Canberra, it's time to say see you later for another morning. And we really mean it - we hope we do see you back later for all the news through the day.
Here's what's hot this morning:
- Zed Seselja has officially been declared winner of ACT's second senate seat, and has started talks with his Coalition counterparts on how public service job losses will be handled.
- A NSW Liberal-Democratic Party senator-elect admits he benefited from voters mistaking him for a Liberal Party candidate, but says his party won't hand back the $1 million handed to it by taxpayers.
- Tony Abbott's asylum-seeker compromise in Jakarta offers the Coalition a way to ditch their controversial boat tow-back policy.
- The anti-terrorism protection force at some of Australia's key military bases is to be slashed, as the Defence Department struggles to find budget savings.
- And all the glamour from the NRL Dally M awards red carpet is catching a bit of attention this morning via our photo gallery.
Thanks for dropping by this morning, we hope to see you back for more fun and games from 6.30am tomorrow.
Have a great day, Canberra!
Before we go - here's a sneak preview of our Flashback Friday gallery for this week, which picture editor Karleen Minney is busily preparing. Canberra's local footy finals!
Anthony Sutton of Hawker College fends off a tackle by Lake Ginninderra's Paul Crowe with Luke Drake-Brockman in pursuit, in 1994. Photo: Canberra Times
You know Christmas isn't far away when you're seeing trailers for the Boxing Day movies. Here's the latest from Peter Jackson's trilogy The Hobbit.
The second installment, The Desolation of Smaug, is due to hit screens on December 26, before the final installment comes out next year.
Stephanie Anderson: Canberra’s homeless population is growing rapidly as the public housing waiting lists get longer every year.
The number of homeless people accounted for in the ACT has risen at more than five times the national rate, climbing by 88 per cent from 2006 to 2011.
The increase to 1785 homeless outlined in the Community Services Directorate Annual Report 2012-13 coincides with a steady rise in the public housing waiting list, which now is at about 2200 households.
A broader definition of homelessness may account for part of the increase, following the inclusion of couch surfers and overcrowded homes as homeless in the 2011 Census.
The full story, including the ACT government’s strategies to address homeless and housing stress, is online here.
Stephanie Anderson: Here's some good news for library lovers this morning.
We just became the most followed Australian national cultural organisation on Twitter! Not that we're counting... (Sorry @NatGalleryAus)— National Library Aus (@nlagovau) October 1, 2013
Word nerds unite!
Australia's most decorated soldier, Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, is leaving the army after 17 years of service.
The army announced on Wednesday that Corporal Roberts-Smith would be transferring from the Australian Defence Force to the reserves to focus on further education and a career as a civilian.
The decorated soldier says now is the right time to pursue other opportunities, as he's achieved his goals with the army and could look back on his service without regret.
Director of the Australian War Memorial Dr Brendan Nelson and Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
The Tall Ship Windeward Bound
Grant Newton: A 15 year old Canberra girl suffering suspected appendicitis was evacuated from the 26m tall ship Windeward Bound off the south coast on Tuesday.
Batemans Bay marine rescue volunteers responded to an emergency call and transferred the girl to an ambulance at the Hanging Rock boat ramp.
Windeward Bound, crewed by naval cadets, was sailing from Tasmania to Jervis Bay when the medical emergency struck.
Stephanie Anderson: Watch where you walk, Canberrans - snakes, spiders and even scorpions are coming out of hibernation and keeping ambulance officers busy.
A spokesman for the ACT Ambulance Service said officers had been called out to six spider bites and one snake bite since the start of the year, while a total of three snake and eight spider bites were reported throughout 2012.
Across the border, Ambulance NSW has received 38 calls for snake bites, 74 spider bite calls and one scorpion sting since July.
We'll have some more information about the capital's creepy crawlies online soon.
Australia's cricket captain Michael Clarke has been ruled out of Australia's one-day cricket tour to India. Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth
Grant Newton: Talk about backs to the wall. The Australian cricket team will head to India this weekend for a one-day tour without captain Michael Clarke who is struggling with a back injury.
