9 April 2023

PODCAST: The Hoot on bad management, the missing middle and the death of daylight saving

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Brindabella Christian College bus

Brindabella Christian College reportedly owes the ATO almost $5 million. Photo: File.

The Hoot is here as this week’s podcast with Ross Solly and Genevieve Jacobs reflects on a flat-out week of Canberra news and ideas leading up to Easter.

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It hasn’t been a pleasant time for Brindabella Christian College, following recent revelations that the Brindabella Christian Education Limited charity, which operates the school via three person board, owes the Australian Tax Office almost $5 million.

BCEL is currently awaiting a decision from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on whether it is fit and proper to operate a school.

READ ALSO Minister’s concerns on Brindabella solvency, financial probity revealed (and the cost of bus ads)

The College’s governance and finance issues are labyrinthine and by all appearances deeply troubled, but apart from the challenges faced by the school community, there’s also a bigger question around responsibility to the taxpayer.

The school receives around $10 million per annum in funding from the ACT and Federal governments, but there appears to be little transparency around where that goes and concerns released by the federal education Minister point to troublingly low standards of governance and oversight.

So what do publicly funded institutions owe the public in return for our tax dollars?

READ ALSO How should we build the missing middle in Canberra?

As Canberra grows, there’s been a determined effort to keep most development within a defined footprint and prevent excessive suburban creep, but doing so will inevitably mean we need to develop existing sites.

MLA Jo Clay asked this week where the “missing middle” of medium-density development has gone. New development seems to be either high-density or single dwelling, so where’s the in between option?

Is the answer simply that it all sounds great somewhere else – but people don’t want townhouses next to their big backyards?

READ ALSO ‘Kids waiting for the bus in the dark’: Is daylight saving too long?

And it’s finally time to wave goodbye to daylight saving, not before time either. The argument about abandoning daylight saving altogether is probably lost, but does it go on for too long these days? Why do we spend six months on daylight saving when it’s pitch dark in the morning?

Would four months of daylight saving be enough? And who’s idea was this anyway?

The Hoot appears every week on Riotact and wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple and Spotify. Have a listen, tell us what you think and rate us.

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