin’ it for themselves and in the process humiliating the men around them. The Gungahlin Jets AFL women’s team fell short of winning back-to-back flags in the local comp going down to Queanbeyan by 15 points at Tuggeranong on Saturday. Statistically speaking the “Jetettes” have won more matches this year than the men’s Division 1 and 2 sides combined in the past three years!


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