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Views on the news from Canberra’s top columnists

Going soft on drug possession won’t fix the problem

BILL STEFANIAK lost a son to the effects of drug abuse. He finds it painfully hard to see any virtue in a move in the Legislative Assembly to decriminalise hard-drug possession...

Letters / Why can’t they just cut the ‘forest of weeds’?

Reader DAPHNE HARDING, of Farrer, lives near a thick, tall forest of weeds that could prove to be a fire hazard in the summer and also a haven for snakes, but no one in authority wants to cut it. 

The stacked boards that are killing off Canberra 

"The sad but unsurprising news is that the aspirations of local residents are being trashed by the collective membership of the boards of three agencies," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN. 

Deflowering, definitions and diare… diarrhoea!

Deflowering, definitions and diare… diarrhoea! It's "Seven Days" with IAN MEIKLE.

It’s time Tim Paine closed his innings 

"At 36, Tim Paine has two options: to soldier on until the selectors have no real choice but to drop him or to make a gracious exit to the applause of a grateful nation," writes "The Gadfly" columnist ROBERT MACKLIN.

Keep your distance, but for all the right reasons

"In the bakery – it is three customers at a time. Something like that should stay forever. So much easier to get served and much safer not to be crowded in," writes "Canberra matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN.

Democracy challenged: Biden will face serious hurdles

There’s very little time left to hold Trump to account during his term, so the question of real, lasting – and legal – accountability will fall to Biden, writes JAMES LONG and VICTOR MENALDO.

Covid is playing the long game and so should we

With many more months of lockdowns, mask mandates and quarantining in our futures, we may be living with covid restrictions longer than we think, writes economics professors SWEE-HOON CHUAH and ROBERT HOFFMANN.

E-scooters open the way for concrete mixers?

Unlike the legislatively reviled abandoned shopping trolleys, the urban "litter" of e-scooters on pathways, traffic islands, outside The Lodge, anywhere really, is just fine; likewise, the procession of injured people through the emergency departments of our hospitals. Will it end in tears, wonders columnist IAN MEIKLE. 

Last gasp for a disgraceful president

Rational, moderate Americans now know what it’s like to dodge a bullet, writes ROBERT MACKLIN.

Mishmash of border closures: confusing, counterproductive, inconsistent

If you live in the northern part of Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the epicentre of one of two current COVID outbreaks in New South Wales, you can’t currently cross any state borders.

On the long, winding track to conciliation

WHEN the history of an eventual conciliation between Black and White Australia is written (or sung and danced), 2020 will provide some fascinating markers on that long, winding track, writes columnist ROBERT MACKLIN.

It’s (they’re?) only words and words are all I have… 

"Seven Days" columnist (and "CityNews" editor) IAN MEIKLE muses about words. 

Cartoon / Dose of Dorin

Cartoonist PAUL DORIN gives the boot to 2020...

Cartoon / Dose of Dorin

A New Year starts...

Five tips for staying healthy this festive season

PHILLIP RUSSO and BRETT MITCHELL looked at ways to celebrate safely this pandemic, but still enjoy a traditional Christmas Day...

Things happen when the locals get to work

"Looking back at 2020, there were nasty things happening thanks to the Planning Directorate and inappropriate developments. Despite this many community groups turned their attention to the fun things that they could be doing," writes "Canberra Matters" columnist PAUL COSTIGAN. 

Letters / Mystery of the Audi car-window smashing 

JINGWEI JAI's car passenger window was smashed in Braddon. There were other passenger windows smashed in Belconnen. The mystery that binds them together is they are all Audis.

The big issues on Morrison’s mind this summer

As he now contemplates an unpredictable 2021, what issues will the PM have front of mind? And what do experts believe should be done on them? Asks political columnist MICHELLE GRATTAN.

Cartoon / Dose of Dorin

Cartoonist PAUL DORIN finds a festive way of getting covid-stranded Australians home...





Have you seen Rian?

Police are searching for 36-year-old Rian Minnis after he went missing on Thursday, January 14.


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