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Another kick in the guts for Giralang

By Andrew Zed - 14 September 2016 31

Giralang shops

Now the cat is out of the bag it’s clear that the whole debacle of the Giralang shops has been a win for business owners at the expense of Giralang residents.

Metchash (owners of IGA Evatt) and the previous owners of Supabarn Kaleen (current owners of Supabarn Crace) have benefited from 12 years of no nearby supermarket competition. Even better for them, this situation will continue indefinitely and at least for another year as there are still no shops in place.

Former site of bench seats

Whilst the shops are the most obvious example, the neglect of the Giralang suburb extends to many other areas. Maintaining the suburb has been ignored to the point where in the whole suburb there is now not one single bench and table to picnic at, the public phone has been removed, sports seating has been removed and there have been no new trees planted in the last year. Removal of dangerous trees has now been reduced to lopping all limbs off and leaving the trunks in place. There’s more but I have probably got the point across. ACT government data exists and confirms these points.

Unrepaired cover

The ACT Government’s way of doing things has been reprehensible leaving the whole suburb in a continued state of neglect for the last 12 years. The average time for responses to emails, calls and letters is THREE MONTHS. Many points of contact have not got any response. Reply letters have included contrary statements and Andrew Barr has gone from publicly stating that he supports the outcome from the courts i.e. the current DA, to supporting a compromise outcome.

The compromise outcome which is yet to be revealed to Giralang residents was the result of private meetings that Mick Gentlemen set up between the developers and opposing businesses. They’re all happy now but Giralang residents are still in the dark.

After being left to rot there’s not much hope that change will come soon. Considering the years of rates increases for degrading services, local anger at the ACT Government and Labor is now RED HOT!

graffiti

It’s no wonder that in the whole of Giralang all Labor candidate signs have gone missing.

This situation would not have been tolerated in any affluent suburb but once again the battlers just get a kick in the guts.

Giralang bus shelter

The upside is that soon Giralang residents will be able deliver their verdict. Labor has been giving us the cold shoulder for a looooooooong time. I hope they are paying attention and won’t miss the message from Giralang’s residents, rate payers and tax payers.

Pictured from top, the Giralang shops; former bench seat site: “We used to have bench seats here. You can see them on Google maps images,” Andrew Zed says; an unrepaired cover: “This dangerous cover is unrepaired after 5 months.”; graffiti in Giralang: “This graffiti has not been removed and it’s now 8 years old. There plenty more around the suburb too.”; a bus shelter at Giralang: “When other suburbs had all their turret-style bus shelters replaced we go this. It was missing panels and has remained filthy since installation. TAMS acknowledge this and have left it unrepaired for 5 years.”; and below, “non-removal” of dangerous trees. “TAMS data shows no new tree planting have occurred in the last year and only 50 trees have been planted in the last 6 years. No data exists for plantings before 6 years back but there is no evidence of plantings in the prior 6 years.”

Limbs removed from dangerous tree Limbs removed from dangerous tree

Andrew Zed is a Giralang resident/rates payer/taxpayer.

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31 Responses to
Another kick in the guts for Giralang
Andrew Zed 10:35 pm 15 Sep 16

The ACT government has been invited to respond to this article but it is no surprise that they have not.

I would be interested to know what former MLA John Hargreaves thinks of the situation. He is a regular contributor to the RiotACT site. Surely now that he is not part of the ACT government he would be able to provide an objective unbiased opinion…….

devils_advocate 9:37 am 15 Sep 16

dungfungus said :

Masquara said :

Andrew Zed said :

I’ve sent over 20 group emails which included Andrew Barr, Mick Gentleman, Shane Rattenbury…

Ba ha ha – you didn’t expect Mr Shane “David Feeney” Rattenbury to take an interest in street accoutrements outside the light rail negatively-geared investment corridor did you?

I see Bob Brown (the one who used to receive a generous tax free MP travel allowance that Joe Hockey was attacked about) is defending Rattenbury in today’s Canberra Times.

It’s one thing to make investments along the ‘light rail corridor’ based on publicly available information. But it’s altogether another to be influencing judgements on land zoning in an area where one holds properties.

Just calling it now so that later on it won’t be seen as the wisdom of hindsight.

dungfungus 8:53 am 15 Sep 16

Masquara said :

Andrew Zed said :

I’ve sent over 20 group emails which included Andrew Barr, Mick Gentleman, Shane Rattenbury…

Ba ha ha – you didn’t expect Mr Shane “David Feeney” Rattenbury to take an interest in street accoutrements outside the light rail negatively-geared investment corridor did you?

I see Bob Brown (the one who used to receive a generous tax free MP travel allowance that Joe Hockey was attacked about) is defending Rattenbury in today’s Canberra Times.

