14 February 2023

PODCAST: The Hoot on religious freedom, fast food and cat bans

| Genevieve Jacobs
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The Hoot logo with a cat

Who, me? Should we ban cats completely? Photo: Canberra Street Cat Alliance.

The Hoot is here, and in this week’s podcast, Genevieve Jacobs and Ross Solly discuss the very serious issues (religious freedom), the slightly less serious issues (opposition to KFC at the Chisholm shops) and the profound (should we ban cats completely?)

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The question of what happens when your own deeply held beliefs collide with those of your employer raised its head again this week with the saga of freshly minted Essendon Club boss Andrew Thorburn. Thorburn was in charge for just one day before his church’s beliefs around abortion and homosexuality were raised.

READ ALSO It’s outdated and harmful views on the nose, not people of faith

He departed rapidly but the queries remain – is a private employer entitled to hire and fire at will? Where does the line lie on religious discrimination?

Meanwhile, Chisholm residents are up in arms again – but this time, it’s not because of the Chisholm Tavern demolition (already accomplished) or the threat of McDonald’s at the shops (seen off some time ago).

READ ALSO Chisholm Shops KFC falls fowl of some local residents

This time it’s KFC bidding for a space and opinions are divided. Some locals say that the fast food chain will destroy local businesses that are already struggling, while others see an opportunity to revitalise a sleepy precinct and create both employment and finger-licking food opportunities.

And more than a decade ago, Canberra first began mandating that cats must stay indoors. First, it was the suburbs near the Mulligans Flat reserve where endangered birds and native mammals are flourishing behind high fences.

READ ALSO Is it time to ban all cats in Canberra?

But now the feline predators – or domestic moggies – are being confined across Canberra, recognising their risk to birdlife in particular. Ross says we should take matters one step further. De-sex them first, confine them and then do not replace them when they depart this earth.

Is his suggestion too extreme? Tell us what you think in the comments. Listen to the Hoot on all your usual podcast channels and don’t forget to rate and review us, and recommend to other Canberrans who are keen for some smart but not-too-serious news and analysis.

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