Bec Cody’s backfire

ACT Labor newcomer Bec Cody’s attempt at broadening her profile has backfired badly.

The MLA copped a hammering for straying beyond her roads, rates and rubbish boundaries after labelling the RSL Club at Sussex Inlet a “racist disgrace” over tiles in its urinal depicting Aboriginal men. Ms Cody called on the National RSL to “address this filth as a matter of urgency”. The sorry saga again highlights the need for savvy media minders for politicians.

THE Assembly opening week also included some weird beard banter. CM Andrew Barr taunted his former opposite number Jeremy Hanson over his new facial hair. The also freshly hirsute Barr strangely suggested that Hanson’s beard failed to qualify him as a hipster. Barr needs to be reminded that merely taking up cycling does not a hipster make, either. But this week former MLA John Hardgreaves has entered the debate with the old Hoges’ line…”that’s not a beard..this is a breard”…

THE closure of two North Canberra eateries by ACT Health has served up some interesting responses both from the operators and their customers. The Central Cafe at Gungahlin and Belco’s Ricardo’s were closed for alleged “serious food safety breaches” and being a “risk to public health”.


Ricardo De Marco, from Ricardo’s, responded swiftly by confidently predicting he would be back in business pronto, but the Central’s owners opted to post a lengthy handwritten explanation in their window.

Apparently, new refrigeration equipment had failed to arrive but sadly for the Central, ACT Health did arrive and on a day which peaked at 41C.

AJ 4

THE king of breakfast radio, Alan Jones, is a late scratching from Black Opal Stakes’ preliminaries in Canberra next week. Due to a sluggish recovery from a recent operation, the former Wallaby coach and Group One racehorse owner remains unwell and will be replaced at the Thoroughbred Park podium on Friday, March 3, by his boss and fellow turf fanatic, John Singleton. Jones hasn’t been heard in Canberra (on 2CC) since late last year and is expected to return to the wireless in late March.

There may soon be fewer “chuggers” in Garema Place thanks to the ABC’s “7.30” program. Charity Muggers or “chuggers” are the often annoying young people who approach passers-by seeking donations for well-known Australian charities. But “7.30” reports the extreme sales tactics may stem from the exploitation and poor treatment of staff by Appco, the company that employs them.

The direct marketer is facing a $60 million class action by 700 of its salespeople, some of whom are paid just $5 an hour and allegedly subjected to bizarre punishment rituals should they fail to reach budgets.

IS Barnaby Joyce seriously intent on “doing a Donald” and draining the capital of its core industry? Or is he just dog whistling to the bush?chris griffin

The Nat’s leader, who copped flack for his decision just before the last election, to shift the Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to his own seat of Armidale, is urging his foot soldiers to motivate their electorates to choose any Commonwealth department they wish for their patch.

A “Canberra, everything must go” fire sale to shore up the Nat’s appeal in the bush may require a serious audit of the ‘roos in Barnaby’s top paddock.Bec Cody, Andrew Barr, Barnaby Joyce

ON the topic of ‘roos, the annual cull is on again and the Australian Society for Kangaroos (ASK), says it remains as “shifty” as ever.

Vice president Fiona Corke says the “government has a track record of changing the law to suit their agenda”… and that ASK had no confidence in the latest “lame attempt at public consultation”.

IN over a decade on Canberra talkback radio, there was no greater trigger for callers than the dangerous practice of tailgating. Now the ACT government is undertaking a trial of chevron road markings, which show motorists safe distances to observe.

Authorities hope the white V-shaped markers used overseas will encourage Canberra drivers, alleged to be the worst tailgaters in Australia, to back off.


What’s the dif between erotic and perverted?

From Valentine’s Day 2015

By Mike Welsh

What’s the difference between erotic and perverted? Erotic is using a feather, perverted is using the whole chook. Apparently.

What is the difference between “racy” and pornographic? There is no difference between porn and racy. Not anymore.Apparently.

rubber choo 2

A local Pink Ladies Valentine’s Day fundraising screening of the porn flick “Fifty Shades of Grey”, has been promoted as “racy”. When did this happen? It’s a slippery slope . How long before “racy” becomes respectable?

The word pornography has been successfully sanitised, homogenised and almost normalised. “Food Porn” “Mummy Porn” ….Shane Warne.

