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ACT News

Canberra Mornings Live: Tuesday June 18

Date

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 it from us this morning guys. A big thank you to everyone who shared photos on Twitter and email!

Here's a wrap of the big stories:

Reunited in the NSW Origin team, it took just two hours for Blake Ferguson and Josh Dugan to get together to toast the occasion. And now, Ferguson's playing career is in limbo after he was stood down from the NSW Origin team and had his NRL contract suspended following allegations he indecently assaulted a woman during the drinking session.

All flights in and out of Canberra have been put on hold as the city awoke to a thick layer of fog.

Treasurer Andrew Barr says there will still be cuts to territory water prices this year despite ''dramatic'' changes to the independent regulator's original plans.

And a teenager has been taken to hospital in a serious condition following an accident near the Australian National University.

Blake Ferguson charged, suspended (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Ferguson charged, suspended from Origin

Blues star Blake Ferguson is charged by NSW police on Monday over allegations he indecently assaulted a woman during a drinking session with teammate Josh Dugan.

PT1M26S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2oey4 620 349

Tegan Osborne: One last one for the sports fans.

If you're headed to see the Brumbies tonight, there's a fleet of free ACTION buses to get you there.

Check out the link in the tweet below.

Congratulations to Mary Lee and Arika Errington. They are the first recipients of a new scholarship program run by the YWCA Canberra.

Ms Lee is a young culturally and linguistically diverse woman who is the training coordinator for Lifeline’s National Domestic Violence Response Training program. Ms Errington is originally a young Wakka Wakka woman from Queensland and project coordinator for the Talking About the Smokes Project for National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

They each get $5000 towards the She Leads Diploma of Management for young women.

The ACT Territory and Municipal Services Directorate will today be conducting a controlled burn at Kowen Forest, weather permitting.

The burn will be approximately 118 hectares in size and consists of forest debris piles which may take up to a week to complete.

For a map of the burn area - head here

For more details on the burn, visit the TAMS site or call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.

Fog at 6.15am in Deakin.

Fog at 6.15am in Deakin.

Tegan Osborne: Another fog shot from a reader in Deakin (who didn't tell us their name!), taken early at 6.15am.

The latest figures on petrol prices are out, and again it's good and bad news for ACT drivers.

The average price for unleaded in Canberra last week was steady at 147.1c/L, while prices were up 1.7c for the metropolitan average.  The bad side is that even with that increase, the national metropolitan average was still cheaper, at 144.2c/L.

Tegan Osborne: One fabulous and two... erm, funny (?) fog shots from our readers on Twitter this morning.

Seems we have some comedians in the audience.

The sculpture of Ms Gillard, created by artist and cartoonist Peter Nicholson.

The sculpture of Ms Gillard, created by artist and cartoonist Peter Nicholson.

Tom McIlroy: Canberra’s political wonks might be disappointed to hear that Prime Minister Julia Gillard is yet to take her place alongside her 26 predecessors in the Victorian city of Ballarat.

All of Australia's prime ministers from Edmund Barton to Kevin Rudd are immortalised in a bronze bust for inclusion in Ballarat's Prime Ministers’s Avenue.

A sculpture of Ms Gillard, created by artist and cartoonist Peter Nicholson, has been in storage at the city’s art gallery for around 12 months and Ms Gillard did not unveil it during a visit last week.

Ballarat Mayor John Burt and local MP and Territories Minister Catherine King are working with Ms Gillard’s office to plan a date. 

The Prime Minister’s Avenue is in the city’s historic botanical gardens and was created after a bequest from parliamentarian and arts patron Richard Armstrong Crouch.

Ms Gillard first sat for the work in January 2012.

Mr Nicholson, famous for his cartoons and Rubbery Figures television series, has created busts of Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, John Howard and Kevin Rudd for the Ballarat collection.

He previously realised a photo of the working model for the sculpture via Twitter.

Stephanie Anderson: Police are now diverting traffic down Fairfax Street following an accident in Acton this morning.

An ACT Policing spokeswoman confirmed officers on the ground were diverting city bound drivers on Belconnen Way and Barry Drive down Fairfax Street, following a collision between a pedestrian and a vehicle near the Australian National University.

Drivers are also being urged to remain patient during the disruptions.

Hamish Boland-Rudder: Regional affairs Minister Catherine King and local members Gai Brodtmann and Mike Kelly visited the Snowy Hydro South Care helicopter base this morning to announce a successful application for half a million dollars to build new training and staff facilities.

Once complete, it will be the first time the staff and the chipper team will be co-located.

Full story online later this morning.

Politicians visiting the  Snowy Hydro South Care helicopter base this morning.

