ACT Government and green spaces
When a politician says something such as: “Recreational areas in a suburb create a vital meeting point for the community”, then people should celebrate having such a person in government.
This was a quote from the ACT Greenslabor Minister, Yvette Berry. Many would be puzzled by her statement given she is not known for fighting for green spaces and community facilities.
A few years back when this minister announced she was to build housing on community lands and parks, the community raised objections.
In the 21st century people should be able to take it for granted that green spaces are important. However, the Greenslabor government quietly changed the definition of community so that it included social housing on community lands and parks. This sleight of hand allowed this same minister to justify using community sites for housing.
When taking over open spaces, this minister argues the importance of social housing – which most people agree with. The reality is that her actions are about treating community lands and green spaces as a land bank.
The land is in government hands and is being used as a subsidy towards the social housing budgets – that this government has messed with over the last decade ending up with less expenditure than claimed and less housing in 2022 than in previous years.
When the Ainslie residents tried in vain to get some sense in the debates around the YWCA proposal to squeeze too many housing units on to the community facilities to the side of Bill Pye Park, everyone knew it was an uphill battle.