Alex Smith WAG, ‘he has already won’, Elizabeth Smith tribute, Washington Football Team, NFL playoffs decided


After an NFL season of miracles, Alex Smith’s comeback stands apart.

In a year that COVID threatened teams, postponed matches and caused chaos throughout the year, Smith has led his team to the most unlikely of division wins.

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The NFC East has been an abysmal division with Washington sealing the title and a spot in the playoffs with a 7-9 record, easily the worst record in the competition after a 20-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

But after a season the Washington Football Team finally dropped the moniker of the Redskins due to its offensive connotations after years of pressure, Smith led the side to its first playoff game since 2015.

Although not expected to go too fan into the playoffs, Smith’s comeback from a life threatening broken leg.

Smith had 17 surgeries on his leg and spent eight months with his leg in a metal brace but was lucky to keep his leg.

After a surgery, Smith had necrotising fasciitis or flesh eating bacteria in his leg with doctors even considering amputation.

But in October, Smith returned to the field with his wife letting her emotions out when he entered the game against the Los Angeles Rams.

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Smith, playing with a titanium rod inserted into his leg, completed nine of 17 passes for 37 yards as the Rams outclassed Washington 30-10. But this game was about so much more than the result.

“I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a lot of days where I didn’t think it was going to happen,” Smith said after the game, even if his comeback did arrive in less-than-ideal circumstances.

He’s now played eight games and his wife has delivered a wonderful tribute, turning that leg brace into a makeshift Lombardi Trophy, which is awarded to the Super Bowl winner.

“Waiting for this game and I’m a nervous wreck. I look up at our bookshelves as a reminder of where we have been and the hard work to get to this moment. No matter the outcome, Alex has already won,” she wrote in the caption. “He has beat the largest challenge life has thrown our way. I am incredibly proud and will be cheering loud. Let’s go Washington!

“Special thanks to @coldhardart for transforming a symbol of hard times to a trophy of triumph we can proudly put on our shelves.”

While Washington may not have been the best team around, it’s a massive achievement for the side to make it this far and a testament to Smith’s will power.

“A lot to be grateful for,” Smith said following the game on NBC. “Starting with those guys in the locker room.

“We had some bumps early and continue to keep fighting and getting better and here we are.”

NFL PLAYOFFS LOCKED IN (Time AEDT)

The Wild Card playoff matches are finally in.

With an expanded playoff picture with seven teams from each conference making it in, only the top ranked teams get the week off.

The 14-2 Kansas City Chiefs’ bid for a second straight Super Bowl is going along well after taking out the AFC top seed, while the Green Bay Packers locked up the NFC first seed with a 13-3 record.

Here’s how the first week of the playoffs will play out.

SUNDAY

— AFC: No. 7 Indianapolis Colts @ No. 2 Buffalo Bills, 5:05am

— NFC: No. 6 Los Angeles Rams @ No. 3 Seattle Seahawks, 8:40am

— NFC: No. 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ No. 4 Washington Football Team, 12:15pm

MONDAY

— AFC: No. 5 Baltimore Ravens @ No. 4 Tennessee Titans, 5:05am

— NFC: No. 7 Chicago Bears @ No. 2 New Orleans Saints, 8:40am

— AFC: No. 6 Cleveland Browns @ No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers, 12:15pm



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Watch: ‘You are not alone’ says Queen Elizabeth in Christmas speech


England”s Queen Elizabeth II assured those distanced from their family for the holidays that they “are not alone” during her annual Christmas Speech and called on people to let kindness and hope guide them into the new year.

The British monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh are celebrating Christmas at Windsor Castle instead of Sandringham, where the royal family usually spends the holiday, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The Queen acknowledged that people of all faiths have been unable to celebrate religious festivals “as they would wish” this year because of the ongoing global health crisis but stressed that “we need life to go on”.

She praised frontline workers, “supported by the amazing achievement of modern science”, for their work throughout the year. “We owe them a debt of gratitude,” she said.

But she also paid tribute to all those around the world who “have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year and I’m so proud and moved by this quiet indomitable spirit.”

“We continue to be inspired by the kindness of strangers and draw comfort that even on the darkest night, there is hope in the new dawn,” she said.

