For almost half a decade, the Woden Valley Community Council (WVCC) has been careful not to oppose development. The WCCC has focused on the quality of the developments and to have the redevelopments include social and sporting facilities.
As the West Basin foreshore fills with expensive rubble, and a huge chunk of money is being spent taking the tram west around London Circuit to the Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, how does anyone justify such excessive expenditures given so many other priorities are being neglected?
It is a conversation I now have repeatedly. I have it with community group members, with people at Tilley’s, at the supermarket, while meandering through Dickson or other centres, and when wandering around galleries.
The ACT’s City Renewal Authority, a 2016 bright idea from Andrew Barr, is something the people of Canberra did not ask for and is spending a lot of taxpayers’ money in one place – a selected part of central Canberra.
When governments don’t want to do much about something that requires actions, they hold inquiries, set up “Have Your Say” websites, present loads of useless stuff to public gatherings, talk a lot as if they are doing something and produce draft strategies.
On January 29, “CityNews” published a well-researched article about how the Woden Valley Hospital’s future had been mishandled and is now seriously hindered in its capacity to deliver to the people of Canberra.
Previously I reported that there remains a looooong list of dubious matters involved with the proposed building of a Common Ground apartment complex on Section 72 Dickson. These date back to the infamous Dickson land swap.
This piece is based on the extraordinary goings-on of an Australian federal minister – and her use of alternate facts to pretend that there is nothing wrong when the Auditor General has reported otherwise.
On the same evening, the North Canberra Community Council (NCCC) hosted a presentation by Malcolm Snow, the real CEO of the City Renewal Authority, on the authority’s program for urban developments and infrastructure around Civic and north to Dickson.
This opinion piece only scratches the surface of the enormous problems we have here in Canberra with planning and development. The whole of the planning system has been corrupted by decades of bad management and the development of a culture that has residents as the enemy to be tricked and out manoeuvred. Click here for my piece in City News.
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.
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.
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.
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
It is definitely time for all forms of peaceful and concerted actions to adjust our democratic structures to deal with the damage being done by forces that have resulted in Trump and his cronies being where they are.
However I cannot stop pondering the challenge this story throws up for anyone interested in equity, fairness, and the role of the media in so many aspects of our daily lives.
If we had a real media, this story would have been totally different. Instead what happened here was the total manipulation of the media and through them members of the public, by all forms of malicious groups of people and individuals.
It was on hearing certain phrases used over and over again on Australian TV programs talking about the 2016 US election campaign that I became suspicious that we were witnessing a lazy press.
Almost daily the media was taking the same phrases and words and using them over and over again – with no evidence that they could be accurate except that they were the words and phrases being used by most journalists and commentators at the time.
On the basis we were supposed to accept their words as fact.
Here’s a wonderful example of how the media and the public are being fooled and used by Top Hat Turnbull in his government’s dubious efforts to destroy the union movement. As blogged by Vince O’Grady, here is a post titled: ” More Egregious words used by the liberals. Disgraceful falsification of the facts.” Click here
There is something that makes certain people believe that if they attend loads of committee meetings that they are actually doing something useful. Whereas the truth is that all they are doing is attending loads of committee meetings.
The other day Sydney Airport was evacuated because someone had been busy reading his iPad and had accidentally walked through the exit door and thus set off all forms of alarms. As I drive around town I notice that cars are often either slow to take off from traffic lights or at times commence wavering all over the place as the driver is trying to manage their iPhone at the same time.
Opinion: Damon Young: Distraction blame the mind, not the machines
An interesting few words from Damon Young on the machines that distract some people. Damon likes to observe – here’s one of his people observations. I think that too often I have observed his subject.
An ordinary suburban cafe, with an ordinary sullen teenage waitress and faux-friendly barista. The tables are unvarnished barrels. The cups are marmalade jars. And the coffee is bitter, weak and overpriced.
Fiction Gallery:Patrick Henderson:On being not here
Do you now a Patrick Henderson?
Patrick Henderson attends meetings called to carry out the business of the gallery for which he is a company director.
When Patrick sits at the table he remains very alert to the presence of his mobile and aware that there may be emails, text messages and tweets that require his attention.
Patrick’s commitment to these distractions is such that he cannot ignore them. Because of his lack of control of the technology, poor Patrick has become one of the many who are physically present somewhere but are rarely mentally completely there.