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Canberra Mornings Live: Thursday, April 4

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We're about to wrap up our live blog for the morning, but and we'll leave you with a couple of interesting pieces to read before we head off.

Peter FitzSimons has written an opinion piece today on Tom Waterhouse.

"I'm sorry Gai Waterhouse, but when kids are lining up for your son's autograph, it really is time to act."

SMH reporter Sarah Whyte's piece on our habits as a consumer is a bit surprising... or is it?

You may think you are an exciting individual, but chances are your consumer habits are making you ''astonishingly boring''.

A new study has found the daily habits of 46 per cent of consumers drive their shopping choices, steadfast in their brand loyalty.

And closer to home, Ian Warden has written a nice piece on the eighth annual Anzac Aged Care ceremony at the Australian War Memorial, for those too frail to brave the big crowds at the Anzac Day Dawn Service.

Thanks for joining us this morning - we hope to see you back here again tomorrow (TGIF!).

In the meantime, if you have any hot news tips, feel free to get in touch via email, Twitter or Facebook.

John Thistleton's follow-up piece to the duplex-half that was demolished has gone straight to the top our most-read stories for today.

The demolition of one half of a duplex in Yarralumla has enraged neighbours, sent planners diving into the rule books and put the breeze up builders fearful of more laws.

This is followed closely by Tom McIlroy's yarn on the newest gym to arrive in town - Gold's Gym, known within the bodybuilding for its 70 kilo dumbbells and muscle-clad members. And of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger. (Go on, take a look at the video of Arnie pumping weights).


Our resident kayak cameraman has delivered the goods again this morning - it might have been cold but he was out there on the lake again, letting us know what we're missing out on this morning.

On the lake with the Kayak Cameraman Paul Jurak on April 4.
On the lake with the Kayak Cameraman Paul Jurak on April 4. 
Lisa Cox

ACTEW will face an Assembly committee hearing on Thursday to answer questions about its annual report.

Chairman John Mackay and Managing Director Mark Sullivan will be questioned about the under-reporting of Mr Sullivan's salary in 2010-11.

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has criticised the under-reporting of Mr Sullivan's salary by $234,000 in an ACTEW annual report and a letter to the shareholders in 2011, which both stated his remuneration package was $621,171 when it was in fact $855,000.

The hearing begins at noon.

Breaking news from inside Fairfax Media.

Fairfax Metro Media chief executive Jack Matthews is set to leave the publishing company in a massive shake-up that will see its business units reshuffled and merged.

Jack Matthews.
Jack Matthews. Photo: Luis Ascui
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A colony of Antarctic penguins could be excused for feeling like climate change's big winners.

A study has found a group of Adelie penguins on Beaufort Island in the Ross Sea, 3500km south of New Zealand, has significantly boosted its numbers as nearby glaciers have receded. Numbers in the colony increased by 84 per cent as habitat grew by 71 per cent.

Adelie penguins near  Casey station  Antarctica.
Adelie penguins near Casey station Antarctica. Photo: Angela Wylie

Lowering the voter age to 16 would not increase political participation, according to a new study. Australian National University political scientist Ian McAllister has found that enfranchising Australia’s 500,000 16 to 17-year-olds would not significantly increase political participation or enhance fairness. Analysis showed that voter turnout was lowest among the youngest age groups - 71 per cent for those aged 18 to 20, and 68 per cent among those aged 21 to 23. Lowering the voter age would also bring into question the age people could stand for election. ‘‘Should 16 year-old voters be eligible to become MPs or senators?’’ Professor McAllister said.


Things are looking good on the roads this morning - no accidents to report so far, and there's only been a couple of small delays to two bus services.

Have you seen anything on the roads that we should know about? Email us, tweet us or comment below and we'll look into it.

Federal independent MP Bob Katter fears he and his supporters will be thrown in the slammer because he's a political threat to the major parties.

Asked if he expects a dirty campaign from the major parties, Mr Katter referred to the jailing of Pauline Hanson.

"My chief of staff had everybody in and said staff understand this ... we expect they will try to throw us in jail," he told ABC Radio on Thursday.

"Every time you fill out a form, anytime you do anything or say anything be aware we are in danger of going to jail."

Independent MP Bob Katter.
Independent MP Bob Katter. Photo: Andrew Meares

Calling all Canberra cyclists... this page is for you.

The Lycra Diaries is a place where you can share your stories, images, ideas and questions about bike riding in the capital. We want to know about the issues you face as cyclist in Canberra.

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John-Paul Moloney.

On the local news agenda this morning...we'll be taking a close look at the ACT Government's after hours news dump last night about a possible asbestos find on the Stromlo Forest Park mountainbike trail.  

We'll also be in the Assembly when ACTEW reps front a committee hearing.  Lisa Cox will be there for what could be some tough questioning after a few months - and certainly the past week - all at the water provider would love to forget.  

Larissa Nicholson will take a look at a new study out from the ANU that has found lowering the voting age to 16 would not improve political participation or make the system fairer.  Teens, it seems, wouldn't be all that keen to vote anyhow, with intended voter turnout lowest among 18-20 years, then increasing significantly as voters get older.

And keep an eye out later this morning for some property news. Matt Raggatt is chasing up news on a large development proposal, while John Thistleton ventures out of town to talk to some landholders concerned about an upcoming windfarm project. 


Josh Dugan.
Josh Dugan. 

St George Illawarra urged to sign troubled former Raider Josh Dugan but on one proviso: that it contains a one-strike-and-you're-out clause.

''If I was the CEO, I'd go and get him but you'd have plenty of clauses in there saying, 'You stuff up, you're out with no money','' rugby league immortal Graeme Langlands said.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard will speak at the Foreign Correspondents Association lunch at noon today where she will reveal more about her China strategy before she leaves for the country tomorrow.

What station are you tuned into this morning?

Ross Solly's reign as the King of Canberra Breakfast Radio has come to end, with Scotty and Nige from 104.7 taking out top spot in the latest Nielsen ratings.

Scotty Masters and Nigel Johnson aka Scotty and Nige from 104.7 have knocked 666 ABC Canberra's Ross Solly off the perch ...
Scotty Masters and Nigel Johnson aka Scotty and Nige from 104.7 have knocked 666 ABC Canberra's Ross Solly off the perch in the breakfast radio ratings. 
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A quick weather update … It’s currently 8 degrees in the capital (7.4 at Tuggeranong) heading for a top today of 19. We’re in for a mostly cloudy day with light winds from the east/south-east. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with a top of 21 and afternoon showers are forecast for Saturday and Sunday.


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Today's cartoon from David Pope...

A shocking story from the Brisbane Times this morning.

System failings at a Queensland hospital have meant that 10 patients, who were supposed to be closely monitored, have walked to a nearby "suicide hotspot" and taken their own lives.


Canberra mountain-bikers take note …

The ACT Government has advised that sections of the main trunk trail at Stromlo Forest Park are closed until further notice after the discovery of asbestos material on two sections of the track.

The section of trail between ‘Red Rock’ and ‘Tall Trees’ has been closed and signage directing people to the ‘Luge’ have been installed.

The ACT Government has started the clean-up and webbing is also being installed on the top of the trail where the trail comes close to the Mount Stromlo Road.


Front page news in the Top End is once again providing a bit of entertainment on Twitter.

Something for fans of The Canberra Times' Ian Warden.

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