‘You are not alone’

The pandemic has been blamed for nearly 70,000 deaths in Britain, the second-highest death toll in Europe behind Italy.

Over the past two days, the UK has recorded its two highest daily infection numbers, at just below 40,000.

A new variant of the novel coronavirus that is 70 percent more transmissible has prompted British authorities to tighten rules during the end of year festive season and to cancel family gatherings in the capital and large swathes of eastern England.

“For many, this time of year will be tinged with sadness, some mourning the loss of those dear to him and others missing friends and family members, distanced for safety when all they really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand,” the Queen said in her speech.

“If you are among them, you are not alone,” she added.

She then urged people to “let the light of Christmas, the spirit of selflessness, love and above all hope, guide us in the times ahead.”

‘Annus horribilis’

2020 was a tough year for the royal family — and not just because of COVID-19.

The year started with the so-called Megxit as Prince Harry and his wife Meghan stepped back from their roles as senior royals to become financially independent.

Prince Andrew, who was forced to quit his public duties last year over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, continued to be haunted by damning allegations.

One of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island between 1999 and 2002.



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Many just want a hug for Christmas this year, Queen Elizabeth says


December 25, 2020

By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) – All many people want for Christmas this year is a simple hug, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth said in her annual festive message, saying it would be hard for those who lost loved ones to COVID-19 pandemic or were separated by curbs on social mixing.

In her traditional pre-recorded Christmas Day address to the nation, the 94-year-old monarch repeatedly spoke of hope for the future whilst acknowledging millions of Britons would be unable to have their usual family celebrations this year.

“Of course for many, this time of year will be tinged with sadness; some mourning the loss of those dear to them, and others missing friends and family members distanced for safety when all they really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand,” Elizabeth said.

“If you are among them, you are not alone. And let me assure you of my thoughts and prayers.”

The queen herself has had to eschew her traditional Christmas celebrations, and is spending the festive season quietly at Windsor Castle with her husband Prince Philip, 99.

Usually, all the Windsors gather at her home on the Sandringham estate in eastern England, the walk to a nearby church for a Christmas Day service is a staple of the royal calendar.

However, Britain is currently battling to curb the spread of a new variant of the novel coronavirus, with the number of new infections reaching record levels this week and the number of hospital admissions and death soaring.

Much of the country has been placed under tight restrictions, and for London and the surrounding areas, households are not allowed to mix at all over Christmas, while for other areas there are strict curbs limiting contact to just a single day.

“Remarkably, a year that has necessarily kept people apart has in many ways brought us closer,” said the queen, adding the royals had been inspired by stories of those who volunteered to help others in need.

“In the United Kingdom and around the world, people have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year and I’m so proud and moved by this quiet indomitable spirit.”

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)





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Britain’s Queen Elizabeth To Get Covid-19 Vaccine ‘In Weeks’: Reports


Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine within weeks, after UK regulators granted emergency approval and the world’s first roll-out begins next week, reports late Saturday said.

The monarch, 94, and her 99-year-old husband Prince Philip are in line to get the jab early due to their age and will not receive preferential treatment, the Mail on Sunday reported.

The newspaper said Britain’s most senior royals would reveal they have been given the inoculation “to encourage more people to take up the vital jab”, amid fears so-called anti-vaxxers could dent enthusiasm for it.

Britain on Wednesday gave emergency approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, with health officials set to use criteria based on age and vulnerability to decide the order of people to receive it.

Elderly care home residents and their carers will be the very first to get inoculated, followed by those aged 80 and over and frontline health and care staff.

Other elderly people and the clinically extremely vulnerable will be next, with the rest of the population then prioritised by age.

Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Daily Mirror also reported a string of high-profile figures in Britain had committed publicly to getting the vaccine in a bid to boost take-up.





Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, are in line to get the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine early due to their age
 AFP / Adrian DENNIS

They include Monty Python star Michael Palin and Bob Geldof, the tabloid said.

Britain has pre-ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine in total, and is set to receive an initial batch of 800,000 to begin next week’s rollout.

Regulators were forced to defend their world-first approval on Wednesday of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, insisting it met all safety standards after US and European officials queried the rapid process.

