Sounds like this… protest cranks up the decibels

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LOCAL musos crammed into Garema Place for a jam on Friday (June 21). The Amplify CBD Music concert was raising awareness of rarely enforced noise laws limiting daytime levels to 60 decibels and 50 after dark.

Mike Welsh
Mike Welsh.

Protestors, fearful that complaints from guests at a planned high-rise, luxury hotel in Garema Place may “silence” the city’s live music scene, cranked up the volume to 90 decibels demonstrating how easy it is to breach the laws.

Music ACT’s David Caffery told the ABC: “We want a cool capital, we want a vibrant city, we need music as a part of that mix.”

Journalist Tracey Spicer… in town to receive the National Excellence in Women’s Leadership Award.
Photo: Mike Welsh

ONE of the pioneers of the Australian #MeToo movement dropped into Canberra to pick up yet another gong to go with her 2018 Order of Australia and the Walkley Award she won last year. TV journalist and best-selling author Tracey Spicer received the National Excellence in Women’s Leadership Award. 

AS the AFL unleashed a jackbooted campaign stamping out the time-honoured tradition of fans hurling abuse at umpires, a former Canberran reached a special milestone at the top level of the profession. As the code’s Behavioural Awareness Officers patrolled crowds, “Razor” Ray Chamberlain, the umpire most fans love to hate, officiated in his 300th AFL game. Chamberlain, who umpired his first game as a teenager in the capital, thrives on the attention and abuse and says the popular sledge “green maggot” does not faze him “one single bit”.

SINCE Tony Wood (aka Victor the Viking) boldly declared in May that the “NRL cup was coming down the highway 2019”, confidence of another pennant flying in the capital has taken on new intensity. Wood urged “every Canberra man, woman and child to scream green between now and the big decider”. Such is the level of confidence at the monthly Menslink event, where co-captain Josh Hodgson was guest speaker, $2200 was paid for an auctioned signed 2019 Raiders “Premiership” jumper. A bargain only if the Green Machine prevails.

An op-shop bargain at $5… an ABC T-shirt featuring a young radio presenter by the name of Chris Uhlmann. Photo: Mike Welsh

STILL on bargains, our northern suburbs operative with a bit of time on his hands, has unearthed some op-shop gems. Among the standouts discerningly scavenged: a copy of the 2015 Yellow Pages with a cheeky price tag of $2 and a black T-shirt featuring the image of a very young local ABC radio presenter by the name of Chris Uhlmann, which is a rare piece of media memorabilia and a snip at $5.

AND the man Uhlmann replaced as Nine’s chief political editor, Laurie Oakes, appears to have not fully racked his cue. The last time I saw the legendary scribe he was nursing a small dog on his lap, happily chatting with punters at a Manuka cafe. A few recent appearances by Oakes on Channel Nine (commenting on the Federal poll and Bob Hawke’s passing), suggests he’s keeping his hand in. Seems the 75-year-old, who retired two years ago, remains on the Nine payroll, free to do the odd bit of reporting when he chooses. Apparently this is TV’s way of protecting their stars from poachers.

IN a week when some of our movers and shakers shivered through the annual Vinnies’ CEO Sleepout, official weather reports revealed a cruel plunge in overnight temperatures. Just to confirm winter’s depth was not far off, a pair of blue-suede recliner armchairs, discarded on a nature strip near the Spence shops, were still iced over at 10am.

STATISTICALLY your average Canberran takes home a fatter pay packet than the rest of the country and is also more likely to dabble in illicit substances. The Australian Local Government Association’s 2019 “State of the Regions” report reveals the wealth gap between the ACT and the rest of Australia is widening to almost double the national average. A report by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission shows we are the highest users of opioids and the second highest consumers of cocaine.


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

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