If you happen to be driving past the South African Embassy in Canberra, you may notice a lonely and disused sentry box on the corner near the entrance to the embassy and its residence. Today, this corner of Canberra is very quiet and most people drive by without giving any thought to the place this [...]
The ACT has a Planning Minister and he has put out a document titled — Statement of Planning Intent.
Putting aside that the title sounds as if it was the outcome of a long series of bureaucratic focus meetings, it is great to see the minister, Mick Gentleman, put into words something of a vision for [...]
There are so many stories to be told around the installation of the memorial to the 353 people who drowned while attempting the journey to Christmas Island on 19th October, 2001. I have visited the SIEV X memorial site at Weston Park numerous times and the impact has not reduced.
With each pole representing an individual [...]
Sometimes a visit to the National Gallery of Australia can deliver a very nice surprise.
I was there on Sunday to meet someone and thought that I would take a quick look around to see what was left to be seen given their notices that the whole place was undergoing a major reshuffle.
I was surprised to [...]
When the ACT Government announced in October that they were putting out to tender the development of an arts precinct within the Kingston Foreshore, it did send a quiet ripple through those involved in the arts.
There are many models of precincts that could be classified as being an arts precinct, such as parts of South [...]
Canberra residents have noticed that whenever the Chief Minister and his LDA/Directorate bureaucrats want to send in the bulldozers into an established suburb, that they use the same propaganda. They do this despite the fact that no-one believes the spin, which is not based on an honest translation of the residents’ aspirations as expressed time [...]
Mt Ainslie is hands-down the best lookout in Canberra. Basically, this is because after hiking all the way to the top it makes you feel like doing a Leonardo di Caprio, “I’m the King of the World!” (Except that actually requires having to catch one’s breath, which takes a bit longer than I would care [...]
Canberra was lit up like a Christmas tree last night as a noisy thunderstorm swept in bringing nearly 20mm rain with it.
Pets hid inside and those of us who were stuck out in the storm alternated between being enthralled at the light show and frightened of being struck by lightning.
RiotACT contributor Gabrielle Kneipp was out [...]
Just when most locals probably thought that there have been more than enough discussions and surveys about the Canberra’s new light rail (or trams), the ACT Government has launched another consultation on the topic.
But wait – do not despair just yet – this time the focus is not about whether or not, or when or [...]
Having any urban park is to be celebrated and all efforts should be made to ensure their continued existence. Parks are constantly under threat from various property industry lobbyists who have the ear of government. Glebe Park in Civic, Haig Park in Braddon and Turner and the Dickson Parklands are currently in the eyes of those [...]
The Dickson Parklands (bureaucratically classified as Section 72 Dickson) have been the subject of questionable proposals for a couple of years by the ACT Government through the LDA and the linked development directorate.
The most notorious foray was the insensitive proposal that the trees on the corner of Cowper and Antill should be cleared for a [...]
A few years back the ABC TV program The Beast poked fun at the capital with a cringe-inspiring video, ‘Canberra: The Musical’, mocking our roundabouts, fake lake and bureaucratic heritage.
One redeeming feature was a cameo appearance by the late great Peter Harvey at the end. Sorry to those of you who involved producing it, yes, it’s [...]
As mentioned in an earlier post, the ACT Government is under pressure from the National Capital Authority to move Floriade out of Commonwealth Park west.
Many people agree that it is time to rethink some aspects of Floriade. It has been much the same for decades – so yes it is indeed timely to refresh this [...]
More than thirty years ago there was a very vocal community campaign to halt the complete takeover of Glebe Park.
The proposal by a large development company in partnership with the then government (how things change!) was to take out the trees and to change the northern section the park to an event space for a [...]
We went for a quick dip at Civic Pool (known as Canberra Olympic Pool these days) yesterday afternoon and learnt that work to repair the expensive leak from the outdoor diving pool is going well. A staff member told us the diving pool and neighbouring toddler pool are due to re-open in November. The future [...]
