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Get to Parliament for one last roll down the people’s hill

By Charlotte Harper - 17 December 2016 11

Rolling down the hill at Parliament as part of You Are Here in 2015. Photo: Charlotte Harper
Get to Parliament House this morning to for perhaps the last time ever be part of what is truly one of the must fun experiences you’ll ever have in Canberra: rolling down the steep lawns of our nation’s democratic heart.

I can’t remember when I have laughed as hard as during our entire family’s rolling session down the Parliament hill facing Mt Ainslie last March. We’d joined a group indulging in this somewhat absurd, yet utterly addictive pastime as part of the 2015 You Are Here Festival.

The Roll with Me event back then was designed to draw on “a deep and uniting passion for rolling down grassy hills at Parliament House and experiences of living in a town where the architecture of government looms in the distance”.

“Come, roll with us and explore the almost imperceptible ways that your surroundings rein you in,” organisers wrote of the event.

Today’s roll-in has been organised by Canberran Lester Yao in response to the sad news that the hills will shortly be closed to the public for security reasons, and this despite the fact that architect Romaldo Giurgola designed Parliament House so that us ordinary Australians could walk over the top of our leaders, reflecting the open nature of our democracy.

So much for not letting the terrorists win.

“It’s a story I hear often from people that live in Canberra or visit Canberra and the Parliamant House,” Mr Yao writes on the Facebook event page for this morning’s rolling event.

“They walk up that beautiful green lawn and see the amazing view of Canberra, then they fall to their knees and roll down the hill.

“This simple fun action embodies a very simple yet powerful symbol of democracy.”

Mr Yao notes that a 2.6m fence is scheduled to be installed at the base of the hill from early next year. If you can’t make it this morning, we strongly recommend you get the family together and head to Parliament for a roll in the next couple of weeks.

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Get to Parliament for one last roll down the people’s hill
dungfungus 10:39 am 21 Dec 16

Masquara said :

Mysteryman said :

Spiral said :

We have been told many times that when we change our lifestyle in the face of terrorism then we are letting the terrorists win.

I went yesterday and rolled down the hill as it symbolized how our government has rolled over and let the terrorists win.

I would love to know what your solution to the very real threat of terrorist activity is. Would you care to share it with us?

They don’t want to pay for the security staff. An ugly travesty of a fence is purely a money-saver. It’s as simple as that.

Unless the fence is electrified (by renewables of course) with lethal voltage it will be a waste of money.

Masquara 7:43 pm 20 Dec 16

Mysteryman said :

Spiral said :

We have been told many times that when we change our lifestyle in the face of terrorism then we are letting the terrorists win.

I went yesterday and rolled down the hill as it symbolized how our government has rolled over and let the terrorists win.

I would love to know what your solution to the very real threat of terrorist activity is. Would you care to share it with us?

They don’t want to pay for the security staff. An ugly travesty of a fence is purely a money-saver. It’s as simple as that.

Mysteryman 10:09 am 20 Dec 16

Spiral said :

We have been told many times that when we change our lifestyle in the face of terrorism then we are letting the terrorists win.

I went yesterday and rolled down the hill as it symbolized how our government has rolled over and let the terrorists win.

I would love to know what your solution to the very real threat of terrorist activity is. Would you care to share it with us?

dungfungus 10:06 am 20 Dec 16

devils_advocate said :

dungfungus said :

Not long after Parliament house was completed some guy with an issue drove his 4WD through the main doors and into the Great Hall.

The best part was, the day prior he was seen with a measuring tape measuring the distance between the bollards. They subsequently installed more bollards.

There has been a report of another Nice type truck attack at a Christmas market in Berlin.

We aren’t ready to deal with this if it happens here. All the pedestrian malls in Canberra should have bollards. We are slow learners.

devils_advocate 8:27 am 20 Dec 16

dungfungus said :

Not long after Parliament house was completed some guy with an issue drove his 4WD through the main doors and into the Great Hall.

The best part was, the day prior he was seen with a measuring tape measuring the distance between the bollards. They subsequently installed more bollards.

John Moulis 4:25 pm 19 Dec 16

dungfungus said :

Spiral said :

We have been told many times that when we change our lifestyle in the face of terrorism then we are letting the terrorists win.

I went yesterday and rolled down the hill as it symbolized how our government has rolled over and let the terrorists win.

Not long after Parliament house was completed some guy with an issue drove his 4WD through the main doors and into the Great Hall.

Imagine what would have resulted if the vehicle was filled with explosives?

I am surprised that it has taken so long for the security to be upgraded although it should also be upgraded in public places like it is in France.

I was a courier at Dept of Finance pre-NPH and we had to enter OPH under the stairs, walk thru an airport-style metal detector and put any envelopes or satchels thru the x-ray machine. A few years after I left that job NPH opened and I was amazed at how open and insecure it was. You could just walk thru the front doors and the trade entrance at the back of the building was similarly open.

When the inevitable happened in 1992 – the 4WD driving thru the front doors into the foyer – the security measures which should have been in place from day one were implemented. The public had to enter thru a side door and go thru the same screening as at OPH.

It boggles the mind that they were prepared to open that building without the proper security measures in place. Perhaps they thought that everybody was just so enraptured with the majesty of it that they wouldn’t dream of doing anything untoward.

In any case it is good to see that proper security measures are now coming in. 28 years too late.

dungfungus 1:45 pm 19 Dec 16

Holden Caulfield said :

dungfungus said :

Spiral said :

We have been told many times that when we change our lifestyle in the face of terrorism then we are letting the terrorists win.

I went yesterday and rolled down the hill as it symbolized how our government has rolled over and let the terrorists win.

Not long after Parliament house was completed some guy with an issue drove his 4WD through the main doors and into the Great Hall.

Imagine what would have resulted if the vehicle was filled with explosives?

I am surprised that it has taken so long for the security to be upgraded although it should also be upgraded in public places like it is in France.

Let’s all live in bomb-proof shelters.

That would be preferable to a fool’s paradise.

Holden Caulfield 12:56 pm 19 Dec 16

dungfungus said :

Spiral said :

We have been told many times that when we change our lifestyle in the face of terrorism then we are letting the terrorists win.

I went yesterday and rolled down the hill as it symbolized how our government has rolled over and let the terrorists win.

Not long after Parliament house was completed some guy with an issue drove his 4WD through the main doors and into the Great Hall.

Imagine what would have resulted if the vehicle was filled with explosives?

I am surprised that it has taken so long for the security to be upgraded although it should also be upgraded in public places like it is in France.

Let’s all live in bomb-proof shelters.

dungfungus 8:54 pm 18 Dec 16

Spiral said :

We have been told many times that when we change our lifestyle in the face of terrorism then we are letting the terrorists win.

I went yesterday and rolled down the hill as it symbolized how our government has rolled over and let the terrorists win.

Not long after Parliament house was completed some guy with an issue drove his 4WD through the main doors and into the Great Hall.

Imagine what would have resulted if the vehicle was filled with explosives?

I am surprised that it has taken so long for the security to be upgraded although it should also be upgraded in public places like it is in France.

Spiral 4:49 pm 18 Dec 16

We have been told many times that when we change our lifestyle in the face of terrorism then we are letting the terrorists win.

I went yesterday and rolled down the hill as it symbolized how our government has rolled over and let the terrorists win.

switch 7:54 am 18 Dec 16

So “democracy sausage” replaces “Parliament could not be above the people.”

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