Parliament fence monstrously ugly and assault on our democracy

Parliament fence monstrously ugly and assault on our democracy, by Caroline Overington.

The fence is a monstrosity, a true eyesore…

It’s also costing a fortune: $126 million is the budget …

The fence is in a special category of expensive eyesore, for it is a symbol of the assault on our democracy.

The fence restricts the public’s access to lawns that cover the house. The cute beauty of our nation’s capital building was always the fact that you could stride right over it while politicians toiled within.

You could come running down the sides. You could scamper. You could giggle. You could roll.

Not anymore. …

Bit by bit, Australians are this century giving up parts of themselves, without thinking too much about what we lose in the process …

You can’t play tig or tag in the playground. They’d prefer if you didn’t do handstands, or climb neighbourhood trees, or jump off the rope swing into the river.

It’s no longer possible to dink your mate from his joint to yours.

We lose a little something of ourselves when these rules come in. It’s wrong to pretend that we don’t.

The Australian government voted for the fence in response to a terrorist attack on the Canadian parliament in 2014. Only the Greens voted against it, plus Derryn Hinch, who seems determined to stay on the side of the ordinary man, and good for him. …

Our house — the people’s house — has lost its larrikin flavour. Which is to say, a little of what makes us, us.