There’s no stopping the ‘rhino on a skateboard’

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ACT Transport Minister Chris Steel was more than happy to spruik the unexpected early arrival of a momentous milestone of light rail. The tram’s one millionth passenger swiped on way ahead of the business model’s predicted 2021 ETA for stage one. The golden PR gift to the fledgling network came as several collisions between trams and other vehicles dominated the news.

Mike Welsh.

THE coming together of tram and traffic was predicted by a transport expert before the March launch. Dr Mark King, from the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland, warned: “Most light rail or tram networks see an initial uptake in incidents in their first six months before they tended to die down”.

STILL on the safety issue, Minister Steel should have been called on to write copy for the cheesy radio commercial currently airing. A millennial woman fearful of driving around trams is assured by her millennial man that it’s “all good”. Then off they happily go for coffee, for which she pays because he (silly male) has forgotten his wallet. Steel’s line, light rail should be treated like a “rhino on a skateboard”, brilliantly nails the issue taking considerably less time.

IN the process of spreading the good news and “minimising” the bad, Steel also managed to distance himself and the government from colleague Bec Cody’s negative National Capital Authority comments. Cody is holding firm to her claim that the NCA is blocking stage two of the network, after recently finding herself further out on a limb by calling for the abolition of the authority.

SEEMS old Labor pollies never die, they just continue to heckle from the sidelines. I copped a surprisingly creative sledge (for a Collingwood fan) from former MLA John Hargreaves. Responding to my post after Carlton’s rare SCG win over the Swans, Johnny dressed up the old “every dog has its day” with “even a blind warthog finds an acorn once in a while”.

STILL on that impressive Blues victory, Canberra Sydney Swans supporters are indeed a rare species. They seem to flap and squawk a lot but are prone to fly away when it all gets too hard. I heard of one such individual who travelled from the capital to the SCG for the above-mentioned clash, but left at half time disgusted with his beloved Bloods’ lack of commitment.

NOT known for his diplomacy at post-match press conferences, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was in vintage form after his charges’ 36-14 win over St George-Illawarra. “Sticky” was filthy over a charge laid against Nick Cotric’s “spear tackle”. Despite securing a top three ladder spot, an irate Stuart fumed: “If you call that a spear tackle, you’ve only just started watching the game.” Stuart also took particular issue with a journalist’s suggestion the tackle was dangerous: “If you think that’s a spear tackle, you shouldn’t be a journalist in Rugby League”.

BUT Stuart was in a much happier space by week’s end at the 30th reunion of the club’s maiden premiership; the 1989 19-14 extra time win over Balmain Tigers. The Raiders, rated as underdogs for the playoff were, apart from Mal Meninga and Gary Belcher, treated as virtual nobodies at a function two days before the game. Stuart vividly recalls being angry at the snub, declaring: “You bastards will know who we are on Sunday”.

TWO local women have published a book on the minefield that is online dating. In “Tales of Tinderella”, 2017 ACT Indigenous Businesswoman of the Year Julie Okely and Behavioural Change Specialist Simone Hamilton, reveal pitfalls and plot lines from the digital dating space. The book shares suddenly single Tinderella’s journey as she blindly negotiates and navigates her way through the modern digital age. Describing one date to her friends, Tinderella says: “I expected to meet Vin Diesel and instead Monty Burns from ‘The Simpsons’ was walking toward me…”


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

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