CANBERRANS traversing the soon-to-be-high-rise corridor we used to know as Northbourne Avenue now have their first glimpse of the Labor government’s promised “urban meadow” as the surreptitious logging of the median-strip tramway carries on regardless of our pre-election sensibilities.
Another 40 are for the lopper, this time the explanation is as a result of the recent wet weather and windy conditions with those loveable tree-huggers Canberra Metro targetting 17 in the median between Antill Street and Macarthur Avenue to be felled as soon as possible.
Reader Suzanne Mitchell, of Lyneham, wrote in gentle sorrow to us the other day.
“I hope that motorists are sparing a few seconds as they pace up and down Northbourne Avenue to appreciate the beauty of the eucalypts (that will disappear if light rail comes),” she says.
“In full bloom at the moment [are] the parchment-coloured blossoms weighing down the branches like snow. They are magnificent this year. Are they trying to reproduce now their future is uncertain?
“I want to grumble about what has already happened in the first block from Mouat to Murdoch Streets; one lonely eucalypt survives. All the others went under the cover of darkness.
“I looked with sadness that the tree near the plaque to someone who lost their life on the crossing some years ago has gone, too; the yellow sunflowers taped to a pipe suffices.”
Interest piqued, CC drove the avenue and she’s right. There on the Braddon-Turner border is a wide section completely denuded of trees, save for the sawdust and mulch covering the spots where the eucalypts used to be.
Get stuffed, Josh!
MEANWHILE Kingston Foreshore resident Trish Burritt spent time and $108 dealing with maintenance issues caused by Kurrajong Labor candidate Josh Ceramidas’ 20-page, thick booklet “telling us his life story” stuffed in her “No Junk Mail” letterbox.
“Apart from the impact on the environment of the use of expensive, good-quality paper for this purpose, his need to tell me his life story by stuffing literature in the box jammed the mechanism and caused even the locksmith difficulty opening the postbox to repair the lock!
“When I tried to tell ‘my story’ about the subsequent $108 bill, with an email to Ceramidas and a call to the ACT Labor Party headquarters, nobody responded to my frustration with even an apology!
“We have had weeks of mailbox dropping of political material. Why do the candidates not respect the fact that, unless something is posted with a resident’s name, it is classified as ‘junk mail’ and is not welcome?”
RATEPAYER Denise Page wrote to Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury in response to a letterbox drop he made around Yarralumla inviting residents to let him “know their thoughts”.
So she did, fuming about the “deplorable” state of her local shops – overflowing garbage, poor footpaths, broken seating – before questioning the value of the tram and the morality of signing a contract so close to the election.
“Canberra has been my husband’s and my home for 47 years, a city we love, but a city that is increasingly seeing less services including trees not trimmed, grass not mowed, gutters not cleaned, roads in a bad state and a sad shocking statistic of over 2000 homeless.”
Shane clearly wasn’t so keen to know her thoughts. She emailed him on Saturday, April 2, and still no reply.
Gone with the wind
IT’S dog-eat-dog out there on the hustings as candidates battle daily with the Great Corflute Caper.
In Yerrabi, independent Labor candidate Deepak-Raj Gupta has had 500 of his 600 signs hammered into the highways and byways of the Gungahlin electorate. He drove around the other night to find only 50 still in place. Who’s nicking them, political foes or competitors on the Labor ticket? Deepak’s not saying beyond: “They’ve gone with the wind.”
Kula goes the Long way
UNFLAPPABLE, affable independent Labor aspirant for Murrumbidgee, Mark Kulasingham, told a constituent on Facebook that he’d had more than 120 of his signs go missing in the last two weeks, confessing: “I’m not sure of their real effectiveness, anyhow”. Given he only started with a couple of hundred, his theory will be tested soon enough.
“Kula” is also using humour to get elected. His latest cheeky tickle on Facebook is at the expense of his fellow candidate Brendan Long. He has adapted Brendan’s “Vote Labor, Vote Long” sign to say vote for the guy with the long surname.
Steve for Topspot?
LIBERAL candidate and sitting MLA Steve Doszpot, who has also been enduring lost, defaced and damaged ground-level signage, lifted his campaign to a new height with a sign that says “Vote 1 DOSZPOT for TOPSPOT” which is out of reach (and largely out of sight) above his local shops at Yarralumla. And we thought he was standing for Kurrajong!
Tell them they’re dreamin’
AS one wag said: “What planet is this policy orbiting?” He was referring to the ACT Greens’ announcement of stimulating affordable accommodation for the 40,000 households in the rental market via a strangely titled, non-profit, property manager called HomeGround Real Estate. Housing policy spokesperson Veronica Wensing says: “HomeGround will increase the supply of affordable rental homes in Canberra by facilitating landlords who want to rent out their properties below market rates.”
Anyone prepared to rent their negatively geared properties for less-than-market-value should form a neat queue behind Greens leader Shane Rattenbury.
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Ian Meikle, editor