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Barr kicks Dickson residents (again)

By Paul Costigan - 24 July 2015 34

P1080437

After seven months of silence since the last workshop to discuss the future options for the Dickson Parklands (Section 72 Dickson), the Dickson Residents Group asked for a meeting to ask a range of questions. This meeting happened on Thursday afternoon (23 July).

To our surprise we were told that two sections of the site are now proposed for residential use. We were also shown a notice that was to go the public next week or soon after.

Last year the residents of the inner northern suburbs were very clear about their aspirations for this site and that residential developments were not favoured.

It had been anticipated that there would have been further engagement over the reports from the two workshops held in late 2014.

Instead there has been silence.

Until now!

Without any warning, a media release has appeared today announcing the change of lease.

Residents who attended the meeting were not told that this media release was being circulated the very afternoon as we met with the directorate officers.

This is not a good example of community engagement as set out in the ACT Government’s own community engagement policy.

This latest move by the chief minister’s directorate has come as a sudden shock to the resident groups involved.

Residents are again being provoked into having to respond and resist proposals affecting the future of this valuable community asset.

As has been outlined in submissions to the government, as the rest of the surrounding suburbs undergo intensification, the Dickson Parklands site will be even more required as a site for a mix of cultural and arts facilities.

Parkland-P1110955

There is no other site like this within the inner northern suburbs of Canberra. Once it is lost to development, it will be gone forever as a community cultural site.

The Dickson Residents group had hoped that the chief minister had learnt that the residents of the surrounding suburbs are wanting to and were looking forward to working with the planning and development agencies to enhance this important inner north site.

The community vision was for:

  • a linear parkland
  • a community arts and cultural precinct
  • a peaceful refuge of landscaped green space based around the existing woodlands and creek line that provided a green corridor connecting the urban hub of Dickson to the more outer suburbs in north Canberra and our surrounding mountains (people already use this site for this purpose, and it is likely that this opportunity will be cut back with the proposed residential development)
  • a community resource that would have become increasingly important as the shape and form of the inner north changes in response to the light rail and the infill needed to support it. (The parklands would be accessible to the whole community, rather than segmented by private land and residences and the cars and traffic that will necessarily come with 200 plus residences).

Sadly the community’s aspirations have been totally ignored by the chief minister and his directorate.

All indications are that the chief minister and his directorate wish to provoke the residents  – yet again.

With the coming 2016 ACT elections, residents are hoping that this matter can be resolved quickly. It would be unfortunate for this insult to be the basis of election debates, especially in and around Dickson where the chief minister is hoping to be re-elected to represent this community and its aspirations.

What’s Your opinion?


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34 Responses to
Barr kicks Dickson residents (again)
1
sepi 11:16 am
24 Jul 15
#

Dickson should really be renamed ‘Apartmentia’. Or perhaps just ‘Constructionzonia’.

I like the bit where they say immediate neighbours of the block will be notified of the units going up. They don’t seem to see this as a community hub for surrounding suburbs at all – although when they talk about light rail suddenly Dickson is a hub.

there is nothing to do for families and kids around Dickson except the pool in summer. I wish we still had the mini-golf, and even Canberry fair, but both of those are now lost under apartments.

Apartment living is fine, but you need parks and community facilities for all those people. If you cover every square inch of ground with apartments, all you have is loads of people crammed in next to a mall. Again.

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2
JC 12:01 pm
24 Jul 15
#

sepi said :

there is nothing to do for families and kids around Dickson except the pool in summer. I wish we still had the mini-golf, and even Canberry fair, but both of those are now lost under apartments.

Apartment living is fine, but you need parks and community facilities for all those people. If you cover every square inch of ground with apartments, all you have is loads of people crammed in next to a mall. Again.

Two points, you make it sound like the mini golf and Cranberry fair were forced out of business to build apartments, when in reality the apartments came years and years afterwards. Clearly both businesses were not sustainable.

Secondly and this is directed at the OP too, acording to the CT the development is on two disused sites that previously had buildings and carparks on them. They are not taking any more land away from the public, though they are not giving that land back either.

