The Canberra Times of April 13 reported Kim Rubenstein as very sensibly saying "the focus on large-scale sports infrastructure showed the politicians in power were grossly out of touch with the community's real needs". On the other hand, the editorial ("$11.4 m AIS arena upgrade just a start", canberratimes.com.au, p14) was replete with nonsense.
''One of the most successful basketball teams in the country [irrelevant] find themselves unable to host other teams in a high-quality local facility common in other cities''. Really? What other cities with populations under half a million? Why doesn't the ACT basketball community build one if such a facility is so important to them? Answer: because they want other people to pay for it!
And "[The lack of huge sporting facilities] is a can kicked down the road by both federal and ACT governments for years''. Wrong! The can is being kicked only by a small minority of Canberrans who want such facilities but are not willing to pay for them.
''Events that should be hosted in Canberra are lost to Sydney and Melbourne". Wrong! Major events should be played in major cities with adequate facilities - not in tiny Canberra where such facilities are inappropriate.
"The lack of such facilities was holding the Canberra back''. Wrong.
"Canberra needs facilities capable of hosting major sporting and entertainment events and conventions". Wrong. Do Yass and Goulburn need them too? Wants are not needs.
"This is the national capital". The last refuge of scoundrels. The need for major sports facilities is determined by demographics. Also, Canberra is not Australia's sporting capital.
In response to growing concerns about a potential Chinese base in the Solomon Islands, President Biden is dispatching a top diplomat to Honiara.
Kurt Campbell, National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, will be meeting with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
Scott Morrison is also sending an envoy. Not Marise Payne. Not Peter Dutton. No, it's Zed Seselja, who evidently can be spared from the election campaign.
Mr Sogavare will draw his own conclusions about Australia's sense of priorities.
Reports coming back from the Solomon Islands suggest that the Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, was not overly pleased to receive a couple of [albeit high ranking] Australian public servants, in town to ferret out more about the new Solomons/China agreement.
Perchance he should consider himself lucky that Scott Morrison did not send in a couple of Pentacostal missionaries.
Forget Albo's slip-up. The real unemployment story of the week is that Senator Anne Ruston's claim that the ALP has "always presided over higher unemployment" isn't borne out by the facts. In the Rudd-Gillard years (2008-13) unemployment averaged 5.1 per cent. Since then under Abbott-Turnbull- Morrison the average has been 5.6 per cent. If you go back further to the Howard years it was 6.3 per cent. You can't blame a Liberal minister for not knowing the unemployment numbers - or can you?
As Senator Zed rushes off on his now-urgent mission to convince the Solomon Islanders that he values the Pacific, and that Australia is taking action on climate change (we aren't) he will have many opportunities for self-reflection.
In 2016 the Morrison government closed ABC Radio Australia's shortwave transmissions, terminating Australia's soft power in the region.
Guess who bought the radio spectrum? China! Who supported this? He did.
Now that is what I call dropping the ball on Australia's security interests.
I'm happy to pay to send Zed to Honiara. It's the return trip I'm not so happy about.
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