Canberra Now: News in 90 seconds for Monday, February 26, 2018


Good morning, Canberra.

Happy Monday – we’re not quite done with the rain yet, with a medium chance of showers this morning and a top of 20 degrees forecast.

I hope you all managed to keep dry over the weekend (I didn’t!), and if you are a staff member or student at ANU, you’ve got the day off as the university responds to yesterday’s flooding.

$2b land sales target ‘gouging’ Canberra’s homebuyers

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has been accused of ‘gouging’ homebuyers. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The Barr government plans to pull in more than $2 billion in land sales revenue over the next four years with profit margins of up to 44 per cent that are “gouging” homebuyers to boost government coffers, a former ACT Treasury official says.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr last week officially gave the City Renewal Authority and Suburban Land Agency its directions for this year and the next three years, including the agencies’ revenue profit margin targets out to 2020-21.

Daniel Burdon has the story here.

Now for the clean up: storm floods Canberra’s north

Weather Pics flooding at O'Connor Apartments. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Flooding at an apartment block in O’Connor. Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

A month’s worth of rain fell across Canberra on Sunday, causing flash flooding, road closures, and prompting the Australian National University to close its city campus.

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The State Emergency Service responded to more than 100 calls for help, while at least one car was abandoned to flood waters.

The deluge caused the ground floor of an apartment block in O’Connor to flood, with residents left to survey the damage to their soaked cars and belongings.

Alexandra Back has all the details here.

Time for a new approach to decentralisation, CPSU says

Barnaby Joyce steps down as Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Nationals Party at a press conference in Armidale. 23 February 2018. Photo: Nick Fuller/ Armidale Express

What does the resignation of Barnaby Joyce mean for the APVMA move to Armidale? Photo: Nick Fuller/ Armidale Express

The union representing public service employees has called for the new leader of the Nationals to reconsider the push by former party leader Barnaby Joyce to move public service jobs out of Canberra.

The Nationals will elect a new party leader on Monday morning after Mr Joyce resigned last week, with the party expected to appoint Veterans Affairs Minister Michael McCormack to the role.

The changing of the guard should also mean a change in approach to the decentralisation policy championed by Mr Joyce, national secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union Nadine Flood said.

I’ve got the story here.

ACT Brumbies coach admits they were ‘too cute’

epa06559937 Tom Cusack (C) of the Brumbies takes the ball forward during the Round 2 Super Rugby match between Japan's Sunwolves and Australia's Brumbies at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, 24 February 2018. EPA/KIYOSHI OTA brumbies v sunwolves

Despite the win, the ACT Brumbies coach still expects more from the team. Photo: KIYOSHI OTA

ACT Brumbies coach Dan McKellar admits his men were “too cute” after surviving a first-round scare against the Sunwolves in Tokyo on Saturday.

The first-year coach has promised to bring a new brand of attacking rugby to the capital this season, but said his side was too keen on forcing the issue in their Super Rugby opener.

Eamonn Tiernan reports on the match here.

ICYMI: new US warship to be named after Canberra

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and United States of America President Donald Trump shake hands as they address the media during a joint press conference in the East Room at the White House during the Prime Minister?s official visit to Washington DC, United States of America, on Friday 23 February 2018. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The announcement of the new USS Canberra was made during Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to the US with President Donald Trump  Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The newest American navy vessel will have a touch of Australia on board, if only in name.

During a joint press conference in Washington DC with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, US President Donald Trump announced the US Navy’s new warship will be named the USS Canberra.

It is only the US navy vessel to be named for a city outside of the US.

Andrew Brown has the story here.

Today’s cartoon:

Today's editorial cartoon.

Today’s editorial cartoon. Illustration: Pat Campbell