Meanwhile, plans are reportedly being stepped up to ensure any complications arising from the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31 do not impact its roll-out.

The vaccine will be manufactured at Pfizer’s plant in Puurs, Belgium, and needs to be transported in temperature-controlled thermal shippers that use dry ice.

The Observer reported late Saturday that ministers have drawn up contingency plans to fly millions of doses into Britain on military aircraft in the event of Brexit-related disruption at UK ports.

“We will do this if necessary,” a health department spokesperson told the newspaper.

Talks to finalise a UK-EU free trade deal and avoid potential chaos in January are currently gridlocked, with just days left to seal an agreement.





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Elizabeth Turner found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice, for helping son Markis Turner flee the country


After allegations of secret codes, a fake suicide, and plots to cash in life insurance, a jury has found Elizabeth Anne Turner guilty of helping her fugitive son flee the country to avoid major drug charges.

Markis Scott Turner was arrested in Mackay in 2011, accused of heading-up a major cocaine importation syndicate.

He disappeared in 2015, about a month before his trial was expected to begin.

His mother Elizabeth Turner was bound to a $450,000 bail surety.

At a 2016 Supreme Court hearing into whether she had fulfilled her obligations as a surety, Mrs Turner said she believed her son had taken his own life when he disappeared, as his mental health had been declining.

Authorities detained her son in the Philippines in 2017, where he had sailed to on a yacht.

It took authorities about two years to detain Markis Turner, one of Australia’s most wanted fugitives.(Supplied)

Prosecutors alleged the suicide story was concocted so Mr Turner could escape potential jail time, so that Mrs Turner could keep the surety money, and a $1 million life insurance policy could be cashed in.

Mrs Turner, who owns the Mt Coolon Hotel in Central Queensland, has been on trial in the District Court in Mackay since last Monday.

A jury of eight women and four men found her guilty of all charges; attempting to pervert the course of justice and three counts of giving false evidence.

Prosecution vs. defence

Prosecutors alleged Mrs Turner aided her son’s escape, in part, by buying him a yacht in 2013.

The jury heard the $75,000 boat had been purchased using her bank account and was then registered in the name of Rural Trade Services, a company of which she was then the director.

One document shown to the court was an application to cancel the yacht’s registration, signed by Elizabeth Turner months before her son absconded.

Handwriting expert John Heath testified he believed the signature was forged.

Elizabeth Turner walks next to a car.
Elizabeth Turner opted to take the witness box, saying she genuinely believed her son had taken his life.(ABC News: Melissa Maddison)

Mrs Turner’s defence barrister Saul Holt QC said Mr Turner had used his mother’s accounts and funds in a deceitful way.

“Your adult child being charged with extraordinarily serious criminal offences.

Mr Holt referenced Mrs Turner’s decision to give her son access to some of her bank accounts.

“There is absolutely no doubt that some things that Liz Turner did, in fact, helped Markis Turner,” he said.

But Mr Holt said she did not know the purchases were part of an escape plan.

Prosecutors alleged Mrs Turner would communicate in secret codes and made concerted efforts to communicate on encrypted software like WhatsApp.

Markis Turner’s wife Magdalena Turner gave evidence at the trial and testified that she knew her husband was alive, but she said she did not tell his mother until his arrest.

Prosecutors suggested to the jury this was a lie, and that correspondence between Mrs Turner and her daughter-in-law would reference a man named Piotr and how he was doing.

Piotr was Magdalena’s brother, but prosecutors said Piotr was code for Markis, allowing Magdalena Turner to communicate what she knew.

Six months to report son missing

Prosecutor Pen Power said it took Mrs Turner six months to report her son missing.

“If your son disappears weeks before his trial is due to commence, and the yacht disappears or is sold for $40,000 to a mysterious man … you’d tell the authorities about that, unless you don’t want him to be found,” Mr Power said.

Sign of Mackay court house
The District Court trial in Mackay has spanned across almost two weeks.(ABC Tropical North: Ollie Wykeham)

“In this case, it’s natural to feel sympathy for Mrs Turner.

“But we can’t have a system, where whatever loyalty one has to one’s children, that you can help them escape.”

