ACT News

Canberra Mornings Live: Thursday, August 1

That's it for today. We'll be back at the same time tomorrow for three hours of live blogging from 6.30am.

In the meantime if you have anything to share with us, shoot through an email.

Thanks for joining us today - we'll see you tomorrow for some Friday fun!

And here's our top local content for this morning.

The ACT's 2013 kangaroo cull fell just short of its 1244 quota, with 1149 animals shot in the last three weeks. An additional 355 joeys were also killed.

Canberra's population growth rate more than doubled in the five years to 2011, according to a federal government report. And the largest group of new residents was men under the age of 24.

Victim support workers are pushing for greater access to court information, as they attempt to prevent those most affected by crime from being forgotten by the justice system.

The devoted Brumbies fans who gathered at Canberra Airport on Wednesday night cheered when star player George Smith arrived at the check-in desks.

Here's the most-clicked stories on the site so far today..

A teenager from regional Victoria with an interest in fashion is causing apparent grief for technology giant Apple by leaking prototypes of its products online weeks, if not months, before they are officially unveiled.

Our story from yesterday on public service pay gap is still at the top of the site. It revealed that some public servants earn tens of thousands of dollars less than colleagues in other agencies even though they are employed at the same level.

And the follow-up to that story for today: Trade unions and public service authorities will meet in Canberra on Thursday as they prepare for the enterprise bargaining process for the nation's 168,000 federal bureaucrats.

Part of a car park was blocked off and an elderly man has minor injuries after his vehicle crash landed onto the top of a parked car in a Hughes shopping centre car park on Wednesday.

And Mark Kenny's opinion piece on the Coalition is right up there as well. Kenny writes that Abbott's situation is far from hopeless. His party must still be regarded as favourite for election because it has the least ground to make up to gain a majority.

The 4WD crashed through a garden bed and came to a stop after partially mounting a parked car.
The 4WD crashed through a garden bed and came to a stop after partially mounting a parked car. Photo: Courtney Green
Brumby Jack provides pre-game entertainment at Canberra Stadium last year.
Brumby Jack provides pre-game entertainment at Canberra Stadium last year. Photo: Stuart Walmsley

We're not sure if it applies to wild mountain horses as well as thoroughbreds, but August 1 being the official Australian Horse's Birthday seems a good day to give a shout out to Brumby Jack.  

The club's mascot won't be travelling to New Zealand with the team, although we believe it's more a budget decision rather than a newsworthy ban being imposed by the Chiefs.  

Another look at the weather before we head off this morning.

We're up to 5.1C in the capital at about 9.15am, heading to a top of 15C.

Tomorrow may see some showers in the evening, with a top of 14C after dropping to 0C overnight.

The weekend should be partly cloudy, with maximums in the range of 11C and 12C.


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Hamish Boland-Rudder.

Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them... by a $3 million theatre revamp.

A newly transformed Street Theatre will be opened by Arts Minister Joy Burch today, part of the ACT government's vision for Canberra to achieve greatness in the realm of arts and culture.

The upgrade to the theatre includes a new rehearsal venue, new seating in the main theatre, improved acoustic treatments, a new box office and cafe, expansion of the foyer space and additional administrative spaces.

More than $1 million worth of cannabis has been seized during a police raid in Sydney's southwest.

A "sophisticated hydroponic set-up" was used to grow 301 plants found during a search of a Harrington Park home this week, police say.

"(The plants) have an estimated potential street value of $1,064,000," police said in a statement.

Blake Ferguson's five-star display against Melbourne early this year launched his Origin career, but Canberra Raiders skipper Terry Campese is confident they can beat the Storm on Sunday without him.

''The team's played well the past few weeks and it was Fergo's first week back,'' Campese said after Saturday's win over St George Illawarra.

''We're rewarding people that are there and playing well. We've had a few good victories and getting some combinations together.

''It's good to see Fergo playing footy, that's what he does best and I couldn't be happier for him.''

Blake Ferguson at Raiders training on Wednesday.
Blake Ferguson at Raiders training on Wednesday. Photo: Jay Cronan
John-Paul Moloney.
Inventor Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (Michael J.Fox) in the original Back to the Future film. Picture: ...
Inventor Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (Michael J.Fox) in the original Back to the Future film. Picture: Universal Studios 

Great Scot!  Have you been tinkering away in the back shed working on your own flux capacitor, much to the annoyance of your significant other, who'd rather you were fixing the leaking loo?  

Now could be your time to shine.
As part of Floriade, an Aspiring Inventors Competition is being launched today, giving the unrecognised geniuses of suburbia a shot at a $5,000 kickstart for their invention. Entries need to be a "functional element that enhances the lives of Australians in some way" and can be in the form of drawings, diagrams, models, photos, videos or journals.

The competition runs from today until September 2 and information is available at

Judges will include ABC Radio National's Fenella Kernebone and "invention guru" John S. Jacob.  They'll pick 10 finalists to be displayed in The Inspiration Hub during the third week of Floriade.

