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ACT News

Canberra Mornings Live: Wednesday, March 27


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That's all from us this morning folks.

Keep up with the latest news today on our homepage.

And remember we're on Facebook, Twitter @canberratimes, and email at if you'd like to get in touch.

Have an excellent day.


A final blog update for you on two crashes in Canberra this morning.

In the city, the intersection of Alinga Street and West Row has been reopened after a bus and car collided. 


At about 8.40am two cars collided in Fadden, delaying traffic at the intersection of Bugden Ave and Partridge St. 

An ACT Policing spokesman said the accident has been cleared and the road reopened.


An update from ACT Policing on the bus and car crash in Canberra's CBD.

It seems the crash was at the intersection of Alinga St and West Row, not Alinga and Moore as previously reported.


An ESA spokesman said an ambulance is at the scene of the crash assessing those involved for injuries.

Grant Newton: If you feel like disappearing for a while today, find out how in the latest New Journal of Physics. It reveals that scientists in the US have created a miniature version of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. Physicists at the University of Texas say they’re a step closer to a cloak that could hide a person in broad daylight. Their research has so far produced an ultra-low profile cloak, made of a new kind of material called a meta-screen. It works by scattering and cancelling out incoming waves, and the researchers were able to use the cloak to shield an 18cm cylindrical rod from microwaves.


Harry Potter in his cloak of invisibility.

Harry Potter in his cloak of invisibility.

John-Paul Moloney: The Rex on Northbourne will be the scene for the climax of a political stoush that has at times had a touch of Game of Thrones (minus the gore and nudity of course) about it, and has even flushed out in legal advice to support Zed Seselja a quote from Shakespeare's Lady Macbeth - "what's done, cannot be undone''. But the hotel has its own political history and drama, once providing a bed for a sitting US president, Lyndon B Johnson.  And he certainly went all the way with the hospitality of the city, according to a recollection by a former police chief, Ron Dillon, retold in 2007 by Canberra Times editor-at-large Jack Waterford.

"[Dillon] once had a fairly drunk Lyndon Johnson under his coat in the back seat of a police vehicle, taking him back to the Canberra Rex from a boozy night with Harold Holt at The Lodge. No one, certainly not the students camped outside the hotel, knew, because the official American car had swept in, surrounded by security, hours before and been ritually shouted and waved at,'' Waterford wrote.

A car and a bus have collided in Canberra's centre this morning at the intersection of Moore and Alinga Streets.

An ACT Policing spokesman said the crash happened at about 9.10am. 

It's unclear whether anyone was injured.

There are reports that a section of the road is closed - if you're in a hurry, perhaps avoid the area.

More shortly.

A good morning on the buses. Just two cancelled services in the morning run of 726.

If you pass through Fadden in Canberra's south to get to work, you may need to re-plan your route this morning.

There's been a two car collision at the intersection of Bugden Ave and Partridge St, reported at about 8.40am.

Police are warning drivers to expect major delays.

An ESA spokesman said nobody was injured.

Police are at the scene and fire fighters are on the way.

We'll bring you more shortly.

Gary Humphries and Zed Seselja.

Gary Humphries and Zed Seselja. Photo: Colleen Petch

John-Paul Moloney: The newsroom will be working late tonight to cover The Stink, also known as the Liberals' preselection battle between Gary Humphries and Zed Seselja.  Lisa Cox will be keeping an ear our out for pre-meeting rumbles out of both camps, and tonight Noel Towell and Ross Peake will be camped out at the Rex as the meeting gets underway.  But before then there's plenty of news happening.

Emma Macdonald will be at the Master Builders Association press call this morning where they'll release their response to the work safety inquiry. That's bound to cause a stir.  Another interesting one will come from property reporter Stephanie Anderson, who is looking at a local architect's concerns that bank valuations are biased towards large, inferior quality homes.  

