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Canberra Today 21°/24° | Tuesday, December 7, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Arty Gordon’s trip from minister to yes, minister

Gordon Ramsay has another new job in which the ex-minister’s minister is the ex-colleague who beat the ex-MLA to Labor’s last seat in Ginninderra. All forgiven, Tara? It’s “Seven Days” with IAN MEIKLE.

“THE ACT arts community is likely to welcome the return of the enormously popular and trusted former minister to the arts sector,” waxed arts editor Helen Musa at the news that Gordon Ramsay had triumphed over a national field of 20 applicants to be appointed CEO of the Cultural Facilities Corporation.

Ian Meikle.

As the higher-profile attorney-general, his was a big scalp lost by Labor at the last ACT election. The former church minister has seemed like a lost soul since losing his Ginninderra seat last year by 167 votes to Liberal Peter Cain.

Since then he’s been a contractor in the Chief Minister’s office, the principal of Gordon Ramsay Consulting and, more recently, CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform.

But it’s back to the boards for Gordon as he replaces long-time inaugural CEO Harriet Elvin and takes up his new role on December 13 (apropos of nothing, at 57, were he to stay in the job as long as Harriet’s 24 years, he’d be 81 when he retired).

The weirdest thing is that his re-election in Ginninderra turned on his beating Labor colleague Tara Cheyne to a seat. He didn’t and she went on to replace him as Arts Minister… and is now, in effect, the ex-minister’s minister.

Dennis, left, and Claude.

THE Queanbeyan Art Society’s Plein Air Group got a surprise at a November 16 painting session at Well Station homestead in Gungahlin. That well-known plein art master Claude Monet popped in. Sorta kinda. 

The doppelganger was host Dennis Rose, who gardens at Orana School and lives at the homestead.

Society president Barry Cranston said he noticed the likeness the moment he met Dennis the week before, which was confirmed by many others in the 20-strong Tuesday outdoor painting group. And in the photos of Claude and Dennis posing with palettes he sent me. 

 

Telstra’s open pit in Griffith… eight months since the first complaint went in.

WHAT is it about Telstra? Reader Mac Howell wrote to congratulate Marion Springer (“Seven Days”, CN November 18) and her attempts to get some action to address safety concerns relating to poor work undertaken on Telstra cabling pits near Fadden Pines.

“Even though she reported that the rough attempts to fill in around the pits were not really acceptable she should be grateful that she managed to get some work done to address the problem,” Mac says. 

On March 18 he reported a similar problem of an open inspection pit in Blaxland Park, Griffith, to the “Municipal Services Team, Access Canberra”, via Fix My Street. He warned them that the pit was “deep and dangerous”.

On April 13, he wrote again bemoaning he’d heard nothing, despite the usual empty promise of a response in 10 working days, and reminding them the open pit was “quite dangerous”. 

“On July 6, I received a response advising that it was a Telstra issue and there was nothing they could do apart from putting a temporary fence around it to make it safe.

“I contacted Telstra as suggested and a couple of days later a Telstra technician inspected the pit and said it would be fixed.

“The photo shows the state of the pit eight months after the matter was first reported.

“Nothing apart from the erection of a temporary fence has happened so congratulations to Marion for at least getting some action to address her problem.”

POLITICAL columnist and former ACT Health Minister Michael Moore is sharing the good news that Vladimir Golobokov has finally had a successful operation. 

Mr Golobokov before his operation.

Vladimir was the subject of a column in mid-August in which Michael thundered: “Mr Golobokov has waited since mid-2017 for surgery to remove nasal polyps. He has waited more than 12 times what is clinically indicated while the condition has got worse and worse.”  

“Despite the Canberra Hospital having constant updates from his GP regarding a deteriorating condition, he has still not been given a time. Serious discomfort, sleep apnea, facial swelling, pressure on the forehead, loss of sense of taste and smell, difficulty breathing and associated mental health issues are all outcomes of the failure to deliver elective surgery within any kind of sensible time frame.”

Since the publicity and following an assessment by the appropriate specialists, he waited less than the required 90 days for his operation. 

“No doubt he will be counted as an operation that was completed within the appropriate time frame for statistical and reporting purposes,” Michael says.

“Considering his condition, waiting four and half years is simply unacceptable.”

AND right on cue comes a comment on citynews.com.au from “someonesmother”, who writes: “Five and a half years and still waiting for an appointment with a hand surgeon. When I called earlier in 2021, I was told I was second on the list. 

“Wow! So what do I expect, another five-and-a-half-year wait?”

Ian Meikle is the editor of “CityNews” and can be heard on the “CityNews Sunday Roast” news and interview program, 2CC, 9am-noon.

 

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Ian Meikle, editor

Ian Meikle

Ian Meikle

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