Masquara 9:24 pm 14 Sep 16

Andrew Zed said :

I’ve sent over 20 group emails which included Andrew Barr, Mick Gentleman, Shane Rattenbury…

Ba ha ha – you didn’t expect Mr Shane “David Feeney” Rattenbury to take an interest in street accoutrements outside the light rail negatively-geared investment corridor did you?

ddd444 9:13 pm 14 Sep 16

Paul Costigan said :

Dear Andrew Zed,

Good on you for putting your (and the suburb’s) frustration out there in a public forum.

This mess goes back to a fight caused by the then chief planner who made a curious decision to favour Woolworths despite the then government policy on introducing new supermarkets – and all ministers and chief planners since have continued to shift this around without any care for the local community.

This is a clear case study of how planning has become dysfunctional. There needs to be a total clean out of those responsible for this and so many other planning/development shambles.

The planning system is beyond any simple repair and no more patches could make any difference – it needs to be thrown out (ministers and all the bathwater) and a new simpler and transparent one put in place.

So this problem was caused by Woolworths being “favoured”?

Giralang residents wanted a supermarket and shops. Developer wanted to put in flats.

As far I know, Supabarn or the like didn’t step up and offer the developer a viable tenancy option from them for Giralang shops if the developer rebuilt them. There was no favouritism. Woolies was the only option for Giralang.

So the option was, Woolworths or no shops. No shops = big lose for Giralang. And less supermarket competition in the surrounding suburbs. The Woolworths proposal was the only reasonable resolution for everyone, it has now failed because the situation has been allowed to drag on so long by the ACT Government by court action from competing commercial interests.

If you want to talk about favouritism, why not talk about how the ACT Government prohibited Coles and Woolies from bidding on certain largish new supermarket sites in the name of competition. Those sites were purchased by Supabarn, who then tried to sell said sites to Coles and were only stopped by the ACCC.

If you want to talk about favouritism, why not talk about the ACT Governments supposed 1,000m2 shops restriction for “local centres” which appears to be applied in a completely random manner to different suburbs? Since the Giralang shops closed, shops have opened or been approved in Crace (supabarn), Casey (2 supermarkets plus option for third), an Aldi granted for Dickson in addition to current shops, Lawson has been granted a decent size supermarket and shops, Harrison and Amaroo and Bonner got new shops. DFO has been granted a change in the planning laws to have a supermarket of 1,000m2 in an area not previously permitted to have supermarkets, to save it’s business despite the impact on other surrounding businesses. Many more examples of more and bigger shops opening up everywhere, apart from Giralang. I believe that all of the above shops mentioned are larger and mostly much larger even for the supermarkets alone than 1,000m2 TOTAL floor space that I have been told in writing that is Government policy (ie, not total supermarket space, total shop space). Current DA for Giralang is 1,500m2 TOTAL that must be downsized to 1,000m2 shop space if an amended DA is submitted for any reason. I am not sure that this is correct and it may be that the 1,000m2 only applies to the supermarket size, but if that is the case Barr does not know his own laws and is opposing the size of the Giralang centres shops floor space against his own policies. I anyone has any real facts and figures regarding shops sizes I am open to any correction of anything I may have said noting that Barr has told me clearly in writing that they believe Giralang should be limited to 1,000m2 TOTAL shops space.

ddd444 8:26 pm 14 Sep 16

Grail said :

Just be aware that if you vote Liberal they will be taking even more money from the budget to fund two new private hospitals.

have you submitted a request for explanation about the tree lopping and lack of maintenance of private infrastructure (it’s adShell, not ACT Government responsible for bus shelters, and Telstra or other responsible for communications and electrical infrastructure).

A letter to Shane should get the ball rolling, the Greens are keen to win votes after all.

Expressing your frustration in writing directly to a MLA is better than venting on public forums.

Hi Grail,

I am happy to be corrected if you have evidence to the contrary, but I don’t believe adShell would be responsible for this bus shelter. They are responsible for the bus shelters that contain advertising – that is how they make their money from providing the maintenance of the bus shelter vs the revenue from the advertising. This shelter does not have ads. It will never be taken over by adShell like I believe the Kaleen shops bus shelter has (it has ads) because there is too little foot traffic without shops to make advertising revenue viable.

That pit does not look like a Telstra pit. Not saying that it definitely isn’t, just saying it doesn’t look like pictures of any Telstra pit I have ever seen.

I am a resident of Giralang and have made dozens of emails to all political parties about Giralang shops, other Giralang issues such as cancellation of our city bus services under the tram, and non-Giralang specific issues. I have only once received a reply that has been personalised and anything but a canned generic response not addressing the issues. Not once so far has any actual action from the politicians resulted from my emails. I find Rattenbury to be the worst offender for non-response.

Paul Costigan 4:20 pm 14 Sep 16

Dear Andrew Zed,

Good on you for putting your (and the suburb’s) frustration out there in a public forum.