Tomorrow is our last print edition before we give the presses a rest for Good Friday, so reporter Matthew Raggatt is working on an essential guide to Easter services, including the traditional messages from the city's Christian leaders.   And of course we'll be digging deeper into today's stories, including our exclusive this morning about the dramas with the salary of ACTEW director Mark Sullivan.  As always, our readers are a terrific source of news tips, so if there's something we should be looking into, drop us a line.

Beautiful images from Lake Burley Griffin this morning, from our blogger Paul Jurak.

Each morning Paul takes a paddle in his kayak on Lake Burley Griffin and shares what he sees on his photo blog Lake View.

See more shots from today here.

From the lake on March 27.

From the lake on March 27. Photo: Paul Jurak

An accident at Fadden - expect major delays. More on this soon.

John-Paul Moloney: Might a mighty mite make a difference? ACT Parks and Conservation are hoping so as they prepare today to release the Broom gall mite into a property near Williamsdale hoping it'll go on a seek and destroy mission against invasive weed Scotch Broom.  The mite has been given to the ACT free of charge as part of a partnership with a range of government organisations, including the CSIRO. 

While the canetoad experience might cause we ordinary folk some concern about transplanting one organism to a new place to control a pest, Parks and Conservation director Daniel Iglesias says the mite feeds and develops almost exclusively on Scotch Broom and has been successfully used in Tasmania, Victoria and NSW.  The ACT Government has budged almost $2 million this year to tackle weeds such as St John's Wort, Blackberry, African Lovegrass and Paterson's Curse.

Our reporter Emma Macdonald has given us the heads up this morning.

At 11am today, the Master Builders Association will reveal its response to the ACT's independent inquiry into unacceptable death and injury rates in Canberra's construction industry.

Emma spoke to the MBA ahead of the release of their response. You can read the story here.

Will have more for you after 11am on the homepage.

If you missed the Rte 318 from Lanyon at 8.21am, you didn't really. Next bus in 20 minutes.

An update on the Rte 11 from Calwell

If you hear a thunderous roar overhead this morning, don't panic. A Super Hornet will be buzzing about.

From our reporter Tom McIlroy this morning...

More than 2400 University of Canberra students have closed their books for the last time and will this week don academic robes for graduation ceremonies at Parliament House.

Graduates of the faculty of business, government & law and the faculty of health were recognised at the first of eight ceremonies yesterday.

Did you or someone you know get snapped? Check out our photo gallery.

John Diing and Debra Bul. Click for more photos

University of Canberra Graduation

John Diing and Debra Bul. Photo: Colleen Petch

  • John Diing and Debra Bul.
  • (L to R) Ramdan Mahmoud, Asmaa Mahmoud with her 3yr old sister Meraa Mahmoud and Salwa Abdou.
  • (L to R) Nathan Edwards, Brad Exton, Cyffin Evans and Daniel Watt.
  • Ranjan Thananayagam with daughters (L) Nivashine Ranjan and (R) Akalya Ranjan.
  • (L to R) Matilda Hickenbotham and Renaye Watchirs.
  • (L to R) Haitham and Omar, Ehsan  Algothmi.
  • (L to R) Khloud, Haitham, Omar, Ehsan and Mubark Algothmi.
  • (L to R)  Nina Terrey and Danny Crkvencic.
  • (L to R)  InHo Jang and Abigail Hao.
  • (L to R) Jessica Lee, Vanessa Lau, Rob Atkinson and Ramona Frankis.

Stephanie Anderson: Emergency services are still trying to determine the cause of a house fire in Evatt overnight.

Crews were called to the home in Sheehy Street just before 9.45pm, where they found a small fire in the bedroom.

A spokesman said there were no injuries and damage was minimal.


If you're waiting at Calwell Shops for the Rte 11, you have time for another coffee.

Grant Newton: Don’t get caught with a full bin over Easter.

Territory and Municipal Services has advised that residents who normally receive garbage and recycling collection services on Friday will have these collections on Saturday March 30, 2013.

