Category Archives: Canberra

Alternative Facts and the ACT Planning Chief

The ACT will be looking for a real Chief Planner

It was reported today in the Crimes (what we call the Canberra Times) that the ACT Head of the Planning Directorate will not be renewing her contract due to end this April.

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Cherry-picking the Griffin’s legacy

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At the meeting in August 2016 on the government’s proposals to redevelop the West Basin of Lake Burley Griffin, the main line taken by the government was that their proposals were based on the Griffin Legacy.

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Lawyers, files and money–and those responsible for this mess

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It took about three hours of argument on Friday 28th October for a decision by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) on whether certain government planning documents should be released to those making objections to the Government’s agreement to the revised Development Application (DA) for the Dickson supermarket.

Continue reading Lawyers, files and money–and those responsible for this mess

Dickson parklands under threat–again

Mike Hettinger and the so called LDA–Tradies win win

2e017fcbafd476366e387f9bba210a97The revelation by the Canberra Times of a land swap between the Land Development Agency and the CFMEU-linked Dickson Tradies Club opens the way for more dodgy deals that will harm the community.

Canberra Community Voters Candidate Mike Hettinger noted, “The land swap itself isn’t necessarily the problem. It’s what it enables the LDA and the Tradies to do in the future that should really concern us.”

Continue reading Dickson parklands under threat–again

Googong or Canberra?

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With the debate in Canberra about housing affordability, the ACT Liberals have been using a particular line in their election statements to criticise the current government’s Land Development Agency (LDA) and its handling of land prices.

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The Auditor-General, the Chief Minister and pesky chooks

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There were moments during the ‘meet the candidates’ forum in Lyneham a fortnight ago when it seemed that something was not right with the Chief Minister, Andrew Barr.

Continue reading The Auditor-General, the Chief Minister and pesky chooks

Blame the Griffins – Really?

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When about 250 citizens venture out on a cold night to hear about plans for the foreshores of West Basin one would expect that they would be taken seriously.

Continue reading Blame the Griffins – Really?

Dickson DA goes to ACAT appeal

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 Following the disappointing actions by the ACT Government to approve what remains a very questionable development application for a major mixed use development on the flagship shopping centre site in Dickson, appeals are being jointly lodged by the landlord of the Woolworths supermarket plus key local community associations.

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Dickson Parklands – Land Grab

Article Lead - wide998573026gija9aimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.giivvm.png1437707368480.jpg-620x349The North Canberra Community Council (NCCC) has expressed both surprise and disappointment at yesterday’s shock announcement by the ACT Government proposing residential development in Dickson between the Dickson Pool and Dickson Playing Fields. It is known formally as Dickson Section 72 and informally as Dickson Parklands. click here for the full media release from the community council.

Dickson Planning Consultation Dilemmas

Development dilemmas: part three
The future of the Dickson Precinct and beyond

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This is the third of several posts on planning and development issues for Dickson in Canberra. Residential groups around the country share similar frustrations, dilemmas and challenges in dealing with planning and development bureaucracies.

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Putting a Value on Community Spaces

Comment: Locals often do not get it right

P1070342In my home suburb of Dickson in Canberra, the push is on to allow some commercial residential development on what has always been designated as a community space. The site is now known as the Dickson Parklands.

I have written about this in previous blogs – click here.

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National Capital Authority

The NCA is no longer relevant

An opportunity has presented itself with the Commonwealth Government’s announcement to allow the National Capital Authority (NCA) to open up the Parliamentary Triangle to more commercial opportunities. (CT 12 July, Page 1, Shopping in the triangle? It’s a private matter)

I have no problem at all with more commercial activity happening within the Parliamentary Triangle. The question is just how to intelligently implement such a change to this landscape that presently serves as a national monument.

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Canberra Urbanity and Development

Recent Canberra Government development announcements

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In recent weeks and months there have been several significant development proposals announced by the territory (ACT) government in Canberra. If all the government’s ambitions come to fruition then residents about to witness some very serious alterations and additions to the make-up of several parts of the inner city urban fabric.

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Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin

Comment: A memorial for Walter and Marion

Christopher-VernonSeveral months back there was an article by Christopher Vernon, of the University of Western Australia, putting forward the background and argument for a permanent memorial in Canberra for Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin. Click here for that article.

There are various things scattered around Canberra that tell their story.

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University Urbanity

Review: Campus Design
A review of new architecture and spaces within the ANU (Australian National University) Part One

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Across Australia there are stand out examples of campus design amongst many of our universities. In more recent years I have had reason to visit campuses in all the states and back here in Canberra and have been constantly impressed with some of the architectural and landscape work.  In most cases I have been positively impressed with the work and in others I have been taken aback.

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New Acton Precinct, Canberra

Review: Urbanity
New Acton Precinct, Canberra

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There was much ado about this whole precinct development when it was being built and this continues through to today. Having visited the site a few times now, to meander, to eat, to meet for coffee and the occasional business, I have to say that it is a very mixed result. It is worth a visit on a busy day to see for yourself. But it does not match some of the rhetoric that has been put about – click here for an example of some project-porn spin*.

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Australian War Memorial Landscapes

Review: Landscapes at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra

These comments not are about the exhibitions of the War Memorial. These are comments about the building and recent additions.

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Many times the expression is used when an architect is talking about a building, about how their architecture fits into the landscape. In most cases this proves to be just false architectural spin. However there is one building here in Canberra that does sit beautifully with the landscape. That building is the Australian War Memorial in Canberra

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