Canberra Now: Pensioner intimidated into paying land tax, cannabis advice
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Canberra Now: Pensioner intimidated into paying land tax, cannabis advice

Good morning, Canberra and happy Friday!

Today is March 15, which means it's the Ides of March, so it wasn't a great day for Julius Caesar.

Back on topic now, we're heading for a partly cloudy top of 26 before tops of 23 and 24 degrees over the weekend, with a shower or two on Saturday. Perfect weather for tonight's AFLW match between Geelong and GWS at Manuka, but hopefully that rain is finished before Skyfire tomorrow!

Let's look at what's making news today.

Before waivers, pensioner 'intimidated' into paying land tax bill

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Robert Triggs was chased by the revenue office for a land tax bill that was originally sent to his builder, after he bought a property off the plan.

Robert Triggs was chased by the revenue office for a land tax bill that was originally sent to his builder, after he bought a property off the plan.Credit:Dion Georgopoulos

The ACT government has promised to fix issues that have come out of its vacancy tax, which which resulted in the removal of a longstanding exemption that stopped developers being hit with land tax for two years.

But that has come too late for pensioner Robert Triggs, who was slugged with the tax after he'd bought an apartment off the plan, even though he was living in it.

Katie Burgess has the full story here.

'The sky did not fall': Vermont's advice to ACT on legalising cannabis

ACT Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson wants to legalise cannabis using the Vermont model. Stakeholders in the US state said the "sky did not fall" when the drug was legalised.

ACT Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson wants to legalise cannabis using the Vermont model. Stakeholders in the US state said the "sky did not fall" when the drug was legalised. Credit:Rohan Thomson

While Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson is moving ahead with his plan to legislate cannabis for personal use in the ACT, he's got some advice from jurisdictions that have done it before.

The Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana, an advocacy group from the US state where the ACT bill is based on, said the ACT needs to address issues around drug-driving as part of the legislation.

Katie Burgess explains here.

Charity begins at a red light near you

Paula Hall rattling the tin at Fyshwick intersection.

Paula Hall rattling the tin at Fyshwick intersection.Credit:Elesa Kurtz

It's a sight you often see in big cities, but I hadn't seen any charity collectors in Canberra until this week in Fyshwick.

The collectors are employed, not volunteers, and they are paid 40 per cent of what they collect. They are working for a not-for-profit called UrCommunity, aiming to provide cheap food for people who otherwise might not be able to eat.

Steve Evans has all the detail here.

Dead pines to make way for new ideas in much-loved dog park

Connor Walker, a trainee arborist, is working on removing dead pines from the Yarralumla Dog Park.

Connor Walker, a trainee arborist, is working on removing dead pines from the Yarralumla Dog Park. Credit:Karleen Minney

If you feel like taking your beloved canine for a sunny walk at the Yarralumla dog park, soon you'll notice more actual sun.

More than a dozen dead pine trees are being removed from the Yarralumla Dog Park, to make way for new breeds and, hopefully, more sunlight.

The park, on the edge of Westbourne Woods, was made up of Pinus radiata, a common, fast-growing pine with a relatively short life-span.

Sally Pryor explains how it will all work here.

A new generation of Waratah hatred starts with seven Canberra juniors

Tom Ross, front, and Tom Cusack are two of seven Canberra players in the Brumbies' side this week. Ross will make his Super Rugby debut as a 20-year-old on Friday night.

Tom Ross, front, and Tom Cusack are two of seven Canberra players in the Brumbies' side this week. Ross will make his Super Rugby debut as a 20-year-old on Friday night.Credit:Karleen Minney

One of the best thing about sport is a rivalry that goes so deep, you don't even know why you hate the other team, you just hate 'em.

The charged stadium, the feeling that the win is worth more than just a place on the ladder - what an atmosphere to make your debut in. Two locals from the Gungahlin Eagles, Tom Ross and Mack Hansen will debut for the Brumbies against the Waratahs tonight as part of seven Canberra juniors to be picked.

Chris Dutton has all the selection (and rivalry) news here.

Today's cartoon:

Illustration: Cathy Wilcox

Illustration: Cathy WilcoxCredit:

Sally Whyte is a reporter for The Canberra Times covering the public service.

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