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Canberra, paved with gold and awash with cocaine

By johnboy - 26 January 2013 68


Myles Peterson (ex of the Canberra Times, sacked by the Pirate Party from his unpaid media role) has popped up in the Daily Telegraph fuelling every ignorant bogan’s wildest stereotype of Canberra.

Cashing in on the torrents of taxpayer cash flowing on to Canberra’s gold-paved streets, local retailers and supermarkets charge prices found only in South Yarra and Vaucluse

Cocaine busts in Canberra have been spiralling upwards. Late last year, kilos of the stuff was discovered within just 1km of Parliament House. If frequent police and Customs claims that only 1 to 2 per cent of the illicit drug trade is uncovered are to be believed, hundreds of kilos, with a street value gauged in the millions, are potentially wandering the capital’s streets looking for cashed-up buyers.

Canberra is a beautiful city. Hectares of manicured lawns and small forests surrounded by august and occasionally gaudy architecture. Life expectancy is world-first. Warped by the executive bubble, average incomes soar higher than any other city in Australia.

But really, read the whole thing.

It’s not that he’s wrong in all of his criticisms that gets me so much. It’s that a great number of you must be holding out with the charlie.

What’s Your opinion?

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68 Responses to
Canberra, paved with gold and awash with cocaine
HiddenDragon 12:42 pm 26 Jan 13

Looking again at the headline, and the eye-catching pic (wasn’t that guy in Rake?), I realise this is all just a devilishly clever piece of work by Canberra Tourism – with Summernats only a few days a year, and fireworks a thing of the past, and porn readily available on the net, we need a new angle to keep those cashed-up bogan dollars flowing in our direction. Well done Canberra Tourism (or whatever you call yourself now) and well done Myles – we knew you really loved us all along. This has got “viral” written all over it – woo hoo!

Ben_Dover 12:31 pm 26 Jan 13

hundreds of kilos, with a street value gauged in the millions, are potentially wandering the capital’s streets looking for cashed-up buyers

Do these people deliver?

thehutch 12:29 pm 26 Jan 13

He takes what happens on the minority of occassions and promotes it as the norm.

DrKoresh 12:28 pm 26 Jan 13

Oh Christ, I only just saw the accompanying photo. Goddamn I hate the Tele.

DrKoresh 12:27 pm 26 Jan 13

It bugs me that there aren’t any hard facts in this piece. Especially the idea that we are some kind of cocaine-Capital, which is based on nothing but anecdotal evidence (and not even good anecdotal evidence).

I’ll grant you that Myles has definitely struck a chord and that a lot of people are dissatisfied with the current state of Canberra, but I don’t think there was much substance to the article itself.

rosscoact 12:09 pm 26 Jan 13

I thought it was 1996-2010 but yes the number of EL1 have increased by 100%. All public serivce ranks increased under Howard and Labor except for trainees and APS 1-3 which have have dropped, that’s all the young ones straight from high school.

More graduates coming in starting at APS5+ and quickly rising to EL1 would also contribute.

However, I think the main reason is that you cannot just pay people more to poach them from other agencies or reward them. They need to increase in rank.

The end result is that if you can find someone with any talent any drive at all they quickly get promoted to middle management simply to give them extra income and retain them. It seems that if a person is smart enough to wear their underpants on the inside they are a shoe-in for an EL1 position.

It might be a bit late but I mean no offence to talented EL1s out there 🙂

dungfungus 12:06 pm 26 Jan 13

bundah said :

‘Between 2001 and 2011 the number of EL1s grew by more than 100 per cent’

If that is actually the case can someone ‘please explain’?

I can’t explain why the numbers grew but their existence could explain why the perceived demand driven real estate market remains overpriced. Most public servants on EL 1 range salaries have at least one investment home (negatively geared) several I know have 5 or more which are managed in taxpayers’ time. Some are even self-renovators in taxpayer time. I don’t know of any that snort cocaine however. Perhaps some should as it would take the boredom out of dinner parties where all that is talked about is the real estate market.

Deref 11:30 am 26 Jan 13

Dammit! Where’s my gold and my cocaine then?

smiling politely 11:15 am 26 Jan 13

Clearly our Myles – I use “our” as he has been an occasional commenter in these parts – is still processing his experience of working in the APS, perhaps with some lingering bitterness. See this piece in The Age from a while back and the corresponding RiotAct thread. Actual stats about classifications and everything can be found here.

HiddenDragon 10:59 am 26 Jan 13

I am in no position to comment on prices in South Yarra and Vaucluse, or on the supply of Bolivian marching powder, but at least some of what MP has to say rings true with me – most particularly that it is increasingly difficult for people on lower incomes to get by in this town. Those who run the place, and those who surround them, are on comfortable (at least) and generally quite secure incomes and it often seems that they either don’t understand, or simply don’t care, about the impact of their decisions on those whose incomes are somewhat lower and less secure.

Others might care to comment on the detail of the claims about the growth in “executive” level positions, but I have heard a very (and I do mean very) senior APS insider describe Branch Heads – not mere EL1s – as “tuppence a dozen”.

PantsMan 10:42 am 26 Jan 13

Generally agree with Myles.

johnboy 10:04 am 26 Jan 13

tends to be more wednesday night in sitting weeks

muntychops 9:58 am 26 Jan 13

He might be pissed at the nations capital but its hard to argue with a lot of that. Just go to Kingston on any Friday night when parliaments in session

JimCharles 9:48 am 26 Jan 13

I guess, because prices rise so fast here and they need to persuade people to move here, everything has been bumped up a notch..?

Somebody told me….don’t think that EL1’s are anything special, and don’t think that Directors in the Federal PS actually direct anything, they’d be a junior manager elsewhere. If any complicated work needs doing, they employ foreigners on contracts through agencies.

bundah 8:42 am 26 Jan 13

‘Between 2001 and 2011 the number of EL1s grew by more than 100 per cent’

If that is actually the case can someone ‘please explain’?

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