Welsh / Mike predicts draining of the press gallery swamp

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AMID the frenzied speculation and ubiquitous “expert” commentary on the Fairfax-Nine merger’s impact, one veteran scribe quickly cut to the chase.

Mike Welsh
Mike Welsh.

Former Fairfax columnist Mike Carlton has predicted something akin to a “draining of the Canberra swamp” as first order of business. The author, former ABC journalist and commercial radio man speculates a dozen jobs will disappear from the press gallery, tweeting that “the Nine chainsaw will hack first and hard in Canberra. They won’t be keeping separate press gallery bureaux for the SMH, The Age, Nine News and the Macquarie radio network”.

THERE would appear to be two types of “human rights” on offer to humans of the ACT. Despite a government minister assuring me in 2003 that the government applied zero tolerance to human trafficking of sex workers here, the abject misery of sex slavery continues. Raids on two Fyshwick brothels, following many over recent years, uncovered five sex workers found to be here illegally and possibly, as is often the case, against their will.

WORD from around the traps is, with the spread of outlaw motorcycle gangs across the border comes the demise of small “local” dope dealers. It’s a similar scenario to the supermarket caper where Coles and Woolies snuff out competition from suburban grocers. Little chance the Barr government will do much about the practice. Its “rigid” supermarket competition policy, designed to protect small suburban operators from predatory behaviour of the giants, was allowed to quietly die in 2013.

Canberra musician Harry “the mosh monster” Carman… Mayor of the Splendour in the Grass festival.

A WEEK in politics is said to be a long time but a weekend as an elected representative at a music festival can be empowering and fun. Canberra musician Harry “the mosh monster” Carman enjoyed three days of “lording it over” around 30,000 punters as Triple J’s Mayor of the Splendour in the Grass festival near Byron Bay. The 21-year-old (also known as “the blonde yahoo from Amaroo”) scored 57.1% of the popular vote to win the right to wear the “red cape”. Carman said he “enjoyed being recognised” and was also “super proud of the thousands of Canberrans who partied hard” at the annual festival.

AT least one locally based, national, male sporting team is enjoying success and doing so with the help of a female coach. AFLW reporter Sarah Black cheekily tweeted: “Canberra is top of the NEAFL ladder for the first time in its history. Had only won 11 games in its previous three seasons. Also happens to be the team AFLW premiership coach Bec Goddard has joined as an assistant coach.” Canberra Demon’s highly respected coach Kade Klemke may also have had a hand in getting the local lads to the top.

STILL in the twittersphere and one of Canberra’s busiest practitioners of the medium has made a splash at the expense of the Prime Minister. Richard Tuffin adroitly nudged along a “Guardian” article featuring Malcolm Turnbull masticating a meat pie… with a knife and fork. Tiffin’s post, which has been retweeted 60 times and scored 6000 impressions, also reveals “Mr Harbourside Mansion’s” preference for the popular “struggle street” brew piccolo.

AN update on the recovery from a serious fall by Canberra theatre stalwart Coralie Wood. She is now floating in a rehabilitation pool instead of her favoured foyer. The legendary Wood, subject of Marya Glyn-Daniel’s 2006 biography “Floating in Foyers”, says she is doing “all the things I loathe” including swimming, as part of her rehabilitation at her son’s home in Melbourne. Wood says she is almost back to normal and plans to return to Canberra soon.

AN inner-north, open-air, community library destroyed by vandals has been quickly replenished. The O’Connor/Lyneham “little” library on the grasslands near Miller Street was back in business within 24 hours of fire destroying a small fridge filled with donated books. Locals have donated another fridge and cleaned up the site, which now also boasts a hutch overflowing with donated books.


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

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