There is a common theme to the many well-crafted and informed submissions by residents trying desperately to influence the proposals to change the city’s planning.
There is a common theme to the many well-crafted and informed submissions by residents trying desperately to influence the proposals to change the city’s planning.
There are many comments circulating about the 400 submissions received by the planning directorate on what the community thinks of the ACT Government’s attempt to reform planning.
Continue reading ACT Community Councils call out the Failure of planning
Reading through submissions for one of the many inquiries conducted by this ACT government, there was one submitted by the Rebecca Vassarotti as Heritage Minister.
Continue reading ACT politicians keep believing their own vacuous spin
The ACT Greenslabor government has perfected its expertise to distract people from what they are really up to when they release one of their contentious planning documents.
Hoping that Barr’s 50th birthday will encourage him to change
Andrew Barr has been the ACT chief minister for about nine years.
On Thursday 30th March Jo Clay MLA stood up in the assembly on behalf of the ACT Greens and moved a motion about the chief minister’s planning reforms.
Continue reading ACT Assembly refuses to hear what residents are saying about planning
The Inner South Canberra Community Council (ISCCC) meeting on Tuesday 11th April was reported to have been a lively event with a couple of Greenslabor politicians providing their take on the ACT chief minister’s so-called planning reforms.
Continue reading Greenslabor hold the line on false narratives about planning
The Braddon Bowling Club story is one of many about how this government and its bureaucracy has corrupted its own governance – how they do stuff badly.
Continue reading Braddon Bowls as a Barometer for Bad Behaviour
Community groups who have studied the Greenslabor planning reform plans and strategies know that the chief minister’s deregulation reforms will devastate the suburban characteristics that attract people to this city.
Gentleman’s patronising praise
The planning minister’s 22 March media release on the feedback received on the planning reforms was a real gem.
Continue reading Fact checking ACT Ministers’ press statements
There is huge gap in values between those of the residents of this city and those of the ACT’s planning authority. Canberra’s community groups have been writing submissions about their aspirations and urban priorities for more than a decade.
Continue reading The differences in values widens between the ACT government and residents
The Minister for Canberra Planning has reassured residents that the minister has read the hundreds of submissions that hard working Canberra residents have submitted about the so-called planning reforms.
In 2011 the Dickson Residents Group asked the then planning minister, Andrew Barr, to consider a comprehensive eight-point plan for this inner north precinct.
Continue reading Welfare organisations fall for the Greenslabor Mything Middle scam
Recent opinion pieces highlighted the ACT government’s badly managed planning authority and how they continually ignore their own rules and then object when they are overruled by the appeals tribunal.
Continue reading Does the ACT Housing minister know how to read?
Unfortunately for the city’s future, the ACT Chief Planner is not known for taking biodiversity seriously. Others do, although their efforts may be a little too polite to make any impact on this Greenslabor government.
Continue reading Chief Planner ignores biodiversity in his reforms
Given the latest line-up of Housing ACT development applications for sites in Griffith that were thrown out by the appeals tribunal, the question is who has taken responsibility for these defective proposals for social housing.
Continue reading No one takes responsibility for ACT Housing non-compliant approvals
When the ACT chief planner was appointed in April 2017, he explained his theoretical approach to planning. In April 2019 I used those statements to set out ten performance indicators and then scored how he was doing.
Continue reading The ACT planning chief has failed the residents of Canberra
There has been a load of rubbish spread around about what happens when residents challenge decisions by the ACT Chief Planner.
Continue reading Challenging questionable development approvals
Given their historical policy positions, the ACT Greenslabor coalition government would have been expected to have had a high priority on social housing and homelessness programs. But then there was the tram.
Continue reading Who knew that denying shelter and social housing paid for the tram?
With the formal consultations now closed on the ACT government’s planning reforms, many in Canberra’s community groups would be wondering about the motivations of the planning bureaucracy.
Continue reading Greenslabor hopes that no-one noticed the deregulation of planning
In the last twelve months, many in community councils have had to spend too much time reading through fairly dense planning reform documents.
Continue reading Governance reform required urgently for Canberra’s urban future
Dealing with the complexities of Greenslabor planning reforms has been an unpleasant experience for those reading the badly written documents that were drip-fed to the public last year. There is nothing positive about what is being proposed. Continue reading ACT Greenslabor have truth and transparency as options
It may be a little out of fashion with the ACT Greenslabor ministers, but residents like to be listened to about what happens to their home, their street and their neighbourhood.
Continue reading Absence of sensible planning threatens a street in Garran
The signs are that for 2023 Greenslabor politicians and their hangers-on will continue to gaslight and dump on those who cherishes the city’s neighbourhoods. The new normal for Greenslabor is to be vexatious and frivolous with the truth.
Continue reading Greenslabor’s continues being vexatious and frivolous with the truth
Under the Greenslabor regulatory systems for the last decade, residents have endured a laissez-faire approach to building compliance and regulation.
Continue reading A Greenslabor’s regulation discussion paper to fix everything
NCA questionable contracts and the future of the National Library Lombardy Pines
The National Capital Authority (NCA) has important national functions to do with stuff about administration, the national plan, the government of the day and the care of national assets.
Continue reading National Capital Authority loses the plot – again
This being the latter part of summer, families and children should have had loads of fun at the lakeside facilities around Lake Tuggeranong. Not so – the waters remain off limits due to nasty green blobs floating about and poisonous algae in the water.