Now of course they had planned to take more but they actually listended to the community. So kind of makes this sound like more self centred NIMBYism.

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3
dungfungus 12:42 pm
24 Jul 15
#

JC said :

sepi said :

there is nothing to do for families and kids around Dickson except the pool in summer. I wish we still had the mini-golf, and even Canberry fair, but both of those are now lost under apartments.

Apartment living is fine, but you need parks and community facilities for all those people. If you cover every square inch of ground with apartments, all you have is loads of people crammed in next to a mall. Again.

Two points, you make it sound like the mini golf and Cranberry fair were forced out of business to build apartments, when in reality the apartments came years and years afterwards. Clearly both businesses were not sustainable.

Secondly and this is directed at the OP too, acording to the CT the development is on two disused sites that previously had buildings and carparks on them. They are not taking any more land away from the public, though they are not giving that land back either.

Now of course they had planned to take more but they actually listended to the community. So kind of makes this sound like more self centred NIMBYism.

“Clearly both businesses were not sustainable.”
I would like to hear from you what your definition of “sustainable” is.

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4
chewy14 12:49 pm
24 Jul 15
#

Ah the lament of the Nimby, it makes my heart leap with joy.

People in this city are going to have to realise that they will not be able to live in areas close to the centre of the city as well as expecting all of the amenity of living in extremely low density outer suburbs.

The community’s aspirations of never having high density areas nearby and a plethora of open space public areas remaining for their personal use is simply not possible or desirable.

It’s the “I’m right Jack, you go live somewhere else” mentality to future generations who want to access some of the amenity of these inner areas. Which is particularly galling because successive governments at local and federal level have done everything in their power to make sure these existing residents have had massive increases in the value of their properties and any suggestion of pulling back some of those benefits is instantly jumped upon by various rent seeking interest groups.

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5
sepi 1:58 pm
24 Jul 15
#

The minigolf and Canberry fair were both allowed to deteriorate to the point of no return purely so they could be sold off for unit. Canberry Fair was not a success when it was located on the outskirts of a fairly small Canberra, with mostly oldies living in the inner north. these days as the inner north bursts with kids it would be a raging success. Gold Creek is ugly as, and does really well, Canberry fair was gorgeous and located among the trees.

Anyway, the point about this latest proposal is that this land is zoned as community and recreation. How does that translate into units? the inner suburbs should not just become an accommodation dormitory for the Canberra centre and the ANU.

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6
zllauh 4:36 pm
24 Jul 15
#

First it was Gunghalin and now Dickson !

There are so many job cuts happening but still lot of apartments popping up ! Looks like a bubble …

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7
sepi 4:43 pm
24 Jul 15
#

along these lines, if only they would keep public service employment going in city centres like Woden, tuggeranong and Beloconnen, and finally put an office block in gungahlin, then not everyone who works in civic would need to live in a poky flat in the inner north.

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8
JC 5:04 pm
24 Jul 15
#

sepi said :

The minigolf and Canberry fair were both allowed to deteriorate to the point of no return purely so they could be sold off for unit. Canberry Fair was not a success when it was located on the outskirts of a fairly small Canberra, with mostly oldies living in the inner north. these days as the inner north bursts with kids it would be a raging success. Gold Creek is ugly as, and does really well, Canberry fair was gorgeous and located among the trees.

Firstly all these younguns that have moved into North Canberra and would requent Cranberry where do you think they are living? Yep in the apartments you dislike so much.

The comparison of Cranberry fair to Gold Creek is a long bow that has missed its target, Cranberry fair from what I recall was an amusment park with paid admission etc, Gold Creek is old world themed shopping villiage, not comparable at all.

As for letting them run down, what nonesense. Do you think a business person would buy something like that with the intent that someday in the future there would be demand for units? Seriosuly. In the case of Cranberry fair two operators basically lost their life savings running the place, the sell of for units came long after.

Lastley the zoning of the land, the picture in the article and the emotive language would have you beleive they were ripping down parks and trees, which they are not. They are rebuilding one disued site that only has the remains of a carpark, plus the Salvo’s building behind it. Besides the photo is of a group of trees that runs alongside an open stormwater drain. Hardly virgin forest or wide expanses of parkland and the like.

