Welsh / Deft Barilaro steers the Barnaby problem away

WHILE Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un’s flesh pressing hogged international headlines some deft diplomacy was playing out closer to home.

Mike Welsh

Mike Welsh.

NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro successfully negotiated with headline hogger Barnaby Joyce to give the party’s state conference a miss. The member for Monaro demonstrated dexterous diplomacy by not only removing a very large pachyderm from a room of angry Nationals but also tactfully giving Joyce a strong hint on his political future. The NSW Deputy Premier says he wasn’t calling for Joyce’s resignation but suggesting he “take a break and make a decision when he is in a better place”.

STILL on Barnaby with his “warts ‘n all” autobiography “Weatherboard & Iron” due out in August; will the dumped Deputy PM break the unwritten “what happens in Canberra” law and dump on his colleagues’ sexual shenanigans? Given Joyce’s television “tell-all” flopped, publishers New Holland know while sex sells very few political tomes do.

AFTER more than three decades in journalism, my first reaction to witnessing six or seven AFP officers frisking a skinny, pimply faced teenager in Civic at lunchtime was to get out my mobile phone and record proceedings.

But the lengthy threatening stare I copped from one of the officers gave me the distinct impression – even from a distance – that my attention was not appreciated.

Later I overheard a member of the public inquire as to whether “it was a busy day?”

“Nah, just the usual stuff,” was a courteous constable’s reply.

THERE was much excitement and smug in-house back-slapping out Mitchell way as the first LRV (light rail vehicle) “pulled out at midnight” (actually, it was dragged out) to begin months of track testing of the route.

It’s not the Orient Express, nor does the network’s Mitchell home resemble Harry Potter’s platform at Kings Cross station, but an opportunity for image makers to create a “romance of rail travel” to counter negative news that builders were way behind schedule was missed. Perhaps a public competition for a cheesy Country & Western song is in order?

THERE are plenty of people suggesting former Canberra FM breakfast announcer Tanya Hennessy may have a bright future as an author.

Hennessy’s debut “Am I Doing This Right?” is trending across social media attracting glowing reports since its release. Hennessy, now based in Sydney from where she does her nationally syndicated weekend radio show, HAD returned to the capital to promote the book.

CANBERRA pastor David McDonald (profiled in “CN”, November 8, 2017) celebrated his 50th birthday in August 2012, a milestone doctors had told him he would not reach.

The previous December the founder of Crossroads Christian Church and part-time Brumbies chaplain was diagnosed with inoperable, stage-four lung cancer and given just months to live. “Macca” has just notched up five years NED (no evidence of disease), has witnessed two of his four children marry and met his three grandchildren.

A libber or a lobber?

IT’S been many years since I first skidded across the baseline of the Invermay Catholic Tennis Club’s clay courts, home to the legendary mid-week Catholic women’s mixed doubles tennis tournaments. But I’m pretty sure none of the girls, mostly named Joan and Maureen, looked and played like the ace portrayed on an advertising A-frame at the Deakin shops. Whether she’s a libber or a lobber is difficult to tell given the radical footwork she’s adopting.

AFP statistics suggest Canberra motorists may finally be getting the message on the threatening and dangerous traffic practice of tailgating. By the end of May police had cautioned 23 tailgaters and issued TINS (traffic infringement notices) to 16 others. Last year 94 tailgaters were warned and 88 fined, which obviously makes the severe tailgating I experienced from a boneheaded moron, angry with my driving to the conditions (thick fog and darkness) for half of William Hovell Drive, an aberration!


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