Conversations about life in Canberra and the surrounding region were as popular as ever on The RiotACT during 2018. And as always, our readers were active participants, contributing a lively stream of comments both on the website and on Facebook.
Showing that Canberra really is the Bush Capital, the top ten stories that attracted the most reader comments on The RiotACT this year were bookended by articles about kangaroos. Stories about transport also had readers reaching for their keyboards, with drones, lead-footed drivers and L-platers all getting a run, along with a story about the light rail project.
Mid-way through 2018, Glynis Quinlan reported that Canberra was heading for a record year for kangaroo-related road crashes, with Long Gully Road and Sulwood Drive in the city’s south identified as the worst hotspots for collisions.
When the ACT Government proposed a radical overhaul of the Territory’s learner and provisional driving laws, more than a hundred RiotACT readers were quick to voice their feedback about the reforms.
There were a range of opinions about whether plans to introduce a minimum of 100 supervised driving hours for learner drivers, create a new ‘P1 plate’ stage with extra restrictions for the first twelve months, and banning mobile phones for both L and P platers were long overdue or went too far.
It was three in a row for Glynis Quinlan when she reported that many Canberrans have a lead foot and that the situation is only getting worse. When we asked for feedback about whether too many Canberrans speed, and if was a need for more patrol vehicles, readers were quick to weigh in with a range of opinions.
Ian Bushnell entered the top ten when he reported about concerns about the impact the preferred light rail Stage 2 route will have on southside commuters and the efficiency of the network as it grows.
The ACT Greens called for tenants to ‘make a house a home’ by being permitted to make minor modifications or alterations – like installing picture hooks and painting – to their rental properties without the consent of their landlords. It was the sixth-most commented story in 2018.
Is it time to change the date of Australia Day? Rebecca Vassarotti’s analysis of the furore surrounding the suggestion to change the date to one that’s more inclusive of all Australians came in at number five this year.
While some readers supported the idea of celebrating Australia Day on a date that all Australians can unite behind, many wondered what all the fuss was about and were happy with the status quo.
Drones were a popular topic on The RiotACT this year, and this piece about drone deliveries was one of the first published in 2018.
Glynis Quinlan reported that residents would be able to have burritos, vitamins and skincare products delivered to their homes by drone under a trial project. Several further articles about drones proved popular during the year, including a look at the new permanent drone delivery base in Mitchell and an analysis of the economic impact of drones.
When Lachlan Roberts reported that pedestrian lights in the heart of Canberra have been changed from the ‘walking man’ to walking male and female same-sex couples, readers had plenty to say. The total number of comments climbed towards the 200 mark.
While many comments gave the initiative the green light, others slammed the decision as a waste of money that could have been better spent. What do you reckon?
This advertising for Geocon’s proposed redevelopment of the Woden Tradies Club site certainly got people talking, but not in the way the Canberra developer may have intended, wrote Ian Bushnell.
The ad drew the ire of a Canberra woman who shared her concerns on Facebook, and encouraged by her friends, approached Geocon and lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Bureau.
Many readers agreed, saying the ad crossed the line, while a minority thought the ad achieved what it had set out to do.
RiotACT readers extended a warm welcome to experienced broadcaster and journalist Genevieve Jacobs when she joined The RiotACT team in a senior leadership role in 2018. Her article about whether we should eat urban roos instead of dumping them attracted the most comments out of any article published this year.
But not everyone agreed that the ACT Government should make better use of culled kangaroo carcasses. As always, there was a wide range of opinions expressed by readers on the emotive topic.
Which RiotACT articles got you fired up this year?