George Bailey will take over as skipper with South Australian batsman Callum Ferguson called up to replace Clarke in the squad which departs on Saturday.
Hamish Boland-Rudder: Alright Canberra, we've made it to a lucky 13C on our way to a top of 18C today.
The Bureau of Meteorology is promising a mostly fine day, with the chance of a few showers tonight. There will be a bit of breeze about through the day - a northwesterly wind up to 50km/h, which will decrease in strength through the day.
The fire danger is high, and the UV Index is predicted to reach a level 7 [high] rating between 8.50am and 2.50pm.
Later this evening there's a chance of some more damaging winds in the Snowy Mountains, but really only above 1900 metres.
The ACT government will demand a better deal from the Abbott government on school funding if the hold-out states are lured with more favourable offers.
The ACT and several states have warned they will rely on the no-disadvantage clauses in their agreements should concessions be offered to the reluctant conservative governments of Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Tuesday's comments came after the NSW government promised last week to defend its rights and federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne described the situation as a ''mess''. Mr Pyne now faces the prospect of renegotiating already settled school deals, as he works to match Labor's promised federal funding over four years rather than the full six years.
Here's a fun statistic for your morning -
Australians drank, sprayed and toasted their way through more than 5.4 million bottles of champagne in 2012, cementing the nation's position as the seventh biggest market in the world for French bubbly with sales of more expensive vintage champagne brands now at record levels.
At restaurants, barbecues, parties and nightclubs, and sometimes just on the couch in front of the TV, more and more Australians are pouring out prestigious vintage champagne – as opposed to non-vintage - in never seen before numbers.
Bottoms up: Australians are drinking champagne at record levels. Photo: Erin Jonasson
Fairfax have pulled together a huge interactive feature on asylum-seeker boat arrivals over the past quarter of a century. It's amazing and harrowing stuff.
The latest deaths off the coast of West Java mark a grim milestone: the number of asylum seekers who have drowned while trying to reach Australia has now passed 1500.
The figure emerges from a Fairfax Media investigation of more than 1100 boats and nearly 70,000 people who have set out since 1989. Forty of those trips have resulted in known drownings.
The Human Tide: a Fairfax interactive.
Tom McIlroy: Police are warning drivers to avoid Gungahlin Drive Extension at Belconnen after two accidents have caused chaos in the area.
An ACT Policing spokesman has told us both accidents involve multiple vehicles.
The first accident has seen five cars involved in the southbound lanes, and an ESA spokesman said one patient has been treated by ACT Ambulance crews for minor injuries.
The patient has been taken to the Canberra Hospital.
A second accident about 100m away and near the Belconnen Way overpass involves four cars and is currently being cleared.
The ESA said a female driver has been treated by ambulance crews for minor injuries and taken to the Canberra Hospital. The woman had to be cut from a vehicle by ACT Fire crews.
Tony Abbott. Photo: Getty Images
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is back in town after his visit to Jakarta, and chief political correspondent Mark Kenny has labelled the trip a success. Here's his analysis of Abbott's first foray into international diplomacy:
Tony Abbott has emerged from bilateral talks with his Indonesian counterpart, President Susilo Bambang Yodhoyono, genuinely able to say that the bilateral relationship has been strengthened.
Quite an achievement given the dire warnings of imminent relationship breakdown over his ultra-tough border protection policies …
Surprisingly, the newly elected Abbott was not just sure footed, but flexible showing no need for ''L-plates'' on his first outing on the international stage. Rather, he projected strength and purpose in Australia's interests, and respect and sensitivity, for the host country.
We're just getting some more information on those two crashes in Belconnen this morning. They're both multiple-vehicle crashes within hundreds of metres of each other near the intersection of the Gungahlin Drive Extension and Belconnen Way.
Steer clear of the area if you can!
Some more news from the government agencies annual reports this morning:
The ACT's public advocate says her office does not have enough staff to cope with the demand for mental health advocacy in the territory.
Anita Phillips, in her 2012-13 annual report, says mental health patients and prisoners at Canberra's jail have gone without representation because the territory's one mental health advocate cannot handle the case load.
