“I believe there will be a Royal Commission into Australia’s inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees,” writes JON STANHOPE
CANBERRA-raised rock star Steve Kilbey is heading back on the road with his iconic band The Church. A national tour marking the 30th anniversary of the 1988 album “Starfish” – which included the hit “Under the Milky Way” – will also take in Canberra.
Promoting the tour, the Lyneham High-educated musician told ABC TV about representing the ACT in a debating competition with NSW. Kilbey’s family billeted a member of the visiting team, a young man by the name of Malcolm Bligh Turnbull. Kilbey’s mother predicted Turnbull would one day be Prime Minister.
STILL on nostalgia and a recent newspaper report on Manuka’s changing commercial complexion (more cafes than fashion stores) has long-time locals reminiscing of the days before the strip earned the name “Rodeo Drive”.
The article reported concerns by business operators that the region had gone from a “bustling” business hub to being “neglected” by landlords and the ACT government.
Meantime, one long-term local business owner fondly recalls old Manuka as more of a “lovely village than Rodeo Drive” where “the Downtown milk bar was the place to be seen on Sundays for ice-cream and coffee” and “Le Rendezvous would be packed out for their great pizza after the Capitol Theatre’s evening session”. Locals would regularly spot Sir John Gorton out buying a paper or Manning Clark or Sir Mark Oliphant chatting with people in the street.
THE priority for rights of the individual is trumping calls for anti-consorting laws to counter a growing threat by outlaw motorcycle gangs has returned to take a giant chunk out of the Barr government’s backside. In 2014 then Attorney-General Simon Corbell insisted he would not move on anti consorting laws until the ACT could “achieve human rights compliant legislation”.
But as a violent wave of lawlessness sweeps across once quiet and safe suburbs, police say it’s only a matter of time before an innocent bystander is caught in the crossfire of a turf war involving four bikie chapters.
THE ACT’S latest recycling initiative, the Container Deposit Scheme (CDS), is already paying dividends, but not necessarily to the intended beneficiary.
Two enterprising individuals were spotted at the Mitchell Recycling Drop Off Centre loading already recycled food and drink containers into their car, presumably to recycle them all over again at one of the new CDS depots and pocket 10 cents an item. How long before a spoke is inserted into the wheel of this recycle scam?
CANBERRA’S latest radio survey would suggest ABC Radio listeners have calmed down after last year’s on-air reshuffle and returned to the fold. Michelle Ainsworth, 666’s editor, said: “The continued success is a result of the hard work the station puts in across platforms to engage with the local audience”.
Reality is the national broadcaster’s large and rusted-on Canberra radio audience didn’t go anywhere, it simply registered displeasure via a survey diary but maintained listening habits. It’s what Canberra ABC listeners do.
HAS the shifty and barefaced piece of pork barrelling become an episode of the BBC classic “Yes Minister”? The relocation of more than 170 Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority staff from Canberra to Armidale has not gone to plan. After personal trauma, staff resignations, high cost to the taxpayer and damaging political fallout, it now appears between 30 and 40 staff (including specialist scientists and “decision makers”) will stay put in the capital.
WHEN a politician calls for community consultation it invariably means they have nothing and are simply hoping the electorate will be placated by being included. Addressing accusations that a scheme by which ACT clubs must pay 8 per cent of pokies’ profits to community groups is flawed, Gaming Minister Gordon Ramsay has abdicated his duties in the typical fashion by wanting “to hear the community’s and industry’s views about what is good about the scheme, and how it could be improved or changed”.