Bureaucrats doing what bureaucrats do..
The other day we ran a set of small stories on urban issues – one being about student parking and how it has become a nuisance in the streets near the school.
Suburban life– you have to chuckle.
When a system is broken, how easily it is to point the figure at one person and say “It wasn’t me, it was that person over there.”
Braddon is cool – well not quite yet
Braddon should be cool. I said something similar two years ago.
As a person who walks for exercise around the local area, I get to observe the changes through the suburb.
Following a couple of pieces in the local press, one would think that the ACT Government’s planning was in turmoil because key people are on the move.
I have said elsewhere about online surveys – they are useful but caution needs to apply if anyone intends to use them to inform planning. They are not reliable for that purpose.
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.
There’s a call by the ACT Government for residents to go online and to offer thoughts on the future of Haig Park.
News to hand that the ACT Head of the Planning Directorate will not be renewing her contract due to end this April.
It’s Chinese New Year again (28th January). This time around it is the year of the rooster.
2017 in Canberra began with announcements that so many new buildings are about to change the city’s landscape.
Here in Dickson there has been a very long series of road works.
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.
I believe in good government. I believe that many of our public sector employees do a great job. Occasionally, I even witness a politician who has values and fights for them (rarely).
The Canberra City Bowling Club site in Braddon has now been the subject of articles across several blogs.
Local governments rarely get the opportunity to completely makeover and enhance the main entry to the city – and the city centre itself.
There’s one thing about the way the ACT Government goes about planning for Canberra–it will always use any tricky method to justify how it assists the developers.
A curious thing happened last weekend in the Dickson neighbourhood when a house went up for auction. This was a very ordinary house.
The Appeal against the recently approved development application (DA) for the Dickson supermarket complex goes to its next phase very soon (see dates below).
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.
This is a tale of an entrepreneur, a tree and a possible (lost?) good planning opportunity.
The 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.”
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.
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.
A few comments following our previous post on how the Chief Minister is going into the ACT Elections (15 Oct) with the past catching up to him.
An Auditor-General’s report has been released on some questions on the operations of the ACT Government’s Land Development Agency (LDA).
National Trust of Australia (ACT) hosted a public Heritage Election Forum at St John’s church hall in Reid last Thursday night 22 September.
The ACT Election is happening right now. Every forum or debate eventually gets hijacked by the Liberals in the campaign to oppose the tram. Continue reading Trams for Canberra
Earlier this year we drove south to the Mawson shops (Southlands) to shop at one of the specialist supermarkets as well as to take in a Middle Eastern brunch.
Canberra is usually referred to as being a designed and/or planned city. Continue reading Government Architect – what’s that?
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.
The question on the minds of residents within the inner north at the moment is how to deal with the latest shenanigans by the ACT Government around decisions for the Dickson Group Centre.
When the ACT Government made its announcement that the DA for the supermarket complex in Dickson had been approved, it set off a curious chain of events.
There’s a 1989 song by Pere Ubu, Flat, that has the following lyrics, “In the early part of the 20th Century, Deep inside the American wilderness, In the state of Kansas – 82,000 square miles of flat -There were two automobile cars. On July 5th 1904 they ran into each other”.
Sometimes the words of local politicians are a thing of wonder. Here’s a very curious story.
What does it take for the ACT Government to have vision for developments in and around my own suburb of Dickson? I’ll get back to the question.
Any tree is worth saving. Any group of trees is always worth fighting for. But I also acknowledge that when absolutely necessary any tree can be replaced.
Here’s another sad tale about the ACT Government’s patronising attitude towards residents.
City planners allow for all manner of formal spaces when plotting out the municipal aspects of any new township.
Canberra’s planners in the 1950s and beyond delivered an infrastructure made for cars. There were even major freeways planned (a story for another day).
Almost every day I walk by a set of new apartments here in Dickson. These are now part of the history of the push by residents not to have rubbish developments plonked in the area.
One of the pleasures of this city is to sit down by Lake Burley Griffin in the evening to watch the light fade.
Sometimes you do have to wonder about things that come your way. Today I have to report on a media release that was sent around today on a new set of federal awards.
