All posts by Paul Costigan

Strange tale of the Manuka tree

THE people of Canberra love our trees and when one is threatened unnecessarily, people do whatever they can to save it. Here’s a tale about a significant tree, the ACT’s chief planner, the developer and  – the tree’s future. Here’s my piece in City News on this.

National Capital Authority and the developer

Late in 2018 residents rallied about a questionable development proposal for 71 Constitution Avenue in Campbell. This development comes under the National Capital Authority and residents were dealing with the fact that the development broke the NCA’s own rules yet somehow it was being progressed. Here’s my piece in City News.

ACT Minister plays games with housing

Social housing in Canberra as overseen by the ACT Government is not something seen as being well done. Here in Canberra’s inner north  residents are involved in a long running battle to save some precious community land being rezoned for residential use – with social housing being used as the Trojan Horse. Here’s my piece in City News

 

 

Traffic chaos delivered by Canberra planners

 

Unfortunately what has been happening for years in Canberra, being bad planning and development, looks to continue given the on-going bad decisions by the ACT’s planning minister and his bureaucrats in the planning directorate. Click here.

Canberra planners and respect

People are sick of the dumb statements that infill is necessary and therefore we must give up our cherished suburbs for high-rise. This is stupid.

The government’s real message on infill is not for residents but for developers seeking a green light to carry on as usual. Here’s my piece on this topic  – click here.

When bureaucrats bully residents

The ACT Government has a sad history of very nasty behaviour by some bureaucrats towards the residents. This is not new and it continues today. Unfortunately when it occurs our elected politicians tend not to want to hear about it – they turn away.

This is the story of one such incident – it is bullying at its worst.

Here’s my opinion piece in City News.

ACT Government in conflict of interest

There’s a massive urban development on the western edge of Canberra (beyond Belconnen) called Ginninderry. There are a lot of good things being done by the developer at Ginninderry. But it is hard not to notice issues around the ACT government’s involvement as a partner. It is a very dubious arrangement.

I wrote about this in City News – click here.

Lack of trust in ACT Government

End of year thoughts

Congratulations to all the residents who care and work hard on planning matters – endlessly. The shocking thing is that those in government, on all sides, now take it as normal that they are not trusted and respected. It is not something anyone should simply live with.

I wrote for City News on this topic – click here.

Planning strategy of smoke and mirrors

People want the bad stuff to stop now

On December 5 our blessed planning minister, Mick Gentleman, ascended Mount Ainslie to hand down the 2018 ACT Planning Strategy. This was just another media performance to try to convince someone that this government takes  planning serioulsy.

It does not.

Here’s my piece in City News on this silly performance.

ACT Government & Significant Trees

The ACT government’s decisions on trees are often contradictory and not in the context of long-term strategies for the bush capital. It continues to make a mess of the legacy it inherited.

There are so many stories around how the ACT Government handles significant trees and so many people who have had bad experiences because of the bureaucratic stupidity.

Click here for my piece in City News on this – these are just a few of those stories.

Canberra needs a planning minister

Canberra desperately needs a real-life planning minister who works honestly with the people of the city to get great results. Unfortunately we have one who is not regarded as being a minister who does his job but rather sits on his hands and watches the city’s amenities being degraded

I have addressed this issue in a piece on City News

Hi-rise for another suburb

image from the Downer Community Association website

The suburb of Downer is the next inner-north Canberra suburb to be subjected to the reign of development terror from our “much-loved” planning authorities as they allow the developers free rein to maximise profits.

Here’s my opinion piece on this published in City News

ACT Government ignores residents

The ACT Government has a bad reputation in its dealings with residents and their concerns for the future of Canberra.

I have written about this topic in City News – here’s my piece – click here.

Climate Change

A country run by dangerous idiots

We are still being governed by idiots – who will see the country suffer now and into the future to appease their own interests and their mates in the coal industry.  The good news? They are guaranteed to be gone at the next federal elections.

