Tag Archives: urban development

ACT Minister takes the mick

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

Canberra Liberals and ACT Racing

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

ACT Greens and ACT Racing

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

town cramming in the inner north

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 Government fails governance

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

A Tower too far by Geocon

NCA called on to be sensible!

In this city with the ever-increasing towers, as encouraged by the developer-friendly chief minister, the major issue is not just the towers themselves, but the lack of planning guiding the appropriateness and logic of their size and the location.

Continue reading A Tower too far by Geocon

The NCA can stop the tram going south

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

Who benefits from the Trojan Tram going south?

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?

Urban infill on a human scale

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

Another failure of the ACT Greens

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

ACT Government fails own climate actions

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

ACT planning directorate past its use-by-date

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

Canberra and trees

Thinking about trees at Christmas time

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.

Continue reading Canberra and trees

Kingston Arts Precinct or more apartments

When confronted with the latest complex goings-on with the proposal for a huge apartment development alongside the Old Bus Depot Markets that will include the Kingston Arts Precinct, the Inner South Canberra Community Council (ISCCC) did a very sensible thing.

Continue reading Kingston Arts Precinct or more apartments

Canberra and the fictional Utopia

ON Wednesday, August 21, ABC TV commenced the fourth series of “Utopia”, starring Rob Sitch as Tony Woodford, the CEO of the fictional National Building Authority. 

On the same evening, the North Canberra Community Council (NCCC) hosted a presentation by Malcolm Snow, the real CEO of the City Renewal Authority, on the authority’s program for urban developments and infrastructure around Civic and north to Dickson.

Continue reading Canberra and the fictional Utopia

Destroying Australia’s National Capital

NCA quietly approves tower shock on Northbourne

There are serious problems with the National Capital Authority (NCA) that could be addressed by the soon-to-be-elected ACT Federal politicians. I have outlined the background to the issues in a piece in City News – click here

National Capital Authority and the developer

Late in 2018 residents rallied about a questionable development proposal for 71 Constitution Avenue in Campbell. This development comes under the National Capital Authority and residents were dealing with the fact that the development broke the NCA’s own rules yet somehow it was being progressed. Here’s my piece in City News.

Planning strategy of smoke and mirrors

People want the bad stuff to stop now

On December 5 our blessed planning minister, Mick Gentleman, ascended Mount Ainslie to hand down the 2018 ACT Planning Strategy. This was just another media performance to try to convince someone that this government takes  planning serioulsy.

It does not.

Here’s my piece in City News on this silly performance.

Signs of intrigue within the inner north

First an update on the 2016-2017 ACAT appeal about the proposal to remove the carpark in front of Woolworths and to build an apartment and supermarket complex.

Continue reading Signs of intrigue within the inner north

Dear Minister for Town Cramming

Why are we so unfortunate here in Canberra to have a string of planning and urban development ministers who feel that it is their duty to say something regularly to upset those who enjoy a fantastic ambience within inner Canberra?

Continue reading Dear Minister for Town Cramming


“Call us dull, call us sellouts, call us gentrifiers – just don’t call us copycats”

Our lust for originality is wrecking the city, delivering a rash of formally new but ultimately anti-urban hideous skyline baubles reducing city-making to a spectacle of super-size billboard branding gestures while inhibiting the multiplication of good ideas. Click here


Architecture and all that spin

If there is one occupation that I could not imagine doing, it is being an ACT Government planner who spends most of the day looking through development applications (DA) for commercial developments.

Continue reading Architecture

Googong or Canberra?


With the debate in Canberra about housing affordability, the ACT Liberals have been using a particular line in their election statements to criticise the current government’s Land Development Agency (LDA) and its handling of land prices.

Continue reading Googong or Canberra?

Development Dilemmas

Part one – When the Property Council Talks

this will be the first in a long series on this topic – also note that images are sourced from research papers that can be accessed by clicking on the image.

This is a cautionary tale on the dilemma faced by those who embrace the idea that our cities and suburbs are going to change and redevelopment is to happen.

The expectation of the citizenry is that they elect local, state and federal governments and that part of the remit for government is to provide built environments for the present citizens and future generations. The housing and associated amenities thus provided should enhance the residents opportunities to have a good life through being housed in healthy, sustainable and livable urban environments. Continue reading Development Dilemmas