Stephen’s searching for bubble-to-bubble travel 

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Canberra Airport is looking for fellow travellers to bubble-to-bubble with, Alan Tutt takes another tilt, roos run amok and who doesn’t want to eat hot-cross buns in May? It’s another “Seven Days” with IAN MEIKLE.

WITH flights falling from 120 a week to two or three, Canberra Airport MD Stephen Byron says he’s written to the Queensland and SA governments about setting up bubble-to-bubble travel with the ACT given its (known) Covid case-free status. 

Ian Meikle.

“The thing with aviation is a date needs to be set for two weeks’ time or so that people can make bookings on flights and the airlines can schedule flights,” he told the ABC. 

“It’s not like just ramping up a cafe and turning up and changing from takeaway to dine-in again within 24 hours. The aviation industry needs a very clear timetable with firm dates. We need to know that we can restart these flights in a matter of weeks. Ideally by June 8.

“And certainly be well and truly up and running for the school holidays on 1 July.”

WITH kids back on the school bus and back in class, now’s the time for adults to avoid the office and public transport. That seems to be the advice of Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith, who at one of the interminable COVID-19 media briefings on Blursday said: “If you can continue to work from home, at least for a few days a week, please try to do so. This is an important element of maintaining physical distancing.” 

No resting on her virus-busting laurels, she says: “Our advice to people in relation to public transport continues to be, reconsider your need to use public transport and only use it if it’s essential.” 

“Everyday” guy and would-be pollie Alan Tutt.

“[IT’S an] arrogant and disrespectful Labor/Greens government,” tutt-tutts Alan Tutt as he announces his candidacy at the October election for Bill Stefaniak’s Belco Party in the northern electorate of Ginninderra. Typical of his sporting past, the loveable Tutty is back for another shot at the Assembly after nailing only 262 votes (or 0.06 per cent of a quota) in his last outing in 2016 in Ginninderra for Richard Farmer’s fleeting Canberra Community Voters Party 

“The Labor/Greens government has made life very difficult for the residents of Canberra with skyrocketing rates… The inner-city elites have taken over at the expense of the everyday man and woman of Belconnen. I am one of those everyday men. I have had enough.” He’s as mad as hell. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has opened her state to tourism and freeing the way for Canberrans to frolic on the south-coast and beyond with impunity over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June. 

But prospective frolickers beware: insurance company AAMI says despite there being fewer cars on the roads, the likelihood of hitting a kangaroo increases by 15 per cent between May and August. 

An analysis of more than 21,000 animal-collision claims in the year ended January 31, confirmed Canberra as the country’s most dangerous hotspot (for the fourth time) with NSW ranked the worst state for animal collisions with almost one third of animal-related accidents across the country. 

LOCAL surgeons are sharpening their scalpels ready to slice through the ACT’s accumulated backlog of thousands of public surgeries, delayed by coronavirus restrictions since March. Canberra Health Services CEO Bernadette McDonald says regular elective surgery numbers would resume in the next few weeks. She estimates that by June 30 there would be about 2250 planned surgeries the service would not have completed due to the shutdown. “We are working to provide advice to government on how we might address this backlog,” she says.

MEANWHILE, “CityNews” reporter Danielle Nohra joined a media surge through the $23 million, 51-bed, COVID-19 Surge Centre sitting untroubled by patients on Garran Oval. The occasion was reminiscent of the celebrated “Yes, Minister” episode, “The Compassionate Society”, (1981) where the minister, Jim Hacker, is enraged about a new, fully staffed hospital that has no patients, until he learns how powerful the unions are.

However, at the Garran outing not a politician could be seen, leaving project director Sophie Gray to explain that when the plans were being made for the centre no one knew exactly what to expect from the virus. 

WHILE cafes and restaurants nervously count heads on their fingers, one’s got to love the farce in Ikea’s straight-faced sign informing customers it can only admit a maximum of 4192 people at a time “based on current social distancing requirements”. 

Hot cross buns in May.

COMING out of lockdown at a spiritual low? Woolworths might have just the pick-me-up, especially if you’re grieving the lost and lonely Easter. They’re still selling hot cross buns for the faithful. These were spotted this past week in Woden.

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Ian Meikle
Ian Meikle is the owner and editor of "CityNews".

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