planning blunder follow planning blunders
Think back to 2015 when Chief Minister Andrew Barr had to back down on a mess of land dealings locally known as the Manuka Land Swap.
Think back to 2015 when Chief Minister Andrew Barr had to back down on a mess of land dealings locally known as the Manuka Land Swap.
Book Review: Killing Sydney: The Fight For a City’s Soul
Elizabeth Farrelly’s new book “Killing Sydney: The Fight For a City’s Soul” is a must-read for anyone with an interest in their local planning issues.
Canberra residents care for their homes, their streets, their suburbs and wish that the urban environments and facilities were maintained and enhanced for future generations.
There’s a new level of frustration within Canberra’s community groups with how the ACT government conducts itself on planning and development.
Driving west on Belconnen Way, under the Gungahlin Drive Bridge, there is a view that demonstrates how planning and landscape aesthetics are not in the skill set of those who run this city.
Given that I will be voting as an early voter next week, the time has come to decide on the candidates to be given the tick – or the flick.
Many residents who voted for the ACT Greens are disillusioned given how the partnership with ACT Labor has sidelined many planning, development, environmental, heritage and urban issues.
In 2010, Dickson residents lodged objections to a unit development and eventually took the developer and the ACT Planning Directorate through the appeals tribunal and won.
When the ACT’s City Renewal Authority made its announcement on Tuesday (August 11) about the latest plan for West Basin, there was a slight glimmer of hope that, at last, maybe someone was listening. Not so!
Here’s praise for an ACT politician. The accolade goes to the Greens’ Caroline Le Couteur for her work in chairing (from 2016) the Legislative Assembly committee on planning and urban renewal and the release of the April report – “The Inquiry into Engagement with the Development Application Process in the ACT”.
Canberra’s community groups have embraced the opportunity to do what they wish they could do more often – instead of banging their heads up against Canberra’s planning disasters.
It’s not often that the community sector gets stunned completely by an ACT government development announcement.
As the COVID-19 crisis took hold and people bunkered down, residents hoped for less stupid things by the ACT Planning Directorate.
In late 2019 the ACT government proposed to vary the plan for the Gungahlin town centre. It didn’t take long for the Gungahlin Community Council to spot the devil in the detail – or to be more accurate – what detail went missing.
Surfacing in community meetings across Canberra is an issue that is upsetting people’s enjoyment of their neighbourhoods.
After any neighbourhood auction, the conversations usually follow a similar line: will the property be occupied and the garden maintained or will it be up for demolition for yet another large, grey box with the established greenery taken away as rubble?
Before the 2016 ACT elections the Labor Party indicated that it was to make changes to how planning and development happened.
When the government slipped through the unique variations to the rules for south-east corner of section 72 Dickson, all the local government members, including Green/Labor member Shane Rattenbury, signed off on this most inappropriate action by the planning minister.
Woden Valley Community Council (WVCC) meetings have commenced the year 2020 with priority themes that are much the same as in 2019.
In May 2019 the ACT Government declared a climate emergency. The expectation would have been for high-profile urgent actions.
A tree came down earlier this week in Dickson (above).
Looking at the trees nearby, it will not be long before more of these trees meet a similar fate.
A media statement by an ACT Minister would surely be fact checked and at least have someone cast their eye over it for a reality check.
Because what you do next – today and tomorrow, and every day after that, Counts
So make it count
It’s Christmas! A time to be jolly.
A Christmas tree is such a positive symbol. No matter how crazy or plain, Christmas trees, like the real ones, bring joy. And we could do with a lot more fun in life.
Late in 2018 the Weston Creek Community Council held a public forum for fire experts to provide information about fires in the 21st century. It was really scary stuff.
Another example of when the ACT Greens proved to be a disappointment – A Collective Fizzer
Here’s an issue now being looked at in the inner north – and no-one has yet to work out what happened.
It was announced on Wednesday (October 23) that the government is reviewing the ACT’s Tree Protection Act. Good news! Maybe.
The devil is in the detail and we are talking about a government that we have learnt not to trust.
The ACT government is hoping to plonk Common Ground onto Section 72 in Dickson and is asking for feedback on the concept design for the building and site design.
Here’s a tale of the use of alternative facts by both the government and a couple of its supporters.
Good journalism is welcomed and embraced. Journalism that is written to promote bad decisions by government must be called out. Here’s an example of the latter. The author, Tom Greenwell, starts well by making some points about Walter Burley Griffin’s planning for Canberra. But then he commits the crime of using Griffin’s name and visions to justify some outrageous developments being planned by the ACT Government (Urban Renewal Authority again!) that will destroy a wonderful part of the foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin. Click here for the article in City News.
and for more about West Basin alternative facts – click here; includes letters from Richard Johnstone of kingston – a supporter of West Basin developments.
And for more on the arguments against what Tom Greenwell has written – click here for a very well informed piece by Penny Moyes, one of the Lake Burley Griffin Guardians.
The Watson Community Association recently conducted consultations to produce the community’s own visionary plan for their suburb. Click here for the piece in City News
Something very worrying has happened to the National Capital Authority (NCA). There’s been a shift in its planning culture somewhere in the last five years. click here
ACT residents have become convinced that the ACT Government operates in a completely different universe. This separation is having a huge impact on people’s lives. click here.
During the last decade the ACT Labor Party has depended on the ACT Greens to form government. What has come of the ACT Greens? Click here
I wrote a piece about the barbarians now running the ACT’s government – click here for the piece in CityNews.
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.
This a sad tale of people sitting on the fence while part of the heritage of the suburb of Downer is to be removed. Click here.
No surprise here! The ACT Government often plays with the truth.
Here’s my piece in City News on this.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The news from the residential battlefront around the future of the community and cultural life of the Dickson area is not rosy. The government continues to lie…
I have written about this in City News.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Dickson Parklands is an important site for the inner north of Canberra.
I have just spent three weeks in Singapore.
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.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote on the threats to biodiversity caused through inappropriate developments across Canberra.
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.
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).
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?
we are being Turnbulled – over and over again.
A good article summing up the state of politics, where truth is an option to be discarded.
The world leaders are stepping forward! – click here for the story
A wonderful sign of things to come.
Canberra’s planning system remains super complicated and out of reach of ordinary citizens.
Author Clive Hamilton has been engaged in the climate debate for more than 20 years, with books selling worldwide.
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.
2017 in Canberra began with announcements that so many new buildings are about to change the city’s landscape.
click on banner for the Guardian article by George Monbiot Continue reading Climate Change, Trump and language
All is not well in the mountains.
Expressions of Interest are due by 5pm on 3 February 2017
Local governments rarely get the opportunity to completely makeover and enhance the main entry to the city – and the city centre itself.
We have reached the point that flying anywhere is no longer an human experience we should consider unless you are able to book business class seats.
Here’s a worrying view on Trump and the efforts to deal with climate change.
An article about how this country has been there on the climate before Trump with both Abbott and now Turnbull. Click here.
It is going to take a lot for people today to give up there cars.
This is a tale of an entrepreneur, a tree and a possible (lost?) good planning opportunity.
There’s many debates about lowering our use of cars.
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
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.
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.
There’s a must read article on the lies and myths put around by the current prime Minister on the housing issue – sadly for the country and young people he is of course too close to the property lobby to fix this problem. click here.
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.
This is the on-going sad story about how Australia has a federal government, led by a Top Hat prime minister, who has now adopted the postion of the climate sceptics. Here’s an article that talks about the latest – with the ACT Government out in front and the federal government continuing to Turnbull the country. click here.
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).
click – here – for information about this poster project
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.