Category Archives: health & well being

ACT Government and Open Spaces

Why don’t they get open spaces

With Canberra being a “city in a landscape”, why does the ACT government not understand the value of landscape and open spaces?

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Cherry picking your values 2

follow-up on a community groups choosing their values

Proposal to answer queries – a follow up piece

More on Bill Pye Park Ainslie and the YWCA

An article was published this week about the proposed building of social housing on a site now leased by the YWCA on the corner of the block that is largely Bill Pye Park in Ainslie.

Continue reading Cherry picking your values 2

Cherry picking your values

Community Group as developer chooses to ignore basic values

When the ACT government announced it had approved the development application by the YWCA to build social housing on the corner of Bill Pye Park in Ainslie*, there was a collective sigh of frustration from residents.

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ACT Government chops down more trees

In the lead up to the October ACT election, trees were an item of interest to anyone wanting to be elected.

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Yes Minister! rules ACT Government

ACT planners review their own rules – not joking!

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.

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National Capital Authority failures

NCA continues to be tricky

There’s a new level of frustration within Canberra’s community groups with how the ACT government conducts itself on planning and development.

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ACT Government stacked boards

Board members irrelevant to Canberra

The boards of the City Renewal Authority, the National Capital Authority and the Suburban Land Agency have little connection to the everyday life of residents.

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ACT Planning has to change!

or better still – sack themsleves

When it comes to the ACT government and planning and development, 2020 was not a year to be celebrated.

Continue reading ACT Planning has to change!

Canberra community groups have fun

Local enthusiasm for trees and parks

When community groups bring residents together to collectively do something for their suburb, good things happen.

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West Basin and City Renewal Authority

Reason to go for a wander

This piece is addressed to the ACT Greens & its members

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ACT Government stuffs up social housing

And that’s being polite

Canberra’s community groups are increasingly having to argue for a rethink on the placement of social housing within their suburban areas.

Continue reading ACT Government stuffs up social housing

Deafening silence of the ACT Greens

Election 2020  and Shane Rattenbury

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.

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Ainslie residents and local park rezoning

YWCA as unthinking developer

While attention is on larger issues such as the pandemic and a host of planning and development disasters, it is important to not overlook the ever-present local development issues.

Continue reading Ainslie residents and local park rezoning

ACT Government and West Basin

More spin from the City Renewal Authority

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!

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NCA and inequity in decisions

How the horse paddock grab is about inequity

Residents are often taken aback by the culture of disrespect for locals that has become firmly embedded within the ACT’s political and bureaucratic ranks.

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ACT Government to trash West Basin

NCA trades North Curtin horse paddocks

It’s not often that the community sector gets stunned completely by an ACT government development announcement.

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ACT Government allows excessive noise

ACT Government fails to listen about noise

Many Canberrans have the luxury of living in established suburbs and until recently had some confidence that the nature of the suburb probably would not change radically during their lifetimes.

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ACT Government spin about the hospital

The Minister tries again to fool the residents

It’s always good to give credit where credit is due. When people call out political nonsense and ingenuous behaviour, those doing the calling out should be valued and praised.

Continue reading ACT Government spin about the hospital

ACT Government makes a mess of the hospital

Time to call out this government on health

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.

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ACT Government hospital mismanagement

Woden Valley Community deal with serious issues

Woden Valley Community Council (WVCC) meetings have commenced the year 2020 with priority themes that are much the same as in 2019.

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ACT Government and drones

Residents’ protest about noisy drones

One of the pleasurable experiences of where I live is to sit around the garden, usually in the morning or evening is best, and to take in the cacophony of suburban bird sounds.

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Making a mess of hospital developments

How political decisions overrule logic and good planning

 

First the good news. The ACT government is committed to adding overdue facilities to the Woden Valley Hospital.

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Politicians and the company they keep

Do our politicians keep the right company?

How does a group of otherwise sort-of-reasonable people get convinced that they are doing humane and considerate things when they allow the development of the city to happen in such a barbaric manner. click here for more

ACT Government bullies residents, again

Disneyland, like it or lump it in Coombs

Imagine this. You have bought a home and paid extra for views of the hills and to be opposite a quiet park alongside a pond with bird life and other animals. Trouble is the ACT Government then wrecks the place.. click here

 

Downer residents rally against development push

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.

Remember they are people

The ACT Government and public housing

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

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Social Housing vs community spaces

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.

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Rebecca Solnit on Trump

It’s Time (again)

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.

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Nicole Lawder, a Liberal who has your back

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.

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Rebecca Huntley Still Lucky

Book Review

Still Lucky, Rebecca Huntley, 2017. This is a good book. The message is clear – Australians are far more optimistic than we have been led to believe by our governments and the media. This researcher has done the research, travelled the country, talked to loads of people over many years. If you are interested in her reports on her research and comments – this book will give you all that and more.

