Welsh / Hawker’s big miss and hit moment

“When it comes to rates, the Barr government has craftily turned the old marketing adage of less is more on its head,” writes columnist MIKE WELSH

A HIGH number of motor vehicle accidents, from minor to major, get reported from around the region but none as bizarre as one in Hawker.

Mike Welsh

Mike Welsh.

Astonished motorists watched a vehicle careen down Springvale Drive and across four lanes of Belconnen Way missing all traffic. The car then mounted the footpath, continued down the driveway of a house, smashing through a steel gate and double garage before coming to rest!

RUPERT Murdoch may own the toll-booth on the information superhighway but he can’t control the Canberra fog. The mogul’s private jet was redirected to Sydney when Friday’s near pea-souper closed Canberra airport. The 87-year-old Murdoch, who has a weekender near Yass, returned to Canberra later in the day. The “Sydney Morning Herald’s” Andrew Hornery reports there were no sightings of bride Jerry Hall.

THE Barr government has craftily turned the old marketing adage of less is more on its head. Thanks to a “where-do-my-rates-go?” pie chart included in recent rates assessment notices, cranky ratepayers are assured that we actually get “more” for our money.

The chart reveals 6 per cent of our rates dollars is directed at “more jobs for our growing city”, while “More support for families and inclusion” takes away another 8 per cent; 23 per cent goes on providing “More schools, better schools” and “More services for our suburbs” swallows up 13 per cent.

A LONG career in politics doesn’t necessarily thicken the human hide. Labor member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly has cancelled his “CityNews” delivery to his Queanbeyan electorate office deeming our mag “not electorate specific”. Might my piece last week suggesting the MP may have gone too early with his support of embattled Lindsay MP Emma Husar be the real reason?

AND on long political careers, the yet-to-be-pre-selected Kel Watt is demonstrating traits necessary to achieve success in politics. The former union man, hoping to contest the Federal seat of Canberra, was quickly on the front foot over a smear campaign waged against him among Labor members. Now Watt is calling on ACT Labor secretary Matt Byrne to resign or be sacked over the murky dirt-sheet affair.

TRANSPORT Canberra will need to take extra care with the words it uses to navigate its way through the weighty and fraught issue of overweight bus drivers. Calls for a ban on drivers over 130 kilograms come after a driver was seriously injured when a seat collapsed mid-trip two years ago. Diplomatic phrasing is needed with the transport authority still smarting from the on-line smacking it received over an alleged “condescending” invitation for a “Ladies Come and Try Day”.

The initiative by TC to boost the number of female drivers backfired with many on social media taking offence at the “sexist” tone of the message.

CANBERRA’S bright lights and dark nights feature prominently in Barnaby Joyce’s new autobiography “Weatherboard and Iron”. With his marriage in trouble and struggling with depression, the Nationals MP confessed to self medicating with alcohol, “carousing in Canberra’s bars” and spending “years wandering and getting closer to other women”. Joyce also reveals how “on many sleepless nights, he walked at midnight to pray at a ‘special’ rock at Red Hill above Canberra”.

TWO high-profile Canberrans joined a massive social media “people-in-glasshouses” pile-on of broadcaster Ray Hadley following news of his son’s arrest on drugs allegations. Former Immigration Department spin doctor Sandi Logan tweeted that Hadley “thinks he can influence everyone and anyone. But it’s not a radio show; it’s real life now Ray”.

And former Raiders’ “bad boy” Todd Carney asked would Hadley “have the same sympathy for an NRL player in the same situation or would he ridicule him like he was a criminal?”

IT wouldn’t be magpie swooping season without MLA and avid cyclist Mark Parton being targeted. The former radio man was surprised to cop his first swoop so early, reporting he was “got good” by a maggie on August 4 .

 

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