Canberra Now: Anger at euthanasia bill's defeat; and plans for the CSIRO site
Advertisement

Canberra Now: Anger at euthanasia bill's defeat; and plans for the CSIRO site

Good morning Canberra!

Just when we thought that maybe those chill, frosty morning were behind us... they've come back. It'll get as cold as minus 3 degrees today and there'll be a high of 14. Other than that, it'll be partly cloudy with some morning frost. As for tomorrow, there's an 80 per cent chance of up to 3mm of rain, which is good news even if that's not much.

What's making headlines this morning, as we head into the weekend?

Teen with autism faces isolation in locked room

Abdul-Ghani Ferkh, who has autism, was suspended indefinitely from the Woden School earlier this year.

Abdul-Ghani Ferkh, who has autism, was suspended indefinitely from the Woden School earlier this year.Credit:Dion Georgopoulos

Advertisement

Abdul-Ghani Ferkh, who has complex autism, was suspended from the Woden School in early April after running off campus grounds to the local shops and stealing a toy.

He hasn't been allowed to go to school for more than four months, and is now facing a "jail sentence" when he returns under restrictive conditions, his family say.

Correspondence between the school, the ACT education directorate and the Ferkh family details how the suspension, originally due to end on April 18, was extended multiple times before his break became indefinite.

Sherryn Groch spoke to his family.

Anger after senators vote down euthanasia bill

David Walker is angry the Senate voted not to restore territory rights because of concerns about minimal safeguards. He says that argument is a cop out.

David Walker is angry the Senate voted not to restore territory rights because of concerns about minimal safeguards. He says that argument is a cop out. Credit:Elesa Kurtz

It was lost by two votes. Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm's bill to restore territory rights was defeated on Wednesday night by a narrow margin after two days of intense and emotional debate.

Canberra man David Walker, living with a debilitating autoimmune disease, has lashed the senators who sunk an attempt to restore the territories' powers to legalise euthanasia, saying he wants those who voted down the bill to be at his beck and call when he is eventually bedridden.

Many of those who opposed the bill, including the ACT's own Liberal senator Zed Seselja, said they were not convinced the ACT and Northern Territory parliaments could devise a system with enough safeguards.

Katie Burgess spoke to Mr Walker after the vote.

Cartel charges laid against union boss

ACT CFMEU branch secretary Jason O'Mara.

ACT CFMEU branch secretary Jason O'Mara.Credit:Karleen Minney

The construction union has pledged to "vigorously fight" charges of cartel conduct laid against it by the corporate watchdog.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleges the union attempted to induce the territory's steelfixing and scaffolding businesses to engage in cartel conduct.

On Thursday, the watchdog revealed it had laid charges against the ACT branch of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union and its secretary Jason O’Mara.

Michael Inman with this report.

Doma Group's masterplan for former CSIRO site

The view from Doma's planned "Foothills" development on Limestone Avenue.

The view from Doma's planned "Foothills" development on Limestone Avenue.

Developer Doma Group's plans for a prominent site on the foothills of Mount Ainslie have changed direction.  It has drastically cut the number of apartments proposed for the home to the former CSIRO building.

Doma bought the 4.1 hectare site on Limestone Avenue, next to Campbell High School, in 2016 for $20 million but hit a number of setbacks with its plans.

It has sat untouched for two years, but redevelopment is one step closer. Doma managing director Jure Domazet said the group would consult on a concept masterplan, which would be finalised in two or three months.

Han Nguyen has the latest on the developer's proposal for the site.

How Nikki Ayers found rowing after 16 operations

Nikki Ayers had 10 surgeries in 21 days when she was first taken to hospital in 2016.

Nikki Ayers had 10 surgeries in 21 days when she was first taken to hospital in 2016.Credit:Jamila Toderas

You might think the hardest part of Nikki Ayers' recovery from a freak rugby union accident would be the 16 operations to save her leg and repair her knee, but she says the greatest challenge was coming to grips with the scar she's got.

When she met fellow para-rower Jed Altschwager and heard about how he embraced who he was, that helped. Her confidence grew, and she could push herself more.

Now Ayers has been picked in the Australian rowing team for the first time and will fly out of Canberra on Friday to compete at the world championships in Bulgaria from September 9-16.

Chris Dutton spoke to Ayers about her upcoming trip to represent Australia on the world stage.

Today's cartoon

The Canberra Times editorial cartoon for Friday, August 17, 2018.

The Canberra Times editorial cartoon for Friday, August 17, 2018.Credit:David Pope

Doug Dingwall is a reporter for The Canberra Times covering the public service and politics.