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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
The term “neighbourhood character” was used in official planning documents and this measure was treated seriously when parts of established suburbs were up for redevelopment. Continue reading Caring for Neighbourhood Character
Resident’s groups have become reluctant to respond to ABC Canberra’s call for comment on the development decisions such as those for the Ainslie Group (Ainslie Football Club).
When a politician says something such as: “Recreational areas in a suburb create a vital meeting point for the community”, then people should celebrate having such a person in government. Continue reading Canberra greens spaces used a land banks
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
The ACT planning system is opaque and inaccessible.
Continue reading Developers sidestep Gentleman’s planning fix
The ACT government’s proposal to “Raise London Circuit” for the tram was submitted for approval to the National Capital Authority (NCA) in October.
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
The National Capital Authority (NCA) finished 2021 on a low note. Not that would surprise those who have recently dealt with the NCA.
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.
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
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.
Wandering through Civic, there loomed ahead a shape.
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.
There are three major development issues within Canberra’s inner north that are going to make things interesting in 2022.
A good strategic or corporate plan outlines what is being done and proves timelines.
This was to be the year the ACT government was to deliver the much-vaunted reforms to make planning simpler and more accessible.
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).
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
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.
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?
A lot has been said about the folly of the ACT government’s Demonstration Housing Projects. The bureaucratic spin has been frequent and blatant.
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!
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.
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.
I have written earlier about the goings-on in Manuka over the Lianglis Manuke Cinema development.
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.
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.
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.
Two ACT government statements surfaced recently relating to planning issues in different parts of the city.
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.
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
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
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?
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.
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
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.
With Canberra being a “city in a landscape”, why does the ACT government not understand the value of landscape and open spaces?
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.
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.
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
When government bureaucrats present at community meetings, their spin and prepared lines do not go down well.
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.
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.
An authority being a waste of space
The ACT’s City Renewal Authority, a 2016 bright idea from Andrew Barr, is something the people of Canberra did not ask for and is spending a lot of taxpayers’ money in one place – a selected part of central Canberra.
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.
While the October ACT election returned a new version of the Labor/Greens coalition, this result was not because it was respected.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There’s a new level of frustration within Canberra’s community groups with how the ACT government conducts itself on planning and development.
When community groups bring residents together to collectively do something for their suburb, good things happen.
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.
The last couple of years has been bad news for parks in Canberra.
With the ACT Labor/Greens coalition in place until October 2024, it’s a good time to start reporting on how it’s performing.
Attention to a significant piece of national land is being overlooked among the misinformation used to justify the demolition of West Basin.