The most clicked-on stories on The RiotACT in 2017 were drawn from several categories including news, lifestyle, transport, opinion and the perennially popular food and wine. Five stories were about food – although sadly, two featured closures of much-loved venues and another reported on a gastro outbreak. Other popular stories addressed delays in the NBN rollout, the fallout from new shopping trolley legislation and an entertaining poll to name Canberra’s new light rail vehicles. However, this year’s top story was a concerning report about gang violence in Woden that saw two students violently bashed.
When Charlotte Harper reported in February that the much-loved Yarralumla Bakery was set to close its doors after 33 years, many RiotACT readers were saddened to see the small, family-run business fold.
Owner, baker and pastry chef Greg Hoitink thanked customers and staff for their support over three decades on Facebook, attributing the closure to “the landlord asking for unrealistic rents”.
Canberra’s new light rail project was the subject of numerous articles on The RiotACT during 2017, but it was a tongue-in-cheek article from Elias Hallaj in December that had the highest number of people clicking.
As the first new vehicle made its way to the ACT from Spain, we asked readers to vote in a poll for some names for the new vehicles. ‘Northbourne Identity’ and ‘Jackie Tram’ both polled well, but it was ‘Mooseheads Express’ that came out on top.
In May, we ran another story from Elias Hallaj, who was on the search for Canberra’s best potato scallops. He reckons he found them tucked away in the far corner of the often crowded carpark of the Charnwood Shopping Centre at Regal Charcoal Chicken in Charnwood.
Do you have a local takeaway that does awesome potato scallops? Let us know in the comments.
Glynis Quinlan entered the top 10 with a story in August about the imminent closure of Canberra favourite Beyond Q bookshop. Her story captured the sadness and sense of loss for local residents and bookshop clients.
“We’ve got so many people that come in and have expressed their absolute horror at what’s going on,” said Beyond Q owner, Simon Maddox.
Almost a year ago, Canberra’s major supermarkets implemented trolley containment systems in response to new shopping trolley legislation. From February, shoppers need a gold coin or a token to release a shopping trolley at Coles or Woolworths.
Rachel Ziv was not happy about the changes, and wondered if there was a better solution. The RiotACT readers had plenty to say on the topic.
Robert Knight took a look at what he termed Canberra’s toxic car-centric transport culture in June and called on Canberrans to change their ways.
“The support for better public transport and active transport (walking and cycling) that exists in the community now, must be built upon and encouraged. As well as looking at better ways for us to move around, we need to stop and understand what a city is for – is it for motorists, or is it for people?” he wrote.
Another food-related story that resonated with The RiotACT readers in 2017 was David Tuckwell’s report on the closure of Canberra icon ‘Burmese Curry Place’ in March, after an eight-year run. The owners attributed the closure of the takeaway powerhouse to an unresolved dispute with the landlord.
“It’s heartbreaking to admit and more so to accept that this is real,” said Mehnsaik Chan. “We really didn’t want this to happen, and with us not being in control of certain agendas, we’d like to say that this last month is going to be tough but things won’t change, we’re still ready to serve until the day we can’t.”
Ricardo’s Cafe in Jamison is known for crafting magnificent cakes and sweet treats, but February it made the news when the cafe closed following a salmonella outbreak.
Charlotte Harper’s story, which contained a statement from the operator of Ricardo’s in response to our earlier story about the cafe’s closure, was the third most clicked on article of the year.
The NBN came under fire in January, as Kim Fischer noted, when it quietly removed its NBN rollout plan from its website during the festive season, making it much more difficult to compare the old rollout schedule with the new one.
But the truth was damning and readers were not impressed: nearly all of the ACT had been pushed to the very back of the NBN’s revised rollout schedule.
Ian Bushnell’s story about the race-hate bashing of two students in separate incidents at the Woden Bus Interchange in October was the most-read story on The RiotACT in 2017.
Readers were concerned about the report that the 19-year-old male college students were set upon by a gang of up to 10 local teenagers after refusing to give them cigarettes. Their assailants shouted abuse at them, screaming “F….g Chinese! Go back to your country!”
We hope you’ve enjoyed taking a trip through the highlights of 2017 on the RiotACT. We’re looking forward to bringing you all the news and top stories about Canberra again in 2018.