ACT News


Canberra Now: News in 90 seconds for March 13, 2018

Good morning Canberra,

Welcome to Tuesday! We're looking at a slightly cooler day with a forecast minimum of 11 degrees and maximum of 23. There's a slight chance of a shower in the morning, too.

Let's take a look at today's headlines.

Canberra Hospital expansion delayed

The Canberra Hospital's adult mental health unit is suffering under a 'crippling' shortage of psychiatrists.

The Canberra Hospital. Photo: Karleen Minney

The $500 million expansion of the Canberra Hospital - a key election promise - could be delayed by several years.

Although Labor's 10-year health plan stated the $500 million centre would be operational by about 2022, a tender document released last week calling on applications for the centre's preliminary design says the "delivery of SPIRE is not planned to be completed until late 2024". 


Our health reporter Daniella White has the story here.

Journalist-hating Barr likened to Joh Bjelke-Petersen

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr is acknowledged by Governor of Nevada Brian Sandoval during the National Governors Association winter meeting, during Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's official visit to the United States, in Washington D.C, United States, on Saturday, 24 February 2018. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr's comment that he "hates journalists" has been labelled a brain snap and likened to views once espoused by the late Joh Bjelke-Petersen.

Griffith University political analyst Professor Paul Williams said he was "very surprised" to hear such rhetoric about the media from a leader of a mainstream Australian political party.

Professor Williams said that while he expected such comments from a "fringe-dwelling populist" trying to attract votes in "the backblocks of Queensland or Tasmania", he expected it would attract few friends in Canberra, given the capital's higher average level of education.

I'm a Tasmanian and a journalist so offended on a few levels by a couple of people here, but never mind. Read Katie Burgess and Daniel Burdon's story here.

Overall once a Liberal

The Queanbeyan-Palerang election. Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council administrator Tim Overall.

Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council mayor Tim Overall. Photo: Jamila Toderas

Queanbeyan-Palerang mayor Tim Overall last year campaigned on a strict platform opposing political parties in local government.

Awkwardly, documents released to The Queanbeyan Age show Cr Overall was once a member of the NSW Liberal Party. In fact, he joined for a couple of years after first being elected to the council as an independent.

Cr Overall told Elliot Williams he didn't remember being a member until being presented with the documents.

Read the story here.

Canberra doctor 'real risk to females'

Generic doctor, health, medicine, medical, hospital.

Photo: supplied

A Canberra doctor who hugged and kissed a female patient has been banned from treating women for up to 18 months after being found to be a "real risk to females". 

The medical board alleged GP Mohamed Helmy inappropriately hugged and kissed a female patient during a consultation in March 2016, and in doing so had exploited the power imbalance between doctor and patient.

The tribunal also heard three women had been concerned enough with Dr Helmy's behaviour to take their complaints to the police or APRHA. 

Read Daniella White's story here.

Crash survivor prepares for half-marathon

John Hulin is training for the half marathon at the Australian Running Festvial. Photo: Jamila Toderas

John Hulin is training for the half marathon at the Australian Running Festval. Photo: Jamila Toderas

John Hulin was a carefree 20 year-old before he survived a horrific car accident in 2010.

He broke both his legs and spent 27 weeks - including his 21st birthday - on crutches, followed by years of rehabilitation.

And now, nearly eight years later, he's ready to tackle the 21km half-marathon as part of the Australian Running Festival in Canberra in April.

Read Sally Pryor's story here.

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