Greenslabor planning in Canberra is a mess
With the August 30 announcement by the chief minister that the building of a new sports stadium in Civic is not feasible, what followed was the media-generated screams about this backflip – let down – bad decision. Continue reading What now for the Canberra Olympic Pool?
The mess that is planning in Canberra
The decline of architectural design solutions and the loss of political will to deliver good urban design in Canberra was clearly illustrated through the presentation to the North Canberra Community Council committee.
Continue reading Winning design lost to bigger development plan
The mess that is planning in Canberra
Residents had good reasons to be puzzled by the 16th August decision by the ACT Greenslabor Planning Minister to use his precious ‘call-in’ powers to refuse a development at the McKellar shops. The reasons given caused readers to wonder – did he really say that?
Continue reading The Greenslabor planning minister really said that?
the mess that is planning in Canberra
Residents shudder when they contemplate how much of their lives has had to be allocated to dealing with development applications that, according to the government’s own rules, should not have been approved.
Continue reading Bewildering world of development applications
The ACT Greenslabor government regularly makes re-announcements about commitments to sometime soon provide homes that are sustainable. Continue reading Housing ACT as the rogue developer
Infill would be more embraced if it was well designed
There were several announcements by the ACT government at the end of July with most by the chief minister, Andrew Barr.
Continue reading ACT Government fails on architecture and design
As a consequence of the Greenslabor Ministers Vassarotti and Berry’s cruel eviction program, attention turned to their social housing programs. Continue reading The vexed question of social housing in Canberra
Saturday 30 July was a sunny day that encouraged a walk somewhere else in the city, besides the usual meander through the local streets.
Continue reading Belconnen arts and architecture
Back in 2019 during a discussion about the preliminaries for the city’s coming planning reforms, it was suggested to the chief planner that governance needs to be central to any reforms. Continue reading ACT Government fails governance
approved despite it not meeting the rules
The ACT’s government planning system is under review with the first badly organised and inadequate consultation stage completed in mid-June.
Continue reading ACT Government approves Kingston block
A place to visit often
There were few people visiting the NGA’s Sculpture Garden when I visited to enjoy the garden’s well-designed spaces and to check out the artworks.
Continue reading NGA Canberra Sculpture Garden
You need to see this for yourself
There’s a residential development at 18 Darke Street, Torrens, that is beyond belief. This is happening because the city’s planning system is broken and totally corrupted.
Continue reading ACT Government planning failure
ACT Government not so environmental
In February, 2012, the then-ACT Labor Environment and Sustainable Development Minister, Simon Corbell, officially opened the Dickson Wetlands (completed in 2011). This marvellous water feature changed the neighbourhood.
Continue reading Dreaming of having a real environment minister
the ACT Greens moved away from core values
More than a decade ago the ACT Greens had priority on issues such as climate, the environment, and equity. How things have changed.
Continue reading ACT Greens a neoliberal Labor faction
Time up for the ACT Greens
Given the successes of independent candidates in the federal election, conversations are underway about how voters could be offered better candidates for the 2024 ACT election.
Continue reading How to say goodbye to the ‘Greenslabor’ cult
planning in Canberra gets worse
People were shocked to hear the realities of the behaviour of the ACT government as set out clearly by two speakers at the June meeting of the Tuggeranong Community Council.
Continue reading Planning mess: where the hell are the pollies?
mean and nasty government just got meaner and nastier
Just when the Housing ACT relocation (eviction) program was looking mean and nasty, the ministers involved, Yvette Berry and Rebecca Vassarotti, upped the ante by introducing something even more dodgy to make lives difficult for some of the Housing ACT tenants.
Continue reading ACT Government evicts housing tenants
In April, the Commonwealth Government granted Commonwealth status for Lake Burley Griffin and parts of the surrounds.
Continue reading ACT heritage minister fails heritage
Folks, we have a problem – this time not with the ACT government and its planning directorate but with the National Capital Authority.
Continue reading National Capital Authority not fit for purpose
There was news in May that a new supermarket is to open in Canberra. Harris Farm Markets are to build a new store at Majura Park on the northern end of the site occasionally used by the circus. Continue reading Supermarkets, galleries and Italian food
There are discussions within the community sector puzzling over the motives of the ACT government’s politicians and bureaucrats when it comes to their managing planning, development and housing. Continue reading The cruelty of ACT Government politicians
Towards the end of the Inner South Canberra Community Council’s forum last month, a question was asked about whether the chief planner could override decisions on urban trees. Continue reading Pretending to care about the fate of mature trees
It has been said many times that if people were to vote for the Canberra Liberals in the 2024 ACT elections, it could not be any worse than the developer-focused, neo-liberal approach to planning and development being delivered by the conservative-leaning ACT Greens and Labor.
