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Canberra Mornings Live: Wednesday May 21

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Before we go I thought I'd share this one this morning.

As someone living with a naughty (but loveable) fox terrier at the moment, I found this article by David Grimm extremely interesting. It's all about the language of play between dogs.

Here's a little excerpt:

Watch a couple of dogs play, and you’ll probably see seemingly random gestures, lots of frenetic activity and a whole lot of energy being expended. But decades of research suggest that beneath this apparently frivolous fun lies a hidden language of honesty and deceit, empathy and perhaps even a humanlike morality.

That yogalike pose [when one dog bows before another] is known as a “play bow”, and in the language of play it’s one of the most commonly used words. It’s an instigation and a clarification, a warning and an apology. Dogs often adopt this stance as an invitation to play right before they lunge at another dog; they also bow before they nip (“I’m going to bite you, but I’m just fooling around”) or after some particularly aggressive roughhousing (“Sorry I knocked you over; I didn’t mean it.”).

During playtime it is not uncommon for a larger dog such as Kane here to be more submissive  to smaller dogs- like ...
During playtime it is not uncommon for a larger dog such as Kane here to be more submissive to smaller dogs- like rolling on their back - to make play more even. Photo: SMH
Canberra Times reporter Tom McIlroy.

Education Minister Joy Burch will help open the ACT's first public school trade training centre at Erindale College today.

The $8.1635 million Tuggeranong Sustainable Learning Trade Training Centre is set to provide a variety of vocational education programs for students in public secondary schools in the Tuggeranong region.

The centre will operate in collaboration with a number of local schools, providing courses in the hospitality, automotive, horticulture and building and construction industries.

Ms Burch will visit Erindale College from 11.30 this morning.

Canberra Times reporter Tom McIlroy.

This week we brought you news that government departments and staff in Prime Minister Tony Abbott's office were worried about "negative comments" on renovations underway at The Lodge.

The $4.45 million project is going full steam ahead and is expected to be completed later this year, but comes during the roll-out of a very unpopular budget.

Workers have scaffolding around most of the 1920s home and could be seen working on the chimney and facade yesterday, as seen from adjacent parkland.

A special Department of Finance website says replacement of the slate roof is now complete.

"The slate has been chosen to match the original roofing and copper has been used to reflect the original methods of construction," the website says.

Workers at The Lodge on Tuesday.
Workers at The Lodge on Tuesday.  

ANU students will be rallying today against the deregulation of university fees as outlined in last week's budget.

"The budget is devastating" said ANU student and protest organiser Marko Supic, "Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne plan to destroy what is left of fair education in Australia"

"We face the prospect of a US-style two-tiered education system where a decent university education is only affordable for wealthy students."

Professor Bruce Chapman, the architect of the HECS system, has estimated that in the near future $120,000 degrees will become a reality at universities like the ANU. Students fear that this will force them into a lifetime of debt.

The rally will kick off at 3pm at ANU's Union Court.

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They may be out of office, but Rob Oakeshott and Craig Emerson continue to exchange flattering banter with each other on Twitter. The exchange comes after Emerson, the former trade minister with the Gillard Government, was appointed Adjunct Professor at Victoria University.

Former Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and John Howard will share a stage today at the National Press Club, which celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Both former leaders, who have appeared at the National Press Club 53 times, will reflect on their lives in politics. Conversation will be led by president Laurie Wilson and two senior journalists who reported on both leaders during their careers.

Chris Dutton.

The Brumbies had a brutal training session in Johannesburg on Tuesday afternoon South African time.

For about two hours, the players went at it full tilt in preparation for their clash against the Pretoria Bulls. There were big hits and no one was safe in the full contact session.

The Brumbies will name their team tomorrow.

There will be only a couple of changes in the forward pack. We also caught up with Springboks legend and Bulls lock Victor Matfield, who had some interesting things to say on the Brumbies.

The Brumbies-Bulls game is on Saturday morning Australian time.


Brumbies flyhalf Matt Toomua at training.
Brumbies flyhalf Matt Toomua at training. Photo: Chris Dutton
Canberra Times reporter Tom McIlroy.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has a busy day ahead.

She is getting ready to host a series of round table events to hear from different sectors of the ACT community about the impacts of last week's federal budget.

