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ACT News

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Canberra Mornings Live: Tuesday July 25

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Bringing you breaking news from across the capital and beyond, including weather, traffic updates and what the capital is talking about.

Weatherzone: ACT storm tracker



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Tegan Osborne: That's all from us today. Stay safe and dry Canberra and take care on the roads today.

We'll keep you up to date with the flood situation out at Goulburn throughout the day so check back into our Goulburn flood article.

As always, if you have photos or stories to share email us at online@canberratimes.com.au

Here's a wrap of the major headlines today.

Digging up pipes and cables along the route of the Capital Metro light rail network could cost $200m.

Flooding and heavy rains have forced the closure of several roads around Goulburn.

A third push to reinstall Kevin Rudd as Labor leader is in turmoil.

And twelve-time grand slam champ Rafael Nadal crashes to humiliating first round Wimbledon defeat against a 135th-ranked Belgian.

Gillards safe in leadership battle (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Gillard appears safe in leadership battle

Prime Minister Julia Gillard looks set to avoid a major hurdle to her leadership on Tuesday.

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Just recapping - there are a number of roads closed in and around Goulburn today due to flooding.

We're about to wrap the live news blog.

But you can keep up to date on the situation throughout the day via our article here.

Stephanie Anderson: Drivers are urged to take care on the wet roads following an accident on the Hume Highway earlier this morning.

Emergency crews were called to the highway near Goulburn after a truck jack knifed in the northbound lanes.

A NSW Police spokesman said crews had closed one lane.

Here's one that could come in handy - if it works. Basically, it's like a car with x-ray vision.

Ford has developed a new braking system that alerts drivers to potential rear-end collisions around blind corners or through dense traffic.

In the latest auto application to harness car-to-car communication, the technology warns drivers of a potential collision ahead even if their view is obstructed.

Ford braking system

Ford braking system

The idea of politicians in leather probably may not be the greatest mental picture, but this morning MPs and senators will be getting out in support of motorcycle riders.

Riders from the Australian Motorcycle Council, Brotherhood Christian Motorcycle Council and both sides of Parliament will gather at the front of the Parliament this morning House for the 4th Annual Federal Members and Senators Motorcycle Ride.

Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and opposition roads and regional transport spokesman Darren Chester will be at the launch at 8.45am.

MPs Luke Hartsuyker, Rob Mitchell and Bernie Ripoll, and Senator Cory Bernardi are expected to take part in the ride.

Born to be wild ... Senator Cory Bernardi before the 2011  Federal Members and Senators Motorcycle Ride.

Born to be wild ... Senator Cory Bernardi before the 2011 Federal Members and Senators Motorcycle Ride. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Just what is a Population Health Commissioning Atlas? We'll find out later today. Chief Minister Katy Gallagher is launching the ACT Medicare Local's new publication this morning.

Gallagher says the atlas will help the ACT Medicare Local to achieve its objective of contributing "to bridging service gaps in primary health care by identifying and assessing the health care needs of the population of the ACT".

 

Here's a quick look at the current temperatures around the region this morning.

  • Braidwood: 8.3
  • Canberra: 10
  • Goulburn: 8.6
  • Perisher: 0
  • Thredbo: -0.8
  • Tuggeranong: 9.1 
  • Ulladulla: 14.9

Stephanie Anderson: Congratulations Canberrans, you little bookworms!

The capital has been declared the country’s most well-read city and one of the few whose top 10 titles doesn’t include the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy.

The ranking, based on sales data from Bookworld and Angus and Robertson from April 2012 to April 2013, also saw Canberra named as one of the most diversely read cities.

Out most read titled included Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals, along with Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies and Anna Funder’s All That I Am, which won the Miles Franklin Award in 2012.

Melbourne outfit Midnight Juggernauts have announced they will be heading to the Territory as part of a national tour announced late yesterday.

And they'll be bringing Kirin J Callinan and Fascinator along for the ride as well.

The band will be touring their third and latest album Uncanny Valley around the country in August and September, playing at Zierholz in Canberra on Saturday August 17.

Tickets are for sale through OzTix.

Midnight Juggernauts

Midnight Juggernauts

Roos in the mens loos at Durras.

Roos in the mens loos at Durras.

Humans aren't the only ones trying to keep dry with all this rain.

John Perkins, from Durras on the south coast, has sent in this photo of two kangaroos sheltering from the wild weather.

Yesterday marked one year since our intrepid kayaking photo blogger Paul Jurak began blogging with the Canberra Times.

If you missed it, here's a retrospective of his greatest hits, photographically speaking.

See more photos on the Kayak Cameraman's Facebook page.

