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Malcolm Farr of the Daily Tele gets on the anti Stanhope wagon

By Thumper - 4 September 2006 61

Malcolm Carr Farr, writing in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday 2 September, has stated that, ‘Canberra, the model city, is looking a bit tatty these days and in some parts it is unrecognisable, even to the local taxi company’.

Farr claims, and probably with good cause that, the city, under Stanhope, has become increasingly violent, increasingly expensive, has the worse health system in the nation, and that it is in danger of becoming a showcase of what can go bad in Australia.

All of this he lays squarely at the feet of our beloved leader.

However, to be fair, Farr does go a little overboard in his assessment of our city, stating that there ‘is a nasty hard drug culture and the involvement of bikie gangs in related activities’.

Whether this is true or not I cannot say for sure, but I doubt it is any worse than any other city in Australia.

It seems that we are making the news for the wrong reasons. Or is this just another angle on Canberra bashing?

[ED – Thumper continues in what was posted as a separate story but I thought was best added here

Malcolm Farr must have had a bad weekend in Canberra.

Not content with his other spray at Canberra and Stanhope, Farr has also gone into print on the crime and violence issue, stating that ‘Canberra has been struck by an outbreak of violence and crime usually associated with much larger cities.’

However, the article seems to simply ramble on about anything bad that Farr percieves. For instance, that it ‘has become one of the most expensive cities to live in, with high taxes but crumbling health and education systems’ as well as ‘more dangerous than parts of Sydney late at night’.

It is alo the ‘the national car theft capital’, and ‘the cost of houses has risen at a faster pace in Canberra than any other major city on the eastern seaboard’, and that it ‘has one of the poorest functioning health systems in Australia. ‘

The rant seems much the same as his previous rant but like most articles, contains a grain of truth.

Has Farr taken up an anti Stanhope cudgel? Or did he just get a dodgy vindaloo here one night? Possibly he couldn’t get a taxi from the airport?

[Ed – Malcom Farr lives here in Canberra as the Tele’s Canberra correspondent]

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61 Responses to
Malcolm Farr of the Daily Tele gets on the anti Stanhope wagon
miz 11:02 pm 04 Sep 06

Seepi is right about the scruffy state of things, especially in areas that were established around 20 years ago (when things like the garden plant allowance were stopped while these suburbs were establishing). I think they had a landscaping lobotomy when they ‘planted’ Tuggeranong. It’s still bare and stark after all this time.

Where are the shots of Tuggers on ‘live in Canberra’? It’s all ‘let’s pretend we all live in Campbell’.

vg 10:11 pm 04 Sep 06

and the Pebbles control very little in Canberra. They’ll tell you they do, but the reality is quite different. Most people gave up being in gangs when they were 13yo. Some people have neither the intelligence nor the social skills to move on.

I would love to have seen some dusty old Ulysses member (with a boxing background) sit one of the Pebbles on their ass. If the badge of honour of a contemporary bikie gang is terrorising senior citizens, well lets just say that their mission statements have somewhat gone awry.

vg 10:08 pm 04 Sep 06

The AFP is recruiting Al, bring your genius and motivation. I have a feeling that you’d melt like a snowman at the sight of an angry person, but the comic relief you’d provide your workmates would cover the price of admission.

I mean that’s assuming you know what an angry person looks like.

Then again your indepth knowledge of law enforcement can only be borne from 2 things:

1/ Failing a police academy of some description; or
2/ A bad experience with law enforcement (which of course wouldn’t have been your fault)

Care to enlighten?

Big Al 8:07 pm 04 Sep 06

“..when it comes down to it, we don’t have a police force capable of sorting them out.” Chris you could slot in “couldn’t be arsed” or “competent enough” where you have “capable” and the meaning would be the same.

Chris S 4:20 pm 04 Sep 06

The Rebels certainly took control when the Ulysses mob came to town a couple of years back.

They picked on a female biker on her own, which shows how tough they really are – however, when it comes down to it, we don’t have a police force capable of sorting them out.

Ralph 11:15 am 04 Sep 06

So waht are we getting for our high rates?

Multicultural festivals and a state of the art rehabilitation centre – also known as a prison (replete with artworks and uninterrupted mountain vistas).

Outside the PS bubble you’ll find the Rebels control a good deal of what goes on round town, particularly in the industrial areas.

seepi 11:01 am 04 Sep 06

Unfortunately a lot of what he says is true.
Canberra is much dirtier, and less landscaped since self government.
Rates and house prices are through the roof compared to most of Australia, and health and education services are getting worse every year. Policing levels are one of the lowest in the country (if not the lowest?). So waht are we getting for our high rates?

Absent Diane 10:57 am 04 Sep 06

I have only ever been randomly attacked once… and it was in melbourne. so I agree with the notion of only getting in trouble when looking for it. I also like to think that people are scared of me – the truth of that may never been known.

Danman 10:10 am 04 Sep 06

I reflect VY’s sentiments

VYBerlinaV8 10:02 am 04 Sep 06

Violent crime might be more noticeable now, but something I learnt at a fairly rough highschool was that if you don’t go looking for trouble, you’ll rarely find it. I’ve never had a problem with this type of thing in Canberra, or anywhere for that matter.

terubo 9:59 am 04 Sep 06

This article is somewhat sus in several ways. For example:
“There are dozens of instances of assaults and brawling every Friday and Saturday night in Canberra’s entertainment centres, particularly the oldest one, Civic.
It is as if a particularly stupid breed of blood-lusting drunken thug has infiltrated Canberra, but most of them are home-grown.”
-Dozens of assaults every Friday and Saturday night? I’d like to hear the real stats from someone like vg. Most of them are home-grown? Who’s done the research on that?
Seems to me that Mr Farr has o’d – not for the first time, from the look of him – on a surfeit of braised lobster, linguine and creme brulee, topped off with a few Jamaican coffees for good measure. The Tele’d be better off hiring him as their resident restaurant critic, I’m sure the old gourmand has grazed his way through plenty of ’em in Canberra. But not in Civic, of course.

Absent Diane 9:28 am 04 Sep 06

I think the drugs reference will just make us come across as a party town.

Danman 9:26 am 04 Sep 06

I heard on the wireless this morning that Mr Farr or some joker liek that felt more safe walking through Bourke Street mall at night than he would walking through Garema Pl at night. I have never had a problem – people say haig park is a problem too – I have never had a problem – maybe its me who is the apparent derro who everyone is avoiding ? Wheres the stats to back up the claim ?

johnboy 9:24 am 04 Sep 06

It is relatively uncommon for it to be so widely known who does what in the drug scene.

You could just put that down to a small town with an educated population wanting to take big city drugs.

el 9:17 am 04 Sep 06

Just another angle for Canberra bashing… “Hard drug culture” and bikie gangs? LOL…

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