Author Archives: housebound

The opaque Omnibus Draft Territory Plan Variation

By 15 August 2014 HEADLINE ARTICLE

You might have missed it. There’s a slew of changes coming under an ‘omnibus’ draft variation to the Territory Plan.
So what? I hear you say. It’s just looking at rezoning four public housing sites:

Stuart Flats, Griffith
Gowrie Court, Narrabundah
Red Hill Flats, Red Hill
Strathgordon Court, Lyons.

And there’s some unspecified vacant land in Narrabundah, Fyshwick, Symonston and Jerrabomberra [...]

Do we really want more ACT politicians?

Do we really want more ACT politicians?

You’ll probably have heard about the idea to increase the size of the ACT Assembly from 17 to 25 MLAs (in five electorates), with an outside chance of 35 MLAs (from seven electorates) somewhere in the distant future. There’s also a proposal to increase all their salaries now.
The snouts are well and truly in the [...]

ACT elections: understanding Hare-Clark

By 11 October 2012

The ACT Elections factsheet on Hare-Clark describes our vote-counting system. It claims to be a single transferable vote method.
The counting is based on a quota, which is the number of votes a candidate needs to get elected. (The factsheet describes how a quota is calculated.)
If you vote ’1′ for a popular candidate who gets more [...]

Where can electoral advertising signs be placed?

By 1 October 2012

With so many arguments about the rules around candidates signs, it is useful to look at what they actually are.
The rules seem to rule out most candidate signs around – no signs on the grass, on corners, on footpaths, on median strips, attached to bridges or trees or lightpoles, or too close to a road. [...]

What about bias at the ABC?

By 27 September 2012

So we heard about the alleged bias of the Canberra Times.
Is the ABC biased too? More than a few Labor stories are tagged so that a string of Labor promises appear with many of the new announcements (not all). But the Libs don’t do so well, until you get a negative Liberal story.
Recent [...]

Timesheet blowback from Katy’s former Chief of Staff

By 19 April 2012

Former Gallagher Chief of Staff Brendan Ryan has written into the Canberra Times to refute her claims of how she handled timesheet manipulation.
In her support for an ethics commissioner, Gallagher made some claims about a staffer wrongfully claiming time off in lieu (appropriately called TOIL).
The staffer is not happy, claiming that Gallagher is wrong.
Any politician [...]

It couldn’t happen here, could it?

By 25 November 2010

Calling all political hacks out there – does your ACT party of choice keep secret files on people like the ALP in Victoria does? Do they even need to in a town with one degree of separation making software and databases unnecessary?
Some background: The Age reports that the ALP has been keeping secret files on [...]

Godwin Grech escapes charges

By 22 November 2010

The saga of Godwin Grech is come to an end.
Despite all the accusations against Godwin Grech, the DPP have decided that they will not proceed with charges. The short story is that they don’t quite have enough evidence to be 100% certain of securing a conviction (and he’s not a suspected terrorist, so the burden [...]

Calvary deal off – this time we mean it

By 15 August 2010

This must be the classic on-again-off-again romance.
The ACT Government has decided it does not need to buy Calvary Hospital now. Apparantly Katy has realised what the community has been telling her all along: that $77 million is a lot of money to buy something you already own.
Accounting standards have now changed, and ACT Government expenditure [...]

Maternity review – brickbats or bouquets?

By 6 August 2010

The first of two reports on maternity services at the Canberra Hospital has just been released.
According to Katy Gallagher, it gave glowing praise:
Review confirms public maternity services delivering quality care to women
According to the ABC, things aren’t so rosy:
Review damns Canberra Hospital management
You can find the report itself online
There is more about this in the [...]

Art exhibition extended by two weeks

By 11 March 2010

Don’t give up if you haven’t yet managed to get to the NGA Paris Masterpieces exhibition. It’s so popular the NGA has decided to extend it by two weeks to now cover the school holidays.
They’re also planning to put a limit on how many people can go in at a time – so if you [...]

