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? →
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 →
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 →
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.
Continue reading Heritage and the ACT Minister →
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 →
Will the Canberra Liberals fall for the Greenslabor tram distraction?
The Canberra Liberals have made headlines about going into the 2024 ACT elections not supporting the tram to Woden.
Continue reading Greenslabor Tram Fraud →
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 →
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 →
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.
Continue reading Community resolutions for a sane 2023 →
Seems every year the subject of the city’s trees comes around as a Christmas topic. Continue reading Trees and Christmas in Canberra →
How the bullies get away with stuff
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.
Continue reading Canberra Liberals and ACT Racing →
Many in the community spend an extraordinary amount of time and energy responding to the flow of developers’ consultations on proposed developments.
Continue reading ACT Greenslabor sham consultations →
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 →
Games and more games
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Nasty treatment of Housing ACT tenants
Earlier this year 330 Housing ACT tenants received the same soulless unsigned eviction notice.
Continue reading ACT Government cruel evictions →
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 →
ACT Government endorses bad planning
The ACT’s planning directorate is a rogue bureaucracy doing the bidding of anyone but the residents of Canberra. Few residents would be confident that the directorate has the expertise to do anything except to continuously mess stuff up.
Continue reading Democracy muted as Mick calls in YWCA project →
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? →
The ACT’s “Greenslabor” government has provided multiple opportunities this year for the Canberra Liberals to step up and demonstrate that maybe in 2024 they could be ready to form government if the voters were to be convinced.
Continue reading Canberra Libs keep missing the opportunities →
ACT Government reduces greenery
The worst behaviour of any politician or bureaucrat is when a mistake has been brought to their attention, that they double down, pretend there’s nothing wrong, produce alternative facts and discredit those who have identified the error.
Continue reading Deaf Greens do nothing as trees come down →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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? →
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 →
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 →
ACT politicians break protocols at meetings
With the pandemic not going away any time soon, many community groups have utilised technologies to have online meetings – a good thing on wintry nights.
Continue reading ACT Government Ministers talk too much →
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 →
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 →
The danger to Australia’s civil society is the current Australian Prime Minister.
This blog article based on personal experiences reinforces that. click here.
More Town Cramming for Woden
For the ACT’s Labor/Greens coalition politicians, planning is not something they worry about much despite it being something of major concern to residents.
Continue reading ACT Government on Town Cramming →
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 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 →
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 →
In the lead up to the October ACT election, trees were an item of interest to anyone wanting to be elected.
Continue reading ACT Government chops down more trees →
ACT Greens – all talk and not much action
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.
Continue reading ACT Greens not so green →
Commonwealth bureaucratic mischief
People try hard to have faith in the federal government and its processes. When it comes to important matters, such as heritage, how can we expect the federal government to behave?
Continue reading Heritage Listing Lake Burley Griffin →
ACT Government and the ACT Greens
Wandering down a street in Auckland, NZ, in early June 2016, we came upon a small group of people having a laugh about an advertising poster.
Continue reading ACT Greens challenged on planning →
ACT Government fails on parks again
The last couple of years has been bad news for parks in Canberra.
Continue reading Margaret Timson Park Belconnen →
They are not doing well!
With the ACT Labor/Greens coalition in place until October 2024, it’s a good time to start reporting on how it’s performing.
Continue reading ACT Government score card →
Commonwealth Park neglected by government
Attention to a significant piece of national land is being overlooked among the misinformation used to justify the demolition of West Basin.
Continue reading ACT Government ignores Commonwealth Park →
Need for a new public art policy
Sometime during the last election, a candidate said something about revising the public sculpture program initiated by Jon Stanhope when he was chief minister.
Continue reading ACT Government and public sculpture →
planning spin (fibs) dominate
It could be said that residents and community groups have been a little foolish.
Continue reading ACT Government and spin (fibs) →
They talk to voters at elections only
For Canberra residents involved with advocacy on planning and development over the last decade, a major frustration was the attitude of ACT politicians once elected to government.
Continue reading ACT Government and its electorate →
New Leader for a lost party
Hands up anyone who was surprised by the ACT Liberals’ election results.
Continue reading Elizabeth Lee takes over the ACT Liberals →
ACT Government failure on culture
In 2015, the now disbanded Land Development Agency announced the follow up to its 2011 master plan with the go-ahead for the Kingston Arts Precinct.
Continue reading Canberra’s missing arts centres →
The silence of those who should know better
Canberra used to have an active level of advocacy across the spectrum of arts, social and welfare groups.
Continue reading ACT Government and NGO silence →
Reason to go for a wander
This piece is addressed to the ACT Greens & its members
Continue reading West Basin and City Renewal Authority →
The corflute wars
There are corflute wars again with the ACT elections.
Continue reading ACT Elections 2020 →
Excitement – Coe goes without his tie!
With one week to go to the ACT elections, my interest has definitely reduced.
Continue reading ACT Election boring →
These boys have a problem
It took my breath away when I read the line by the prime minister’s office – “nothing in the budget is gendered”
Continue reading Scott Morrison and women →
Making that choice!
Given that I will be voting as an early voter next week, the time has come to decide on the candidates to be given the tick – or the flick.
Continue reading ACT Elections 2020 →
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.
Continue reading Deafening silence of the ACT Greens →
ACT politicians loyal to parties over voters
It’s begun; politicians are on the phone calling people asking if there are issues they want to discuss. What joy!
Continue reading Once elected, forget the public →
A loser in the 2020 ACT elections?
Chris Steel is currently a Labor-elected member for Murrumbidgee and happens to be the Minister for Something within the ACT Labor/Greens coalition government.
Continue reading Chris Steel works hard to lose 2020 election →
ISCCC call to arms!
The Inner South Canberra Community Council has published a “Call To Arms” to highlight what is going on in Fyshwick with developments for major waste-disposal activities.
Continue reading Waste Facilities to wreck Fyshwick →
Andrew Barr to win – again?
It’s an interesting exercise to commission a friend to draw a cartoon of the three people (two politicians and one bureaucrat) who are largely responsible for Canberra’s planning and development.
Continue reading 2020 ACT Elections →
There’s a brochure in circulation about the debate on the future of the green spaces and foreshore along Lake Burley Griffin’s West Basin.
Continue reading West Basin and ACT Government spin →