Welsh / Hell’s bells, Hetty wants the archbishop gone

“Innocently standing behind the PM in the ‘noddy’ position at a press conference, suggests Zed Seselja is hoping to go from ‘Deplorable’ to ‘Adorable’.” writes Seven Days columnist MIKE WELSH

BRAVEHEARTS’ founder Hetty Johnston is relentless in exposing child sexual abuse perpetrators and outing those who cover up the sinister crime. And she was fired up again, after the alarming admission by Canberra-Goulburn Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse that it was “a mistake” to house a retired priest accused of sexual abuse close to two Canberra schools.

Mike Welsh

Mike Welsh.

The child-protection advocate labelled Prowse’s comments “a pathetic excuse” and called for his immediate resignation.

She said: “There are many Catholics who do massively good work in the community… Archbishop Prowse is not one of them.”

CANBERRANS starved of “old school” Town Hall political rallies turned out in their hundreds on Thursday to hear Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at the Albert Hall.

The Labor leader cast off his jacket, rolled up his sleeves and took questions from the largely left and mostly grey gathering on topics from refugees to dangerous gum trees in ACT schools. Shorten scored the biggest cheer when he gave Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce a slap for attempting to cleanse the capital of public servants.

Shorten said that of all the Q&As he’d conducted the Canberra event, his first, attracted the largest crowd. That boast may prove costly should he win the next election because Chief Minister Andrew Barr will certainly come knocking, cap-in-hand for a bigger town hall.

ON that issue the CM has made it clear if there is to be a National Convention Centre in Canberra, the nation will have to pay for some of it.

Apparently, the ACT has the oldest convention centre of any state or territory capital but Barr is adamant that, without federal assistance, there will be no new centre, saying he hasn’t been able to get any love on the project from the prime ministers and treasurers he’s spoken to over the past six years.

CATS freely roaming Canberra suburbs could be further curtailed. Executive director of the Conservation Council ACT, Larry O’Loughlin, says laws introduced in 2005 designating a dozen suburbs including Bonner, Crace and Coombs as cat-containment areas to limit the impact on local wildlife, should now be expanded to cover the entire city, slating 2025 as a target for total containment.

ONLY time will tell if ACT Senator Zed Seselja scored political “cred” or “lost bark” after being outed as a “Deplorable”. The group of conservatives, which included Senator Eric Abetz and Senator Cory Bernardi, was formed after the last election with the aim of refloating the career of Tony Abbott by white anting PM Malcolm Turnbull.

But, innocently standing behind the PM in the “noddy” position at a press conference, suggests Zed is hoping to go from “Deplorable” to “Adorable”, by-passing the damaging political tags of “lamentable and expendable”.

A NATIONAL online education campaign – Let Kids Be Kids – aimed at eliminating “ugly-parent” behaviour at junior sports events was launched in Canberra amid claims by local administrators the problem is not a major concern here and that governments don’t need to interfere.

Research shows comments and actions of “ugly” parents on the sidelines, including abuse of young players and match officials, forces many kids out of sport.

Tuggeranong Vikings’ junior rugby president Andrew Henderson said that while parents need to be reminded to watch their language, he didn’t see the need for extra government involvement.

CANBERRA-based diplomats flouting traffic laws with immunity has long been a bone of contention with locals.

New figures released by the ACT government for the period since a shake up of the 1961 Vienna Convention, which protected diplomats who broke the road rules in the ACT from penalties, have given authorities confidence a change in driver behaviour is possible.

The government stats show fines totalling $191,780 from more than 700 infringements by diplomats and embassy staff since last September.

Road safety minister  Shane Rattenbury is cautiously optimistic the penalties will bring about the desired change.


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