Bins must be placed on the kerb by 7 am on Saturday 30 March 2013. All other collections will continue as normal.

Kate Carnell.

Kate Carnell. Photo: Danielle Smith

Stephanie Anderson: Former ACT Chief Minister Kate Carnell has weighed in on tonight’s meeting of the Liberal Party’s divisional council.

Members will gather at the Rex Hotel this evening, tasked with deciding whether to reopen the controversial preselection process for the federal election.

Speaking on ABC 666, Ms Carnell said  said she had been approached for support, but had made it clear she would not be giving it to either candidate, stating on air that both were very capable and both had a lot riding on this evening’s decision.

“It’s not about whether the constitution is right or wrong,” she said.

“It’s about whether it was followed.”

Ms Carnell said she had made no view on the case littered with claims and counter claims.

She said these “sorts of public stoushes” were disappointing, adding that members should embrace whatever decision was made at the meeting.

“Whatever happens tonight, that’s it,” she said.

“It can’t continue.”

Love a good sunrise...

Our chief online producer Lucy Rickard just tweeted this photo.

Yesterday the ACT Government announced plans for Canberra that they say will open the city up to Lake Burley Griffin, and lead to long-awaited projects including a new stadium and convention centre, as well as an urban beach, built on the west basin.

The announcement included two projects: a ''City Plan'' to guide all future development of new infrastructure across the territory in its second century, and the ''City to the Lake'' project, a 10-15 year project to overhaul the west basin.

What do you think? Are the plans visionary, or just a waste of taxpayers' money? Vote in our poll or leave a comment to the right.

Poll: What do you think of the ACT Government's plans for Canberra CBD, announced yesterday?

Poll form
  1. Please select an answer.
  2. View results
I think it's great. Let's get to it.


I like the ideas, but I doubt they will happen.


Canberra is fine the way it is.


Do we really need a beach and a stadium? What about proper infrastructure?


It's going to be way too expensive.


I don't know.


Total votes: 340.

Would you like to vote?

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Poll closed 27 Mar, 2013


These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.

All quiet on the traffic front so far this morning. Let us know if you see any trouble and we'll pass it on. 

Grant Newton: Did you catch the bird's eye view of the ACT Government's bold plans for the CBD unveiled yesterday? Check it out and let us know what you think.

An aerial view of the ACT Government's City to the Lake plan. Click to play video

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Canberra's City Plan

An artist's impression of the proposed City Plan. Video supplied by the ACT Government.

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Today's cartoon by David Pope.

Editorial Cartoon Click for more photos

David Pope

Editorial Cartoon Photo: David Pope

John-Paul Moloney: If you never quite got out of bed early enough for the Canberra Balloon Festival and then had to hear your colleagues banging on about how great it was, you can start playing catch-up.

Some excellent videos are popping up on video sharing sites, like this time lapse effort posted on Vimeo overnight. Enjoy, and next year set the alarm early one morning.

2013 Canberra Balloon Festival - time-lapse from on Vimeo.

Grant Newton: A quick hit of morning sport …

  • The Socceroos’ World Cup hopes hang in the balance after being held to a two-all draw by Oman in their qualifying match at ANZ Stadium last night. The 105th-ranked Oman stunned the Socceroos early with a goal through Abdul Aziz seven minutes into the match.
  • The NRL’s ban on the shoulder charge will face a test of credibility tonight when Manly prop Richie Fa’aoso attempts to have a dangerous contact charge downgraded.
  • Canterbury Bulldogs superstar Ben Barba will make his return in Friday’s clash with South Sydney, ending a month-long NRL exile.


Amad Al Hosni of Oman is brought down after a challenge from Robbie Cornthwaite during last night's World Cup qualifier.

Amad Al Hosni of Oman is brought down after a challenge from Robbie Cornthwaite during last night's World Cup qualifier. Photo: Matt King

Today's front page.

Today's front page.

From the front page of the paper today...