A decision is yet to be made about when sentencing will proceed and where Mrs Turner will be remanded.



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Historic Kodak signage could be removed from 100-year-old building in Hobart’s Elizabeth St Mall


A landmark of Hobart’s Elizabeth Street Mall could be transformed if the city’s council approves a plan to turn the Kodak House building into apartments, but there is concern about the loss of the building’s existing signage.

Last week the Council’s City Planning Committee voted in favour of the application that would allow the removal of Kodak brand signs from the 100-year-old building — against the recommendation of council officers and an independent assessment by a heritage architect.

The application to go before the full council on Monday night is to transform the building, completed in 1920 and listed as a heritage place on the Hobart Interim Planning Scheme, into a shared retail and apartment space, with commercial tenants remaining on the ground floor and five apartments on the levels above.

The plans for the building, lodged by local developers Giameos Constructions and Developments, include the removal of the Kodak House masonry sign at the top of the building, to be replaced with replica comprised of steel letters to allow more light in.

Deputy Lord Mayor Helen Burnet says the replacement of the masonry “Kodak House” sign has caused the most concern.(ABC News: Loretta Lohberger)

Deputy Lord Mayor and planning committee chairwoman Helen Burnet said the removal of the masonry sign from the former photography lab and shop had caused the most concern.

She described the sign, added in 1929, as “iconic”.

She said the sign also helped set Hobart’s Kodak building apart from most other remaining Kodak buildings in Australia.

“In its entirety, I think this is one of two which are still significant and very much as they were in the 1920s,” Cr Burnet said.

A former Kodak shop in Hobart with its historic signage.
The Kodak sign in Hobart’s Elizabeth Street Mall.(ABC News: Kate Ainsworth.)

The masonry sign is not the only Kodak sign that would be removed from the building if the application is approved.

“New side openings” mean the painted Kodak signs and illuminated Kodak light boxes would also be removed.

Helen Burnet smiles at the camera.
Deputy Lord Mayor Helen Burnet says the Kodak House sign is “iconic”.(ABC News: Phoebe Hosier)

A number of conditions for the application’s approval will be heard by the council on Monday night, including a requirement that the painted Kodak signage “must be repainted to the east of the existing sign” and “must match the existing sign in font, dimensions and depth”.

The council will also require the frame of the masonry sign must remain intact to help preserve its historical value.

“Planning schemes aren’t black and white, there is that shade of grey where the majority of the committee has suggested that this will not be too detrimental in relation to the heritage aspects,” Cr Burnet said.

She said the building had been an integral part of the city’s recent history.

“It’s been with so many Tasmanians over so many years, and it tells a story in itself the way that it is, in relation to the development of our city.”

Empty buildings ‘become a danger’

Brendan Lennard, who spent 25 years as a cultural heritage officer with the Hobart City Council before retiring earlier this year, said it could be difficult to balance new developments with maintaining heritage.

Hobart rooftops, including the Kodak House building in April 1977
The Kodak House building (left) in April 1977.(Supplied: Margaret Bryant, Tasmanian Archives.)

“The worst thing that can happen to a building is to be left empty,” Mr Lennard said.

“If they’re left empty for too long, it becomes a danger, they’re not looked after. It’s a bit like if you’ve got a car that no one’s driven for years and years, it becomes very difficult to make it work again,” he said.

“So [I have] no problem with a building being given a new lease of life … but the hard thing about heritage, if you’re making changes to heritage buildings, is not to lose the inherent qualities that actually make a building important.

“It’s all about exploring solutions, working with the building, working with the heritage experts and coming up with solutions.”

Mr Lennard said the preservation of heritage places was part of Tasmania’s appeal.

“Tasmania, and Hobart particularly, has an advantage in that it has a rich heritage of buildings [and] places,” he said.

“It has a rich collection of streetscapes … and when people come to Tasmania, they come with a knowledge of the expectation that Hobart has to offer an authentic experience with a number of fine old buildings and streets.

“The beauty of our built places is part of the thing that attracts people to Tasmania — not only as visitors, but actually attracting people to live here as well.”

