Sign wars

johnboy 13 April 2007 23

[First filed: April 10, 2007 @ 12:22
Second filing: April 11, 2007 @ 12:50]

Steve Pratt has blown a gasket and there’s boilling fluids all over the place as he kicks his feet and fists against the ground about “orange coloured signs” (too scared to even give oxygen to the dreaded initals “IR” it seems) popping up around the city. He’s also not happy about graffiti and is trying to conflate it with political speech where it suits him.

“The Stanhope Government, of course, is prepared to ignore community concern about such signs blighting our landscape, particularly when they have been erected by unions and political groups in ideological alignment with Mr Stanhope and spruiking political messages which Mr Stanhope and Mr Hargreaves constantly spruik. Coincidence or by government design??

“Community groups are prohibited from erecting signs on light poles even for noble community causes. But Mr Stanhope’s and Mr Hargreave’s political mates certainly can do so with impunity and Messrs Stanhope and Hargreaves ensure they remain erected for months,” Mr Pratt said.

Nothing to stop Steve getting out there and removing the illegal signs himself is there?

(And has he spoken to Troy?)

UPDATED: Steve appears to have been reading and has announced that he will be tearing down rogue signage if the Government fails to meet his ultimatum no less (COB Friday the 13th of April). Steve’s roadside discussions about the merits of their posters with burly CFMEU members will be a highlight of the year we imagine.

ANOTHER UPDATE: He’s going for it! And he’s even published a schedule:

“– The junction of Justinian Street and Yamba Drive, Woden Town Centre, on the bridge leading into the Woden cemetery, at 10:30 am

— At the junction of Dorsch Street and Yamba Drive, Isaacs at 11:30 am, and then

— Along Yamba/ Erindale Drive in the vicinity of the junction Sulwood Drive at Wanniassa.

I won’t be able to make it but if anyone wants to take pictures and report on the event it would be much appreciated.

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23 Responses to Sign wars
West_Kambah_4eva West_Kambah_4eva 8:53 am 18 Apr 07

Comment by bonfire — 16 April, 2007 @ 9:40 am


I loved that mural. One of my favourite canberra stencil-like art pieces. Can we please leave the art alone?

bonfire bonfire 9:40 am 16 Apr 07

saw the photo of pratt scrubbing graffiti in the ct.

well done that man.

TroyWilliams TroyWilliams 6:56 pm 12 Apr 07

G’day all

It was great to read through the different thoughts, it’s what makes RA interesting.

The margin in Fraser is a challenge (about 16%) however history shows that MPs who become tired and disinterested in local affairs, like the current Labor member, can be tripped up by voters. But there needs to be a viable alternative and that’s what I’m hoping to be. The first step is to get people thinking about what’s important to our local community.

The campaign will be a challenge as I’m up against a Labor candidate who has considerable financial backing from the unions. However, money is no substitute for actually getting out and meeting people and listening – that’s where my focus is.

Thanks to everyone who have provided me with their thoughts directly – it’s been great to listen to so many different views.

All the best


simbo simbo 11:40 pm 11 Apr 07

Well, Thumps, if the incumbent doesn’t reach the same percentage, but still gets a majority, does that mean you’re in favour of giving power to somoene who the majority of voters didn’t vote for?

Yes, I know that preferential voting means that what you end up with is the candidate that the majority of voters expressed a mild preference for ahead of the other candidate, not a ringing endorsement, but the way you’re suggesting still means a majority NOT getting their way. Which ain’t how proper democracy is supposed to happen.

Of course, if you want to declare yourself as preferring a ruling class of enlightened citizens instead, go ahead…

Thumper Thumper 9:50 pm 11 Apr 07

The problem that we all face here folks is that Fraser is a seriously safe Labor seat, and safe seats do not get the pig, I mean, pork.

I have a radical plan, all seats should be based upon the previous election results and if the incumbent does not reach that percentage then they are out.

Plenty of pork will then be spread.

Good luck Troy.

