Well, as I said previously, I’m in the nation’s capital. Chilling out for the rest of Saturday – had Vietnamese from a local restaurant for dinner and off to bed to sleep (soundly) again. Tomorrow is the Walk Against Warming – an event not to be missed.
It has dawned overcast, cold and threatening rain but we are determined that it won’t rain on our parade. My host Steve, the convenor of the Canberra branch of the ATA, is very much a kindred spirit – he just loves bikes and even has a new style of recumbent bike called a Cruzbike. Unlike ‘normal’ recumbents, this one is a two-wheeled, more erect bike with front-wheel drive. It looks just amazing.
I am heading off early and Steve will join me down at the start of the march. About 1500(?) – I’m not a good judge of crowd numbers but that would be my guess – people turned up on an inclement morning in Canberra and we made our way to the lawn outside the new Parliament House. Some good speeches were made and then we dispersed. It was here that we heard about a ‘people’s forum’ being held at the National Press Club organised by GetUp. Canberra’s Senate candidates were to be there and so we grabbed ourselves a bite to eat and headed on over to hear what they have to say.
The stand-out there was a guy dressed in an elephant’s costume so there very definitely WAS an elephant in the room! The subjects being scrutinised were mental health, the refugee situation and climate change. There was a good range of questions asked from a variety of people who had pre-framed questions from within GetUp’s membership and then there was a call for questions from the audience.
Unfortunately, our time was up before I could ask my question which was to the effect that “How would the various parties fund the treatment of depression and other mental health problems brought on by the effects of climate change: vis-a-vis the 10-100 fold increase in (climate) refugees and the massive dislocation to coastal farms and communities caused by rising sea-levels?”
Steve had to leave early, so I made my way back to his place by myself and, as a newbie in Canberra, of course I got lost! …..and another 2 punctures!! I discovered where I was as opposed to where I needed to be and walked the bike home.
The next day I went for a much needed (kneaded?) massage before doing another interview with WinTV. I then went to Macarthur House in Lyneham (north of the city centre) to present to the ACT government’s staff – this went well and I then went into the Australian Electoral Commission office in the city to post a pre-poll vote. Finding a booth on polling day in Sydney could have been a challenge and there may have been difficulties in getting the correct ballot papers so now that job is out of the way. I just have to remember to do likewise for the Victorian Election in November. I should be near Adelaide by that stage! I got home safe & sound (and found the correct turn-off this time) and without a puncture – all-in-all a great day. I saw the WinTV news tonight and the segment where I featured was great, I only wish my family could have seen it!
On Tuesday I’m off, bound for Breadalbane near Goulburn where I have another billet but, unfortunately, no talk.
Catch you all later.
(Please note: this was written from Breadalbane – as I needed to get my beauty sleep last night. 🙂 – and the home of Maryanne & Frank (and their 3 children, Annabelle, Matthew and Madeleine) – I feel most welcome here again and I must stress the friendliness of all the people I have had the pleasure to stay with.)