Simon Birmingham's face on election night was a study in slow torture. Ever the obedient diplomat, all he could bring himself to say was that the Liberal Party had lost touch, and needed to work out how to regain it. The fact that he couldn't bring himself to utter the words 'climate change' said it all.
Birmingham attempted to throw cold water on Labor's victory by pointing to its weakness as a likely minority government. In truth, his own party has been in a minority government for years. It is in thrall to the National Party's promoters of oil and gas, like Canavan and Pitt, who reject the science on anthropogenic global warming. People like Frydenberg and Sharma, the Liberal Party's best and brightest, could do nothing to change this. Now, its inner city electors have deserted to the Greens and the teal Independents. The party has become a rump of bush seats and the urban Hillsong hinterland of gated communities, and the Uglies are about to take charge.
In times past, the party had influential thinkers and historians with links to the party's founding fathers, who crafted the Liberal Party as a party of the centre. For the sake of Australian democracy, those voices need to be heard now.
Although a monumental disappointment, the LNP loss in the 2022 election has nevertheless delivered the sweetest victory of all - that "mean girl" Kristina Keneally has been unceremoniously rejected by the contituents of Fowler in favour of its worthy representative, Dai Le. Clearly an intelligent and astute electorate by seeing right through this blatant and thankfully doomed to fail 'captains pick'.
Never one to disappoint with his sharp observations, clever insights and pots calling kettles black Barnaby Joyce delivered an absolute gem from Tamworth on Election night.
He ranted and raved about the selfishness of those standing as so called "teal independents" and the selfishness of those who voted for them. He railed against a problem he would never have to deal with - governing and having to negotiate with them.
This from a man who just lost a huge pay packet and went from rooster to feather duster due to the electoral success of others. "Self-indulgent and selfish" indeed!
Maybe he can have a shot at stand-up. Great stuff to use for an epilogue if he ever re-issues his multi-copy selling book to refill remaindered book bins across his electorate which he can retitle "Weatherboard and irony".
As I watched the developing election results, I prayed fate would be kind and relieve the country of a political leader that has displayed such breathtaking word-smithery skills which are void of actual detailed subject knowledge, misleading by omission of the real truth, obfuscation and blame shifting to a degree that would enrich the content of a post graduate course in political science in any international university.
Does the odious Advance Australia group intend to continue its scare campaign? It seems they do. The evening before the election, this group was robo polling about alleged Canberra Times bias in its coverage of the local Senate election, specifically for supposedly giving David Pocock a better run than anyone else. Right out of the Trump playbook. It was a pleasure to stuff their poll up by pushing the keypad buttons that negated their premises, then block their number.
Contrary to Graham Downie's suggestion development is the raison d'etre for the tram (Letters, May 19), we have light rail because Andrew Barr gets to be Chief Minister by satisfying the Greens leader's obsession with trains. Developers do not care how folk travel. But if they did they would choose electric buses because of the convenience for their apartment and house customers.
Buses are more flexible. Development sites we know of will not be serviced by trams but by buses within suburbs.
I agree with Downie's analysis otherwise.
Our Territory services especially health and education are starved of funds so that two politicians can satisfy their respective desires for power and trains. It would be cheaper to let Shane drive the Gungahlin tram back and forth with no passengers.
Andrew Barr can be Chief Minister but no trams.
The money saved ($1-1.5 billion) plus billions more for Tuggeranong and Belconnen connections could restore the ACT and Canberra as a world leading place to live.
Bob Salmond's latest letter about China and Taiwan prompted me to check whether the Communist Party of Australia still existed. Thankfully they don't have enough members to be registered with the AEC but they still have a website.
I wonder how the many thousands of Hong Kong residents who have been arrested for protesting against Communist China's violation of its agreements in relation to Hong Kong would thank China for peaceful reunification?
I also wonder how the people of Shanghai feel about the oppressive COVID lockdown. Separation of children from parents, widespread hunger and the killing of family pets left behind when people were forced from their homes are just some of the aspects of CCP rule being experienced in Shanghai.
I've recently come across a website, Freedom House, that rates countries around the world on a consistent scale for political rights and civil liberties based on the UN's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Taiwan scores a very strong 94 out of 100 while Communist China languishes at just nine, even worse than Afghanistan under the Taliban. For comparison Australia scores 97 and the United States 83. I for one think that Taiwanese residents would fight tooth and nail against Bob's suggested peaceful reunification with China, and that democracies like the US and Australia should support them if China were to attempt a forced reunification.