Close up of the "Kodak House" sign in Hobart, partially obscured
The masonry “Kodak House” sign was added in 1929.(ABC News: Loretta Lohberger)



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Elizabeth Anne Turner, accused of helping her son flee the country to avoid drug charges, takes the witness box


A North Queensland jury has heard a teary exchange between the mother of an alleged drug kingpin and the prosecutor accusing her of helping her son flee the country.

“I still look at his little children and think, ‘How would these children grow up with a father in jail for 25 years?’ And that’s what broke my heart,” said Elizabeth Anne Turner in the Mackay District Court today.

“And that’s what caused you to help him escape,” Prosecutor Ben Power countered.

“It didn’t. Escaping wasn’t the solution to it. It [escaping] was worse,” Mrs Turner said.

“Well, now that he’s been caught, it’s worse,” Mr Power said.

“Well, whether he got caught or not, that wasn’t going to prove anything,” Mrs Turner said.

The case

Elizabeth Anne Turner, 66, allegedly helped her son, Markis Scott Turner, avoid court proceedings by aiding his escape to the Philippines by yacht.

Mr Turner, a former Mackay businessman, was arrested in 2011 and accused of heading up an international cocaine-importation syndicate.

He was released on bail after his mother paid a $450,000 surety, but he sailed out of the country in 2015.

He remained at large until authorities found him two years later.

Prosecutors said Elizabeth Turner’s motivation for saying her son had died by suicide, was so that she could get back the money she paid for his surety.(ABC News: Melissa Maddison)

Mrs Turner had previously told the Supreme Court she believed her son had taken his own life when he disappeared.

Part of the prosecution’s case, alleging Mrs Turner knew her son was not dead, was a recorded phone call made to the family from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, after he was found in the Philippines.

“Nowhere in this call did Elizabeth Turner express any surprise at all at the return to life of her dead son,” the prosecutor said.

Defence counsel Saul Holt QC told the jury today there was a reason for this, which involved a call from her son’s wife, Magdalena Turner.

“She had been told by Magdalena in the days before [the DFAT call], that Markis Turner was alive and in prison in the Philippines,” he said.

“When Magda gives evidence, she will show you the email that was sent by Markis Turner.”

Mr Holt told the jury Mrs Turner had no idea what her son was planning.

“Markis Turner used his mother’s name, details and money for his own purposes and he did so in a deceitful way,” he said.

Markis Turner close up of him smiling.
Markis Turner is accused of being involved in a multi-million dollar drug syndicate and became one of Australia’s most wanted fugitives.(Supplied)

Daughter-in-law forged signature, says defence

One piece of evidence that was examined was a document that cancelled the registration of a yacht called the Shangri-La.

Mr Holt said Mrs Turner’s signature on this document had been forged by Magdalena Turner.

“Markis Turner’s wife … is going to give evidence and she is going to tell you, members of the jury, that the words on that form are her writing, not Liz Turner’s,” he said.

In her testimony, Mrs Turner said her son was prone to seasickness and she thought the $75,000 yacht had been purchased to do-up and resell — not to use in an escape.

“It was a pretty junky yacht,” she said.

“There was oil running from the motor … when I looked over the side it was scummed up with barnacles and I could see rust all up the side … the rail was falling off the back of the boat.”

Mrs Turner is charged with offences including perverting the course of justice.

The trial will continue next week and hear from witnesses including Magdalena Turner and a handwriting expert.



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Six other Liberal leaders couldn’t do it. Will Elizabeth Lee be the one to end Labor’s reign in Canberra?


The Canberra Liberals — often attacked by Labor as the “most conservative Liberal branch in the country” — want you to believe that the appointment of Elizabeth Lee as leader is a change in direction for a party that has learned from a sixth straight election loss.

“This is a fresh new beginning,” the party declared shortly after she was picked by her colleagues on Tuesday.

It’s true there are some big changes afoot and her selection is a first on many fronts.

Lee and her new deputy Giulia Jones will be the first female pair to lead a party in ACT politics, and Lee is the first person of an Asian background to be at the helm of an ACT party.

Not since Kate Carnell was chief minister two decades ago has a woman led the Canberra Liberals.

