Welsh / Alexander sets the bar for Downer

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RESIDENTS of the inner-northern suburb of Downer can apparently take some pride in a tenuous link to the building of our great nation.

Mike Welsh
Mike Welsh.

The suburb is named for former SA Premier Sir John Downer, grandfather of Alexander Downer. After his daughter Georgina Downer’s defeat in the Mayo by-election, former Howard government foreign minister Alexander arrogantly reminded an apparently ignorant, ungrateful electorate that “our family have been nation builders. We’ve helped make this nation great”.

“Immortal” Mal Meninga.

ANOTHER frustrating and fruitless season for the Canberra Raiders received some respite with the elevation of Mal Meninga to “Immortal” status and coach Ricky Stuart’s installation into NRL’s Hall of Fame. With planning for Mad Monday already well advanced, Stuart – who was informed of his inclusion only hours before the official announcement – told Fairfax media: “I was honoured to be a part of the 25 nominees so you can imagine how I feel to be now accepted and part of the Hall of Fame. It blew me away this morning, I was thrilled”. The dual international joins Raiders legends Bradley Clyde, Laurie Daley, Glenn Lazarus, Steve Walters and Meninga in the elite number.

MEANTIME, retiring ABC sports journalist Tim Gavel has pleaded with Raiders’ fans, particularly those who choose social media to vent after a loss, to “get behind” Ricky Stuart. Gavel said Stuart “takes losses harder than anybody I have seen in 30 years of covering sport in Canberra. I get the impression he takes it personally, such is his competitive nature”.

STILL on standing up for those under the pump and Eden-Monaro MP Mike Kelly has jumped to the defence of colleague Lindsay MP Emma Hussar. But the former soldier may be wishing he’d kept his powder dry a little longer as allegations of “misbehaviour” against Ms Husar continue to mount. Kelly told Sky News that he had “no issue” with the single mother of three using her staff to help “juggle life as a Federal politician”, suggesting it was “a small price to pay for having a truly representative democracy and facilitating the ability of women to participate in our parliament”.

No expense spared.

NO expense has seemingly been spared in Transport Canberra’s campaign to sell the “new, more frequent and reliable public transport network”, about “to reshape the way Canberrans move around the city”.

An A4 page in a plastic sleeve, poorly gaffer-taped to a bus stop seat at Higgins appears to be part of the comprehensive “public consultation” process. The flimsy flyer says: “Transport Canberra is proposing that this bus stop at 36 Kinsella Street would not be used in 2019”.

TRANSPORT Canberra has already encountered strong resistance to its proposed new schedule from many residents of impacted suburbs but is yet to feel the wrath of the Friends of Hawker Village. The group, born from a successful campaign preventing the government selling Hawker’s shopping centre car park to developers in 2009, has become a formidable lobbying unit. The group says TC’s proposal to combine Routes 44 and 17 means Hawker residents – unable to catch a direct service to Jamison – will have to endure a lengthy trip to Kippax.

LARGE numbers of excited locals reportedly queued for hours at the opening of Japanese haberdashers MUJI in the Monaro Mall. The attraction? Apparently the retailer’s point of difference is its sustainable range of “no-brand quality goods” on offer that are designed to last longer. An example offered; MUJI’s towels have multiple seams so they can be cut down from a bath towel to a bath mat to a dusting cloth.

STILL on quality manchester, I received an email last week from Deputy Leader of the Federal Opposition Tanya Plibersek offering me the chance to win a limited-edition Medicare tea towel signed by former PM Bob Hawke. The rub is, if I donate $20 I will go into the draw to win the tea towel.

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Mike Welsh
Mike Welsh is a serial blogger and former Canberra radio presenter.

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