Welsh / Dog whistles turn to cheers as mosque opens

GUNGAHLIN’S mosque, beset by delays and legal challenges is finally open. A sinister campaign waged by the Concerned Citizens of Canberra (CCC) dog-whistled residents over the “dire” consequences of a mosque being built in the suburb, but came to an abrupt halt in July, 2014.

Mike Welsh

Mike Welsh.

Master of the ACT Supreme Court David Mossop took less than 60 seconds to comprehensively and stunningly scuttle the plans of the anti-Muslim group, which had lodged an objection to the DA, declaring “application dismissed”.

THE ACT’s Human Rights Act is set to be tested again after an inmate at the Alexander Maconochie Centre demanded vegetarian food be added to the menu and stationery fees be abolished. Isa Islam has filed a civil claim in the ACT Supreme Court stating the AMC’s handling of inmates’ dietary requirements and photocopying protocols breached the Human Rights Act.

Islam, who is serving time for a violent stabbing at the Ainslie shops in 2008 and for the bashing of a fellow inmate at the AMC in 2013, complained he failed to receive a vegetarian roll and called on management to stop charging 20 cents a page to photocopy educational material.

TENNIS brat Nick Kyrgios has reverted to his bad-boy ways in spectacular fashion and copped another schillacking in the process. On the Sydney, Triple M breakfast show, former NRL stars Mark Geyer and Matty Johns labelled the Canberra champion a “disgrace” and suggested his “walk-off” after losing his first set at the Shanghai Masters was “almost in match-fixing territory”.

The 22-year-old recently demonstrated rare levels of maturity since being heavily fined for “tanking” at the 2016 Shanghai Masters. In September, at the Laver Cup event in Prague, commentators spoke of an obvious osmosis between Kyrgios and Superbrat John McEnroe, captain of Team World, and that “Mac was getting through to Nick”.

THOSE who know the shy little Canberra wallflower, Chic Henry, may be shocked to learn the man who founded the iconic Summernats was quite a larrikin as a lad in his native Tasmania.

In his new autobiography “I Remember One Time”, Henry shares details of a wild, unrestrained “boy’s own” existence in the burgeoning suburbs of Launceston.

Among Chic’s stand-out shenanigans was playing chicken with trucks and buses “to see how close I could get without being clipped” and “pashing” the Mayor’s daughter – “a sweet girl with dark brown hair who shared my interest in Olympic-level kissing”. In the book’s foreward, Henry – who was appointed an Honorary Ambassador for Canberra in 2000 by then Chief Minister Kate Carnell – warns “text contains occasional coarse language and adult themes”.

A TALENTED Canberra footballer is hoping to impress officials at the North Melbourne AFL Kangaroos ahead of November’s National Draft. Former Belconnen junior Jordan Harper, 24, who this season co-captained the Canberra Demons in the NEAFL and won the club’s best and fairest for the second year running, is currently training at Arden Street.

A LOCAL, same-sex couple has been shortlisted in the 2018 LGBQTI awards. Tom Snow and Brooke Horne are among finalists for the Inspirational Role Model category for their work on the marriage-equality campaign including the rainbow-coloured Canberra airport. The ACT Aids Council is also shortlisted in the Community Initiative/Charity section. Winners will be announced in March.

THE airport’s ground-breaking marriage equality campaign has also impressed comedian Lawrence Mooney.

Lawrence Mooney

Comedian Lawrence Mooney.

Passing through the terminal for a show at the Canberra Theatre, the host of the ABC panel show “Dirty Laundry” posted a pic of the airport’s marriage equality signage on Twitter, adding: “Yay, Canberra Airport. Can’t miss this through security. It thrills me that Abetz, Bernardi, Abbott and co have to look”.

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