Update from Jane Goffman
Here’s Jane’s January 31 2018 update on goings on with planning and developments around Dickson:
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).
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.
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?
Surprising things can happen when you are involved in advocacy with the ACT Government on urban environment issues.
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.
Back in 2013 plans were announced for the next stage of Canberra’s Constitution Avenue.
When I was first alerted to the issues below – sadly my response was: Why am I not surprised?
Dr Elizabeth Farrelly is outraged
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.
GANG GANG arrives in Downer
Always good to celebrate when a suburban centre rises again.
The Problem Isn’t Architecture, It’s Urban Design
Interesting read – but I think they let the architects off too easily. Click here.
Talking to locals in the last weeks there were stories of that knock on the door and the offer to buy the house. The reactions were a little different and also similar.
Sad story from Manchester. Lesson? – watch out for the spin when developments are announced. click here
a story of Architecture, social housing and parklands
Local politicians, like our federal friends, love to take a key social issue and link it to another in order to wedge the residents.
Very strange things happen in the urban design planning space in Canberra.
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.
Popping up on the northern edge of Canberra is a new set of buildings – known by its gateway title as Canberra Park.
There’s significant redevelopment underway on Northbourne Ave in Canberra.
A lot has been written about the ACT Government’s announcement to establish small government housing estates on community-zoned land in Weston Creek suburbs.
Do we have examples of good residential architecture in Canberra?
Real sustainability arrives in Canberra
A wonderful sign of things to come.
a note to the ACT Chief Minister
About the architecture along Northbourne Avenue
Canberra’s planning system remains super complicated and out of reach of ordinary citizens.
Two things to consider: One is that heritage is about to be celebrated here in Canberra with a festival from 18 April till 7 May 2017.
When the government says one things but does the other…
The press release from the Woden Community Council points to the problems with planning in Canberra.
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.
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.
It was several months ago that the suburbs were being infiltrated regularly by ACT politicians trying to get attention – anyone’s attention.
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.
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.
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.
LDA up to its old tricks again
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.
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.
Mike Hettinger and the so called LDA–Tradies win win
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.
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?
There has been a recurring conversation of late around how to vote. It was very evident during the Federal elections and has continued here in Canberra as we head towards the 15th October elections for the next ACT Government.
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.
I do not have a positive view of the planning regimes here in Canberra. Surprised?
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.
Book Review: Places Women Make, Jane Jose, 2016
This book is a celebration of the contribution by women to our cultural, social and urban lives. The book has the secondary title ‘Unearthing the contribution of women to our cities.’
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.
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.
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.
Anyone who has been through the Dickson shops lately will have noticed an unsettling trend. The number of vacancies is increasing.
On a recent visit to Wollongong I observed the notices for and then read about the consultations for a major project: Wollongong – A City for People. Being a frequent visitor to this wonderful coastal city, I have some understanding of the urban issues facing that city’s local council.
There is some brilliant work being delivered within the public realm by local governments across Australia.
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.
Review The Goods Line Sydney
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.
The ACT has a Planning Minister and he has put out a document titled — Statement of Planning Intent.
We start with words from the City of Sydney – that contains all those words that make sensible people run for cover:
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.
Barangaroo Reserve, opened to the public in August 2015. It was immediately greeted with much enthusiasm and was declared a success.
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.
I support the introduction of light rail networks across Canberra. We should not be having this debate in 2015. The first tracks should have been laid down in the late 1950s or at least by the mid 1960s.
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.
There are serious systemic problems within the ACT’s planning and development agencies.