Another “Seven Days”, another week in the life of Canberra captured by columnist MIKE WELSH.
TWO Canberra nuns walk into a bar… lost and looking for directions.
MGL (Missionaries of God’s Love) sisters Therese Mills and Judy Bowe saw an opportunity to evangelise the world by flying around it in a reality TV program.
The duo’s godly globetrotting generated plenty of publicity, much of it , predictably, peppered with a large number of “habit” puns. The Catholic news site “CathNews”, predicted: “Australian television is about to become a whole lot holier with two religious sisters competing in ‘The Amazing Race Australia’.”
Despite the pair’s humble boast of having “the Big Fella on our side”, episode two saw them eliminated.
MEMBER for Monaro John Barilaro is spoiling for a blue on both sides of the border.
The NSW Nationals leader challenged Federal colleagues to raise the NewStart allowance, threatened to rip up the Murray-Darling Basin plan, then fuelled rumours that the member for Eden Monaro Mike Kelly was leaving politics.
The NSW Deputy Premier used a visit to Queanbeyan by Labor state leader Jodi McKay to nudge Dr Kelly, suggesting McKay “stood out the front of Mike Kelly’s office and announced his resignation. She’s retiring him like a broken-down racehorse”.
RAIDERS coach Ricky Stuart is not one to hold back on post-game thoughts, especially after a controversial loss. But the Queanbeyan-bred champion has only just broken his silence on the Green Machine’s heartbreaking October 6 Grand Final loss to the Roosters.
Stuart told the “Daily Telegraph’s” Buzz Rothfield he was initially “shattered” by the 14-8 defeat, confessing: “You don’t lose that in a few weeks, but it’s a hurt that motivates me”.
Meantime the Raiders 2020 campaign is full on. A double header with the Brumbies is scheduled for Auckland’s Eden Park in March. And the 2019 NRL runners-up will feature in extra free-to-air TV games, meaning extra revenue for the Bruce-based club, and travel to Perth and several regional towns in a season seeing them travel an estimated 40,000kms.
BIG political hitters from the conservative team have gone into bat for Canberran Jim Molan’s return to the Senate. But there are reportedly some within the party who are less enthusiastic after Molan supporters’ questionable tactics.
Broadcaster Alan Jones joined Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former PM John Howard in urging the NSW party to get behind the retired army major-general’s campaign to return to the Senate via the casual vacancy created by Arthur Sinodinos accepting a diplomatic post in Washington.
A month after the May poll the “Sydney Morning Herald” reported: “The Liberal Party is conducting a secret investigation into sitting member Jim Molan’s rogue re-election campaign which could lead to disciplinary action against him and his acolytes”. The article reported supporters “asked voters to disobey Liberal how-to-vote cards, instead voting below the line in support of Senator Molan”.
THE ACT Greens have challenged an election campaign staple; roadside advertising. Caroline Le Couteur, the party’s democracy spokesperson, wants a ban placed on all roadside election advertising in the lead up to the 2020 poll. According to the MLA: “For many Canberrans roadside electoral signs are supremely annoying and distracting”. And after the election “we can only assume most of these end up going straight into landfill.”
FORMER Labor MLA Meegan Fitzharris has scored a new gig. Four months after her shock “personal” decision to leave the Assembly, triggered by a “desire to better balance my family life”, Fitzharris will join the ANU. Judging by the effusive tone of a media release announcing Fitzharris’ appointment as a senior fellow in Health and Leadership, it appears she’s tailor made for the role. Dean of the uni’s College of Health and Medicine Prof Russell Gruen said: “I was deeply impressed with Meegan as a minister, so I am delighted she is joining ANU”.
AND the “Bubble” tweet of the week goes to Leo D’Angelo Fisher who encapsulated the prevailing mood: “’getting on with the job’ is fast becoming a Canberra euphemism for ‘we’re doing bugger all’.”