The Kayak Cameraman: The best of the past 12 months Click for more photos

The Best of the Kayak Cameraman

The Kayak Cameraman: The best of the past 12 months Photo: Paul Jurak

Hamish Boland-Rudder: For the history buffs and photography fanatics, or just for the internationally aware or curious, a small new photography exhibition is set to open at the High Court tomorrow.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will set up 40 images from their archives for an exhibition celebrating a big milestone - 150 years of humanitarian action: the ICRC from 1863-2013.

The photos span the Spanish-American war of 1898, and the two World Wars, through to the recent conflicts in Sierra Leone, Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria, among others.

The exhibition runs until July 27, but here’s a sneak preview of some of the shots on offer:

Sierra Leone Civil War, 1991-2002. Between Bo and Kenema: An ICRC delegate explains the principles of international humanitarian law to militia fighters. Introducing fighters to the law of war and maintaining a bilateral dialogue with them to foster compliance is a key part of the ICRC's work. Click for more photos

Red Cross through the years

Sierra Leone Civil War, 1991-2002. Between Bo and Kenema: An ICRC delegate explains the principles of international humanitarian law to militia fighters. Introducing fighters to the law of war and maintaining a bilateral dialogue with them to foster compliance is a key part of the ICRC's work. Photo: ICRC/ MAYER, Till

  • Sierra Leone Civil War, 1991-2002. Between Bo and Kenema: An ICRC delegate explains the principles of international humanitarian law to militia fighters. Introducing fighters to the law of war and maintaining a bilateral dialogue with them to foster compliance is a key part of the ICRC's work.
  • Lebanese Civil War, 1975-1990. Zahra hospital, southern Beirut, 1984: An ICRC surgical team operates on a war-wounded patient. From the 1970s, war surgery became one of the ICRC's main activities.
  • Libyan Civil War, 2011. Field hospital to the west of Sirte, 12 October 2011: A wounded man is taken by helicopter to Tripoli hospital. During the clashes, the ICRC evacuated 50 wounded people from Sirte.
  • Afghanistan War, 1979-1989. Parachinar, Pakistan, 1986: Afghan mujahideen take a first-aid course run by the ICRC.
  • The Spanish-American War of 1898. A surgeon from the United States army medical service (recognisable by his red cross) treats a wounded soldier in a field hospital.
  • Syrian conflict, 2011 to present. The Al-Ghuta neighbourhood of Homs, 15 February 2012: Volunteers from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and local residents unload food supplies. The ICRC often works closely with the National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society of the country in which it is operating.
  • Vietnam War, 1964-1975.  Saigon, 1969: An ICRC doctor visits an orphanage. Throughout the war, the ICRC was only able to work in the Republic of Vietnam (or South Vietnam), despite repeated appeals to the North Vietnamese government.
  • The interwar period. Nancy, France: A group of nurses during an air-raid drill. National Red Cross Societies had to adapt their activities to the echnological developments that emerged during the First World War, particularly air raids.

Good news for seniors travelling on Canberra's bus networks, with the government bringing the qualifying age for free travel down five years.

The age for free travel for those with a Seniors MyWay card has been reduced from 75 to 70 – effected July 1.

Minister for Territory and Municipal Services Shane Rattenbury said it would impact about 9000 Canberrans.

Those aged over 70 can head to a Canberra Connect with a proof of age and residency to get their MyWay card converted to a free travel card.

After the biggest one day slide in four years yesterday, Australian shares are set to open lower with the ASX200 set to give back all of its 2013 gains, after stocks, bonds and commodities fell on Fed worries and Chinese equities entered a bear market on concern a cash crunch will hurt growth.

The Aussie dollar was strongly higher. It was recently buying 92.63 US cents, up from 91.67 US cents at yesterday's local close. It was also buying 90.47 yen, 70.58 euro cents and 60 British pence.

Stephanie Anderson: All ACT Government sportsgrounds will be closed again today as wet weather continues.

Up to 6mm of rainfall is predicted for the capital throughout the day, as well as winds of up to 45km/hr.

The capital received more than 30mm of rainfall since showers began yesterday.

With the first of the winter's snow falling around the regions, the ACT Government has warned drivers to be extra cautious on rural roads, and to visit established snow recreation areas rather than informal snow areas.

People are being warned to avoid unsealed rural roads, and to be prepared for sudden changes in conditions.

The Corin Forest mountain recreation area is the best and safest opportunity for Canberrans to enjoy the snow in the ACT.

There are a number of road closures in place due to the wet weather and snow:

  • Boboyan Road (four-wheel drive access only)
  • Corin Dam Road closed at the Square Rock car park
  • Mount Franklin Road, closed at the Mount Franklin Chalet car park
  • Angle Crossing

For more information on road closures, contact Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.

