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Canberra Today -2°/-2° | Monday, September 20, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

At home, pining for the covid gnome

Time for one last gnome? Photo: Paul Costigan

“Canberra Matters” columnist PAUL COSTIGAN gives thanks for not living in NSW and wonders if it’s time we built a wall…

ANOTHER week of lockdown behind us and maybe two more to go. Thank goodness the government leadership in the ACT has yet to follow suit the dubious and dangerous announcements being made in NSW – that state that surrounds us.

Paul Costigan.

While the NSW government keeps putting out mixed messages, there are no surprises that some try it on and put others at risk. The simplest advice remains – stay home!

Luckily in the ACT this message has been clear and most have simply done that – stayed home. However, the usual suspects have started to appear with one surprise collaborator.

When the Chief Minister and the Chief Health Officer announced that large developments and infrastructure sites could reopen under certain conditions, it did not take long for other building and property lobbyists to start crying out that it does not make sense to exclude the smaller operators – and their tradies.

Somehow, they missed the news from interstate and overseas that it is the occupations that move between sites that share the virus around and take it home to their families. But what the hell – why not roll out a little political advocacy.

The curious inclusion in this lobbying effort was the Australian Institute of Architects. This body of professionals have not quite succeeded in delivering too much good design within Canberra despite the number of graduates added to their ranks each year. So, what has their leadership done to distract from this?

The Institute of Architects leadership apparently thinks it has the expertise to handle a pandemic. This does not sound realistic.

Locals would love to see good architecture as the norm. Meanwhile, it would be wise to leave pandemic decisions to the Chief Health Officer and the ACT Chief Minister.

On a lighter note, I do make a call out to all those punters who were counting on regular visits to Bunnings given that spring has arrived. There must have been loads of projects just waiting to happen, another electric drill was required, more plants, packets of special screws, shelving and not to forget that replacement garden gnome that was a priority. 

When the Chief Minister said shopping at Bunnings was forbidden from midnight Friday last week, the Bunnings car park was immediately jammed full of eager shoppers getting in before the deadline. 

I suspect there are many frustrated residents unable to visit Bunnings and who are sitting at home with lockdown blues – and especially as that replacement gnome is not to happen. 

One last suggestion. Given that NSW is a bit of a basket case in how they are running things, is it time for the ACT government to build a Great Big Beautiful Wall around the city and get NSW to pay for it? Didn’t work for someone else – but why not give it a try.

Thanks again to the Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman, and the Chief Minister. I am sure many of us are suffering lockdown blues in the knowledge that their wise decisions will assist us all in the near future.

Stay Safe. Stay Home.

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Paul Costigan

Paul Costigan

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