The Liberals have not won an ACT election since Kate Carnell.(ABC News)

In the 19 years since, six other men have led the party — Gary Humphries, Brendan Smyth, Bill Stefaniak, Zed Seselja, Jeremy Hanson and now Alistair Coe. None have prevailed against Labor and the Greens.

Carnell, the only leader to ever win an election for the Liberals in the ACT, last year warned the party against pitching conservative policy to a progressive town, believing that a Liberal victory hinged on ideology.

So does the backing of Lee represent a genuine shift to the moderate wing of the party? Or is it a recognition by the conservatives of a need to recalibrate after consigning themselves to another four years in opposition?

Yesterday’s leadership ballot was a moderate against a moderate and that in itself is an indication of the party’s acknowledgement they need to change, or as one Liberal MLA put it: “drawing a line in the sand”.

Conservative former leader Alistair Coe didn’t even bother re-contesting his position.

And a vote for former leader Jeremy Hanson, however popular he may be, would have signalled a retreat of sorts, so instead it was out with the old and in with the new. The numbers favoured Lee overwhelmingly.

Two images side-by-side of Elizabeth Lee and Jeremy Hanson.
Yesterday’s leadership contest was moderate vs moderate.(ABC News)

Fronting the press for the first time as leader, Lee said that politics had been craving diversity, in both background and gender.

She admitted the party must change direction as it reviewed what went so wrong at the October 17 poll, when they suffered a 3 per cent swing away from the Liberals.

However, she wouldn’t say exactly what needed to change and she made it clear that the Canberra Liberals proudly enjoyed a “broad church” of views.

It appears the 41-year-old is keen to give an impression of change and a fresh voice and, as a moderate, she’ll be determined to shake the nagging perception that senior conservative figures continue to pull the strings behind the scenes.

As the party attempts to move forward Lee may have to make concessions in order to maintain her moderate agenda while also keeping the right of the party happy.

A moderate in the most progressive of assemblies

The course Lee chooses is important because the next Legislative Assembly will be as progressive as it has ever been, with a remarkable six Greens MLAs.

Greens Leader Shane Rattenbury suggests a group of moderate Liberals are seeking to wrest control of the party from key conservative forces who have controlled the party for several years.

Elizabeth Lee speaks to the media.
Elizabeth Lee is more progressive than her predecessor, but so is the new Legislative Assembly.(ABC News: Mark Moore)

“We’d love to have a more constructive, working relationship with the Liberal party,” Rattenbury said.

“If they actually start to take up policy positions that we have more in common, we’re always keen to work with them.”

It’s a sentiment shared by re-elected Chief Minister Andrew Barr.

“Under new leadership there may be more occasions where the Government and the Opposition can find common ground on policy matters,” he said after Lee’s appointment.

As Lee put it: “Canberra spoke very loudly and we must listen.”

It’s a basic but necessary point if the Liberals are ever to move out of the political wilderness.



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Elizabeth Lee elected Canberra Liberals’ new leader | The Canberra Times