It’s just not natural. A trench coat should be stained with other unmentionable matter not Choc Tops and Popcorn.

This is what happens when you start messing with nature. Wholemeal Pizza, Low cal Coke and Porn with a Plot. It’s just wrong.

Pardon my pathetic porn puns but it’s hard, sorry difficult to be serious when you are talking about not talking about Pornography. I’m probably flogging a dead whores (last one I promise) but if it looks, smells and sounds like PORN, and “FSG” does, then FFS call it PORN.

“FSG” has aroused “serious” discussion and pricked some serious feminist consciences even on the commercial couches of our TV breakfast shows. “Today” co-host Lisa Wilkinson was completely underwhelmed with FSG. Worst movie she’d seen she said. But over at Mamamia, Mia Freedman sturdily disagreed. Ms Freedman could not see anything wrong with the flick.

The book by E L James sold by the pallet load at “all good book stores” like Big W and even scored a book deal for her husband, Niall Leonard, a serious writer before the chick lit hit the fan.

Another serious writer, Nikki Gemmell is probably regretting hiding behind anonymity when she published her porn piece “The Bride Stripped Bare” in 2003. A woman before her time it would appear.

I haven’t read or seen FSG and I won’t, but I know pornography when I hear it. Anyway I am far too busy knocking out my own piece of “racy” lit  ….“Dirty Davina’s Kiss My Whip Message Parlour” in the hope of selling a pallet load……Page One Chapter One..

…“It was still dark outside when Irish Backpacker Davina Donnelly slovenly dragged herself off the filthy mattress she’d drunkenly slumped onto only hours before. She clumsily put on the red underwear she’d randomly scooped up from a pile of clothes scattered across the floor of the dank and dingy apartment. But as she clumsily pulled his carefully faded 301s up over her long slender legs she heard a spine-chilling scream from the mattress below her. It was Oscar… “you can take my jocks but you can never take my Levis”

Happy Valentine’s Day



President Donald Trump’s dressing down of our PM provoked a couple of Canberra wireless talkers into questioning his business ethics.


FM 104.7’s breakfast duo Ryan and Tanya wanted to know if Trump’s travel ban on refugees from certain Muslim countries carried over to his extensive business interests.

Ryan, posing as Osama, an Iranian student visiting Washington, rang the local Trump Hotel to book a room for he and his Iranian mates. “Not a problem Sir” said the accommodating man at the D.C. end. Clearly business and politics can be comfy bedfellows.


The Enlightened city is set for a heightened level of enlightenment this year according to CM Andrew Barr.

In launching the 7th annual Enlighten Festival this week, Mr Barr predicted it would “easily surpass” our most famous festival Floriade.

Barr’s bold claim was backed by Singapore Airlines coming on board as a sponsor. The airline’s representative and former Canberra boy Karl Schubert says Asian visitors were keen to take advantage of the Capital Express flights to see Canberra’s buildings “in a different light”.

Enlighten 2017 takes place around national buildings and the Parliamentary Triangle from March 3 to 12.


A worrying trend (for pedants at least) seems to have spread across the Enlightened city…The IUOTA (inappropriate use of the apostrophe). This week I spotted a very green example at the Kippax Raiders’ club promoting the special meal deal “Coastal Combo’s“. Take Away food shops often advertise Fish N Chip’s and the growing number of people who automatically apply the IUOTA to that bygone era (when the apostrophe knew its place) the 50s, 60s and 70s… might suggest the old journalistic idiom of IF IN DOUBT LEAVE IT OUT has been flipped on its head. The new norm…whack it in to be sure. Is this acceptable for an enlightened city?


Still on Fish N Chips and near catastrophe has befallen the local fryers. Unseasonal weather, battering potato crops in Southern states, has created a potato famine (of sorts) causing hardship for those partial to the thin slice of pomme de terre cooked in batter and called a Potato Scallop (in Tassie it’s a Potato Cake).

The thousands of Canberra connoisseurs of the Potato Scallop are reportedly “getting by” on the frozen but vastly inferior variety.

Might be unhelpful though to suggest they…“eat (Potato) cake instead”..


Nice to see that abstract still makes the art grow fonder

One of Canberra’s most valuable assets is back home after a rare overseas visit.

Jackson Pollock’s Blue Poles, one of the world’s most recognisable pieces is safely back on the wall at the National Gallery after a trip to London.

