Welsh / Meegan’s Calvary probe may be too little, too late

“The Gungahlin Jets AFL club hadn’t won a match since August 2016 and singing the club song was slightly awkward, but should become more familiar as the season unfolds,” writes Seven Days columnist MIKE WELSH

ACT Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris’ probe into systemic bullying at Calvary Hospital will be seen by many as too little too late.

Mike Welsh

Mike Welsh.

During my time on Canberra talk-back radio, bullying across the entire ACT health sector was the single most dominating issue.

Just two of the scores of horrendous bullying and intimidation stories shared with me include a former ACT Health staffer who won her Comcare claim but “would not advise anyone to go through the process” as the compensation fight left her permanently damaged.

And another, who went to the roof of the Canberra Hospital planning to end her life, described the administration as the “most evil and corrupt maintainers of the status quo” she’d ever dealt with.

AN old cliche was being tossed around out Gungahlin way recently. After last winning a game of football in August 2016 it has indeed been a long time between drinks for the Gungahlin Jets AFL club.

With a new coach, Belconnen champion John Love at the helm and a dozen players debuting, the Jetters finally broke through in the opening round of the new season with a 22-point win over the Tuggeranong Hawks. Apparently, singing the club song was slightly awkward but should become more familiar as the season unfolds.

A GUNGAHLIN restaurant is way ahead of the war-on-waste curve. Frankies at Forde is committed to saving an estimated 45,000 disposable coffee cups from landfill annually. Owner Mark Ramsay says apart from an outlet at the ANU, Frankies is the only café-bar of its type in Canberra and one of the very few nationwide to adopt the concept. Ramsay says locals have “overwhelmingly embraced” the “keepcup” concept.

FORMER Liberal Party leader Brendan Nelson has racked up some serious bipartisan credibility as director of the Australian War Memorial, but a recent initiative has dragged him back into the reality of politics.

The former Howard government Defence Minister who also once headed the left-leaning AMA has drawn negative fire after calling for recognition for military personnel involved in the Abbott government’s “stopping the boats” campaign. Nelson is pushing for a dedicated section of the AWM honouring those who took part in the border-protection missions.

ACT Minister for Veterans and Seniors Gordon Ramsay laid a special rainbow wreath at the Stone of Remembrance on Anzac Day. Extending the rainbow roundabout theme established in Braddon after the “Yes” vote, the Barr government partnered with Defence LGBTI information services to honour diversity among our defence forces.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro has referenced an incompetent but lovable buffoon from a TV cartoon in urging people to “move with the times” in the nuclear debate. The state Nationals leader and member for Monaro opted for a “not ruling in or out” stance on nuclear reactors for the region after recently attending the Advanced Reactor Summit in Atlanta, Georgia.

Barilaro said nuclear power was “inevitable” and was keen to “debunk some of the myths tied to nuclear” and move on from the “fears after events like Chernobyl and Fukushima”. The MP flippantly added: “This isn’t Homer Simpson driving the power plant.”

APPARENTLY, we have our very own right royal doppelganger. And a very contemporary one at that. Since the daily paper spotted a Meghan Markle look-alike waiting tables at a Belconnen café, the world of showbiz has been calling the 28-year-old.

Stephanie Murray says she’s often been compared with the soon-to-be-royal but the recent exposure has been intense. Requests from most Australian TV networks and a call from a European talent agency with offers of commercial endorsements are flowing in.

AND lingering in the celebrity spotlight for a little longer, there is a young Canberra man who is deemed a dead ringer for the Oscar-winning actor Ryan Gosling. Sadly though for this local lad La La Land is not knocking down his door with the same offers reportedly swamping Meghan Markle’s Canberra “twin” Stephanie.

 

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