Politicians visiting the Snowy Hydro South Care helicopter base this morning. Photo: Hamish Boland-Rudder

City bound traffic at a standstill on Barry Drive.

City bound traffic at a standstill on Barry Drive.

Tegan Osborne: A 19-year-old man has been taken to hospital in a serious condition by paramedics, following a collision between a pedestrian and a vehicle at the intersection of Barry Drive and Clunies Ross Street in Acton this morning.

City-bound lanes of Barry Drive have been closed and traffic is being diverted down Clunies Ross Street.

Traffic in the area is heavy and police have advised drivers to take another route if possible.

Graduates of Duntroon's class of 2012 throw their hats in the air as they leave the parade ground.

Graduates of Duntroon's class of 2012 throw their hats in the air as they leave the parade ground. Photo: Graham Tidy

David Ellery is off to Duntroon at 9.30am for the Royal Military College mid-year graduation ceremony.

We'll bring you all the shots of the pomp and ceremony later this morning.

Should be a hats in the air affair for all concerned.

More from ACTION.

Traffic hold up on Horse Park Drive.

Traffic hold up on Horse Park Drive.

Meantime, traffic on Horse Park Drive near Harrison has reportedly ground to a halt. 

We're looking into the cause for you. A Canberra Times staff member has sent in this photo.

Do you know what the hold up is? Tweet us @canberratimes or email online@canberratimes.com.au

Stephanie Anderson: Emergency crews are at the scene of a reported collision between a pedestrian and a vehicle in Acton this morning.

Crews were called to the accident at Barry Drive and Clunies Ross Street just before 8.30am.

An ACT Policing spokeswoman said ambulance officers were on the scene, but no information could be provided on injuries.

All city bound lanes have been closed and police are urging drivers to find an alternative route.

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

Justin Monfries, 25, has pleaded guilty to culpable driving causing death, culpable driving causing grievous bodily harm, and car theft.

Justin Monfries, 25, has pleaded guilty to culpable driving causing death, culpable driving causing grievous bodily harm, and car theft. Photo: Supplied

Michael Inman: The man who hit and killed hospital worker Linda Cox while fleeing in a stolen car is listed to be sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court this morning.

Justin Lee Monfries, 25, has pleaded guilty to three charges stemming from the horrific hit-and-run that killed mother-of-two Mrs Cox and seriously injured Ashlee Bumpus, then 25, in May last year.

The pair were leaving the Canberra Hospital after finishing their shifts, when Monfries ran a red light in the stolen car and hit both of them.

Assuming that hearing goes ahead, we'll bring you more as soon as he is sentenced.

Back to sport, and Brumbies coach Jake White reckons the match against the British and Irish Lions tonight in Canberra will be the perfect opportunity for his younger players to shine.

Alun Wyn Jones and Paul O'Connell of the Lions talk Click to play video

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Young Brumbies set to shine

Brumbies coach Jake White believes the match against the British and Irish Lions on Tuesday night in Canberra presents an exciting opportunity for his younger players.

PT2M15S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2oez0 620 349

Aussie stocks are set to open modestly higher after world markets rose on expectations the Federal Reserve will reinforce its commitment this week to supporting the US economic recovery.

Meantime, the Australian dollar is lower, down from 96.14 US cents in late trade yesterday to 95.66 US cents early today.

It was also buying 90.34 yen, 71.52 euro cents and 60.81 pence.

Tame Impala: Jay Watson, Nick Allbrook, Kevin Parker and Dominic Simper

Tame Impala: Jay Watson, Nick Allbrook, Kevin Parker and Dominic Simper

The APRA Awards yesterday had a couple of surprises.

Tame Impala won for Song of the Year (with this beauty Feels Like We Only Go Backwards).

Sia won Songwriter of the Year.

Melbourne rapper Matthew Colwell (aka 360) and his compadre Kaelyn Behr (aka Styalz Fuego) won Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year.

And, somewhat shamefuly, Timomatic won Most Played Australian Work for Set It Off.

The self-writing bionic arm, physically signing the petition.

The self-writing bionic arm, physically signing the petition. Photo: Peter Rae

Tegan Osborne: Australia's first 'robot-signed' petition will be presented to politicians at Parliament House today, calling on Federal Government to match $1.75 million in funds raised by charity, to bring trials to help treat children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) to Australia.

The petition has attracted over 32,000 signatures, and was physically signed by a self-writing bionic arm.

DMD is a genetic disorder primarily affecting boys (about 1 in every 3,500), in which the body's muscle tissues slowly degrade. The mortality rate is currently 100 with most sufferers wheelchair-bound by the age of 13, with an overall life expectancy of no greater than 25 years of age.

