ACT News

Canberra Mornings Live: Thursday July 31

And that's a wrap fro the morning blog.

Thanks to everyone who got involved this morning.

Enjoy the fine weather before a cold snap passes over the ACT tomorrow morning.

Have a wonderful day!

People who are asked to join the Abbott government's overhauled work-for-the-dole program may end up doing the same work, and working alongside, people completing court-ordered community service for breaking the law.

The Abbott government revealed details this week of what will constitute work-for-the-dole activities under its proposed regime, saying the activities will be designed to help job seekers ''give something back to the community''.

But the types of jobs it has in mind - landscaping jobs, repair work on community halls, and working in Salvation Army centres - may be exactly the same as court-ordered community service placements.

Government may negotiate on work for the dole

Tough new requirements for job seekers may be up for negotiation says Parliamentary Secretary to the PM Alan Tudge.

Firefighters are still working to extinguishing to mulch fire at Oaks Estate.

ACT Rural Fire Service is now assisting ACT Fire & Rescue and two more appliances have been requested to extinguish the fire.

The fire is under control, but not out.

The estimated size of the mulch fire remains at approximately 20 x 20 metres and three metres high.

Firefighters are separating the pile of mulch to get to the seed of the fire.

Social media users could land themselves in legal hot water if they share Wikileaks' reporting of a secret suppression order made by the Victorian Supreme Court.

The wide-ranging suppression order was published on the group's website on Wednesday and was quickly shared on websites including Twitter and Google+.

Fairfax Media's report of Wikileaks' action created a strong response on social media, and was shared thousands of times within minutes of the exclusive report's publication.

It is against the law for Australian media organisations to publish the contents of the suppression order.

Media lawyer Peter Bartlett, from Minter Ellison, said anyone who tweets a link to the Wikileaks report, posts it on Facebook, or shares it in any way online could also face charges.

Julian Assange, Wikileaks publisher, described the Victorian Supreme Court suppression order as 'unprecedented'.
Julian Assange, Wikileaks publisher, described the Victorian Supreme Court suppression order as 'unprecedented'. 

Athletics Australia has suspended its head coach Eric Hollingsworth, with the controversial coach poised to be sent home from the Commonwealth Games for his extraordinary outburst criticising Sally Pearson.

Athletics Australia President David Grace QC released a statement condemning Hollingsworth for the fact he said anything, for what he said about Pearson in particular, and for the timing of what he said.

Grace said Hollingsworth had defied specific instruction from chief executive Dallas O’Brien in choosing to issue a media release through a public relations advisor.

He has been suspended without pay by AA pending further action when the board can meet to consider the matter.

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Here's Kevin Pietersen's reaction to the news Canberra will host the Big Bash League final.

Police stumbled across a cannabis grow house in Ainslie on Tuesday morning after firefighters were called to a blaze at the property.

Firefighters were called to the Hawdon Street property in Ainslie about 6.45am after a fire started in the front room on the fibro house.

Police arrived at the house about 7am and found 32 cannabis plants and hydropnic equipment inside a room.

The plants and hydroponic equipment was seized along with transformers, leads, irrigation and lighting.

ACT Policing North District Superintendent Brett Kidner said the hydroponic equipment was "highly likely to have been the cause" of the fire.

The haul from the cannabis grow house in Ainslie.
The haul from the cannabis grow house in Ainslie. Photo: ACT Policing

What started as a rumoured dalliance between Australia's biggest beauty export and the celebrity everyone loves to hate has ended with an alleged punch in an exclusive Ibiza restaurant.

The now infamous "punch" has drawn the spotlight on a confusing web involving Miranda Kerr, Justin Bieber (of childhood fame and general brat behaviour), Orlando Bloom, and former Australian power-couple James and Erica Packer.

Footage from the Daily Mail captures the alleged incident, in which Bloom (sans blonde plaited locks) approaches Bieber from across the crowded restaurant, before attempting to throw a punch.

Orlando Bloom: alleged to have thrown a punch at Justin Bieber.
Orlando Bloom: alleged to have thrown a punch at Justin Bieber. Photo: Reuters

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he is "not sure" but remains "confident" the bodies of Australians who died in the MH17 crash will be brought home because it is "morally right".

A national memorial service to honour the 38 Australian residents who died when their Malaysia Airlines flight was shot down over eastern Ukraine will be held in Melbourne, August 7.

And the Prime Minister has rejected Russian calls for a second UN Security Council resolution on MH17 because he suspects "ulterior motives" in an interview on Thursday with Fairfax Radio 3AW.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott admits he is unsure if the bodies of Australians killed in the MH17 disaster will be brought home.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott admits he is unsure if the bodies of Australians killed in the MH17 disaster will be brought home. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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From today's front page is a stop of rising rate anger in Queanbeyan.