Continue reading Would the Canberra Liberals be any better
For a city with the international standing for being well designed (thank you, Walter and Marion), it is embarrassing to witness the shambolic efforts by the ACT government’s planning bureaucrats to come up with something resembling a 21st century planning system.
Continue reading ACT Government planning charade
The National Capital Authority has responsibility for the care of the capital’s design features.
Continue reading NCA blocks the axis view
Last Tuesday 9th May, the inner south community met to hear presentations on the ACT Government’s efforts at planning reform.
Continue reading The ACT Government’s planning reforms fail the basics
Election forums are underway across the city. You do get to watch the candidates in action. Unfortunately, their performances have not been individually or collectively too exciting.
Continue reading Federal candidates should think local
It was heartening to see the new state member for Monaro, Nichole Overall, take on the monster of the NSW Department of Education, and win.
Continue reading When ACT Housing evictions happen, ACT politicians hide
When the Kingston Barton residents brought together a bunch of candidates last Tuesday evening, it was an opportunity to observe who among them had that extra spark to be a great representative for the voters of Canberra.
Continue reading Federal candidates take the tram to nowhere
In mid-March the ACT’s government’s planning reform process moved to another stage of being something that might happen – one day. Continue reading ACT Planning reform – A sad joke!
The inner north has, so far, not been saturated with the roadside election corflute signs as has happened with previous elections. Continue reading ACT Greens work against democracy
YWCA behaves as questionable developer
The ACT government’s planning system and processes are no longer fit for purpose. They have been corrupted by ad hoc, ill-informed and illogical decisions.
Continue reading YWCA disrespects local community
There are architecture tours of the city of Chicago conducted (when it is not frozen over in winter) to admire the wonders of design incorporated into the city towers. It would be doubtful that there would ever be architecture tours of Woden’s town-centre towers. Continue reading Woden town cramming continues
Housing clearances in Canberra in 2022
It is beyond belief that in the 21st century a self-nominated progressive Labor/Greens coalition government sanctioned the eviction of its own social housing tenants.
Continue reading ACT Government evictions
Developers control the ACT Greens agenda
In the early 1980s, the environmental movements fought to protect significant Tasmanian river systems and world heritage sites.
Continue reading ACT Greens and developers
while more trees come down!
Last week, the ACT Environment Minister, Rebecca Vassarotti, announced her draft action plan about the loss of mature trees.
Continue reading ACT Government has morning tea
Once ACT Greens and Labor politicians become very important ministers in the ACT government, their contact with real people diminishes.
Continue reading ACT Politicians need to talk to Watson residents
will Zed Seselja survive this time?
ACT voters are about to select three lower house and two Senate politicians to represent this territory’s interests nationally.
Continue reading Federal elections and the ACT candidates
There used to be the sound of owls in the inner north of Canberra at night time. I didn’t really appreciate the beauty of their call until, one day, I realised it was no more.
Continue reading Owls, old trees and the ACT Government
During a recent Inner South Canberra Community Council meeting, a topic mentioned by several speakers was one of the fundamental problems with the ACT planning system.
Continue reading The good and bad of Consultation
When a government exercises significant influence over media outlets, propaganda and alternative facts easily become the message that people hear.
Continue reading NCA propaganda fools the ABC
something to make you shudder!
The Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, has reluctantly entered his older years. He has cleverly handed the more in-your-face, complex portfolios to his Labor colleagues, a couple of whom obviously aspire to occupy the chief minister’s chair as soon as he looks to make an exit.
Continue reading Yvette Berry for Chief Minister
Government delivers for developers, again
Throughout history, the growth in government propaganda is linked to increasing authoritarianism. The more they lie, the more they concoct alternative facts to justify dubious actions and to distract from real intentions.
Continue reading the ACT tram light rail hoax
ACT Government fails on planning, again
When it comes to infrastructure and planning issues, the Woden Valley Community Council continues to have difficulties having real discussions with this ACT Labor/Greens government.
Continue reading woden Valley Community Council issues
I recently sat on the pictured bench and pondered the shrubbery and trees planted in several clumps on a mound in a Downer park.
Continue reading suburban biodiversity
Several conversations of late have centered on the question – what has happened to the much-touted Draft Variation 369?
Continue reading ACT Variation on greenery goes missing in action
NCA called on to be sensible!
