ACT News

Canberra Mornings Live: Monday September 15

That's all from me this morning, thanks for joining me. I'll be back at 7am tomorrow with news from Canberra and beyond.

In the meantime, I think I've been inspired by Billy Horschel to hit the golf course when I knock off later this afternoon. Not a bad way to earn $14m!

Horschel shot 12 consecutive rounds in the 60s to take claim golf's biggest cheque.
Horschel shot 12 consecutive rounds in the 60s to take claim golf's biggest cheque. Photo: Getty Images

American golfer Billy Horschel has pocketed $14.6million in the last three weeks of work after winning the US PGA's season-ending Tour Championship early this morning.

Horschel also captured the FedEx Cup playoff points crown at East Lake Golf Club, firing a final-round 68 to defeat Jim Furyk and Rory McIlroy by three strokes.

Horschel, 27, also won last week's BMW Championship at Denver.

By adding the $US1,440,000 ($1.55 million) winner's cheque from East Lake and the $US10 million ($11.1 million) bonus for being the FedEx Cup season-long points leader, Horschel walks away with $US13,477,333.33 ($14.6 million) for his last three weeks of work.

On Friday 14 November, the Canberra Community Sleepout will have 1,000 Canberrans sleeping rough at Canberra's only family friendly Sleepout event, a partnership between Communities@Work and St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn.

Early Bird Registration is open now until September 30. Visit www.sleepout.org.au for more information.

Calvary Hospital has lost its chief financial officer, Wayne Armistead, only a month after the departure of the hospital's chief executive officer.

Calvary National public hospitals director Brenda Ainsworth accepted Mr Armistead's resignation on September 5.

His sudden departure came just a month after Ray Dennis resigned as chief executive after more than five years in the job.

Mr Dennis told The Canberra Times in August he had resigned to spend more time with his family.

The sudden departure of two of the hospital's senior executives comes amid speculation the hospital is under financial pressure.

Canberra Times reporter Tom McIlroy.

Did you know Canberra has 15 million square metres of residential streets?

The ACT Government has welcomed the warmer spring weather as a chance to start a $5.5 million road resealing program.

From today, the annual effort will start with work on Paddy’s River Road, Tidbinbilla Road and Booroomba Road.

"The 2014/15 resealing program will see approximately 525,000 square metres of the ACT’s road network resealed," Roads ACT director Tony Gill said.

"The resealing program is an important part of the ongoing maintenance of Canberra’s roads.”

Hindmarsh Drive, Drakeford Drive, Sulwood Drive, Glenloch Interchange and Parkes Way will all see work.

It includes fixing small cracks which can fill with water and lead to bigger problems like potholes if not filled.

“The resealing work will take place in southern suburbs first," Mr Gill said.

"These include Gordon, Isabella Plains, Richardson, Holder, Curtin, Hughes, Weston and Theodore. The program will then move to the northern suburbs of Florey, Nicholls, O’Connor and Dickson. It is expected to be completed by April 2015."

The works will be carried out during off-peak times to minimise the impact on road users, however, motorists are asked to be patient with any delays when travelling through the work sites or use alternative routes.

Signage will be erected in the areas ahead of resealing getting underway.

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Yesterday Canberrans gathered at St Jude's Primary in Holder for the Canberra Finch Club bird sale.

There were parrots, finches, budgies, canaries, quail and doves on offer. We were there to take some snaps. Were you there?

This week is APFACTS (the Association of Parents and Friends of ACT Schools) Cyber Savvy Week.

They have all sorts of forums and workshops for students and parents lined up, promoting on the importance of digital citizenship and cyber awareness.

There are nightly events for parents this week ahead of a Community Forum on Thursday. For more information and to reserve your place, visit the APFACTS website.

Minister for Capital Metro, Simon Corbell, will make a major announcement about the light rail project at an industry briefing today.

The industry briefing will be attended by more than 300 local, national and international representatives of businesses and organisations with an interest in the first stage of Canberra’s light rail network.

Mr Corbell will make the announcement as he opens the briefing.

That's happening at 11am today, so check back in with us later and we'll bring you the news.

US forward James Harden (left) vies with Serbia's forward Nikola Kalinic.
US forward James Harden (left) vies with Serbia's forward Nikola Kalinic. Photo: AFP

Unsurprisingly, the United States retained their basketball World Cup title in the early hours of this morning.

They overcame an early deficit to beat the tournament's surprise package Serbia 129-92 in a one-sided final.

An athletic U.S. team, missing top NBA players such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant, finished the tournament in grand style after their captain James Harden inspired an effervescent performance in Madrid's City Arena.

Corin Forest has got into the Spring spirit, perhaps trying to attract some Floriade visitors with these flowers in the snow?

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Canberra Times front page, September 15, 2014.
Canberra Times front page, September 15, 2014. 

A look at what made the front page of The Canberra Times today:

Abbott's war on 'death cult'

Two hundred elite special forces soldiers could be on the ground in Iraq within days after the Abbott government agreed to a US request to provide planes and 600 personnel to the region as part of a multinational strike force against Islamic terrorists rampaging through Iraq and Syria.

Counting the cost of our hospitals

Canberra's two main hospitals are among the most expensive to run in Australia, thanks to generous staff superannuation and high administration costs.

