Canberra Now: Limited houses under $400k; rates reform plan slammed
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Canberra Now: Limited houses under $400k; rates reform plan slammed

Good morning, Canberra.

We've shivered through another cold one, with a minimum of minus 4 degrees this morning. The good news is, the mercury's tipped to reach 16 degrees today, with a mostly sunny morning helping to melt the frost.

Better buckle up if you're a homeowner (or intending to become one), there are some spicy stories this morning.

Only 2.4 per cent of Canberra houses under $400,000

Amouri Strydom, who is a first home buyer looking to enter the market.

Amouri Strydom, who is a first home buyer looking to enter the market.Credit:Dion Georgopoulos

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If you've been finding it hard to break into the Canberra property market, there's a very good reason.

Canberra is the toughest capital city in the country for people trying to buy in the under $400,000 price range, with just 2.4 per cent of houses below the threshold.

This is pushing many buyers to look to apartments in the territory, with just over a third of Canberra's units selling under the $400,000 mark.

Han Nguyen takes a look at these trends and what they mean for you.

Property Council slams 'dangerous' proposal

Property Council ACT executive director Adina Cirson.

Property Council ACT executive director Adina Cirson.Credit:Kirsten Lawson

The ACT Property Council has slammed a "dangerous" Greens' proposal to base Canberra's rates system on the market value of properties, saying it could bring the city's renewal to a "grinding halt".

This follows the Greens' release of a discussion paper calling for average unimproved value to be dumped as the basis of general rates in favour of a 'fairer' capital improved value system.

This would mean residents' rates bills would be more in line with their wealth, Greens crossbencher Caroline Le Couteur said.

But Property Council of Australia ACT executive director Adina Cirson expressed grave reservations about the Greens' proposal in its current form.

Katie Burgess has the story.

Probe 'infected' by unfairness, claims Lloyd

Public service commissioner John Lloyd, who said he was denied procedural fairness in an inquiry into his conduct.

Public service commissioner John Lloyd, who said he was denied procedural fairness in an inquiry into his conduct.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

Retired public service commissioner John Lloyd told the officer investigating complaints about his conduct she would unlawfully use her power in finding against him.

Mr Lloyd in a letter to merit protection commissioner Linda Waugh attacked the inquiry into allegations raised about an email he sent a right-wing think tank, saying it had been "infected with a denial of procedural fairness".

"I submit that the outcome is that the inquiry has miscarried and its results are invalid," Mr Lloyd said.

Doug Dingwall brings us the latest, here.

Voters less likely to back Seselja after coup

Senator Zed Seselja is sworn into his new role on Tuesday.

Senator Zed Seselja is sworn into his new role on Tuesday.Credit:AAP/Lukas Coch

Canberra voters would be less likely to vote for Liberal Senator Zed Seselja after his prominent role in the failed push by Peter Dutton to become leader of the party last week, a new poll shows.

In a poll of 808 voters in the new inner-city electorate of Canberra taken on Monday, 64.6 per cent of voters said the new Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance's resignation from his former position in order to support Peter Dutton made them less likely to vote Liberal in the Senate.

The ReachTEL poll was commissioned by the Greens, who have signalled intentions to both target Senator Seselja in the upper house, and attempt to turn the race in the seat of Canberra into a Labor-Greens contest.

Sally Whyte reports.

ACT-first parental leave policy announced

Barrister Kristy Katavic, pictured with her son Elijah, 4. Canberra's Blackburn Chambers has announced an ACT-first parental leave policy.

Barrister Kristy Katavic, pictured with her son Elijah, 4. Canberra's Blackburn Chambers has announced an ACT-first parental leave policy.Credit:Elesa Kurtz

Canberra's Blackburn Chambers announced on Thursday an ACT-first parental leave policy it is hoped will encourage more women to join the bar.

The policy allows women barristers who take leave to have a baby, or primary carers to a newborn, to pay a heavily discounted rate to the chambers to keep their room while on leave for up to 12 months.

Kristy Katavic, one of about 10 women barristers practicing in Canberra, said the policy had been "huge" for her both as a mother and a careerwoman, "... because the alternative is quite radical, and that is pack up and resign as a member."

Alexandra Back has more here.

Raiders' Wagga push could come at a cost

It could cost the Raiders $150,000 to take a home game away from Canberra Stadium next year.

It could cost the Raiders $150,000 to take a home game away from Canberra Stadium next year.Credit:Karleen Minney

Giving a nod to Wagga Wagga fans could cost the Canberra Raiders $150,000, as the club's fans overwhelmingly supported a push to take some home games to regional areas in the coming years.

That's the figure listed in the Canberra Raiders Performance Fee Agreement - Canberra Stadium, a 10-year deal between the Green Machine and the ACT government that expires at the end of 2019.

The government could choose to waive the fee for playing a home game away from Canberra Stadium, but is yet to give clearance for the Raiders to be released from the venue for a game in 2019 and 2020.

David Polkinghorne has the details.

Today's cartoon

Illustration: Cathy Wilcox

Illustration: Cathy WilcoxCredit: