ACT News


Canberra mornings: February 9, 2016

Today's top stories

The government will extend smoking bans in Canberra, allowing the minister to declare public spaces and events smoke free, Chief Minister Andrew Barr has foreshadowed.

The federal government is to go national in its efforts to offload some of the hundreds of thousands of square metres of office space leased by Commonwealth departments but sitting empty.

Longstanding tax breaks for superannuation contributions and investment properties are in the frame as the Turnbull government scrambles for alternative revenue sources.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection's revised enterprise agreement will result in 680 redundancies, senior bureaucrats say, three times more than initially expected. Meanwhile, Mark Kenny writes the department's Secretary, Mike Pezzullo stepped over the line to lecture media about overstepping.

The cost of renovations at The Lodge, the prime minister's official Canberra residence has increased to $11.61 million, growing by $2 million in two weeks.

Tina Harris came to Q&A with a challenge for Australia's politicians. It was provocative – and at least one pollie, was caught on the hop on live television.

In sport, the simmering tension between Australia and New Zealand boiled over after the controversial dismissal of Mitchell Marsh sealed a rare one-day series loss for the world champions.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart says Edrick Lee has his "full support" after the winger received a 12-month ban from Queensland selection.

The voice of Canberra greyhound racing, Kel O'Rourke, says the "abhorrent" actions of a few is tarring everyone in the industry "with the same brush" after the ACT Greens called to ban the sport.

Road closures

9.05am: William Hovell Drive has reopened after a two-car crash near Bindubi Street. Both cars are off the road and no one was injured. 

8.59am: The car fire on William Hovell Drive is out but one city-bound lane remains blocked. 

8.57am: It looks like one of the cars involved in a crash on William Hovell Drive is on fire. Please avoid the area!

8.54am: One city-bound lane is closed between Bindubi Street and Glenloch interchange after a two car crash on William Hovell Drive.

8.52am: Traffic on William Hovell Drive is still blocked by a two-car crash near Bindubi Street. Avoid the area. 

8.44am: Two cars have crashed on William Hovell Drive and Bindubi Street, causing traffic delays. Police are on scene directing traffic but avoid the area if you can, 

8.39am: There's traffic lights out on Horse Park Drive and Katherine Avenue. Police are on site directing traffic but drive carefully if you're in the area and give way to your right. 

If you see any accidents or have any info on the morning commute, let us know whenever it is safe to do so: or tweet us @canberratimes

What's on today

Ben and Jerry's Openair Cinema is making its way to Canberra's central lakeside venue on Patrick White Lawns. Until 21 Feb.

See the year's best cartoons in Behind the Lines 2015 at the Museum of Australian Democracy.

Today's David Pope

Canberra Times editorial cartoon

Touch or click through for more David Pope.


Today: Mostly sunny. Mostly sunny. Early fog patches. Light winds. Max 30.

Tomorrow: Mostly sunny. Patchy fog in the early morning. Light winds.. Min 13, max 33.