And apparently the controversial painting, purchased by the Whitlam Government in 1973 for a ‘tad’ over $1mil was “missed”.

According to NGA’s senior curator of international art, Lucina Ward, “visitors expect to see it in Canberra… it is one of the National Gallery’s most famous paintings”.

Estimates of Blue Poles’ current worth vary widely between $20Mil and $350Mil.

Two men sitting in deck chairs on a traffic island during Monday’s peak hour viewing traffic flow through a large roundabout was indeed a rare sight. And one which runs the risk of compounding the belief in that ignorant national myth that there is nothing more exciting to do in Canberra than watch traffic.

Apparently the pair of local residents held grave safety fears after the installation of lights on the dangerous Barton Highway/William Slim Dr/Gundaroo Dr roundabout, but at last report, after a relatively smooth transition, had given it the thumbs up.

Sadly though for the reputation of the Capital the story went national.


Marauding MAMILS (middle aged men in Lycra) and their attitude is an issue brewing to a head more powerful than an inexpertly tapped keg of the Braddon brew, and will explode soon if not approached in a cordial fashion.

The fair dinkum practitioners of the pedal in all their yellow/pink flexible splendour were targeted yet again last week in an article asking the question.. Why are Canberrans so unkind to cyclists?

Responses on social media, ranging from..”Canberrans are a loving, kindly people who delight in the social benefits of bike riding “….to..“I’m glad I have a Bullbar on my car” might suggest we have a long ride ahead.



By Mike Welsh



Jennifer was killed near my place a few years ago. While I’m not sure exactly when and how she died, I do know she is sorely missed, at least by her mother. It is clear she perished after a vehicle left the road and hit a large tree. Apart from that I know that her mother wants her memory to live on.

How do I know about Jennifer? There is a bright and uncluttered roadside memorial attached to a large tree just around the corner from my place.

I wasn’t aware the memorial was dedicated to Jennifer until recently. The tribute to Jennifer is always simple and fresh and unavoidable. Flowers and messages mainly. But today I couldn’t avoid the large, personal sign which appeared.


I’ve conducted several interviews on my radio program with the authors of books on the subject of Roadside memorials. Apparently there are scores of books available on the topic, mostly filled with poignant pictures of wooden crosses on the sides of highways from all around the world. Although in some parts of the world tributes are distinctly different. In Ireland for example you’ll see actual headstones or piles of rock with a cross atop. In Canada they are more organised. The government pays for a bunch of crosses with the deceased person’s name and a road safety message included.

It’s almost impossible to drive by a roadside memorial without giving some thought to what you see. There’s no confusion. But there is always, to someone, a tragic story attached.

Is it sobering and upsetting if there’s a cuddly toy and photo frame featuring a child in amongst the flowers and candles? A child perished at that spot.

Often when a teenager dies in a car smash their peers shower a makeshift memorial site with all manner of items. Cans of alcohol, footy caps and scarves, graffiti. They have few other ways of dealing with the loss. These mostly fade with the months and years. Others are meant to be permanent.

I’ve often wondered as I pass the tribute near my place whether the extensive maintenance undertaken to keep the memorial alive actually helps the family left behind deal with its loss. Is it none of my business? Is it disrespectful of me to take and publish a photo of Jennifer’s site?

Some experts in the field of grief and loss suggest the concept of roadside memorials is more about those who are, or wish to be, unconventional. Church and graveyard displays are the traditional manner in which to remember the departed.

And while from a practical viewpoint, local governments grapple with this sensitive issue, it seems there are those who find the concept of roadside memorials distasteful and even offensive.

The Separation of Church and State issue, surprisingly, rears its boofhead. Because most sites include a cross, a universal sign of death and loss, this automatically also means Christianity and that, for some, just won’t do. This was the basis for a change of the law in the state of Florida in the late 90s.

It’s also distressing to learn of in incident in Portland, Oregon several years ago. Somebody decided it was ok to compact the grief of a family by erecting signs featuring black crosses with a red slash though them. The Black Prince’s calling card “666” was tossed in for greater effect. Not to mention memorials ripped out only to be replaced, time and time again by grieving relatives.

And of course there is always the old chestnut about the distraction sites create for passing motorists.

But all I can think of at this time of year is Jennifer’s mother and her grief and another Christmas they won’t share.