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 9th floor office window.
Continue reading Understanding landscape should be the chief qualification →
There’s a relatively new driveway off Angas Street Ainslie on the side of the Ainslie Football Club. It goes nowhere – it serves no known purpose.
Continue reading Canberra’s community groups need to stand proud →
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 →
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 →
ACT Government East Lake Place Plan is a farce
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.
Continue reading Making money from the the Causeway homes →
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 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 →
On the afternoon of Tuesday 28th March, Canberra Liberal Peter Cain rose to his feet in the legislative assembly to deliver a brief speech about an aspect of the chief minister’s planning reforms.
Continue reading Canberra Liberals need to try harder on planning →
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? →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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? →
is this what we signed up for?
Developers love putting up their signs of things to come that will make life better for future residents.
Continue reading The wonders of signs →
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 Government marked down – again
When looking at the use of public money, I want to focus on two ACT Auditor-General reports one year apart.
Continue reading ACT Government shrugs at audit reports →
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 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 →
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 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 →
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 →
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 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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
ACT heritage minister is missing
Houses of heritage value often cause problems for ACT Heritage Ministers and their planning chiefs.
Continue reading Fate of Forrest heritage house remains mystery →
A compliant NCA to be fooled again
The ACT government’s proposal to “Raise London Circuit” for the tram was submitted for approval to the National Capital Authority (NCA) in October.
Continue reading Tram spin to defeat the NCA →
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 →
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 →
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 →
Here’s some news the ACT Labor/Greens coalition government may not appreciate. The model they use to enable for development and for getting the tram done, builds on the way trains and trams were introduced in and around Sydney in the late 19th century.
Continue reading Who benefits from the Trojan Tram going south? →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →