CITY NEWS Seven Days June 26

CANBERRA Raiders’ coach Ricky Stuart is locked into the club until the end of the 2020 season with an extra two years added to his deal.

Mike Welsh

And the fans resoundingly endorsed the Green Machine’s confidence in the three-time premiership player.

An online poll offered three options to fans with an overwhelming 63 per cent voting for the lock him in now option, followed by 23 per cent ticking the box for wait until the end of the season and 14 per cent suggesting a different direction to be taken at the end of Stuart’s current contract.

MEANTIME Stuart was measured in his response on radio to Senator Pauline Hanson’s divisive comments on segregating autistic children. The Raiders’ mentor, who founded the Ricky Stuart Foundation and whose teenage daughter Emma is autistic, said Hanson was “completely wrong” in her view and that families who struggle with autism daily would be “gutted” if their children were excluded from the mainstream school system.

IN a week when fat shaming was a national conversation, Liberal MLA Elizabeth Lee went on the front foot to address an attempt to bully her and, in the process, received an overwhelmingly positive response.

The member for Kurrajong was targetted online with comments such as: “Put on weight since I last saw you” and “Try to stop eating too many [sic] Um Chas”. Ms Lee returned fire with: “I’m Asian, I eat more than yum cha and I don’t exist to be pretty and skinny for anyone”.
Ms Lee’s proactive approach drew hundreds of comments and personal messages, 98 per cent of which were positive.

AN aggressive sales pitch has angered several residents of a Belconnen suburb. One homeowner reported two men knocking on his door with an offer to buy his house. When told he wasn’t interested the pair warned him “you’ll be sorry”, as next door had been purchased and would soon contain nine units which they claimed would reduce the value of neighbouring properties.


WITH local talent featuring heavily on reality TV programs highlighted by 15-year-old Lucy Sugerman’s stunning performances on “The Voice”, another Canberran is off to New York to try her luck with a Big Apple institution. Dancer Isabelle Steward, 17, has been chosen from thousands worldwide to participate in an intensive program with the iconic Radio City Rockettes.

A YOUNG Canberra entrepreneur continues to forge ahead in building a national reputation.

Nipuni (“Nip”) Wijewickrema won the ACT regional Australia Post Pitchfest from a field of five local candidates. The 2016 Young Canberran of the Year, who founded GG’s Flowers to provide employment for her Down syndrome sister, heads to the national final in August at which the winner scores a trip to Silicon Valley in California for an intensive training course.

AUSTRALIAN Christian Lobby director Lyle Shelton has done a Donald and dropped the “F” word. The controversial lobbyist screamed “fake” over a news report suggesting Senators Zed Seselja and Matthew Canavan were to host a fundraiser for ACL at Parliament House. Shelton confirmed there was a gathering but it was simply “drinks” to which MPs and senators from all colours of politics – with the exception of the Greens – attended in support of ACL staff at the invitation of the two conservative senators.

THEY’RE a glass half-full bunch, those hot-air ballooners. I tweeted a pic (left), which to my layman’s eyes was a crash landing of a balloon on the middle of Gungahlin Drive at Casey. But the post was quickly flipped on its head by a tweet from @Eponymowse “Nice work picking out the median strip. Fine piloting”.

Several years ago on radio I ignorantly referred to two incidents on the same day during the annual balloon festival as “crash landings”. One basket had finished unceremoniously upended behind the Hyatt Hotel while another had rudely plonked itself in the front yard of a family home in Bruce. The official spin on both, “textbook controlled landings”.

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