Home' The Canberra Times : Chronicle 31.01.12 Contents THE CHRONICLE, Tuesday, January 31 2012 - 33
* Available only to ACT residential properties connected to ACTEW Corporation's water supply network.
See website for full program details.
Register for GardenSmart and we'll send
a horticulturist to your home to help make
your garden more sustainable and healthy.
Advice on permaculture, plant selection
and practical tips for saving water are
included in the program.
To register for GardenSmart
Call 13 22 81 or visit
Family Fun Day
Sunday 5 February 2012
2 Dairy Road, Fyshwick
www.tams.act.gov.au 13 22 81
See unique wildlife in their natural habitat.
Bring your binoculars and get some bird
watching tips from the experts.
Children will enjoy the Patting Paddock,
corroboree frogs, Rural Fire Service truck,
jumping castle, face painting and more!
Join a guided bus tour and learn about
future plans for the wetlands.
Pack a picnic or enjoy a sausage sizzle and
ice cream stall.
An initiative of the Jerrabomberra Wetlands Board of Management.
Proudly supported by the ACT Government.
Cicero would do
it all differently
The budget and Grandma's Lye soap
Katy Gallagher delivers the 2011-12 budget in May last year.
Picture: Elesa Lee
WHENEVER I hear
to ensure older peo-
ple have a good life
or they'll support
those less fortunate, Johnny Stand-
ley's old gospel style song Grand-
ma's Lye soap comes unbidden to
The song Remember Grandma's
Lye soap, Good for everything in the
home - and the secret was in the
scrubbing - It wouldn't suds, and
couldn't foam, best describes for me
the politicians' promises.
Most Australian probably haven't
heard of lye soap, which got it's
name partly because shortly after
clothes were washed using lye soap
for washing they had a habit of
disintegrating. (If you substitute lie
for lye, this should remove any
puzzlement you might have about
the relationship between Lye Soap
Metaphorically speaking, lye soap
has great relevance at budget time
and with Canberra soon to face both
a Federal and ACT Budget it is
particularly relevant when you read
the great Roman Philosopher
Cicero's words about what a budget
''The budget should be balanced,
the treasury should be refilled,
public debt should be reduced, the
arrogance of officialdom should be
tempered and controlled, and the
assistance to foreign lands should be
curtailed lest Rome become bank-
rupt. Instead of living on assistance,
we must again learn to work.''
But I doubt even Cicero could
have foreseen that more 2000 years
later, budgets would have departed
from philosophy and become tools
treasurers would use to enhance their
image. That said when the Federal
budget (I nearly wrote pre-election
budget) is brought down, although it
might seem to meet Cicero's philos-
ophy, it will soon be realised it's
more in line with Grandma's predic-
tion. And when this happens people
already finding it difficult to pay
either their mortgage, rent or keep
their small business going, might be
in for the biggest shock of their lives.
Some will accept this stoically
and say Que Sera, Sera, while others
used to being let down by govern-
ment will ask their doctor for a pill
to relax so they can rest up and build
their mental strength to withstand
any shocks the budget contains. I can
only add that I have yet to experi-
ence a budget that didn't shock.
Budget optimists take a different
tack. As they watch the Treasurer on
TV spin his fairytale of bad news in
glowing language that suggests
everything in life's garden is rosy,
they wash down a Bex with a strong
cup of tea or something stronger.
But what of the ACT budget?
For some unknown reason, and
unlike Cicero, both the Federal and
ACT Treasurers seem more con-
cerned about a budget surplus than a
balanced budget. Indeed it seems the
Federal Treasurer wants to achieve
his objective this year even if it
means that old cars will become
home for many distressed families
because they have not been able to
pay their mortgage or rent; or that
people will be living in homes
without electricity or gas; or that
they will have to live on one meal a
day not to mention that children at
school will be seriously disadvan-
But even if the Federal Treasurer
achieves his objective, as good
Australians, the distressed will be so
pleased they will dance and sing his
praises as they wend their way to
Centrelink, St Vinnie's, The Sal-
vation Army, Smith Family or some
other charity, chanting Aussie, Aus-
sie, Aussie, Oi Oi Oi. And during
their break from chanting and sing-
ing his praises they will demand a
monument be erected in memory of
his great feat of achieving a surplus
And what of the ACT's treasurer?
Unlike his Federal colleague the
ACT treasurer does not seem to be
aiming for a surplus this year, not
that it's likely he would achieve one
anyway. But wealthy as Canberra is,
his Federal colleague's budget is still
likely to affect it.
I suspect too, that the ACT budget
will be used to boost Centenary
Year, because if the Year is to
achieve the success the ACT Gov-
ernment wants, lots of money will be
required. The result: Canberra's
distressed families are likely to
become even more distressed.
Help Ted Noffs Foundation
get addicted children clean
P ease donate to support our ive-in programs, giving addicted
chi dren their ives back. We' buy more beds in more
residences to take in more kids. It's as simp e as that.
B a 1800 1 1 04 v n a
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