That awkward moment when…
There’s quite often a moment in the workplace when your boss corrects you, asserting their position as top dog. This could even undermine your position on a certain topic.
That’s where Canberra Liberals leader Jeremy Hanson is with his federal boss, Prime Minister Tony Abbott. It’s now twice that Abbott has completely undermined Hanson’s opposition to the Capital Metro light rail project.
When asked about funding for extensions to the successful Gold Coast light rail route, Abbott used the ACT Government as an example of how public transport should be funded – through his government’s asset recycling scheme.
It’s the second time in three months Abbott has publicly supported the way the ACT Labor Government has funded the project.
And with Hanson wanting ‘no light rail’ to be his new ‘triple your rates’ three word slogan, it leaves him in an awkward position.
Longing for the summer
It’s mid-winter, things are a bit quiet and most MLAs are having a well-earned break. But not Chief Minister Andrew Barr, who’s been keeping the place running and trying to shake off the chills.
Early last week, he announced the removal of legislation stopping outdoor bars in the ACT. He did it with a summer-themed media stunt at Beach Burrito.
Then later in the week, he announced there would be summer fun for the next four years in the shape of international cricket in Canberra. At least one international one day or Twenty20 fixture for the Australian men’s team is guaranteed at Manuka Oval, while the Australian women’s team will also play each year.
It’s like Barr wants the summer here now.
Coe aims to save Belconnen
Planning laws are always big news in the ACT and new laws around the use of land owned by the University of Canberra in Belconnen have pricked the ears of Canberra Liberals deputy leader Alistair Coe.
Coe, who is a local Ginninderra member living in the new Yerrabi electorate, says new laws allowing UC to go ahead with up to $1 billion in new developments – including housing, retail and aged care residences – could hurt Belconnen town centre.
“The new leasing structure…means that the cost of developing on the UC site will be cheaper than on other sites around the ACT, some just a few hundred metres from Belconnen town centre,” Coe said.
Fair point. It does seem a bit odd to allow such a large-scale development to go ahead, with different lease structures, so close to a town centre.
But this also seems odd from Coe. Just down the road, he’s planning to hurt Gungahlin town centre by stopping the light rail. Although this is probably the biggest hint yet of which electorate Coe will be standing in next year.
The death of a party
There are only six registered political parties in the ACT after the Australian Motorist Party asked to be taken off the list last week.
Not to be confused with Senator Ricky Muir’s Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, the Australian Motorist Party secured 4.2% of the vote at the 2012 ACT election. It had former Summernats head honcho Chic Henry as its lead candidate.
So farewell AMP. But weirdly, more people like the now de-registered party’s Facebook page than that of the Canberra Liberals. True story.
For more ACT politics news, visit thepoliticalact.wordpress.com.