Calvary deal falls through

By 9 February 2010

Well, it’s official. The Calvary sale has fallen through because one of the stakeholders (the Catholic Church) didn’t support it. Someone didn’t do their homework when setting this up.
Labor’s not happy – presumably because they aren’t used to their plans going astray. They say they’re now in a bind.
The Greens should have been breathing a [...]

Free buses up for grabs

By 5 February 2010

In an amazing act of self-sacrifice, ACT public servants have convinced their union to include a request for free [commuter] bus trips in this round of EBA negotiations. Not for them the convenience of driving and parking somwhere close to work.
Here’s the ABC report:
The union claims it will bring a host of benefits to [...]

Insulation options – polyester or fibreglass?

By 3 February 2010

This household was cold-called the other day about installed government-subsidised insulation, courtesy of the Mr Rudd (now $1200).
We were offered either fibreglass or polyester batts. Do any riot-acters have advice about the relative merits of each? I have never heard of the polyester batts, but it seems to be the installer’s preference.

Government response to school closures says Barr was right all along

By 18 December 2009

Following on from the recommendations of the Inquiry into school closures, the government has finally issued its response (see the committee website).
Not surprisingly, Barr has refused to re-open any schools, saying it would cost too much and the communities don’t really need a school anyway and the whole school closures process was great and all [...]

Pssst… wanna buy a used carpark?

By 12 November 2009

Well, somebody has done just that, at some nondescript patch of dirt on Canberra Avenue in Griffith for a cool $7.6 million, according to ABC online: Griffith carpark sells for $7.6mil
It’s zoned commerical and residential (that would be ‘mixed use’), so I guess we’ll see some more high rise apartments in the next few years. [...]

There’s always enough money

By 1 October 2009

Despite the news that the ACT could lose $50 or $60 million (depending on whose version you believe), a view amongst the ACTPS that there won’t be any money around next year for things they don’t want, and strong opposition from the local AMA to the waste of money (buying something back that was never [...]

School closures inquiry report – upsets (almost) everyone

By 18 September 2009

Assembly inquiry reports come and go, but the report of the Inquiry into school closures (a pdf download) has managed to upset everyone apart from the communities of Hall and Tharwa, who have a recommendation to get their schools back.
So how could they upset everyone else?

The committee couldn’t even agree with itself, producing three dissenting [...]

Dark times ahead for ACT

By 8 September 2009

The ABC news tells us that the ACT might be about to face a loss of its share of GST revenue as Western Australia does its usual lobbying effort to avoid sharing too much of its wealth with the rest of us.
This time, WA is backed by a Commonwealth Grants Commission report (3.9 MB download). [...]

Are you prepared to pay?

By 20 August 2009

In its own little test of the validity of willingenss-to-pay theory, our illustrious leader has decided to introduce a voluntary gold coin donation for entry into the ACT Parks and Conservation estate. The idea is that it will reign in TaMS’ mult-mullion dollar overspend.
The only problem is that Australians, and people in general, are usually [...]

Drought or climate change – will you save water this winter?

By 13 August 2009

Here’s one to start an argument. The ABC tells us that inflows into the ACT water supply dams are 90% below the long term average.
The ABC pins it all on rainfall, but the propensity of regenerating forest to guzzle it wouldn’t help.
So what are Canberrans going to do now about saving water? Is [...]

Next chapter in the data centre site selection saga

By 2 December 2008

The ABC reports that a special taskforce has come back saying the current proposed site for the data centre is the best.
The report is going to cabinet for a government decision. I would have thought in this new-look ‘cooperative’ Assembly that there would have been some open, transparent and consultative discussion before making a decision. [...]

Data centre health impact assessment now public

By 18 November 2008

Here’s one for the doubters: the shelved HIA was released late yesterday.
You can download it from the ACT Health website
Or directly.
Be careful before clicking that last link: it is a 23MB pdf file. So much for ACT Government web accessibility guidelines.

Data centre now moving

By 13 November 2008

It seems Michael Costello has given his permission for the data centre to be moved according to the ABC.
This from the TRE people who said that if they had to move, they would leave
Curiouser and curiouser.
[ED - a bluff called.]

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