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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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Another kick in the guts for Giralang
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ddd444 7:33 pm 11 Oct 16

JC said :

What exactly do you want the government to do about the Giralang shops? They have bent over backwards in support of the original proposal (even been accused by the opposition of wrong doing in that process), they and the developer have been taken to the high court by neighbouring shops (one of which has since sold out to Coles) and now they have won the case the planned major tenant is in corporate strife and has decided not to go ahead with the lease, doubly so now that the closest supermarket is now a Coles. (kind of shows how concerned about competition the previous owner was hey?). I frankly fail to see how much more support the government could actually legally give.

Yes originally the ACT Govt did support the 1,500m2 centre using their call in powers. They have since done a complete backflip (after the centre was already half built). They have even gone to the extent of bringing in a special law to target Giralang such that ANY changes to the original DA require it be downsized to 1,000m2. I have it in writing from Barr that their government OPPOSES our approved 1,500m2 centre and wants it downsized to 1,000m2. Thus ensuring a viable tenant unlikely.

So, what do I expect Labor to do about the Giralang shops? Stop opposing our approved DA, just for starters, and repeal or amend the 1,000m2 law intended to target Giralang (many many other surrounding suburbs have had much larger local shops pop up in the time being).

And the ACT Government was NOT taken to court by the opponents, according to the many letters I have from Barr etc, which state that they were not a party to the court proceedings and therefore claimed to be helpless. The ACT Government did nothing to help Giralang in the legal process; if you are relying on Jayson Hinder’s recent letter that the ACT Govt had “won” the court case for Giralang that is a lie according to Barr. The court process was between the developer and the competing commercial interests and the ACT Government chose not to intervene (eg amend legislation to throw out the challenge) for reasons unknown to Giralang residents. Perhaps it was something related to why the ACT Government favoured Supabarn, opponents of our shops, when granting new sites in the north?

JC 12:02 pm 11 Oct 16

What exactly do you want the government to do about the Giralang shops? They have bent over backwards in support of the original proposal (even been accused by the opposition of wrong doing in that process), they and the developer have been taken to the high court by neighbouring shops (one of which has since sold out to Coles) and now they have won the case the planned major tenant is in corporate strife and has decided not to go ahead with the lease, doubly so now that the closest supermarket is now a Coles. (kind of shows how concerned about competition the previous owner was hey?). I frankly fail to see how much more support the government could actually legally give.

Andrew Zed 9:03 am 11 Oct 16

Word from our local “representative” who is Missing In Action, #JaysonHinderMIA, he has had plenty of meetings with the developer and now we have to wait for a new DA for the shops. That’s some sorta help that he is working behind the scenes to get a new DA that will be smaller and less viable. He really has our interests at heart.

He also has come up with $200,000 for refurbishing the community after it appears that the ONLY people he talked to were the Giralang PS community. Not a single community consultation has been publicly convened apart from this afternoon- 4 days before the election. How convenient that its being held at 3pm- 6pm. That’s really accessible for people traveling home from their job- like me.

The pork barrelling is set aside for a new park and playground which I have no doubt will only cater to 0-3 year old kids. I made formal submissions for a park which went unanswered and theres also interest for a skate park. Some of the money is being allocated to fix footpaths and cycle paths. HELLO I’m already paying rates for this so am I supposed to be enthused an announcement that I will receive the services that have been neglected for over 12 years? Some cash also goes to making Girlang PS children safer when walking to school when most children can get to school not crossing a single road as theres lots of underpasses and previously Giralang PS had the biggest Walking School Bus in the ACT!

It’s no surprise that as Labor candidate signs in Giralang get put up, they are quickly taken down.

What a joke. 12 years of neglect and we are thrown a biscuit one week before the election. #JaysonHinderMIA expect that your hand is gonna get bitten cause the reek of corruption is worse than smelly old socks AND THEY NEED TO BE CHANGED!!!!!!!

Maya123 12:10 pm 19 Sep 16

Andrew Zed said :

Maya123 said :

If the residents will support the local shops they do okay. Look to the inner suburban shops as proof of that. Griffith is a case in point. Even more down market (lower) Narrabundah (where the shops are) is doing relatively okay. And remember these shops have Manuka and Kingston shops not far away as competition, but they have survived. But if the local residents think a mall is better to go to then the local shops won’t do okay, and I suspect that in some suburbs too many residents do prefer the mall and bypass the local shops. It has a lot to do with attitude of the people living in the area. Even if ‘you’ want to go to local shops and will support them, the shops need more than a few people with this attitude to survive.

That may seem appropriate however its a different kettle of fish when the supermarket is owned by the lesee/ developer. The previous shopping centre was operated by Nikias who allowed the centre to become run down whilst jacking up rents for shop tenants. When the tenants were granted no lease extensions or moved out as rent was too high then this is used as justification that the shops are not viable and units are the only appropriate development. This is the road we are traveling once again. A small supermarket will fail and be used as justification to be converted to units.

This all has been flagged by Giralang residents to the ACT government but they have done ZERO to prevent it happening.

Meanwhile the suburb is neglected of maintenance of basic services/ infrastructure and even the Minster for Urban Renewal, Andrew Barr, has no plan for the suburb. Rates keep going up, services are down, Jayson Hinder is MIA and Barr smiles like a clown.

Good points, and this is likely the Giralang experience, but I was making a more generic reply to the comments about many shopping centres failing in so called ‘older’ (all is relative 🙂 ) suburbs. I failed to make this clear though. I don’t know who owns the shops in my examples of Griffith and Narrabundah, but I do know it isn’t necessarily always the shop operator.

