20 December 2019

2019 Year in Review - Facebook

| Amy M
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In 2019, The RiotACT‘s digital and social media audiences continued to grow and thrive. Our Facebook page hosted lively discussions about local events, news and people. It saw passionate debates and vibrant conversations about life and the things that matter to residents of Canberra and the surrounding region.

10. Far South Coast fishers encouraged to report, euthanise carp
by Elka Wood

Biosecurity officer Dan Biddulph

Biosecurity officer Dan Biddulph with the carp that was found to be carrying over 1,000,000 eggs. Photo: Supplied.

Ahead of the time that many Canberrans make their annual pilgrimage to the coast, we brought you the news that the South East Local Land Services biosecurity team is encouraging Far South Coast fishers to keep an eye out for carp after a 76 cm, 9 kg female specimen laden with over 1 million eggs was caught in a Bega lagoon.

Here’s some advice from South East Local Land Services about what to do if you catch a carp while fishing at the coast.

9. Braidwood’s secret water supply waiting in weir
by John Thistleton

Martin Royds at a weir

Martin Royds near one of his weirs which is brimful despite the ongoing drought. Photos: Supplied.

In November, Braidwood cattle farmer Martin Royds made the astonishing claim that he can supply the town with back-up water if the Shoalhaven River runs dry. Thanks to Mr Royds’ regenerative farming practices, he has 14 major weirs across erosion gullies that are holding on to water, with some full to the brim.

8. Police union says new cannabis laws complicate the issue
by Lachlan Roberts

ACT Policing Chief Police Officer Ray Johnson

ACT Policing Chief Police Officer Ray Johnson said ACT police officers will support the government on the new laws. Photo: File.

The police union says legalising cannabis in the ACT will only complicate the issue, after new cannabis possession laws were passed in the Legislative Assembly in 2019. Under the new legislation, which was put forward by Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson, adults will be allowed to possess 50 grams of cannabis and grow up to four plants in their home.

7. Magic kitchen opens from basic beginnings
by Michael Weaver

The Basics outside the Magic Kitchen Vegan Cafe

Bringing the community together with food is the realisation of a dream for Sasha and Antonia Basic with their daughter Rossa outside the Magic Kitchen Vegan Cafe. Photos: Michelle Kroll, Region Media.

When Antonia and Sasha Basic arrived in Canberra from Croatia in 2014, they had $2000, four suitcases and no plans. But in October, they realised a dream by opening the Magic Kitchen Vegan Cafe in Kingston. Here’s more about the dynamic duo and their new venture.

6. Monaro Highway to be upgraded before 2020 ski season
by Lachlan Roberts

The tender said there is 25 kilometre stretch of highway without overtaking lanes on the Monaro Highway. Photo: Supplied.

The ACT Government plans to upgrade two sections of Monaro Highway before Canberra heads south for the 2020 snow season, after yet another fatal crash on the busy highway.

Transport Canberra and City Services has released a tender for the design and construction of Monaro Highway improvements, including construction of a two-kilometres of a northbound overtaking lane between Williamsdale Road and Royalla Drive.

5. 550 students evacuated from UC Library after smelly fruit mistaken for gas leak
by Glynis Quinlan


The potent stench of the durian fruit led to 550 students being evacuated from UC Library on Friday.

It’s been named one of the “most god-awful smells in the world” and it seems it can even be confused with a gas leak, with the smell of the durian fruit leading to 550 people being evacuated from the University of Canberra Library in May. Firefighters evacuated students and staff from the building in under six minutes following reports of a strong smell of gas.

They then investigated the source of the smell and found it came from an unexpected source – part of a durian fruit left in a bin near an air vent!

4. Woolworths to start reusable container scheme to reduce shopping waste
by Lachlan Roberts

Woolworths Belconnen

A Woolworths spokesperson said it was too early to say which supermarkets will take part in the trial. Photo: Westfield Belconnen.

Woolworths supermarkets in Canberra are set to join a national trial that will allow customers to buy products in reusable containers rather than single-use plastic packaging, we reported in November. The scheme will be trialled in supermarkets before a full launch in 2021. Here’s more about how it will work.

3. Why Libby walks Charlie with a pipe in her hand
by Lachlan Roberts

Libby Oakes-Ash

Libby Oakes-Ash now walks her dog Charlie with a metal pipe in her hand. Photos: Michelle Kroll, Region Media.

As part of her early morning routine, Libby Oakes-Ash takes her small dog Charlie for a walk, but after a traumatic experience that left her small pup with several puncture wounds, she now carries a large pipe in her hand, we wrote in October.

2. How the Canberra Irish Club turned its fortunes around
by Tim Gavel

Canberra Irish Club

Canberra Irish Club at Weston Creek. Photos: Supplied.

The Canberra Irish Club had been in trouble for a long time. Their financial position was so dire that the club was on the brink of folding. But in 2019 we reported that the board decided on a course of action that would reinvigorate the club and turn its fortunes around – and it hasn’t looked back since.

1. Radio crew give Queanbeyan something to sing about
by Michael Weaver


Mix 106.3FM morning show host Nige, in the parody to Queanbeyan. Photo: Screenshot.

While sittin’ at the table deciding which Canberra suburb to parody next, the morning crew from Mix 106.3FM threw the rule book out the window … and it landed in Queanbeyan. To the strains of Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler, 106.3 immortalised our cousins over the border with a song about a man on a bus bound for Queanbeyan. Click the story above to hear it for yourself.

We hope you’ve enjoyed taking a trip through the highlights of 2019 on RiotACT. We look forward to bringing you all the news and top stories about Canberra and the region again in 2020.

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