The report shows a 5 per cent increase in the number of clients brought to the public advocate in 2012-13, but a drop in the number of patients given assistance to protect their human rights.
It seemed the most unlikely of rumours but the AFL world was stunned yesterday to learn the Sydney Swans offered Buddy Franklin $10 million to join them for nine years.
The bold move, which plenty of people are upset about, blindsided Greater Western Sydney who had proposed a deal of $1.2 million a year for six years.
Andrew Wu writes the seeds of the deal were sewn almost 12 months ago.
Buddy Franklin heading for the Swans
The GWS Giants have withdrawn their bid for Lance Franklin with the knowledge he will accept an offer from the Sydney Swans.PT1M46S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2uq6c 620 349 October 1, 2013
In finance this morning:
The Australian market looks set to open higher following gains on international markets amid hopes the partial US government shutdown will not seriously harm the economy and of a settlement to Italy’s political crisis.
And the Australian dollar slipped from a one-week high reached after the central bank appeared to play down the need for more interest rate cuts.
It is trading at 93.98 US cents.
All is not well in Canberra's sex industry, according to a report from WorkSafe ACT:
The government ramped up the number of inspections on the territory’s brothels over the past year, and discovered safety problems such as a lack of ‘‘safe systems for sex toys’’ and the reuse of soiled sheets.
Authorities conducted 19 inspections of ACT brothels in the past financial year, compared with 11 in 2011-12.
WorkSafe ACT issued 48 improvement notices to nine brothels, mainly for minor issues such as overloaded power points, incorrectly attached light fittings, poor housekeeping, trip hazards, and the lack of emergency evacuation plans.
Terrible news from Sydney yesterday afternoon:
A fuel tanker crash and explosion left two males dead, at least five people injured and thousands of litres of fuel spilt on Sydney's northern beaches.
Emergency services spent Tuesday night mopping up fuel after the 18,000-litre tanker hit a power pole and collided with at least four cars, rolled and exploded on a notoriously dangerous section of road at Mona Vale. The two males died at the scene, police said.
Mona Vale tanker crash was 'an absolute inferno'
A witness to the Mona Vale tanker crash in which two people have died says: 'it was going to just keep exploding, there was just no chance'.PT1M52S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2uqjj 620 349 October 1, 2013
Canberra Times, October 2.
On the front page of the paper edition today:
Security guards will be cut at military bases as the Department of Defence battles with budget pressures.
Anomalies in ACT law are continuing to prevent the conviction of historical child sex offenders, according to Canberra's chief victim support worker.
Newly elected Liberal Senator Zed Seselja has begun talks with the Coalition government on its promise to use only natural attrition to reduce the public service by 12,000.
Home values rose to a record high last month led by strong growth in Sydney and Melbourne, while values fell marginally in Canberra, according to new housing data.
And there is Rohan Thomson's amazing photo of fighters at the AIS, as Australia begins a renewed push for Olympic gold in boxing and judo.
New York Daily News page one
Tom McIlroy: The news from overseas remains pretty grim this Wednesday, with big portions of the United States government closed due the first shutdown in 17 years.
Most US government operations have been left unfunded by Congress, divided about whether to fund President Barack Obama's health care laws.
One hilarious take on the shutdown comes from the New York Daily News who have depicted House Speaker John Boehner in the role of the fictional power broker Frank Underwood from TV drama House of Cards.
The Washington Post has everything you need to know on the shutdown.
Just an update on traffic around town.
A police spokesperson had no further details on a crash on the Gungahlin Drive Extension at Belconnen (the tweet says Ginninderra Drive, but the emergency services incident map shows Gungahlin Drive):
Multiple vehicle collision southbound on Ginninderra Dr going over the Belconnen Way overpass. Please avoid the area.— ACTPol_Traffic (@ACTPol_Traffic) October 1, 2013
Also an earlier collision in Banks on Tharwa Drive is still blocking a lane:
Earlier collision near Tharwa Dr/Box Hill Ave Banks has one car blocking lane. Traffic moving OK for now, Police at location. Use caution.— ACTPol_Traffic (@ACTPol_Traffic) October 1, 2013
There are few better ways to improve an early morning than with photos of cute animals. And today we have an excellent excuse - Mogo Zoo on the South Coast has been named the top wildlife attraction in Australia, according to travel website TripAdvisor.
