while more trees come down!
Once ACT Greens and Labor politicians become very important ministers in the ACT government, their contact with real people diminishes.
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.
When you think of planning and development and who is making a mess of this city, attention usually turns to the dark arts as practised by the ACT Planning Directorate.
When the ACT government announced on September 25 an allocation of $14 million to plant 54,000 trees across Canberra, clearly it was designed to give the impression that the government took trees and biodiversity seriously.
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?”
Last week the National Capital Authority announced its long-awaited Tree Management Policy.
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.
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.
In the lead up to the October ACT election, trees were an item of interest to anyone wanting to be elected.
When community groups bring residents together to collectively do something for their suburb, good things happen.
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.
Driving west on Belconnen Way, under the Gungahlin Drive Bridge, there is a view that demonstrates how planning and landscape aesthetics are not in the skill set of those who run this city.
On World Environment Day, June 5, the Canberra Liberals committed to planting one million trees over the next decade if they form government following the October 17 ACT election.
Before the 2016 ACT elections the Labor Party indicated that it was to make changes to how planning and development happened.
Woden Valley Community Council (WVCC) meetings have commenced the year 2020 with priority themes that are much the same as in 2019.
A tree came down earlier this week in Dickson (above).
Looking at the trees nearby, it will not be long before more of these trees meet a similar fate.
Because what you do next – today and tomorrow, and every day after that, Counts
So make it count
The Singapore government of the ’70s, led by Lee Kuan Yew, was hell-bent on building a modern and prosperous city/state. It took a close relative to point out that if he wanted tourists to visit, then he needed to stop bulldozing the old stuff.
Is there a more significant way of celebrating Christmas than with a tree?
Yes, with lots of trees! How about a suburb of trees? This is what the Yarralumla Residents Association is doing for Christmas this year.
It’s Christmas! A time to be jolly.
A Christmas tree is such a positive symbol. No matter how crazy or plain, Christmas trees, like the real ones, bring joy. And we could do with a lot more fun in life.
The Yarralumla Residents Association (YRA) is 32 years old.
The association was formed because of the first proposals to redevelop the Brickworks site on the western edge of the suburb.
Into the inner-north letterboxes has appeared a pamphlet from one of our local members, the ACT Greens’ Shane Rattenbury. There will be more from others given the October 2020 ACT elections.
The problem with the Greens’ pamphlet was the spin. The heading read “Putting our climate first”.
Late in 2018 the Weston Creek Community Council held a public forum for fire experts to provide information about fires in the 21st century. It was really scary stuff.
Another example of when the ACT Greens proved to be a disappointment – A Collective Fizzer
It was announced on Wednesday (October 23) that the government is reviewing the ACT’s Tree Protection Act. Good news! Maybe.
The devil is in the detail and we are talking about a government that we have learnt not to trust.
The ACT government is hoping to plonk Common Ground onto Section 72 in Dickson and is asking for feedback on the concept design for the building and site design.
Bureaucracies can be so out of touch with reality. Not for the first time there are serious questions around decisions being made about the fate of trees in the suburbs of Canberra.
The catalyst for this piece starts with a sad story in Holder where a resident is being driven crazy by decisions about the obvious need to remove an inappropriate tree next to his house.
Some stories about planning in Canberra are simply unbelievable. This is one of those and involves the National Capital Authority not doing its job.
How sad! Yet another glossy ACT Government planning document that is a waste of time and effort – click here for my piece on this CRAPP in City News
The Watson Community Association recently conducted consultations to produce the community’s own visionary plan for their suburb. Click here for the piece in City News
The bush capital is under threat from the ACT Government – it’s about trees
There’s a long saga at play in Dickson in Canberra. Here’s the latest on this – click here.
and there’s more..
This a sad tale of people sitting on the fence while part of the heritage of the suburb of Downer is to be removed. Click here.
The ACT government has failed to care for Canberra’s urban forests. We are constantly losing trees. Click here for my City News article on trees.
THE people of Canberra love our trees and when one is threatened unnecessarily, people do whatever they can to save it. Here’s a tale about a significant tree, the ACT’s chief planner, the developer and – the tree’s future. Here’s my piece in City News on this.
The ACT Government has a bad reputation in its dealings with residents and their concerns for the future of Canberra.
I have written about this topic in City News – here’s my piece – click here.
It came as a shock to hear a community leader class a community site as a wasteland.