Response – Revised Development Application 201425744
It will come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I will be lodging comments on the revised Dickson Development Application: 201426717.
The first impression of Canberra from the north is of trees.
I don’t think the residents will be holding celebrations about what is being proposed for the new supermarket complex here in downtown Dickson.
Take a very hot day, take a small crowd of press and politicians and a few designers – and where would you head on a day of 36 degrees in Canberra.
There’s one thing you can say about the present Chief Minister and his government, is that when it comes to dealing with residents over matters to do with urban development, they really know how to get people off-side right from the start with any and every proposal.
Let’s start with the reality of this claim. Lake George is not in the ACT.
Anyone who has been through the Dickson shops lately will have noticed an unsettling trend. The number of vacancies is increasing.
Billboards have long been part of our culture and have been popping up here there and anywhere all over the place throughout the world. We seem to love to clutter up our landscape with anything that makes money.
The ACT Government has released an updated overview of its planning for the redevelopment of Northbourne Ave.
A couple of follow ups to the previous post on Dogs, ducks and dubious decisions
The Dickson Wetlands have been a success both as a water-engineering project (providing water for the nearby sports grounds) and as attractive open space parkland.
There are many tales to be told about the design and the delivery of Australia’s Parliament House. There is one that involves a very clever person who realised he had the opportunity to use an everyday object as part of his own business branding.
I am not sure how many times I have driven people up Mt Ainslie to take in the magnificent panoramic views.
The decision by the ACT Heritage Council to heritage list 17 of the Northbourne housing precinct does confuse the developments being proposed for the gateway to Canberra.
Canberra residents have noticed that whenever the Chief Minister and his LDA/Directorate bureaucrats want to send in the bulldozers into an established suburb, that they use the same propaganda.
Just when most locals probably thought that there have been more than enough discussions and surveys about the Canberra’s new light rail (or trams), the ACT Government has launched another consultation on the topic.
Having any urban park is to be celebrated and all efforts should be made to ensure their continued existence. Parks are constantly under threat from various property industry lobbyists who have the ear of government.
The Bowen Place underpass has been a long time in coming — and is very welcomed. It is a job well done.
Tuggeranong town centre has received some mixed commentary in recent weeks. Ever since it was reported that Tuggeranong’s population is declining, locals have mounted their soap boxes. They’ve pointed out how it is much loved, that they are proud to live there, and made the call for local action.
It was not long ago that occupants of a new Civic office building reported faults appearing in the structure. Office workers noticed that floors were sagging.
Canberra is a city where residents are continually at odds with the ACT’s planning and development agencies.
It was not that long ago that winter in Canberra meant that the air was filled with smoke.
There’s no doubt that the ACT Government has put an emphasis on communications and marketing when it comes to particular urban developments. This is very evident in the number of media statements in circulation.
After seven months of silence since the last workshop to discuss the future options for the Dickson Parklands (Section 72 Dickson), the Dickson Residents Group requested a meeting to clarify a range of issues.
I enjoy the drive between Sydney from Canberra. I do it reasonably often. The mood of the country changes according to the weather, the drought, the latest rains and the time of the day.
The 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.
Central Canberra needs a dedicated open space for large special events at any time of the year.
In researching the establishment of these Chinese Gardens I came across some of the consultation documents when the public was asked to comment on the gardens being built within Lennox Gardens.
The state of Canberra’s shopping centres is a hot topic of conversation at present.
Last July the ACT Government announced plans to develop a shipping container village by the lake on the west side of Commonwealth Avenue.
Canberra was built with gardens being integrated into each household and throughout the neighbourhoods.
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.
In 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.
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.
A list of places to have breakfast
Visits to suburban cafes for weekend breakfast/ brunch; we live inner north, so it will be those within easy range. Watch this space as the list grows! all reviews – click here
It has been a long puzzle of mine as to just what makes an architecture project an award-winning project. I know that it cannot be just who sits on the award jury and who knows who, so it must be something else.
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.
Several 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.
National Gallery of Australia
Garden of the East: photography in Indonesia 1850s–1940s
21 February – 22 June 2014, free entry to exhibition (note the exhibition is on two floors)
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.
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*.