Designer shoebox scare locks down Braddon!

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Got ya!… a bomb squad officer with the innocent shoebox that brought part of Braddon to a standstill. Photo: Mike Welsh

Bomb scares, protests and attacking magpies… another big Canberra week for MIKE WELSH’s “Seven Days” column.

A DESIGNER-label shoebox forced a part of Braddon to be locked down on Thursday.

Police were called in after the “suspicious” package was delivered to a Department of Agriculture office in Mort Street, between Girrahween and Elouera Streets.

After more than 90 minutes of delicate examination and dexterous unpacking by bomb squad officers, the Vans box was declared harmless.

SPRING has sprung and Canberra is blooming but if people took seriously the frightening magpie attack warnings dominating social media, the streets of the capital would be empty.

ANU Anthropologist Dr Siobhan McDonnell tweeted: “This time of year the blossoms are stunning but the fear (of magpie attacks) is real”.

Another tweet told the world: “If you ever come down under, you need to visit Canberra with the most aggressive magpies in the world”. Yet another reported a magpie stealing a donut from someone’s mouth “mid bite” at ADFA.

Angry Anne protests at Parliament House. Photo: Mike Welsh

A HASTILY arranged rally on Parliament House lawns objecting to the treatment of a Sri Lankan family from Biloela in Queensland included many first-time protesters holding aggressively worded placards.

Around 250 attended the Father’s Day event, staged to send a message to the Morrison government over its harsh treatment of the Tamil family that has been fighting deportation for the past 18 months.

Member for Fenner Andrew Leigh appeared to be the only pollie to take time out from his Father’s Day to show support.

Placard-waving Anne, from Canberra, was very angry but possibly missed the bastard-on-Father’s-Day connection.

ALREADY under constant threat from cyclists and trams, Canberra pedestrians now have a new nemesis, the e-scooter. Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury is reportedly grappling with “developing a framework that encourages the use of e-scooters, while not compromising road safety”.

The scooters, which can reach speeds of 25kph, are currently illegal in the territory. Reports from Brisbane, where the two-wheeled, battery powered vehicles were introduced last year, revealed more than 100 riders have presented at emergency departments with scooter-related injuries in the first two months of operation.

MIXED among recent speculation across the border on the future hue of the once bellwether seat of Eden Monaro, comes news a former member may be keen on returning to the political game. According to the “Sydney Morning Herald’s” “CBD” column, Peter Hendy is campaigning hard to fill the vacancy created when NSW senator Arthur Sinodinos flies to Washington DC to replace ambassador Joe Hockey. “CBD” reminded readers it was at Hendy’s Queanbeyan home that “Turnbull and his allies met on the Sunday evening before Tony Abbott was rolled”.

A FAMILY home condemned for demolition in Belconnen may be among the last of its type in the area. The ageing and paint-chipped weatherboard house, tucked away on a large block in the desirable suburb of Weetangera, will be levelled to make way for a block of units (what else?). A longtime local lamenting the loss with a millennial was stunned to learn the youngster had never heard of a weatherboard house.

Chilli-chomping champs Rob, left, and Pete. Photo: Mike Welsh

THE world of chilli chomping has been turned upside down after two Welshmen shared the honours at Canberra’s 5th World Curry Festival’s chilli-eating competition. Joint winners Rob and Pete remained upright and respectable after 90 minutes and 10 different types of chillies, each greater on the SHU (Scoville Heat Units) scale than the one before. Ten other contestants fell along the way, with those susceptible to supercharged spiciness treated on-site by medics. 

And how do you treat someone who’s chowed down too much chilli? Ambo: “You can’t treat stupidity”.

TASMANIAN senator Jacqui Lambie is optimistic if nothing else. The crossbench senator has attempted to introduce some civility and decorum into the Canberra bubble. As a member of a committee looking at repealing the medivac legislation, Lambie told the Morrison government to “show a few manners” and respect for the timetable for considering laws on refugee medical transfer.


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

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