University adds stadium to sporting hub

The University of Canberra will fast-track plans to add a soccer stadium to a $30 million upgrade to its sporting hub, inviting Capital Football to make the state-of-the art venue its high-performance home.

'Offensive' comments ruled not to be racist

An Aboriginal public servant has lost a bid to force her co-workers to undergo anti-discrimination training, despite one referring to "black babies" and "Coon cheese" at a staff afternoon tea.

More information on that car and truck crash in Weston Creek.

A woman from the car sustained minor injuries and has been taken to The Canberra Hospital for further assessment.

ACT Ambulance intensive care paramedics also assessed the driver of the truck, but he is ok.

The the Williamson Street intersection with Hindmarsh Drive is closed, southbound following the crash which happened around 8.30am.

A truck and a car have collided in Holder on the corner of Hindmarsh Drive and Williamson St.

Westbound traffic is partially blocked, I'll bring you more as I know it.

In world news, action against the Islamic State is stepping up following the beheading of a British aid worker.

Two hundred elite special forces soldiers could be on the ground in Iraq within days after the Abbott government agreed to a US request to provide planes and 600 personnel to the region as part of a multinational strike force against Islamic terrorists rampaging through Iraq and Syria.

The decision follows US President Barack Obama's declaration last week to lead a coalition of nations to degrade and ultimately destroy the group that calls itself Islamic State, formerly known as ISIL.

British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed on Sunday that Britain would do all it could to catch the killers of the aid worker, David Haines, which he condemned as an "act of pure evil".

Meanwhile, the Islamic State's publication of a video showing the beheading could be interpreted as a direct warning to allies of the United States, including Australia, says a leading expert on online terrorist postings.

"This death cult is uniquely evil in that it does not simply do evil, it exists in evil.": Tony Abbott.
"This death cult is uniquely evil in that it does not simply do evil, it exists in evil.": Tony Abbott. Photo: AP

A Gundaroo resident who has cared for local wombats for more than 10 years has turned to the community to help raise funds to keep saving her favourite animals.

Donna Stepan had been in Australia for less than a year when she saw a white ute deliberately swerve to hit a wombat who was grazing near Braidwood.

Although she rushed to help the injured animal there was nothing she could do for him.

"All I could do was sit with him and wait for him to die. I never ever wanted to be in a situation where that could happen to an animal and I just promised myself from that day onwards I would help them until the day I die, and I'm going to," she said.

From Left: Donna Stepan, and her partner Phil Melzer with some of the wombats that they are nursing back to health at ...
From Left: Donna Stepan, and her partner Phil Melzer with some of the wombats that they are nursing back to health at the Sleepy Burrows Wombat Sanctuary. Photo: Jamila Toderas
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 Golf great Greg Norman has been released from a US hospital after almost cutting off his left hand with a chainsaw.

Tanned, shirtless, sporting a big smile and giving a thumbs up with his right hand, Norman sent out a new photo and message on his Instagram account on Sunday.

Standing at the site where the tree-trimming accident occurred, the 59-year-old joked about the large pink foam protective covering he has to wear around his injured hand.

"Here I am at the scene of the crime (with) my new fashion statement!" Norman wrote.

An Aboriginal public servant has lost a bid to force her co-workers to undergo anti-discrimination training, despite one referring to "black babies" and "Coon cheese" at a staff afternoon tea.

Edna Vata-Meyer moved to Canberra from North Queensland in early 2011 to work at the Department of Education, Employment and Work Relations as part of the Indigenous Graduate Recruitment Program.

But a number of incidents led Ms Vata-Meyer to complain about racism in her department.

She claimed seven of her colleagues engaged in conduct in August and September 2011 that humiliated, harassed and intimidated her on the basis of her race, colour, descent or ethnic origin.

On the topic of nature photography, here's a speccy I saw doing the rounds on Twitter yesterday.

Canberra Times reporter Tom McIlroy.

Canberra's budding and experienced photographers are encouraged to capture what they love about our natural landscape as part of a photo competition to celebrate 25 years of ParkCare and Landcare in the region.

Parks and Conservation Service volunteer coordinator Jasmine Foxlee said the competition would explore what Canberrans love most about living in the Bush Capital.

"Members of the public as well as ParkCare and Landcare members are encouraged to get out and enjoy our parks and reserves with a camera,” Ms Foxlee said.

“This year we celebrate 25 years of ParkCare and Landcare in the ACT. To promote this great achievement and celebrate the great work done by environmental volunteers we will be holding a photo competition."

The top ten finalists will be displayed at a number of venues around Canberra.

“Entries for the competition close on Wednesday 8 October 2014. Online voting will be open from 9 October to 15 October 2014," Ms Foxlee said.

Entry is free, and a limit of two images can be entered per person.

For more information, guidelines or an entry form go to www.actlandcare.org.au

A man miraculously walked away from a dramatic crash on the Barton Highway near Murrumbateman on Saturday afternoon.

The man's ute left the road about 1 kilometre south of Nanima Road just after noon, with NSW Ambulance, Police, Fire Brigade and ACT Ambulance attending the scene.

He was assessed for injuries but was not taken to hospital.

Emergency personnel attend the crash scene on Barton Highway on Saturday.
Emergency personnel attend the crash scene on Barton Highway on Saturday. Photo: Graham Tidy
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