Category Archives: Canberra

Wading through the fog of ‘busy words’

For residential representatives in Canberra, the last few months have been very onerous due to the simultaneous release of a load of government consultation documents as well as the usual tricky development applications (DA) that need to be consumed and feedback provided. Click here for my piece on this.

Labor’s mess, but where do the Libs stand on planning?

The ACT Greens/Labor coalition government has a host of ministers who are making a mess of the planning and development of Canberra’s urban environments. The question asked by the community sectors is where do the ACT Liberals stand on these planning issues. Click here for my piece in City News on this topic.

Downer residents rally against development push

You can tell when residents are hitting the government where it hurts – when the press coverage from the government turns to spin – and more spin.  There is no doubt that this is a response to the successes the pesky residents of Downer have had in getting attention through their brilliant “Don’t Dump on Downer” grassroots campaign. Click here.

West Basin blatantly a property deal

With the Christmas release of the draft City and Gateway Urban Design Framework, the ACT Government’s City Renewal Authority undertook media advocacy during February for an apartment suburb on West Basin. The ACT Government continues with its proposal for West Basin against the opposition of the Canberra community – click here.

Give us this day our daily spin…

It is annoying to constantly experience the culture within this ACT government that delivers a daily onslaught of spin. Who writes this stuff? Don’t they realise how hollow they sound? What do they think this nonsense achieves? click here for my piece on this

Mischievous elves dump on Downer

THE ACT’s muddle-headed bureaucrats keep coming up with planning brochures laden down with alternate facts and marketing spin. Ministers then blindly sign letters to residents based on the bureaucrats’ gobbledygook and then wonder why people get upset. I wrote about what is happening in Downer in City News.

Planning shock: regulators say no to developers!

In Canberra how developers bend and get around planning rules is a common debate. The ACT Government has several ministers who mess around in planning and development – and all not good at it. See my City News article – click here.

How does the ACT planning minister keep his job?

Here in Dickson we have seen the disgraceful, long-running mess created by planning ministers and bureaucrats about the establishment of a second supermarket in Dickson. This mess is typical of how business is carried out under the current planning minister.

I wrote about this in City News – click here.

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.

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.

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

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

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

Architecture

Architecture and all that spin

If there is one occupation that I could not imagine doing, it is being an ACT Government planner who spends most of the day looking through development applications (DA) for commercial developments.

Continue reading Architecture

Nicole Lawder, a Liberal who has your back

We expect a lot of our politicians. People rightly expect their elected representatives to do just that – be representatives of the people who elected them. That’s not always a success story.

Continue reading Nicole Lawder, a Liberal who has your back

Weston Creek Community Council

Weston Creek Community Council – Media Release

A group of Community Leaders met late last night to discuss the outcome from last week’s Weston Creek Community Council Meeting, which had to be postponed due to an overwhelming attendance.

Continue reading Weston Creek Community Council

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.

Continue reading Alternative Facts and the ACT Planning Chief

Cherry-picking the Griffin’s legacy

MtAinslieviews07

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.

Continue reading Cherry-picking the Griffin’s legacy

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

lda-web-costigan

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