The zoo near Batemans Bay topped a list of 10 wildlife attractions that notably did not include Sydney's Taronga Zoo. Congratulations!
White Lions at Mogo Zoo. Photo: Supplied
Apparently there have been a couple of crashes north side this morning. We'll bring you an update on these shortly, but if you know more, get in touch with us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Reports of two seperate collisons on the GDE, over Belconnen Way. Suggest take alt route and avoid area as it is chaotic. ACTES enroute.— ACTPol_Traffic (@ACTPol_Traffic) October 1, 2013
This story stirred up a fair bit of calculated conversation yesterday - should English and/or maths be compulsory for year 12 students in the ACT?
Gungahlin College year 12 student Gemma Bonnici is convinced she'll never have to study maths again, after dropping it at the end of year 11.
And here in the newsroom we pitched education reporter Emma Macdonald, who is pro-compulsory study, against acting ACT news editor Natasha Rudra, who is against, for a bit of a debate on the topic.
What do you think? Leave us a comment, and vote in the poll below.
Poll: Should ACT high school students be forced to study English and maths in Years 11 and 12?
- Yes - they should have to study both at some level until Year 12
- No - they should be able to choose if they study either subject through to Year 12
- They should be forced to study English, but not maths
- They should be forced to study maths, but not English
Total votes: 872.
You will need Cookies enabled to use our Voting Feature.
Poll closed 8 Oct, 2013
These polls are not scientific and reflect the opinion only of visitors who have chosen to participate.
Tom McIlroy: Fancy a walk, Canberra?
To celebrate the capital's centenary, a group of four walkers will today set out to trek the full 306 kilometres of the ACT border.
ACT State Emergency Service chief officer Tony Graham has wished the group luck at the start of the 19 day expedition.
“Over two years in the planning has gone into preparing the group for the walk with a significant training regime,” Mr Graham said.
“The walk is expected to take the party through some challenging terrain and will begin at the northern edge of the Woodstock Nature Reserve, Coree, at the point where the Murrumbidgee River crosses the ACT border."
The walkers will complete the trek at the Murrumbidgee River on Sunday October 20.
A bit of extra fun from the Dally M's - check out who went to the same barber before the big night out... Peter Sterlo Stirling and Raiders skipper Terry Campese:
The NRL's night of nights, the Dally M awards, were on last night, and what do you know it was won by a field goal.
A match-winning field goal in golden point extra time in the final round of the season was enough for Cooper Cronk to narrowly edge out Johnathan Thurston, Daly Cherry-Evans and Todd Carney for this year's Dally M medal.
At the Star on Tuesday night, the Melbourne halfback was crowned rugby league's player of the year, finishing two points ahead of Thurston, Cherry-Evans and former Raiders bad boy Carney.
And of course there were plenty of frocks on the red carpet... tell us what you liked (or didn't) via the comments:
Dally M Awards
Jake Friend and Paige Duffy. Photo: Wolter Peeters
The Canberra Times, serving the nation's capital - and what better way than keeping your kids entertained?
As you know, it's school holidays here in the ACT - and we have compiled a bit of a to-do guide if you're already running out of ideas.
With workshops, crafts, dancing and arts, there's a bit of everything in there. If there's something we missed, drop us an email to email@example.com.
Who is Walter White?
If you've already seen the apparently amazing grande finale of hit TV show Breaking Bad, check out the recap and profile of the man behind the meth... And in case you were wondering, yes, a click-through comes with a SPOILER ALERT:
After five brilliant seasons, Breaking Bad gave us the ending it, and we, demanded. Walter went out in a haze of conflicted morality, bullets, drugs and money. There was redemption and there was judgment. And of course, there was an awful lot of bloodshed.
In Walter White, Vince Gilligan created a character with resonance well beyond the specifics of his twisted circumstances. This is a brilliant, incisive portrait of a familiar kind of stunted masculinity, albeit one made gothic and grotesque and frequently blackly comic.