Continue reading ACT Greenslabor keep Lake Tuggeranong green
When in August last year the ACT Heritage Minister, Rebecca Vassarotti, stood aside the members of the ACT Heritage Council, the problems she outlined to justify her actions did not come as a surprise to those in the know about the recent history of this ministerially appointed body.
Things are serious when the senior ACT Government planning bureaucrat uses interviews with selected local media to send a message to local politicians.
Continue reading Barr & Ponton rubbish Jo Clay’s planning recommendations
The Canberra Liberals have made headlines about going into the 2024 ACT elections not supporting the tram to Woden.
In the weeks before Christmas, when people were trying to think positive about life, the universe and everything else, the ACT Government and developers rolled out multiple gifts of development applications and planning reform documents for people to read. These gifts were not fun stuff. Continue reading ACT Greenslabor policy frauds
Someone in the ACT planning Directorate thought it was a great idea to get their planning minister to launch yet another round of consultations on the future of Civic and the surrounding areas – on the 4th December last year.
When federal elections roll around, locals hear often from those who wish to be the elected federal members of the House of Representatives (3 from the ACT) and the Senate (2 senators).
Continue reading What commitments do ACT Federal politicians have to their electorates
On Saturday 5th November 2022 I wrote an online piece for Canberra City News that received positive feedback from readers as well as directly from friends.
Hopefully members of our community groups are not reading planning documents but instead are checking on the tomatoes, spending time with friends, or watching the magpies forage through the neighbourhood.
Seems every year the subject of the city’s trees comes around as a Christmas topic. Continue reading Trees and Christmas in Canberra
It was shocking to see the style of the official criticisms of Ainslie residents who had objected to the redevelopment of the community site on the corner block next to Bill Pye Park in Ainslie.
Continue reading Canberra – a city in need of a planning minister
Liberals’ outrage about development options involving ACT Racing
There was almost instant outrage on 1st November when the ACT planning chief and his planning minister released documents on the next stages of the ACT Government’s proposed planning reforms.
The ACT Government’s planning reform stuff has been rolling along for a couple of years. Continue reading ACT govt planners proposes changes to suit ACT govt planners
Thursday, October 27 was the day that ACT Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry officially opened the grand, designed playground in Coombs. Continue reading Muddle-headed ACT Government stuffs up playground
A case studies of how an elected ACT Government has lost track of reality.
Looking at the creative political sign in front of the Kingston Glass Workshop in October (now removed), the message was clear.
Continue reading Does Clive Hamilton value his own backyard?
Developers love putting up their signs of things to come that will make life better for future residents.
Many in the community spend an extraordinary amount of time and energy responding to the flow of developers’ consultations on proposed developments.
The most obvious stuff up about the release of the November 1 media release on the Planning Reforms is that what is being proposed does not recognise that planning and development are the most basic keys that the ACT government should be using to deal with urban climate issues.
With the release of the October 31 “Investment Plan” by Homelessness Minister Rebecca Vassarotti, there was a glimmer of hope that after more than a decade of the Greenslabor government, that someone was serious about homelessness. Continue reading ACT Government fail on homelessness
Murky and tricky would be the polite words to describe what happened with the ACT Greens’ motion in the Legislative Assembly to phase out funding for the Canberra Racing Club – $41 million over five years. Continue reading ACT Greens and ACT Racing
Unsettling thoughts should not enter your head when you are admiring a beautiful garden. This happened recently.
I have written before that what ACT government politicians value is reflected in how they spend our money.
Continue reading Greenslabor deflect from mess of their own making
A Great photograph can bring about a myriad of memories as well as pose more mundane questions such as why political movements fail.
Continue reading The disconnect between passionate Peter Dombrovskis and the ACT Greens
There’s an ACT government standing committee on planning, transport and city services, headed up by Greens MLA Jo Clay that has asked the community to make submissions on the current draft planning bill.
When looking at the use of public money, I want to focus on two ACT Auditor-General reports one year apart.
Rebecca Vassarotti, the ACT Sustainable Building and Construction Minister, announced in late August that state and territory ministers had agreed to a national mandatory seven-star rating for new residential buildings, starting next October.
Three presentations at the Inner South Canberra Community Council’s (ISCCC) September meeting made it very clear how this ACT Greenslabor government is not aligned with the aspirations and values of the residents of this city. Continue reading ACT Government burns taxpayers money
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 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
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?
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
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.
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
The ACT’s government planning system is under review with the first badly organised and inadequate consultation stage completed in mid-June.
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.
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.
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
More than a decade ago the ACT Greens had priority on issues such as climate, the environment, and equity. How things have changed.
This was a difficult piece to write for City News.
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
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?
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.
In April, the Commonwealth Government granted Commonwealth status for Lake Burley Griffin and parts of the surrounds.
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.
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.
The National Capital Authority has responsibility for the care of the capital’s design features.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
In the early 1980s, the environmental movements fought to protect significant Tasmanian river systems and world heritage sites.
Last week, the ACT Environment Minister, Rebecca Vassarotti, announced her draft action plan about the loss of mature trees.
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
ACT voters are about to select three lower house and two Senate politicians to represent this territory’s interests nationally.
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.
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.
When a government exercises significant influence over media outlets, propaganda and alternative facts easily become the message that people hear.
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.
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.
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.
I recently sat on the pictured bench and pondered the shrubbery and trees planted in several clumps on a mound in a Downer park.
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