This mess goes back to a fight caused by the then chief planner who made a curious decision to favour Woolworths despite the then government policy on introducing new supermarkets – and all ministers and chief planners since have continued to shift this around without any care for the local community.

This is a clear case study of how planning has become dysfunctional. There needs to be a total clean out of those responsible for this and so many other planning/development shambles.

The planning system is beyond any simple repair and no more patches could make any difference – it needs to be thrown out (ministers and all the bathwater) and a new simpler and transparent one put in place.

Andrew Zed 2:18 pm 14 Sep 16

Here’s a link to google maps that clearly shows one of the benches that have been removed from the area that is shown in the photo of the playing field. Meghan Fitzharris told me that there is no ACT government record of these having existed. Funny how she didn’t reply to the email with this link which I sent to her……

https://www.google.com/maps/place/10+Tucana+St,+Giralang+ACT+2617,+Australia/@-35.2161203,149.0967822,3a,66.8y,318.16h,61.13t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1szcicGzws2iSFJhdH4ygjQA!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x6b17acd692ca3d15:0x80df43a59fadae46

rommeldog56 2:14 pm 14 Sep 16

Grail said :

Just be aware that if you vote Liberal they will be taking even more money from the budget to fund two new private hospitals.

I thought the Libs said that the 2 new “hospitals” are to be funded from savings from not proceeding with stage 1 of the Tram. Also, they are public, not private.

So, wrong on both counts.

Where will ACT Labor/Greens get the cost of Tram stage 2 to Woden (what ever that is – they haven’t even said how much that election “promise” will cost) as well as fund their expansion of Canberra Hospital ? Answer : Your back pocket.

Mysteryman 2:09 pm 14 Sep 16

Grail said :

Just be aware that if you vote Liberal they will be taking even more money from the budget to fund two new private hospitals.

“The ACT Liberals would open two local public hospitals with emergency departments in Gungahlin and Tuggeranong by late 2020, if elected at the October election.” – http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/liberals-promise-new-hospitals-in-gungahlin-and-tuggeranong-if-elected-20160902-gr7f8b.html

Andrew Zed 2:01 pm 14 Sep 16

Grail said :

Just be aware that if you vote Liberal they will be taking even more money from the budget to fund two new private hospitals.

have you submitted a request for explanation about the tree lopping and lack of maintenance of private infrastructure (it’s adShell, not ACT Government responsible for bus shelters, and Telstra or other responsible for communications and electrical infrastructure).

A letter to Shane should get the ball rolling, the Greens are keen to win votes after all.

Expressing your frustration in writing directly to a MLA is better than venting on public forums.

I’ve sent over 20 group emails which included Andrew Barr, Mick Gentleman, Shane Rattenbury, Meghan Fitzharris and the Libs. I’ve sent letters, made calls to Andrew Barr, Mick Gentleman, TAMS and used Fix My Street. All this over an extended period.
Expressing my frustration in writing directly to MLAs is OF NO EFFECT which is why I am venting on public forums.

Thanks Grail, it seems you HAD no understanding of the situation. I hope now you are more well informed.

Tortfeaser, if I have made a mistake then I’m happy to be corrected. Maybe I should have just said it was the owners of IGA Evatt. It is quite a spray which is substantiated by ACT government data that I did not include to make the article less than a page long.

gooterz 1:39 pm 14 Sep 16

Grail said :

Just be aware that if you vote Liberal they will be taking even more money from the budget to fund two new private hospitals.

have you submitted a request for explanation about the tree lopping and lack of maintenance of private infrastructure (it’s adShell, not ACT Government responsible for bus shelters, and Telstra or other responsible for communications and electrical infrastructure).

A letter to Shane should get the ball rolling, the Greens are keen to win votes after all.

Expressing your frustration in writing directly to a MLA is better than venting on public forums.

Two new private hospitals?

Who are you going to vote for if all the parties are funding them?

tortfeaser 12:59 pm 14 Sep 16

Quite the spray. And wrong, at least about supermarket owners. Metcash isn’t the owner of IGA or Supabarn. Metcash is a grocery wholesaler, they just sell the stock to the IGA stores.

gooterz 10:33 am 14 Sep 16

If everyone moves out of giralang they could probably sell it to developers for redevelopment in 10 years for high density shoe boxes.

Grail 10:22 am 14 Sep 16

Just be aware that if you vote Liberal they will be taking even more money from the budget to fund two new private hospitals.

have you submitted a request for explanation about the tree lopping and lack of maintenance of private infrastructure (it’s adShell, not ACT Government responsible for bus shelters, and Telstra or other responsible for communications and electrical infrastructure).

A letter to Shane should get the ball rolling, the Greens are keen to win votes after all.

Expressing your frustration in writing directly to a MLA is better than venting on public forums.

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