The scene in the photo above will remain, and will be used by even more people. Win, win, unless you are a no progress NIMBY.

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9
JC 5:06 pm
24 Jul 15
#

sepi said :

and finally put an office block in gungahlin, then not everyone who works in civic would need to live in a poky flat in the inner north.

The ACT does have an office block in Gungahlin.

Next…

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10
DicksonNarel 6:14 pm
24 Jul 15
#

I’m confused Paul.

Firstly Section 72 isn’t a “Community Parkland”. I checked the zoning just now and it’s zoned CZ6 (with the “C” referring to commercial – not community). This existing zoning is reflected by the presence of a motel, a dance and fitness studio, a child care centre and trades training centre. Of the sites mentioned in the article, one of them used to be a licensed club. How are the existing privately leased sites supposed to morph into your utopian cultural and arts precinct..?

Secondly, from what I can tell from the map in the Canberra Times, this “green corridor” to the south of the site that you value so highly and include as a photo in your article remains completely untouched by these sensible plans to get some life back into what is a dangerous,derelict area.

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11
scentednightgardens 8:25 pm
24 Jul 15
#

Nowithstanding the affront caused by the apparent paucity of consultation, I don’t think that Barr and his directorate deliberately set out to provoke the residents of Dickson (or, the sample represented by the ‘Dickson Residents Group’) for the sport of it. Barr et al have to think about the future, and make strategic calls regarding revenue sources, and balance the interests of everybody in the territory. Keep these small parcels as ‘linear parkland’ or an ‘arts precinct’ and we lock future Canberrans out of a central housing opportunity, and ratepayers across the ACT pay a little extra for the amenity of a few. I guess I would probably would be more empathetic if I didn’t have a look at Google Earth and see that the areas in question are adjacent the significant the preserved urban open spaces that are the Dickson playing fields and the Dickson Wetlands!!

There was once some nice open space where the homes of the members of the Dickson Resident Group currently stand. It was a shame to see that space go…but hey……

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12
rommeldog56 8:45 pm
24 Jul 15
#

JC said :

sepi said :

and finally put an office block in gungahlin, then not everyone who works in civic would need to live in a poky flat in the inner north.

The ACT does have an office block in Gungahlin.

Next…

The ACT office in Gunners is only a token jesture. The ACT Gov’t plans to reloacte most of the rest of its public servants to a new building in Civic, next to the Legislative Assembly building. And yes, it is planned to be another Public Private Partnership (but specifically done to support that other PPP, the toy train set, by contributing to passenger numbers).

Next……

Never mind sepi, every time someone on RiotAct has an anti development view, they are called a Nimby by a few. Be proud of that – its an acknowledgement of the voice of reason and common sense actually.

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13
Xtra 9:07 pm
24 Jul 15
#

Dickson Parklands? Since when was Section 72 a designated parkland? Let’s get real, it would be economically unwise for the government to acquire the land only to develop it for a landscape area or a community use which does provide a return.
If the government listened to the community’s aspirations Canberra would not have expanded as it has and redevelopment would be non-existent. Densification along and near the light rail is inevitable- whether we like it or not. Dickson residents would be more productive if they offered sensible comments. Section 72 has been largely a neglected area for some time- don’t pretend it actually holds some value to Dickson or the inner North now.

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14
chewy14 9:04 am
25 Jul 15
#

rommeldog56 said :

Never mind sepi, every time someone on RiotAct has an anti development view, they are called a Nimby by a few. Be proud of that – its an acknowledgement of the voice of reason and common sense actually.

Sense and reason? You mean selfish and entitled?

I’ve got no problem with people who are against certain developments for specific, well thought out reasons but the majority of these complaints are the definition of Nimbyism.

The current residents don’t want high density residential anywhere near where they live regardless of what it looks like or the benefits to the community as a whole. There is a large proportion who reject even the concept of change.

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15
dkNigs 10:13 am
25 Jul 15
#

Living around the closest suburban hub to the city, you have to be prepared for density. If the Nimby’s push back too hard, you just end up being Woden. Nobody wants to be Woden.

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