Andrew Zed 12:01 pm 19 Sep 16

Maya123 said :

If the residents will support the local shops they do okay. Look to the inner suburban shops as proof of that. Griffith is a case in point. Even more down market (lower) Narrabundah (where the shops are) is doing relatively okay. And remember these shops have Manuka and Kingston shops not far away as competition, but they have survived. But if the local residents think a mall is better to go to then the local shops won’t do okay, and I suspect that in some suburbs too many residents do prefer the mall and bypass the local shops. It has a lot to do with attitude of the people living in the area. Even if ‘you’ want to go to local shops and will support them, the shops need more than a few people with this attitude to survive.

That may seem appropriate however its a different kettle of fish when the supermarket is owned by the lesee/ developer. The previous shopping centre was operated by Nikias who allowed the centre to become run down whilst jacking up rents for shop tenants. When the tenants were granted no lease extensions or moved out as rent was too high then this is used as justification that the shops are not viable and units are the only appropriate development. This is the road we are traveling once again. A small supermarket will fail and be used as justification to be converted to units.

This all has been flagged by Giralang residents to the ACT government but they have done ZERO to prevent it happening.

Meanwhile the suburb is neglected of maintenance of basic services/ infrastructure and even the Minster for Urban Renewal, Andrew Barr, has no plan for the suburb. Rates keep going up, services are down, Jayson Hinder is MIA and Barr smiles like a clown.

ddd444 3:10 pm 18 Sep 16

Jayson Hinder, Labor MLA and resident of Giralang, has chosen this time to display political signage near the Kaleen group centre that he is “Better for Kaleen”. No Giralang supportive signs have been sighted.

Maya123 12:11 pm 18 Sep 16

If the residents will support the local shops they do okay. Look to the inner suburban shops as proof of that. Griffith is a case in point. Even more down market (lower) Narrabundah (where the shops are) is doing relatively okay. And remember these shops have Manuka and Kingston shops not far away as competition, but they have survived. But if the local residents think a mall is better to go to then the local shops won’t do okay, and I suspect that in some suburbs too many residents do prefer the mall and bypass the local shops. It has a lot to do with attitude of the people living in the area. Even if ‘you’ want to go to local shops and will support them, the shops need more than a few people with this attitude to survive.

Andrew Zed 10:17 am 18 Sep 16

The hits just keep coming as the prophecy come true…..now Nikkias has said they want smaller shops. This will be the same tactic as the last shops- make them unviable and then look to replace the lot with shops.

MLA Jason Hinder lives in Giralang and his silence and lack of representation during this whole saga shows he is either crap at his job or really doesn’t give a flying f@ck about the suburb he lives in.
#JasonHinderMIA
#JasonHinderNOTBetter For Giralang
#DontVoteLabor

Andrew Zed 8:01 am 17 Sep 16

Robert Issell said :

This neglect of older established suburbs is going on all over Canberra. Ask the question why? The government focus is purely on the new suburbs and looking after the tourist, and not the people who count, those who live in the suburbs and pay ever increasing rates to keep this city going. Now they want more elected representatives to promise more and deliver less. Wake up Canberra. Your Vote does count. Pick any older established suburb and you will find the same issues of neglect.

I can see this neglect in plenty of suburbs so I have no llusion that Giralang is an exception in this case.

Giralang is exceptional in that the the neglect has coincided with a development process that has been corrupted. The ACT government has dropped the ball on many occasions, the back room deals that have happened have worked counter to completion of the shops.

The situation really shows that the ACT government does NOT always work in the best interests of rate payers/ tax payers. Business interests and old mates get specials deals. The rest of us, especially if you’re not in well heeled suburbs, get mushroom treatment at best and long term neglect at worst. The ACT government should be held accountable. There’s plenty of options apart from the major parties and each vote they don’t get means they get less tax payers money.

Bonkers 11:01 pm 16 Sep 16

Grail said :

There are no “savings” from not building the light rail, sorry. It produces income, hospitals do not.

Only produces income if it’s got decent patronage, and looking at the low level of public transport use throughout the ACT, it won’t be producing income, it will just be offsetting substantial expenses.

Hospitals don’t generate income (or revenue offsets), but have probably got a more reliable demand. I can choose my method of transport, but if I suffer a significant injury? I know where I’d prefer my money to be going. If anyone could provide an estimate of when the light rail income compared to the investment will break even, I’d be keen to hear about it.

@TuggLife – thanks for the feedback. I like shirts.

rommeldog56 9:34 pm 16 Sep 16

pajs said :

Robert Issell said :

This neglect of older established suburbs is going on all over Canberra. Ask the question why? The government focus is purely on the new suburbs and looking after the tourist, and not the people who count, those who live in the suburbs and pay ever increasing rates to keep this city going. Now they want more elected representatives to promise more and deliver less. Wake up Canberra. Your Vote does count. Pick any older established suburb and you will find the same issues of neglect.

Pretty easy to refute this claim by pointing to examples of Government-funded revitalisation of local shops in established suburbs. For example, this year, the shops at Cook.

Nice word that, “revitilasiation”. Is that a facelift ? Not many in Tuggeranong that I can remember being “revitalised”.

Oh, except a few years back, Chisholm shops was revitalised with a few plants (now mostly dead because they were not maintained), some mulch (which has now mostly blown away) and they put some varnished wooden boards around the metal poles that support the awning. Unfortunately, the varnish has degenerated because it was not been maintained. A pretty cheap and nasty “revitalisation” by the ACT Labor/Greens Govt.

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