20 June 2021

Probing the polls: active transport and the humble flannie. Or is it a flanno?

| Genevieve Jacobs
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RiotACT staff in office

Flannies were de rigueur for the Region Media team when we farewelled Michael Weaver. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Readers aren’t persuaded that we’re completely ready for an active transport change in the ACT, according to our weekly poll.

We asked whether you’d make the switch to electric bikes or scooters, following a six-week ACT Government initiative designed to enable employees to replace their car commutes with active travel.

But despite $39,572 in funding and support from the Government’s Community Zero Emissions Grants Program, readers weren’t sure that as a city we were ready to make the move away from vehicles.

The lack of dedicated bike lanes and alternatives routes away from main roads concerned many readers, some of whom said they’d otherwise be willing to change their commutes.

Others pointed out that it’s not only about congestion-busting and reducing our emissions, but also health benefits and changing poor lifestyles.

We asked Will you ditch the daily car commute for active transport alternatives? A total of 785 people responded.

Your options were to vote Yes, all it takes is some energy and education to make a difference. This received 26 per cent of the total, or 207 votes. Alternatively, you could choose to vote No, our transport and infrastructure aren’t good enough to make this feasible. This received 578 votes, or 74 per cent of the total.

This week, as the winter chill descends across Canberra, we’re wondering about your preferred way to beat the cold and stay comfortably toasty.

READ ALSO Royal Hotel stakes its claim with Australia’s best steak title

Our good mate Michael Weaver has made his next career move (to the ANU’s media department) and the Region Media crew gathered to farewell him at the Royal in Queanbeyan, where the steaks are very big indeed and very good.

Weaves is an actual Queanbeyan local who lives in and loves Q-town, so in his honour, the crew donned our flannelette shirts and ugg boots to farewell him in both comfort and style.

Our chief sub-editor, David Murtagh (a man who loves nothing more than fine jazz and a good book), conceded that he’d never been more relaxed in his life than while wearing a flannie and eating an enormous amount of red meat.

Two men in flanelette shirts

The humble flanno is both comfortable and stylish, say Region Media‘s leadership team. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The only absent staff member was our head of HR, Mr Smiggle, who wears a flannie to work throughout the winter but has been refused entry to the Royal.

But is it a flannie, or a flanno? Weaves surprised us all by referring to the latter.

The Macquarie Dictionary’s Australian word map says that ‘flanno’ is mostly used in Queensland. ‘Flanno’ is probably more popular, in Brisbane anyway (among those who actually wear them), than ‘flannie’, according to the dictionary.

Sub-editor Gavin Dennett, a born and bred Canberran whose family used to own the Lyneham bakery, reckons the historically correct local term is a ‘booner doona’.

The debate comes hot on the heels of impassioned arguments over whether anyone has ever called Queanbeyan ‘Dreambeyan’? (No, according to almost everyone), so perhaps some further explanation is needed from the RiotACT archives.

READ ALSO Dreambeyan? Queanbo residents tell em they’re dreamin’

“When I grew up, we had Booners, aka Westies. A Booner’s thick checked flannie was a Booner Doona. A Booner lived in Kambah or Charnwood, wore black jeans, desert boots, a Metallica/Megadeth t-shirt and smoked winniebloos. Bogans were what my cousins in Melbourne called their version of booners. Can we keep what few Canberra-specific terms alive???”, asked a correspondent called Growling Ferret back in 2006.

Our poll this week asks:

What is the correct local term for a checked brushed cotton shirt?

View Results

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consumeradvocatecanberra6:18 pm 20 Jun 21

The elephant in the room is of course that we are used to taking the car. Have yoursay and other window dressing engagements don’t work! I live in South East Tuggeranong and am retired also. Mr Steele needs to meet Commuters, by catchment eg Lanyon, and get a commitment. We will provide a direct route for as many of you as possible, removing the 30 odd stops along the way and get you there almost as quick as the car.
And to answer TimboinOz comment-most schools and gyms are near a park and ride or bus stop, so there is no excuse for anyone to say they need the car after work.
We’re waiting Mr Steele!

First up? Not everyone in the ACT works.

Lots of us are retired, and, if you live in Northern Tuggeranong and you want to do a weekly shop at Aldi and Woolies (because you might just have to), you won’t be doing it via the bus network, unless you have a LOT of spare time that day. And. feel up to carrying all the bags, so the two of you will have to do the trip!

Yeah right.

When will this site get REAL?

Instead you’ll take that car you already

If you would prefer to take your own private motor vehicle to the shops then you may continue to choose to do so. However there is no point in pretending to be forced to do so. If you are retired then you will have more time to shop and if you are worried about carrying shopping bags, then use a shopping trolley.BTW not everyone lives in outer Tuggeranong.

Define “Northern Tuggeranong”. Most suburbs have their small shopping centre with a Supabarn or IGA or similar, within short reach of most of the suburb, and often on a bus route. Most of the weekly shopping could be done there without “needing” Colesworth, but some people are wedded to their big supermarket trip, or think that the smaller shops will be vastly more expensive, but have never actually properly tried the alternative.

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