ACT Government needs a chief landscape specialist
Many decades ago when talking to a staff member of the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) in their 220 Northbourne office about urban and social matters, I was distracted by the view south from the 9
th floor office window.
Continue reading Understanding landscape should be the chief qualification →
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.
Continue reading A Sense of Place denied by ACT Government →
On Thursday 30
th 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 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.
Continue reading Downer to fall foul of Barronomics →
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 →
Minister for Canberra Planning re-asserts his authority
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.
Continue reading ACT Minister takes the mick →
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? →
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 →
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 →
While the majority of people in this city indicate their preferences for stand-alone houses and possibly town houses, there are those who wish to retire into apartments and others who because of their economic circumstances have no option than to purchase (for now) whatever unit they can afford.
Continue reading Time to rethink tower cramming →
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 →
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 →
Seems every year the subject of the city’s trees comes around as a Christmas topic.
Continue reading Trees and Christmas in Canberra →
Self serving ACT Government planners on a crusade
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 →
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 →
Visiting Cedric Bryant’s garden
Unsettling thoughts should not enter your head when you are admiring a beautiful garden. This happened recently.
Continue reading Greenslabor de-green the bush capital →
Greenslabor gaslight the community – again
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 →
proposals to cram more into the suburbs
Inner north Canberra community members have been swamped with major development proposals that, according to the planning directorate, need to be commented on in a very short timeframe. The Bureau of Meteorology could not have forecast this inundation of paperwork.
Continue reading town cramming in the inner north →
ACT Greens Jo Clay fronts up on planning
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.
Continue reading Trust me, I am an ACT Greens →
ACT Minister brags about not much
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.
Continue reading Seven star rating not quite good enough →
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 lies told too often
Most mainstream media articles about developments in RZ1 residential zones regularly include developers or their loyal followers who will criticise Canberra’s elite NIMBYs.
Continue reading Developers blame selfish residents →
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 →
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 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? →
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 →
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 →
While voters were occupied with the federal election, the ACT Planning Directorate slipped through a variation to Variation 369 – the one that was to deliver greenery to the city’s backyards.
Continue reading ACT Government fails on backyard greenery →
Last Tuesday 9
th 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 →
Particular major urban developments in Canberra have been promoted to be in line with the plans of Marion Mahony Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin or somehow in the spirit of the Griffins.
Continue reading Marion Mahony Griffin – What A Life! →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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! →
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 →
Welcome to 2022. While there are many things not yet addressed in planning and development by the elder Andrew Barr and his government, there are some tangible programs to do with biodiversity that are waiting to happen.
Continue reading Biodiversity begins in the garden →
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 →
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 does not get biodiversity
Wandering through Civic, there loomed ahead a shape.
Continue reading Christmas, trees and biodiversity →
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 Housing fails on biodiversity
One constant theme of residents is the ad hoc planning regimes that enable knock-down rebuilds in established suburbs resulting in a loss of trees, greenery and biodiversity.
Continue reading ACT world-class heat island in the making →
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 →
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 →
For most people, what happens with planning regulations tends to be of little interest, until the day arrives when it becomes the issue requiring their utmost concentration to work out what the hell is going on.
Continue reading When planning permission is beyond the pale →
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? →
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 →
With the Planning Directorate having lost the debate and all credibility about reforming ACT’s planning systems, its communications sections have been seeding articles to both distract from the real issues or to shift the debate on to safer topics.
Continue reading Fact checking ACT planning →
and now heads south to mess up more suburbs
In the late 1980s, if you happened to be in the office of the National Capital Development Commission, at 220 Northbourne Avenue, it was hard to concentrate on the discussions because of the view looking south along Northbourne to the far mountains.
Continue reading ACT Government destroys Northbourne Ave →
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 →
When the government planners used to plan, community facilities were put in place along with town centres.
Continue reading ACT Government neglects Yerrabi Pond →
residents should avoid contact with NCA
I begin this opinion piece about the National Capital Authority (NCA) by going back about 20 years to comments made during a parliamentary committee looking at the NCA.
Continue reading National Capital Authority specializes in being patronising →
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 →
They think they are progressive – HAH!
For a self-nominated progressive government, the ACT Labor/Greens government has not done well with social housing. Their only success in this area is the boldness of their superficial claims. Do they believe they own rhetoric?
Continue reading ACT Government fails on social housing →
they fib and get away with it!
Going into the 2016 ACT elections, the Chief Minister was under fire because of the Dickson land swap, with the Tradies Club seen as the winners and the taxpayer the losers.
Continue reading ACT Government and more fibs →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 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 →
Memorial declares war on its trees
The residents of Canberra love this city because of the trees. There are numerous occasions when people have had to rally to save our trees.
Continue reading Australian War Memorial as vandal →
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 →
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 →
Book Review: Killing Sydney: The Fight For a City’s Soul
Elizabeth Farrelly’s new book “Killing Sydney: The Fight For a City’s Soul” is a must-read for anyone with an interest in their local planning issues.
Continue reading What happens in Sydney – happens here →
lack of planning and havoc in Woden
It has been about 18 months since I wrote a full piece about the Woden Town Centre and the ever-increasing planning issues that plague residents.
Continue reading over-development in Woden →
Dickson development about to happen
A couple of days before Christmas, a call came through from the Coles project manager to the Dickson Residents Group convenor that the new supermarket complex was to go ahead in May/June 2021.
Continue reading Dickson Supermarket approved →
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.
Continue reading Yes Minister! rules ACT Government →
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.
Continue reading National Capital Authority failures →
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! →
Local enthusiasm for trees and parks
When community groups bring residents together to collectively do something for their suburb, good things happen.
Continue reading Canberra community groups have fun →
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 →
Making the time out to visit regionally
Earlier this month we ventured out for the day to meet a friend at Braidwood. She was from the south coast and so Braidwood meant we both travelled just over an hour.
Continue reading A day out in Braidwood →
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 →