Canberra Confidential / Take me to your leader…

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Shane Rattenbury.
Shane Rattenbury.
THE ACT election race has clearly started. Stand by for months of attention-seeking “photo ops” of pollies in hard hats and high-viz vests… but they’re all so last poll, as Greens minister-cum-candidate Shane Rattenbury lifts the bar with this dashing bee-keeper’s suit.  

Are we there yet?

WITH the launch of the Capital Metro 25-year master plan for trams, trams, trams everywhere, the Environment and Planning Directorate has launched a Light Rail Network Survey, inviting community feedback and comments until December 11. What’s the rush, wonders CC?

So we had a go at it, despite a comment to dismissing it as “an utterly dishonest survey! The options all assume that the respondent is in favour of light rail”.

Ms Luxxikins is right, there doesn’t seem to be much opportunity to say you don’t like light rail.

But we loved the last question: “How far would you walk or cycle to a tram or bus stop?”

The option buttons started benignly with 200 metres, 500 metres and even 1000 metres. Then it jumped to 15,000 metres or more. That’s 15 kilometres… to the tram/bus stop! Obviously, this is to ensure people of Tuggeranong won’t feel left out, at least for the first 20 years.

Bring your moustache

MOVEMBER bristle is in the air as the month starts another moustache-driven, fund-raising push for charities dedicated to improving men’s health.

Civic publican Peter Barclay is celebrating a dedicated decade of fostering King O’Malley’s Irish Pub as the “Home of Movember” in Canberra.

And on Friday, November 27, King O’Malley’s will host an end-of-Movember celebration, with “food and drink discounts for anyone with a moustache”. Anyone? Gals, too?

Bruce is back!

IN NZ, or wherever it is they edit “The Canberra Times” these days, Bruce Billson is still Federal Minister for Small Business, despite having been given the chop weeks ago by incoming PM Malcolm Turnbull.

For there he was, coffee in hand and captioned in front of Parliament House, oddly illustrating a puff story on the “Times” app about how Canberra business confidence was topping the nation.

Poetic justice for Jack

POETRY looms large at Caroline Chisholm School with year 7 Jack Hughes winning the Best Secondary School Poem in the national Red Room Poetry Object competition, a free poetry writing competition for Australian and NZ students in Years 3-10.

Created in 2011, the project invites young writers and their teachers to submit poems inspired by objects that are special to them.

This year 160 schools from every Australian state and territory as well as NZ participated with more than 2560 poems submitted and published online.

Jack won the prize for his poem “Under the Covers”:

My bed takes me through the wonderlands

like a bullet train on a busy night. It disconnects me

from the world. What feels like 30 seconds

is actually 12 hours. Where I am

I know. Where I was

is a mystery. So I drive on,

drive on for tomorrow and wake up

at the beginning of it all.

And the Chisholm school struck again when Annalise Pippard won the “Best Teacher Poem” with her work “Runaway”:

Janis Joplin cries a smoky goodbye

and I turn towards South Head

a wannabe neo-feminist montage

with fast car and wild hair

the red-lit city and the ocean’s

deep maternal belly my new frontier.

I bought the necklace myself

a simulacrum for all girls who get out

before they lose their mind.

Years later I wear it and I’m back

on the road with nothing left to lose.

Goodbye driving

AUSTRALIAN futurist and digital expert Chris Riddell sees three changes that, he says, will really happen for the public in the next five years. The first will send a chill down the spine of Canberra’s tram plotters:  

“In five years’ time, nobody will have a driver’s licence. You will be able to buy your own driverless cars within the next 3-5 years in Australia. Our children will never use a steering wheel and drink driving will be a thing of the past,” he says.

“Secondly, nobody will have mobile phones… The future will have mobile devices and chips built into our clothes and even our bodies.

“While, thirdly, wearable tech gets more intelligent and healthcare tech means we live longer. Wearable devices will become smarter and will share information with your doctors, healthcare providers and insurance companies in realtime… Expect to live longer, and work longer, too! “When your body organs start breaking down, 3D printing allows you to just create a new one, right there and there.”  


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