This winter we're facing a double whammy, COVID and the flu. Earlier this month my wife and I were vaccinated against both; second booster for COVID and the seasonal shot for the flu.
It all happened very efficiently during an unscheduled walk in visit to Mosman (North Queensland) hospital. No wait, no drama and no fees. Had we chosen a local GP we'd have faced a two week wait for the flu shot and three weeks for the COVID booster and we'd have had to pay a consultation fee on each occasion.
Despite medical experts saying simultaneous shots are safe, our GP advised otherwise. I'm happy to say neither my wife nor I suffered any adverse reaction whatsoever to either shot.
I read with interest that the Mawson Primary School conducts a Mandarin Language Immersion Program. This is the year of the Tiger, a symbol of strength and courage. Could it be that the school's officials know something Australia's defence and foreign policy specialists don't know.
The new ACT play space strategy notes that Molonglo Valley has no central and no district play spaces. ('Challenge, risk wanted at playgrounds', May 14, p4).
After a decade of planning and construction by Suburban Land Agency (and its predecessor the Land Development Agency) this is an appalling but not unexpected outcome.
As a resident who challenged the SLA about their reasons for proposing district-park-like facilities on an inappropriately small site in Coombs, I encountered an arrogant contempt and disregard for the government's existing Municipal Infrastructure Standards for the location, set-back and design of play spaces.
The SLA spends multi-millions of dollars on new play spaces and yet the 40-page ACT play space strategy does not mention the organisation by name.
On page 27 there is a coded reference: "We will encourage private builders who are delivering play spaces to be gifted back to the Territory to design in accordance with Municipal Infrastructure Standards and this strategy..." What weasel words.
If massive new developments like the Molonglo Valley are to achieve equitable and high quality play outcomes then "encouragement" is not enough. It should be mandatory for the SLA to comply with the Municipal Infrastructure Standards for planning and design of new play spaces. This means that they should identify and set aside adequate land for district and central parks with appropriate connection to activity hubs and set-backs from nearby houses.
A recent question on morning TV was "What makes a good democracy sausage?" To borrow from the famous Mrs Beeton's Cookbook: "First, catch your democracy". If we're not careful we're in danger of losing ours.
Well put Felicity Chivas (Letters, May 11) it's about time we - and the media - stopped feeling obliged to mention somebody's race when they come to public notice as if they were exotic children doing something clever that's not expected of them.
Tony Falla asks if "the mostly unmasked and shoulder-to-shoulder crowd of 11,661 people who attended the AFL GWS v Geelong match at Manuka Oval" had contributed to a record number of COVID-19 infections in Canberra. ("Was Football to Blame", Letters, May 13). Sorry to be a pedant, but the game was not, as he said, on Friday, May 6, but on Saturday, May 7. Go Cats!
Bob Salmond (Letters, May 14), what did China "a founding member of the UN in 1945" do in Tibet just a few years later to make it part of "one China"?
Can someone please explain why parking at Canberra Centre on Sundays has increased by 50 per cent from $2 to $3. Supply issues? Staff shortages? Fuel costs?
The Private Capital piece "Amy Shark set to tour 'music-starved' towns" implies that Canberra is one such town. Let me correct the record: Canberra has one of the most vibrant, exciting live music communities in the country, with a wealth of talent at all levels.
Coach God is putting together a handy cricket team. Warnie, Roy, Iron Gloves, Hughsey and Deanno, just to name a few the selectors would look at, will make an excellent core for Heaven's Eleven.
We created the machines to serve us. Now we are frequently asked by the machines to prove we are not a robot. It seems that the machines are afraid that someone or something is trying to take over and usurp them.
The best thing to do to combat the rise in bikies gang crimes in NSW is to introduce deportation for any person eligible for dual citizenship for committing "extreme" crimes. Just like we do with terrorism crimes.
Perhaps the 42 tonne Leopard tank now residing on the site of the Services Club in Manuka could be more usefully relocated just up the road in front of the Russian Embassy to add weight to the demonstration supporting Ukraine. A midnight job for a crane contractor?
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