Save Our Sons and Duchenne Foundation will present WA Senator Louise Pratt with the petition today at 12pm.

Opposing sides of the wind farm debate will bring their views to Canberra on Tuesday, with supporters gathering in the city and opponents meeting at Parliament House.

Wind farms bring billions of dollars in new investment to regional areas according to their supporters, but households are being slugged with higher power bills, according to opponents.

Rallying from 10am under a  ‘‘Wind Power Fraud’’ banner, critics will say every turbine is issued between 8,000 to 10,000 renewable energy certificates every year,  which translates into a tax on power consumers.

Friends of Collector president Tony Hodgson said the rally at Parliament House would show growing opposition to industrial wind power because of  rising costs to the community for no benefit.

Read John Thistleton's story here.

Cows stand near wind turbines.

Cows stand near wind turbines. Photo: Ian Waldie

Some tweets from ACTION.

Tegan Osborne: A fog photo from our producer Lucy Rickard on Twitter. 

That is what they call a 'pea souper', I believe.

Today's cartoon by David Pope.

Political cartoon by David Pope Click for more photos

David Pope

Political cartoon by David Pope Photo: Supplied

In case you missed it earlier, all flights in and out of Canberra Airport are currently on hold until the fog lifts, according to a spokeswoman from Canberra Airport.

To entertainment news - and Harrison Craig, the 18 year-old from Melbourne who overcame a stutter as a chlid, was crowned the winner of The Voice last night.

Was he the most deserving winner? It never looked like there'd be anyone else, really.

Favourite Harrison wins The Voice (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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Favourite Harrison wins The Voice

Harrison Craig, 18, has overcome a speech impediment to win The Voice 2013.

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Ross Peake: Our millions of public service readers may be interested in a speech being given this morning by Mark Dreyfus, the Attorney-General and Minister for the Public Service.

He will be launching the new APS Values, arising out of recent legislation.

The main purpose of the amendments is to delineate the roles and responsibilities of departmental secretaries and provide for annual reviews of secretaries' performance.

'The amendments make significant changes to the Public Service Act 1999 relating to leadership and governance roles of the Public Service Commissioner, and the functions of both the Public Service Commissioner and Merit Protection Commissioner.

The Public Service Commission has been running information sessions on the changes, which come into effect on July 1.

More information is available here.

Tegan Osborne: A little more on the fog situation....

Visibility out at the airport is down to 150m, according to Sean Carson from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Meantime, a spokeswoman from Canberra Airport said a few flights did make it out of the airport earlier in the morning, but all flights in and out are now on hold until the fog lifts.

Away from the fog for a bit to some world news.

And Britain is in damage control today after allegations that it spied on G20 delegates at the 2009 meeting to improve its negotiating position during the summit.

This is a tad embarassing because the leaders are once again in the UK for the G20 summit as we speak.

Barack Obama, Silvio Berlusconi, and Dmitry Medvedev pose for a family photo at the 2009 G20 summit in London.

Barack Obama, Silvio Berlusconi, and Dmitry Medvedev pose for a family photo at the 2009 G20 summit in London. Photo: AFP/Dominique Faget

Got any fog photos you'd like to share? Tweet us @canberratimes or send an email to online@canberratimes.com.au

Tegan Osborne: Flights into and out of Canberra have been affected by the fog this morning.

The extent of the problem is unclear at this point, but at least two arrivals in Canberra have been cancelled this morning - one from Sydney and one from Melbourne.

At least one departure from Canberra has been cancelled and two have been delayed.

We've also had word from people waiting for flights to Canberra from Sydney, that airlines have suggested that those travelling for business look for other plans.

We'll have more for you shortly.

Here's a quick look at the current temperatures around the region right now.

  • Canberra: 1.8
  • Braidwood: -2.1
  • Cooma: 3.6
  • Goulburn: 2.6
  • Nowra: 6.4
  • Perisher Valley: -1.7
  • Thredbo: -3.1
  • Tuggeranong: 1.3
  • Ulladulla: 9.8
Today's front page.

Today's front page.

On the front page of today's paper...

Treasurer Andrew Barr says there will still be cuts to territory water prices this year despite ''dramatic'' changes to the independent regulator's original plans.

Blake Ferguson's playing career is in limbo after he was stood down from the NSW Origin team and had his NRL contract suspended following allegations he indecently assaulted a woman during a drinking session with former Raiders teammate Josh Dugan.

A comment piece from Jon Tuxworth: Moments after his NSW selection for Origin II was confirmed on Sunday, Blake Ferguson tweeted ''Congrats to big Joshy Dugan very happy for you bra :) #wereback''. Just hours later the pair were reportedly back to their old habits.