Stephanie Anderson: Flooding in and around Goulburn has forced NSW Police to close a number of local roads, including several bridges, as heavy rains hit the area.

A spokesman said police are looking to cut off access to Windellama and Range Roads in coming hours.

Flooding and water on roadways have also forced the closure of the railway underpass, Landsdowne Bridge, May Street Bridge, Muffets Road and Lumley Road.

Local media are also reporting that access to Towrang Bridge will be cut off at lunchtime.

The police spokesman said evacuations were not yet an issue for the region, which has received more than 100mm since showers began yesterday.

Not great morning for ACTION... or bus commuters it seems.

Coy Mathis holds hands with her lawyer Michael Silverman and her mother Kathryn Mathis.

Coy Mathis holds hands with her lawyer Michael Silverman and her mother Kathryn Mathis. Photo: AP

This story out of Denver in the US this morning... 

The parents of a 6-year-old transgender girl have won a victory in their fight for the daughter to use the girls' toilet in a public school.

A Colorado civil rights panel has ruled that a Colorado Springs school likely discriminated against Coy Mathis when it prevented her from using the girls' bathroom.

The first-grader's parents were told she could use restrooms in either the teachers' lounge or in the nurse's office, but not the girl's bathroom at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain.

Perisher's Happy Valley snow cam this morning.

Perisher's Happy Valley snow cam this morning.

There were some great snow shots about yesterday from the slopes at Thedbo and Perisher.

And today looks no different.

Here's a screen shot from the snow cam this morning at Perisher's Happy Valley. 

Got photos you'd like to share? Drop me a line via email at online@canberratimes.com.au, tweet @canberratimes or head to our Facebook page.

Stephanie Anderson: There are reports of flooding in Goulburn after heavy rains hit the area over the past 24 hours.

The region has received 105mm since showers began on Monday and a severe weather warning remains in place for heavy rain and damaging winds.

The Bureau of Meteorology is also warning of the potential for flash flooding in some parts of the Southern Tablelands.

We’ll bring you more information as it comes to hand.

Stephanie Anderson: Drivers are urged to take care on the Gungahlin Drive Extension following reports of a dead kangaroo on the road.

An ACT Policing spokesman said the body of the kangaroo was in one of the city bound lanes near the Ellenborough Street overpass in Lyneham.

Traffic has slowed as a result but the spokesman said no lanes had been officially closed.

Stephanie Anderson: If you’re in the market for a property, Canberra’s listings have been boosted by 564 homes over the past week.

New figures from RP Data detailed 2722 properties on the market in the capital as of June 23.

The preceding week recorded 62 houses sold at a median price of $533,750 while 20 units were sold at a median cost of $422,500.

House sales across the combined capital cities recorded a median price of $516,230, while the median unit price for the week was $465,178.

Silvio Berlusconi, 76-year-old billionaire and three-time Italian prime minister, has been found guilty of paying a minor for sex and abuse of power by a panel of judges in Milan after a two-year trial.

FILE -- In this file photo taken on Sept. 27, 2009, Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi gestures as he attends a meeting in Milan, Italy. A Milan court has convicted former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi of paying for sex with an under-age prostitute during infamous Click to play video

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Berlusconi sentenced to seven years' jail

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is sentenced to seven years in jail and banned from holding public office after prostitution trial.

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When 12-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal stepped out at Wimbledon to face a player nicknamed "Shark" and ranked 135 in the world, nobody expected this.

A round one defeat.

Bad day at the office: Spain's Rafael Nadal.

Bad day at the office: Spain's Rafael Nadal. Photo: AFP

A few more from ACTION.

From ACTION.

Daily Telegraph, June 25

Daily Telegraph, June 25

Wow. 

We don't usually blog the covers of other news papers in the Canberra Mornings Live blog. But you've got to see this one.

Today's Daily Telegraph has this photo of Julia Gillard which will also appear on the front of the Australian Women's Weekly tomorrow. She's knitting a kangaroo for the royal baby.

Did you spin the yarn for the kangaroo too Ms Gillard?

Today's front cover.

Today's front cover.

Today's front page...

Digging up and relocating or securing underground waterworks and data cables along the route of the Capital Metro light rail network could cost taxpayers up to $200 million.

They're the Kevin 07 generation. They became politically aware at the time Kevin Rudd swept into The Lodge promising energy and change. Now, as this group of 17 and 18-year-olds prepare to cast their votes for the first time, they reflect the politics of their time.