In this city with the ever-increasing towers, as encouraged by the developer-friendly chief minister, the major issue is not just the towers themselves, but the lack of planning guiding the appropriateness and logic of their size and the location.
Continue reading A Tower too far by Geocon
and how it is being lost
When Marion Mahony Griffin provided those glorious drawings for the submission to design Canberra, she included a distant view of the mountains.
Continue reading Marion Mahony Griffin’s vision for Canberra
Downer residents confronted with 25 metre pines
The trees along Bradfield Street, Downer, have been the subject of debates in Downer for at least a decade.
Continue reading Local politicians fail residents on trees
Politicians chose vanity over housing homeless
The majority of candidates going to ACT elections talk about how they will be progressive on issues that matter. But once elected, the reality is something else.
Continue reading ACT Government fails homeless
increasing biodiversity to the suburbs
There are many open spaces in Canberra that could be doing far more for biodiversity.
Continue reading Nature is messy
ACT Government planning up to old tricks
This tale points to how bad planning has been corrupted by the ACT Labour Greens coalition government.
Continue reading the trees of Ainslie don’t cast shadows!
The National Capital Authority (NCA) finished 2021 on a low note. Not that would surprise those who have recently dealt with the NCA.
Continue reading The NCA can stop the tram going south
In November Liberal MLA Jeremy Hanson proposed the ACT Legislative Assembly meet for longer than the allocated 35 days for 2022.
Continue reading ACT Government too busy for community issues
Residents take the lead in planning for their suburbs
First, a shout out to the hard-working community council volunteers who bring together views of residents and then present these to the government. The latest has just been published by the Inner South Canberra Community Council (ISCCC).
Continue reading Inner South Canberra District Planning Strategy
Design leadership missing in action
The south side of Franklin Street, Manuka, was shut off during November for several clusters of seats and tables on fake grass. It was apparently another of this government’s pop-up experiments.
Continue reading ACT Government fails on landscape design
ACT hides its real intentions on planning reforms
This year’s planning reform announcement was accompanied by the usual spin (sorry, media release) and another misleading online document (sorry, progress report).
Continue reading Something nasty is stirring in planning reforms
ACT Government fails on equity and empathy
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.
Continue reading The Chris Steel boy band plays Woden
NCA challenged on suburban design
When you think of planning and development and who is making a mess of this city, attention usually turns to the dark arts as practised by the ACT Planning Directorate.
Continue reading innovative architecture versus boringly normal
the need to make money leads to development
There are three major development issues within Canberra’s inner north that are going to make things interesting in 2022.
Continue reading Sports club as developer
ACT Government reports how they do not much
A good strategic or corporate plan outlines what is being done and proves timelines.
Continue reading Boxes ticked, it’s time for morning tea
ACT Government fail on social housing
Recently, the North Canberra Community Council (NCCC) chair tried a creative way of engaging with local politicians. It worked.
Continue reading return affordable housing to Northbourne
This was to be the year the ACT government was to deliver the much-vaunted reforms to make planning simpler and more accessible.
Continue reading the nightmare of the ACT’s Better Normal
More spin from the ACT Government
Last week ACT Planning Minister Mick Gentleman announced the approval for the draft variation for the first of the “Demonstration House” projects.
Continue reading Spin and ACT Demonstration House
What if the ACT minister for planning was replaced?
About a month ago community organisations floated the idea that the ACT Planning Minister Mick Gentleman, should be replaced. What a great idea!
Continue reading Mick Gentleman passed used-by date
It was stunning to see the images of Premier Dominic Perrottet after NSW opened up on October 11; he welcomed people back to his version of normal – that of blokes, pubs, beers and more blokes. Women were absent.
Continue reading ACT Public Art and inequality
Inner-south community groups received a curious, but welcomed, phone call on Thursday (November 4) from the communications officer of the ACT Suburban Land Agency (SLA).
Continue reading Kingston Arts Space reboot – maybe
In response to my September 8 column on how the ACT Greens have turned their backs on biodiversity, a question popped up asking: “You’re a consistent opponent of higher-density development. Do you not think that urban sprawl is bad for the climate?”
Continue reading Urban infill on a human scale
On May 12, I finished a column on the shocking state of Woden developments with this statement: “This government’s expertise in town cramming is worthy of an award.
Continue reading ACT Government stuffs up Woden Town Centre
The ACT political parties have had enough time since the October, 2020, elections for voters to see what they are about.
Continue reading It’s been a year, what do we think of this mob?
