Canberra Confidential: Elton’s back

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ELTON John is back in Canberra for the weekend late next month when Dendy screens “The Million Dollar Piano”, a live show filmed at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, where Sir Elt and his band are currently performing a season.

Elton John
Elton John

However, star of the show is arguably the garish, custom-built Yamaha piano, which features more than 68 LED video screens. Bookings for the three screenings on March 22-23 to

No Joy in punting tips

The mysterious, though devastatingly accurate, Braddon Punters Club is setting odds of 5/2 on a ministerial change to the ACT Education portfolio this year, with incumbent Joy Burch being tipped out of the job. Likewise, they are listing the same odds for lone Greens minister Shane Rattenbury moving out of the TAMS portfolio (to Education?).

Given Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has announced a sixth ACT ministry and a probable reshuffle in July the narrow odds are probably unsurprising.

They’re also tipping 4/1 on Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson facing a challenge.

The club precisely predicted the last ACT election result and picked the winner in the recent Governor General Stakes.

Nationally, this year they’re saying former Liberal Senator Gary Humphries has a 3/1 chance of being appointed a Territorial Administrator; they’ve given Barnaby Joyce a 5/1 chance of taking the leadership of the National Party and a 20/1 chance of a double dissolution.

Mum’s the word

FIRST there was Mark and Lisa, then there was Cam and Lisa and now there’s Lachlan and Lisa! Canberra’s former breakfast radio livewire and “CityNews” columnist Lisa Ridgley is now the proud mum to son Lachlan James, born Australia Day and weighing in at just a shade over three kilograms. Daniel Box is the happy daddy.

‘Prevelent’ problem

VINCENT Mawson, of Higgins, wrote sniffily to correctly point out that in last week’s full-page interview with Leonardo DiCaprio there was a misspelling of the word prevalent. What is amazing is that the story came from a reputable London magazine where it had already been edited, then sub-edited and read locally four times before we published it and still a troublesome little vowel let us down. Oh, how we try!

Passing Presleys

ELVIS will have left the building by the time daughter (and momentary wife of Michael Jackson) Lisa Marie Presley and her band perform at the Southern Cross Club on Sunday, March 23. The successful photo exhibtion of the King’s pre-cheeseburger years, “Elvis at 21”, decamps from the National Portrait Gallery on March 10. So close to the photo opp of the year…

Obstacle course

ON Monday ran a story, with photographs, wondering who was keeping an eye on public safety as the Multicultural Festival’s white tents were rapidly dismantled throughout Civic’s busy walking areas, noting that the dismantlers appeared to follow a systematic process that involved leaving various parts of the infrastructure lying around, presumably for other workers to come along later.

“This leaves pedestrians in some areas weaving through an obstacle course, avoiding various hazards like sharp pieces of metal tubing, piles of heavy wood and metal poles and a whole range of things to trip over,” the report said.

Not, us, says Barlens Event Hire marketing manager Trea McNamara, who told CC that, after 12 years, the Government bumped the locally owned company for a Sydney outfit until 2016.

“At Barlens, we pride ourselves on our attention to detail and commitment to safety,” Trea virtuously trumpets.

Spot the sign

HERE’S a nice little earner for Katy’s coffers… the almost invisible disabled car spot in the group of four that keeps catching drivers in the London Circuit carpark opposite Bailey’s Arcade. The signs are lost to view behind tree leaves and the

The disabled car park.
The disabled car park.

ground signage, unlike others in the carpark, are barely visible. Apart from being shamefully unfair on parkers, the fine is north of 200 coconuts. We know that because snapper Gary Schafer got bagged the other day. He’s going to appeal, with photos, of course.


DON’T mention the war…. The irrepressible and unpredictable Fringe Festival director Jorian Gardner, in his time-honoured tradition of surprise, announced to the opening night audience, within earshot of Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Office of Multicultural Affairs chief Nick Manikis, that the Fringe would be back on Civic Square for the next five years. Trick or treat? CC’s arts snout saw a few eyebrows rising.

PIERRE the Lair, who leaps on us from a great height when our gramma or speling lets us down, sent this from the The Australia Institute: “George has appeared as a barrister in the High Court in some of the most important constitutional law cases of the past two decades, including on freedom of speech, freedom from racial discrimination and asylum seekers and the rule of law.”

“Freedom from asylum seekers and the rule of law sounds interesting,” he muses. “I seem to remember a ‘comma, comma, and’ rule.”

THEN there’s the inner-south, private-school teenager who injured his hand at cricket practice last week. Staff thoughtfully helped him and his cricket equipment into his car and left him to drive home in pain and with one hand! Duty of care, anyone?

“HEAT fails to phase multicultural festival crowd,” reports an unfazed

AND reader Julia Pedler says that having given the Multicultural Festival a miss in 2013, “appalled at the lack of rubbish collection when I was at the event in 2012 and sent a message to the organisers”, she sends us a photo and them a

Bins at the Multicultural Festival.
Bins at the Multicultural Festival.

raspberry for nothing has changed in 2014. “Surely there is no excuse for this situation that, to me, reflects poor organisation,” she grumbles.

IT’S Random Act of Kindness Week (until February 16), which surely makes those acts of kindness a little less random.

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