We've got some more details on the kangaroo cull. As well as the 1149 kangaroos, shooters also killed a further "355 pouch young, the majority of which were very small and unfurred due to the timing of the cull".

You can read the full story here, and we'll keep updating the article as more comes to hand.

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Canberra Times photographer Rohan Thomson has taken some great photos of Brumby Jesse Mogg ahead of the clash with the Waikato Chiefs.

And reporter Chris Dutton has spoken to the man himself on the 24-year-old's role in the grand final this weekend.


Balanced: Brumbies ace Jesse Mogg.
Balanced: Brumbies ace Jesse Mogg. Photo: Digitally altered image by Colle

Whether or not you are watching what you drink, rest assured someone will be.

Two new initiatives begin today to keep an eye on alcohol abuse in the community - an ACT government review of the Liquor Act, and the launch of the NSW ACT Alcohol Policy Alliance.

“NAAPA is an alliance of organisations advocating for solutions to prevent and reduce alcohol-related harms in NSW and the ACT,” Attorney General Simon Corbell said.

“[Today's] launch of the alliance coincides with the ACT Government’s two year review of the Liquor Act 2010, which is aimed to address the effects of alcohol abuse in the community.”

Lauren Jackson.
Lauren Jackson. Photo: Anita Jones

Basketball ACT president Mark White has resigned - but he insists it has nothing to do with the continued fallout from the Lauren Jackson contract saga.

White's resignation was ratified at a board meeting on Tuesday night, just hours after talks broke down with Jackson.

Senator Kate Lundy has defended the federal government’s $5.3 billion tax increase on cigarettes, describing her own catalyst for quitting.

“Many, many years ago I gave up smoking because of a ban in public sector buildings,” the ACT minister told 2CC on Thursday morning.

“I’m a true believer in public sector outcomes – it saved me.”

Senator Lundy said the excise rise would achieve three goals: raising funds for more research into cancer, provide a price point which would be a financial disincentive to start smoking, and raise much-needed general revenue.

Ms Lundy disputed the view price rises would encourage a black market for tobacco. 


Police in NSW are to undergo extra mental health training in preparation for high pressure situations involving people with mental illness.

Police Minister Michael Gallacher says the new package will improve the way officers interact with people living with mental illness, their suicide prevention and intervention capabilities, and reduce "the risk of negative coronial outcomes".

"It is critical our frontline police have the necessary skills and awareness to adequately confront a situation involving a person with a mental health issue," he said.

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For those who missed it last night, Noel Towell and Markus Mannheim have crunched the numbers comparing salaries for public servants across government agencies. And the size of the disparity might surprise you - it's set to get up to more than $47,000 a year by mid-2014.

There's a handy interactive graphic that lets you compare salaries across agencies and job levels - to see how you are paid compared to your peers.

You can find it, and the full story, here.

Eddie Obeid.
Eddie Obeid. Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Eddie Obeid has answered questions from the media for about 10 minutes outside his Hunters Hill home this morning. He is fuming.

"This is nothing short of political witch hunt against myself and Macdonald and it's backed up by the O'Farrell government."

"We will pursue this to every court of the land to prove we are innocent, we've done nothing wrong.

"I have never done the wrong thing by anyone."

"I'm not going to have this hanging over my head, I've given 20 years of service to the NSW parliament and I am a very respected person by all those who dealt with me."

The ACT's 2013 kangaroo cull fell short of its 1244 quota, with 1149 animals shot in the last three weeks. 

The ACT Government has advised Callum Brae Nature Reserve, Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve (and adjacent unleased territory land), Kama Nature Reserve, Mulanggari Nature Reserve, Mt Painter Nature Reserve, Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve and The Pinnacle Nature Reserve (and adjacent unleased territory land) re-open to the public at midday today.

Was this US reporter fired for going braless in a TV broadcast?

Shea Allen posted on her blog that she went sans bra in a live broadcast and "no one was the wiser". She lost her job not long after.

Dismissed ... Shea Allen on 'Inside Edition'.
Dismissed ... Shea Allen on 'Inside Edition'. Photo: via Youtube
Chris Dutton.

We're hoping to chat to a couple of the Brumbies boys today about their feelings ahead of the finals.

Try-scoring hero from the semi-final, Tevita Kuridrani, is playing in his first finals campaign and has just been picked in the Wallabies squad.

It was just over 12 months ago that Kuridrani couldn't even fly to New Zealand with the team because of a visa bungle. Now the Fijian is preparing for the biggest moment of his career.

We'll try to track down Big Red Peter Kimlin as well. The kid who grew up in Canberra and idolised a team of Brumbies legends now gets a chance to play in a grand final in his last game for the club before he moves to France.

Tevita Kuridrani.
Tevita Kuridrani. Photo: Melissa Adams
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