Vassiliki Zafiris spent most of her working life running the former Paragon Restaurant at 101 Monaro Street, Queanbeyan.

Now no longer able to work, the 76-year-old is reeling after Queanbeyan City Council told her that she will have to pay $30,000 in supplementary rates bills.  

“I have had two knee replacements, three hip replacements, a reverse shoulder replacement and both my hands with carpal tunnel,’’ Mrs Zafiris said.

‘‘Now they want to skin me alive.”

John Zafiris and his mother Vassilika outside the Monaro street property The Strip  Woodfire Pizza and Pasta Bar, ...
John Zafiris and his mother Vassilika outside the Monaro street property The Strip Woodfire Pizza and Pasta Bar, previously the Old Paragon Cafe which Mrs Vassilika has owned since 1964. Photo: Melissa Adams

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic received the type of challenge he wanted for his A-League side in Wednesday night's pre-season friendly against a gallant Canberra FC.

The 1-0 scoreline to the Wanderers is irrelevant at this early stage of their preparation, but it gave Popovic the chance to expose several promising youngsters while being without seven members of his first-team squad.

A 22nd minute strike from 18-year-old Young Socceroos representative Jaushua Sotirio was enough for the Wanderers to scrape past the Canberra National Premier League club in front of an impressive crowd of 1600 at Deakin Stadium.

The only disturbance off the field was the lighting of a handful of flares in the Wanderers' supporters section with 10 minutes to go in the game.

Police were on the scene but no arrests were made.

Could this be the calm before the storm?

The New Zealand Warriors are putting in one last training session before their trip to Canberra to take on the Raiders.

Authorities have launched an urgent investigation into claims of loose-fill amosite asbestos at the Northbourne House office building, a finding that would, if confirmed, force a major rethink of the asbestos response to date.

The ACT government has been working on the belief that Mr Fluffy asbestos was pumped only into homes and not into commercial premises in the territory.

Asbestos taskforce head Andrew Kefford said on Tuesday that he was aware of only two businesses with the loose-fill asbestos insulation – a building in the Ainslie shops, now subject to a prohibition notice, and the Goodstart childcare centre in Aranda, now closed. Both were residences previously.

 

Former Defence employee Glenn Smith told ABC Radio he had found loose-fill asbestos in his office at Northbourne House ...
Former Defence employee Glenn Smith told ABC Radio he had found loose-fill asbestos in his office at Northbourne House in 1990. 
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Francois Etoundi, a member of the Australian Commonwealth Games team has been detained by police over an alleged altercation at the athletes' village in Glasgow early on Wednesday morning. 

Fairfax Media has been told Scottish police will allege that Etoundi, who won a bronze medal in the 77kg class weightlifting, assaulted a Welsh athlete.

A Team Wales spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday night that a member of their Commonwealth Games team was assisting police.

Francois Etoundi  won a bronze medal in the 77kg class weightlifting.
Francois Etoundi won a bronze medal in the 77kg class weightlifting. Photo: AFP

A man found dead in a car in Kiama Harbour on the NSW south coast is believed to be a teenager who went missing last week.

Emergency services were called to the area at 2pm on Wednesday.

It is believed the body is that of a 19-year-old man who was last seen at Albion Park Rail on July 24 and was later reported missing, police said.

A post mortem examination is to be conducted to determine the man's cause of death.

Staff at Corin Forest are pretty excited about the fine conditions and snow cover this morning.

A push to swell the ranks of the Australian Public Service's grey army looks set to meet resistance at the top level of the bureaucracy and among its political bosses.

The Human Rights Commission says older workers are being disproportionately hurt in redundancy drives, like the one gripping the public service, and it wants quotas and targets to ensure that the APS is doing its bit for older Australia.

But the Public Service Commissioner says the service does very well already with more than 30 per cent of permanent staff over 50 and about 11 per cent of new recruits in that age bracket.

Commissioner Stephen Sedgwick would not comment on a personal plea from Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan last week for him to consider recruitment targets.

The University of Canberra Capitals have signed WNBL legend Kristen Veal for the upcoming 2014/15 WNBL season.

Veal, who is currently assistant coach in the women’s program at Basketball Australia’s National Centre of Excellence, joins the University of Canberra Capitals on a one-year deal.

The 33-year-old said she’s excited to be returning to the Canberra team, where she spent five seasons and won three WNBL championships.

“I wanted to play at least one more year and the University of Canberra Capitals needed a point-guard, so it was meant to be,” she said.

Head coach Carrie Graf said "having Kristen Veal back in a Caps uniform is a big plus for the University of Canberra Capitals. She was a huge part of many of our early championship years.”

Veal was the youngest ever player selected in the WNBA Draft in 2001 when she was selected at pick 13 by the Phoenix Mercury and the third Australian to be selected in the first round behind University of Canberra Capitals teammate Lauren Jackson and Penny Taylor.

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