Tree trims might be cheaper with an orthopod 

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Is anyone is thinking ‘extortion’ in regard to tree trimming near power lines in Canberra? That’s the questioned posed and answered in “Seven Days” with IAN MEIKLE this week.

ONE of my snouts, with a tree problem, wrote wondering when it was that tree surgeons became more vital (and wealthier) than knee surgeons.

Ian Meikle.

“Just wondering if anyone is thinking ‘extortion’ in regard to tree trimming near power lines in Canberra?” he wrote.

He says his power company orders property owners obliged to carry out tree trimming near power lines to use only a contractor from a supplied list. 

“I contacted seven, most of whom did not respond,” he writes.

“One couldn’t do the work for three months, another quoted $900 and a third asked $550 (10 per cent discount for cash). The job took 15 minutes; $550!”

There are 15 accredited arborists on, for example, the Evoenergy list along with the warning that “only Evoenergy accredited arborists are authorised to work in close proximity to powerlines”, but that none of them are employees or contractors of Evoenergy.

Unhelpfully, there’s no guide to ballpark costs residents can expect to pay. 

Maybe they should be listing orthopedic surgeons, too. 

THE commodore is not impressed. Canberra Yacht Club’s Sue Hart has sensibly thrown overboard the gimmicky idea of landing seaplanes on the west basin of Lake Burley Griffin. 

The club, the lake’s biggest recreational user for 60 years, is objecting to the National Capital Authority against the runway plans of two seaplane operators from Sydney and the south coast.

“When a seaplane wants to come and land at whatever frequency, I can’t get 90 boats off the lake at the time they’re going to land,” the commodore says.

“I can’t believe they will be bringing in a sufficient number of tourists to greatly impact the Canberra economy.” 

ON the other day, we published a story calling for volunteers to help on the specially fitted-out Sleepbus to give older homeless women a bed.

Reporter Andrew Mathieson says they had only enough volunteers to drive and pick up needy women for three nights a week to sleep in the bus. 

“Inside 30 hours, since the story went online, the organisers have had 50+ volunteers!” he says. 

“They’ll now be doing it every night of the week! It proved that not only the story resonated with readers, but our audience is wide if as many as 50+ of our readers alone are prepared to give up their nights.”

Training to go nowhere… orienteering world championship team member Tara Melhuish.

AS the Olympics wobble into life after a year’s delay, it must be heartbreaking for others to be selected for a world championship only to be grounded by the effects of covid. 

For example, Orienteering Australia has decided not to support or endorse sending Australian-based athletes overseas due to ongoing travel restrictions and the COVID-19 situation in Europe.

Which neatly snuffs out the dreams of the four Canberra Cockatoos named in Australian teams for the orienteering world champs. 

Grace Crane, Tara Melhuish and Matt Doyle were named in the Australian Boomerangs team for the senior championships in Czechia and David Stocks was included in the team now not heading to the junior world championships in Turkey. 

For Melhuish, it would have been her first championship in the senior ranks.

DITTA Zizi, the newly-elected chair of the Canberra international Music Festival, is bringing a “formidable combination of skills” to the job, says arts editor Helen Musa. 

Ditta Zizi.

Ditta is a familiar face in local arts circles and was a founding member of Stopera chamber-opera group and served on the boards of “Muse” magazine and The Street Theatre.

She also holds a bachelor and master’s degrees in music and has a graduate diploma in applied corporate governance both from the ANU. 


RAGLAN is a town of 1199 people east of Bathurst named after FitzRoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan, commander-in-chief of the Allied forces in the Crimean War from 1850 to 1855. In a recent swing around NSW, gardening guru Cedric Bryant filled up his tank at the BP Raglan Roadhouse, where he paid $1.549 a litre for premium unleaded. Back home last week, the bowsers at Caltex Dickson bit him $1.619 for the same petrol. He wonders, and don’t we all, how petrol can be hauled to the Bathurst region and sold for less than bigger-volume metropolitan Canberra. 

WA publican Ian Trevarton’s historic Railway Tavern in Northampton, almost 500 kilometres north of Perth, was shattered by tropical cyclone Seroja. Columnist Clive Williams spotted this heading on the SBS news site: “A freak cyclone destroyed Ian’s pub. A warming climate could mean more are on their way”. 

“Presumably the editor means cyclones and not pubs?” he muses. 

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

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Ian Meikle, editor

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

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