Cameron Cameron 8:59 pm 11 Apr 07

Well put Maelinar. One can only hope that the government (both federal and local, irrespective of party) will wake up and deal with said issues at some point during our lifetime.

I know it isn’t email interview time, but I’d definitely be interested to hear Troy’s view on these matters, his view on a Federal MP’s role in such localised matters, and would like to hear from other local politicians (who I’m pretty sure read all of this – or at least their staffers do) as well.

johnboy johnboy 8:35 pm 11 Apr 07

Gary did cross the floor on the disallowance motion IIRC.

One may suspect the whip had already decided it was safe for his token protest, but we don’t know that for sure.

Spectra Spectra 8:22 pm 11 Apr 07

Actually, I may have done Mr Humphries something of a disservice there – thinking back now, I think the overriding was done as an executive action, not a legislative one, so there was no chance for him to directly vote on it. Meh.

Spectra Spectra 7:57 pm 11 Apr 07

We’re getting a fair bit off topic here, so feel free to tell me to shut up whenever 🙂
Notionally, they’re meant to do for the ACT whatever they can within the scope of federal politics. For example Kate Lundy, has in the past lobbied very heavily for broadband access in Gungahlin, while Gazza seems to have been responsible for saving ScreenSound from being messed with. Of course, as members of the major parties, they can’t really step too far from the party line – Gazza was pretty meek in his protestations about the gay marriage legislation being overridden, for example (he made some noises, but wouldn’t go as far as crossing the floor if I recall correctly).

seepi seepi 6:18 pm 11 Apr 07

That’s the Feds as a whole, but what do Bob McMullan and Gary Humphries actually do for the ACT, as opposed to for the country/the liberal party policy?

Or aren’t they meant to – it is just us getting our input into National affairs.

Spectra Spectra 5:39 pm 11 Apr 07

seepi: Actually, strictly speaking, they can. Unlike the states, the territory government derives its power from an act of federal parliament. If they felt the urge, they could legislate the territory government out of existence and take control of all these matters themselves. Not that it seems especially likely – they prefer to intervene only when it suits their conservative moral agenda (say, when local government tries to legislate for equality for gay couples). Which is one of several reasons Troy won’t be getting my vote – sorry Troy, you seem like a decent enough guy, but I can’t bring myself to vote for candidate representing the current federal government.

West_Kambah_4eva West_Kambah_4eva 4:14 pm 11 Apr 07

Maelinar – I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with the ‘major issue, minor issue’ tact you’ve taken. It’s actually expressed very simply what’s been wrong with Canberra for so long. We need some sane city development – complete objective and separate from the fact that we are the national capital. We have ENOUGH monuments. NOBODY CARES ABOUT THEM ANYMORE. Fix the roads, improve the public transport, introduce a sane legal system, cut the rents, and more actual city culture (ps Al Grassby statues != culture) and I’ll be happy.

ps, I noted this in the Cafe thread comments, but it, and the blog, got a story in the weekend CT. In the middle somewhere, on the right a small column on the Riotact blog just saying how everyone thinks Tilley’s has bad service, etc. FYI.

seepi seepi 2:34 pm 11 Apr 07

What exactly can Federal MPs do for Canberra citizens?
They can’t fix the roads, hospitals or policing issues or get involved in stuff like the dragway or school closures.
So what do they do apart from vote on new laws?

Maelinar Maelinar 1:39 pm 11 Apr 07

Re the update: Friday the 13th is probably not a good day to be going into the middle of a dual carriageway whatever your intentions.

Good luck Mr Prat.

Nik_the_Pig Nik_the_Pig 9:53 am 11 Apr 07

Maelinar, we will not be doing email interviews untill it’s MUCH closer to the election but we too will keen to see who responds as much as what they have to sey.

Maelinar Maelinar 8:45 am 11 Apr 07

G’day back Troy,

My apologies for your misunderstanding; my reasonable guy comment was intended to be more of a surprised nature than an insult.