Many years ago the suburb of Downer had a thriving shopping centre and a bustling school next door. All this became a distant memory when the school closed and with the rise of the nearby Dickson shops, the local shops went into slow decline. Eventually the school building was demolished.
The situation could be about to change, [...]
Tuggeranong town centre has received some mixed commentary in recent weeks. Ever since it was reported that Tuggeranong’s population is declining, locals have mounted their soap boxes. They’ve pointed out how it is much loved, that they are proud to live there, and made the call for local action.
The Hyperdome is well maintained and offers the [...]
The High Court of Australia, which opened in 1980, is the tallest building on the southern central foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin. Its architectural style, being brutalist concrete and glass, is not exactly friendly.
Looking at the building from the north it is out of proportion with its surroundings. I have long regarded the building as [...]
The ACT Government’s Land Development Agency (LDA) has just circulated a media release that I think was meant to be good news and was supposed to inform us that something is about to happen along Northbourne Ave.
Apparently the LDA/Chief Minister’s Directorate is very happy about a decision by the Heritage Council to list seventeen buildings. [...]
Canberra residents have the perception, or at least the aspiration, that the elected ACT politician appointed to be the planning minister will oversee the future planning and development of the city on behalf of the residents.
In a recent article the former chief minister, Jon Stanhope, listed one of his disappointments as not being able to deal [...]
Two planning announcements have raised a few eyebrows in Canberra recently.
The first was that the government had taken back the running of the infamous Westside container precinct. This so called ‘experimental’ development was due to open in time for Floriade in 2014. As of August 2015, it was yet to become fully operational, despite the Chief [...]
It’s the perfect time of year to enjoy a pleasant stroll around Aranda with native flora in full bloom. We’ve just researched this easy walk taking just over an hour through Aranda’s pretty parks featuring stunning native flower displays.
The walk starts and ends at the old Aranda shops site, now occupied by the dog friendly Two [...]
Canberra is a city where residents are continually at odds with planning and development agencies. It is also accepted that planning bureaucrats are skilled at bending the rules to suit themselves and other players.
It seems that it has always been so. The very building they occupy today in Dickson is a testament to their aptitude to [...]
I support the introduction of light rail networks across Canberra.
We should not be having this debate in 2015. The first tracks should have been laid down in the late 1950s or at least by the mid 1960s.
I blame the former NCDC for this oversight. This lack of light rail transport infrastructure most likely came about [...]
[ 14 August 2015 to 6 September 2015. ]
A renowned pastelist, Amanda McLean has worked extensively in the Canberra region. Her recent focus has been landscapes and seascapes of southern NSW, and studies of Lake Burley Griffin. Her work very successfully captures the moods of the country and climate, while her capacity to portray the transition from water to sky creates a beautiful [...]
It was not that long ago that winter in Canberra meant that the air was filled with smoke.
These grey blankets across the capital were in part made up of the smoke from the very popular wood-fired heaters used within many Canberra homes. Other additions to the annual smoking events were backyard fires lit to burn [...]
The suburb of O’Connor is in Canberra’s inner north, squished in between Turner and Lyneham, with Northbourne Avenue and Gungahlin Drive on either side. It was named after Richard Edward O’Connor, a legislator, federalist, and one of the founders of the Constitution.
I think if you asked a handful of people what they know about O’Connor [...]
There’s no doubt that the ACT Government has put an emphasis on communications and marketing when it comes to particular urban developments. This is very evident in the number of media statements in circulation.
There’s one media statement currently circulating about the pending demolition of the Currong Apartments in Braddon on the edge of Civic. To [...]
The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) opened its new wing in 2010 and amongst several key improvements was the realignment of the main front entrance. This new southern entrance makes sense and is totally logical. It has not always been so.
The former entrance was via a ramp that was a bit of puzzle to the [...]
It was during a recent North Canberra Community Council meeting that I realised I was hearing something very rare. The presenter was talking about fairly matter-of-fact issues to do with changes to local traffic lights and footpaths and it sounded as though she identified with the issues being dealt with.
Then she said it. She commented [...]