ACT News

Canberra Mornings Live: Thursday, April 10

One more blog to go for the week folks. Henry and I will be back tomorrow from 7am. 

Join us again as we bring you all the news, as well as the heads up on what's happening around town over the weekend.

We'll leave you with a wrap of the top five stories on the site at the moment. 

1. Public servants to lose tax-free pay when working overseas       

2. Cotter Dam is filling Canberra with drought confidence 

3. Bob Carr's Diary takes aim at Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd for mistakes    

4. Oscar Pistorius defends memory lapses as he is grilled by prosecution

5. Defence staff worried over back pay as award negotiations delayed

 

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There's been a crash at the intersection of State Circle and Canberra Avenue near Parliament House.

ACT Fire and Rescue units are on route to the scene.

The incident was reported at 9.53am.

6TH SEPTEMBER- 2012 -NEWS -STORY STEPHANIE ANDERSONN- THE CANBERRA TIMES- PHOTO BY MELISSA ADAMS.
 Police investigate a ...

Police are asking for public assistance to locate a stolen 1963 Fender Telecaster.

The guitar was taken from a white Mazda 6 station wagon at the Tuggeranong Community Centre car park on Sunday 16 March between 9.30 and 10.30pm.

Those with information can contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.

The guitar was taken from a white Mazda 6 station wagon at the Tuggeranong Community Centre car park on Sunday March 16
The guitar was taken from a white Mazda 6 station wagon at the Tuggeranong Community Centre car park on Sunday March 16 Photo: ACT Policing

Gareth Hutchens brings us the news this morning that the head of the tax department responsible for collecting the federal government’s minerals resource rent tax has just quit her position, throwing doubt over the agency’s ability to collect the tax.

Stephanie Martin, a deputy commissioner at the Australian Taxation Office, was until last month heading the ATO’s resource rent tax team which had responsibility for collecting the Minerals Resource Rent Tax and Petroleum Resource Rent Tax.

What's ahead in national politics today?

Tony Abbott has been personally assured by China's Premier Li Keqiang the country is determined to conclude trade negotiations as soon as possible.

Treasurer Joe Hockey has blasted the US Congress for holding up IMF reforms saying the delay has weakened America’s standing in the world.

Former senior Labor senator Bob Carr has used his latest book to say Julia Gillard was selfish not to hand over the prime ministership to former leader Kevin Rudd.

The ICAC public inquiry into corruption allegations continues in Sydney.

Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson will visit Darwin along with the Australian Human Right Commission team to conduct an inquiry into children in detention centres.

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Henry Belot. Canberra Times reporter.

The Salvation Army has installed security cameras at its Fyshwick charity store to dissuade people from dumping unusable goods outside the store.

Salvation Army Major Gary Masters said the disposal of illegally dumped goods across the nation was costing the organisation $5 million a year in removal fees.

''This is valuable money that could be better spent providing services for vulnerable communities in Canberra,'' he said.

New security measures at the Salvos Store at Fyshwick. Security
 cameras have been installed to help prevent theft and ...
New security measures at the Salvos Store at Fyshwick. Security cameras have been installed to help prevent theft and illegal dumping. Photo: Graham Tidy

A young female scientist accused of fabricating data made a tearful apology live on Japanese television for "mistakes" in her research, but insisted her ground-breaking conclusions on stem cells were accurate.

Haruko Obokata, 30, blamed her youth and inexperience for errors in her methodology, but said she had managed to create the building-block cells capable of growing into the specialised cells of the brain, liver, heart or kidneys.

The son of ACT Government minister Joy Burch has been given a chance to turn his life around before being sentenced for the knife-point robbery of a takeaway store last year.

The ACT Supreme Court has heard Lloyd Edwin Burch, 20, drank two litres of beer with friends in Phillip in October last year, before entering the Ali Baba store armed with a knife.

He produced the knife, threatened violence against staff, and demanded money.

Full report here.

Charged: Lloyd Edwin Burch leaves the ACT Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Charged: Lloyd Edwin Burch leaves the ACT Supreme Court on Wednesday. 

A residents group says the expansion of Manuka Oval threatens to dislodge community groups in the precinct and compromise heritage values.

Canberra Services Club is considering redevelopment after its club near the oval burnt down in 2011. It has an agreement with Defence Housing Australia to build a new club and residential housing.

A feasibility study will also include a proposal to relocate Manuka Arts Centre to Kingston, including ArtSound, a 24-hour community radio station and recording studios.

A residents group says Manuka Oval's expansion threatens to dislodge community groups in the precinct and compromise ...
A residents group says Manuka Oval's expansion threatens to dislodge community groups in the precinct and compromise heritage values. Photo: Graham Tidy

The ACT government will announce sweeping new drug legislation today, including a crackdown on synthetic drugs and changes to drug trafficking laws.

