Canberra Weekly’s 2020 in review: October


After more than 100 days of having been COVID-free, the ACT recorded its first case of COVID-19 overnight on 22 October – a returning diplomat who followed correct protocols. The ACT Greens were the big winners in the ACT election, Elizabeth Lee took over leadership of the Canberra Liberals in the Legislative Assembly and Canberrans chose a trilobite as the Territory’s official fossil emblem.

ACT election 2020 final results in

The ACT Greens have tripled their seat count from two to six in the ACT Legislative Assembly, with both ACT Labor and the Canberra Liberals dropping two seats a piece as the final results of the 2020 ACT election were released last night (23 October). With the completion of the distribution of preferences, the ACT Greens will hold six seats in the tenth ACT Legislative Assembly, ACT Labor 10, and the Canberra Liberals nine. In the previous Assembly, the Greens held two seats, Labor 12 and Liberals 11.

‘We must listen’: Elizabeth Lee named Canberra Liberals leader

Elizabeth Lee has been named the new leader of the Canberra Liberals, after a party meeting on Tuesday 27 October, where Alistair Coe did not contest the leadership. It’s been two decades since the party has had a female leader, while Giulia Jones has been named as the party’s Deputy Leader, replacing Nicole Lawder. The party has dubbed the change a “fresh new beginning” for the Canberra Liberals, after the 2020 ACT election which saw an overall swing of 2.9% against them. Ms Lee thanked Alistair Coe and Nicole Lawder for their leadership in the last term and said Mr Coe would remain an “integral part” of the party’s team.

ACT records first case of COVID-19 in over 100 days

ACT Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerryn Coleman (pictured) announced the ACT recorded its first case of COVID-19 overnight on 22 October after more than 100 days of no cases having been recorded in Canberra. The confirmed case is a diplomat who arrived from overseas on 9 October, flew into Sydney airport and then travelled into Canberra by private vehicle without stopping en route, following correct protocols. The man had a COVID-19 test administered on the tenth day of his quarantine which returned a positive result.

Lawson’s best kept coffee secret

Most people dream of a short commute to work, but Lawson man Sovithyea ‘SV’ Sar has the shortest commute of all – from his house to the café he runs from his front yard. SV started his eponymous business, SV Coffee & Bakery, six months ago during the height of COVID-19 restrictions, originally from inside his house. He’s since seen a groundswell of support for the venture, which has now moved to the front yard to accommodate the locals and regulars. It’s almost invisible from the road if not for the sign advertising his newest drink: an ice coconut latte.

Batocara mitchelli chosen as ACT fossil emblem

Results are in and the ACT has its brand-new fossil emblem, after putting five choices to a public vote. The front runner was the Batocara mitchelli with 30% of the votes, an extinct group of marine arthropods similar to scorpions and crabs, that became extinct about 250 million years ago. The ACT is the fourth Australian jurisdiction to boast its very own fossil anthem, joining NSW, SA and WA. The poll ran from 7 September to 13 October. When asked why people voted for the winning fossil, many people answered the trilobite was common and recognisable in the region. 

For more of 2020 in review:

January 2020 | February 2020 | March 2020 | April 2020 | May 2020 | June 2020 | July 2020 | August 2020 | September 2020 | November 2020 | December 2020