Another Plan for Civic, Oh Yes, Another

johnboy 5 August 2005 25

The Canberra Times brings the grim news that yet another plan for civic is to be released. It promises us “an alluring social and economic hub of parklands, grand boulevards and new residential, government and commercial buildings”. It’s going to do it, oddly enough, by destroying the only park in Civic to build a Legislative Assembly more in keeping with our Leader’s perceptions of themselves.

Under this plan we’re also going to get a Civic Development Corporation to be created as a Statutory Board answerable to a Minister. This will create lots of nice jobs with which to reward hard working comrades and so is sure to meet with approval (passim ActewAGL).

The neat thing about this plethora of plans is that members of the public who, reasonably enough, don’t have the time to read or keep track of all these suckers as they go past end up having to just nod and smile at the “experts”.

For those struggling to keep up I find the Godwin’s Law of Canberra planning debates is any mention of Burley Griffin, which usually indicated the plan is stiffing the public and they can’t sell it on its own merits. We find it used here:

The plan reasserts City Hill’s central focus as a place of activity, as envisaged by Canberra’s original architect, Walter Burley Griffin.

I’m sure if they looked they could find something in the bible too (at least then they’d have to source the reference and we could check their usage).

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25 Responses to Another Plan for Civic, Oh Yes, Another
seepi seepi 10:32 pm 05 Aug 05

Terry Snow develped the airport. Who is winning there – he is. WE pay a taxi levy of 2.00 for passing through, busses are not allowed to go there (or it has been made very difficult for them), you have to park to pick people up from the airport (and pay). Nothing in the airport has been built for the public benefit, it is all a money spinner for the owner. No wonder they can’t wait to get their hands on more chunks of Canberra. You can bet there will be hidden costs to the public in this plan.

areaman areaman 4:20 pm 05 Aug 05

Actually not all that much:

Although that may be out of date as I belive the car park nearest the canberra center has been replaced with the big office building for the ATO. leaving little or no above ground parking.

Smackbang Smackbang 4:08 pm 05 Aug 05

Or more above-ground carpaks that look not unlike gaols, with their vertical bars (I’m referring to the Canberra Centre here). Sadly, I think that’s exactly what we’ll be getting in section 84.

areaman areaman 4:02 pm 05 Aug 05

Ditto, last thing we need is another massive, butt ugly mall.

Maelinar Maelinar 4:01 pm 05 Aug 05

Nicely worded areaman, the skill of a good planning minister is in getting private industry and corporations to pay for all that.

So far the expertise I’ve seen is sadly lacking.

Quoting the closure of one school, while convenient for your argument, hardly compares with the closure of several.

Building unnecessary government buildings, to use your quotes, is like putting lipstick on a pig.

If they’re that desperate for housing, there’s two buildings on either side of the war memorial that have been largely vacant for a while now. I suggest they may like to look there.

My understanding of the situation is they’d give themselves free parking there as well.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 3:57 pm 05 Aug 05

both relevant arguments I have to admit I agree with bonfire about the anti hippydrome style complex

areaman areaman 3:36 pm 05 Aug 05

My Second paragraph should have the word “currently” in between “there” and “seems”.

areaman areaman 3:35 pm 05 Aug 05

First west belco education, the school had an enrolment of 140, but was built for ten times that. It cost a huge amount just to maintain the building, but no one was going there. After a certain point it’s not worth trying to fiddle around the edges, but rather to start from a clean base. Now I don’t know what that point is, but I’m sure the Department of Education looked into it and determined that it was more efficient to build a new state of the art school rather than (to use the venacular of the southern US) putting lipstick on a pig.

In relation to the Civic redeployment, while there seems to be a fair bit of retail activity there if you look at the proposals for the city redevelopment it actually about making Civic a better place to spend time in, not just money. It’s about improving public facilities, creating much needed infrastructure (like a five star hotel and a new conference centre, more office and residential space) and connecting the two halves into a functional, unified civic centre. The thing that you’re not talking about (maybe because you don’t know) is that all these plans aren’t just cost neutral they actually make money for the government, while still giving new facilities and spaces to the public.

You claim that I should be against these plans because they are using my welfare money, but they don’t, they give more money which could be spent on “welfare” (though I don’t agree with one time capital gains being spent on ongoing expenses). Some ambit claim that it’ll cost more money from the territory government shipping people to shop there is not only ridiculously poorly thought and with out any supporting evidence out it shows a critical lack of any understanding of the plans, as they don’t have much of an increase in retail space.

Thumper Thumper 3:34 pm 05 Aug 05


my mistake.


bonfire bonfire 3:29 pm 05 Aug 05

i always thought that a nice square like teh marquis de pombal square in lisbon, with a nice statue or two (actual statues, not arts graduate welded by feminists out of ek holden subframe statues)a fountain and some cafes would suit canberra. they could be fronted by buildings with an identical facade to the melbourne and sydney buildings.

and fuck right off any hyperdome temple of avarice monstrosity. i detest those places.