The meetings will consider strategies to support the Canberra economy through a period of economic instability.

The ACT budget is due to be handed down on June 3 and Ms Gallagher spent Sunday in Sydney discussing the fall out with other state and territory leaders.

Later, Ms Gallagher will launch the new Obesity Management Service for ACT Health at Belconnen Community Health Centre.

The service is provided by a multidisciplinary team including doctors, nurses, a dietician, psychologist, physiotherapist and an exercise physiologist.

We will bring you news of both events later in the day.

Happy Birthday Malcolm Fraser.

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Phillip Thomson. Sunday Canberra Times reporter

As The Daily Telegraph runs coverage questioning whether Bill Shorten has any answers to fix the nation's accounts, it is worth gauging the opposition leader's stance on the cuts to the public service.

While cuts to the public service are seen negatively in Canberra, they can quite often be seen as a positive move across the rest of Australia.

Opposition public service spokesman Gary Gray has told The Canberra Times it is unlikely we will see Mr Shorten formulating a message directly aimed at cuts to the bureaucracy.

His message will be more about the cuts degrading frontline services.

The latter is aimed at a broader audience.


Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.  Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

David Pocock has shared perhaps the best fog photo of the morning. It's taken from the top of the Telstra Tower and reveals the extent of the cloud coverage over Canberra.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman stopped by a Coles grocery store this morning to take a look at the meat on offer. Did his media managers miss the sign placement in the back of this photo?

The ACT government is struggling to crack down on people who deliberately kill or remove protected trees because of difficulties gathering evidence, with just one individual prosecuted last year.

Under the Tree Protection Act, introduced in 2005, “damage” to a protected tree includes poisoning, ringbarking, removing, lopping, pollarding, major pruning and “anything else” that causes the tree to die, reduces its expected life, or adversely affects its health or appearance.

Acting operations manager of Urban Treescapes Mark Diehm finds it difficult to prosecute people for deliberately ...
Acting operations manager of Urban Treescapes Mark Diehm finds it difficult to prosecute people for deliberately damaging trees because of difficulty with evidence. Photo: Jay Cronan

ACT chief minister Katy Gallagher has announced plans to hold roundtables with different sectors of Canberra's community, to discuss the impact of Joe Hockey's first budget on the city.

There will be a series of these roundtables, to discuss strategies to support the Canberra economy through large scale public service cuts.

It was also announced on Tuesday that Ms Gallagher had secured a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Abbott, to push for more help to get Canberra through a period of stagnation.

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The Australian Government will provide an additional $2.6 million to address food shortages in South Sudan following renewed fighting in the young nation and a deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

Australia has provided a total of $13.4 million in humanitarian assistance to South Sudan since December 2013. Fighting in South Sudan has prevented people from planting crops and accessing food.

Public transport has come to Gungahlin, with Shane Rattenbury launching $3.325 million's worth of upgraded and new facilities today.

The current Hibberson St bus stops will be replaced with an upgraded 30-metre long station, with two additional new stops near Hinder St

There will also be a new bus stop on each side of both Anthony Rolfe Avenue, west of Gribble St, and two new bus layovers will be unveiled, with driver facilities and bus parking bays.

The new bus station can now hold three buses at once and has room for the ACT government's light rail when it is rolled out.

MLA Shane Rattenbury is expected to join anti-deregulation protests at the Australian National University today from around 3pm today. The protests will take place at Union Court.

Rowing Australia has asked people to keep an eye out for their rowers on Lake Burley Griffin this morning, if you can see them that is! You'd have to mad to be rowing in this weather, surely.

Canberra Times and Chronicle reporter Georgina Connery
"Too Many Elephants in This House" by Ursula Dubosarsky.
"Too Many Elephants in This House" by Ursula Dubosarsky. 

Readers across Australia will join in to enjoy National Simultaneous Storytime today.

Each year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.

Australian Children’s Laureate 2014, Jackie French, will read this year’s book Too Many Elephants in This House by Ursula Dubosarsky at a free event held in the foyer of The National Library of Australia from 11am.

The author said pushing a “reading is good for you message” was a major pitfall and fun and exploration were the keys to engaging an appetite for reading.  

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