Breaking Bad's Walter White: Man to Monster
Humble chemistry teacher Walter White in class during the pilot episode of Breaking Bad. Photo: AP
Tom McIlroy: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is set to make a flying visit to Canberra today, for his first meeting with Australia's new Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
The pair are expected to hold several events at Parliament House and lay wreaths at the Australian War Memorial this afternoon.
The Canberra Times and Fairfax Media teams will bring you news of the visit throughout the day.
NightFest is done and dusted for another year, and it looks like it may even break attendance records.
And whether you missed it, or just want to relive the gorgeous lit-up flower beds, our photographer Melissa Adams has gone and captured the essence of the spectacular nighttime festival in a 1-minute time lapse video.
Check it out - you or someone you know could even have made it into a frame or two (leave us a comment with the time on the video if you spot yourself):
Floriade NightFest lights up at speed
Didn't make it to NightFest this year? Photographer Melissa Adams takes you on a 1 minute tour of some of what you missed.PT1M0S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2upm8 620 349 October 1, 2013
Liberal Zed Seselja has finally been confirmed as winning the second ACT Senate seat.
It's been more than three weeks since the election, but yesterday the Australian Electoral Commission formally declared Mr Seselja the winner.
The final count, after preferences were distributed was Kate Lundy 82,248; Zed Seselja 82,659 and Simon Sheikh 52,037.
And the incoming Senator has already started talks with his Coalition colleagues about the proposed 12,000 job cuts to the public service - he says he received an assurance from new Finance Minister Mathias Cormann that job losses would be through natural attrition.
Zed Seselja. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Tom McIlroy: Canberra's Emergency Services Agency is reporting ACT Fire have attended the scene of an accident at Gungahlin Drive, Gungahlin. The scene is now cleared but let us know of any ongoing traffic issues this Wednesday morning.
single vehicle collision on Gungahlin Dr near Barton Highway exit. One lane Gungahlin Dr north bound is closed is closed.— ACTPol_Traffic (@ACTPol_Traffic) October 1, 2013
In case you missed it yesterday, our monthly Public Sector Informant is out this week - and there's stacks of stories to plough through.
Here's our pick this morning.
With redundancies on everyone's minds, Nathan Moy and Jennifer Wyborn take a look at the coming enterprise agreement negotiations, which are set to expire on June 30, 2014.
Stephen Bartos delves into the changes ahead for public servants as they adjust to their new ministers, and what is facing them in the coming months as they likely shape of the public sector is sorted out.
And Tony Abbott's desire to be the 'action man' has created some tensions within his machinery of government, Trish Mercer and John Wanna write.
Tony Abbott is sworn in as Australia's 28th Prime Minister by Governor-General Quentin Bryce with his ministry at Government House in Canberra on Wednesday 18 September 2013. Photo: Andrew Meares Photo: Andrew Meares
After a very windy start to the short working week yesterday, we're in for a mostly sunny day in the capital, with the chance of a few showers this evening - a 20 per cent chance of just 0.2 millimetres.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, we're headed for a top temperature of 18C after an overnight low of 4C.
Thursday will be partly cloudy, with the chance of showers until the evening and a top of 17C.
Heading into the weekend, things are looking much more spring-like, if a little frosty on Friday.
Friday: -2C, 20C. Patchy fog and frost in the morning. Sunny day.
Saturday: 3C, 23C. Sunny (say no more!).
Sunday: 6C, 26C. Partly cloudy.
Hamish Boland-Rudder: I walked in through the door this morning just as sunrise broke in through the window... It wasn't a terrible sunrise either! If you've got a photo of Canberra this morning that you'd like to share, make sure to get in touch either via the comments or by email.
Hamish Boland-Rudder.: Good morning Canberra, we're back... Day two of a four day week, hooray!
There's three hours of live news blogging coming your way, including all the latest news out of Canberra, around the nation and around the world.
If you have something to share with us this morning - photos, a news tip or a comment - send us an email.
At the moment, it's 6.5C in Canberra, heading to a top of 16C today. I'll have a full weather wrap for you shortly.