JoeyJoeJoe JoeyJoeJoe 2:38 pm 05 Aug 05

The plan certainly looks photogenic and progressive. I’m always a big fan of development for this fine city that will bring some more life into the place.

There are, however, two issues that I can see with Mr Snow’s vision:

1. A key element is removing traffic from Vernon Circle. Where will it go? I thought one of the competing plans called for traffic to be tunneled under City Hill, but I see no mention of a thoroughfare here.

2. All of the nice piccies show Canberrans casually strolling along the grand boulevards on sunny days, wearing comfortable, casual clothes. Unfortunately we aren’t blessed with perpetual Spring and Autumn, so I can see those boulevards becoming blistering hot on the 35C+ days, and desolate windy wastelands during the extended and bitter winter.

Also, where’s the monorail? It’s gotta have a monorail!

Maelinar Maelinar 2:27 pm 05 Aug 05

Areaman, actually I’ll grace your trifle with two answers.

I would have thought you of all people would be supportive of my stance that it is a hideous waste of money and resources restructuring the scholatory system in Canberra to a condensed and homogenous shadow of it’s former self.

By spending money and supporting resources that are existing, they will actually save money over having to build an entirely new school from scratch.

That means more money left over for your welfare payments.

And that merely begins me upon my tirade upon how stupid the common people are in allowing the ACT Government to masturbate themselves silly by spending YOUR WELFARE MONEY on themselves.

Revamp civic ? *ahem* – why ?

Is it just not pretty enough (sorry Kasey Chambers, but you suck anyway) ? Last time I checked in Civic there were stores doing a roaring trade 7 days a week. They have redeveloped the Plaza into an overhead super zone, squeezing even more shops into that retail paradise.

Independent store owners have nearly been squeezed out of civic completely by extreme rentals and inability to compete, to the point that the chain shops have spawned mini centres in Belco, Tuggers, Woden etc…

Redevelopment my ass.

If you want to redevelop Civic, open the floodgates to those chain stores who want to squeeze every last welfare dollar you get out of you, but give them a plan that they must adhere to.

Corbell couldn’t organise a fight out of a wet paper bag so you might want to look at replacing him there, but it’s certainly an option.

All that at ZERO cost to the government. Now that’s savings…

What would cost the government money is upgrading the public transport system so you can get your welfare dollar into the shop so the shop can pay their exorbitant rent, and a few perfunctionary gardens and plantings here and there, toss in a bit of frontage and dressing and you’re done. Not for very much at all…

When you say ‘Oh by the way we’re going to build a brand new government building as well’ in the small print, you’re being two faced.

I for one, don’t approve.

I don’t think you should either, remember it’s your welfare they’re spending leftie.

Maelinar Maelinar 1:42 pm 05 Aug 05

Areaman: Yep.

I have a point though don’t I ?

Absent Diane Absent Diane 1:41 pm 05 Aug 05

I will be submitting my plans next week…. it will be called christropolis – its going to be uber-dense, filthy and overcrowded. The plan also involves a GIANT heater and hose system to keep temps above 40C with 90% humidity…. I say screw my nose up at these other lame suggestions!!

areaman areaman 1:22 pm 05 Aug 05

Maelinar, again this isn’t the government it’s Terry Snow. You really don’t bother actually think do you, you just trot out your far right views no matter what the subject.

Maelinar Maelinar 12:30 pm 05 Aug 05

Thanks Smackbang

I see what look like rail heads, but they seem to be filled with water, am I missing something here ?

Is there anything that I could say now that would really convey my distaste for such extravagance from a government that can’t even maintain public schools in the suburbs ?

This government is out of focus, out of touch, and hopefully, out of a job next election.

That goes for you too Foskey.

Smackbang Smackbang 12:15 pm 05 Aug 05

Maelinar, here it is

johnboy johnboy 12:15 pm 05 Aug 05

well they’re making noises about “tourist facilities” in civic.

As a once and future tourist I suspect there’s a devil in that detail. Tourist’s need five things

1) Things to eat
2) Things to drink
3) Things to do
4) Things to look at
5) Somewhere to sleep

1,2 and 5 are already well facilitated in civic, so they’re going to build new “attractions”?

Sounds like an expensive gamble but a huge waterslide park would be fantastic.

Maelinar Maelinar 12:10 pm 05 Aug 05

Perhaps it’ll be the ‘mono’ type road…


johnboy johnboy 12:07 pm 05 Aug 05

No Sub-Aquatic lifestyle no.

But the “Road linking national insitutions” is a curious thing.

There I was thinking those things were already linked by roads?

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