Aiming towards a nutshell history, I’ve often been critical of the Liberals in Canberra, particularly at their own infighting hampering any decent policy effort. I’ve often noted that a party elects itself out of government more than voters electing it in – I’m sure as an experienced politician you’ve heard commentary along those lines in the past.

This is not to say that I’m a single party complainant – I still feel that Deb Foskey of the Greens should stand down from her position after being exposed as a leech on the public housing department, and have had various things to say about their greens policies being more socialist than environmental in recent years. I suppose that’s about the company they keep more than anything.

Then we move to Labour. I don’t think it’s a good idea to be in a deficit in the middle of a drought and decide to build an Arboretum. Nor do I think statues and memorials of various media issues/personalities an appropriate taxpayer value for dollar.

S7S appears to control the width and length of housing in Canberra, but the NCA controls the height. I’m not happy that the roles of the two organisations have not been deliberated further.

Emperor Nero spends more time on humanitarian issues than Tim Costello. International bill of human rights and SIEV X memorials are minor issues, not major ones. Potholes in my street is a major issue, not a minor one.

The whomacrats ?

I drive home and I notice blocked drainways, uncut verges, and see trees that need pruning.

I would like to see a train system servicing the sattelite towns into Civic – since there’s no parking left it’s pointless driving anyway. I’d also like to see a monorail around LBG and the sightseeing circuit but I’m more than aware of the long term nature of these issues.

I’d also like to see any future roads in Canberra to have a specified design rules; dual lane roundabouts that don’t end until at least 50metres after the roundabout, wider width roads, and major infrastructure roads being built before the suburbian construction begins.

I’d like to not have to pay to go to the hospital, nor would I like to pay to drop my rubbish at the tip, on account of they’re going to make money off what I deliver them anyway.

As an ACTSES volunteer I’d like to feel more supported by my government when I’m on the top of a wet roof in the middle of a storm.

I’d like to see the criminal element of Canberra get more reasonable sentences, and I’m willing to have the capacity to hold them, rather than send them interstate to Goulburn etc.

I’d also like to water my gardens and take long showers. I’m completely aware that the revenues from the contracts onselling the water rights go back to the public purse, but what is a Government that cannot supply the most basic of commodities to it’s taxpayers ?

Finally, I’m a voter. I’m in your electorate, and I’ll give you a go. As I said earlier, I’m surprised, but given the evidence in front of me and the lack of any competition to sway a reasonable vote, I’ll vote for you.

Just stop selling everything, but that’s a federal Liberal issue. It’s the thing keeping the budget in surplus is obvious, but when they are gone, they are gone.

As a voter, my concerns are above. I don’t expect any answers, nor do I believe that the Government of the day needs to necessarily pay for these. They’re just out there as my concerns.

I’ll wait for the 10 questions NTP hinted at to seek your thoughts.

Nik_the_Pig Nik_the_Pig 7:50 am 11 Apr 07

Seat Status: Safe Labor
Two Party Preferred: LP: 36.67% ALP: 63.33%

Best of luck being a Liberal going for a Federal seat in Canberra. Seems like a lot of work for VERY little chance of reward (which could be another point in your favour – doesn’t seem you’re in it for the reward). With the upcoming Rudd era of politics I think no matter how good your campaign you’ll be lucky to make any real headway into that 26% swing you’ll need.

I look forward to the Riot email interview with you (and all the other candidates) closer to the election.

TroyWilliams TroyWilliams 5:42 pm 10 Apr 07

G’day Maelinar

I’ve been called a lot worse that a ‘reasonable guy’ in the past month. All part of the rough’n’tumble of politics I guess.

I’m the candidate for the seat of Fraser in this year’s federal election. For information visit the ABOUT FRASER page on my website.

All the best


Maelinar Maelinar 4:17 pm 10 Apr 07

what electorate is Troy representing anyway ?

for a liberal he sounds like a reasonable guy.

louise louise 2:16 pm 10 Apr 07

Just more free advertising for Troy Williams.

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