Welsh / Space plans take Malcolm to planet ‘Utopia’

THE hype surrounding the announcement that Australia was entering the aeronautical industry managed to drown out the many issues niggling the Turnbull government, but specifics of the project remained scarce.

Mike Welsh

Mike Welsh.

Your average cynic might dismiss the news as a draft script for an episode of the ABC’s TV satire “Utopia”, which brilliantly takes the mickey out of how Canberra spins such projects. But the reality is we could eventually have our own national space agency and benefit from the billions of dollars and thousands of jobs that apparently come with it. The ACT government has already signed an MOU with SA boosting the possibility of Canberra playing a major role in the project.

A PROMOTIONAL boast on brewer BentSpoke’s website (“since opening its doors in 2014, BentSpoke has continued to move onward and upward in the Canberra beer market”) has taken on a whole new meaning.

The innovative Braddon company has scored a contract to supply its Barley Griffin pale ale for Singapore Airlines’ flights between Sydney and Melbourne.

The airline’s spokesperson, former Canberran Karl Schubert, says: “The craft beer additions are part of the airline’s ongoing dedication to a high-quality food and beverage offering, as well as supporting local produce in the destinations they fly to”.

FOR a small town that famously punches above its weight in churning out world champions, Queanbeyan is about to be exposed to a new and radical audience. David Campese, Heather McKay, Mark Webber, Ricky Stuart and thoroughbred Takeover Target make up just a minuscule list of locals who have kept the “something-in-the-water-in-Queanbeyan” phenomena alive.

But “Fardell”, a new documentary about champion Queanbeyan-born skateboarder Jack Fardell’s rise to international fame, takes the town’s sporting elixir mystique to another level. The 26-year-old Fardell, who is now based in LA, says: “I just think it’s a cool story about coming from a country town in Australia, pursuing your dreams and still having a love for home.”

A NEW report has revealed the CSIRO continues to grapple with low staff morale, but one former Canberra staffer says he’s moved on from his own highly publicised battle with the scientific research organisation. Banks man Jack Hoffman says he “was just another victim of abuse of power in the public service”. In 2012 the technician was sacked after being spotted at the Conder McDonalds drive-through buying a Big Mac. Problem was Hoffman was driving a CSIRO vehicle at the time and on a final warning after a series of breaches of company car use and other contentious workplace issues. Hoffman, a large man, also suffered from the hurtful tabloid headlines such stories automatically receive.

AFTER waiting 37 long, frustrating years, former Gungahlin AFL Jets president Joe Cortese was not going to miss the grand final action in Melbourne.

Cortese was in yellow and black heaven for the traditional grand final parade through Melbourne’s CBD but baulked at a scalper’s offer of $1200 for a ticket to the decider. Another Canberra Tigers fan was undeterred by the premiership premium. The 25-year-old was prepared to pay a reported $3500 for a ticket to witness “the pride of Punt Road hoist a Premiership cup”.

A CANBERRA gay and lesbian choir is mobilising voters in the SSM postal survey via a new type of social gathering. Qwire, numbering about 80 members who perform at a variety of events in the capital, recently hosted a “Call Party”. Fifty members gathered at the Cook Hall to hit the phones and “remind people it’s time to vote”. Spokesperson Jes Chandler says from between 600 and 800 calls the tally was 220 for yes, 200 unanswered and the balance in the negative.

STILL on the SSM postal survey and the Yass Valley may have become an unwilling marketing tool for the “Yes” campaign. A corny meme that reads “Be Like a NSW Town and Vote Yass” has popped up on social media in recent days.

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