25 September 2023

Town counsel

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The good citizens of Australia’s Capital Territory (the ACT, population 403,000) have often pondered over the format of Canberra’s local government, given the city’s small size but the big role it plays hosting Australia’s national parliament.

In their wisdom, the guardians of democracy in the ACT have deemed that the local community be ruled by a 25-person ‘Legislative Assembly’ complete with Ministers, an Opposition, a Speaker etc, in a scaled down mini version of the example set at the national level.

But not every ratepayer is impressed, regularly discounting the Assembly as little more than a fancy town council, albeit on expensive steroids.

Well now there’s evidence they may be right.

In a recent invitation to Canberra’s many surrounding shires and councils to join with the ACT Assembly in a bulk-buy of electric cars to save money for their vehicle fleets, the local Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability may have let the cat out of the bag.

“This presents a unique opportunity for the ACT Government to negotiate a better deal…” the Minister divulged.

“Working closely with other councils ………” he continued.

Who says politicians don’t (sometimes) tell the truth?

Land grab

Staying with the Capital Territory, the newly minted Minister for City Services has announced his approval of a carpark upgrade going ahead in a recreational area in his own suburb, bringing into existence a project he tried to sell to the Government before being elevated to the dizzy heights of Ministership.

Congratulations to the Minister for following through on his commitment but it reminds PS-sssst! of a classic case at the national level that didn’t quite enjoy the same level of success.

Back in the late 1970s when the Federal Government governed Canberra through a Department of the Capital Territory, the Minister for sport at the time wrote to the Minister for the Capital Territory pleading whole-heartedly for the allocation of an unused parcel of land in Canberra to build a much-needed sporting facility for one of the struggling national sporting bodies.

While the request was being considered in the Department of Capital Territory, a cabinet reshuffle took place resulting in the Minister for sport taking responsibility for the national capital as well.

Great amusement swept through both departments when, as one of his first official duties, the ex-Minister for sport replied to his own letter, denying his own request.

And that, as they say, is the machinery of Government at work!

Service failure

To another of Philomena’s philosophical fun fares now with a sad story plucked from the annals of annual reports and other publishing challenges:

“Helvetica and Times New Roman walk into a bar,” Philomena explains.

“Get out of here!” shouts the bartender.

“We don’t serve your type.”


Gala giveaway given away

To Rama’s gala giveaway now in which two lucky readers get to share 58 DVDs in the shape of two collectors’ collections of the popular Aussie TV shows Blue Heelers and All Saints.

To round up the 27-discs of Blue Heelers the winner needed to know that the collection held 97 episodes and to feel the goodness of the 31-disc All Saints prize, the answer to Rama’s question was that it was set on Ward 17 of the All Saints Western General Hospital.

Armed with those correct answers and first to emerge from the PS News Barrel of Booty, the very lucky winners this week were Brian C from IP Australia who is now the proud owner of the Blue Heelers collection and Tammy W from Carers Australia who has won the All Saints episodes.

Congratulations to Brian and Tammy on their wins and thanks to the very many readers who joined in the fun. The historic, marathon collections will be on their way to their new owners shortly.

In the meantime, for another chance to be a PS News winner, simply follow this link to this week’s giveaway and give it your best shot.

Good luck to all who do!

Till next week…

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