And Labor's crippling leadership stand-off is showing no signs of resolution with former prime minister Kevin Rudd still refusing to challenge and Julia Gillard hardening her resolve to stay put.

Have you got something to share with us? A photo from around Canberra? A news tip? Or just an idea or comment you'd like to share?

We welcome all feedback and contributions - and here's how to get in touch.

Email: online@canberratimes.com.au

Facebook: facebook.com/CanberraTimes

Twitter: twitter.com/canberratimes

Fancy a Yorkshire pudding?

Fancy a Yorkshire pudding? Photo: Mark Chew

Stephanie Anderson: The ACT Rugby Union Club has given its usual menu an on field spin as the Brumbies take on the British and Irish Lions at Bruce Stadium tonight.

The Barton establishment will be serving up roast beef, Yorkshire puddings and wallaby to rugby fans throughout the week as the visitors face teams across the country.

This evening’s match kicks off at 7.30pm and we’ll be live blogging all the action for those unable to make it.

Stephanie Anderson: Fog has settled over the capital and police are urging drivers to take it easy on the roads.

We'll bring you all the news on flights and roads as the morning progresses.

David Polkinghorne: The last time the British and Irish Lions were in town, they broke Canberra's heart with an after-the-siren try that gave the red northern horde a 30-28 victory over the ACT Brumbies.

Tonight, 12 years on, the Lions return but the Brumbies are hoping for a different result at Canberra Stadium.

They'll have to do it under similar circumstances. Last time they were without a host of Wallabies stars like George Gregan, Stephen Larkham and Joe Roff. This time around George Smith, David Pocock, Ben Mowen and Christian Lealiifano are just some of the Brumbies out injured or in Wallabies camp.

But with the Brumbies on top of the Super Rugby ladder, it is still the perfect curtain-raiser for Saturday's first Test between the Wallabies and Lions. Kick-off tonight is 7.30pm.

We'll be blogging all the action live from the stadium. Check in to the homepage before kick-off.

Brumbies player Jesse Mogg. Click for more photos

British and Irish Lions and the Brumbies at training

Brumbies player Jesse Mogg. Photo: Melissa Adams

  • Brumbies player Jesse Mogg.
  • British and Irish Lions player Stuart Hogg.
  • British and Irish Lions player Billy Twelvetress.
  • SPORT: British and Irish Lions player Stuart Hogg.
  • SPORT: British and Irish Lions player Stuart Hogg.
  • Brumbies Chris Cocca.
  • Brumbies Chris Cocca.
  • Brumbies JP Smith.
  • Brumbies coach Jake White during the Brumbies captain run at Canberra Stadium ahead of their clash against the British and Irish Lions.
  • Brumbies player Matt Toomua.
  • Brumbies player Jesse Mogg.
  • Brumbies player Jesse Mogg in action during the Brumbies captain run at Canberra Stadium ahead of their clash against the British and Irish Lions.

The big news from overnight is that Blake Ferguson has been stood down from the NSW Origin team and had his NRL contract suspended.

It follows allegations he indecently assaulted a woman during a drinking session with former Raiders teammate Josh Dugan.

Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson drink Bacardi Breezers

Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson drink Bacardi Breezers

This morning's fog... taken at about 5.45am on Hindmarsh Drive.

This morning's fog... taken at about 5.45am on Hindmarsh Drive.

Tegan Osborne: There's quite a fog out there this morning. So much so I had to pull over and take a photo for you on the way to work. Apologies... I am not a photographer. And this was taken on an ipad.

But you get the idea.

Taking a look at the weather for the rest of today and the coming days.

We're expecting some possible showers in the Canberra region today, from late morning to evening. Right now it's 1.8C in the capital, heading to a predicted top of 13C.

Wednesday: -2C, 13C - Partly cloudy, areas of morning frost.

Thursday: -3C, 13C - Mostly sunny, areas of morning frost, light winds.

Friday: -5C, 12C - Partly cloudy, light winds.

Saturday: -4C, 13C - Partly cloudy.

Sunday: -4C, 12C - Partly cloudy.

Tegan Osborne: Morning all - another brisk morning for Canberra today.

In fact, we're looking at a week of very cold mornings. This morning it was forecast to drop to -2C, and by Friday it will be -5C. Brr!

I'll have a full weather wrap for you shortly.

I'll have all the breaking news headlines as well as of today's news and traffic for you coming over the next three hours.

If you spot something out and about this morning, let us know! You can tweet us, Facebook us or old fashioned email: online@canberratimes.com.au.

Stick around and let's get into it!

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