22 December 2022

Probing the polls: a close call on the city stadium and what to do with the Christmas decorations

| Genevieve Jacobs
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close up of baubles on a christmas tree

When do the decorations come down? Photo: File.

Readers are closely divided on one of the longest-running infrastructure issues in Canberra. For many years, sports advocates have argued the need for a stadium in the city.

But with a limited budget and other priorities, the government has consistently pushed back on the call for a large-scale sports facility in Civic, pointing out that the Canberra Theatre redevelopment will be of more use to more people on a much more consistent basis than a sports stadium.

Current government plans are centred on making the most of the existing, admittedly tired, facilities at Bruce.

The most recent Civic proposal comes from a private consortium that is proposing a land swap deal with the AIS and returning some of Glebe Park to make their plans possible. The Chief Minister doesn’t like the look of it and our audience is divided.

Heath Bax wrote: “Why reinvest in a stadium that will still not serve the needs of the entire ACT, no matter how good it is? Crap location, no supporting entertainment ie restaurants and bars. A stadium/conference centre in Civic would bring the whole of Canberra and surrounds into the heart of the territory.”

Margaret Freemantle agreed, writing: “We are the National Capital. It is a no-brainer to have a sports stadium in the city and is part of the Canberra plan. Stick to it and do it!!”

READ ALSO City stadium idea a winner, says Lee, with eye on 2024

We asked, Do we need a new stadium in the city? A total of 996 readers voted.

Your options to vote were No, the numbers don’t add up. This received 55 per cent of the total, or 550 votes. Alternatively, you could vote Yes, get on with it. This received 45 per cent of the total, or 446 votes.

This week, we’re wondering what you’re doing with your Christmas tree. It’s all glittery, tinsel-draped fun in the lead-up to 25 December, and some Christmas trees have been in place since the beginning of the month, decked with ornaments and laden with presents.

Lights and decorations cover houses and if you go the whole hog, there might even be an inflatable Santa in your front yard.

But what happens on Boxing Day? Does the tree linger into the New Year? Do the lights continue blinking through summer?

Tradition says the tree should come down by the feast of the Epiphany, or the twelfth night (on 6 January). For those with other deep-seated traditional beliefs, you could link cleaning up the tree to the New Year’s Test and potter around while listening to us thump the Proteas at the SCG.

READ ALSO Odd jobs: Ringing the bells at one of Canberra’s oldest churches

Or – and while this is shameful, it’s also not uncommon – do the decorations hang around until the kids go back to school and your mother-in-law’s next visit is looming? Do you leave the tree up until Easter eggs appear in the shops (usually at the end of January these days)?

And just possibly, you might be one of those people whose fences are still blinking in the middle of winter.

This week’s question is:

How long do you leave the Christmas decorations up?

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