The news that the ACT government had taken over the O’Connor Tourist Park, with its 130 cabins, as a quarantine centre seemed to be accepted as simply another good idea done well.
Continue reading Is Andrew Barr capable of changing his leadership style?
Time to duplicate the Urambi Village model
A lot has been said about the folly of the ACT government’s Demonstration Housing Projects. The bureaucratic spin has been frequent and blatant.
Continue reading Move ACT Racing
On Wednesday, September 15, the ACT’s planning bureaucrats issued their decisions on an application for re-consideration for the second stage of the development of the Manuka hotel-residential cinema complex by Liangis Investments Pty Ltd.
Continue reading ACT government planning gets personal and stupid
Another mid-century home, designed by an honoured designer, gone!
Continue reading ACT Government fails heritage
The ACT’s Labor/Greens coalition government is well practised at not addressing planning issues.
Continue reading ACT Planning Directorate not fit for purpose
When it comes to the future travel for southside residents coming north across the lake, things are looking grim thanks to the tram follies about to be played out by the ACT government.
Continue reading ACT Government northside planning mess
I have written earlier about the goings-on in Manuka over the Lianglis Manuke Cinema development.
Continue reading A little splash of plastic brings smile
When “Seven Days” columnist Ian Meikle remarked in “CityNews” on July 19 that the ACT Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Economy and Gender and Economic Equality is seeking submissions to its inquiry into memorialisation through public commemoration, it did raise an issue or two.
Continue reading Public Art in Canberra
This city is fairly ordinary when it comes to public architecture. There are a few exceptions, often Federal buildings and those on the ANU, but not many.
Continue reading The good, the bad and too much ugly!
bunkum, untruths and ACT planning
Two ACT government statements surfaced recently relating to planning issues in different parts of the city.
Continue reading ACT Government planning a lost cause
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?
Continue reading ACT Government misplaced spending priorities
When the government planners used to plan, community facilities were put in place along with town centres.
Continue reading ACT Government neglects Yerrabi Pond
Is there a planning minister?
Following the media release from the Planning Minister announcing the ACT Planning Review, local community groups were stunned to realise just how badly the current review is progressing.
Continue reading ACT Government and planning
The ACT Greens fail being green again
This piece starts with recognition of the many community members who made submissions over many years that consistently emphasise that greenery, trees, biodiversity and open spaces are a priority. Continue reading Another failure of the ACT Greens
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.
Continue reading ACT Ministry of Misinformation
Rhetoric alone is not climate action
Once upon a time, Canberra tourism included views of tree-lined suburban streets. That was Canberra as we knew it – a city in a landscape. The ambience was greenery and open spaces.
Continue reading ACT Government fails own climate actions
The danger to Australia’s civil society is the current Australian Prime Minister.
This blog article based on personal experiences reinforces that. click here.
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
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.
Continue reading Cherry picking your values
when most media fall for the spin
With the 2021 Australian budget announced last night, the sad part is the way most in the media accept the spin.
Continue reading Australian 2021 Budget farce
The humbug around the spin on taking actions on climate happens internationally, nationally and locally. Continue reading Climate Change humbug
The ACT Government’s planning directorate has an impenetrable structure that reminds me of the “Star Wars” concept – the Borg Hive – called The Collective.
Continue reading ACT planning directorate past its use-by-date
How to get hospital planning so wrong!
When government bureaucrats present at community meetings, their spin and prepared lines do not go down well.
Continue reading ACT Government hospital mess continues
A pamphlet arrived in Dickson letterboxes that won’t bring much joy to the other areas of the city. It announced that $3 million is to be spent on Woolley Street, Dickson.
Continue reading ACT Government lacks design leadership
The ACT Government is a planning failure
When the Watson Community Association (WCA) puts forward the community’s views about a proposed development, it does a really thorough job.
Continue reading Watson community knows about planning
the failure of the National Capital Design Review Panel
Along with the wish the government would look after the city’s landscapes, its greenery and its open spaces, a common frustration is that the government does not understand design and does little to encourage good architecture.
Continue reading ACT Government Design Panel a disaster
The clock is ticking on this ACT Minister
Having been in government for four months, Rebecca Vassarotti, ACT Minister for the Environment and Heritage, should now have a firm view on heritage and comprehend that her role is about being a leader in the stewardship of Canberra’s environments.
Continue reading ACT Minister for heritage in trouble
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.
Continue reading ACT Planning learn nothing
Zone changes to maximise profits
Several community associations have had presentations about an ACT government initiative titled the “Demonstration Housing Project”.
Continue reading ACT Government questionable housing program