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George Monbiot & Ewan McLennan

George Monbiot & Ewan McLennan – Breaking the Spell of Loneliness

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A collaboration between the writer George Monbiot and musician Ewan McLennan seeking to use music and word to open up the issue of loneliness and bring people together.

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Marie Coleman and Turnbull’s FTB

I suspect that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is still locked into appeasing those on the far right that this country needs to reduce its spending on the social welfare programs. There is little evidence that the Turnbull government is looking to have the top wealthy few and big business pay their share of taxes and thus increase the revenue.

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George Monbiot, VW and diesel

George-Monbiot-LI have been wondering just how long the world was going to accept diesel engines in cars given they are polluting nightmares. Yet they continued to be rolled out. I hope this latest scandal involving VW fixing their diesel cars so that they produced false results will now focus attention on to how bad diesel engines are for the environment. Yet again, George Monbiot has written a very timely piece on the topic – it is definitely worth the read. click here.

Dickson Parklands – Land Grab

Article Lead - wide998573026gija9aimage.related.articleLeadwide.729x410.giivvm.png1437707368480.jpg-620x349The 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.

Dickson Shops

Development dilemmas: part one
Residents and the future of the Dickson Shops

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This is the first of several posts on planning and development issues effecting local residents. The stories and issues are not unique to Dickson in Canberra. Many residential groups around the country share similar frustrations, dilemmas and challenges in dealing with planning and development bureaucracies.

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Hockey meanness

The meanness of Joe Hockey

and his continued destruction of Australia’s way of life

Baz-P1020496If there was anyone left in Australia, who for one minute thought that the current Australian Federal Treasurer was anything but a mean and nasty politician, then all they had to do was observe his latest crimes. This man looks after his rich mates especially Big Coal, Banks and Big Miners; looks after this who pull his strings and keep him in power, Murdoch and their cohorts; and does all this by stripping back opportunities for health and well-being from those most disadvantaged.

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Big Corporations and Inequity

Comment: More on Corporations and Inequity

1a34098uI had reviewed Andrew Leigh’s very good 2013 book, Battlers & Billionairesclick here. Just this week there has been announcements from an American campaign that is raining voices about the control the corporate elite have on the country and how this is destroying the planet and our civil societies. click here

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Linton Kwensi Johnson

Music Review online

Linton Kwensi Johnson, more time, from Paris Live, 2004

photo_We have been bombarded recently with a lot of neo-conservative rubbish about how everyone needs to work longer hours and stay in work for more years. There’s so much indoctrination being put about how people need to do more and expect less. I disagree.

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Big Tobacco & Michael Moore of Canberra

Commentary: Did Big Tobacco win this one

Michael-Moore-175x1751I had previously posted a link to a good commentary by Michael Moore of Canberra. He said among other scathing things: “Tobacco companies want to prove that plain packaging does not work because it is being seriously considered by other governments across the world.”

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Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Notice: Urban Bikeway Design Guide, Second Edition

National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)

 

cover1The Urban Bikeway Design Guide, Second Edition, is based on the experience of the best cycling cities in the world. Completely re-designed with an accessible, four-color layout, this second edition continues to build upon the fast-changing state of the practice at the local level. The designs in this book were developed by cities for cities, since unique urban streets require innovative solutions.

To create the Guide, the authors conducted an extensive worldwide literature search from design guidelines and real-life experience.

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LA for bikes

Los Angeles a city for cyclists?

LALA wasn’t always a driver’s town. In the 1920s, it had the longest urban rail network in the world, and innovative infrastructure was built for cyclists as well. Despite this, Angelenos fell in love with the car early on and moved for more highway projects, making it the road-based city it is today.

click here for the story.

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Paul Costigan, 19 August 2014

Michael Moore of Canberra

Commentary: Articles by Michael Moore of Canberra

Michael-Moore-175x1751I have mentioned articles written by a local, Michael Moore. While he holds down a very busy job in health, he continues to devote serious time to punching out thoughtful articles in one of the local free newspapers. They are most welcomed.

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LA for Bikes

Los Angeles a city for cyclists?

LA wasn’t always a driver’s town. In the 1920s, it had the longest urban rail network in the world, and innovative infrastructure was built for cyclists as well. Despite this, Angelenos fell in love with the car early on and moved for more highway projects, making it the road-based city it is today.

click here for the story.

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Paul Costigan, 19 August 2014

The Barrier Reef & Big Coal

The Rabbott Government and Big Coal and The Reef

reef2The Guardian has published a terrifying article of just how far down this country is heading.  As Tim Flannery says: The Great Barrier Reef is sick. Almost half of its coral is already dead and a massive new coal mine, which was given final approval this week, will only cause further damage. This is not just an issue for Australia, it affects us all.

click here for his article

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Paul Costigan, 3 August 2014