THE dogs had been barking that Katy Gallagher would depart the Chief Minister’s chair for a Senate seat ever since Kate Lundy resigned.Running the ACT is a hard slog and she’s done it tough since taking over from Jon Stanhope in 2011. As a mother of three, it’s not surprising that she’d prefer the somnolence of the Senate for a while.
The centennial was fun while it lasted but will only be remembered for that ghastly blow-up whale. She won an election; and with the support of successor Andrew Barr received good marks for financial management. And her buyback of 1021 Mr Fluffy homes starting this week is both sensible and timely.
Indeed, it was a rueful Ms Gallagher who noted that the Commonwealth Bank donation of a $10,000 special assistance payment to 250 affected customers was more than they’d received from the Commonwealth Government, which was running the show when it happened.
Lib Leader Jeremy Hanson called for more “flexibility” in dealing with individual victims and that might well be justified. But there’s very little political capital to be made from the issue; he’d be better advised to stick to the light rail project where the Barr government has yet to convince a dubious public. In fact, Katy’s departure might well give the new Chief Minister an excuse to abandon the tram before it runs him over.
REGULAR readers will recall last week’s adventure in the Emergency Department of the Canberra Hospital where I had to wait from midnight to 3.45am to be seen after ripping my calf on the lever of my TV chair. Ah, if only that were the end of the saga. But the redressing a few days later took a staggering two and a half hours!
However, the good news was the Chief Minister’s announcement the very next day of a $23 million upgrade for the ED! Wow. Sometimes the power of “CityNews” is just frightening.
A FOND farewell also to the Feds after what PM Tony Abbott called his “year of achievement”: the rejection of all the controversial Budget measures and the dumping of the Victorian Liberal government. No doubt the Opposition will be hoping he has another one just like it in 2015.
THREE hearty cheers for the great Wallaby forward David Pocock in his protest against the massive expansion of the Maules Creek coal mine in the Leard State Forest. Both the ARU and Brumbies coach Steve Larkham made goats of themselves by issuing “official warnings” to him. How absurd to conflate his “arrest” with police actions against other footballers for larrikin behaviour in nightclubs.
SO, let’s get this straight: Minister Rattenbury is happy to dish out free needles for Maconochie Centre prisoners to shoot up, while at the same time arresting and charging four blokes last Friday for allegedly supplying the drugs.
And in a statement this week the warders’ union, the CPSU, said its members remained “as resolute as ever” to oppose the free needle program. They have agreed to remove a provision from the enterprise agreement that requires union support before any program can be implemented. “But the program should not go ahead without the agreement of a majority of staff,” a spokesman said.
Shame, Shane, shame.