14 February 2023

PODCAST: The Hoot on street trees, the NACC and how to tell if you're really a Canberran

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Skywhale and Skypapa

We all know that’s Skywhale on the left, but who’s its Bosom Buddy on the right? Photo: Michelle Kroll.

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This week on the Hoot podcast, how will the Federal Government’s new anti-corruption commission affect Canberra’s public servants?

Ross Solly and Genevieve Jacobs discuss whether whistleblowers will feel safe under the proposed model which has some troubling aspects around transparency and, in particular, what will prompt public hearings.

Ross argues that few public servants are likely to step forward if they face the wrath of political consequences for their actions.

But if the long-awaited commission doesn’t let the sunlight in, what are the risks for the ever more precarious notion of frank and fearless advice and protection from political interference?

Come storm season (and there’s been plenty of weather this year), come the complaints about eucalypts in Canberra’s streets. An enquiry into last summer’s super storm cell has suggested that the government “consider the appropriateness of tree species as part of future urban planting with regard to the risk of damage from severe weather events”.

READ ALSO Supercell thunderstorm inquiry says it’s time for a rethink on eucalypts in suburbia

With a tree canopy target of 30 per cent set for 2045, the government has active tree planting projects underway in conjunction with protections for existing trees. But are the eucalypts really at fault?

Some experts say that trees actually reduce storm damage by absorbing energy and that any tree can fall in the right set of circumstances, while others believe the natives filling the streets of west Canberra, in particular, are dangerous “widow makers” with no place in the suburbs.

READ ALSO QUIZ: How much of a true Canberran are you?

And how do you know if you’re a true Canberran?

Could you name all the beers made in the ACT? Could you correctly identify a many-breasted mammalian balloon if it rose over the lake in front of your startled eyes? And what’s that white tower in Woden?

The Hoot podcast appears every week from Region on all your usual podcast channels. Subscribe, rate, review us and tell us what you think in the comments.

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Knowing how many beers are brewed in Canberra? Why should that be a test?! I still drink the occasional beer, but my favourite is Coopers green. How about, how many addicted gamblers there are here?! How much gambling money is collected by our licensed clubs? Eh? We have three truly tall gum-trees in our front garden. And I – somewhat regret – planting each of them. IF I’d known the size of the aquifers under us I’d have chosen much smaller species.

ChrisinTurner4:30 pm 06 Oct 22

Unfortunately the ACT government and its agencies are the main offenders for street tree removal.

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