news, act-politics, canberra liberals leader, elizbeth lee, alistair coe

New Canberra Liberals leader Elizabeth Lee has declared her party must change in the wake of their ACT election defeat, as she vowed to advocate for all Canberrans in her new position. Ms Lee won a party room ballot for the Liberal leadership on Tuesday morning, defeating former leader Jeremy Hanson. Alistair Coe did not contest the ballot, spelling the end of his four-year stint as Opposition leader. Ms Lee is the first female leader of the Canberra Liberals since former Chief Minister Kate Carnell. With Giulia Jones elected deputy leader, the Liberals have the first all-female leadership team in the history of the ACT Legislative Assembly. Speaking to the media for the first time as leader, Ms Lee signalled a new direction for the Liberals as they rebuild from a sixth consecutive ACT election defeat. “Canberra spoke very loudly and we must listen,” she said of the election loss, which saw the party lose two seats and suffer a 3 per cent swing against them. A member of the party’s moderate faction, Ms Lee will provide the Liberals with an opportunity to challenge the perception that they are controlled by conservatives and are out of step with mainstream Canberra. Asked if the Liberals would adopt more moderate policies under her leadership, Ms Lee reiterated that voters had delivered a clear message at the election and there were “certainly things that must change”. But Ms Lee said the Liberals would remain a “broad church”, as she declared a desire to represent all Canberrans “not just a significant or a small proportion”. She was noncommittal when asked what specific change was required, but said a review underway into the failed election campaign would help provide some answers. “I do believe that we had a positive message that we took to the election campaign, but for whatever reason that did not cut through,” she said. Ms Lee, who was born in South Korea, emphasised the cultural diversity of the Canberra Liberals, a feature she said was missing from ACT and Australian politics. “I want to make sure that I do my part to create Canberra into the most connected capital in the world, bringing people from all walks of life together to ensure we create the best capital that we can,” she said. The Canberra Times understands Ms Lee beat Mr Hanson convincingly in the leadership ballot. Mr Hanson congratulated the new Liberals leadership team in a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon. “I am confident that Elizabeth and the new deputy Giulia Jones will do a great job leading the Canberra Liberals over the next four years and I look forward to working closely with them and the rest of the Canberra Liberals team,” Mr Hanson’s post read. Mr Coe described Ms Lee and Mrs Jones as an excellent team, saying he looked forward to working with the pair in the coming term. Chief Minister and Labor leader Andrew Barr also congratulated the pair. “The Canberra Liberals have a role to play in the Legislative Assembly and under new leadership there may be more occasions where the government and the Opposition can find common ground on policy matters,” Mr Barr said in a statement. Ms Lee, who topped the Liberals’ ticket in Kurrajong at this month’s election, had been widely considered a future leader of the party. A small group of Liberal MLAs last year canvassed the option of replacing Mr Coe with Ms Lee as party leader ahead of the 2020 election. READ MORE: Meet your new Assembly: How Aerobics Oz Style led Elizabeth Lee to a career in politics She has been the Liberals’ environment, education and disability spokeswoman. Ms Lee was 7 years old when her family moved from South Korea to Australia. The 41-year-old worked as a lawyer and a university lecturer before entering the ACT Legislative Assembly in 2016. She became a mother for the first time last year, giving birth to daughter Mia. Ms Lee has taught group fitness classes Sh’Bam and Body Balance at gyms in Canberra. In her inaugural speech in 2016, she recalled her family’s first years in Australia and the decision to uproot their lives in Korea. “Two young daughters to feed, starting a new life in a country where no one else looks like you,” she said. “That’s the life that my parents started in 1986. “Because it’s about courage, the courage to do what is right, not what is easy. “My parents chose to leave behind a comfortable life in Korea for a new life in Australia because they wanted a better life for us. The country where age, gender, race or sexual orientation is no barrier to achieving your goals if you just give it a go.”

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Elizabeth Lee named ACT Opposition Leader after Alistair Coe chooses not to contest Canberra Liberal leadership



The Canberra Liberals have named Elizabeth Lee as their new party leader, after former leader Alistair Coe chose not to recontest the top job.

Ms Lee becomes the Opposition Leader after the party suffered its sixth consecutive election loss last weekend.

Giulia Jones was also elected as deputy leader this morning, in the party’s first meeting since losing the election.

Mr Coe, who led the party for four years, was not expected to seek a nomination as leader.

Former leader Jeremy Hanson also sought the leadership but was unsuccessful.

Ms Lee thanked Mr Coe and his deputy Nicole Lawder for their work leading the party for the past four years.

“I am passionate about bringing people together and doing everything I can to ensure Canberra lives up to its role as the national leader,” Ms Lee said.

“We will be passionate advocates for all Canberrans.

“Regardless of who people voted for, we will be a voice for all Canberrans and ensure that the Labor-Greens Government is firmly held to account and that our community always comes first.”

The final election result became clear over the weekend, with the Liberals clinching nine seats to Labor’s 10 and the Greens’ six and an overall swing against the Liberals of 2.9 per cent.

The party has faced calls to change in light of the result, with former Liberal senator and chief minister Gary Humphries arguing it needed to become more moderate to appeal to Canberrans.

Ms Lee is from the moderate wing of the party.

A lawyer before entering the ACT Legislative Assembly in 2016, Ms Lee was the Liberals’ education and environment spokeswoman.

She immigrated to Australia from South Korea as a child and has lived in the ACT since she was 18.

More to come.



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