Home' The Chronicle : Canberra Chronicle 15-3-16 Contents Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 2
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Editor: Meredith Clisby
Journalists: Georgina Connery,
Kimberley Le Lievre and James Hall
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BUS DRIVER RETIRES
More than 44 years at the wheel
Terrence Lees, of Higgins, who has retired after 44 years working as a bus driver with ACTION.
Photo: Rohan Thomson
After more than four decades at the
wheel of Canberra buses, Terrance
Lees has retired.
One thing the 70-year-old has taken
from his many years on the job is that
it s never the A to B commute that
sticks with you, but characters you
meet on your travels.
Mr Lees was 26 when he put
himself forward for the job.
I started on the buses on May 22,
1972, he said. I ve always been
driving something, always loved it.
He still recalls the nerves he felt
taking his first busload of passengers
along the number 24 route, which in
those days began in Watson and ended
up at the Causeway.
He fondly remembers the earlier
days when drivers were well attired
wearing a tailored uniform complete
with a tie and cap.
There have been minor bumps in
the road dealing with frustrated and
antisocial passengers, but in his 44
years and 10 months, Mr Lees has
loved hearing the stories of those
who got on board.
He said Canberrans were fortunate
to have a familiar and personal bus
service in the capital.
In other cities you go to a stop and
get a bus, he said.
But in Canberra you walk to your
stop and catch the bus. People get to
know their bus drivers.
If you catch the bus at 10 past 10
of a weekday, you can bet your life
in Canberra it s going to be the
Mr Lees enjoyed training new
drivers, but in 1998 decided to change
gear and move into part-time work
driving just peak-time hours.
The long-time ACTION driver said
a lot had changed in the years on the
road, but felt more needed to be done
to boost patronage of the service
Every time an express route comes
in they talk about how well patronised
it is, and it is good, he said, but they
don t tell you those people are
dropping of the internal routes.
You are getting no more people, just
people using a different source.
He has had only a few weeks
outside the industry, but said to expand
the use of public transport, there
needed to be a focus on increasing the
frequency of more express routes.
If you are working six hours, eight
hours even, you don t want to add an
hour of a morning getting in on the bus
and another hour getting home.
He has lost track of the many
kilometres he has clocked on
Canberra s roads, but he s not tired of
driving and hopes to get out on the
open road and explore Australia soon.
Hopefully, my wife will help to
share some of the driving, he said.
COLES TAKES OVER
Angry shoppers plan to boycott supermarket chain
Belinda Black is ''devastated'' the
Wanniassa Supabarn is being sold
Photo Jay Cronan
Supabarn shoppers say they will
boycott Coles when the chain takes
over three Supabarn stores in the
national capital, with some speculation
it could move in as early as June.
Shoppers were angry and devastated
last Thursday by news the Australian
Competition and Consumer
Commission had cleared the way for
Coles to buy the Supabarn stores at
Wanniassa, Canberra Centre and
Kaleen in the ACT and Five Dock and
Sutherland in NSW. The Crace,
Kingston and Casey Supabarns will
now not be sold.
Coles has confirmed it is buying the
five stores in NSW and the ACT and is
promising to spend $22 million
It would not comment on
speculation Coles might replace the
Supabarn stores by June.
Coles also said in a statement that
all existing Supabarn store
employees will be given the
opportunity to continue working in
their store for Coles .
At Wanniassa, it was difficult to find
anyone who supported Coles taking
over the Supabarn store there.
Belinda Black, of Oxley, said her
family had made a conscious
decision not to shop at Coles or
Woolworths and had stuck to that for
the last 18 months, shopping instead at
Supabarn and the Fyshwick markets.
She preferred the products that
Supabarn sold and believed it was
easier to shop there for her three
children who were additive and
She would change her schedules
and shop at other Supabarn stores.
I m actually pretty devastated,
she said. The ACCC got it wrong.
It s the quality of the fruit and
vegie here and the quality s just going
to deteriorate, that s our biggest
Lyndall Thorn, of Chifley, said she
always shopped at Supabarn in
Wanniassa and when her family had
previously lived in Forde, shopped at
the Supabarn in Kaleen.
I deliberately come to Supabarn
because I don t want to go to Coles or
Woolies, she said.
I just like that it s not Coles or
Woolies. They have a nice variety. The
local Pialligo bacon and stuff like
Ms Thorn said she had no idea
where she would shop once Coles
She doesn t want to be called a first
However, the former lord mayor of
Sydney, Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO
has accepted the position as chief
patron of the National Portrait Gallery
-- a role typically occupied by the
partner of the current serving Prime
Minister of Australia.
Previous chief patrons have
included Margie Abbott, Tim
Mathieson, Therese Rein and
The move continues Mrs Turnbull s
long history with the Portrait Gallery
having been a member of the board
from 2005 to 2008 at a time when the
gallery was transitioning from Old
Parliament House to its current
The gallery s director, Angus
Trumble, said while there were no
official duties associated with the
position, each previous chief patron
has shaped the role in their own
Mrs Turnbull has actively
supported the arts throughout her life
and the board and gallery are looking
forward to working closely with her,
JOIN THE FEAST
The celebration of fantastic food and produce from around the region has begun with
The Canberra Times Good Food Month presented by Citi. Featuring delicious categories
including Let's Do Lunch, Experiences, Drinks and more, it's time to explore the program
and taste what the nations capital has to offer.
Download the program now
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