Canberra Confidential: Sharing a secret with Jamie

OOH, “CC” loves secrets and a secret assignation with glamorous gardener-to-the-stars Jamie Durie is likely to set some knees trembling with excitement.

If so, it’s yours to win, albeit with a handful of other hopefuls at an exclusive cocktail party in a secret location on September 15. Jamie’s here for the Floriade curtain-up and to spruik his landscaping for the Observatory Living estate at Molonglo Valley’s first suburb of Wright. Just  “like” the Observatory Living Facebook page at, post your favourite photo of a Canberra landscape and Jamie will do the rest.

Electoral roll?

NOT the most edifying picture of the Chief Minister on the hustings but while the body-language boffins could write a thesis, Katy Gallagher assumed the lone Chiko double-handed grip while finding pre-poll time to share one of the iconic deep-fried rolls with grimacing MIX 106.3 brekkie show personality Biggzy, left, and Chiko Girl Amy Pinheiro, seemingly in her office at, the clock suggests, 3.37 in the afternoon.
Forsaking the safety of the fluoro jackets and hard hats, so beloved of campaigning pollies, the Labor leader found herself in the middle of a commercial promotion so contrived “CC” hasn’t the stomach to explain. What are her minders thinking?

Someone about Mary

POWER couple Ian De Landelles and Ginninderra Labor MLA Mary Porter were at the Tony Campbell Race Memorial Cup race day lunch at Thoroughbred Park where Mr D scored a door prize of a $100 ACTAB voucher. Something for pecuniary register, Ian? No, he said, it would all be gone by afternoon’s end. De Landelles, whose day job is in the ACT public service, is sharing his hard-earned dosh around at the moment. Over a fortnight, to the end of last month, according to the ACT Elections’ website he donated, in four different bursts, a total of $2400 to those managing his wife’s re-election.

Pox on plasma

RETIRED pro-snowboarder Chad Kolcze wants to see kids away from the screen and actively taking part in life. In an example-setting crusade against the pox of plasma, he is skateboarding from Parliament House to Thredbo in seven days to raise awareness of childhood obesity and illiteracy. Chad plans to arrive in Thredbo by Sunday, September 9, on the way stopping off at schools to promote his healthy living and literacy messages to primary school students. The Byron Bay local, who is dyslexic, says he took up the challenge because he believes “we should be encouraging our kids to spend less sedentary time in front of the [TV] screen. I’m all for more pushing, less plasma.”

Arcade of echoes

JUST two shops remain inside the ghostly-empty Centrepoint arcade. Once a bustling, city-centre precinct, these days the arcade echoes with empty shops and barely a soul in sight. But the last two survivors, beauty spa Elegance and hair salon African Look, insist customers are still filing through their doors and that they are “very busy”, saying they will stay put in Centrepoint and have no plans to leave.

Flint in the awards

MURRUMBATEMAN’S celebrated Flint in the Vines restaurant, located at the equally celebrated Shaw winery, has snaffled the Best Restaurant in a Winery and Best Tourism Restaurant titles at the Southern NSW  2012 Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Awards. Flintster Jai Dawson says the gongs help with “gaining exposure for the area”.

Pickpocketing begins

WHILE you wait for the ACT Government’s June Budget’s bite on rates and utility charges to get a firm grip on your wallet, the pickpocketing in the city’s carparks (the ones we all own) has started. Around on London Circuit, for example, the all-day parking rate has jumped by $1.50 (or 2.14 Tosolinis take-away cappuccinos a week) from $12 to $13.50. Who wouldn’t love to be a business that can bang its prices up 12.5 per cent – five times what the private sector can get away with – in a year?

Dwight on, partner

COUNTRY music star Dwight Yoakam (who really lives in Los Angeles) is playing Canberra in November with a ho-down at the AIS Arena on November 15. Apparently, the promoter would have you believe, the name Dwight Yoakam invokes images of a cowboy hat with the brim pulled low and blue-jeans tight enough to ensure the cowboy crooner has sold 25 million albums with hits such as “Honky Tonk Man”, “I Sang Dixie” and “It Only Hurts When I Cry”. Tickets on sale September 14.

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