An Indonesian former policeman turned people smuggler has been caught on a hidden camera referring to asylum seekers as ''goats'' and boasting of how he bribed police to turn a blind eye to his operation.

And Australia's quest to reclaim the Ashes is in disarray before a ball has even been bowled after a tumultuous day in which Mickey Arthur was sacked as coach and Michael Clarke stepped down as a selector.

The Minister for Police and Emergency Services Simon Corbell will this morning be signing the 2013-14 Purchase Agreement for ACT Policing.

He will be joined by AFP Commissioner Tony Negus and Acting Chief Police Officer for the ACT David Pryce.

"The Purchase Agreement includes key performance indicators focused on levels of crime, police responsiveness, crime prevention and road safety," said Mr Corbell.

"The Agreement also sets out the ACT Government's expectations of delivering a professional, accountable and transparent policing service to the ACT community.

"This will ensure the continued delivery of high standard policing services in the ACT," he said. 

It will be interesting to look through the fine print of this one, after Christopher Knaus's report earlier this month that the government will rip more than $15 million in savings from the territory's police force, prompting union fears over the jobs of up to 45 officers.

We'll have more on this later today.

Stephanie Anderson: If you're not a stiff, celebrity or washed-up sports star, the Bullet Train for Australia Party is waiting for your call.

The party is on the hunt for candidates in three states for the federal election, party president Tim Bohm said.

"We won't be running career politicians, B-grade celebrities or washed-up sports people," he said.

Mr Bohm said the party hoped to run two senate candidates for NSW, Victoria, ACT and Queensland, and House of Representative candidates in Canberra and seats such as Hume, Riverina and Dobell.

The announcement comes before a high-speed rail forum to be held at Parliament House tomorrow, where ACT Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury will address attendees.

ACT Minister for Tourism and Events Andrew Barr, will today be launching the latest research into the impact of school excursions to the national capital.

The research is a biennial research project commissioned by the National Capital Educational Tourism Project that evaluates the impact of school excursions to the capital in terms of market assessment, impact and customer satisfaction.

We should have something on the site about this later this morning so check back for updates.

It seems like we're all talking about winter, snow and rainfall this week - so you may as well get out there and photograph it as well!

Have you taken any wintry snaps in or around Canberra? Well then you should be entering our annual Winter Photo Competition!

You've got all winter to get your entries in (a limit of three per person) so start getting your best photos together. Here's all the info on how to enter.

For an idea of what you're up against, here's the winner and other entries from last year's competition.

BUBBLE WRAP: Debbie Hartley, of Kambah, snapped this winning photograph of a frozen bubble on a particularly frosty morning. Click for more photos

The Canberra Times Winter Photo Competition

BUBBLE WRAP: Debbie Hartley, of Kambah, snapped this winning photograph of a frozen bubble on a particularly frosty morning. Photo: Debbie Hartley

Today's cartoon from David Pope.

Editorial cartoon, 22 August. Click for more photos

David Pope

Editorial cartoon, 22 August. Photo: David Pope

In news just in, Lleyton Hewitt has won his first round match at Wimbledon.

He upset Swiss 11th seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the 6-4 7-5 6-3 victory.

Hewitt won the grand slam in 2002 if you can wind your memory to back then.

Rolling back the years: Lleyton Hewitt.

Rolling back the years: Lleyton Hewitt. Photo: Reuters

Hazel Hawke's state memorial service will be held today, at the Concert Hall in the Sydney Opera House from 1.30pm.

The once the wife of former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke, Mrs Hawke was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2001. She was a tireless campaigner in social policy areas, a patron of the arts, and in her later years, an advocate for research on dementia.

Mrs Hawke died on May 23, following complications stemming from dementia.

The memorial at the Opera House will include performances by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Children’s Choir. 

It will be broadcast live from 1.30pm on ABC News 24.

We'll bring you the story later today.

Hazel Hawke at home in 1987. Click for more photos

Hazel Hawke

Hazel Hawke at home in 1987. Photo: Peter Morris

There's actually snow predicted down to 1500 metres today in the Territory's ranges.

It was forecast to fall down to 1300 metres yesterday. Anyone living up high see any?

Down here on lower ground we're in for a top 13C today, and skies will be cloudy with areas of rain forecast.

Winds will be southeasterly and between 35 to 45 km/h.

Tegan Osborne.: Hey Canberrans. Thanks for joining me on this chilly June morning. 

I've got lots of news on the way for you, but if you'd like to send in a news tip or a even a photo, you can drop me a line via email at online@canberratimes.com.au, tweet @canberratimes or head to our Facebook page.

It's 9.4C right now. Positively balmy, considering the sub-zero lows we had last week. 

There's a full weather wrap just around the corner.