Rewards loom for a likely murderer

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Robert Macklin
Robert Macklin

SO let me get this straight: Judge Brian Martin is “fairly certain that [Eastman] is guilty of the murder”. He’s clearly unbalanced. He has been in jail for 19 years without meaningful psychiatric treatment. So now he should be released into the community and paid a king’s ransom in compensation.

Have I got that right?


ALREADY the “debt and deficit” boys are in full cry over Andrew Barr’s Budget. Makes you wonder whether they’d prefer their national capital fell into recession.

The stamp duty relief should help the first home buyers and the Abbott/Hockey Budget will probably push prices down too – good for the youngsters, but not so great for those hundreds of retrenched public servants who want to relocate to Tuross.


PITY it’s taking so long to get international services into our nice little airport. Seems Katy and Andrew have been wooing Singapore and NZ which are really small beer. Truth is, China is the big growth area and as I learned this week, the Chinese are attracted by the prospect of a visit to the national capital rather than those less prestigious other cities. Cop that, Sydney!


AMAZING scenes this week in the tottering Abbott Government with Education Minister, “Prissy Chrissie” Pyne and Treasurer Joe Hockey demanding that students pay their HECS fees from the grave… only to discover half an hour later that their Oxford boxing blue boss had thrown in the towel.

However, the National Tertiary Education Union revealed that among the living, it is women who will suffer most from the HECS reforms. An accountancy degree, for example, with an initial cost of $30,000 would mean repayments of $120,000 for graduates who take time off to have children and then work part time.


AND this from Joseph Benedict Hockey, named by his dad, the longtime treasurer of the ALP’s Willoughby branch, after his hero Joseph Benedict Chifley. No wonder the young Joe was at the barricades protesting a $250 administration fee as being “suicidal for student welfare”. Oh Joe, you’re all class.


GOOD to see Senator Kate Lundy taking the Turnbull trashing of the NBN to task in Senate Estimates this week. It will now, it seems, be confined to small sections of our city. And Katy Gallagher’s admirable wi-fi network for the town centres announced this week simply highlights the whole dog’s breakfast.


THE light rail debate hotted up with Lib Deputy Leader Alistair Coe warning it will cost megabucks and Simon Corbell berating critics for thinking “what’s in it for me?”

“The challenge is to say what’s in it for Canberra,” he thundered. Too true, Simon… and the answer is?


SO, the Norfolk Islanders – who vote in the seat of Canberra – have once again bluffed the Feds. The law requires them to pay their taxes and accept the High Court ruling that they’re Australian. Instead, the Abbott Government went to water, doled out another $7.5 million to save the 2300 islanders from total bankruptcy… while the tourists stay away in droves.


THEN there was the pensioner who paid her $7 and said: “Doctor, help me. I keep thinking I’m getting smaller.” The GP smiled. “Well,” he said, “you’ll just have to be a little patient.”


robert@robertmacklin.com

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Robert Macklin
Journalist and author. Contact robert@robertmacklin.com

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