Click here for the story.

Remember they are people

The ACT Government and public housing

This is a slightly revised version of a previous post of mine previously written as the government moved to close the public housing along Northbourne Avenue in Canberra as part of its Urban Clearances programs

Continue reading Remember they are people

Trees and smart planning

Smart city planning can preserve old trees and the wildlife that needs them
File 20180629 117377 112lzty.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1Mature trees have horizontal branches that are attractive to wildlife and birds.from shutterstock.com

Philip Gibbons, Australian National University

Continue reading Trees and smart planning

Signs of intrigue within the inner north

First an update on the 2016-2017 ACAT appeal about the proposal to remove the carpark in front of Woolworths and to build an apartment and supermarket complex.

Continue reading Signs of intrigue within the inner north

Bad design spreads like a disease

My post last week on the lack of good design and planning that is evident in the more recent parts of Gungahlin definitely caught a lot of people’s attention.

Continue reading Bad design spreads like a disease

Gungahlin – urgent climate adaptation required

 

A couple of weeks ago I wrote on the threats to biodiversity caused through inappropriate developments across Canberra.

Continue reading Gungahlin – urgent climate adaptation required

Respect and Responsibility in planning and development

Someone needs to ask the ACT Planning Minister why the planning directorate continues to encourage local residents to form residents’ associations to oppose inappropriate developments.

Continue reading Respect and Responsibility in planning and development

Put landscape and biodiversity first

This post starts with being in front of our house at 6.15 am listening to the cacophony of sounds coming from what must have been a rowdy Christmas Day gathering of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos at end of the street (near the Dickson Drain).

Continue reading Put landscape and biodiversity first

Social Housing vs community spaces

With Canberra having such an informed and aware community, one would have thought that a community-focused government planning minister would have surfaced by now – one being committed to development and the future growth of the city while simultaneously embracing the enhancement of (rather than reducing) the city’s amenities that are admired internationally.

Continue reading Social Housing vs community spaces

Mythomania Peter Conrad

Recommended Reading

Mythomania: Tales of Our Times from Apple to ISIS – by  Peter Conrad, Thames and Hudson

Several years ago I had listened to most of Peter Conrad’s BBC podcasts on his topic of Myths – and loved them.

I have read just a little of this book so far – but can say that it as good as if not better than listening to the podcasts of Peter’s broadcasts. It is now part of my reading for the next weeks. And there are new topics covered.

Continue reading Mythomania Peter Conrad

Government and religion

In Australia we have a small band of conservatives who work tirelessly to have their brands of religion have a greater influence on government and the country’s laws.

Luckily till now they are more of less not so successful – well most of the time.

In their last round of attempts to achieve more religious freedoms (whatever that meant) – what would have been more applicable would have been to remove religion and the influence of such religious fundamentalists completely from the workings of government.

Meanwhile in a land not far away – things are going from bad to worse.

Click here for the story in the Guardian.

 

 

Dear Minister for Town Cramming

Why are we so unfortunate here in Canberra to have a string of planning and urban development ministers who feel that it is their duty to say something regularly to upset those who enjoy a fantastic ambience within inner Canberra?

Continue reading Dear Minister for Town Cramming

Marea Fatseas and Community Councils

The 2016 ACT election was just over 12 months ago (how time flies) and the hot election topics back then included planning, development, community engagement and a host of issues around the ACT Government’s dealings with residents.

Continue reading Marea Fatseas and Community Councils

Selling off the Parliamentary Triangle

for Wednesday 27th

There’s nothing new about governments across Australia selling of assets, infrastructure, land, buildings or anything that they can put on the market to make instant cash.

Continue reading Selling off the Parliamentary Triangle

Same old spin in new clothes

There is no doubt that the spin doctors within the ACT Government worked hard to get journalists to take a positive spin on the establishment of the City Renewal Authority and the appointment of their CEO, Malcolm Snow

Continue reading Same old spin in new clothes