Pill testing must become routine in Canberra and across the country
Opinion
It has been a horror summer on the music festival circuit. Six young people have lost their lives after taking illegal drugs at music festivals in NSW and Victoria. More remain desperately ill, with media reporting that at least 16 people that attended festivals last weekend have been hospitalised.  As most young people do, these youths did something risky. In...
Do we need a gender target for our honours list?
Opinion
Who we decide to single out for honours says something important about what our community values. But while many of us will have welcomed and celebrated individual honorees from this Australia Day, there are growing rumbles about whether we're getting the broader mix right, particularly given the traditionally low numbers of women recipients. But is a gender target the way...
How could we solve the Australia Day argument?
Opinion
The debate about when we mark Australia Day is increasingly characterised by resentment, anger and misunderstanding on all sides. It's not surprising. January 26, 1788 was a major transition point in our national history. But should the date mark the birth of modern Australia, the day the invasion began, or something more complicated somewhere in the middle? Amid all the Australia...
Climate crisis demands strong political action
Opinion
There is no denying it - its been hot. Canberra and the surrounding region joined many other Australian cities in sweltering through record-breaking temperatures. Throughout this month, we saw an unprecedented run of 40-degree-plus temperatures, and temperature ranges well above the norm. This put our health, our utilities, and other services under great stress. It also echoes what many scientists have...
My journey with Mum and her family
Opinion
Winning an argument by force is nothing to celebrate on Australia Day, our national day, and yet that is what we are doing. Until my mid-teens, I was wary of Aborigines. My apprehension stems from my upbringing. If we put a coin in our mouth the nearest adult would round on us with: “Don’t put that in your mouth,  a...
Liberals should have acted months ago to control Gilmore rift
Opinion
It seems Ann Sudmalis' 'mates' in the Liberal Party have finally stepped up and acted against the betrayal she says forced her resignation from parliament. Resigning in spectacular fashion last September, the Member for Gilmore labelled some within her party as bullies and backstabbers. Speaking on the floor of Parliament last September, Ms Sudmalis said she felt let down by...
Telstra fails summer holiday customer service test
Opinion
My summers seem to have a soundtrack. An album that rolls around in the background replacing the stress of the previous year. In the summer of 86/87 it was John Farnham's Whispering Jack, 94/95 it was Jeff Buckley's Grace, and in 2009/10 I remember camping under the Spotted Gums at Mystery Bay with my family while Malk by The Saltwater Band...
New Year’s resolutions for politicians: could anything fix this mess?
Opinion
New Year's resolutions link a calendar date with the alluring promise of leaving a disappointing past behind. But to describe the last year in Australian politics as disappointing would be an understatement, riddled as it was with sleaze, bombast and treachery on all sides. This year, a Federal election beckons. So I asked some of the region's brightest political brains...
Who should be the model of a modern Governor-General?
Opinion
The announcement that Australia's next Governor-General will be the current NSW governor, David Hurley, met with a mixed response. While there's little doubt that General Hurley is a steady, experienced pair of hands for the vice-regal role, there's also a sense that yet another middle-aged man with a military background is a less than inspiring choice. So what do we want...
Has Christmas left you emotionally bruised?
Opinion
Peace, goodwill to all, and a wonderful time of festivity, joy and sharing are what we mostly wish for at Christmas. But for every family happily tucking into leftover ham while watching the Boxing Day Test and contemplating a dip, there's another nursing sore hearts and wondering why Christmas can be so uniquely horrible. The stark reality about our most...
Bermagui start-up joins global tech giants in anti-encryption protest
News
A Bega Valley start-up has joined global technology giants in criticising the anti-encryption laws passed during the last sitting of Federal Parliament for 2018. Under the banner of the Reform Government Surveillance (RGS) coalition, companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Dropbox, Evernote and Twitter have slammed the new laws. In a statement earlier this month, the group said, "RGS has consistently...
Chook Chat with Cheryl Nelson – Treats for your chooks this Christmas
Environment
Share the delights of Christmas with a few well-chosen gifts for your trusty chooks. Chooks love toys, they're highly inquisitive and they love attention so here are few ideas to brighten their festive season - as well as yours! A cabbage ball - Pierce the base of a cabbage with a big hook. Hang the cabbage at chook head height...
A year later, what difference has marriage equality made?
Opinion
Forgive us for just a moment, will you? We are currently awash with anniversaries and you’d be forgiven for feeling a pang of jealousy that the LGBTIQ community seems to be celebrating so much. Two weeks ago was the first anniversary of winning the postal survey and Braddon hosted a party. I would contend we were celebrating not losing the...
Why Government should not be competing with small oyster businesses – Leanne Atkinson
Opinion
Small businesses should be owned and operated by families and private individuals – not by the government. This is why the decision of Premier Berejiklian to take a $3.3 million ownership stake in Australia’s Oyster Coast (AOC) in my mind is contentious and controversial. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, particularly in regional areas like ours. They create...
Queanbeyan Liberal says the party’s mess is a boil that must be lanced
News
Queanbeyan Liberal Party MLC Peter Phelps says that "absolutely nothing" will save the government as the Federal party spirals into freefall, but an early election is vital to rescue the NSW government's chances in the forthcoming election. And the conservative State parliamentarian, who lost his own pre-selection for the NSW Upper House recently, says he is "utterly unsympathetic" to Liberal...
Tathra’s Matthew Nott takes to the sky above Canberra – climate action NOW!
News
When the word 'NOW' appeared in the sky above Canberra yesterday afternoon (4 December), locals were left unsure as to its meaning, leading to a trail of suggestions ranging from half-written 'Monica's to calls for an early election. That didn't bother the man behind the skywriting, Tathra's Dr Matthew Nott, the founder of Clean Energy for Eternity. In fact, he capitalised on...
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