About the architecture along Northbourne Avenue
There’s a call by the ACT Government for residents to go online and to offer thoughts on the future of Haig Park.
I believe in good government. I believe that many of our public sector employees do a great job. Occasionally, I even witness a politician who has values and fights for them (rarely).
I have the benefit of living in a suburb with plenty of tree cover. In fact the view outside onto the streets is almost as if the street is a parkland. The concept that any suburb should have an abundance of trees and shrubs and associated bio-diversity is simply so logical that one wonders why would anyone think otherwise.
and yes, we should be looking after them.
During times of heat, drought, and extreme temperatures, it really demonstrates how the planning of Canberra, ‘the garden city’, was based on serious misunderstandings.
click on any photograph to enlarge it
The linked article has ramifications for the current forest management methods and choices about what to log or not. The piece also reminds us all of the importance of all trees, not only for shade and green infrastructure benefits, but also as carbon sinks.
While becoming carbon neutral must be the top priority, it remains that trees are part of the adaptation processes of dealing with some of the carbon in our atmosphere. This points to the need to increase our urban forests and to ensure that new developments include more than adequate trees to deal with heat island effects, to provide for increase health and wellbeing and to be part of city-wide urban carbon sinks.
Lindsay Prior Arboretum, Canberra
If you have not already read it elsewhere on this blog, I love trees. Our home is now immersed in shrubbery. Ever morning we awake to sounds of all the bird life that enjoy our the biodiversity in the garden in our street. The front has been planted and designed in such a way that when we sit on the front verandah and look in a northerly direction, all we see are trees and shrubs. There homes and cars in that direction, but they a blocked out so that it looks as though we look out on a private parkland. But despite our private parkland and that a wetland is five minutes away, we do venture out occasionally to see what others are doing with trees. Occasionally!
On the western edge of Canberra’s CBD, next to the Australian National University, on the side of Black Mountain, sits one of the National Capital’s often overlooked treasures, the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Although it figures in tourist brochures, I am not aware of large numbers of visitors. I am also not convinced that local Canberrans visit this site very often or that they think to take their visitors there.
The community engagement on proposals to shift the Kings Highway Trees near Braidwood NSW
A Case Study where full Community Engagement was required but not employed.
The following opinion piece discusses an overlooked opportunity for real Community Engagement in dealing with the issues around the memorial avenue of trees leading into Braidwood on the Kings Highway from both sides of the township.
with photographs by Gael Newton
There has been a bit of noise of late around the proposals that the ACT Government is to introduce a light rail system into Canberra. In the first instance the rail will connect the inner north and the newer northern suburbs through to Civic, the main CBD area.
The light rail should have been there at least 20 years ago. It will be an interesting problem to make it viable now. Some form of transit system is required but so much of the infrastructure around it will need to be also altered. The city was built for cars. Many issues to be worked through. For instance ….
Casual roaming of the neighbourhood can reveal some of the oddities of local urbanity.
First a background story. Going back several decades, there used to be tradition in Canberra that each winter the residents would rake their leaves in the street gutter and then set fire to them. The neighbourhoods were full of smoke from these frequent local burnings. Eventually the local government put a stop to this local tradition.
City of Trees, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 5 July – 7 October 2013
This review originally published August 2013
One lazy Saturday afternoon I took myself over to the National Library of Australia. I had read all the advertising and was very much looking forward to an exhibition on the trees of Canberra.
Any exhibition that focused on the trees of Canberra has to be something to see, something to talk about, and something that would be most embraced.
In short, this one did none of those things for this reviewer. This exhibition in this prestigious national library exhibition space just left me wondering just what happened. Did the exhibition curators sign up a feel good Centenary Exhibition about one of the core features of the national capital; its fabulous trees. And then the pieces arrived and there was nothing to do but to make a good show of it. In this case it has been well laid out with all the usual fine aesthetics of good curatorship. But the content is just not there.
originally published May 2013
If you had not heard, Canberra is celebrating 100 years. Right now the city is in the advance stages of winter, with all signs being that it will arrive seriously on our leafy door steps this time next week.
This is one of the pleasures of being up here on this hinterland and in the middle of the countryside where someone about 100 years ago thought it wise the plonk the national capital. Because of the location, we get to experience the full gamut of the changing seasons. And right now it is getting cold. Continue reading The Art of Trees