Canberra Now: ACT land sales warning; and insulation subsidies proposed
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Canberra Now: ACT land sales warning; and insulation subsidies proposed

Hi Canberra!

As we gear up for the weekend, we're back in thunderstorm territory. The weather bureau says there's a 90 per cent chance of rain, and the fall could be between 4-10mm, mainly in the afternoon and early evening. Note that it's forecasting a thunderstorm is likely, possibly a severe one.

Let's get into today's headlines.

'Unsustainable' land sales warning made almost 20 years ago

Former chief minister Jon Stanhope (right) with Andrew Barr, the current Chief Minister, in 2006.

Former chief minister Jon Stanhope (right) with Andrew Barr, the current Chief Minister, in 2006. Credit:Graham Tidy

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It's amazing what revelations arise when governments release their old cabinet documents. They often shed light on problems today.

A batch newly available to the public is no different. The documents show the ACT government was warned its "unsustainable" monopoly on land sales was driving up the cost of land and making housing more unaffordable almost 20 years ago.

A 2007 submission obtained by The Canberra Times under the 10-year release rule said the community was concerned about the "erosion of affordable housing" as far back as 2001, shortly after the Stanhope Labor government was elected.

Katie Burgess and Daniel Burdon have this story about the documents showing the government's long-term failure to act on the land sales problems it faced.

Insulation subsidies proposed under expanded energy scheme

An expanded energy efficiency improvement scheme may include incentives to install home insulation.

An expanded energy efficiency improvement scheme may include incentives to install home insulation.

It looks like the ACT government is planning to expand its energy efficiency scheme. Under a proposed widening of the program, Canberrans could receive incentives to install home insulation and switch to electric vehicles.

There's a catch. It would likely be accompanied by bigger gas bills for ACT customers.

Climate Change Minister Shane Rattenbury said the scheme - which was due to expire next year - will be extended to 2030. It will commence on January 1, 2021.

Katie Burgess explains the proposal in this story.

Bateman wants to bring Wigan's winning ways to Raiders

Raiders recruit John Bateman wants to bring Wigan's winning ways to Canberra.

Raiders recruit John Bateman wants to bring Wigan's winning ways to Canberra.Credit:NRL Photos/Gregg Porteous

John Bateman knows about winning rugby league titles. He's won two in the UK's Super League with Wigan.

Now he wants to bring those ways to the Canberra Raiders.

After 167 first-grade games with the Warriors and Bradford Bulls, Bateman wanted to test himself in the NRL and has his sights set on being part of the Raiders' starting 13 come their round-one clash.

David Polkinghorne fills us in on the Raiders recruit.

When did Millennials start queuing up for indoor plant parties?

The popularity of The Jungle Collective's events reflects a growing demand for indoor plants which has swept through the Millennial mainstream in recent years.

The popularity of The Jungle Collective's events reflects a growing demand for indoor plants which has swept through the Millennial mainstream in recent years.Credit:Plant Mama

Picture your local plant nursery. Quiet, peaceful, even gentle. There's an indoor plant sale about to turn that idea on its head for you.

In 2017, Melbourne-based The Jungle Collective launched roving plant parties involving a DJ, "designer pots", a secret location, costume themes and hype.

The collective hosted more than 60 events throughout Australia's capital cities last year, drawing crowds with terminology like "indoor plant party", "Rumble in the Jungle" and "Bohemian-style warehouse".

More than 1000 people are set to attend the first Canberra event, and a further 6330 people have marked themselves as interested.

Want to know more? Serena Coady fills us in on the phenomenon here.

Today's cartoon

The Canberra Times editorial cartoon for Friday, January 11, 2019.

The Canberra Times editorial cartoon for Friday, January 11, 2019.Credit:David Pope

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Doug Dingwall is a reporter for The Canberra Times covering the public service and politics.

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