Attorney-general Simon Corbell says the new legislation will ensure the right people are punished for drug crimes.

All up, 44 new synthetic psychoactive substances will be made illegal, including N-Bomb which was responsible for the death of 17-year-old NSW man Henry Kwan in 2013.

The legislation will also change the amount of certain drugs ACT residents can carry before facing serious drug trafficking charges.

If they are passed, Canberrans will be able to carry three times as much ecstacy and twice as much cocaine without being labelled drug traffickers.

It should be noted however, that carrying any amount of any illegal substances is still illegal.

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Enrolments in ACT public schools continue to rise, with 59.8 per cent of all school students in the territory now attending a public school, according to the latest school census data.

It is the biggest market share for public schools since 2008, when 60.1 per cent of students were enrolled in government schools.

Fleta Page has the story.

6TH SEPTEMBER- 2012 -NEWS -STORY STEPHANIE ANDERSONN- THE CANBERRA TIMES- PHOTO BY MELISSA ADAMS.
 Police investigate a ...

In central western NSW, a man who claimed a toddler died after falling off a trampoline has been charged with the child's murder.

The 35-year-old was arrested outside Bathurst police station on Wednesday afternoon and later charged with murdering the 11-month-old girl from Mandurama, about 45 kilometres north-east of Cowra.

The man had taken the child, suffering head injuries, to Blayney District Hospital on Wednesday last week, police said.

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We're receiving reports that traffic on Parkes Way has slowed to a crawl around Civic.

Got a traffic tip? Tweet @canberratimes or leave a comment on the blog.

(But not while you're driving!) 

Henry Belot. Canberra Times reporter.

Cyclone Ita is expected to cross the Queensland coast on Friday night, the Bureau of Meteorology says, with destructive winds set to impact areas more than 200 kilometres away from the eye of the storm.

The cyclone is predicted to intensify to a category 4 storm by the time it crosses the coast between Cape Flattery and Lockhart in the state's far north, with the bureau warning it "poses a significant threat" to communities in the area.

Cyclone Ita most powerful since Yasi

Tropical cyclone Ita is due to hit far north Queensland on Friday, bringing powerful winds and heavy rain, the strongest cyclone to hit the coast since Yasi in 2011.

ASX trading floor, Generic, Australian Securities Exchange, Stocks, shares, trading, share price, 19th of July 2013 ...

Shares are set to climb higher after US Fed minutes reassured investors that rates would stay lower for longer, with the dollar nearing US94 cents.

Follow the Markets Live blog today for all the details.

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Mark Kenny and Phillip Wen report a free-trade agreement with China worth tens of billions to the Australian economy could be just months away.

Tony Abbott held one-on-one talks with China's Premier Li Keqiang on arrival in the southern resort island of Hainan on Wednesday.

Mr Abbott used the talks to promote his economic reform message, stressing that Australia welcomes foreign investment, has always needed foreign capital to develop and wants access to the billions of dollars held in China.

A deal would potentially give Chinese companies new access to direct investment in Australian companies and to lucrative development of resources and public infrastructure.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meet during Mr Abbott's visit to the country.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang meet during Mr Abbott's visit to the country. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Imagine working for a company whose board happened to have a penchant for collecting art.

And not just any art - major, museum-worthy works by historical and contemporary Australian artists, some so dramatic they could dominate a room all by themselves. That's life at Wesfarmers over in Perth, where the office walls are dotted with major artworks from a collection that has been three decades in the making.

Manager of Wesfarmers Art and Curator Helen Carroll with Artist Michael Leunig will open the National Library of ...
Manager of Wesfarmers Art and Curator Helen Carroll with Artist Michael Leunig will open the National Library of Australia latest show of Contemporary Australian Art. Photo: Jay Cronan
Henry Belot. Canberra Times reporter.

This tweet of Tony Abbott looking earnest while talking to JACC Chief Coordinator Angus Houston is sparking some interesting commentary on Twitter this morning.

Today's cartoon by David Pope.

Henry Belot. Canberra Times reporter.

What's the talk of Canberra on our opinion pages?

You say:

"What an absurd argument that bureaucrats could seek an increase in their salaries to make up for the amount they choose to pay to park in the Parliamentary Triangle precinct. How rediculous!"

Read all today's letters to the editor.

We say:

"The economic imperative for redeveloping public housing sites in the inner city is hard to deny. Rising land values demand that the uses to which it is put are maximised, particularly in a city/state like Canberra where real estate transactions contribute so significantly to government revenues."

Read today's editorial.

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