Claim ACTEW mislead govt

ACTEW misled its shareholders, the government and the ACT’s taxpayers over managing director Mark Sullivan’s $855,000 annual salary, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher says.

Toll tipped to climb as arrivals by boat soar

Two boatloads of asylum seekers arrived at Christmas Island on Tuesday, bringing the total to 11 since Friday amid an unprecedented surge in irregular immigration by sea

Gallagher's big picture all about beating the crowd

The ACT government has set out its vision for Canberra’s next century, declaring the territory must plan for a population of 500,000 now to avoid ‘‘crisis-driven’’ development in years to come.

Liberals urged to clean up process

Canberra Liberals are being urge to put aside ‘‘shonky’’ preselection processes when they meet on Wednesday evening or risk earning a reputation as bad as the NSW Labor Party.

Knox aquittal overturned

Italy’s highest court of appeal has overturned the acquittal of US student Amanda Knox and ordered a retrial over the murder of her British housemate in what prosecutors said was a drug-fuelled sex attack

End in sight for diggers

After a decade of war in Afghanistan and 39 combat deaths, the end is firmly in sight for Australian troops with the planned closure of their main base by the end of the year.

Teens dream $28m deal

At just 17, Nick D’Aloisio is one of the world’s youngest self-made multimillionaires after technology giant Yahoo! agreed to acquire his company for $28 million.


Grant Newton: Making headlines around the nation …

  • Victoria police has launched an internal blitz to find potential rats within its ranks after claims outlaw bikies have infiltrated the force. 
  • Two boatloads of asylum seekers were brought to shore on Christmas Island yesterday, less than 24 hours after the tragedy that left a woman in her 30s and a young boy dead.
  • Schapelle Corby’s sister Mercedes was released late yesterday from hospital in Bali after being bashed early on Saturday morning amid rumours that she and her Balinese husband Wayan Widyartha have split.


'Gloves are off' in police fight against bikes (Video Thumbnail) Click to play video

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'Gloves off' in police battle with bikies

Age crime writer John Silvester explains why Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay decided to take on the state's bikies.

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Noel Towell: As excitement mounts around tonight's Canberra Liberals' showdown at Braddon's Hotel Rex, a gaggle of Young Liberal activists were seen gathering in the Legislative Assembly car park around sundown on Tuesday evening.

With the party's youth movement firmly in the Zed Seselja camp, the gathering of the YL's best minds at the seat of power can't be good news for the forces of dethroned incumbent Gary Humphries.

Grant Newton: Let’s go around the world in 80 words …

North Korea’s military has put its rocket units on a war footing, with a fresh threat to strike targets on the US mainland, Hawaii and Guam, as well as South Korea. Italy’s highest appeal court has quashed the acquittal of US student Amanda Knox over the sexual assault and brutal murder of her British housemate in 2007, ordering a retrial. Angry Cypriot students have marched on the presidential palace, worried about the country’s bailout conditions will drain away savings set aside for their studies.


North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un watches soldiers of the Korean People's Army (KPA) taking part in a training exercise.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un watches soldiers of the Korean People's Army (KPA) taking part in a training exercise. Photo: KCNA

Grant Newton: Who said winter is almost upon us? No sign of it today with a top of 31 degrees forecast. It’s currently 9 degrees in the capital. We’re in for a mostly sunny day with light north to north-westerly winds freshening to 35 km/h in the middle of the day.

The fire danger is high and the chance of rain just 5 per cent, according to the Bureau.

The outlook for tomorrow is another warm one – a top of 28 degrees and rain developing. 


Good morning Canberra and welcome to our live morning news blog for Wednesday.

We're in for a warm one today, with a forecast high of 31 degrees. We'll bring you a full weather updates shortly.

Get in touch this morning and let us know what's going on in your world - we're on Facebook and Twitter @canberratimes. Don't forget to include the #CanberraMornings hashtag in your tweets.

You can also email us news tips, photos and comments at